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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > VW TDI Discussion Areas > Upgrades (non TDI Engine related)

Upgrades (non TDI Engine related) The place of handling, lighting and other upgrades that do not relate to the performance or economy of the TDI engine. In other words upgrades to your TDI that don't fit into TDI Fuel Economy & TDI Engine Enhancements.Please note the Performance Disclaimer

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Old September 9th, 2013, 01:49   #1
powerfool
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Default Mk4 Rear Axle Beam Bushing Replacement Procedure

Anyone have a good procedure for doing this? I was thinking of just taking off the wheel and putting a jack under the coil and raising/lowering as necessary to work this out. I have seen that this can be a long job from others experience, but I don't see anything outlining how to do this.

I have the Lemforders on order... was kind of surprised that they didn't come in the suspension refresh kit on IDParts... made a note that it would a good option to add to that set.
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Old September 9th, 2013, 05:51   #2
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I just drop the beam out and put it on sawhorses. It isn't necessary to do this, I know, but with a lift it only takes about 15 minutes, tops. Then I can be sure to clean up the mounting points and put the bolts in just snug so when I align it I can easily shift the beam around to get it dead-on then torque them down. Also a good opportunity to flush the brake fluid, replace the parking brake cables that are probably bad anyways, and if you are replacing the shocks or springs you're already there, too.

Davebugs sells a nice tool to do these. I have the 'official' VAG SST, but it doesn't really work all that great. And usually I end up just using the air chisel to get the old ones out anyways. I use an old cylinder hone to clean up the bore before I press the new ones in.

I think there are lots of ways people do these, so long as you get it done and back in properly the method you use isn't critical.
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Old September 9th, 2013, 06:09   #3
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I don't have a lift, so that would be a bit more difficult for me. Here are my thoughts, as I already have the new shocks and springs on:

1) Lift the rear of the car and put it on jack stands, leaving it low enough that the tires are still on the ground, but enough clearance to get underneath and reduce the weight on parts.

2) Unbolt the rear axle beam at the bushing joint and bring that end down.

3) Knock the old bushings out (these things are really bad and I imagine I can get everything but the outer metal out by hand... then I will just use a chisel and hammer for that.

4) After leaving the new bushings in the freezer for a couple of hours, slide them in.

5) Reverse everything.

I don't know if I am missing anything that would keep this from working. Also, is there any kind of grease I should use on the outside of the bushings?

EDIT: I found this on VWVortex.

So, can I even do this or does everything really need to come off? The idea for using the C-clamp to press the bushing in is a good one, and the only lubricant used here was WD-40 to make install easier... nothing for "permanent" lubrication.

Last edited by powerfool; September 9th, 2013 at 06:16.
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Old September 9th, 2013, 06:16   #4
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You don't have any pressing tools?
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Old September 9th, 2013, 06:53   #5
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even makeshift tools will make the job easier. OK for trying to do the job yourself but In the long run you have to do it right. It is the suspension and that is important. Dave bugs has a loaner tool..
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Old September 9th, 2013, 09:10   #6
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I don't have any specific tool for it. However, I have seen some use strut coil compressors to do the job, which I have on hand. As long as it gets in there all the way with proper internal alignment, it shouldn't be an issue, right?

EDIT: I was helping my brother-in-law at the local junk yard yesterday and there was a Mk4 Jetta there. I am thinking of just going and pulling the rear axle beam off of it... it will be about $30. I will just sandblast it, prime and paint... then press in the new bushing and install. We'll see... the VWVortex thread kind of inspired me. If I go that route, I will post some pictures.

