Wednesday, 19 August 2009

VWR Lower Gearbox Road Mount GTI mk5 / Powerflex bush insert engine movement solved

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

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

are you comfy then I'll begin

basically to stop engine movement in my [b]manual[/b] 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 :
[url=]my review of the ECS Dogbone Mount Insert[/url]

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'.

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=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.[/quote]

The mounts were changed at 26,000 miles


[url=]Powerflex dog bone bush[/url] ordered from Awesome :
[b][i]Lower Engine Mount Front PFF85-505[/i][/b]
£12.33 excl VAT

[url=]VWR lower engine mount[/url] ordered (Road) :
[b][i]LWR SUBFRAME PART No VWR1KO 203[/i][/b]
£127.82 excl VAT

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

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 [url=] this thread on vwvortex as it shows mounts being installed (not VWR but its the same procedure)[/url]

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

[b]Other versions[/b]
1. Density Line from USA do a full line up like VWR [url=] Density Line mounts thread on vwvortex[/url]
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 : [url=] not yet released side mounts[/url] , [url=] pendulum mount replacement bar (this is an alternative to fitting the powerflex bush to the OE bar)[/url]
4. Have a new set of OE mounts filled to remove the voids (jonnyc).

[u][b]General Discussion[/b][/u]

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 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)

[u][b]Driving Phase comments[/b][/u]

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)

[u][b]Plus Points[/b][/u]
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:

[u][b]Minus Points[/b][/u]
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..

[u][b]Useful links[/b][/u]

some discussion
[url=] Peskarik : : Questions to those who have VF/VWR engine mounts installed[/url]

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

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:

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