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

    1. Member abawp's Avatar
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      12-12-2008 12:23 PM #71
      Quote, originally posted by 04VDubGLI »
      So, I've been trying to do as much research as possible on rear poly bushings... what is the verdict on them?

      Don't know if you read this, but you may find this useful:

      Why (Rear) Poly Bushings Are Bad

      Quote Originally Posted by Lwize View Post
      What, none of you watch reruns on TV?
      Quote Originally Posted by NPH View Post
      I don't know about you but, I get angry and shout "IB4TL" when one comes on.

    2. Member 04VDubGLI's Avatar
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      12-12-2008 12:26 PM #72
      Quote, originally posted by abawp »

      Don't know if you read this, but you may find this useful:

      Why (Rear) Poly Bushings Are Bad

      Thanks for the link. I've looked over that a few times. Then in this thread in particular I noticed a couple of users who had poly bushings. The more I search, the more conflicting info...


    3. Member abawp's Avatar
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      12-12-2008 12:46 PM #73
      Hopefully this doesn't add to your confusion, but this is the way that I look at poly bushings. Not trying to start a debate on this, just stating my thoughts.

      Taking a look at the nature of poly itself, it is stiff, rigid, and resists movement. The basic principle of the suspension is based on movement of control arms in order to function properly (i.e. give you comfort, compliance absorbing road irregularities (grip), and predictability for "handling"). So you are putting in an object that is restricting movement into a movement critical application. This means you are reducing compliance/range of motion of the suspension (remember, poly resists movement), reducing your comfort, grip, and messing with the predictability of the suspension.

      Quote Originally Posted by Lwize View Post
      What, none of you watch reruns on TV?
      Quote Originally Posted by NPH View Post
      I don't know about you but, I get angry and shout "IB4TL" when one comes on.

    4. 12-12-2008 04:42 PM #74
      Not to flame:

      The purpose of adding coilovers, stiffer springs, and sway bars somehow makes the handling better and still offers a compliant ride? I am not sure if anyone has installed poly axle bushings in an otherwise stock suspension car. If that's the case perhaps "they" can offer up known experiences and handling characteristics? I am also thinking 400lb springs and a 2" drop with a rear sway bar are not installed by people wanting a plush handling car... (A stock suspension car is not very predictable and is considered a marshmallow squishy feeling, not very confidence building IMHO...)

      Also, the range of motion is minimal with any type of performance springs and shock setup. Unless you have a "long travel" suspension I really don't think that the animation is correct for real world use. I do see durability as an issue but the newer style bushings are a severe let down in that department compared to the older type.

      I haev some poly bushings to go in and to replace some new style OEM bushings that I just don't like.... I haven't done it yet because it's a PITA to remove the OEM style bushings with axle in the car... but will do it sometime soon.


    5. Member 04VDubGLI's Avatar
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      12-13-2008 01:02 AM #75
      Well, I actually am trying to inhibit side to side movement and front to back movement. Obviously some up and down movement is necessary though. I mean... What poly options are all out there? Do the squeak? Is there a noticeable difference in responsiveness? Does the car have more "regular" rear camber and toe? I mean... I sort of am following with Sc0 on this one. I put a 28mm RSB on so I could try to make the back of my car act more as one unit. I am putting TT225 spindles + LCAs + bushings on to try to get better LCA angles and a better camber curve. I have Koni coilovers that are cranked the entire way up with dampening up pretty high as to minimize body roll and generally make the car more "predictable."

      I guess what I'm saying is I'm hoping someone can maybe offer some real world info. I've read a couple of people, but they haven't come back a couple of months later to re-report or anything. Squeaking is a real issue. Also, if there is some sort of binding issue as depicted in the prior link, that could be an issue. I just haven't heard anyone say there is or isn't definitively.


    6. 12-16-2008 11:38 AM #76
      Bump: In another thread it was mentioned that polyurethane glue can be added to OEM rubber bushings to make them stiffer. This is a great idea to apply to the newer style axle bushes as purchased from VW. Fill in the voids effectively making them more solid, and perhaps more durable than Poly. So for those that are planning on this, it's an idea vs. going poly or spherical. Though from a price point, a tube of polyurethane glue and oem bushings come to the same amount as poly's and are a pain to install!

    7. Member glimark's Avatar
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      12-19-2008 03:43 PM #77
      hey guys well i found out my beams bent so i got a used one from vwunderground
      i want to change the bushings but i noticed a brake line that is connected to the frame rail and the beam
      heres a pic

      and i read the whole thread and is this where the brake line has to be disconnected?
      i remember in autos class back in highschool we used some kind of clip to block the brake fuild from being pushed back into the bake lines when doing brakes and instead go out the bleeder
      is this the right idea of going about this?

