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    Thread: How to: DIY rear axle bushing replacement, MKIV

    1. Member bboy_jon's Avatar
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      10-26-2010 01:10 PM #226
      Should I bother than? I think it is fixed...the wheel is no where near cambered and I saw a stock gti today, looks about the same.

      The bushing on that side was pretty janky before replacing

    2. 10-26-2010 02:19 PM #227
      I wouldn't adjust the axle location unless I had done everything else... it would be my final attempt to rectify a known problem. In other words, what are the actual alignment numbers? Are your wheel bearings in good repair? Are you sure that the axle isn't bent?

      I am fortunate to have a good alignment shop that I trust, and I would probably get them to make the adjustments, they could do this while measuring the numbers. It would save me from going back and forth.

    3. Member bboy_jon's Avatar
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      10-26-2010 03:36 PM #228
      The rear drivers side has -1.7 degrees camber and -.33 toe. The passengers (this was thereally cambered wheel) is -2.0 camber and -0.08 toe

    4. Member zak's Avatar
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      10-26-2010 09:09 PM #229
      Assuming you have new bushings in as noted above, adjusting the axle hangers only equalizes toe (lessens one side while increasing the other by the same amount). The specs are
      rear toe specified range is -0.09 to 0.57
      You could slide it a 1/4" and wind up with both wheels at -.205 toe if I am reading your numbers right.

      On a properly aligned car, the rear tires have noticeable camber. Rear camber is about -1.5* stock.

      Bring it to a good shop. I think you will be back in specs fairly easily.

    5. Member bboy_jon's Avatar
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      10-26-2010 09:26 PM #230
      thats probably what Ill do

    6. Member Trackrocket's Avatar
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      01-09-2011 09:53 AM #231
      I've read this entire thread and just HAVE to say that I find it farking HILARIOUS that some of you are willing to take on this bear of a job yet you fret over removing the entire axle and/or bleeding your brakes!

      NO offense intended - just sayin...so quit being a buncha Sallys!!

      Certainly, this thread has been of great help in planning my job. I bought my 20th AE two months ago and have been slowly replacing things such as LCA bushings, shock mounts, etc. and have yet to attack the rear axle beam job...it is about 2 jobs down the list as it needs to get a bit warmer so I can sandblast in the back yard.

      I've undertaken several jobs like this, but mostly with Porsche 911/944s that use aluminum trailing arms...changing the cartridge wheel bearings and whatnot. I find this axle beam to have similar characteristics to changing bushings in an E30 BMW rear axle, not the same setup, but it's steel, a PITA to work with and burning the bushings out is certainly an option!

      I have a LARGE ball joint C-clamp type toolset with several different sized cups/rings - found it very useful for the front LCA bushings and hope that it'll be helpful with the rear axle beam bushings...if not, will definitely revert to the threaded rod/bolt/beefy washer procedure.

      My observations from experience:

      There is absolutely NO doubt in my mind, that I will be REMOVING the rear axle beam, entirely...it just makes sense as I can see it taking more time and effort to attempt this procedure with it in the car...plus it gives one a far greater opportunity to clean things up.

      FREEZING your rear bushings is helpful, at a minimum, it can't hurt. I do that with cartridge type wheel bearings...with aluminum housings, I gently heat up the I.D. with a map gas torch and yes, the bearings drop right in. The hardened steel bearings have FAR more material than the thin-walled O.D. of the rear axle bushings, or most other bushings for that matter...so they won't remain cold for very long, the bearings remain cold for a few seconds, just long enough to drop 'em in before the heated up trailing arm heat-soaks 'em.

      HEATING UP the "ring" that the bushing presses into is certainly an option as well. If you have the patience, use a heat gun as you will get far more even heating, deeper into the material, etc. I'm not that patient so will most likely opt for the map torch.

      While freezing the bushing and heating up the axle beam "ring" where the bushing goes may not offer a 100% installation solution...I'll bet it will provide a means to get the bushing started in the hole, without much drama...then the C-clamp/press/threaded rod solution can be called to action without further drama.

