Author Topic: "VWR 'Fast Road' Engine Mount + Powerflex Insert Bush - Review...." BY Johno  (Read 16388 times)

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Offline john_o

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this review is considered a follow on from Red Robins excellent review :
VWR Dogbone 'Fast Road' Engine Mount - Review....
please note RR's car is DSG

I suggest you read that first before continuing...........

are you comfy then I'll begin

Why
basically to stop engine movement in my manual 57 plate Edition 30!

From new I have complained to dealer that the engine movement is excessive.
I believe my car to have been deficient in this area from day 1
The dealer have on several occasions checked the car and maintained that my car is 'within spec'
I however was still not happy, and subsequent to remapping the stresses on my drivetrain increased.
I noticed excessive 'wheel hop' under wheelspin conditions and noticeable fore/aft movement
visually during rolling road days, and by feel whilst driving....
the icing on the cake was to finally arrive when the engine cover mounting points broke and my oil cap also split in half!

I had previously fitted the ECS insert as an affordable solution :
my review of the ECS Dogbone Mount Insert

this worked well but did not eliminate the 'engine rock' to a sufficient degree on my car.
and as indicated above the remap meant my engine was now rocking even more.
wheelhop was considerable
I was never happy and felt that at any point something else was going to break....

It was time to consider a more thorough solution :

there are 3 main areas holding the engine in

1 : left engine mount
2 : right engine mount
3 : lower gearbox mount

these all have rubber inserts with voids (spaces) to provide a highly insulated solution making the GTI so quiet.
Of these above , number 3 connects to the car via an intermediate bar which also contains a 'bush'.

Quote from: useful additional text by TT
The engine and transmission are supported by three specific mounts (orientation when viewed from drivers seat and car in normal forward direction of travel):
Right engine mount.  OEM consists of a voided single-part rubber bush with an additional NVH viscous damper.
Left transmission mount.  OEM consists of a voided two-part rubber bush.
Lower rear centre engine mount.  OEM consists of a voided single-part rubber bush (actually two separate circular parts; upper and lower)

These rubber inserts with voids (spaces) are highly compliant, to provide a highly insulated solution making the GTI so quiet - but they also allow for a great deal of engine-transmission movement.

Of the above, the latter lower centre mount connects to the engine via an intermediate bar, aka the 'dogbone', which also contains a 'bush'.




Based on my research (be it valid or not!), I reckoned that 'rocking' is primarily controlled by the lower gearbox mount.
Wanting to perform changes sequentially (where possible) , I would focus my efforts on that mount as a first stage.
If that doesnt work i know I can add engine mounts (left + right , which are easier to fit)

Given that I was paying labour charges , I planned to eliminate all areas of 'slack' in the lower mount area.

heres some useful text from VWR's site

Quote from: VWRacing website
The whole engine and gearbox is located in only three places.  
The standard car uses very compliant rubber in these mounts to give a soft take-up of power and isolate the cabin from drivetrain noise.  
When cars produce high power, or have covered quite a few road miles, or are driven hard, these standard rubber mounts get softer and softer, allowing more and more movement as you come on and off the power.
With very worn mounts, we have seen failures of the exhaust manifold and driveshafts as the drivetrain moves further than it should.

The mounts were changed at 26,000 miles

Sourcing


Powerflex dog bone bush ordered from Awesome :
Lower Engine Mount Front PFF85-505
£12.33 excl VAT

VWR lower engine mount  ordered (Road) :
LWR SUBFRAME PART No VWR1KO 203
£127.82  excl VAT

both companies are to be praised for the customer service I received when ordering these parts  :happy2:

Fitting
although proficient in car mechanics , both new mounts require hydraulics to push them into their respective mounts (and to remove as well), I also now consider it easier to get Awesome to do my dirty work.
The lower subframe requires removal which can be time consuming.

its also worth looking at this thread on vwvortex as it shows mounts being installed (not VWR but its the same procedure)

This cost me 2 hrs labour  2 x £50 = £100 labour
If you have the right tools then id say its an easy DIY too.