    8. Member 04VDubGLI's Avatar
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      12-29-2008 08:52 AM #78
      Does anyone have any thoughts on the spherical bushings for the rear beams? I'm going to need to put a new rear beam in my car... so it's likely to get either polys or spherical bushings. Anyone?

    9. 01-20-2009 11:17 AM #79
      My car is in the air right now because I cant find a shop to press the bushing.. gotta find some dry ice or something. Lexus is $%@#ing at me because its not out yet.

    10. 01-21-2009 02:05 PM #80
      Use a ball joint press and squeezed these things in there. Talk about tight.. I didnt expect it to go in that hard.

    11. 01-28-2009 02:10 PM #81
      Thanks man I have a feeling this will help me. I bought a new rear axle beam and I have to buy the bushings first and I have been reading for 2 days now on what is the best brand of rear bushing/upsides/downsides etc. I looked at the ones you reccomended and they seem suitable but they are now $16.25. cheap cheap cheap... I'm sure if thats a set or for just 1 side. Also sfxperformance has energy rear axle beam bushings for $60.64 a set but no picture to see what they look like apparently the color of them are black (polyurethane? why not red?) ok...not enough info. bottom line I'm unsure what to buy and getting a headache reading about polyurethane bushings squeeking and drying out in 2-3 yrs. i just want to get this done.... whatya think?

    12. 01-29-2009 04:47 PM #82
      hey i was wondering why do this or how u can tell if they are cracked or broken. my rear suspension sound like crap every bump i hit its a big rattleing noise.

    13. 02-12-2009 11:48 PM #83
      nice

    14. 04-14-2009 02:20 PM #84
      I have done this several times without removing the axle but you have done an awesome job.Now I know how it has to be done.Thanx

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      04-14-2009 11:32 PM #85
      Hey guys, OP here with a few added thoughts for you. Glad to see this is back from the dead again and still useful to people.

      Close examination of the orientation of the bushings will reveal an important truth....their axis is not horizontal with the car. The bushings are tilted, yet the axle by design must

      rotate on a horizontal axis...so what does this mean?? It means the bushings are subject to twisting forces as the axle pivots up and down. It undoubtedly has to do with some kind of bias the engineers were trying to create, most likely to affect some toe or camber angle during articulation. Bottom line -- any poly bushing back there is going to squeak, in theory, because of the way it is being twisted every time you hit a bump. This is entirely different than what happens on a front control arm, where the bushing's axis IS inline with the pivot of the arm. The two cannot be really compared.

      As far as why do this at all, that was covered in the original post. Crappy bushings are just....crappy. No one wants slop in their drivetrain, and VW's feel soooooo much better when everything is fresh. Plus the fluid-filled bushings are eventually going to leak.

      Finally, let me say I am parting out the car. So hit me up if you wold like to possibly buy this entire axle. It has 20th rear brakes, an Autotech hollow sway bar, hubs and bearings were new at the time of the write-up (only put about 15K on the car since then), and they have a stud conversion on them.




      Modified by RabbitsKin at 11:46 PM 4-14-2009


    16. 04-15-2009 09:21 AM #86
      Heres some spericals for the rear that I ran. I loved them

    17. n00b Himby's Avatar
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      04-15-2009 09:26 AM #87
      Quote, originally posted by th31nfamous »
      Is the [aligning mark supposed] to face the ground or the sky??

      I have the exact same question. The diagram in the Chilton's is the same as the Bentley, and I can't tell which way these things are supposed to be oriented

      I could have taken note of the orientation of the old bushings before removing them, but I didn't

      BTW, Great write-up!!


      Modified by Himby at 7:07 PM 4-15-2009


    18. 04-23-2009 10:25 AM #88
      Quote, originally posted by MK4FAST »
      I was having major rear tire wear, I was going through tires like oil.
      Les Schwab said I had a bent spindle or that my rear axle beam was bent. I was like yeah OK how did that happen?
      I have lifetime alignments at Firestone and my rear toe was the only thing that was way off. Toe specs for 337 or sport suspension are: rear toe specified range is -0.09 to 0.57.
      My Actual was Left: -0.43, Right: -1.44
      That is way off, Major tire wear.

      I just got done installing the Energy Suspension rear axle beam bushings part# 15.3118r.
      I did it without removing the rear beam from the car, I left the shocks hooked up, and took out the C-clips that hold the brake lines and one bolt on the passenger side that held a bracket up to the body, also unsnapped the lines from the plastic clips, I also unplugged the wheel sensor. I took out the rear bushing bolts and lowered the axle beam slowly and watched my brake lines so I didn't bend or pull on them. U might need to loosen the shock mounts a little bit, NOT all the way for some clearance.