      If the I.D. of the "rings" on your rear axle beam are hosed up (I.E. bent from bushing removal with chisel, etc. - then definitely take some emory cloth or a carefully wielded dremel and clean the burrs/dents up...other than that, use some Simple Green or Purple cleaner and a good 3M/Scotchbrite pad to clean up the I.D. - this will facilitate a MUCH smoother installation, no matter what method you use. DO NOT excessively sand the I.D. of the "ring" as yes, duh...you run the risk of removing too much material...jeopardizing the tight fit needed to hold the bushing for it's lifespan.

      I don't believe that the use of any grease/lubricant will facilitate easier installation, nor do I think this will be the death of your "tight" installation...so the choice is up to you.

      I bought a pair of the Meyle bushings and am thoroughly disappointed with what I see. I just paid for a set of the latest VW bushings and will certainly return the Meyles.

      Thanks again to the OP for the original writeup, you have inspired me to go for the sandblast/repaint technique! ...should I paint the axle beam Jazz Blue? Hahahahaha...kidding, well, maybe.
      Last edited by Trackrocket; 01-09-2011 at 10:00 AM.
      Jeff Curtis
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    7. Member bboy_jon's Avatar
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      01-09-2011 03:48 PM #232
      Personally, as much as a pita the job was with the beam still on, it wasnt THAT bad. What took the most time was figuring what works best. If I were to do this again I could probably do it pretty quickly. When I did do it, I ended up using every method discussed in this thread and I ended up having to figure something out on my own (ie cutting the old bushings out and using a bar connected to the bushing to pull and a hammer to push)

      Heating the beam and cooling the bushings imo, dont help very much. If it helps at all, I couldnt imagine doing this without heating/cooling. By the time you figure out how ridiculously tight the fit is, the bushing is already warmed up :/

    8. Member maradits's Avatar
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      01-10-2011 02:26 AM #233
      so can anyone confirm that replacing the bushings can solve the rear tire eating issue? nobody who mentioned they were having this problem updated after installing the bushings... just very curious because my car is eating the inner rear tires like crazy.
      Last edited by maradits; 01-10-2011 at 02:42 AM.

    9. Member bboy_jon's Avatar
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      01-10-2011 03:43 AM #234
      My passenger side rear tire was cambered as hell and the bushing replacement somewhat fixed it...looks to be a little bit more cambered than normal (compared to my driver side) but I feel that my tires are still going to wear unevenly...I dont know if there is anyway around that though

    10. Member Trackrocket's Avatar
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      01-10-2011 11:40 PM #235
      Maradits, given the design of the rear suspension, and the problem you're having...unless your axle beam is bent in some way, I could all but guarantee it will vastly improve your situation, at a minimum.

      Another thing to consider is shock wear, ride height, etc.
      Jeff Curtis
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      "Razz", my JB 2003 20th AE - Daily Driver
      "Towpig II"-2008 Ford Powerstroke Diesel 6.4L 800+hp
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    11. Member Trackrocket's Avatar
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      01-10-2011 11:43 PM #236
      bboy_jon, of course you could see how having the beam out would've made things easier to work with and the angles afforded for smacking bushings out, heating things up, etc. - and if you did it on the ground (underneath the car) that's pretty close quarters to be doing all of that!

      The added bonus of being able to blast/prime/paint the beam solidifies my decision to pull it all out.

      Waiting for the latest factory bushings, bought from another Texer'.
      Jeff Curtis
      Chesapeake, Va.
      "Razz", my JB 2003 20th AE - Daily Driver
      "Towpig II"-2008 Ford Powerstroke Diesel 6.4L 800+hp
      "Track Rocket V2.0"-2006 Porsche Cayman S-FULL RACE

    12. Member bboy_jon's Avatar
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      01-11-2011 02:49 AM #237
      Oh yeah, it def. would have saved me time figuring out how to get at the bushings, but if I had to do it again, I would probably leave it on the car again or atleast wait until I have a reason to disconnect the brake lines and what not :/

    13. Member maradits's Avatar
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      01-11-2011 01:14 PM #238
      Quote Originally Posted by Trackrocket View Post
      Maradits, given the design of the rear suspension, and the problem you're having...unless your axle beam is bent in some way, I could all but guarantee it will vastly improve your situation, at a minimum.

