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    Thread: DIY: Dogbone mount and bushings replacement!

    1. Member vasillalov's Avatar
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      09-13-2004 11:17 PM #1
      Hi all,

      I took my car not long ago to a local VW mechanic to look over my steering and suspension as I was observing a slight vibration coming from the front end. While my car was inspected, the mechanic pointed out and showed me that one of the dogbone mount bushings is in a very bad shape and needed to be replaced.

      So I started investigating little by little and found out several companies that make aftermarket bushings and dogbone mounts. I definitely did not want to spend over $150.00 for a complete dogbone mount from VF Engineering, so I decided to replace just the bushings.

      I found a sale on http://www.ecstuning.com They were the only ones that offered the complete 3 piece set of bushings. And they had a sale on them too!

      Some background:
      While I was researching about aftermarket bushings, I found out that most of the replacements are more performance oriented rather than comfort oriented like the OEM mounts. Users were very happy the way their cars felt with aftermarket bushings but complained about increased vibrations.

      Further investigation revealed that VR6 engines tend to vibrate less than 4 cilynders. The worst vibration occurred with 1.8T engines...This DIY was performed on my 1999.5 Jetta GL with 2.0 AEG engine.

      Also, users usually replaced only 2 of the bushings as the third circular one was either not available to them or was very hard to replace.

      Since I had to replace all 3 of the bushings I knew what I was going against and because the replacement proved difficult on couple of stages, I wanted to share my experience and create this DIY.

      DISCLAIMER:
      I assume no responsibility about this DIY. This is designed as a mere guide. You can use this guide at your own risk as I assume no responsibility of property and physical damage.. You can deviate from this DIY as much as you like

      With that said, lets get started!

      TOOLS AND PARTS NEEDED:

      1. Complete 3-piece set of dogbone bushings or a complete mount with bushings.
      2. Two jack stands
      3. Car jack of your choice.
      4. 5/8" socket + 12mm socket
      5. Wrench, pliers, drill with various bits
      6. A can of WD-40 or some soapy water! (Important)

      STEP 1 (Preparations):
      1. Park the car on a leveled place.
      2. Pull the e-brake ALL the way
      3. Jack the car up as high as possible and let it sit on the jack stands
      4. Make sure it is all safe and dandy!

      STEP 2 (Removal):

      Here is the dogbone mount location:

      1. Using the wrench and the 5/8" socket, remove the two green bolts from the front first!
      2. Using the wrench and the 12 mm socket, remove the back two bolts.

      Here is how the dogbone mount looks like when removed:

      STEP 3 (Disassembling the mount):

      1. Using the 5/8" socket and the wrench unscrew the long bolt that at the end of the mount. You may have to step on the mount to keep it in place.
      Here is how the mount looks like disassembled:

      STEP 4 (Removing the third bushing):

      Comments: This is the longest and the most tedious part of the DIY. The third circular bushing is installed in such a way from the factory that it is absolutely impossible to remove without breaking it. If you don't have the complete 3-piece set, then skip this part. I HAD to replace it and I had no other choice!

      Here is how the third circular mount looks like:

      You can see that the rubber is not continuous.
      Using the drill, drill multiple of holes IN THE RUBBER parts of the mount shown above. Take your time. Don't damage the actual aluminum mount! I spent good 2-3 hours drilling and removing piece by tiny piece the little rubber shavings!

      Here is how the mount looks like with the third bushing removed:

      STEP 5 (Installing new bushings):

      Notes: This section has been revised since the original post. This is the latest and the CORRECT way of doing things!

      1. Clean the aluminum mount completely
      2. Spray some WD-40 or in my case soapy water in the hole where the circular bushing should go
      3. Remove the metal bolt guide from the new bushing:

      4. Slide the new bushing in by squeezing it in. Make sure it is going evenly on each end or otherwise you will have trouble!

      Here is how the third bushing looks like after it has been installed:

      5. Install the metal bolt guide for the third bushing:

      6. Install the SMALLER of the two remaining bushings first by observing the "nipples" and the "ridges" on the mount and the bushing. They must meet and interlock.

      7. Install the metal part by carefully observing its orientation. Here is the correct way:

      8. Install the BIGGEST of the bushings last again by observing its orientation and the "nipples" and "ridges" of the mount and the bushing:

      9. Install the metal cap and the long bolt that hold things together.

      STEP 6 (Reinstalling the dogbone mount):

      1. As soon as you try to install the mount back, you will notice that the engine has shifted its position and now the first two green bolts are out of line! Do not be afraid, this is normal!