My geometry redone as well but many consider this excessive and assuming nothing else is touched you prob dont have to.
Awesome charge £65 for geometry

Other versions
1. Density Line from USA do a full line up like VWR Density Line mounts thread on vwvortex
2. ECS lower engine mount in fact just replaces the bar (negating the need for the powerflex bush) but doesnt address the 2 1/2's in the main lower gearbox mount , this is left on the car!
    They do however do replacement left/right engine mounts
3. BSH : not yet released side mounts ,   pendulum mount replacement bar (this is an alternative to fitting the powerflex bush to the OE bar)
heres a pic of the BSH bar installed ... (thanks RR)


4. Have a new set of OE mounts filled to remove the voids (jonnyc).

General Discussion

I think how you perceive this mod depends a lot on what you already have fitted to your trusty steed.
if you are standard or just remapped (like me) , the additional noises are very noticeable
if you already have intake +/- TBE exhaust then you are already accustomed to a noisier car in the first place...

I jumped into the car at Awesome and tentatively started the engine...........
Phew flashed into my head as it seemed 'normal'.......woohoo

My first 'wow' moment was driving away from Awesomes forecourt , the first thing was how the gear lever now didnt 'move' whilst accelerating away!
Obviously the engine moving was really effecting the gearchange cables (there are 2) and giving me feedback I hadnt noticed.
(You can try this in your own car , put your hand on the gearlever , accelerate then lift off , does the lever move ? does it give a kickback as you lift off?
 mine also seemed to have a secondary kickback as the revs drop just above idle , i think this is where the ECU idle electronics start to kick in)
Just a nice slick gearchange.

Car instantly felt 'tighter' , then I pulled up at the lights .......my heart sank a little as the car had a noticeably increased idle 'vibration' ....
not horrific but not silent either. no time to dwell and the lights change and I drive off , the vibration goes as soon as the revs go above idle.

I have now driven the car for a week and can report that the 'vibration' @ idle is softening and becoming less pronounced.
The huge upside is that the car feels more direct , my inputs into the car are responded to much quicker and without 'lag'
I have so far had limited chance to consider 'wheel hop' but on the few occasions I have turned of ESP and deliberately tried to initiate 'hop' the car hasnt done it :-)
The actual point at which my car would normally wheelspin seems to have raised slightly, and when it does it just spins ..... (none of that associated horrible noises you get with hop)


Driving Phase comments

@idle
with air con off @ 750rpm  : light minimal vibration, not really noticeable, i liken it to putting an automatic car into drive from park if that makes sense when the torque converter is loaded
with air con on  @ 825rpm  : medium vibration , compared to OE this is very noticeable. but getting better with more miles. passengers will comment lol
(for my car the aircon loading just seems to 'hit' a spot that initiates some harmonic on the car)

@acceleration  : improved vocal feedback from transmission etc , id say +20% on OE
@decceleration : improved vocal feedback from transmission etc , id say +20% on OE , on mine I have a noticeable 'rough phase at around 3k rpm on deccel'
@cruising      : not really any different from OE

its like having an ear resting on the gearbox lol


I asked Awesome to keep the old mounts and ECS insert :



1 : lower engine mount (which is in 2 halves) , looked just fine. could be moved by hand!
2 : central 'bush' in the dogbone 'bar , definitely not right! the bush was heavily biased to one side (the loaded direction) rather than central from factory. I could also move this by hand and when I did I could see a split in the rubber!

(of the 2 pieces above ,  the bush in the bar 'looked' to be the worse for wear), although its a known fact that the OE mounts do go soft very quickly...

3 : my previously inserted ECS red insert (its still fitted to one 1/2 of the mount in the pic) was in good condition and could be re-used (anyone want to buy it lol)


Plus Points
engine movement stopped by 90%
cost effective for % gain , the VWR mount is a work of art  :happy2:
gearchange improved dramatically
clutch takeup and feel has improved again
vocal feedback from transmission/ air filters etc
you feel much more connected to the car.
its a stonking drive :happy2:


Minus Points
vibration at specific phases of driving.
medium price point
will be left on car , not cost effective to remove.
a functional modification thats not much fun
you cant see it or show it off to friends..

