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Author Topic: Traction / ABS issue and suspension refresh questions for my GTi  (Read 480 times)

Offline mabbo

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Traction / ABS issue and suspension refresh questions for my GTi
« on: November 10, 2021, 10:06:54 pm »
Hi,

I have a 54 reg GTi as my sensible family car / daily driver. Its fairly low miles at 74k and seems to have been well looked after - it has full service history all at VW and loads of receipts etc. The previous owners uncle bought it new and he had a pair of front wishbones fitted and some other bits of work to the suspension but I cant remember what without going through the receipts.

Anyway, Iv got a problem with the traction light flashing and ABS activating when driving around islands or long sweeping corners at around 40mph, and when driving it hard around the lanes but not hard enough that the traction should kick in. Iv had it plugged into vag com, carista and snap on readers... all show no error codes. I took it to a VW specialist who I trust and has done quite a bit of work for me on my old Mk3 GTi (and a bit on my Mk5) to diagnose. He said the rear ABS ring was corroded (I think) and he replaced that thinking that was causing it but it didnt fix it.

He took it for a drive and said it drives like sh*t, which it does - Its all over the place on the motorway, the back feels light and Im constantly correcting it. He reckons thats whats causing the traction to kick in. He said the wishbones have been replaced with crappy aftermarket ones and the bushes dont look the best. Whoever fitted all the replacement suspension parts has done a sh*t job so Im planning on refreshing it all, fitting lowering springs & shocks and having a proper 4 wheel alignment done... And hopefully that will sort the traction / ABS issue.

I have bought a pair of used VW wishbones to replace the repro ones.

Planning on buying:

TT wishbone / console bushes - https://www.darksidedevelopments.co.uk/products/tt-uprated-wishbone-console-bushes-for-golf-mk5-platform.html
Febi Audi TT top mounts - https://www.autodoc.co.uk/febi-bilstein/1888622
Pair of Febi ball joints - https://www.autodoc.co.uk/febi-bilstein/7016829 & https://www.autodoc.co.uk/febi-bilstein/7012901
Pair Febi rear wishbone bushes - https://www.autodoc.co.uk/febi-bilstein/1881830
Wishbone bolts - https://www.autodoc.co.uk/swag/7649272

Anything else Iv forgot or worth getting?

Not sure which springs / shocks to go for...

Eibach springs with Bilstein B4 shocks = £330 (https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/331842661330)
Koni spring / shock kit = £493 (https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/313024614906)
VWR Sports spring / shock kit = £540 (https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/163061221423)

Or is there anything else I should consider around a similar price range? I dont want anything too firm, it will never be a track car etc. Its just my daily so I cant it comfortable, mainly lowering because it looks better  :laugh: Id consider similar priced coil overs as long as they are good quality and going to last a while. I had a set of stance+ coil overs on my old Mk3 16v and hated them.

Any advice welcome.

Thanks, Neil

Offline Clarkj93

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Re: Traction / ABS issue and suspension refresh questions for my GTi
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2021, 10:28:37 pm »
If you are after the TT console bushes and new wishbones and ball joints anyway you may aswell get the mk2 audi TT wishbones. Few threads on here about it but if you pick up a set of mk2 audi tt wishbones, you just need a set of audi TT ball joints and then to swap the bush from TT console to the mk5 gti console as the TT console won't fit and then a straight swap. They're lighter than the golf wishbones with the stiffer bush already and allow for adjustable camber so you can increase front end grip by quite a big margin.

I picked up my set for 80 quid and ball joints were 50 I think? So probably not much more than getting the golf stuff if at all for much better handling.

Offline LC5F

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Re: Traction / ABS issue and suspension refresh questions for my GTi
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2021, 06:43:55 pm »
Replacing rear suspension bushes is a thankless task - most people just replace the arms.
But, I was nuts enough to replace mine.
I wouldn't bother with rubber - have a look at PSB polybushes, they are geared up for standard softness but greater longevity than rubber:
https://psbushings.co.uk/product-category/vw/golf-mk5-6/
I got the full kit, all were great to install - only grumbles are alloy inserts and one set of bushes had to be burned out to retain the existing outer metal body - but for the price they are great + been on the Golf over a year without issue.

Be prepared for bolts seized in the bush - especially the ones with adjustment cams.
The smaller of the rear console bolts also like to jam in the thread - fortunately the subframe is in 3 parts, if you do shear a bolt the side part is £15 on ebay.

