This thread is exactly what this forum has been missing. I look forward to keeping up with this one and learning from those who know much more than myself!
Day 5 – Front Suspension Weight Reduction
Here is a lesser known, but great weight reduction mod that I have completed on Mk5s and Mk6s. Others have documented this on Vortex before, but since many of us may be new here, it is worth reposting.
Stock Golf R front suspension, cast iron spindles and lower control arms. Definitely an area where VW cheaped out.
Thankfully, using the VW parts bin, we can drop some weight without any sacrifice in quality or durability. B6 Passat Aluminum lower control arms, direct fit:
B6 Passat aluminum bearing housing, direct fit:
On the rear, a very small number of people with Mk6 GTIs have upgraded their cast iron spindles to Aluminum. Thankfully VW did not cheap out here and gave us Aluminum rear spindles out of the box
I have a complete Audi TT front suspension here. It's much more delicious. Lower control arms with adjustable camber, spindles with dropped centers. Offsets are all wrong as the track width is much wider. It's a long term goal.
MK5 R32 guy checking in.
Oddly enough, the passat control arms swap has been mentioned in our forum a number of times as well. However, can't recall if anyone has actually gone through with it at this point.
As far as the mk5 goes as well, it was a very smart move for VW to throw the battery in the rear for proper weight balance. A lot of people who immediately think all weight savings is good take out the rear seats and spare in our cars and notice a very different, odd sense of handling (think backwards porsche).
A lot of people are noticing VERY significant gains (or losses, depending how you look at it lol) by swapping out their OEM brakes for different brake kits, some of which may be smaller but still provide as much if not more stopping power than the factory setup. Reducing unsprung weight in our nose heavy cars goes a very long way to improving handling, turn-in, acceleratation, braking, etc etc - the list goes on and on.
Either way, super interesting thread. Will continue to follow as I'm sure much of what is found out here could be applied to the earlier models.
Current: 996 911 Turbo, E46 325i, MK7 GTI
Past: E30 325i, B6 A4, NA Miata, FR-S, MK5 R32, MK1 Rabbit
Congrats on the :R and the baby Mike. We should catch up sometime this year- its been a while. Hope to see you at one of the track events, I hope.
Excellent performance post as usual. Do you happen to know the weight and distribution of a 4 door MK5 with sunroof? Curious to see how far off it is to the Golf R.
Great info on the different weights, surprising to see the MKV with an ever so slight edge in f/r distribution. Anxiously awaiting the results of relocating the battery to the trunk, I would definitely be interested if it works out, especially with oem parts.
Great info on everything, thank you for taking the time to share with everybody!
EDIT: Looking back over the weights (MKV vs MKVI) although the MKV shows less % of it's weight on the front axle, it still has more weight total on the front axle. It just has more weight on the rear axle as well to balance it out. Interesting.
I'd just assumed the weight loss for the MKVI was all off the front, but somewhere they took some weight off the rear as well. Thinking about this further, I guess it probably all goes back to the battery location...too bad they didn't leave it back there. But I guess that is probably where the weight loss comes from in the rear.
(Sorry, I was confused, y'all may not have been...don't mind me)
Last edited by Wlfsbrg2.0T; 03-27-2012 at 02:41 PM.
Last of easy kills on the front suspension and I am going home for the day.
The front lower control arm bushings are as mushy as my moms tatas.
Luckily the VW/Audi parts bin comes to the rescue again with some solid rubber units out of the Audi TT. These make a really nice difference in steering precision and solidity in the front end. While it looks plug and play, the aluminum brackets are different. In order to use the solid rubber bushing, it must be pressed out, and pressed into your existing housing(I will have a DIY for this later in thread). I have done a ton of mk5s and mk6s with great success(You have to use the Borat voice). The Golf R is no different. The bushing is not available without the aluminum housing, which makes the price more expensive. Oh well, still worth it.
Last edited by TyrolSport; 03-27-2012 at 04:29 PM.
Great additions to the thread. It will be interesting to see what the weight differences are between the cast iron and alum parts.
There's a lot of weith that can be taken off the front brakes. On the MKIV R32 the 334mm rotors are approx 22lbs and caliper/pad 23lbs. I would expect the larger rotor on the MKV & VI to weigh even more. My custom setup weights less with caliper and rotor than just the OEM rotor.
I was suprised by the lack of front camber. I know teched preaches that our high caster setups do not require much camber, but less than half a degree with no adjustment does not look good for stock class autocrossing.