Useful links

some discussion
Peskarik : : Questions to those who have VF/VWR engine mounts installed

the next chapter , Robins full set of mounts
Topic: VWR 'Fast Road' Engine Mounts (full set) - Review....


Summary
A considered option , that requires you to review how the 2.0 TFSI engine is restrained and decide which way forward is best for you. I have chosen this way.
I fully believe that I will move to full road mounts for left/right engine at a later date, but the point is I dont feel I have to just yet.
This has opened my car back up again to being a joy to drive rather than drive around shortcomings.
Mine was a poor representation of OE mounts but at some point or another you will be faced with the same issue (unless you never enjoy your cars performance to the full)
If your balance is to total cockpit refinement then this modification is NOT for you. You need to consider a hybrid of solutions that suit you best.
If you value performance and 'feel' then it is  :grin:

RedRobin noticed little noise difference , and I'm not sure if thats
a) the powerflex insert
b) the DSG vs Manual difference or
c) how good the remaining left/right engine mounts were on our cars

Before this was fitted I was seriously worried about the increased vibration , but after completion I can heartly recommend the replacements for the enthusiastic road driver  :happy2:


[update 30th Aug 09 : added RR's pic of the BSH alternative to Powerflex bush installed on car]

[update 30th Aug 09 : 1000 miles post modification update : Fantastic  :happy2: , vibration is still present with air con on but its now much reduced. I have also attempted a few standing starts , and the wheels just grip/spin , no wheelhop , just clean wheelspin when provoked. Before when the wheels did start to spin that was it , but now Im convinced they seem to regain grip quicker and in a controlled manner. best mod I have done to date]


[update 9th Nov 2010 : 18,000 miles post modification update : I have just completed my full THS Replacement FR3 Engine Mounts TFSI : Review]
The reason being that although the VWR lower mount works fantastically , the side mounts are now the weakpoints and needed replaced.
After my 'upgrade' path I now recommend that all 3 mounts are changed at the same time in an ideal world.
]
« Last Edit: November 09, 2010, 10:24:59 AM by john_o »
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Offline Greeners

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Great review John  :congrats:

That makes the list a little longer now!  :scared: :laugh:

Offline MAT ED30

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Great read John

mine is going to be crazy loud i think with the solid version  :laugh: oh well no turning back now  :laugh:

Mods yes but way too many to stick in this little box

Offline RedRobin

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....

Excellent amount of highly considered and useful detail, john_o. This depth of review is going to be really helpful to people. :drinking:

I think that the fact that my GTI (DSG) didn't make any sounds or vibrations at all with only the lower VWR mount with the oem dogbone bush, indicate strongly that your vibrations etc are a result of your Powerflex dogbone bush. Especially as you found the oem bush to be so soft and I expect to find that mine is too.

Until now, VWR haven't been changing the dogbone bush and so have only reported any change in vibration and sound when the other two mounts have been installed.


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Offline RedRobin

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Great read John

mine is going to be crazy loud i think with the solid version  :laugh: oh well no turning back now  :laugh:


....I'm sure you'll be fine with it - You're a trackie at heart!

The question might be how your missus is with it. Baby will simply think it's normal and not care two fillings of a nappy!

I meant to ask Matt (Walker) to say Hi to you from me when I was on the phone to him while you were at VWR today - But I forgot!


