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

    1. 04-11-2012 11:09 AM #316
      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?

    2. Semi-n00b
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      04-11-2012 08:12 PM #317
      Get the right bolt. The dealer cant be that expensive.

    3. Member zak's Avatar
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      04-25-2012 12:10 AM #318
      Quote Originally Posted by wakarimasen View Post
      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?
      They are one-time use bolts anyway. Dealer. Cheap enough.

      I had to cut one to get the beam out. If you remove the bracket, you can disturb the rear wheel alignment.

    4. Junior Member
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      05-21-2012 10:25 AM #319
      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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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      06-09-2012 08:30 PM #320
      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.

    6. Member
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      06-09-2012 09:26 PM #321
      does someone want to take a picture or explain to me how to use the "washer system" please. It seems it would take up a LOT less room to use while the axle is still on the car than the 2x4 method.



      v/r

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      06-09-2012 09:28 PM #322
      Quote Originally Posted by 10sec-rabbit View Post
      i did this job today took me about 2.5 hours
      on jack stands i took out the axle took a 1/2 hours
      cut the rear bushing out with a sawzall, was very easy 15 min

      I designing a tool based on that wheeling bearing installer i have.

      i went to home depot got a 12inch 3/8 piece of all thread 4 nuts a 2inch end cap for threaded pipe and a flange for something not sure what it was
      i drilled a hole in the end of the pipe cap for the all thread and used it for a receiver and used the flange on the flange side of the bushing. i had the plastic casing bushing too...i also used a hose clamp to keep the thing nice and round. once i had it all set up it took me about 10 min a side to actually get the new bushing in, ill try and get a pic of this rig i used soon . but it worked great!!

      no more clunking or banging made a big diffrence
      with the right tools this an easy job bledding the brakes took longer

      this is what im looking to understand please v/r

    8. Member
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      06-17-2012 05:38 PM #323
      or can someone pm me please or post the specs for both of these, tools.

      3301

      3416

      once i have the specs i can make it on CAD for fun
      Last edited by Hedgehodge; 06-17-2012 at 05:41 PM.

    9. Junior Member
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      08-09-2012 05:38 PM #324
      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.

    10. Junior Member
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      08-19-2012 03:01 PM #325
      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.

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      09-23-2012 10:00 AM #326
      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.

      Thanks.

    12. Member
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      09-23-2012 10:23 AM #327
      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).

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      09-23-2012 10:14 PM #328
      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.

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      09-24-2012 07:09 PM #329
      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.

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      01-10-2013 12:30 AM #330
      2 questions:

      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.

    16. Junior Member
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      01-14-2013 09:44 PM #331
      I'll be starting this job on my 2003 GLI VR6 tomorrow..

      Hope everything goes smooth..

    17. Member KG18t's Avatar
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      01-14-2013 10:13 PM #332
      Quote Originally Posted by '03VR6 View Post
      I rented it from Advanced Auto for $100 and haven't returned it and prob won't.

      Real nice.
      VW Vortex, the perfect place to get your daily dose of

    18. Junior Member
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      01-21-2013 08:58 PM #333
      Quote Originally Posted by KG18t View Post
      Real nice.
      The way their tool rental works is you buy the tool, use it, and get your money back when you return it. You don't have to return the tool if you want to keep it. That's why the rental price is the FULL price of the tool. And since it's such a handy tool I'm keeping it.

      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, 92,000 miles, 2nd owner, BFI stage 1, K&N, Continental DW, Bilstein TC, Audi TT LCA bushings, Long beach
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    19. Junior Member
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      04-05-2013 01:44 AM #334
      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.

    20. Member volks25's Avatar
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      04-05-2013 06:08 PM #335
      Brilliant !

    21. Member
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      05-07-2013 01:28 PM #336
      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.

      Peter

    22. Member noelskii's Avatar
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      07-07-2013 12:18 AM #337
      just did this today using this DIY thread.

      I clamped down the tip of the new bushing extra tight and heated it up using a tiki torch (it was already conveniently lit near me, for mosquitoes). Worked like a charm just to get it in the axle enough so I can clamp it.


      And then used two C-clamps to get all the way in.




      This whole job took me from 2:30pm - 9:30pm to finish. I did it all by myself using 2 jack stands and a jack. if I had to do it again, I'd definitely get extra help, it definitely would've saved A LOT of time...

      oh, and I didn't remove the beam completely, just unscrewed the brake line..didn't wanna risk breaking that.
      R135
      ╚╬╬╝
      . 2 4

    23. 09-06-2013 01:36 AM #338
      I'm just starting this and already have two problems

      1 - What's the best way to unclip the brake line in the photo? It's already slightly damaged so I'm afraid to play with it too much

      2 - I unbolted the end of the nut on the axle bushing, but as I unscrew the main bolt, its only spreading the flanges apart. How do you get that bolt out of there?

      Photo: http://imgur.com/2ZAYzbL

    24. 09-06-2013 12:11 PM #339
      Update: got the ebrake line off, but the bolt seems to be fused with the inside of the bushing! Did anyone have this problem?

      I removed the nut that's out of sight, but its extremely difficult to turn the main bolt, and no amount of rotations help it come out.


    25. Member
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      09-06-2013 06:45 PM #340
      69,

      Maybe cut the bolt with a sawzall so you can lower the axle?

      Doesn't sound like fun, but that should work.

      Or do you ha email an impact Wrench?

