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Author Topic: Aluminium wishbones  (Read 1304 times)

Offline WolfsburgEd

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Aluminium wishbones
« on: October 21, 2020, 01:06:15 am »
I'm trying to pull together various bits of info about swapping over to aluminium wishbones - hopefully there are a few who have done it.

I've just read through:

https://www.mk5golfgti.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=111885.0

and

https://www.mk5golfgti.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,9263.0.html

and am still a little confused about how much extra work is involved in fitting the TT arms and which ball joints to use with which arm.

I have a 2005 GTi with 90k on it. Another original spring has just broken, this time on the front (I have had BOTH rears snap over the last 3 years and managed to replace them with used ones off similar age / miles. All shockers are original.

With the arches massively rusting out, milky headlights, a service over due and a few other small niggles including slow responding cat I've been deciding on either scrapping it or doing a light restore to include new wings and a waist down respray and I think the project idea has won.

After about 6 hours looking through the web for all the options I remembered from way back something about lightweight wishbones and got on to this.

My plan is to keep things as 'oem' as possible so will be using Bilstein B3 springs and B4 shocks - I don't want it any lower and the general ride has been ok, its country lanes not smooth long tarmac.

On to the main point ...

Do the TT wishbones make the track wider? I see and understand that there are benefits to the additional negative camber that they introduce but can't see if the track width increases and if so by how much and if that is in any way an issue?

I'm running standard brakes and have the factory option BBS C001 17ins x-spokes on.

The other query is around which ball joint to use on which wishbone. I've got lost about if the TT and S3 are the same or if the S3 and Passat are the same and what the impact of running that slightly taller S3 item would be on stock GTI ride height. Should I stick to a GTI ball joint? Also, I see in some places there is discussion about mounting ball joints above or below the wishbone (TT mounted below) - whats the benefits of changing?

My intention was to get Meyle HD GTi ball joints, Meyle HD consol bushes and Meyle HD droplinks. I've had good experience with the HD droplinks on my 9-5 Aero and the consol bushes appear to be a good compromise between stock and poly as there are only the two holes through them and much more rubber.

I've just made the rash purchase from ECP of two Right hand side Passat "Moog" brand wishbones as there was a stupidly good deal on them that worked out at £83 for BOTH delivered. I'm hoping that the aluminium wishbones are reversible once the consol bushes and ball joints are removed - can anybody confirm this as I can't tell from any of the pictures. The reason for this was that the left hand side unit was still full price at £180!! I figured as I was going to junk the consol bush and ball joint it was of no consequence which side I got (as long as they were reversible, like the TT item is, but I put that down to the consol bush not being 'handed').

Apologies for so many questions - please don't feel that all need to be answered in one hit, any advice / comments will be much appreciated. I hope to build up all the parts over the next month or so and then decide whether I do it myself or get a local small workshop to complete the work. IF I swing round to thinking the TT arms are a better option I don't mind taking them back and getting TT arms...

 :happy2:
« Last Edit: October 21, 2020, 01:17:48 am by WolfsburgEd »
Her Car - '10 Tiguan Summit Oscarli St1 + DTUK Pedalbox

His Car - '09 Saab 9-5 2.3 Aero St4+ 320ps

Spare Car - '05 GTI dsg 5dr

Offline colesey

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Re: Aluminium wishbones
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2020, 11:55:11 am »
I’m not an expert on this so take with a pinch of salt however TT arms are longer (wider track) and use slotted balljoints for adjusting camber but will need longer TT steering arms to reach the rack.

S3 / Passat B6 arms are the same fitment as stock GTi but alloy and @1.5kg lighter.  Straight forward except for needing domed nuts for the balljoints. Iirc they are handed / sided. Try fit the alloy passat b6 hubs at the same time since they are 2kg lighter than the stock iron ones and allow for slightly quicker steering. Once again domed bolts / nuts are needed for brake calipers and steering arms. You can use stock GTi or superpro adjustable balljoints. No need for S3 / B6 balljoints with thicker bases if you’re not running lower springs.

Offline WolfsburgEd

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Re: Aluminium wishbones
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2020, 03:10:50 pm »
Thanks for the tip about the hubs - confused me for a bit wondering why such a small item saved a huge amount of weight but I was just looking at the bearing housing  :laugh:

Searching on 'steering knuckle' got better results!!

So, for about £60-70 a side for a new pattern part I can't see its worth scrabbling about getting grotty used ones??

Slap in some new bearings and off we go?

Also, IF the wishbones can't be flipped over I have found a new pattern pair on ebay for under £100. I'll report back - if I was going to keep all the ball joints and bushings that came with the wishbone then that would be the cheaper way of doing it for sure but I want to try some specific parts.
Her Car - '10 Tiguan Summit Oscarli St1 + DTUK Pedalbox

His Car - '09 Saab 9-5 2.3 Aero St4+ 320ps

Spare Car - '05 GTI dsg 5dr

Offline colesey

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Re: Aluminium wishbones
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2020, 07:27:48 pm »
There’s one school of thought that says we are happy driving around on 15 year old parts already so why buy new ones. I bought a pair of used passat hubs off ebay for @40 shipped but have yet to fit them. All the new nuts and bolts cost pretty much the same again.