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Offline MAT ED30

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Dropped the car in on Monday robin so they must be just about done with it then lol

Mods yes but way too many to stick in this little box

Offline john_o

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thanks everyone for the positive comments  :happy2:

@Matt : I reckon youll be just fine (with a full set of VWR race mounts)  :happy2: , like anything youll get used to it. besides youre  :laugh:
@Robin : I would agree that depending on the combo of bushes and mounts a threshold for increased vibration seems to be passed.


from the GTI's I've driven its surprising how different each feels. With this modification and other discussions (wheelspin/hop/vibration/tyre grip level) its clear that we could all do the same thing and get very different results.......
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Offline MAT ED30

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Vwr fitted mine today solid version and also did the powerflex bush too plus powerflex bushes installed on the bottom arms to aid the walk kit  :evilgrin: will add to post later  :happy2:

Mods yes but way too many to stick in this little box

Offline RedRobin

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john_o - Did you consider the alternative of the BSH Pendulum Mount (?with integrated bush?) instead of just the Powerflex PFF85-505 bush?


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Offline john_o

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I did Robin, the key thing is that the BSH kit seems very much an odd compromise biased towards easy fitment rather than attacking the areas where most movement may be present.

BSH kit : the arm is very well made and potentially stronger than the OE arm (but does it need to be?) , the bush within the arm has however been replaced (a huge plus point) , BUT the kit includes a ECS type insert for the lower engine mount (a partial fix imho).
BSH seems to have done this to hit a large market and make it an easy DIY fitment.
For me the huge downside is you pay for a high quality arm , but your effort is somewhat negated by leaving the 'probably' knackered lower engine mount in place.

(note if you can get the BSH kit 2nd hand or at a high discount, I do feel its a quality product just for the arm. you would then ADD the VWR lower engine mount and NOT USE the insert provided by BSH  :wink:)

At the end of the day its personal opinion , but I wanted to attack the areas that I felt needed most improvement.
After fitting the ECS lower mount insert previously , buying the BSH kit alone was not going to sort my issue, it would merely of improved it by a small percentage (for a large cost).
Replacing the lower engine mount is costly but based on improvement/cost unit  terms its quite low.

(of note the ECS lower engine option also only addresses the bar improvement leaving the lower mount as is)


If you assume your original lower engine mount is fine then either the BSH or ECS lower kit is great.
That is however not in my opinion correct , and you inevitably will be needing more.

I would envisage an upgrade path such as this

Stage 1 : Try the ECS insert only : its low cost and worth a first shot.
Stage 2 : Lower VWR engine mount + ( either BSH bar OR OE bar with powerflex insert )  : ECS insert is of no use and is discarded
Stage 3 : add side VWR road mounts
Stage 4 : full VWR race mounts

in all honesty consider your requirements carefully , and just jump the stage that suits you best.  :happy2:

usual overly long john_o rant ends........
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Offline RedRobin

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^^^^
I think that's, as usual from you, very good advice and assessment of the various options.

With the second-hand (saving cost) BSH bar assembly with integral bush and VWR lower mount, and furthermore all three VWR 'Fast Road' mounts, I'd say that my particular car is now well sorted in this respect. Possibly more than it needs to be but I prefer it that way.

When I used to race bicycles, my custom-built Condor was capable of winning the Tour de France - But I wasn't!!   

:happy2:


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Offline john_o

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cheers Robin, I reckon you and Matt will have to fight it out for 'best restrained engine' award  :drinking:
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Offline RedRobin

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cheers Robin, I reckon you and Matt will have to fight it out for 'best restrained engine' award  :drinking:


....Mat is a hard northerner though and has the solid 'Race' mounts. However, I was, believe it or not, born in Yorkshire.


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Offline Msportman

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Excellent write up John-O

I previously had all sorts of issues getting the right compromise of refinement v control on my APR Stage 3 kit on the MKIV.

I tried different brands from the US but in the end I choose Vibra technic FR items which were the best I could accept as a road car. There was still some vibration at tick over which went when the revs picked up but there was defiantely more noise in the cabin and some rougher spots on de-acceleration.

I don't have too many issues on mine yet on stage 2 but Awesome did fit an insert in to help reduce movement which thankfully it has. I still need a diff at some stage for ultimate power out of bends but I would have to say so far the KW's with the better camber adjustment gives better traction in any case.

Ian
Pearl Black Edition 30 3 Door. DSG. (3rd Edition 30)
Maybe on the too do list: APR Stage 2+, KW Clubsports, Brakes, Diff.