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I think I figured out how to do pictures on this site, so here is the illustration of the lower bolt and the difference between when the suspension is loaded and when it is just hanging. The loaded suspension has the coupling rod straight up and down. That's the position it should be in when you torque the bolt.

View attachment 235210 View attachment 235212
A picture is worth a thousand words! these clear your point 100%, thanks.
 

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@DaveL. I had thought about getting a spare set, but the springs vary for different cars and years, so I'd have to get a set that would match up with mine. I suppose I can keep an eye out for a set at a good price, but I don't know that I will put in the effort. Hopefully I won't be needing to refurb these anytime soon. But you are right about next time if there is one. I will know how to do it pretty quick. Although I'm so methodical and I always find other little things to fiddle around with, so it probably would take me almost as much time. At least I wouldn't have to curse so much as I don't need to revisit my "learning experiences"...

@Markos. You probably didn't make it through my really long write up. LOL. At the end I did comment on my first driving impressions. I've just taken the car on a short drive. I intentionally drove on some crummy roads to make sure that everything was working correctly. The ride is definitely improved. I was a little amazed that it was so noticeable. The shocks must have been in worse shape than I realized, because I thought the car was pretty good before I refurbed. I used both the relaxed and tightened up settings for the shocks. The relaxed setting is so much better now. I didn't really do any driving where the stiffer setting was valuable. It's a stiffer ride, but I think it would be best suited to performance type driving and I was just doing general driving as a shakedown cruise.
I must've missed that earlier post! :D Good to know there's a decent amount of difference in how they feel when new vs old... Unless you get to drive an R8 with fresh shocks to compare, I think it must be difficult to just 'feel' that yours might be old and need swapping out, even before they start leaking...
 

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Following up on the shock refurbishment project. I got the shocks back from Nagengast on Friday and put them back in the car over the weekend. Shocks came back packaged well and they looked good. New bushings, rebuilt shocks, new paint on the shocks. I think the springs were left alone, but the rubber that they seat in looked like it was new.

When they quoted me they said 3-5 days fabrication. It took a little longer than that. I think they may have been pretty busy, but it also was right around May 1, which is a big holiday. I can't be too concerned about that, so overall, I'd say the time was probably pretty reasonable considering. Plus I was busy, so I wouldn't have been able to do anything anyway.

Price was quoted as 2285 euro, and that's what they charged me. Broken out it was 490 euro per shock for the refurbishment and then the rest was for shipping and some sort of customs clearance. I wish I knew more about shipping overseas because I paid nearly 900 usd to ship them over and I think they charged 200 euro for shipping them back and we both used UPS. Still, the whole shebang was about 3500 usd total. Which beats the alternative.

As far as the reinstallation there were a couple learning experiences.

When installing the shocks, I needed to use a crowbar to push down on the upper control arm levering it against the bottom of the spring base on the shock. I used a rag on the crowbar to try to minimize scraping the paint on the shock. I used a rubber block on the control arm to get the correct set up. This also is a step that requires an assistant to push the bolt through while I was levering. It's a bit of a dance to muscle the holes to line up.

Next thing that I think is pretty important is that when you are torquing the lower bolts that hold the bottom of the shock, the workshop manual says to lift the wheel to a pre-measured point before torquing the bolts. I did it using a floor jack to lift the lower transverse link. This was pretty easy on the rear. On the front I loaded a pile of bricks into the trunk for weight. Even with that weight, I lifted the front of the car off the lift. It was getting a little scary and fortunately I hit the correct measurement, just as I was about to chicken out.

I couldn't figure out why I had to do that lift to the pre measured point, but I did it, figuring that the engineers had their reasons. Well what I saw is that when you have the axle lifted to the correct point, the coupling rod becomes oriented 90 degrees to the bolt. When the suspension is just hanging there it's at an angle. So if you just tightened with the suspension hanging, you wouldn't actually get the bolt torqued correctly. I have a couple pictures if anyone is vaguely interested. At least, that was the case in the rear. The front was less obvious what it was doing, but I did it just to be on the safe side. I'm a little surprised that the various videos you see of guys popping shocks in their cars tend to gloss over this point. Actually they tend to gloss over the pain of getting that lower bolt in. That was probably the physically hardest aspect of the whole job.

As I expected, reinstalling the air guides for the rear were a pain in the butt. I couldn't figure out how to get the rubber bellows onto the air guide. I even pulled the engine trim to see if I could go in from above. It didn't help. What I eventually figured out is if you can put the bellows on the top of the air guide, then use a screw driver to pry the bottom and a pair of pliers to pull the bellows. It will suddenly pop on like nothing. I screwed around with this for so long that when I finally got it, I couldn't believe it worked and I kept double checking it just to make sure. I also used a little soapy water for lubrication.

So those are the main things that I thought I'd share with the group. It was well worth doing. The car rides like it is brand new again. I'm very happy with going the refurb route. The mag ride is really a great feature and doing the refurb is a great way of taking care of the problem without it breaking the bank. Plus you get to do a bunch of little stuff while you're in there. I'd like to thank the forum as a resource. I discovered Nagangast through the forum. I also have to thank desperado because the workshop manuals are invaluable. I would never have tackled this job without them. Hope this didn't bore you and feel free to ask any questions, I'd be glad to help.
Very good post thanks for sharing. I have received my shocks that I sent over to Nagangast but have not installed them yet. I picked up a used set like DaveL suggested and had them shipped over. Once I have these installed I will send my current shocks over for refurbishment also and then have a spare set.

I used a service called https://www.parcelmonkey.com/ to send them to Poland. It saved a bit of money, since like the OP I had received quotes of around $1000-$1600 to ship the package (4 shocks 53lbs.) to Nagangast. Parcel Monkey will give you a list of quotes to choose from and you decide which service you want. I chose Fedex International Express for $334. Sent the shocks on Monday they got them Friday same week.

