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VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old March 8th, 2018, 08:09   #1
KrashDH
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Default Coilover and Rear Axle Bushing Install ?'s

Hey all,

So I've been putting off some maintenance due to just wanting to dirtbike all the time on my days off, but coming up on Saturday my group can't ride and so I'm having a debate whether to roll solo, or get some work done on the car.

The rear axle bushings are due, as well as the shocks are shot.
I have the upgraded axle bushings:


and also a set of coilovers I'm going to try out this go around. I'm sitting about 1.5" lowered currently with a set of coils currently, but that's beside the point.

I haven't done suspension on this car yet. I helped my buddy out and did his Quattro TT a while back, but it's a bit different.

My question for those that have done suspension and the axle bushings, is it possible to get everything done in a day?
I have the tools for the job including the axle bushing press, sawzall and body saw for cutting the rear axle bushings out, impacts for making quick work removing bolts, etc.
Very mechanically inclined, none of my vehicles have ever been to a shop for work.

I'm just wondering if I'm trying to bite off more than I can chew for this project. I'd like to get it all done at the same time, since I would have the rear suspension off anyway, but Sunday is a no go for vehicle work.

I've ready through a few threads for both of the projects, but some are highly outdated, so I'm wondering if there's any tips/tricks/advice for those axle bushings that makes life easier, or a thread maybe that I haven't come across yet?

I don't have a lift, this will all be done in the garage, on jack-stands. Thanks in advance!
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Old March 8th, 2018, 14:23   #2
Curious Chris
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Did this on my car and I think it took two of us about 6 hours. We had to drill out the bushings and then cut the metal. The bolts would not come out as they had bonded with the aluminum plates in the bushing.

Oh if the axle is out of the car it is a walk in the park afternoon job.
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Old March 8th, 2018, 15:36   #3
KrashDH
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Originally Posted by Curious Chris View Post
Did this on my car and I think it took two of us about 6 hours. We had to drill out the bushings and then cut the metal. The bolts would not come out as they had bonded with the aluminum plates in the bushing.

Oh if the axle is out of the car it is a walk in the park afternoon job.
So you had to drill out the bolts and then cut the metal (in the bushing)?
I was already planning on sawzalling through the bushing material and then cutting a notch in the bushing housing to release pressure of the bushing, then pound it out. I have some FPI fluid, that should release the bolts from the aluminum if that has happened. That stuff is magic.

The axle won't be out of the car, I was only planning on dropping it down. I'd rather not have to remove brake lines and such...I need to find some better writeups
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Old March 8th, 2018, 16:26   #4
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I did it in car on my Beetle in a few hours. I was in the shop so I had all my air tools though.
If it goes well it is an easy 1 day job. If it doesn't, well...
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Old March 8th, 2018, 23:43   #5
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I did mine a few years ago on an A4 Avant and it took about an hour per side to change each bush, with air tools to cut through the ali bush casing, then wound it back in with threaded rod, oversized sockets and washers.

Lots of copperslip used to assist new bearing into place.

One thing you MUST NOT DO is tighten the bushes up until the wheels are back on the car, lowered to the ground and the car is supporting its own weight.

If you tighten them before it is supporting its full weight, you will tear the inner bearing material from its casing in as little as a few weeks as they will be subjected to a twisting force as the car is lowered to the ground, and this will only be compounded if the car is loaded heavily or driven on undulating roads...
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Old March 9th, 2018, 05:33   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curious Chris View Post
Oh if the axle is out of the car it is a walk in the park afternoon job.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KrashDH View Post
The axle won't be out of the car, I was only planning on dropping it down. I'd rather not have to remove brake lines and such...I need to find some better writeups
I would actually recommend pulling the rear beam. Since you're replacing the springs/shocks anyway, the only things holding the rear beam in the car would be the brake lines and e-brake cables.

It will be WAY easier to simply re-bleed the rear brakes than it will be to try to do everything with the beam in the car.

It will also give you an excuse to flush most of your brake fluid (unless you want to do the front brakes, too, then it will be all of your brake fluid). When's the last time that was done?
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Old March 9th, 2018, 07:14   #7
KrashDH
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Originally Posted by FlyingFin View Post
I did mine a few years ago on an A4 Avant and it took about an hour per side to change each bush, with air tools to cut through the ali bush casing, then wound it back in with threaded rod, oversized sockets and washers.

Lots of copperslip used to assist new bearing into place.

One thing you MUST NOT DO is tighten the bushes up until the wheels are back on the car, lowered to the ground and the car is supporting its own weight.

If you tighten them before it is supporting its full weight, you will tear the inner bearing material from its casing in as little as a few weeks as they will be subjected to a twisting force as the car is lowered to the ground, and this will only be compounded if the car is loaded heavily or driven on undulating roads...
Good advice here thank you. Did you do this with the beam on the car?

