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I've never seen shock bushings available separately (doesn't mean they're not out there) and I don't think I've ever seen the bushings destroyed before the shocks themselves were gone on a street car (again, doesn't mean it can't happen)- are you sure it's the bushings that are the problem?  Shock absorbers for these things are cheap enough that when people have trouble with shocks they just replace the whole unit.  Sorry, I don't remember the details of your car- how old are the shocks?

If you do pinpoint it as bushings, maybe try an off road supply place- McKenzie's would be a good bet- and see what they have.  The only issue I can think of is replacements will probably be some kind of hard plastic/urethane (instead of rubber) and possibly be noisier?

Hope this helps.  Al

Last edited by ALB

I’m not sure if that’s the problem. The car is 9 years young and has 1200 miles on it. I just don’t like the noise that it makes. Sounds like something is loose. I did jack it up the back and tightened everything I could get to. Took off the sway bar to see if that was the problem (still made the noise after I removed the sway bar). Reinstalled the sway bar. Any other thoughts on the noise?

Does the car have a sway bar in the front? Post a picture of the sway bar if you would. We've seen many of the front sway bars installed either upside down or correctly but there weren't any clearance cuts made on the bumper brackets for when the sway bar is under load. If there aren't any clearance cuts made every time the front end gets loaded up the sway moves up and it hits the bumper brackets.


Popee, I don't recall who built your car or what kind of rear brakes you have, but I had a problem on my brand new 2013 VS, with the rear EMPI disc brakes that get installed on a lot of our cars.

The e-brake return spring was interfering with the frame of the car and a fiberglass panel attached to it. After only about an inch of suspension travel, that spring was contacting the frame and stopping any further travel. You could see the wear marks on the frame where the spring was hitting:


Our fix was to notch the frame and panel, and to weld in a countersunk reinforcement.

This may not be what's causing your problem, but it's something to check.



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  • BrakeRub03

Is this an IRS car?  If it is a swing-arm, the rear axles are enclosed in tubes from the transaxle to the wheel hub.  

If not and it's IRS, you should have modern drive axles at the rear with a pair of CV joints on each side.  If so, then there should be a big diagonal arm going from the wheel hub to the frame on either side of the transmission front mount.  Those diagonal mount points have a big (17mm?) hex-socket bolt holding the arm to the chassis.  Both of those bolts need to be tight ( 87 ft. lbs. ) and you peen the surrounding metal over onto the bolt head into one of the edge slots to lock them in.

If either of those bolts is loose it will klunk going over bumps and sound a lot like a loose sway bar mount.

If you have a swing-arm rear suspension, then none of this applies.

The front transaxle mount wants to move up on acceleration so try moving the front oh the transaxle up and/or down using a long pry bar.  If they're loose or broken you'll be able to easily move it up and down.

Any way you could get a photo of the suspension and whether or not you have a triangulated Kafer brace back there?

You could also have a clicking shock that might have lost it's prime.  Find a place, like the entry to your driveway, that consistently makes the noise and figure out how to cause it.  Completely remove one shock and go over that driveway entry to see if the noise is still there.  If yes, remove the other shock and try it again.  If still noisy at least you know it's not the shocks!

@Popee posted:

Does the connection of the shock to the sway bar bushings look correct? A

@Popee posted:

This is how it was done when I got the car. I thought this was all wrong.

I think we went over this recently. If it has a swing axle, there should not be a rear swaybar at all. Period.

Take it off and install a camber compensator.

As far as your noise - if you think it's coming from the area of the nosecone, it's probably coming from the area of the nosecone. Replace the front motor mount.

Last edited by Stan Galat

I cannot recommend a shop near you.  I thought someone would recommend Anthony out your way, but I believe that he's hours away from you.  Maybe another SoCal member can help with a closer shop.

So first, the bad news:  There is not enough clearance between the body and the rear torsion bar cover to remove the bar in order to replace the rubber bushings.

Now, the good news:  You can pull the bar out far enough to remove the old bushings by cutting them like a big "C" and pop them right off.  Then, you cut the new bushings cleanly so that they open up like a "C" as well, open them around the bar then glue them together with Super Glue (I'm not kidding) and position them such that the glued separation is at either 3 or 9 o'clock and push them home.  I did this back in 2008 and they've been great ever since.

All of that is covered in this post from 2008:

You'll need to buy an inner and outer bushing.  Please try to find German ones.  Yes, they're twice the price of Asian copies, but they'll last a long time and they're made right.

You should buy the bushings and give them to your mechanic so you know what's in there.  German ones should cost about $10 bucks each so $20/side.  Do both sides, too, because the other side is probably loose, too.

Good luck, Popee!

@Robert M posted:

The round discs are just for looks. They're not actually cut all the way through the body.

(Except in a tube-frame IM, where they are and they work to get the torsion bars out)

Pacific Customs has Delrin bushings, which I've used successfully for years after the rubber ones broke down and squeaked.

^ that's a link to the page of parts you want.

Last edited by Stan Galat


Yeah, Gordon, Popee is about 450 miles from Tony's shop — about as far as you are from, say, Richmond, VA. The wild thing is that, if he missed the turn for Tony's, he could keep going another 250 miles and still be in California. For more than one reason, this is a hard place to leave.

Popee, why not call the good folks at VM and see if they have time to work on your car? If not, they can probably recommend someone in your neighborhood. Or contact your local VW club for ideas about nearby shops.


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