Cupra R rear bushings - orientation?

03TDICommuter

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There's looking and then there's L👀KING. :D

Not sure if this is the Cupra per sé, but I found this for the Leon Mk1 (built on VW Mk4 platform):


So, the diagram above would indicate that the installer in this thread didn't get theirs installed properly (annotated photo from that thread below).
You win :)
I agree that vertical is the desired orientation. I'll have to crawl under the beetle and see if the trailing arm is nearly horizontal when at rest and where the welds are.
 

KrashDH

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I spent some time last night looking too and came up empty handed.
OP, bumping this to see if you installed these?
I definitely need to do mine over...I think being in the wrong orientation can cause some nice bushing "creak" when slow rolling and flexing the suspension. I only hear it when I do that. Anything high speed is fine, and stability is fine.

Just looking for an update and how the bushings sound/and are doing
 

03TDICommuter

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OP, bumping this to see if you installed these?
I definitely need to do mine over...I think being in the wrong orientation can cause some nice bushing "creak" when slow rolling and flexing the suspension. I only hear it when I do that. Anything high speed is fine, and stability is fine.

Just looking for an update and how the bushings sound/and are doing
No, not yet. I've got another problem that I need to fix - screwed up glow plug threads in the head. Good news is that the back-tap arrived today AND it's a 3 day weekend so I'll definitely get the GP fixed and maybe get the new bushings installed too. I'm going to mark the lowest vertical position on the swing arm bushing area and will install the Cupras with the elongation pointing to that mark.
 

kennyc24601

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hopefully this well help the next guy to do a similar install:

The Febi bushings with the BLACK caps are most definitely not solid/ 360degree symmetrical. Image below with black plastic caps removed (theyre just friction fit around the inner metal bushing). The grease filling the empty space was put there by the manufacturer.

The jury is out as to whether they should be oriented with the lower "fin" of the central hole pointing to the lower axle beam weld, or with the inner rubber connections (3 and 9oclock) parallel to the ground in the axle's resting position. FWIW I went with the former method based on the rubber position in the diagram linked in post #21 of this thread. The diagram in post #27 does not appear to be of a Mkiv jetta/golf rear axle.

 

KrashDH

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hopefully this well help the next guy to do a similar install:

The Febi bushings with the BLACK caps are most definitely not solid/ 360degree symmetrical. Image below with black plastic caps removed (theyre just friction fit around the inner metal bushing). The grease filling the empty space was put there by the manufacturer.

The jury is out as to whether they should be oriented with the lower "fin" of the central hole pointing to the lower axle beam weld, or with the inner rubber connections (3 and 9oclock) parallel to the ground in the axle's resting position. FWIW I went with the former method based on the rubber position in the diagram linked in post #21 of this thread. The diagram in post #27 does not appear to be of a Mkiv jetta/golf rear axle.

I'll be putting in my Cupra R bushings like post 27 next time.
 

Nuje

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I'll be putting in my Cupra R bushings like post 27 next time.
Yep - that's my plan as well. I have a set of the "solid" one (they might be Febi-Bilstein(?)) out in the garage, just waiting for some decent weather.
 

03TDICommuter

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hopefully this well help the next guy to do a similar install:

The Febi bushings with the BLACK caps are most definitely not solid/ 360degree symmetrical. Image below with black plastic caps removed (theyre just friction fit around the inner metal bushing). The grease filling the empty space was put there by the manufacturer.

The jury is out as to whether they should be oriented with the lower "fin" of the central hole pointing to the lower axle beam weld, or with the inner rubber connections (3 and 9oclock) parallel to the ground in the axle's resting position. FWIW I went with the former method based on the rubber position in the diagram linked in post #21 of this thread. The diagram in post #27 does not appear to be of a Mkiv jetta/golf rear axle.

THANK YOU! I was thinking of doing the same but too afraid to damage the ones I have. FWIW, if you think about it, the important direction to keeping the rear swing arm in place is the 'front to back' horizontal direction. Any unwanted change in that direction will cause the rear end thrust angle to change and will steer the rear end. With it installed as you have shown in your photo (the elongations in the center hole lining up and down) the the rear swing axle will be more rigidly attached to the car in the 'front to back' direction, yet be compliant in the 'up and down' direction which would isolate road vibration from the cabin better.

My thoughts anyways.

