Get the right bolt. The dealer cant be that expensive.
Started this task this weekend. I had to remove the axle beam by removing the two brackets because one side was so siezed up. I'll have to take it in for alignment anyhow, so not too worried that I unmoutned those brackets.
Long story short, I had to cut through one of the bolts.
Anyone know where I can get a replacement pivot bolt that go through the bushing? The local parts shops can't figure it out or don't have a listing for it . Before I call the dealership, has anyone used and have specs for a different sized bolt that is close enough? The stock one has a thicker diameter near the flange? Is it that critical that I use a replacement identical to the factory one?
Thanks for the write up! I did it with the axle on the car, just removed axle bolts and raised the car on jacks. Drilled a couple of holes in rubber - put screw driver in center of bushing and hammered out. Sawzall a couple of slits, but did not cut all the way to axle - hammered and chisled out the metal. My golf has 106k and the bushings were beat! I went with energy polys (yes I read all the negative responses, but i don't plan on keeping this car forever). They slide right in! Worse-case I will put OEM's on if I don't like the poly's. Car handels fine, but most importantly.... No more clunk noises in the rear end!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm about to tackle this project and went ahead and returned the cheap bushings made in china from and bought the oem ones from the dealer for 32 a piece at 1stvwparts or w/e, monday I find out shipping, also got swaybar bushings while I was at it, ~160k bushings are starting to go so might as well do em all.
Anyways....the dealer happened to have 2 of these laying around and 2 bolts nuts also. The BOLTS/NUTS were 6.50 a piece or some crap.....but w/e. I've had experience breaking off bolts when working on my car from all the rust so I ALWAYS buy the bolts for the job now, better to be safe than sorry, esp over a weekend when they are closed.
I think I'm going to make that 2x4 tool and hope it fits under there. If I do drop the axle I want to sandblast it and use that (primer/paint 2-in-one stuff from rustoleum to save some time). If I dont have to drop it would spraying that paint on it with it still on be a bad idea? I dont care about overspray really.....black looks better than rust. Dust shield should protect the new brakes I just put on.
Dude.. if I ever see you in person i'd give you a kiss on the lips. Thank you for confirming this. i too have the hydrolic bonded and i was about to put a nail in the wall.. paint a red circle and run into it when i found out I'm supposed to replace the entire beam. If i come up with alternative steps, I'll post pictures and write up.
I'm in the middle of doing this too.
I just replaced the rear bonded rubber axle bushings, MK4. Definitely not recommended for the weak and/or feeble minded DIY'er. It's a simple process, take the old out an put in the new ones, but a few steps require some elbow grease. Some tips to help you along:
1) Freezing the new bushing the night before will not make installation a whole lot easier. Liquid nitrogen not recommended either.
2) Taking out the axle will make life easier for you, and it's not that much more additional work.
3) Don't even bother pressing the old, rusted, and grimy bushings out. After years of weathering and pressure these bushings are basically rusted to the trailing arm. Cut out the sleeve with a saw and/or chisel. Careful not to cut into axle.
It took me a solid five hours from start to finish. In addition to installing the bushings, I also replaced the brake lines, and the caliper seals.
I'm installing the bushing today. Is anybody intimately familiar with the various rear suspension bushing configurations and how they are supposed to be oriented in the axle. I have the latest VW bushings for the sport suspension ('02 Jetta VR6). Does the thick part of the outer lip go down, along with the alignment tabs, both sides?
The Bentley illustration leave a little too much to the imagination.
Adding to the confusion factor was that the original bushings (02 VR6 Jetta) were installed with the tab down on one side and the tab up on the other side, still resulting in symmettrical installation right and left side (gap in original bushing facing same direction both sides).
Installed bushings with tab down - in line with location shown in Bentley illustrations, both sides. Thick portion if rubber lip is mostly down, oriented same on both sides.
Used pusher based on 3" muffler pipe. Pipe slipped perfectly over the rubber lip to contact the narrow plastic hat/ridge. Also used hose clamp to help keep pipe on the hat/ridge. On the receiving end used two wood blocks, one with 3/4 hole to clear bushing. Passed allthread through middle of pusher. First bushing went ok. 2nd one did not want to stay lined up Guess I got overconfident after first one went easy. Slowed down and took my time and second then went ok.
Car is rolling again. No alignment yet but it's clear the axle beam was the major alignment problem cause. Now I know it was bent. Steering wheel is almost straight again while rolling straight. The visual rear toe out on the left and and unequal neg camber is corrected. And the car drives right - squirreliness is gone. Front wheel is still a little off, probably due to front end alignment. Will have alignment checked soon.
1) What is a tell tale sign that you need new rear axle bushings? Noise or movement? My car makes a hollow clunk over bumps most noticeable at slower speeds. I've inspected the bushing with a pry bar and there is some movement, maybe 3/8-1/2 inch. Can't remember if it was up and down or lateral.
2) Were there two different bushing styles for MKIV's. I'm not sure..... From what I gathered here below is the newer style. Correct me if I'm wrong. The older style is the pic below that? My '03 has the ones in the top pic. Would those be original?
Thanks, hoping to figure out IF I need to replace my bushings.
If so, I'll definitely be using my ball joint press. Used that tool to install my LCA bushings and axle bushing on my F350. I rented it from Advanced Auto for $100 and haven't returned it and prob won't. Very handy tool!
Last edited by '03VR6; 01-10-2013 at 12:34 AM.
Back to the topic.....Peterbuilt, How did you determine your car needs new bushings? Did you get in there with a pry bar or something? I'm still wondering if mine are bad. It drives pretty well but the hollow clunk drive me nuts sometimes.
24V VR6, 88,000 miles, 2nd owner, BFI stage 1, K&N, Continental DW, Bilstein TC, Audi TT LCA bushings, Long beach
Futures Upgrade: Exhaust, tune,???
Sorry to bump this thread, but I thought I'd share my method of changing the axle bushings.
Here's how I did it:
I used a strut spring compressor set(rented from Autozone). Lay down the axle on its side, positioned the spring compressors on both sides, stood the axle back up, and tightened each side a little bit at a time with a long-handled 1/2" ratchet - not with the impact gun in the picture. Once the spring compressors started rubbing on the inner diameter of the bushing, I took them out and used the orange dead blow hammer you see in the picture to drive the bushing all the way in. Was easy as cake. I didn't even need to freeze the bushings.
Hope this can help someone struggling with getting these buggers in.
Last edited by silverglivr6; 04-05-2013 at 01:47 AM.
My car has 245,000km on it, and a Neuspeed RSB.
Been working on this since Saturday on and off for the past few days. Finally got over the hump.
The passenger side one is installed. I was able to do this side without removing the brake line, just undo the clips, and straighten out the solid brake line that goes down the trailing arm to give a little more wiggle room, and you can hopefully wedge the axle down enough to get at it. I initially was going to take the brake hose off, but when I was turning the flare nut, the solid line was turning with it, causing a kink. I have a new RR brakehose to put on when I get the bushings installed.
I am going to attempt the driverside tonight, hopefully there is enough room to do it with the axle in.
Be careful when cutting the relief slit in the bushing sleeve. I was a little overzealous with the sawsall, and cut into the axle a wee bit.
I'm working on a midrise lift, (Maxjax) which definitely helps. If this is your only mode of transportation to work/school etc. definitely think about paying someone to do this. I make a puller from some all thread rod, coupler, washers and plywood. I'll post a pic of it. I've put about 4-5hrs into it over the past 3 days, trying to figure stuff out. I like working on cars, so that's why I do it. If it was something that I had a deadline to get done, than it would be a nightmare on your own.