      2. Using the jack, SLOWLY, start lifting the engine on the front end.
      3. The engine will move also known as rock on the top engine mounts. Continue to lift the engine at the front till the middle bolt where the third circular mount is located is actually in line.
      4. Install the mount by first installing the back two bolts.
      5. Align the mount with the middle bolt and screw it in.
      6. Finally, screw in the little metal bracket and the front-most bolt.
      7. Make sure all bolts are tight!

      STEP 7 (Checking work and finalizing):
      1. Make sure all bolts are tight
      2. Slowly remove the jack that is supporting the engine on the front
      3. While still on stands, start the engine in neutral.
      4. If its all good then, clean up, grab some beer and read on...

      ================================================

      FIRST IMPRESSIONS:
      1.The engine started without a problem. As a matter of fact it cranked much faster and easier than before!
      2. There is a noticeable vibration at idle, but nothing that can upset you. As far as the 2.0 engines go, the vibrations are negligible and I am positive that they will smooth out, once the mounts are seated and broken in properly.
      3. The difference is noticeable when driving. You can actually feel the power going to the wheels. The engine does not rock nearly as much, thus it engages and outputs immediately. This is can be best felt at low rpms (less than 3K)
      4. The vibration nearly disappears at engine speeds above 1K rpms.

      In my case, there was a NASTY rattle that came from underneath the car. At first, I thought I have done something stupid. It appears that since the new bushings are tougher, and do not compress as much, there is some pressure on the exhaust system.

      In my case, the exhaust is definitely vibrating and rubbing on the under-body. Once the exhaust got heated to a working temperature, the nasty rattling disappeared!

      So in conclusion:
      1. The new bushings are great. They offer completely different driving experience!
      2. The vibrations are not as bad as people describe them!
      3. I am 99% sure that most of the vibrations are coming from the exhaust pipes, hitting and rubbing the under-body. A visit to the local exhaust shop can easily fix that!

      ================================================== =
      EDIT:
      LONGER DRIVE IMPRESSIONS:
      Today was the first longer drive with the new bushings and I must say I really like them. I hope they don't go too soft after time.
      As for the vibrations, I am now 100% positive that they are coming from the exhaust because this morning when the engine was still cold, the vibrations were much bigger and the rattling was still there.

      When the car warmed up to normal working temp, all the rattling noise and most of the vibrations disappeared! I took it to 80 mph on the way to work and it is all fine and dandy.

      I am going to see my exhaust shop tomorrow to inverstigate the rattling deal...

      ==================================================
      UPDATE:
      I just got back from the exhaust shop. Guess what, no more rattles, no more vibrations. There is this exhaust hanger right in the center of the car (underneath the armrest and the center console) that is completely rusted out. Being completely broken, the exhaust was simply rubbing and bouncing off from the support brace causing NASTY vibration and rattle. The guy tried to weld it back together but it is so rusted out that it did not work. He put two massive rubber pieces for a temp fix and it is all fine and dandy now!



      Modified by vasillalov at 11:20 AM 10-4-2004

      Quote Originally Posted by MAG58 View Post
      Please consider your audience before saying something sensible. 80% of TCL drivers were actually banned from Formula 1 for being too fast.
      A turbocharger is a device in where exhaust gases go in, witchcraft happens, and then you go faster.

    2. 09-13-2004 11:23 PM #2
      good job...nice write now my turn to get some..ya ppl describe the vibration to be bad u just changed my mind....

    3. 09-13-2004 11:26 PM #3
      Nice work Vasil!

      Gary


    4. Member vasillalov's Avatar
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      09-13-2004 11:36 PM #4
      Quote, originally posted by VgRt6 »
      Nice work Vasil!

      Gary

      Thanks Gary! I spend quite some time today doing this! I HATE the way they designed the OEM circular bushing! The rubber is actually "glued" to the mount with some fiberglass/plastic material that fits so snugly that you can't break it! I had to cut the OEM bushing off!

      About the vibrations, Once again I will state that I am convinced that they are coming from the exhaust! I can feel the exhaust vibrating under my seat and especially under the armrest!

      Quote Originally Posted by MAG58 View Post
      Please consider your audience before saying something sensible. 80% of TCL drivers were actually banned from Formula 1 for being too fast.
      A turbocharger is a device in where exhaust gases go in, witchcraft happens, and then you go faster.