      I used a cold chisel to get the stock bushing out, and then a hacksaw to cut the sleeve and then some hammering with a flat-head and the sleeves came right out.

      The poly bushings go in so much easier than the stock ones. Use enough silicone spray and they slide right in.
      Bolt it back up, but don't tighten the bolts all the way till u have the wheels back on the ground.
      I had to remove the shock mounts after I was all finished putting the poly's in to get the rear bolts to line up, One side went easy but the other side was a being mean
      Put your clips back in the brake lines, bolt the bracket back up, and then plug back in the wheel sensor. Use a jack under the springs to bolt the shock mounts back up.

      Put wheels back on lower the car and tighten the two bolts. ALL Done, time to relax
      Then U Need an alignment.

      I have already done the front control arms with the ECS Poly/Heavy Duty kit.
      My car is so much smoother on the freeway and it hugs corners like a brand new car. My car is 8 years old almost 9.
      Modified by MK4FAST at 11:48 AM 8-12-2008

      Hey, I've been told that I have the same problem with my 2002 1.8T Jetta Automatic Tip. The dealer says that I've bent the rear axle Beam , it's too far out of wack, can't be shimmed and it needs to be replaced, at a cost of $1200.00. Now I'm searching around here for solutions. My question is, once you've replaced the bushings in the rear axle beam, does it then straighten out the "toe in" or camber problem? I have the same problem with my tires, they have excessive wear on the inside 1/4 of the tread. My front end alignment is right on
      spec, so the dealer has blamed the problem on the rear axle. Did all of the work you did to replace the rear axle bushings straighten out your rear wheels and your
      excessive wear problem or was your axle really bent? My car has about 130,000 miles on it,
      with literally all highway miles, back and forth to work everyday. The car hasn't been off roading, so I find it hard to believe that we bent the rear axle, unless of course going over the occasional rough Chicago pothole will bend an axle.



      Modified by photousa at 8:37 AM 4-23-2009


    19. Member mariomega's Avatar
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      04-23-2009 01:57 PM #89
      Quote, originally posted by photousa »

      Hey, I've been told that I have the same problem with my 2002 1.8T Jetta Automatic Tip. The dealer says that I've bent the rear axle Beam , it's too far out of wack, can't be shimmed and it needs to be replaced, at a cost of $1200.00. Now I'm searching around here for solutions. My question is, once you've replaced the bushings in the rear axle beam, does it then straighten out the "toe in" or camber problem? I have the same problem with my tires, they have excessive wear on the inside 1/4 of the tread. My front end alignment is right on
      spec, so the dealer has blamed the problem on the rear axle. Did all of the work you did to replace the rear axle bushings straighten out your rear wheels and your
      excessive wear problem or was your axle really bent? My car has about 130,000 miles on it,
      with literally all highway miles, back and forth to work everyday. The car hasn't been off roading, so I find it hard to believe that we bent the rear axle, unless of course going over the occasional rough Chicago pothole will bend an axle.

      Modified by photousa at 8:37 AM 4-23-2009


      I'd also like to know since my rear end is out of spec. It used to be toed in too much and then I had shims put on to correct and now it is toed out. It's still out of spec but not as bad as before.

    20. Member improvius's Avatar
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      05-18-2009 11:58 AM #90
      I was hearing clunking from the rear over the last few days, so I took a look underneath. Sure enough, the bushings are coming apart. Will I be ok driving them as is for another 500 miles or so before I can get them replaced? Or do I need to keep it parked until then?

    21. 05-18-2009 10:28 PM #91
      3 comments

      1 The axle fits a regular shop press easily!
      2 this is easy to do without removing the axle or disconnecting brake lines
      3 Poly cant and doesnt work here!!!!!!!!!

      Dick Shine


    22. 05-19-2009 02:35 AM #92

      Thanks Dick/SRSVW for your comments. I'm confused point 1 and 2. 1) I should take the axle out to find a shop to press it out. 2) I should leave the axle and the brake lines attached. Can you give us more details? thanks again


    23. Member JAYMEN's Avatar
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      05-19-2009 03:35 PM #93
      I did this job a few weeks ago.
      I disconnected the lines and let the beam swing down so I can work at it.
      I used a chisel and hacksaw to get the old ones out, and I made a custom tool to press it back in.

    24. 05-21-2009 09:56 AM #94
      Quote, originally posted by 805 »
      Heres some spericals for the rear that I ran. I loved them

      Where can one acquire a set of these?


    25. 05-21-2009 10:31 AM #95
      i have a few sets left
      $200.00 each
      lmk

    26. 05-21-2009 05:17 PM #96
      could this what the rear clunk in my vr6 be going over small to large bumps in the road? It's more affected when I impact the pass side rear wheel...

