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Rpmayne

Changing VR6 rear axle bushes

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I've just ordered some new bushes from VW along with complete front wishbones for an overhall after some skippy handling.

 

After reading though some older posts I noticed the brake compensation valve being mentioned as a problem on the VR6 in particular. I really just want to know what's involved / tools required to change these rear bushes. So far;

 

1. Disconnect brake lines from axle

2. Drop rear axle and massacre the old bushes until they come out (drill, hacksaw etc).

3. ....

 

Refitting, can i just use a g-clamp and something to cover the other side of the housing? Is there a certain orientation they should go in? What's the brake compensation valve problems all about? Just trying to weigh up whether its going to be better to get the garage to do the back (£80ish labour).

 

Thanks for any help.

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As I understand it, the problem with the brake compensator is that the mounting bolts, which hold it onto the beam, are prone to seizing. This necessitates destruction of the compensator to release the axle.

 

I think you would be fortunate to get away with £80 labour; I have been quoted more like £200.

 

I believe someone on here made up a special press, using some steel plates and threaded bar, to draw the bushes into the mountings.

 

You need to orient the mounting brackets at the correct angle (12.5 degrees IIRC) to obtain the passive steering effect of the rear axle.

 

Please let us know how you get on - this is one of my "jobs to do" as well - especially if you get away with £80 labour !!

 

Best wishes

 

RB

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The £80 is based on what I was charged for them to fit the mk2 golfs ones on my last car. Get quite good rates though as hes seen alot of work from me over the years.

 

Cheers for the info, will take some studding and bits of gauge plate home just incase to make something similar. Not sure how to get the 12.5deg, maybe mark up where the old ones were if not too fecked and refit to suit.

 

Might invest in a blow torch for that bolt. Heard that unit can cost £100.00. :(

 

Will let you know how it goes, next post probably in the wanted section for a complete second hand axle with bushes. :D

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£80 sounds like a bargain! You can triple that if they run into compensator valve issues as it means cutting it off the axle and then bleeding the brakes afterwards.

 

Stealth did mine in about 3 hours, including the gruesome compensator valve job. A new valve costs about £60 and have one on standby because you will probably need it.

 

The bush orientation is simple. They are ear shaped and the metal lobe points toward the front of the car (270 degrees). There are also markings on the rubber to assist alignment, but basically the two 'cut outs' in the bush that facilitate the passive steer need to be vertical.

They need to be pressed in so that the bush sits proud of the axle 8mm on the inboard side.

 

I would pay to have it done. It's a bar steward of a job on axle stands!

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I did mine at work a couple of week's ago and it was a bit of a bastard of a job i Iended up fitting a new load sensing valve as well as new braided hoses and steel pipe's while i was at it (main brake pipes and front pipe's as well),infact ther's only 2 pipes on the car that have'nt been replaced :shock:

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Yer, thought better of it at the weekend after attempting to change the wishbones. Sump side done in about an hour, other side took a day and a half (and still not complete). Front pivot bolt on that side was locked solid and I managed to break it half way through the bush :mad: . The sub side one is more protected and came out fine. Teach me for using a 1m bar.

 

Anyhow, have ordered a new bolt and have got some long series drills and a tap to hopefully save the day. Quick question, can anyone confirm it is a 1.5mm pitch M12 bolt? VW describe it as M12x1.5x82 so I assume it is.

 

As for the rear bushes, that's booked in for thursday at the garage. :roll: The easy bit turned out a nightmare so not so willing to risk it now.

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Rich,

 

I have the VW specific rear axle bush removal and installation tool and will gladly carry out this task for you if you wish it.

Interested? Give me a call. At the moment i am replacing these bushes on a regular basis every week for my customers. Without this tool i can imagine the job to be as you all describe it so vividly!