    5. Member mhskateboarder's Avatar
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      09-13-2004 11:42 PM #5
      i did this a while ago and it was very easy. i too felt a difference in power at first but that has since disappeared over the last 9 or so months. it's a good replacement for shot bushings. nice writeup

    6. Moderator Lasrsktr's Avatar
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      09-13-2004 11:58 PM #6
      thanks... needed this DIY as i have a set just sitting here on my desk waiting for me to tackle that job....
      2002 Jetta GLS Reflex Silver still 2.slooooow

    7. Member vasillalov's Avatar
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      09-14-2004 01:53 AM #7
      Late night bump!
      Tomorrow will be the real test to work and back!
      Quote Originally Posted by MAG58 View Post
      Please consider your audience before saying something sensible. 80% of TCL drivers were actually banned from Formula 1 for being too fast.
      A turbocharger is a device in where exhaust gases go in, witchcraft happens, and then you go faster.

    8. 09-14-2004 02:26 AM #8
      Great writeup! This exactly what I've been looking for

    9. Member vwtuner4ever's Avatar
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      09-14-2004 08:42 AM #9
      Thx for the info!

      My question to you all : Is it better to change the bushing like this guy did, OR, buy the whole new dogbone mount from vf-engineering??

      Please answer and explain your point! thx!


    10. Member vasillalov's Avatar
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      09-14-2004 10:56 AM #10
      Quote, originally posted by vwtuner4ever »
      Thx for the info!

      My question to you all : Is it better to change the bushing like this guy did, OR, buy the whole new dogbone mount from vf-engineering??

      Please answer and explain your point! thx!

      The VF-Engineering mount without a doubt is a very good product. Also, the bushings used in this mount are litle softer thus minimizing some of the vibrations. I have couple of objections against VF-Engineering:
      1. Price - costs about $170. I got my bushings for $24
      2. Replacement parts: when the bushings go out again, and they will, you might have to purchase a new mount from VF.

      Quote Originally Posted by MAG58 View Post
      Please consider your audience before saying something sensible. 80% of TCL drivers were actually banned from Formula 1 for being too fast.
      A turbocharger is a device in where exhaust gases go in, witchcraft happens, and then you go faster.

    11. Member redzone98's Avatar
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      09-14-2004 11:05 AM #11
      excellent write up and pics, its good to see ppl working on their own cars instead of "i took it to the shop and they fixed it" threads
      #projectcabby

    12. 09-14-2004 11:10 AM #12
      damn, you can get all the girls with a DYI this hot!

      to you bro


    13. 09-14-2004 11:45 AM #13
      quick note, you do not at all need to replace the third round bushing. some places will not sell it as tehy are prone to tearing. i got my energy suspension bushings for $16 and they refuse to sell the third one becasue of so many problems, and that goes for the rest of the kits they sell for mk4's

      good writeup though, i need to go install mine sometime


    14. 09-14-2004 12:04 PM #14
      Nice DIY, check your heat shields around your exhaust... very common for the heat shield at the back of the 2.0 engine to break loose and rattle... mine has done it for some time (intermittent) and I haven't gotten around to fixing it. Also, there's a similar DIY where someone did install the VFE mount... they gave good directions on how to use the VW scissor jack to hold the engine from behind so it won't rock while the dogbone mount is being worked on... I'll try to find the link later.


      Modified by digitalhippie at 11:10 AM 9-14-2004

    15. Member vasillalov's Avatar
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      09-14-2004 12:04 PM #15
      Quote, originally posted by billcosbyluvsvr6s »
      quick note, you do not at all need to replace the third round bushing. some places will not sell it as tehy are prone to tearing. i got my energy suspension bushings for $16 and they refuse to sell the third one becasue of so many problems, and that goes for the rest of the kits they sell for mk4's

      I agree that you don't have to replace the third bushing. Mine was broken though and this was the reason why I bought the bushings in the first place!

      You say the third bushing is causing problems! What kind? What can go wrong?

      I would appreciate your input because those a possible things I will be looking for now that I have replaced all 3 bushings...

      Quote Originally Posted by MAG58 View Post
      Please consider your audience before saying something sensible. 80% of TCL drivers were actually banned from Formula 1 for being too fast.
      A turbocharger is a device in where exhaust gases go in, witchcraft happens, and then you go faster.

    16. Member vasillalov's Avatar
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      09-14-2004 04:57 PM #16
      Afternoon bump for those that missed it yesterday.
      Quote Originally Posted by MAG58 View Post
      Please consider your audience before saying something sensible. 80% of TCL drivers were actually banned from Formula 1 for being too fast.
      A turbocharger is a device in where exhaust gases go in, witchcraft happens, and then you go faster.

    17. Member
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      09-14-2004 04:59 PM #17
      Good job, i got the forge and you can definately feel the difference

    18. 09-14-2004 05:47 PM #18
      free bump for grea post

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      09-14-2004 06:05 PM #19
      Great job Vasil!