    27. Member zak's Avatar
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      05-21-2009 09:06 PM #97
      Quote, originally posted by WS6Fury »
      could this what the rear clunk in my vr6 be going over small to large bumps in the road? It's more affected when I impact the pass side rear wheel...


      That or the upper strut mount. The latter is far easier to change, so you may want to start there. And you can't tell by looking if the one on the car is bad. But you can kinda inspect the axle bushing. If it's oozing oil, it's shot for sure.

    28. Member zak's Avatar
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      05-21-2009 09:08 PM #98
      Quote, originally posted by JAYMEN »
      I did this job a few weeks ago.
      I disconnected the lines and let the beam swing down so I can work at it.
      I used a chisel and hacksaw to get the old ones out, and I made a custom tool to press it back in.



      Could you please elaborate a little more--especially on the press you fabbed up? And about how long did it all take?

    29. 06-09-2009 11:50 PM #99
      I am in the middle of this project and I got my bushings at Napa Auto Parts. The only problem is that the bushings aren't round. They are oval and when I try to press them in they flex and pop out on one side of the other. Anyone run into this before?

      Also I have put together a list of sites to compare bushings:
      http://www.srsvw.com/
      http://www.fastaddiction.com
      http://www.statracing.com/
      http://www.tdiparts.com
      http://www.suspension.com/volks.htm
      http://www.germanautoparts.com
      http://www.worldimpex.com
      http://www.napaonline.com/
      http://www.1stvwparts.com/
      Some of these have already been listed and I am sure I've missed some, but I thought it would be helpful to have a list so one can shop around a bit.

      Also, for what it's worth I would say that the alignment mark should point to the ground as the picture shows it pointing down. I don't think they would have the picture upside down in all the books. I think this is oriented this way because there is less rubber on the top and bottom if oriented this way, thus allowing more vertical movement.


    30. Member Afrobandit's Avatar
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      06-14-2009 07:06 PM #100
      For guys who dont have a press. To get them out it was easier to hammer a smaller chisel through the back, into the rubber, hammering towards the inside of the car. It will eventually go through until it hits the metal on the other side. This way you dont chip your beam. Plus it comes out easier.

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      09-16-2009 08:18 AM #101
      Quote, originally posted by traversjs »
      I am in the middle of this project and I got my bushings at Napa Auto Parts. The only problem is that the bushings aren't round. They are oval and when I try to press them in they flex and pop out on one side of the other. Anyone run into this before?

      Also I have put together a list of sites to compare bushings:
      http://www.srsvw.com/
      http://www.fastaddiction.com
      http://www.statracing.com/
      http://www.tdiparts.com
      http://www.suspension.com/volks.htm
      http://www.germanautoparts.com
      http://www.worldimpex.com
      http://www.napaonline.com/
      http://www.1stvwparts.com/
      Some of these have already been listed and I am sure I've missed some, but I thought it would be helpful to have a list so one can shop around a bit.

      Also, for what it's worth I would say that the alignment mark should point to the ground as the picture shows it pointing down. I don't think they would have the picture upside down in all the books. I think this is oriented this way because there is less rubber on the top and bottom if oriented this way, thus allowing more vertical movement.

      Oval? The OEM parts I put in were round. I guess if yours are elastic enough they will just conform to fit the hole, but that sounds weird to me.

      Nice list


    32. Member zak's Avatar
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      09-16-2009 08:27 AM #102
      Still waiting to do this job--when I tried the other weekend, I came to realize that the bolts are siezed in the original bushings.

      Now I have new bolts and nuts from VW, so this weekend I can try cutting the old bolts in order to lower the bushing housing.

      I have a feeling this will be an all-day project laying on the driveway....


    33. Member goatglx's Avatar
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      09-19-2009 05:30 PM #103
      worst, most aggravating job I've done on a car ever... and I've done a lot of intense jobs. I'd say I'm a pretty skilled back yard mechanic.My bushings were seized in the housing so bad I had to torch the hell out of them, cut the sleeves with a sawzall in several spots and it still took forever to pound them out. The housings were so rusty and crudded up I had to use an engine hone to smooth them out so I could slide the new ones in and file the crap out of the lips too. I even broke one of the new bushings pressing it in and had to order a single one from mjm which put my car out of commission for another couple days. Definitely a huge disaster, I just hope your experience goes better. If not, add a 12 pack to your list of required tools.

    34. Member zak's Avatar
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      09-19-2009 10:21 PM #104
      Makes me want to farm this one out...

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      09-21-2009 12:04 PM #105
      Quote, originally posted by zak »
      Makes me want to farm this one out...

      Me too....see my advice in the write-up to pay someone else to do this if you can. I wasn't even dealing with stuck sleeves like the poster above. I would rate this job up there with other necessary-jobs-that-no-one-else-will-do, like changing your heater core.


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