      Another thing to consider is shock wear, ride height, etc.
      thanks for the reply, i'll give it a go for sure!

    14. Member builtvw's Avatar
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      01-12-2011 01:03 AM #239
      bump for future

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      02-24-2011 06:05 PM #240
      I am planning to do this soon and found this on ebay, anyone has experience with this tool?

      http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/VW-Au...motiveQ5fTools

      Thanks

    16. Member bboy_jon's Avatar
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      02-24-2011 06:27 PM #241
      Oh wow, didnt realize anyone actually produced a tool for it (besides the machined one on here)

      It should work, its just some rods and some plates, but it can be done without it. Just gotta improvise

    17. 02-26-2011 04:55 PM #242
      Check out this pic at ECS of Meyle's axle bushing.

      I have never seen this design before. What's going on?

      http://www.ecstuning.com/Volkswagen-...1.8T/ES258198/

      BTW, I have the SEAT Leon Cupra R versions waiting to go on. Labor to swap them seems high, I'm going to wait.
      Last edited by alomI wolleY iTG; 02-26-2011 at 05:04 PM.

    18. Member bboy_jon's Avatar
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      02-26-2011 05:07 PM #243
      wtf, thats really strange looking. Maybe the 337/20th is a little different?

    19. 02-26-2011 05:10 PM #244
      I have a 20th and the original axle bushing does not look like that. Maybe ECS made a mistake.

    20. Member zak's Avatar
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      02-27-2011 07:05 PM #245
      Quote Originally Posted by alomI wolleY iTG View Post
      I have a 20th and the original axle bushing does not look like that. Maybe ECS made a mistake.
      I have read that the bushings in the 20th/337s was different than regular Golfs and GTis. The former were solid rubber, while the latter were hydraulic.

      I believe that at some time after 03 VW stopped using the hydro bushings all together.

      The sleeve on my stock (reg GTi) hydro bushings looked a bit different than the replacements--they did have a shoulder kind of like the ones in the ECS link, but nowhere near that big.

    21. Junior Member blacksheep312's Avatar
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      03-21-2011 09:55 PM #246
      I need some expertise on lining up the bushings. I can't seem to make sense of the Bentley Diagram. Based on these pics, does this look like the right angle of pressing the bushing in the correct direction? Any help or references would help me out. I just want to make sure I am putting them in correctly.




    22. Member bboy_jon's Avatar
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      03-21-2011 10:07 PM #247
      I think they are supposed to go in the other side (the side of the rotor) so the lip (on the bushing) will be on the outside. Thats how I did it (thats how my bushings were when I removed them atleast), I dont know if it would really matter though

      edit: lol I just checked...dont listen to me, you have it oriented right

    23. 04-04-2011 11:26 PM #248
      any one put assembly grease into the kidney shape opening as indicating in the Bently?

      also, anyone jack up their axle to the natural position before tightening up the bolt?

    24. Member bboy_jon's Avatar
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      04-04-2011 11:55 PM #249
      Quote Originally Posted by Kcb View Post
      any one put assembly grease into the kidney shape opening as indicating in the Bently?

      also, anyone jack up their axle to the natural position before tightening up the bolt?
      Which kidney shaped opening? I dropped the car onto the ground, than torqued the bolts.

    25. 04-12-2011 01:28 AM #250
      Has anybody managed to install the bushings with a shop press? If so what kind of difficulties did you have?

      My plan, seeing as I don't have a garage full of odds and ends to keep improvising with, is to take it over to the lab where I work where there's a press, use two fitting pieces of hardwood on each end, and just use the press.

      It'll require holding the axel way up in the air I guess, perhaps that's why some of the other posters have had machine shops give them a hassle about pressing them? But I figure that once I remove the spindles the thing couldn't weigh more then 60 lbs or so, two sets of hands ought to be able to hold that straight... I hope.

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