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    Thread: Jetta rear axle problems

    1. 11-03-2008 01:42 PM #1
      I have a Jetta 2004 GLI and have a disturbing problem with my rear axle!!! The inside tread on both my back tires are worn down to the cords. I had an alignment done and both my rear cambers are off by -1.50. Strange?!?!? This means that the rear axle is bent down towards the ground!

      The dealership has no advice. I haven't hit anything. The rear axle is one piece and not adjustable. I have heard of a kit that will essentially put shims in each side but it will not adjust it enough to take care of the problem.

      I am wondering if anyone else has this problem. If so, what can I do?


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      11-03-2008 01:43 PM #2
      Could jacking the car up from the rear torsion bar cause this problem?

    3. Senior Member urogolf's Avatar
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      11-03-2008 01:45 PM #3
      is your car lowerred at all?
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      11-03-2008 01:45 PM #4
      That would go the opposite way, and give + camber.

      Thats a really odd problem though. I've not seem shim kits that could correct that much either.

      Maybe you could swap the rear beam with someone who wants to tuck stretched tires?

      Throw an Audi engineer down a hole with a ladder and he will fashion a shovel from it and tunnel his way out

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      You could always call your insurance and say that some vandals tried to swap your car to rwd while you weren't looking.

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      11-03-2008 01:47 PM #5
      Quote, originally posted by urogolf »
      is your car lowerred at all?

      its the 2004 GLI, its lowered from the factory.

      your car being lowered at all is going to cause the inside tires to wear unevenly. how worn is the rest of the tread ?

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      11-03-2008 01:47 PM #6
      Quote, originally posted by MikkiJayne »
      That would go the opposite way, and give + camber.

      Thats a really odd problem though. I've not seem shim kits that could correct that much either.

      Maybe you could swap the rear beam with someone who wants to tuck stretched tires?

      Lowering the car would not give camber at all, it's a torsion beam. There is no situation where lowering the car would result in positive camber with any suspension design.


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      11-03-2008 01:51 PM #7
      Quote, originally posted by ClockworkChad »

      its the 2004 GLI, its lowered from the factory.

      your car being lowered at all is going to cause the inside tires to wear unevenly. how worn is the rest of the tread ?


      You own a mk4 and still don't understand how a torsion beam works? There should be no increase in rear negative camber from lowering a mk1/2/3/4.


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      11-03-2008 01:51 PM #8
      Wrong quote, but ^ x2 Lowering a torsion beam doesn't do that.

      Other than a bent beam it would have to be bent stub axles or collapsed bearings...

      Throw an Audi engineer down a hole with a ladder and he will fashion a shovel from it and tunnel his way out

      Quote Originally Posted by shwak23 View Post
      You could always call your insurance and say that some vandals tried to swap your car to rwd while you weren't looking.

    9. 11-03-2008 01:56 PM #9
      The tires are pretty much brand new! In other words the tread is fine. I put them on at the beginning of summer and not more than 6,000 miles on them.

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      11-03-2008 02:49 PM #10
      Quote, originally posted by mynameisphunk »
      You own a mk4 and still don't understand how a torsion beam works? There should be no increase in rear negative camber from lowering a mk1/2/3/4.

      It's amazing how much this comes up...

      Quote, originally posted by frandrs23 »
      The tires are pretty much brand new! In other words the tread is fine. I put them on at the beginning of summer and not more than 6,000 miles on them.

      Are they Z rated tires? Do you spend a lot of time cornering? What's the tread wear rating? Did you buy you car used, as maybe the beam is bent, but that's doubtful since the readings were the same for both sides. You drive a VW.... get used to eating tires. And it's amazing what proper rotation can do for tire life.


    11. Senior Member ClockworkChad's Avatar
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      11-03-2008 02:51 PM #11
      Quote, originally posted by mynameisphunk »


      You own a mk4 and still don't understand how a torsion beam works? There should be no increase in rear negative camber from lowering a mk1/2/3/4.

      ive had 3 mkIII's and 1 MKIV.

      factory had normal tire wear, when i put coilovers on them the inside of the tires wear. if you look at a lowered car from the rear the wheels point in at the top. im not a mechanic nor do i have a mechanical engineering degree, but i dont think that that is

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      11-03-2008 02:54 PM #12
      Quote, originally posted by ClockworkChad »
      if you look at a lowered car from the rear the wheels point in at the top. im not a mechanic nor do i have a mechanical engineering degree, but i dont think that that is

      If you put a bone stock 1.8t GLS next to a lowered 1.8t GLS, both with LBs side by side and view from the rear you'll see the camber is the same. It looks different on lowered cars because the reference points (wheel/tire and fender) are closer to each other. It's a classic optical illusion. I'll try to find pictures to illustrate.


