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Discussion Starter #1
My passenger side front shock/strut is toast, I'm looking for a replacement that will provide factory ride height as I will not be replacing the rear at this point. I'd rather not break the bank, but I'd prefer to something higher quality that the local Pep Boys brand, unless of course that is what is recommended.

Also, what else will I need to replace the shock/strut? Any special tools? Should i or will i need to replace anything else while I'm in there?
 

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They're shocks, not struts on this design. Replacing them does not affect ride height. Bilsteins HD's are a good choice, though I'd question not doing the rears as well. You really want to do all four, even if you have to save up a little longer.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ok shocks not.struts...pretty straight forward install? Any write ups available online? Anything else I need to replace while.in there?
 

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2004 B5.5 Variant 1.8T
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If not replacing all four or expecting a stock like ride, do not get the HDs. Find the OEM sachs brand or a bilstein touring class shock.

The HDs are stiffer than stock and I would worry about a drastic change (read: not good) in handling that may result in a potentially dangerous lack of control.
 

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As others have suggested I'd do all 4. The rears are easier than the fronts...actually a pretty straightforward DIY. The front requires more knowledge and potentially difficult steps. If you are happy with the OEM ride and ride height, I'd stick with basic shocks. I have the Bilstein HDs and while my ride might be a little more sporting and my handling marginally better...I really don't like the way my car bangs around on rough pavement. I have some friends driving Passats with OEM suspension and theirs, in my opinion, ride much better.
 

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2004 B5.5 Variant 1.8T
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To back up Syncro....Bilstein HDs are much stiffer. Do not consider if you are going for a stock like ride.
 

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They are indeed stiff. I'm running the Sports (same valving, shorter shaft) and it's much stiffer than OEM. I personally like the ride (running on lowered springs as well); it feels sportier, flatter, and seems to be more controlled. My roads aren't too bad around here, and I basically commute, no running errands or anything.

I take it you're looking for OEM ride, in which case I'd recommend the Sachs or same quality.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
what about KYB or Monroe?

KYB
Front (341273)
Rear (343281)

Monroe
Front (71335)
Rear (39102)

I'd prefer to keep stock ride if the HD are "that" much more stiff
 

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Skip the KYB, they are terrible long-term. I don't know of anyone that has Monroe on a Passat.

BlauParts has a decent OEM replacement setup for a good price. They might be slightly stiffer than stock, but not too much. If you want a smooth ride, Koni FSD and Koni Yellow both work well (the FSD is softer).
 
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