suspension maintenance for MK7 Golf TDI

allenazali

Active member
Joined
Apr 7, 2015
Location
Los Angeles
TDI
2015 Golf manual
Hello All,

I have a great MK7 TDI with 72,000 miles. From my understanding this TDI engine is a runner and I was intending to get some serious high mileage out of my EA288.

One maintenance aspect about these cars is that the engine can last forever, but the suspension is also susceptible to failure and also needs regular upkeep, specifically the rubber bushings and strut mounts, possibly the lower control arm and ball joint assembly. I am all about preventative maintenance. So far browsing the internet car parts website show that these rubber parts are fairly affordable. One problem I already encountered is that the bushings for TDI are TDI specific and bushings for Golf gasser will not fit the TDI. CarID has verified this with manufacturer Lemfoerder.

I live in a sprawled out urban city and the roads are in pretty poor shape. At 72,000 I am already hearing some creaking. My VW mechanic says it just needs lube, like WD-40 or silicone. These sprays won't last a year in out door parking. I started looking around on the web and others are suggesting a red paste.

So, my question is...

At my 80K service interval, I am planning to put in Alltrack springs to give my car subtle lift. While the mechanic has everything open, what do you guys suggest I switch out?

I was thinking simply replacing the rubber bushings and strut mounts along with the new springs.

Do you guys have any other angles or approaches at suspension maintenance? My mechanic is a great VW specialist, but for my TDI, I like to have all my parts pre-purchased (including motor oil from IdParts, but that is a whole different topic) to make it easier for him to install. I would appreciate any websites suggestions where I can order these parts.
 
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Jbwoo

Active member
Joined
Oct 28, 2018
Location
Kingston WA
TDI
15 GSW 06 Jetta BRM
Shocks at the same time. Spenders choice. Probably will have to be the same as the Alltrack due to length to match the springs properly.
 

allenazali

Active member
Joined
Apr 7, 2015
Location
Los Angeles
TDI
2015 Golf manual
Shock replacement

I believe the Alltrack and Golf have similar shock specs at 55mm. Unless my current shocks are shot, I probably wont be replacing them.
 

Cuzoe

Veteran Member
Joined
May 24, 2017
Location
Los Angeles
TDI
MK7 Golf S
I believe Golf TDI has 50mm shocks, like the Golf TSI... Alltrack should get the 55 mm like the GTI/R. Not saying you can't switch springs because some people have already done it. Just something to keep in mind.

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allenazali

Active member
Joined
Apr 7, 2015
Location
Los Angeles
TDI
2015 Golf manual
shock diameter

Can you explain how replacing the shock from 50mm to 55mm would affect the ride quality on a 1.5 to 2 inch lift? If I have existing 50mm shocks 55mm shocks wouldn't fit.

I am sure there are folks that don't mind putting in the money for upgraded suspension, but I'm looking for longevity and durability.
 
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Cuzoe

Veteran Member
Joined
May 24, 2017
Location
Los Angeles
TDI
MK7 Golf S
You won't notice anything with ride quality I don't think. It's just a bigger diameter, likely to do with potentially increased stress on suspension components due to a higher-performing (and heavier in the case of the Alltrack/R) vehicle.

Like you said, the 55mm won't fit so you would also need to replace your steering knuckles. I don't think there's anything to gain from going to 55 and I haven't heard of anyone having issues with steering knuckles due to lift. That being said you would be looking for an edge case scenario to find someone with a lifted Mk7 that could also comment on longevity. I wouldn't be concerned about the body of the strut as much as the increased travel of the piston. The "remedy" for that, if it's actually a problem, haven't done any research, could just be replacing them at shorter intervals.

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740GLE

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 19, 2009
Location
NH
TDI
2015 Passat SEL, 2017 Alltrack SE; BB 2010 Sedan Man; 2012 Passat,
You won't notice anything with ride quality I don't think. It's just a bigger diameter, likely to do with potentially increased stress on suspension components due to a higher-performing (and heavier in the case of the Alltrack/R) vehicle.

Like you said, the 55mm won't fit so you would also need to replace your steering knuckles. I don't think there's anything to gain from going to 55 and I haven't heard of anyone having issues with steering knuckles due to lift. That being said you would be looking for an edge case scenario to find someone with a lifted Mk7 that could also comment on longevity. I wouldn't be concerned about the body of the strut as much as the increased travel of the piston. The "remedy" for that, if it's actually a problem, haven't done any research, could just be replacing them at shorter intervals.