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Would do mate but its not drivable now. 3 wheels sunday, 2 wheels today. Tried drilling out what was left of the front wishbone pivot bolt after jacking the gearbox out of the way to get a straight line in. To no avail, drill wondered and had to take the sub frame off last night to get it repaired. Found dropping that down a nightmare on your own with a bedside lamp and an AA maglite (when I could find where I kept leaving it). :x

 

Looks like a helicoil or welding and re-tapping are the options now. Or has anyone got a spare subframe for a couple of beers? :)

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I'm going ahead and attempting the rear axle anyway (used to things going worng now so nothing to loose), and have just read the bentley guide. It mentions the axle bushing must be pre-tensioned in the installation position. Any ideas what that means?

 

Also, this is my plan for removing all the connections before dropping the axle:

 

1. Take off handbrake clips and fixing clips on the axle, then pull back to clear axle.

2. Undo ABS sensors from hub and pull back to clear axle.

3. Undo brake pipes at joint on axle.

4. Undo brake compensator nut and bolt.

 

Looks like you have to remove the brake compensator to get the axle bolt out on that side. Does this all sound ok? Please correct me, got the car on stands now and going to start tonight if possible. (until the pub at 8 anyway)

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Bush retaining bolts (especially the front ones) should be torqued up when the car is on the ground, which is what they mean by preload.

 

1: No need.

2: Remove the rear seat benches and unplug the ABS wires there. You don't want to be messing with the hub connectors!

3: Yep

4: If you can get the bolts out without rounding the heads! Replace them with standard hex head bolts. Mark the spring and nut positions with tippex before removal.

 

Yep, the bias valve has to come off completely to do this job on the VR.

 

To remove the old bushes, drill out the the rubber. The drill bit will "chase" round the bush cut the rubber away from the metal. Hacksaw through the bush's metal casing in two places and then chisel out the shells.

 

Pressing in the new bushes will be fun but remember - bush "ear lobe" points to the engine and drift them in so that the bush sits 8mm proud on the inboard side of the axle.

 

Good luck

 

K

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Cheers kev. Tried to undo the ABS sensors at the hub, got the bolts out ok but the sensors weren't going anywhere. Will disconnect as you say.

 

I'm going to take the whole axle off and take it down to the garage where they can press the old ones out / new ones in. That's why I need to take the hand brake cables off. Hopefully save abit of time.

 

I've marked up the nut position on the compensator and it came off ok, not so sure about those allen key bolts. Had a quick go and they felt pretty stuck. Plenty more wd40 overnight will hopefully help. When I lowered the car I never got that compensator adjusted, something I'll have to remember when its all back together again.

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Glad I read this thread. I was going to get my local mechanic to do this next weekend. But since it seems a little specialised and the car is going to Stealth later in the month anyway, I'll ask Vince to take care of this.

If I use Powerflex bushes rather than VW ones. Is the job any more difficult? And will they make the ride much harsher?

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Bit of a resurrection, but as I used the page as research, don't see any harm.

 

I did my rear axle bushes a couple of weeks ago. Found it an okay job, however two things were issues - I couldn't remove the compensator valve...so I ended up cutting the n/s axle bush bolt off with a hacksaw and reverse fitting it. Note - I will be doing the rear brake pipes and the valve soon anyway, so will refit the bolt the 'correct way'.

 

The second issue was the tool I bought. I had the Sealey VS722 - Golf Mk4/A3. It did the job to a point, but would not pull the bush through far enough. I tried all sorts, but was not happening, mainly because the bush casing is bigger than the opening in the tool.

 

Solution? Carefully using an angle grinder, make a concave shape in the part where the bush goes when it pulls through - the pic should make it clear. I think the bush needs to be 8mm proud, and this is just a tad over 8mm - seats perfectly.

 

Hope this helps someone before they start the job!

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When doing axle are you meant to take it off with the mounting brackets still attached?

 

Just curious as i couldn't get one of the axle bush bolts out, it hits on the sill of the car. Get it off with a bit of help from a hammer.

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Ideally the brackets should remain in place. Finding someone who can realign the car once they have been removed is not as easy as it sounds. I'm thinking that you were hitting the sill because there was some weight on the bolt when you were trying to remove it, causing it to point upwards slightly. There is usually plenty of space to get the bolts out. So long as the the compensator is removed of course as per earlier posts.

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