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      11-03-2008 02:59 PM #13
      Our rear beams do not exhibit camber even when lowered unless if the beams are bent, add shims or something is off center, or have crapped out stub axles (could be result of a bend, etc). Our rears cannot be aligned. The only thing it does when being lowered is sit closer to the front of the wheel well.

    14. Senior Member 87vr6's Avatar
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      11-03-2008 03:12 PM #14
      My car with Fat Fives 17x7:

      My car, same drop but now with 18x10 twists:

      Shots aren't the best, but as you can see, it *appears* that with the twists I have more camber, but alas, I do not.


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      11-03-2008 03:49 PM #15
      Lowerring the rear will generally toe the rear wheels slightly in with an extreme drops

      shims are required to correct this but are a pain to do (not difficult but labor intensive)

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      11-03-2008 04:08 PM #16
      Quote, originally posted by urogolf »
      Lowerring the rear will generally toe the rear wheels slightly in with an extreme drops

      shims are required to correct this but are a pain to do (not difficult but labor intensive)

      Quote, originally posted by tmvw »
      Our rear beams do not exhibit camber even when lowered unless if the beams are bent, add shims or something is off center, or have crapped out stub axles (could be result of a bend, etc). Our rears cannot be aligned. The only thing it does when being lowered is sit closer to the front of the wheel well.


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      11-03-2008 04:11 PM #17
      Quote, originally posted by tmvw »
      Our rear beams do not exhibit camber even when lowered unless if the beams are bent, add shims or something is off center, or have crapped out stub axles (could be result of a bend, etc). Our rears cannot be aligned. The only thing it does when being lowered is sit closer to the front of the wheel well.

      exactly, and when the wheel sits closer to the fender it makes the camber(if there is any) more visible that's it

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      11-03-2008 04:13 PM #18
      all the rear beam does is make the wheel go forward and back...there shouldnt be camber if there is theres a prob...

      and if there is goin forward and back doesnt effect it.


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      11-03-2008 04:14 PM #19
      Quote, originally posted by KraCKeD-GTI »
      .......

      I didnt mention camber I mentionned toe.. the inward and outward alignment of the wheel measured at the ft of the wheel (NOT THE TOP)

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      11-03-2008 04:17 PM #20
      Quote, originally posted by urogolf »

      I didn't mention camber I mentioned toe.. the inward and outward alignment of the wheel measured at the ft of the wheel (NOT THE TOP)

      forward and back...that's all it does...hows it gonna effect toe if there's no pivot point up and down that's all the rear beam does which translates to forward and back that's it...

      forget caster forget camber forget toe none of these are affected by the height of the rear....that's why its a solid rear axle


      edit...ok caster yes but who cares right?


      Modified by KraCKeD-GTI at 10:19 AM 11-3-2008


    21. Senior Member urogolf's Avatar
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      11-03-2008 04:33 PM #21
      have personally aligned maybe 10 lowerred vws and have lowerred at least 30 with my own hands but what do i know
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    22. 11-03-2008 05:45 PM #22
      So is everyone telling me that there is nothing I can do? Has anyone heard of this problem before? A friend works for an auto body shop and he said that he has heard of this problem before and says it may be a factory problem but there are no recalls or programs with VW.

      Help! What can I do?


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      11-03-2008 05:56 PM #23
      Replace the rear beam with a new one

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      11-03-2008 08:27 PM #24
      I'm glad to see there is so much misinformation in this thread. When you lower say a mk2 or mk3, whatever you choose with a solid rear beam it most definitely effects camber and toe. I have had my car on the alignment rack countless times with coilovers, cup kits, etc etc. and Just think about the geometry of it. The rear beam has slightly negative camber from the factory. The mounting surface for the rear stub axle is NOT mounted perfectly perpendicular to the beam. So, when you now rotate that beam off it's intended axis it brings the toe in, and also the camber. I know for a fact that before lowering my mk2 i was running in the area of -1.0 camber in the back. After dropping my mk2 in the rear i was running -2.1 on the left and -2.5 on the right. I did not touch anything except put a coilovers in it. And you know what, the lower you go and the more negative camber, the more the toe is off also. I am actually running shims now and am running -3.7 and -4.1 for camber in the rear.

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      11-03-2008 08:35 PM #25
      Quote, originally posted by KraCKeD-GTI »

      forward and back...that's all it does...hows it gonna effect toe if there's no pivot point up and down that's all the rear beam does which translates to forward and back that's it...

      forget caster forget camber forget toe none of these are affected by the height of the rear....that's why its a solid rear axle


      edit...ok caster yes but who cares right?


      Modified by KraCKeD-GTI at 10:19 AM 11-3-2008

      you are 100% wrong.

