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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > TDI Model Specific Discussions Areas > VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD)

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 May 7th, 2014, 16:59   #1
darkscout
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Default [Review]: ECS Mk4 Rear Hatch Pop Kit

Perhaps you've seen the ECS Tuning hatch pop kit. (Product Link)
The premise is simple, you press your hatch release and it automagically opens your hatch for you! (Video). Great for groceries, pets, hit men.

Installation:
Installation is straightforward. Well, except for the design flaw.
The design of the mechanism causes a moment which causes the supplied metal lever to pop out.

It's pretty well outlined here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chNzkVSqc4c
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZ0raA2qoUs
And I found my fix after digging through the hardware store:

After my suggested fix, it works great: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KolnhJNnHCY
I made a comment on the forums, got a ping from the vendor account here to send an e-mail to them, I did. And heard nothing. So I sent it again, CC'd the account here and finally got a ping back from marketing saying I'd get a fixed version (Still waiting).
The official reply was much shorter., but whatever my trunk worked.
Then it started not opening all the way. First it was about 1/3 the way. Then it'd just occasionally pop open a crack. But as long as I lifted it to at least half way with my foot it'd open which was sufficient for my use.
I blamed it on the polar vortex. I mean, it gets cold. You can't blame things for not always working when they're cold.

Then the real fun began. The ball and socket joints decided to stop working. First it was one side. Then it was the other. It first started when I was opening. I noticed the lift strut was jammed up against the bump stop and that's why it stopped lifting.
Then it started happening when I closed it, like this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFFTJ2897fI
Then they just started falling off completely: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P81vHOkxv5Q
And every single time I'd cause another scratch, dent, or other damage to my vehicle:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41IfFV_5JuI
So now I have a very low tech but reliable solution. A 1x4" of poplar.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38T-D0Dy7W0
So if anyone from ECS is watching, here is my suggestion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Edgyqnns5ZE
You're probably thinking "This is so exciting. I would love the opportunity to spend $200 to have a non-working hatch and potentially break my tail lights".
But wait... there's more!
I was going through the car wash and just happened to notice a large amount of water entering. Now I've never had good luck with water in VWs. I'm cursed. Every single one has had a water leak somewhere or other.
And now so does my 'new' to me Mk4 Golf. I got out and looked. Sure enough there's a massive dent about where you would expect one if a foreign body just happened to find its way into the hatch. Anyone want to guess what foreign bodies have recently started jumping into my hatch closing?


That's right. The first car I've sunk considerable money into (Just spent $2k more at ID Parts for a SB clutch, flywheel, diff and 5th gear) has a massive dent in the hatch and is taking on water...
And that's in addition to the broken bumper stops and scratch tail lights.

Random scratches inside of the hatch.

And the necessity to use precicely calibrated piece of American made hardware to hold the hatch up.

But don't fret, this product could still be for you:
  • Getting a divorce and your spouse is getting the Mk4 Golf? Install this time bomb. Before long their hatch is useless.
  • Sending your kid off to college and don't want them smuggling beer back to the dorms in the trunk? No problem. 4-5 months after installing they won't even be able to hold a case of beer and open the trunk at the same time.
  • Repo men coming for your prized Golf because you're late on payments? Just take out a payday loan for $200 and send those bastards away with a soon to be useless trunk.
  • You actually enjoy a wet musty smell in the back of your car or the water logged tail light look.
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[Review]: ECS Mk4 Rear Hatch Pop Kit. 0/5 stars for Rear Hatch Popping. 5/5 stars for inflicting head trauma.
It's all just cheap chinese **** with a fancy vortex bling bling spin that attracts people
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Old May 7th, 2014, 17:25   #2
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So, five stars?
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Old May 7th, 2014, 18:33   #3
darkscout
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Windex View Post
So, five stars?
+-5 star sampling error.
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[Review]: ECS Mk4 Rear Hatch Pop Kit. 0/5 stars for Rear Hatch Popping. 5/5 stars for inflicting head trauma.
It's all just cheap chinese **** with a fancy vortex bling bling spin that attracts people
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Old May 9th, 2014, 08:59   #4
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I saw this post over on VWVortex. What was ECS Tuning's response to it? My wife's Sienna opens like this and it would be awesome if my VW did the same. I just don't want any dents or water leaking into my Golf...
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Old May 9th, 2014, 09:33   #5
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Nice post.
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Old May 9th, 2014, 23:41   #6
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Disappointing. Especially after as far as I can tell they just copied GSR silvers design.

Thanks for letting us know.

Edit: totally ghetto, but I have fixed dent related leaks with thin adhesive weather stripping available at any hardware store. Just more layers where the dent is deep and less where it is shallow. Cutting the edges at a steep angle also helps the factory seal make the transition from body to foam.
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Last edited by dremd; May 9th, 2014 at 23:44.
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Old May 12th, 2014, 19:51   #7
darkscout
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Well this keeps getting better.

Today I was at the hardware store and got a big fan for the shop. Only way in was through the hatch.





So I propped up the hatch (as is customary these days). Started maneuver the box in when that split second blackout when you take a hard hit to the head/nose. I had knocked the board loose and onto my head. Well damn it, I prop the hatch up onto the back of my head, knock the board out of the way and start pushing the fan in when I start to feel a trickle down my forehead.... I just dab around with my index finger until it's wet and look. Yep. Definitely blood.


NSFL:

Photo 1. Photo 2.

I guess I'll be ordering some OEM parts soon.

Anyone with a Golf know if the Wagon struts fit? I found these on AutoHausAZ:

https://www.autohausaz.com/search/pr...Lift%20Support

Nothing shows up under Golf for 'hatch'.