Nice to hear your experience with riding on the refurbished mag rides is positive. My car had leaking shocks when I bought it so all I've been accustomed to is the leaking ride, which to be quite honest I didn't think was all that bad, until I go over rail-rode tracks :D . Hopefully 4 fresh mag rides will feel a bit better!
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Quick update after a few more drives on the refurb mag shocks: I have noticed that I don't get the quattro shudder when I'm turning out of my driveway. I don't know if it's the improvement of the shocks or if it's just that the temperature is warming up. Will be interesting to see if this holds true when things cool off again.
 

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Quick update after a few more drives on the refurb mag shocks: I have noticed that I don't get the quattro shudder when I'm turning out of my driveway. I don't know if it's the improvement of the shocks or if it's just that the temperature is warming up. Will be interesting to see if this holds true when things cool off again.
Maybe because you aligned the suspension arms before torquing them up? just a thought, but still a bonus result.
 

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Wait...is the Quattro shudder a thing? I've just been assuming it was those fat tires chewing into my excessively steep driveway as I try to find the right approach angle to back out of my garage without grinding off the splitter.

Thank you, Stärke, for taking us along for the ride with your excellent and comprehensive writeup! Your attention to detail is inspiring. I'm still delighted that you wrote about the trunk stickiness. Mine has been that way since I got it a few months ago. I greased the front latch, but that didn't make a difference. I'll dry the dry lube + Li grease option and see if that does the trick. Where else did you lubricate? The two catches on the side as well?

Anyway, thanks again. Based on my PPI my front, right shock is leaking a little, but the others are basically dry at 19k. I'm hoping they still have a little life left in them before I have to embark on the Stärke journey...
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Wait...is the Quattro shudder a thing? I've just been assuming it was those fat tires chewing into my excessively steep driveway as I try to find the right approach angle to back out of my garage without grinding off the splitter.

Thank you, Stärke, for taking us along for the ride with your excellent and comprehensive writeup! Your attention to detail is inspiring. I'm still delighted that you wrote about the trunk stickiness. Mine has been that way since I got it a few months ago. I greased the front latch, but that didn't make a difference. I'll dry the dry lube + Li grease option and see if that does the trick. Where else did you lubricate? The two catches on the side as well?

Anyway, thanks again. Based on my PPI my front, right shock is leaking a little, but the others are basically dry at 19k. I'm hoping they still have a little life left in them before I have to embark on the Stärke journey...
Yes, the Quattro shudder is a thing. I will be curious when we hit cold weather again to see if the cold tires do it again or if the improved suspension helps. I used to have an S4 and it would occasionally shudder. First time it happened I thought I had broken something.

Regarding the trunk latches. I lubricated every single moving part I could find and access on all three latches. Even shot a little dri lube at the cable end where it came out of the housing. So far it seems to have done the trick.

I'm glad you found the write up useful. I don't know a heck of a lot about anything, so I find forums like this really useful where people share their insights and experiences. The knowledge and skills of people on various forums never cease to amaze me and I know I've taken on projects that I never would have attempted without these resources. So this is my way of paying it back.
 

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How are you guys getting the the control arm down down to reinstall the front shock? I was able to remove the shock by pushing down a bit, and I was barely able to get the shock back in to bolt the top back up. But the bottom bolt won't line up at all I got to push it way down. I am doing this by myself and I dont weigh that much so its a little tougher. Any suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter #29 (Edited)
I installed the top bolt first. Then it gets a little ugly. I used a crowbar to lever the shock and compress it a bit. [after reading my earlier post, I think I actually was pushing the top transverse link down a bit, which moves the whole assembly to get the bolt to line up.] There is sort of a transition in diameters that is a little ledge on the shock that you can put the crowbar to. While I did this, my able assistant who also happens to still be married to me even after all this, slid the bolt into the holes. This was done with much swearing and some domestic bickering, but we were ultimately successful. I used a rag to try and pad against scratching up the shock. It sort of helped. I honestly couldn't think of another way of doing this. I considered a spring compressor, but I couldn't get it to fit and do the job. I think it's a two person job and I haven't seen otherwise.

Then I used a floor jack to push up the lower transverse link (?). Basically the piece that that lower shock bolts to. This gets it positioned correctly for when the car is weighted on the wheel. This is actually important even though it's a pain in the butt to do it. Big danger here is that you are lifting the car up off your lift and if things aren't balanced correctly you could push your car off the lift and catastrophe would ensue. However, you really have to position the suspension correctly before doing the final tightening and torque.

I can't remember exactly, but it seems to me that the rears were easier than the fronts. I think I nearly dropped the car when I was doing the fronts. Let me know if you need more detail and I will try to explain better. Maybe a pic or something except I'm not all that skilled at internetting, so bear with me.

[I was just re-reading my earlier entries about this installation and there is some more description there. Check it out, it's long winded, as is my style, but you may find some useful tidbits.]
 

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yea I got to try and look for somewhere to crowbar the shock into place, but the distance seemed too far. Glad to know I am not the only one having trouble.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Don't think of it so much as crowbarring the shock into place. As I think back on how I did this I realize that it was more using the crowbar to push the hub assembly down to get the holes to line up. The shock won't compress. I used a rubber block on the upper part of the hub assembly I think, to get a better crowbar position. If you look at it as you need to push that piece just a bit lower to get the holes to line up, I think you will see the best way to lever it. Let me know if you need more info and I can try to create a picture or something for you.

Plus I guarantee you are going to need someone to help you to get that bolt in once you're lined up. I don't see how you can do that step single handed.
 
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