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Originally Posted by Stromaluski View Post
I would actually recommend pulling the rear beam. Since you're replacing the springs/shocks anyway, the only things holding the rear beam in the car would be the brake lines and e-brake cables.

It will be WAY easier to simply re-bleed the rear brakes than it will be to try to do everything with the beam in the car.

It will also give you an excuse to flush most of your brake fluid (unless you want to do the front brakes, too, then it will be all of your brake fluid). When's the last time that was done?
Brake fluid was done probably 2 years ago. It's due. Only issue is I am working solo. I don't have any help and have to use the pump and bleed method.

I guess I'll have to decide that when I get to that point.
I'm going to check out a couple write ups and videos today and asses if it's doable in 1 day for me. I might try to give myself a full weekend for peace of mind.

Edit: I've been watching a few videos, I think I'm going to pick up a cheap mighty vac and just pull the lines...seems a lot easier than crawling around on the ground to do all of this. I have horrible knees as it is

Last edited by KrashDH; March 9th, 2018 at 08:19.
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Old March 9th, 2018, 08:23   #8
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Have to agree with Stomaluski... I just did this last summer by removing the axle - it was kind of a no brainer as the car was due fluid flush anyway and Jr #2 was there to help, but I'll be doing this job again solo and will still remove the beam.

BTW - I would recommend a power bleeder... makes flushing the fluid fun vs the other method.
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Old March 9th, 2018, 08:30   #9
KrashDH
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I've been reading a lot about the axle bolts not coming out from the inside because the tank gets in the way? Do people install them from the outside in with no ill effect?

Since I've opted to pull the axle beam out is this still and issue or should I just plan on cutting them out?
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Old March 9th, 2018, 08:31   #10
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Originally Posted by Prairie Chicken View Post
Have to agree with Stomaluski... I just did this last summer by removing the axle - it was kind of a no brainer as the car was due fluid flush anyway and Jr #2 was there to help, but I'll be doing this job again solo and will still remove the beam.

BTW - I would recommend a power bleeder... makes flushing the fluid fun vs the other method.
Yeah I'm going to go this route as well, I've made up my mind that if I don't I'm just going to fight it trying to do everything on the floor. I don't have a Power bleeder but I have a handheld mighty-vac. I was thinking that should be fine on this little car? The lines aren't very large diameter. I'll do the two backs when I'm doing this job and the fronts when I move up there to do the front shocks...
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Old March 9th, 2018, 10:34   #11
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I've never used a MV... although I've heard it does the job.
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Old March 9th, 2018, 10:50   #12
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I've never used a MV... although I've heard it does the job.
I think I'm just going to pick up a Harbor Freight Pneumatic bleeder. $30 and it seems worthwhile since I never have a set of helping hands.

Now I've been reading about the front passenger strut removal
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Old March 10th, 2018, 03:56   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KrashDH View Post
I've been reading a lot about the axle bolts not coming out from the inside because the tank gets in the way? Do people install them from the outside in with no ill effect?

Since I've opted to pull the axle beam out is this still and issue or should I just plan on cutting them out?
I seem to recall needing to sawzall one of the bushing bolts. I might have also reversed the bolt when I reinstalled (with, of course, a new bolt). Not sure if I've violated the laws of the universe in doing so, but so far I haven't encountered any blow back.
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Old March 10th, 2018, 11:42   #14
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Originally Posted by KrashDH View Post
Good advice here thank you. Did you do this with the beam on the car?

Yes, wheels off obviously, and then both bolts withdrawn from both sides and this allows a slight 'hang down' Which supported by Axle stands meant the job was a relative breeze.

No nightmares as suggested on the , then posts of the day...


Have fun and enjoy the feeling of a planted rear again!!
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Old March 10th, 2018, 11:48   #15
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Now I've been reading about the front passenger strut removal

An absolute doddle!!


Three bolts on the top strut mounting under the bonnet, one pinch bolt holding the upper arms to the suspension leg, and a large bolt through the base of the shocker... And Roberts your mothers brother!!


The only issue might be the pinch bolt if it hasn't been removed and greased on a regular basis... I do mine as a matter of course now on each main service, sometimes more often if I have cause to whip the front wheels off..... Lots of plus gas a day or two before helps immensely. I usually spray lots oft he stuff all over the place, then wrap Kim Wipe over the bolt ant tie wrap it loosely in place then soak the whole lots in lashings of plus gas, then wrap with cling film, and if you have an extension nozzle, pierce the cling film at the top and top it up with more plus gas. If you can leave it a day or two in this state, you will usually find the the bolt will withdraw so much easier... One thing to do is remove the nut from the end of the pinch bolt to allow more access of the plus gas fluid to the thread and bolt shaft. Its worth rotating the bolt a few times every hour or two to allow for the fluid to surround the bolt.




FF


Just re read this, I thought you said front strut.... But Passenger strut?? Thought that was something the other half did when she had a monk on.....
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Last edited by FlyingFin; March 10th, 2018 at 12:03.
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