Quote:
What was ECS Tuning's response to it?
Just the generic "Please contact us!" (And that was just on the vortex). Like I said I did that before and it was less than helpful.

As far as a replacement... Have you ever owned a product so crappy that if the manufacturer sent you a free one every time the other one broke you'd not take it? Because this is it. Every 4-5 months I run the risk of putting another dent in my trunk to let water in, punching a hole in the lights or just scraping up the paint. It's like voluntarily installing a time bomb into your car.

Quote:
totally ghetto, but I have fixed dent related leaks with thin adhesive weather stripping available at any
That's the plan. After I try the dry ice / hair dryer trick. It's such a huge structural dent I highly doubt it'll work. That or fashion up something to pull a vacuum on it.

It was a southern kept nice black golf, the nicest VW I've owned such far. Oh well. I guess I won't care too much about shopping kart accidents. I mean I paid to put this dent in it.
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[Review]: ECS Mk4 Rear Hatch Pop Kit. 0/5 stars for Rear Hatch Popping. 5/5 stars for inflicting head trauma.
It's all just cheap chinese **** with a fancy vortex bling bling spin that attracts people
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Old May 12th, 2014, 19:58   #8
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I got my wagon ones (that work great) from this guy. http://www.fixmyvw.com/rear-hatch-li...onth-warranty/

They are listed separately, so I'm guessing they are different (check the part numbers though).
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Old May 12th, 2014, 20:08   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dremd View Post
I got my wagon ones (that work great) from this guy. http://www.fixmyvw.com/rear-hatch-li...onth-warranty/

They are listed separately, so I'm guessing they are different (check the part numbers though).
I have the Golf versions of these. The struts are really strong.. strong enough that the metal spring clips let loose and the hatch lid falls.

Fortunately this happened to my wife and not me, but I did have to hear about the agonizing pain that she was in for a week.

I had to pinch the spring clips with a vice grip before re-installing them.
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Old May 12th, 2014, 22:03   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dremd View Post
I got my wagon ones (that work great) from this guy. http://www.fixmyvw.com/rear-hatch-li...onth-warranty/

They are listed separately, so I'm guessing they are different (check the part numbers though).
x2. I put these on my wagon and on my sister's Golf. They're the same part and so far so good.
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Old May 12th, 2014, 22:35   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lapse View Post
strong enough that the metal spring clips let loose and the hatch lid falls.
Fortunately this happened to my wife and not me, but I did have to hear about the agonizing pain that she was in for a week.
So exactly the problem I have with the ECS ones.

They need to get some machined Rod ends in there and make it so it has a cotter pin or circlip holding it together. No more accidental discharges of the struts.
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[Review]: ECS Mk4 Rear Hatch Pop Kit. 0/5 stars for Rear Hatch Popping. 5/5 stars for inflicting head trauma.
It's all just cheap chinese **** with a fancy vortex bling bling spin that attracts people
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Old May 12th, 2014, 23:30   #12
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Well - glad to hear (actually, not really - sorry for your pain and suffering and money loss) I'm not the only one who essentially took two benjamins and lit them on fire.

The stuff I received seemed to go together ok, but probably once every three times I'd shut the hatch, I'd hear a loud POP! and yup - one of the hatch struts had blown off the ball and was hanging there. The plastic socket (that the ball sits in) was cracked and so the cir clip wasn't holding the ball well enough

On the plus side:
1. ECS sent me a replacement strut at no charge.
2. It didn't cause any damage to my car or my body (sorry about yours)
3. No water leakage

On the (continuing) negative side:
1. $200 later and the hatch releases, but doesn't self-open - I still need to give it a nudge for it to lift open.
2. I'm worried that the one strut that was blowing off caused some imbalance and bent the hinges a bit - my hatch no longer closes evenly: when closed, the passenger side taillight and the hatch are pretty much flush/flat, but on the driver side, the hatch is probably 0.5cm away from the surface-plane of the taillight.
The long-term water-tightness of that is suspect at best.

Overall, if I'd spent $60, I'd be disappointed; being that I spent $200....well, let's say I'm a little more than disappointed.
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Old May 13th, 2014, 07:42   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuje View Post
Well - glad to hear (actually, not really - sorry for your pain and suffering and money loss) I'm not the only one who essentially took two benjamins and lit them on fire.
You may want to share that on the Vortex. I did a lot of looking for reviews before I purchased and didn't find any. I figured if it was bad there'd be at least one person that said so. I guess I get to have the privilege of being that first person.

http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...-Hatch-Pop-Kit

Quote:
1. ECS sent me a replacement strut at no charge.
That's pretty much what I expected the 'solution' to be. "Here, have a another defectively designed product!"
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[Review]: ECS Mk4 Rear Hatch Pop Kit. 0/5 stars for Rear Hatch Popping. 5/5 stars for inflicting head trauma.
It's all just cheap chinese **** with a fancy vortex bling bling spin that attracts people
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Old May 13th, 2014, 11:41   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dremd View Post
I got my wagon ones (that work great) from this guy. http://www.fixmyvw.com/rear-hatch-li...onth-warranty/

They are listed separately, so I'm guessing they are different (check the part numbers though).
I installed a set of those as well back in January.

The jetta wagon and passat wagon gas springs are the same as the golf hatch.
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Old May 13th, 2014, 15:55   #15
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ECS has given me 2 options.

1) Send the entire kit back and get a replacement.

2) Send the entire kit back and get a refund.

Basically what I expected.
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[Review]: ECS Mk4 Rear Hatch Pop Kit. 0/5 stars for Rear Hatch Popping. 5/5 stars for inflicting head trauma.
It's all just cheap chinese **** with a fancy vortex bling bling spin that attracts people
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