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Suspension refresh - how to torque under load


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#1 goldie_88

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Posted 20 January 2021 - 02:25 PM

Hi all

 

I'm doing a complete suspension refresh on my MK4 estate - new struts, balljoints and bushings etc. Most shop-people on youtube tend to use a transmission jack to load a corner of the suspension before torquing, to prevent binding and premature bushing failure. I'm just curious if this is the way most people are doing it?

 

I know the rear axle bushings and dampers should be torqued with about 80 kg (one person) in the boot, and I'll probably be able to reach these bolts with the car on the ground. But for the front bolts I'm not so sure. Isn't it a bit inaccurate to eyeball the load with a transmission jack? I guess I could measure the distance from the wishbone to the strut tower for instance, and try to approximate this distance when loading. But it would be interesting to know how people are doing this..?

 

Regards from Norway

 

Car: VW Golf 2002 Estate, AZD

 

 




#2 northpole

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Posted 20 January 2021 - 03:17 PM

I never torque under load, i just torque the lot up how it is when the car is up and just hanging in the air...  than drive the car for a few days, than jack it up and re-torue the lot... never had a problem doing it that way... and my mk4 golf i actually driven for 400k miles myself, and all the suspension bushes bolts springs shocks top mounts etc had all been changed by my own hands... never ever had a problem with the tracking .. the car went to the scrappy at 470+k miles because it needed to much bodywork engine wise it was still going strong. 



#3 adam-

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Posted 20 January 2021 - 04:51 PM

The above is the incorrect way to do it, but I've also done it this way and never had an issue.  Was then told to torque at height which makes sense - as the bush will have been turned to where its naturally and then with further compression will angle + and with bumps/lift it'll angle -.

 

Just lift it with a jack and it'll be reet.


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#4 northpole

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Posted 21 January 2021 - 08:33 AM

jup it isn't the right way hence the reason to re-torque a few days later when the stuff is settled... but i prefer it that way anyway, why you ask? well I've been under a car before and had to use so much force to get something loose the car almost tipped of the axle stands, while i'm still under it... so yeah i rather not temp faith... if you are using a bridge however than by all means use a gearbox jack  as that is the way to do it... if not use the above.. hell you don't even need to torque it to manufacturers spec at first anyway, set it down push the car down in the corners or have someone  sitting in the boot for a few minutes jack it up and torque it down... stuff will be at the right angles and once torqued down won't move again. 

 

As @adam- rightly stated it isn't the right way of doing it but it is a safer way of going about it if you don't have access to a bridge, pit or 2 poster lift.  



#5 adam-

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Posted 21 January 2021 - 04:57 PM

I've also never torqued any suspension bolt to spec so meh, we're not perfect.


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#6 Bandit127

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Posted 21 January 2021 - 06:34 PM

Mk 4 Cortina rear axle bushes would last about 3 months if you tightened them up with the axle hanging. The middle of the movement range in the bush needs to be in the middle of the movement range of the axle. More loading is not more better. Lesson learned - expensively, they were a PIA to do.







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