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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Or maybe they should, anyway. The way I figure it, why spend a four-figure sum replacing old parts and reinforcing existing ones, when I can spend a five-figure sum instead?

That is to say, the car's back in the shop again. Here's the latest laundry list:

1. Cam Chain Tensioner (only the gasket's getting replaced, the wrench says the tensioner itself is in great condition)

2. Rear brake lines

3. Passenger-side upper control arms (driver-side was done 6 months ago)

4. Tie-rod ends

5. Four-wheel alignment (The FWD B5 has caster/toe adjustable rear hubs -- who knew?)

So that should put me over the $10k mark for total expenses on the car, not counting gas, taxes, and tolls.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Do tell! I want to hear about this!
They said that the caster and toe are adjusted by turning eccentric bolts buried way up inside the hub, and then locking them in place with other bolts that screw in and press against the sides of the eccentric bolts. I can visualize what he's talking about fairly well, but I've never seen it, and he advised that I not try to take it apart that far without a shop full of tools and possibly a spare car.

It's always possible that he was thinking of a 4-motion B5, but I asked him a couple of times if he was sure that applied to the FWD B5, and he said yes.

It's also always possible that he was spinning a line of bullshit, but I told him that whatever they do, I want to see a before/after printout of all three measurements on all four wheels, and I don't care if some of the measurements are irreparable, I just want to KNOW if something's wrong.
 

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PassatWorld Staff
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They said that the caster and toe are adjusted by turning eccentric bolts buried way up inside the hub, and then locking them in place with other bolts that screw in and press against the sides of the eccentric bolts. I can visualize what he's talking about fairly well, but I've never seen it, and he advised that I not try to take it apart that far without a shop full of tools and possibly a spare car.

It's always possible that he was thinking of a 4-motion B5, but I asked him a couple of times if he was sure that applied to the FWD B5, and he said yes.
It's not true, it's simply just not true. I've had the rear hubs off when I removed my rear brake splash shields. What he says, ain't there.

Oh, and BTW, not a Garage post (you should've caught that, AA - you made the rules!)... :lol:
 

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...advised that I not try to take it apart that far without a shop full of tools and possibly a spare car...
^^Statements like this should trigger the Bull$hit alarm. :nervous:

Looks like Rusty can personally confirm that they're lying, as well.
 

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Or maybe they should, anyway. The way I figure it, why spend a four-figure sum replacing old parts and reinforcing existing ones, when I can spend a five-figure sum instead?

That is to say, the car's back in the shop again. Here's the latest laundry list:

1. Cam Chain Tensioner (only the gasket's getting replaced, the wrench says the tensioner itself is in great condition)

2. Rear brake lines

3. Passenger-side upper control arms (driver-side was done 6 months ago)

4. Tie-rod ends

5. Four-wheel alignment (The FWD B5 has caster/toe adjustable rear hubs -- who knew?)

So that should put me over the $10k mark for total expenses on the car, not counting gas, taxes, and tolls.
How much more the was that 4wheel-alignment, sounds like you go taken to the cleaners, I also have had the rear apart and agree with Rusty.

Also 10k with mods and maintenance
 

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PassatWorld Staff
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Oh - and why in hell do you need rear brake lines? The ones from the factory are stainless-steel, covered in rubber. No need to EVER replace them, unless they got cut by something?
 

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Hope you had a big shovel. The only way to adjust the rear is with shims behind the spindle and you can also move the rear beam, but that is very limited movement.
 

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Do tell! I want to hear about this!
it does. I was shown the chart printout from the Hunter alignment rack that proved it. you can adjust the toe on the entire rear axle (via the connection bolts that attach to the chassis) to get both sides to zero. it did NOT say anything about caster or camber tho.
 

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They said that the caster and toe are adjusted by turning eccentric bolts buried way up inside the hub, and then locking them in place with other bolts that screw in and press against the sides of the eccentric bolts. I can visualize what he's talking about fairly well, but I've never seen it, and he advised that I not try to take it apart that far without a shop full of tools and possibly a spare car.
It's always possible that he was thinking of a 4-motion B5, but I asked him a couple of times if he was sure that applied to the FWD B5, and he said yes.
It's also always possible that he was spinning a line of bullshit, but I told him that whatever they do, I want to see a before/after printout of all three measurements on all four wheels, and I don't care if some of the measurements are irreparable, I just want to KNOW if something's wrong.
the rear alignment he quoted you is total BS. only the toe on the entire axel is adjustable, and NOT by eccentric/concentric bolts. don't walk away fromm this guy, RUN! :icon_eek:
 

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The BS alarm should have gone off when he used the term "eccentric bolt". There is no reason for a service guy to know/use this term unless it involves making money. He identified you as a man who knows alot about cars (intentional :thumbup: ), so he knew he needed the heavy artillery.