      FYI- If the vibrations at idle bother you 4 cylinder folks; you can use a VAG-COM to bump the base idle up to about 700-750 rpm's to minimize the vibrations, and not cause any harm....

      Good luck!


    20. 09-14-2004 06:10 PM #20
      Nice write up...the poly bushings are the way to go. I've had mine for a while, never seemed to really 'break in' like everyone told me but the biproduct is amazing.

    21. Member RavinJetta's Avatar
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      09-14-2004 06:52 PM #21
      Nice writeup. Just read a writeup about the EIP dogbone full replacement and only $89 with the vortex discount. Might have to do this soon.

    22. Member vasillalov's Avatar
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      09-15-2004 12:50 PM #22
      BUMP for those that missed it!

      I just got back from the exhaust shop. There was a broken exhaust hanger and the exhaust pipe was bouncing and rubbing on the metal support frame/brace... Two rubber pieces fixed it completely!

      Quote Originally Posted by MAG58 View Post
      Please consider your audience before saying something sensible. 80% of TCL drivers were actually banned from Formula 1 for being too fast.
      A turbocharger is a device in where exhaust gases go in, witchcraft happens, and then you go faster.

    23. 09-15-2004 12:59 PM #23
      it's great how you're using the screwdriver from the trunk

    24. Member
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      09-15-2004 01:01 PM #24
      nice, I should do this.....they had some forsale at waterfest even cheaper than that
      club.broke.status

      F.S. Range Rover Wheels

    25. 09-15-2004 02:09 PM #25
      Nice play by play. I see your new mounts were black, mine were a see through red, but extremyl hard. The only vibration I feel is through the steering wheel, it's kinda cool actually.

    26. Moderator askibum02's Avatar
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      09-15-2004 04:56 PM #26
      Nice!!
      Brett
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    27. Member vasillalov's Avatar
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      09-15-2004 05:06 PM #27
      Quote, originally posted by askibum02 »
      Nice!!

      Thanks Brett,
      Nice to see you guys are still in US.

      Quote Originally Posted by MAG58 View Post
      Please consider your audience before saying something sensible. 80% of TCL drivers were actually banned from Formula 1 for being too fast.
      A turbocharger is a device in where exhaust gases go in, witchcraft happens, and then you go faster.

    28. 09-21-2004 03:38 AM #28
      How'd you get the black metal arm off of the thrid circular bushing? Was the bushing so broken up that it slid right out? This step seems to be missing

    29. Member spkn^GRMN's Avatar
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      09-21-2004 07:02 AM #29
      can you post a direct link to the parts needed from the ecstuning site?

      make this a sticky DIY link!


      Modified by NC Vdub at 6:08 AM 9-21-2004

      -Wes

      2014

    30. Member vasillalov's Avatar
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      09-21-2004 04:50 PM #30
      Quote, originally posted by NC Vdub »
      can you post a direct link to the parts needed from the ecstuning site?

      make this a sticky DIY link!


      Modified by NC Vdub at 6:08 AM 9-21-2004


      Here you are:

      http://www.ecstuning.com/stage...e=2.0

      Quote Originally Posted by MAG58 View Post
      Please consider your audience before saying something sensible. 80% of TCL drivers were actually banned from Formula 1 for being too fast.
      A turbocharger is a device in where exhaust gases go in, witchcraft happens, and then you go faster.

    31. Moderator askibum02's Avatar
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      09-22-2004 12:22 AM #31
      I finally did my wife's 24V Poly Dogbone mount last week. It is huge improvement. I feel a little more vibration in the pedals, but that is to be expected. The overall improvement is well worth it.

      BTW- I got mine at Virtual World.

      Brett
      FS: MKIII Perforated leather e-brake boot
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    32. 09-22-2004 12:56 AM #32
      this should be linked in the faq


      ps. Good job man


    33. 09-23-2004 07:28 AM #33
      something to change in your DIY is to use something other than WD40 to fit the circular bushing in. WD40 will eat away at your bushings. perhaps silicone grease.

    34. Member vasillalov's Avatar
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      09-24-2004 10:57 AM #34
      Quote, originally posted by TurboNemesis »
      something to change in your DIY is to use something other than WD40 to fit the circular bushing in. WD40 will eat away at your bushings. perhaps silicone grease.

      I was not aware of that... Personally, I used soapy water and it worked like a charm...

      Quote Originally Posted by MAG58 View Post
      Please consider your audience before saying something sensible. 80% of TCL drivers were actually banned from Formula 1 for being too fast.
      A turbocharger is a device in where exhaust gases go in, witchcraft happens, and then you go faster.

    35. 09-25-2004 08:42 PM #35
      Great job with the write-up! This is exactly what i was looking for. Thanks!

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