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alimunum vs steel, 55mm are slightly lighter, but hardly anyone would notice the difference.

Also the GTI uses the 55mm and is lighter than a TDI.
 

allenazali

Active member
Joined
Apr 7, 2015
Location
Los Angeles
TDI
2015 Golf manual
Is there is an economic advantage to replacing the bushings and joint rather than an entire control arm swap? For a little extra, I suppose replacing the CV boot is feasible.

Done right at 80k, my thinking is you won’t have to worry about any of this again until +150k.
Going to Costco to do a rotation, Ill ask if I can inspect the suspension and see where I’m at.
 
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Cuzoe

Veteran Member
Joined
May 24, 2017
Location
Los Angeles
TDI
MK7 Golf S
I knew the GTI was lighter but from what I could recall the Golf R/Alltrack were slightly heavier. And yes to everything except the TDI having aluminum knuckles. Someone on the golfmk7 forum put steel knuckles on their mk7 Golf R in order to run 17z brembos (or maybe 18z). So I imagine OP could switch to aluminum knuckles if they wanted to run 55mm struts but I can't think of how it would be worth it.

To the OP... I haven't looked at what control arms cost on the Mk7 but when replacing control arms with stock on my past vehicles I bought new instead of replacing the bushings, mostly out of laziness as was also doing the work myself and didn't want to deal with pressing them out. If that's something you don't mind or a shop is doing the work you can definitely save some money and just get bushings. You can buy new OEM front and rear bushing for less than $30 per side from the dealer. Are you going with upgraded bushings or just replacing?

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allenazali

Active member
Joined
Apr 7, 2015
Location
Los Angeles
TDI
2015 Golf manual
Ernesto at VW DTLA provided a parts list and quantities. I should have asked him for an estimate of bolts because, other guys on the web were saying because they are torque specific they’re only good for one time use. I have not talked to my local mechanic about it. If he doesn’t have a torque wrench or knows what torque to dial in, whats the point? I’d have to just call it good and hope for the best.
 

740GLE

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 19, 2009
Location
NH
TDI
2015 Passat SEL, 2017 Alltrack SE; BB 2010 Sedan Man; 2012 Passat,
Time vs parts, an age old quandry, if you are doing the work bushings are cheap if the shop is doing the work their time is gold.

Check out ECS they have fully built poly front control arms pretty darn cheap (250ish?) not sure of their quality bushings.

Also people have been throwing huge (600mm or something stupid) two piece rotors with 18 pot mono block calipers on 55 knuckles.
 

Cuzoe

Veteran Member
Joined
May 24, 2017
Location
Los Angeles
TDI
MK7 Golf S
Check out ECS they have fully built poly front control arms pretty darn cheap (250ish?) not sure of their quality bushings.

Also people have been throwing huge (600mm or something stupid) two piece rotors with 18 pot mono block calipers on 55 knuckles.
The two times bushings were due on my Mk4 I bought the fully built arms (from ECS iirc) because they were relatively cheap. But I checked for the Mk7 and the only full arms they sell are Superpro aluminum for $500+. And various upgraded bushings. Weirdly they don't even list fully stock control arms.

Whiteline aluminium control arms (KTA262) can be found on Amazon for under $400, they advertise a couple degrees of added caster. If you're going to replace the whole arm and not just the bushings these will cost you about the same as stock. KTA252 is available as well, more money and less caster.

How about 6 piston mono block calipers on 50mm knuckles, they fill out a 17" quite nicely [emoji51]


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allenazali

Active member
Joined
Apr 7, 2015
Location
Los Angeles
TDI
2015 Golf manual
control arm

Thanks, I'll probably will get the installation kits #2917980 (nuts and bolts from ECS)

IDParts had Control Arms (Spidan) great price. IDParts, Alltrack springs were slightly less than what I paid.

Ball Joints affordable, but had a $50 range, Lemforder pricing being in the middle, others have mentioned their parts are pretty good.

The Mercedes forums recommended to simply replace the entire Control Arm for suspension maintenance. This sounds like a good idea if after "x" amount of miles if they're bent of shape from steep drive way cutouts or 5 mph speedbumps.

For the thrifty, you could save a few dollars replacing the bushings and ball joint, and have enough money to replace the CV boot or perhaps the CV joint. Shopping around, changing the axle seems like big job. Changing the angle of the axle seems like it would put stress on the CV joint. IDParts had a promotion on CV Joint Kits (GKN), but I don't see it on their site anymore.
 
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