I would go Bilstein B4's + eibach springs - it will give a pretty OEM feel

Offline GreigC

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Re: Traction / ABS issue and suspension refresh questions for my GTi
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2021, 08:44:28 pm »
Id say you have a failed reluctor ring... one wheel is being detected by abs/traction monitoring going faster then the other. (Does not always throw a code) usually corrosion on the sensor and ring. You ideally need VCDS to check the data live or take it to a garage and visually check the hubs/sensors. I personally had this exact issue on my B5 S4 few years back. Just because you had one ring changed dont mean the others are good.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2021, 08:49:12 pm by GreigC »

Offline chimp400

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Re: Traction / ABS issue and suspension refresh questions for my GTi
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2021, 07:39:21 am »
2 mods I found made quite a difference are the SALK kit and the vibratechnics subframe bush.
Neither are cheap but worthwhile.
I did consider the subframe location kit but couldn't stomach the cost after I did a rack change.
I'd leave the rest alone, just fit the oem rubber bushes and maybe look at the Bilstein kit.
No point going crazy on a road car.
2008 Edition 30, R-Tech Stage 1, BCS Prestige Cat Back Exhaust, Vwr Suspension Kit, SALK, Superpro Arb bushes, Vibratechnics dog bone subframe mount.

Offline mabbo

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Re: Traction / ABS issue and suspension refresh questions for my GTi
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2021, 12:28:08 pm »
Thanks for all the replies :D

Iv booked the car back in to have the suspension gone through and want to get all the best quality parts I can ready for when it goes but Im not sure what are the best brands to go for? Febi / Lemforder / Meyle / Sachs / GSP / Swag? Or get them direct from VW?  :scared:

I went through the receipts for the car and in 2019 it had this lot replaced as well as a cam belt and water pump:
2x rear coil springs = £60.80 each
2x front coil springs = £66.05 each
2x front lower suspension arms = £67.44 each
2x subframe brackets = £147.77 each
2x strut top mounts = £33.70 each
2x rear anti roll bar links = £12.62 each
2x rear anti roll bar bushes = £10.03 each
2x rear suspension top mounts = £33.70 each
1x lower ball joint = £32.85
(All +vat)

The part numbers dont give any idea of brands etc but 'GSF' in the part number dont fill me with confidence and looking at the prices Id imagine it was mostly cheap stuff so I think I'll replace it with:

A pair of genuine standard GTi wishbones
TT wishbone bushes (from Darkside developments)
TT top mounts (Febi)
Both lower ball joints
Wishbone bolts
Rear top strut mounts
Anything else other than the springs and shocks?

@GreigC - Thanks. Would you advise changing changing all the ABS rings and sensors or just the ones that look ropey and see if that fixes it?

@Clarkj93 - Cheers but Iv already bought a pair of standard Mk5 GTi wishbones to replace my aftermarket ones. Worth knowing though  :happy2:

@LC5F - Thanks. Iv decided against the B4 shocks. I think Im going to get a set of lowered shocks. Considering spending the extra on the B8s with H&R or Eibach sportline springs but DPM performance list a Koni STR.T shock kit with 30 or 35mm H&R springs and a H&R spring and shock kit. Deamon Tweeks sell a Koni sport shock with H&R spring kit and Spax PSX kit but I cant find many reviews / opinions on the Koni / Spax whereas the B8s seem to get overall good reviews.

No idea which to go for. I want something good quality that will last, lower the car a little and not be too harsh for a daily driver that will never see a race track.

As my cars early (54 reg) would I be 50 or 55mm strut diameter?

Sorry for all the questions.

Thanks again for the advice  :happy2:
« Last Edit: November 12, 2021, 12:41:24 pm by mabbo »

Offline LC5F

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Re: Traction / ABS issue and suspension refresh questions for my GTi
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2021, 07:02:20 pm »
Out of your list - Lemforder & Sachs would be my go to.

Not wishing to add to the confusion - but but rather than mixing and matching brands have look at ST or AP matched shocks and springs from DPM - thay are the sister brands to KW, similar ride but a but saving is form less durable materials.
I run AP coilovers - slightly firmer than OEM. Plus very good reports on the ST stuff too

Offline mabbo

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Re: Traction / ABS issue and suspension refresh questions for my GTi
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2021, 07:40:39 pm »
Cheers @LC5F ... Iv just ordered a few bits from Autodoc while there was 39% off.