Last edited by powerfool; September 9th, 2013 at 18:22.
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Old September 9th, 2013, 18:59   #7
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Drop the beam even with davebugs tool the brake lines are too short!
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Old September 13th, 2013, 20:29   #8
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Okay, I gave up on the taking the entire thing off, I still have lots of other things to do, and it seems that folks haven't found bushing that they like, so I may end up changing them in 100k miles anyhow. So, I put the thing on jack stands (still on tires, just relieved a bit)... and pulled the tire off on the side I was working on. unbolted both sides. Pulling out the bushing was cake... definitely worn. The sleeve was a pain, but the hacksaw did the job. I had the bushing in the freezer; not much help. I used a 8" c-clamp (pretty heavy duty, too) and the strut springs compressors together and got in one of the bushing and bent the c-clamp a bit. Other side is waiting... and I am not looking forward to it. I am thinking picking up a torch of some sort to heat the axle side and then just place the bushing that way. Not a fun day... I really want these on to see if my ride improves. I am tired of this clucking noise. I still have the entire front suspension to do, but the rear needed done first.

For the brake lines, just pull them off the hangers and work around them the best you can... it is good enough for me.
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Old September 15th, 2013, 15:08   #9
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Alright... both bushings are on... now I can't get it mounted again... I have one side mounted and the other is off by about an inch. I have tried putting the mounted side down and using the jack to move it around. I can get it close, but not enough. Giving up for today.

EDIT: Okay, got a second wind after I decided to check yesterday's mail and found my N75 in there. Changed that out and went back to the suspension. I got to looking closer and the bushings weren't quite all the way in. So, I took the strut spring compressors and torqued them down and until they were flush all the way around... couldn't really see it, so I had to feel (since I left everything on the car). After that, it went on smooth. I was beginning to think my axle was bent, but looking at it, it appeared about as straight as one could expect.

Took it for a test run and it feels super nice. I was thinking that after I put on the shocks and springs that I may have went too beefy on my spring selection, but the bushings were the real issue and it is nice. On to the front suspension... but that will be in a couple of weeks at the earliest... next weekend is super busy... marching band competition for one kid, soccer game for another, and Oktoberfest in Cincinnati!
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Old September 16th, 2013, 05:19   #10
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Does anyone have the torque specs for the rear axle bushing bolts? Thanks.

Right now, they are guten-tight.
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Last edited by powerfool; September 16th, 2013 at 05:21.
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Old October 16th, 2014, 20:34   #11
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I'm bringing this back from the dead. Has anybody heard from davebugs about his rear beam bushing tool? Does anyone have the tool available for loan for a couple days?
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Old May 1st, 2015, 00:56   #12
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Another bump...

Regarding the torquing of the bushing bolts...

It is said to lower the car on the ground to load the bushings first: I think the recommendation is to do so with like 1/2 a tank of fuel. What I'd like to know is whether it's possible to just load things up by jacking on the axle to the point of it starting to bear the car's weight (still have jack stands in place).

My concern is with accessing the bolts with the wheels on the car and the car back on the ground.

Can't wait to be rid of that nasty clunking!
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Old May 1st, 2015, 18:47   #13
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Axle stands under the rear hubs, blocks of wood, anything like that will allow it to be loaded up but leave room to get in and tighten things up.
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Old May 1st, 2015, 22:01   #14
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When you lower the car to the ground, the axle sits at a certain angle to the body. You want to torque the bolt down with the axle at that angle so it doesn't bind up as the axle rotates up and down with bumps in the road.

If you need to the car up in the air to access the bolt, here is how to get the axle at that angle.

Lower car to ground.

Measure distance from center of rear wheel to fender lip. Let's say that measurement is 20". Note: I measure from the wheel center so, if needed, I can remove the wheel to get better access to the bolt.

Put your jack under the rear shock and jack up the car until the tire is off the pavement and all the weight is on the jack. Optionally, remove the wheel. Measure the wheel center to fender lip distance. Once it's at 20", the axle is at the same angle as when it was sitting on the ground. Reach under and tighten up the bolt.
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Old May 1st, 2015, 22:55   #15
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Thanks guys. I actually picked up my Bentley's and peered into it Said to measure center of wheel to fender arch. When going to torque you'd raise the beam up until it's at that measurement and then torque the bolt.

Sadly, installation of the new bushings was a complete failure. Broken car and I've lost all motivation...
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