I wonder what purpose the grease serves. Maybe the bushing squeeks otherwise?
 

kennyc24601

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Yep - that's my plan as well. I have a set of the "solid" one (they might be Febi-Bilstein(?)) out in the garage, just waiting for some decent weather.
what color are the caps? If they are green, would you mind pulling the plastic off and sharing a picture of how the inside rubber is set up?
 

kennyc24601

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THANK YOU! I was thinking of doing the same but too afraid to damage the ones I have. FWIW, if you think about it, the important direction to keeping the rear swing arm in place is the 'front to back' horizontal direction. Any unwanted change in that direction will cause the rear end thrust angle to change and will steer the rear end. With it installed as you have shown in your photo (the elongations in the center hole lining up and down) the the rear swing axle will be more rigidly attached to the car in the 'front to back' direction, yet be compliant in the 'up and down' direction which would isolate road vibration from the cabin better.

My thoughts anyways.

I wonder what purpose the grease serves. Maybe the bushing squeeks otherwise?
That was my rationale as well - I installed based on placement of the rubber and only used the elongations in the center hole as a reference point during the press operation. I kept the caps off during bushing installation for clearance and accidental-damage avoidance reasons; put them back in by hand afterwards.

I think its also important to observe that the installed bushings are, by design of the axle, not in-line with each other. Having the "pitch" angle of the internal rubber wings (3 & 9oclock in my above picture) not be parallel with the ground will also help to control the "roll" angle of the axle assy.

No idea about the grease - maybe to displace contaminants? But I dont recall seeing any similar grease on OEM metal-housed Mkiv bushings.
 

03TDICommuter

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No idea about the grease - maybe to displace contaminants? But I dont recall seeing any similar grease on OEM metal-housed Mkiv bushings.
I went back and look at post #27 and the Cupra Leon installation instructions do say the grease is for noise.

So question - you don't have the wings parallel to the ground?
 

PakProtector

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The old bushings come out really easily if an air hammer equipped with a bushing splitter chisel is used. Soooopah easy. Beam still in the car, just dropped enough to get it free of its mounts. Brake lines at the pivot are taken out of their perches; a clip on one side and a bolt on the other. I sweated this forever, did it with a regular chisel, and then got a bushing splitter...Nooooo problemo!
cheers,
Douglas
 

KrashDH

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I went back and look at post #27 and the Cupra Leon installation instructions do say the grease is for noise.

So question - you don't have the wings parallel to the ground?
I still think post #27 would be the correct way to install the Cupra bushings. But now I'm back to not knowing what's right again.
Hopefully at some point we can put this to bed with the appropriate way that Cupra R bushings should be installed.
 

kennyc24601

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I went back and look at post #27 and the Cupra Leon installation instructions do say the grease is for noise.

So question - you don't have the wings parallel to the ground?

Its also important to note that the bushing's orientation will change twice after installation into the axle; once when the axle is raised back into the bracket, and once more when the car is lowered under its own weight. Right now with the car on the ground, (14.5" from wheel center to top of wheel arch), the wings on the drivers side point to ~8 & 2 oclock
 

KrashDH

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Its also important to note that the bushing's orientation will change twice after installation into the axle; once when the axle is raised back into the bracket, and once more when the car is lowered under its own weight. Right now with the car on the ground, (14.5" from wheel center to top of wheel arch), the wings on the drivers side point to ~8 & 2 oclock
How does this make sense?
The bushing should not be changing orientation related to the way that it is pressed in the axle. This would mean that it's spinning in the housing, which it is not. Your axle will rotate, the bushing isn't going to rotate relative to the axle. It will flex when there is articulation yes, but you'll likely not ever see that. Are you referring to the flex that the voids allow when dropped on the ground? Even so I wouldn't think you would see and "rotation" to the axle visually. It should be minimal.

Also, what's your argument (I like to hear all sides) for not installing the Cupra bushing the way it's supposed to be installed (on a car they came on) in post 27? It would seem that you have them installed per our FSM but that applies to the design of the OEM bushing...not the Cupra design.
 

Nuje

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That was pretty much my question: The bushings are pressed in relative to the position of the welds on the axle beam (or as the instructions say "oblong hole...should remain perpendicular to the longitudinal shaft").
The welds (and centre line of the "longitudinal shaft" which that arrow is pointing to) don't move. The bushings don't move. So while the bushing's orientation might change relative to level / ground (which is the only "change" I can imagine might be referencing), that's irrelevant.
 