Bilstein B12 sportline kit - https://www.autodoc.co.uk/eibach/1931565
Lemforder ball joints
Febi Audi TT top mounts

And got the TT wishbone bushes from Darkside.

Might get some of these to with the TT wishbone bushes if they will work OK together? https://psbushings.co.uk/product/2-x-vw-golf-mk5-mk6-front-wishbone-front-polyurethane-bush-kit-2005-2012/

Cheers
« Last Edit: November 12, 2021, 11:42:46 pm by mabbo »

Offline Pudding

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Re: Traction / ABS issue and suspension refresh questions for my GTi
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2021, 12:43:57 pm »
Iv booked the car back in to have the suspension gone through and want to get all the best quality parts I can ready for when it goes but Im not sure what are the best brands to go for? Febi / Lemforder / Meyle / Sachs / GSP / Swag? Or get them direct from VW?  :scared:

The car left the factory on Sachs dampers and springs, and Lemforder bushings and top mounts.  TRW or Lemforder also make the ball joints and drop links, rear arms and links etc etc.

If you want the car to feel as close to how it was when new as possible, those are the brands you want to be using.

The darkside S3/TT console bushes are actually Febi.  Lemforder/VAG only supply that bush with a console housing.  Febi are cheap trash, in my experience. 



2007 ED30 | 2009 TDI 140

Offline mabbo

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Re: Traction / ABS issue and suspension refresh questions for my GTi
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2021, 04:06:45 pm »
Cheers @Pudding

Bit of a pisser about the Febi console bush from Darkside. Dont want to put any crap on the car so might be worth getting the full wishbone bushings from PSB instead? https://psbushings.co.uk/product/vw-golf-mk5-6-complete-front-wishbone-poly-psb-polyurethane-bush-kit-2005-2011/

Might be tempted to fit a full polybush kit but never done anything like that before so dont know if it will be worth it? Just want it do it once and do it right this time - https://psbushings.co.uk/product/vw-golf-mk5-mk6-gti-complete-front-rear-psb-polyurethane-bush-kit-2005-2017/

Is there a better alternative to the Febi TT top mounts? Regular GTI ones but Lemforder?

Thanks again

Offline LC5F

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Re: Traction / ABS issue and suspension refresh questions for my GTi
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2021, 12:11:26 pm »
To swap bushes you need to push out the old and insert new - removing the old bushes can be a fight to remove and then a struggle to install standard rubber bushes.  The win with poly bushes is the fitment is a lot easier, plus last longer.
But if you are uncomfortable with swapping bushes, look into replacing whole arms - chances are your arms will be crusty so save having to remove rust and repaint.

Personally I prefer Lemforder because they tend to go further than other suppliers - they usually include fixings where others do not, and they seem to last longer and have a better finish than other after market stuff.
Then add that they are OEM supplier to VW, why use anything else.

Offline mabbo

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Re: Traction / ABS issue and suspension refresh questions for my GTi
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2021, 01:51:34 pm »
To swap bushes you need to push out the old and insert new - removing the old bushes can be a fight to remove and then a struggle to install standard rubber bushes.  The win with poly bushes is the fitment is a lot easier, plus last longer.
But if you are uncomfortable with swapping bushes, look into replacing whole arms - chances are your arms will be crusty so save having to remove rust and repaint.

Thanks mate. I dont think I worded my previous message very well. I bet most of my posts on here have been all over the place - My son has been in hospital and my head been a bit of a mess.

I meant I dont know how they will feel when driving / the advantages they will give etc more than not knowing how to do them. Im used to driving aircooled VWs (and restore them for a living - www.retro-resto.co.uk if anyone is interested) but a Mk5 is brand new to me so I just give it my mate to do all the mechanical work as I cant be bothered after working on old VWs all day.

Id considered changing the arms but I like to keep as much genuine stuff as possible - the geek side of my work rubbing off on me. My Beetle has all the original hardware from 1955 still other than the rear wing bolts and it drives me up the wall with them not being the 'proper' Kamax bolts.

If they last longer I'll replace the lot then  :happy2: No doubt half of them are siezed up so will need sorting ready for the 4 wheel alignment anyway.

Thanks again dude  :drinking:

Offline mabbo

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Re: Traction / ABS issue and suspension refresh questions for my GTi
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2021, 02:20:05 pm »
As @Pudding suggests the Febi rubber items are crap, Ill be sending some of what Iv bought back when it arrives.