Offline LC5F

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Re: Aluminium wishbones
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2020, 08:55:16 pm »
I'm running TT control arms with standard Golf Track rods & standard iron hubs.
With ball joints pushed all the way in I have not found an issue with tie rod length - but I have to say I have not tried them pulled all the way out.
I opted for TT ball joints as I was renewing everything.
Lastly the control arms are designed to be used on either L or R side

Offline WolfsburgEd

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Re: Aluminium wishbones
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2020, 10:56:57 pm »
There’s one school of thought that says we are happy driving around on 15 year old parts already so why buy new ones. I bought a pair of used passat hubs off ebay for @40 shipped but have yet to fit them. All the new nuts and bolts cost pretty much the same again.

True ... but when its all the hassle / cost to get the strut off (either a lof of time for me because I'm out of practice OR a lot of expense to get somebody else to do it) then why not slowly strip it down and replace everything that is likely to give grief at the MOT in 6 months time. I can just see the situation of replacing the spring and then finding the shocker weeps or the ball joint has excessive play.

This car has had a habit of throwing up random / unusual issues out of nowhere so I'm looking to get one over it!!

I'm expecting it to feel somewhat newer / modern once done. Its done good service really so time for a minor restoration and scratch a few itches as we do it.
Her Car - '10 Tiguan Summit Oscarli St1 + DTUK Pedalbox

His Car - '09 Saab 9-5 2.3 Aero St4+ 320ps

Spare Car - '05 GTI dsg 5dr

Offline WolfsburgEd

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Re: Aluminium wishbones
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2020, 07:30:29 pm »
So I have my final spec for the suspension build but have a few queries around the ball joints and console bushes.

Shopping list:
1) Passat B6/CC wishbones
2) Passat B6/CC stub axle
4) VWR struts
5) Eibach Pro Kit springs
6) New wheel bearings
7) New top mounts

I ordered two RHS wishbones from ECP as they were stupidly cheap compared to the LHS even with having to change over the console bush and ball joint for RHS items. Having lookked over them, the aluminium items ARE reversible.

Over the last three years I've replaced both rear springs with used genuine parts as a stop-gap and now the front o/s has gone I've decided to blitz it all. A lot of the parts change is just out of the interest to see what difference it will make - I'm not intending to have it as a keeper but I was supposed to have sold it 3 years ago and just hung on to it because stuff needed doing on it so it may still see a few more years in my ownership!

Question 1: I have ONE good RHS ball joint from a B6 Passat (same as S3?), do I get ONE LHS or would I be better with a pair of Mk5 items? i'm not interested in getting the superpro adjustable items.

Question B: I have two Passat console bushes but they don't seem 'handed' - I was under the impression that the Mk5 console bushes are 'handed'? I was going to get the Meyle HD units as a compromise between stock and poly having only two voids

Question iii: The aluminium stub axle retro-fit ... how much does this increase track?

Quesion 4) Is there any further way to dial in additional negative camber with any component part besides getting the TT wishbones (which I didn't want to get in to the increased track, cost and other possible fitment issues from not fully understanding what I was getting in to!) and the after market adjustable top mounts?

Question 5) Does the Passat / CC / S3 wishbone introduce a touch of negative camber?

(edit) Q6 - Droplinks, can I maintain (new) stock droplinks? Its not a crazy lower, I was going to get the Meyle HD items as I've had good results with them on other applications.

Is there anything that I've missed off my shopping list for an 05 with 90k on original suspension, besides the replacement bolts etc? I've been around the houses trying to decide on what spring to do and I'm happy with the subtle drop of the Pro Kit.

Cheers.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2020, 07:35:22 pm by WolfsburgEd »
Her Car - '10 Tiguan Summit Oscarli St1 + DTUK Pedalbox

His Car - '09 Saab 9-5 2.3 Aero St4+ 320ps

Spare Car - '05 GTI dsg 5dr

Offline colesey

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Re: Aluminium wishbones
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2020, 04:53:36 pm »
Q3 - same track
Q4 - lower suspension / top mounts / superpro balljoints / powerflex camber bush all give more camber
Q5 - no, same camber
Q6 - i use meyle HD also

Offline Pudding

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Re: Aluminium wishbones
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2020, 03:37:24 pm »
Quote from: WolfsburgEd
This car has had a habit of throwing up random / unusual issues out of nowhere so I'm looking to get one over it!!

That's all cars for you, German ones in particular, not just GTIs.  The older they get, the more issues are they throw at you, unless you keep on top of the preventative maintenance.

