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Adjustable front endlinks - HOW do mortals do this?

RS_MacD

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Chicago, IL
I had a big job on my hands yesterday by installing H&R OE Sport Springs and Bilstein B8s all round on my MK7 GTI.

I've had somewhat repetitive issues with "loose" feeling front suspension that's noisy and feels disconnected while going over rougher ground, so thought I would replace all four endlinks at the same time with SuperPro heavy duty badboys.

I did a piss poor job of installing them (car was loaded on front wheels but not level when I connected both lower fronts to the sway bar) and I was definitely wrestling to get them to fit in there so they are definitely under tension.

My question is, why would anyone want to do this while sane and of sound mind?

I've since learned that the car needs to be level and loaded on all four wheels, and you have to adjust them at this point while *under* the car. Then take the wheels off to tighten. Anyone got any tips and tricks for adjusting them while under the car? I've been (stupidly, I think) just turning the end bolts round to lengthen the end link, but should I be twisting the blue bit instead?

Any help definitely welcome! Going for alignment tomorrow and they are aware that adjustments need to be made (right now the car clunks like a b*tch from the front), but useful to have as much knowledge as possible.

(we won't talk about the inner M10 thread stripping on my rear endlinks at this point, that's another rant...)

Thanks!
Rich
 

parapraxis24

Vdubber
Location
PNW
Car(s)
MK7 Alltrack
Adjustable end links can be done with the wheels off, VW doesn’t do anything special with the front sway.
Use a floor jack to raise the hubs to ride height. The adjustable end links should be sized so that the studs are straight and aren’t binding on the bar. Lock the ends in place with the locking collars then torque the nuts to spec.
 

odessa.filez

Autocross Champion
Location
Roswell, GA
Car(s)
2016 GSW 1.8tsi auto
For the fronts:

attach one end. put car on the ground and allow it to settle.

Now turn steering wheel near full lock. This should allow access on one side of the car to put the endlink into the strut bracket. This also gives me room to torque it down. Repeat on other side of the car.
 

RS_MacD

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Chicago, IL
For the fronts:

attach one end. put car on the ground and allow it to settle.

Now turn steering wheel near full lock. This should allow access on one side of the car to put the endlink into the strut bracket. This also gives me room to torque it down. Repeat on other side of the car.
Unreal advice - helped me a lot last night!
I'll need to redo the driver's side as I don't think I need the spacer (and it's causing a slight clunk) but we're almost there!
 

odessa.filez

Autocross Champion
Location
Roswell, GA
Car(s)
2016 GSW 1.8tsi auto
Unreal advice - helped me a lot last night!
I'll need to redo the driver's side as I don't think I need the spacer (and it's causing a slight clunk) but we're almost there!
yep something I discovered accidentally. I often disconnect the front bar as it allows easier adjustment to camber plates (bar disconnected allows adjustment while lifting only one side of the car at a time).

I do something similar to make small adjustments to toe alignment. Cut the wheels hard to have clear access to the tie rods. Easy.
 

Hyperlite

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Vancouver
Question on this…I know the goal is to tighten the endlinks with weight on the suspension and no tension or preload on the endlink. Does the distance between the strut and front sway bar change when the wheel is at full lock? In other words, if you do the method above, and install at full lock, will there be a bit of preload on the endlink when the wheel is straight again? Or is it minimal and doesn’t matter?
 

DerHase

Autocross Champion
Location
Hampton Roads, VA
Car(s)
2019 GTI Rabbit
Question on this…I know the goal is to tighten the endlinks with weight on the suspension and no tension or preload on the endlink. Does the distance between the strut and front sway bar change when the wheel is at full lock? In other words, if you do the method above, and install at full lock, will there be a bit of preload on the endlink when the wheel is straight again? Or is it minimal and doesn’t matter?

Yes it changes considerably and the above was terrible advice since eliminating preload is literally the only reason to have adjustable end links.

IMO they’re not worth the hassle unless you have coilovers and first corner balanced the car. Lowering springs or stock springs then stock end links (or Moog equivalent) are perfectly fine.


Something else not mentioned is because adjustable link joints rotate top and bottom in relation to the middle)during adjustment), if you tighten both jam nuts up and you’re not in the middle of travel (wheels straight) then it’s going to force the adjustment lock nuts loose as soon as your turn the wheel one way or the other near lock. Best way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to make sure both ball joints are rocked fully in the same direction as you tighten the jam nuts.
 

DSC808

Autocross Champion
Location
HI State
Car(s)
2016 GTI SE MT
When I did mine I measured the distance from the wheel center to the fender arch. Also measure the height of the side skirt to ground with wheels on. Jacked car up, removed wheel. Used a 2nd jack to lift the hub until the center was the same distance. As you raise the hub, lower the jack point until the side skirt height is the same. Will probably need to do it slowly, raise hub a little, lower side, raise hub, etc... Need to be careful as this would lift the car off the original jack point. MAKE SURE THE CAR IS ON LEVEL GROUND.
Connected the top end of the end links. With Spulen adjustable end links I had them all the way in; you spin the center shaft and the ends extend (one side is reverse thread). Spin until the bottom bolt aligns with the sway bar bolt hole and goes in easy. Tighten all bolts and reverse.
Same for the other side.
IMG_9447.jpeg
 
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