Things Iv bought and keeping:
1x Ball joint - https://www.autodoc.co.uk/lemforder/1263886
1x Ball joint - https://www.autodoc.co.uk/lemforder/1263888
1x Bilstein B12 kit - https://www.autodoc.co.uk/eibach/1931565

Lemforder (mostly) things left to buy:

2x front anti roll bar link - https://www.autodoc.co.uk/lemforder/1263890
2x rear anti roll bar link - https://www.autodoc.co.uk/lemforder/1263892
1x track rod end - https://www.autodoc.co.uk/lemforder/1273249
1x track rod end - https://www.autodoc.co.uk/lemforder/1273250
2x Audi TT top mount (no bearing) - https://www.autodoc.co.uk/lemforder/7888978
2x Bearing support ring (not sure if I need this?) - https://www.autodoc.co.uk/ridex/8058099
2x rear top mounts (round hole?) - https://www.autodoc.co.uk/lemforder/13787926
2x front rubber buffer (sports suspension) - https://www.autodoc.co.uk/meyle/8760050
2x rear rubber buffer (sports suspension) - https://www.autodoc.co.uk/meyle/8760182

Loads of hardware, not sure if I need all this but was going to get 2 of each:
https://www.autodoc.co.uk/lemforder/16612483
https://www.autodoc.co.uk/lemforder/13787924
https://www.autodoc.co.uk/lemforder/9668366
https://www.autodoc.co.uk/lemforder/9668344
https://www.autodoc.co.uk/lemforder/9667946
https://www.autodoc.co.uk/lemforder/9665806
https://www.autodoc.co.uk/lemforder/9660629

Full PSB bush kit - https://psbushings.co.uk/product/vw-golf-mk5-mk6-gti-full-set-front-rear-psb-polyurethane-bushing-kit-05-18/


Not sure if I need the bearing support ring for the front top mounts, and if the round rear top mounts are right as they list round and oval.

Hopefully Im buying the right stuff?

Cant wait to get it on and 4 wheel aligned :D

Offline LC5F

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Re: Traction / ABS issue and suspension refresh questions for my GTi
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2021, 03:09:41 pm »
Thanks mate. I dont think I worded my previous message very well. I bet most of my posts on here have been all over the place - My son has been in hospital and my head been a bit of a mess.

I meant I dont know how they will feel when driving / the advantages they will give etc more than not knowing how to do them. Im used to driving aircooled VWs (and restore them for a living - www.retro-resto.co.uk if anyone is interested) but a Mk5 is brand new to me so I just give it my mate to do all the mechanical work as I cant be bothered after working on old VWs all day.

Id considered changing the arms but I like to keep as much genuine stuff as possible - the geek side of my work rubbing off on me. My Beetle has all the original hardware from 1955 still other than the rear wing bolts and it drives me up the wall with them not being the 'proper' Kamax bolts.

If they last longer I'll replace the lot then  :happy2: No doubt half of them are siezed up so will need sorting ready for the 4 wheel alignment anyway.

Thanks again dude  :drinking:

No worries - I understand where you're coming from.
BTW nice link  - The only air cooled I've ever worked was a couple of Beetles - a 66' 1300 and another from the 70's. Quite like the Musti1 videos on Youtube.

As you can do this - I would recommend dropping the rear axle as a whole - unclip brake pipes & cables - it's so much easier to get at the bolts, the cam bolts especially like to seize in the bush -but they will all come out with heat.

The PSB bushes are good, but as you are trade with potential discount, you could go for Superpro - but big hike in price, but also in quality with stainless inserts and internal grease retention.
Powerflex is another option, but they don't have the quality of Superpro.

Offline mabbo

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Re: Traction / ABS issue and suspension refresh questions for my GTi
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2021, 03:18:47 pm »
Thanks @LC5F

I dont have the time to work on my own car to be honest, plus if I strip it down at work and its stuck there it will get covered in crap and take up too much space - We are rammed at the min...

Id rather give it my mate whos a VW specialist as I trust him (https://www.facebook.com/vwhq.co.uk)... Plus, he bought his Mk2 to us to repaint so I like to give him some work back.

I'll take a look at the SuperPro bushes but if the PSB bushes are good I might just go with them to save messing around. Want to get it all done ASAP... I drive on the motorway to work every day and its horrible wandering around.

Not heard of Musti1 on youtube, Ill check it out :D

Thanks again mate. Really appreciate all the advice from everyone