Also, IIRC they can give you the measurements at all 4 wheels, they are just limited in what they can do about the rear. Even when I had rear damage and they replaced the beam and had the car on a puller, the shop said they put everything together and hope they're within spec because there isn't much to do if they're not.
 

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im 100% sure some part of the suspension geometry does use an eccentric bushing to adjust 'something'.

now whether this is for the front or rear i cant remember.

i do know that when i got a full alignment on my Quattro(4motion) there is something they can NOT dial in on the rear...so even the fully independent 4mo rear suspension has adjustment limitations.

fwiw, my alignment was done at an audi dealership.
 

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They said that the caster and toe are adjusted by turning eccentric bolts buried way up inside the hub, and then locking them in place with other bolts that screw in and press against the sides of the eccentric bolts. I can visualize what he's talking about fairly well, but I've never seen it, and he advised that I not try to take it apart that far without a shop full of tools and possibly a spare car.

It's always possible that he was thinking of a 4-motion B5, but I asked him a couple of times if he was sure that applied to the FWD B5, and he said yes.

It's also always possible that he was spinning a line of bullshit, but I told him that whatever they do, I want to see a before/after printout of all three measurements on all four wheels, and I don't care if some of the measurements are irreparable, I just want to KNOW if something's wrong.
that guy is full of s..t!!! dont go there any more.
 

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im 100% sure some part of the suspension geometry does use an eccentric bushing to adjust 'something'.

now whether this is for the front or rear i cant remember.

i do know that when i got a full alignment on my Quattro(4motion) there is something they can NOT dial in on the rear...so even the fully independent 4mo rear suspension has adjustment limitations.

fwiw, my alignment was done at an audi dealership.
you talking about 4wd, you got independent suspension.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Heh. You guys must think I know nothing about my car.

1. I knew going in that they couldn't adjust my rear axle, and while I always leave at least a little room for the possibility that I'm completely wrong, I nonetheless told them specifically to check every measurement on all four wheels, fix what they could, and report everything so I can at least know if my rear axle is fucked up.

2. I always take the cashier's word at face value -- which isn't much. If I have a real question, I insist on speaking to the mechanic. However, regardless of whether the guy was trying to pull a fast one on me, or talking out of his ass, or simply thinking of the wrong model car, it would still have been bad form to call his punk ass out in the waiting room.

3. I always get a 4-wheel alignment, even on cars that can't have all 4 wheels adjusted. Why? Because if the mechanic checks the rear wheels, he can compensate for pull by adjusting the front wheels away from center. I'd rather have a car that drives down the road aimed off-center by 5/100 of a degree, instead of a car that constantly wants to slide off the road. I assure you, the former scenario would be completely un-noticeable except perhaps on a racetrack.

- - -

Anyway, I got the car back, and as usual it's in better shape than it was when I dropped it off. The mechanic said the tensioner is in great shape and he thought I would be wasting a huge amount of money to pay for the labor to pull both camshafts to replace it, but he did notice when he was changing the tie rod ends that the front-right upper-control-arms were badly worn and that I need all four CV joint boots replaced.

I expected the CV joint boots to be shot, having seen them myself, but I'm going to replace the axles outright so the CV joints can grind themselves to pieces for all I care.

The upper control arms also didn't surprise me, because I had the driver-side ones replaced 6 months ago, and I'm damn sure it hadn't been done before. That said, the mechanic noted that the lower control arms seemed to have been changed out before I got the car -- I dunno, it's always possible.

The tensioner being fine surprised me, because I'm sure I hear a rattling noise coming from the back of the engine, but hell, that could be the valve lifters for all I know. I had them change the CCT gasket while they were in there, because I figure it can't hurt to at least un-seat and re-seat the thing, and the noise I heard seems to have diminished, though I'll have to drive it a while longer to be sure.

The only thing I'm really suspicious of has to do with the front-end alignment. The cross-camber is out of spec by quite a bit, and the alignment sheet has a note that my car is fitted with the OEM "sport" suspension, aka 1BE. If it is, that's news to me, though if that's correct then it may explain why my car didn't look like a Jeep when I put the bigger wheels on it.
 
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