KrashDH

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That was pretty much my question: The bushings are pressed in relative to the position of the welds on the axle beam (or as the instructions say "oblong hole...should remain perpendicular to the longitudinal shaft").
The welds (and centre line of the "longitudinal shaft" which that arrow is pointing to) don't move. The bushings don't move. So while the bushing's orientation might change relative to level / ground (which is the only "change" I can imagine might be referencing), that's irrelevant.
Yup.
I have the Cupra R. Mine are making noise. They are not installed per above (and are 90* out from the "official" OEM installation...)
 

kennyc24601

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How does this make sense?
The bushing should not be changing orientation related to the way that it is pressed in the axle. This would mean that it's spinning in the housing, which it is not. Your axle will rotate, the bushing isn't going to rotate relative to the axle. It will flex when there is articulation yes, but you'll likely not ever see that. Are you referring to the flex that the voids allow when dropped on the ground? Even so I wouldn't think you would see and "rotation" to the axle visually. It should be minimal.
I used confusing phrasing in my previous post. The bushing doesnt change orientation in relation to the axle; only in relation to the ground. The whole axle changes angle once installed/load bearing. This was me (unsucessfully) trying to communicate the point that the axle should be the only reference point when installing the bushing, not any relative position to the ground or rest of the car.

Also, what's your argument (I like to hear all sides) for not installing the Cupra bushing the way it's supposed to be installed (on a car they came on) in post 27? It would seem that you have them installed per our FSM but that applies to the design of the OEM bushing...not the Cupra design.
The black-cap Cupra bushing (picture in post#36) is fundamentally the same design as the OEM Jetta bushing - 180 degree opposed rubber "wings" with voids at right angles. The rubber compound may be different and there is more rubber, but the flex direction is (in my mind) intended to be the same.
 

kennyc24601

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That was pretty much my question: The bushings are pressed in relative to the position of the welds on the axle beam (or as the instructions say "oblong hole...should remain perpendicular to the longitudinal shaft").
The welds (and centre line of the "longitudinal shaft" which that arrow is pointing to) don't move. The bushings don't move. So while the bushing's orientation might change relative to level / ground (which is the only "change" I can imagine might be referencing), that's irrelevant.
I think a more relevant reference point would be an imaginary straight line between the center of the bushing and the center of the wheel hub. The Jetta rear arm arcs quite a bit, therefore appears to use the bottom weld as a friendly reference point. What shape is the arm on a CupraR? I havent been able to find any images of it.

Also note that the Cupra R arm in the above diagram appears to have welds situated 180degrees from each other; the Jetta swingarm welds appear to be closer to 120degrees apart
 

Nuje

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Ahhh - right. Excellent point. I haven't specifically taken a look at the bushing / axle on my car recently, since diving into this.
Here's diagram of the Leon (from this page), which seems to match up well with that line drawing posted above:
(No guarantee that this is from the Leon Mk1, which is the VW Mk4 equivalent)
 

03TDICommuter

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Not sure if this helps at all (me not ever having done rear bushings), but here's what the manual says:
Okay, I finally did this job, and it was a piece of cake due to the originals also having a plastic shell. I sawzall'd the rubber so I could take out the center piece and was surprised how thick the shell was. Realized it was plastic, and with the sawzall I cut two slots, removed a strip of plastic and the old bushing popped out easily.

Installing the Cupras, I used a silver sharpie and striped my bushings where the mold line was on the outer surface as that aligned with the elongations in the center of the bushing. That made it easy to align the strip with the bottom weld location like in the photo above. I then applied the thinnest wipe of silicone grease on the first 1" of the bushing and the inside of the trailing arm. I used couple of pieces of 2x4's, drilled them both and countersunk one to make room for the bushing to come through, used some big metal plates, washers, and 7/16" threaded rod. The bushings pulled in straight and fully installed. Note, I did remove the black end off the Cupras so that I didn't have to counterbore the 2x4 as much, and reinstalled it when the trailing arm went back in.

I did NOT open up any of the brake lines - there was enough room after undoing the clips to drop the ends. I did re-attach the shocks to give me something to pivot down from.

Overall the job was 4 hours, but some of that was making the 2x4 blocks, and later counter boring one further once it had witness marks showing where I had to remove material. Having an air-ratchet and a deep socket made short work of pulling in the new bushings.

I haven't gone for a ride yet - will tomorrow. The original bushings were still in very good condition so I don't think that's the reason for the nervous feeling on the freeway.



 
Last edited:

KrashDH

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Okay, I finally did this job, and it was a piece of cake due to the originals also having a plastic shell. I sawzall'd the rubber so I could take out the center piece and was surprised how thick the shell was. Realized it was plastic, and with the sawzall I cut two slots, removed a strip of plastic and the old bushing popped out easily.