      Peter

      Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2

    26. 09-06-2013 09:36 PM #341
      Might have to do that, I just would need to find a new bolt haha

    27. Junior Member jsc3582's Avatar
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      10-02-2013 10:36 PM #342
      I hit a football size rock in the road at about 60mph. It was bad enough that it destroyed both front and rear passenger side tires and wheels. Since then my tires wear badly and my car pulls to the right even after having it aligned 3 times by 3 different shops. I think it could have bent the rear axle beam. This is a 2000 Jetta that is still in great shape otherwise. Any input as to what might be the problem?

    28. Semi-n00b
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      10-14-2013 02:55 PM #343
      Does anyone know the torque specs for the body bracket that the bushings live in (4 bolts hold it on to the frame, had to drop it so I didn't stress any brake lines, kept the axle on). Also the torque specs for the bushings bolt/nut while full weight is on them. Thanks in advance.

      Thanks OP for the write up!

    29. Member
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      10-14-2013 11:15 PM #344
      I'll look in the Bentley 's tomorrow.

      Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2

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      10-15-2013 09:01 PM #345
      Quote Originally Posted by quiksilver18T View Post
      I'll look in the Bentley 's tomorrow.

      Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
      55ft lbs. Says always replace

      Sent from my SGH-I747M using Tapatalk 2

    31. Semi-n00b
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      11-15-2013 09:03 AM #346
      Quote Originally Posted by jsc3582 View Post
      I hit a football size rock in the road at about 60mph. It was bad enough that it destroyed both front and rear passenger side tires and wheels. Since then my tires wear badly and my car pulls to the right even after having it aligned 3 times by 3 different shops. I think it could have bent the rear axle beam. This is a 2000 Jetta that is still in great shape otherwise. Any input as to what might be the problem?
      Your axle is bent. Replace it.

    32. Semi-n00b
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      11-22-2013 09:12 PM #347
      Quote Originally Posted by quiksilver18T View Post
      55ft lbs. Says always replace

      Sent from my SGH-I747M using Tapatalk 2
      Sorry, I forgot to thank you for the torque specs! I always replace the one time use bolts, thanks for the heads up though

      To everyone, like others have posted, get the upgraded Genuine VW bushings. I saw a FEQ bushings and from the naked eye they look ovalish. The genuine are pretty true in circumference, micrometers show only a few 1/1000s off and look/feel more durable.

      I have this rear axle beam bushing tool I bought for the job, it's made for the MK4s bushings. Bushings went in straight as I orientated them accordingly on my axle. Each side slide in, lightly greased, in about 3 minutes each. If anyone is interested in making the job a bit easier the tool is available for loan, I'm willing to ship (you pay shipping both ways) and I'll refund you the cost of the tool when returned. I'm in north New Jersey and NE Pennsylvania, tool available locally too. PM me if interested.

       photo IMG_2748_zps85203646.jpg

    33. Member Slimjimmn's Avatar
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      11-24-2013 11:30 PM #348
      Quote Originally Posted by StoicJumper View Post
      Sorry, I forgot to thank you for the torque specs! I always replace the one time use bolts, thanks for the heads up though

      To everyone, like others have posted, get the upgraded Genuine VW bushings. I saw a FEQ bushings and from the naked eye they look ovalish. The genuine are pretty true in circumference, micrometers show only a few 1/1000s off and look/feel more durable.

      I have this rear axle beam bushing tool I bought for the job, it's made for the MK4s bushings. Bushings went in straight as I orientated them accordingly on my axle. Each side slide in, lightly greased, in about 3 minutes each. If anyone is interested in making the job a bit easier the tool is available for loan, I'm willing to ship (you pay shipping both ways) and I'll refund you the cost of the tool when returned. I'm in north New Jersey and NE Pennsylvania, tool available locally too. PM me if interested.

       photo IMG_2748_zps85203646.jpg
      I have that tool on watch list on eBay.
      I made a custom tool long time ago that worked fine but that's cheap enough anyway to buy.
      the car is on an inclined driveway and up on jack stands in the front only
      02 GTI 1.8t:> 42DD 3" turboback, BFI full stg1 mount kit, Evoms CAI, Forge boost hoses, Tacotaco sidemount, Ebay TIP, IE 2.0 coil conversion, IE manual tensioner, 20th front brake conversion, IE emissions delete, 42dd catch can, Koni STR.t & WRD sport springs, Samco Coolant hoses, SMF vr6 clutch kit.

    34. Junior Member dubrider14's Avatar
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      07-08-2014 02:08 PM #349
      Don't mean to spam an old thread, but I just read through all this and am going to replace the bushings on my GTI's rear beam and thought I'd share some links I found helpful.

      KTC tools makes the oem style tool you need and it can be found here:

      Amazon


      KTC Tools

      ECS stocks the standard rubber bushings, but Kerma TDI has the Seat Cupra R bushings available here.

      I'm not sure if anyone else has any feedback on these vs. the stock bushings, but they look a little more beefy and I think I'm going to try them out. Thanks to everybody for all the great info on how to get this done!
      '01 Mk4 GTI - K04-001, NEUSPEED Sport Springs/BILSTEIN Sports, stripped interior, Shine RSB + Supporting Mods (back on the road!)

      '13 Golf R - APR Stage 1, Sigma-6 Shifter

    35. 07-14-2014 07:09 AM #350
      those replacements look good...go for it... the old ones in your car will be metal sleeved oil filled so you will need to cut them through and then roll the sleeve in on itself and drive them out. at the shop this is done using air tools of course. those cupra r replacements look like they are made of the plastic composite (like the normal replacements) they go in easy enough once you get them started strait. put some pics up or your work

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