      Edit: #1 there is no such thing as caster in the rear. #2 For anybody who thinks the rear beam is bent then thrust angle would be all messed up. Thrust angle ( how "straight" the rear axle is) should be no more then plus or minus .25. Which i bet if he had a printout from his car thurst angle would be well within spec. #3 Question for the OP, you say that your rear camber is off by -1.5 degrees. Do you mean that the camber in the rear is -1.5, or the camber is -1.5 degrees from spec? I ask this because i garauntee that spec for rear camber is somewhere in the ballpark of -.8 degrees with probably a positive or negative tolerance of .25 or .5 . I can find out exactly what it is tomorrow at work.





      Modified by 92g60gti at 8:49 PM 11-3-2008


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      11-03-2008 10:59 PM #26
      good to see you up in here andy!
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      11-03-2008 11:03 PM #27
      Quote, originally posted by 92g60gti »

      you are 100% wrong.

      Edit: #1 there is no such thing as caster in the rear. #2 For anybody who thinks the rear beam is bent then thrust angle would be all messed up. Thrust angle ( how "straight" the rear axle is) should be no more then plus or minus .25. Which i bet if he had a printout from his car thurst angle would be well within spec. #3 Question for the OP, you say that your rear camber is off by -1.5 degrees. Do you mean that the camber in the rear is -1.5, or the camber is -1.5 degrees from spec? I ask this because i garauntee that spec for rear camber is somewhere in the ballpark of -.8 degrees with probably a positive or negative tolerance of .25 or .5 . I can find out exactly what it is tomorrow at work.

      Here's a printout of specs for a bent rear beam for those who care


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      11-03-2008 11:19 PM #28
      Quote, originally posted by turbo7387 »

      Here's a printout of specs for a bent rear beam for those who care

      Yep, and as they can now see the thrust angle is .8x which clearly indicates that something is bent. And as they can now also see the left side is in the green with -1.x degrees of camber. Green means that the measurement is within the spec/tolerance, red means that it is not.

      Thanks man


    29. 11-03-2008 11:21 PM #29
      My thrust angle is -.02. My rear cambers are off -1.5 degrees. It does not say from spec. I have the print off right here. If my thrust angle is ok and the rear cambers are within spec than why is the inside inch of both rear tires worn down to the cords? I find this problem very odd and it sounds like you know more about this than me! Hope these numbers help you to give me some advice! Any other questions please ask!

    30. Moderator aar0n.'s Avatar
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      11-03-2008 11:25 PM #30
      ^
      Maybe it was just a set of bad tires, or possibly the air pressure wasn't right, or maybe the wheels weren't balanced correctly? Doesn't sound like anything's wrong with your beam though

    31. 11-03-2008 11:34 PM #31
      I am glad to hear that maybe it isn't my axle! I just wish I could figure it out! I wish someone had a solid answer for me. Anyways, I appreciate your info and the prinout specs. If anything else comes to your mind as a cause for my problem, please let me know!! Thanks

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      11-03-2008 11:41 PM #32
      Quote, originally posted by 87vr6 »
      My car with Fat Fives 17x7:

      My car, same drop but now with 18x10 twists:

      Shots aren't the best, but as you can see, it *appears* that with the twists I have more camber, but alas, I do not.

      better pic for reference? not same angle tho.....

      and to clearly see the no camber




      Modified by ohiodub_99.5 at 9:42 PM 11-3-2008

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      11-04-2008 08:35 AM #33
      Quote, originally posted by frandrs23 »
      My thrust angle is -.02. My rear cambers are off -1.5 degrees. It does not say from spec. I have the print off right here. If my thrust angle is ok and the rear cambers are within spec than why is the inside inch of both rear tires worn down to the cords? I find this problem very odd and it sounds like you know more about this than me! Hope these numbers help you to give me some advice! Any other questions please ask!

      How many miles are on the tires, what were you running for air pressure, and how often did you rotate them?


    34. 04-26-2010 10:36 AM #34
      hi, there

      I have a 2001 Jetta VR6 and have the same problem, two sources told me I need to change the rear axle beam. The alignment reading I got for the rear is the following:

      CAMBER

      Left -1.6 degrees Right -1.9 degrees

      TOE

      Left 0.00 degrees Right -1.07 degrees (specs 0.54 -0.12)

      TOTAL TOE -1.07 degrees

      THRUST ANGLE 0.54 degrees

      Clearly my toe is out of wack.

      I recently changed the rear shocks as well. The mechanic said, that it may be possible to bend the axle by using a welding machine.

      Any advice is really appreciated


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      04-26-2010 11:05 AM #35
      I was told the same problem when I went to align my car. I proceeded to not care because I know nothing is bent and I know the car doesn't pull.

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