Installing the Cupras, I used a silver sharpie and striped my bushings where the mold line was on the outer surface as that aligned with the elongations in the center of the bushing. That made it easy to align the strip with the bottom weld location like in the photo above. I then applied the thinnest wipe of silicone grease on the first 1" of the bushing and the inside of the trailing arm. I used couple of pieces of 2x4's, drilled them both and countersunk one to make room for the bushing to come through, used some big metal plates, washers, and 7/16" threaded rod. The bushings pulled in straight and fully installed. Note, I did remove the black end off the Cupras so that I didn't have to counterbore the 2x4 as much, and reinstalled it when the trailing arm went back in.

I did NOT open up any of the brake lines - there was enough room after undoing the clips to drop the ends. I did re-attach the shocks to give me something to pivot down from.

Overall the job was 4 hours, but some of that was making the 2x4 blocks, and later counter boring one further once it had witness marks showing where I had to remove material. Having an air-ratchet and a deep socket made short work of pulling in the new bushings.

I haven't gone for a ride yet - will tomorrow. The original bushings were still in very good condition so I don't think that's the reason for the nervous feeling on the freeway.



Thank you for the update. So you kept the shocks attached just so the beam could rotate about them?
That's good that you didn't have to remove the brake lines as well. Next time I do these I'm going to leave everything on the car instead of removing it like I did the first time. Gives me some hope that I have the cupra's in there now they should be easy to remove.

Please update when you get some miles on them. I think mine being installed clocked incorrectly seem to be noisy...
 

Nuje

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I did NOT open up any of the brake lines - there was enough room after undoing the clips to drop the ends. I did re-attach the shocks to give me something to pivot down from.
Never having done the job (and not having the car in front of me to picture everything, what was the order of operations - something like this?
1. Remove lower shock bolt
2. Remove spring
3. Unclip brake lines
4. Reinstall lower shock bolt
5. Remove bushing bolt(s)
6. Remove old one, install new one, then "reverse of removal" putting it back together?

Do you have to drop both sides to gain access to the first bushing to replace?
 

03TDICommuter

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KrashDH - yes. I didn't know where the center of gravity was. I was afraid that if I put my floor jack under the center beam portion, that the rotors end would drop down and the axle would pivot the wrong way. I was working by myself and didn't want to screw things up. Also figured it would be more controlled as I was stressing the brake lines. Note that my shocks were recently replaced and therefore still had their nitrogen gas charge. If your shocks are dead, I don't know how successful it'll be to use them. Still should help though.

Nuje - close.
1- Jacked up rear of car by jacking up at the lower spring seat portion of the axle. This was so I could put jack stands on the pinch weld and frame rail with a 2x4 on each side. Removed tires. ( I own two floor jacks FWIW.)
2- lowered car onto jackstands but still had the springs somewhat compressed on the floor jacks.
3- unclipped parking brake cables and ABS cables and moved them out of the way.
4- undid lower shock bolts
5- lowered axle until I could get the springs out.
6- raised it back up to re-attach the shocks at their fully extended position
7- unclipped the hydraulic flex lines. The passenger side, there is small bracket you can remove to give even more space.
8- removed nut from the axle bushing bolts. The bushings were loaded so I couldn't remove the bolt.
9 - raised the axle at the spring seat location until I could get the bushing bolts out. This position was about where the axle would normally sit.
10 - Lower each side, carefully looking at the hydraulic lines and helping them through the brackets if needed.
11 - work on bushings.

The right side was easier due to that one small flex line bracket you can unbolt. Both sides, you do have to fight with limited clearance from the hangers the bushings bolt to. That's why my 2x4 blocks got chopped into a round shape from the square shape they originally were. To clear the flex line, and the hanger brackets AND feed the bushing in straight, took turning the wooden block until it cleared it all.

Putting the axle back in consisted of wiggling and jacking the axle back up, using the shocks to help pivot against.

If my bushings had a metal shell, I likely would have wished I removed the axle. Since they were plastic, and the replacements were plastic shelled too and the wooden blocks worked so well, I didn't need to swing a hammer at all.
 

KrashDH

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KrashDH - yes. I didn't know where the center of gravity was. I was afraid that if I put my floor jack under the center beam portion, that the rotors end would drop down and the axle would pivot the wrong way. I was working by myself and didn't want to screw things up. Also figured it would be more controlled as I was stressing the brake lines. Note that my shocks were recently replaced and therefore still had their nitrogen gas charge. If your shocks are dead, I don't know how successful it'll be to use them. Still should help though.