Quote from: WolfsburgEd
I'm expecting it to feel somewhat newer / modern once done. Its done good service really so time for a minor restoration and scratch a few itches as we do it.

You might want to dial back your expectations a little. Yes there are some worthwhile improvements to be had by fitting a Gen 3 rack, newer gearbox from a Scirocco/MK6 (if it's a manual) and better suspenstion etc, but it's certainly never going to be a MK7 Clubsport or anything like that.  MK5s are just old and clunky now, but still enjoyable cars none-the-less.


2007 ED30 | Ohlins Coilovers | Revo Map | Plus some other stuff | Is all a GTI needs :-)

Offline probedb

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Re: Aluminium wishbones
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2020, 08:24:17 am »
You might want to dial back your expectations a little. Yes there are some worthwhile improvements to be had by fitting a Gen 3 rack, newer gearbox from a Scirocco/MK6 (if it's a manual) and better suspenstion etc, but it's certainly never going to be a MK7 Clubsport or anything like that.  MK5s are just old and clunky now, but still enjoyable cars none-the-less.

Totally agree on this, I'm replacing with mostly standard parts, 180k definitely warrants a new suspension. Was wanting to do the ARBs but currently very pissed off with UK Whiteline Performance. 2 months to ship a package? Mentions nothing about this on their site and definitely won't be using again or recommending if you want anything in a rush.

Offline WolfsburgEd

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Re: Aluminium wishbones
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2020, 11:42:59 pm »
Quote from: WolfsburgEd
I'm expecting it to feel somewhat newer / modern once done. Its done good service really so time for a minor restoration and scratch a few itches as we do it.

You might want to dial back your expectations a little. Yes there are some worthwhile improvements to be had by fitting a Gen 3 rack, newer gearbox from a Scirocco/MK6 (if it's a manual) and better suspenstion etc, but it's certainly never going to be a MK7 Clubsport or anything like that.  MK5s are just old and clunky now, but still enjoyable cars none-the-less.

For me it will be 'more modern' - its already the most modern design car I own even if its the highest mileage one of the three!
Her Car - '10 Tiguan Summit Oscarli St1 + DTUK Pedalbox

His Car - '09 Saab 9-5 2.3 Aero St4+ 320ps

Spare Car - '05 GTI dsg 5dr

Offline Pudding

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Re: Aluminium wishbones
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2020, 06:06:48 am »
You might want to dial back your expectations a little. Yes there are some worthwhile improvements to be had by fitting a Gen 3 rack, newer gearbox from a Scirocco/MK6 (if it's a manual) and better suspenstion etc, but it's certainly never going to be a MK7 Clubsport or anything like that.  MK5s are just old and clunky now, but still enjoyable cars none-the-less.

Totally agree on this, I'm replacing with mostly standard parts, 180k definitely warrants a new suspension. Was wanting to do the ARBs but currently very pissed off with UK Whiteline Performance. 2 months to ship a package? Mentions nothing about this on their site and definitely won't be using again or recommending if you want anything in a rush.

Ah man, that sucks.  Covid  :scared: 

Probably a bit late now but the Eibach kit is what you want.  Front bar has bushes and clamps pre-fitted for a simple swap over.  H&Rs et all necessitate drilling out the OEM clamps and re-bolting, which is a proper bodge.  The Eibach bars are nicely sized as well  :happy2:  Not sure what Whiteline present you with, but hope they work/worked out.

ARBs work really well on the MK5.  Enjoy  :happy2:





2007 ED30 | Ohlins Coilovers | Revo Map | Plus some other stuff | Is all a GTI needs :-)

Offline colesey

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Re: Aluminium wishbones
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2020, 06:18:35 am »
Is a good point about the H&R mounts as my reconfigured original brackets cracked. Is a worthwhile mod otherwise, making the car pivot nicely into corners.

Offline Pudding

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Re: Aluminium wishbones
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2020, 06:38:26 am »
Exactly that, RE: pivot points and moments of interia.

Technically speaking, all ARBs do is alter the cornering feel to your choosing, because ultimately the final word on mechanical grip is the tyre contact patch.....but that old adage about some cars being greater than the sum of their parts.  Equip a MK5 with the right bits and the results are quite surprising, even by modern standards.  Stick some decent suspension and ARBs on it and you quickly run out of tyre and diff.......far, far sooner than you would with the wallowy and soggy OEM parts.
 



2007 ED30 | Ohlins Coilovers | Revo Map | Plus some other stuff | Is all a GTI needs :-)

Offline Dopey

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Re: Aluminium wishbones
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2021, 02:56:39 pm »
Please excuse my Ignorance here, but the Mk5 I am getting has an advisory that the (Suspension arm pin or bush worn but not resulting in excessive movement both side front) so I am changing them, looking online a left and right full kit is £70, the "arm" looks like dropped forged iron, and I see some made from pressed steel plate, what difference is the amuminium ones? I know its lighter, but not that much lighter (and less strength probably) what are the advantages of ali? thanks