Any VW dealer can order 1BE parts, but unless they've done it before you probably have to walk them through it. And they may not even realize they can do it. I got mine through Liberty VW because they were familiar with the process.
Tip: Don't ask for "1BE". Ask for "sport type running gear" springs, and make them look in their parts computer. The springs and shocks will be there. If need be, stand over them and watch. A lazy or stupid parts guy will tell you they aren't there. Trust me. They are.
You can find a a bunch of part number info, and other stuff below, including some pics.
In my opinion, the best way to determine which springs you need is to get your car weighed on a truck scale, front and rear axles measured independently, and then measure the whole car at one time for a sanity check. Moving companies have truck scales available, and you should be able to find one who will weigh you.
Once you have the actual vehicle axle loads, then you can check them on the weight charts (below) and figure out which springs are appropriate to your car.
|The original survey from Club B5|
|An analysis of Passat spring codes (HTML) (A bit too much info, but interesting.)|
|Same analysis in Excel spreadsheet format|
|Front parts doc - Page A (scroll to bottom of doc for an exploded diagram)|
|Front parts doc - Page B (scroll to bottom of doc for an exploded diagram)|
|Rear Parts doc (scroll to bottom of doc for an exploded diagram)|
|My wheel gaps, before and after|
|The parts I used for mine, with part numbers, including fasteners|
|Photo Front wheel - 1BE vs 1BA|
|Photo Rear wheel - 1BE vs 1BA|
|Photo Side shot - 1BE vs 1BA (same picture as above, but bigger)|
|Suspension Codes Chart Page 1|
|Suspension Codes Chart Page 2|
|Suspension Codes Chart Page 3|
|Suspension Codes Chart Page 4|
|Suspension Codes Chart Page 5|