Nuje - close.
1- Jacked up rear of car by jacking up at the lower spring seat portion of the axle. This was so I could put jack stands on the pinch weld and frame rail with a 2x4 on each side. Removed tires. ( I own two floor jacks FWIW.)
2- lowered car onto jackstands but still had the springs somewhat compressed on the floor jacks.
3- unclipped parking brake cables and ABS cables and moved them out of the way.
4- undid lower shock bolts
5- lowered axle until I could get the springs out.
6- raised it back up to re-attach the shocks at their fully extended position
7- unclipped the hydraulic flex lines. The passenger side, there is small bracket you can remove to give even more space.
8- removed nut from the axle bushing bolts. The bushings were loaded so I couldn't remove the bolt.
9 - raised the axle at the spring seat location until I could get the bushing bolts out. This position was about where the axle would normally sit.
10 - Lower each side, carefully looking at the hydraulic lines and helping them through the brackets if needed.
11 - work on bushings.

The right side was easier due to that one small flex line bracket you can unbolt. Both sides, you do have to fight with limited clearance from the hangers the bushings bolt to. That's why my 2x4 blocks got chopped into a round shape from the square shape they originally were. To clear the flex line, and the hanger brackets AND feed the bushing in straight, took turning the wooden block until it cleared it all.

Putting the axle back in consisted of wiggling and jacking the axle back up, using the shocks to help pivot against.

If my bushings had a metal shell, I likely would have wished I removed the axle. Since they were plastic, and the replacements were plastic shelled too and the wooden blocks worked so well, I didn't need to swing a hammer at all.
Thanks for that. Ya I yanked my axle last time because I figured mine were going to be metal, and they were. This time they won't be.
 

Nuje

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1- Jacked up rear of car by jacking up at the lower spring seat portion of the axle. This was so I could put jack stands on the pinch weld and frame rail with a 2x4 on each side. Removed tires. ( I own two floor jacks FWIW.)
2- lowered car onto jackstands but still had the springs somewhat compressed on the floor jacks.
3- unclipped parking brake cables and ABS cables and moved them out of the way.
4- undid lower shock bolts
5- lowered axle until I could get the springs out.
6- raised it back up to re-attach the shocks at their fully extended position
7- unclipped the hydraulic flex lines. The passenger side, there is small bracket you can remove to give even more space.
8- removed nut from the axle bushing bolts. The bushings were loaded so I couldn't remove the bolt.
9 - raised the axle at the spring seat location until I could get the bushing bolts out. This position was about where the axle would normally sit.
10 - Lower each side, carefully looking at the hydraulic lines and helping them through the brackets if needed.
11 - work on bushings.

The right side was easier due to that one small flex line bracket you can unbolt. Both sides, you do have to fight with limited clearance from the hangers the bushings bolt to. That's why my 2x4 blocks got chopped into a round shape from the square shape they originally were. To clear the flex line, and the hanger brackets AND feed the bushing in straight, took turning the wooden block until it cleared it all.

Putting the axle back in consisted of wiggling and jacking the axle back up, using the shocks to help pivot against.

If my bushings had a metal shell, I likely would have wished I removed the axle. Since they were plastic, and the replacements were plastic shelled too and the wooden blocks worked so well, I didn't need to swing a hammer at all.
Awesome! I appreciate the details. 👍
 

03TDICommuter

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Please update when you get some miles on them. I think mine being installed clocked incorrectly seem to be noisy...
First 100 mile commute today with the new rear bushings. Left the house in the morning and headed out to fill up the tank. On the way I drove over a couple of good sized bumps (railroad tracks and later a dip) and the suspension in the rear made a noise like a dry sway bar bushing. Every other jostle on the way was quiet. Filled up with 14.5 gallons of diesel, drove away and for the rest of the trip to work and back - no noise from the rear. I tightened the rear bushings bolt with the weight of the car on its tires, but with an empty fuel tank and no driver. Once I burn through half this tank, I'll have the wife sit in the car and I'll loosen those bolts and re-tighten them to get the bushing to relax in that position.

The drive itself? Definitely tighter in the rear. Freeway nervousness is reduced. I think it was also more stable in a cross wind but I'm not 100% sure. It was definitely windy today in parts but not consistently so. There is a little more road harshness transmitted inside, but marginally so. The rear end feels very planted now, highlighting that the front end is less so, even with the TT bushings in the front. Undulations in the road feel more controlled in dampening too. Steering feels a little more precise.

So overall I'm happy. The original noise at the start only happened twice and no more.

Regarding nervousness on the freeway, that still there but less so - could just be my tires. They're brand new, TALL tread (Pirelli P4's), maybe they're just tracking road irregularities. I'm going to replace the sway bar bushings, probably the front bushings on the lower control arms too. I know the ball joints and inner and outer tie rod ends are good - not much left to change in the front.
 
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