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It looks like the old ones were not tightened enough and allowed the piston to slide around, enlarging the whole. I have not seen that damage on a Passat before as there is little lateral load on the shocks. I have changed mounts on other FWD cars where the mounts tore.
 

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It’s the front forward lower that changed in the 2003 model year. Smaller taper on the ball joint.


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Yeah, my memory is failing since I don't constantly work on them any longer.
 
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