Front Suspension & Steering

Golf GTi Mk3 Restoration, Apr-2017

With the engine removed, I firstly removed the strut, hub and drive shaft of each side – I found a standard spark plug socket and long (hardened) allen key worked well to undo the top nut of the shock absorber…

Then I removed the lower control arms…

And finally dropped the subframe…

Just about everything was badly corroded, including the chassis side members, power steering pipes, etc. So the first thing to do was to give the major parts a good wire brushing to check for serious rot. Surprisingly, the metal underneath was still quite solid and free from perforations, so I made up a strong citric acid solution and began treating the parts with this. Here’s a control arm after a couple of days in a citric acid bath…

The subframe was too big to fit in the acid tub, so I made up a citric acid gel using wallpaper paste and applied it like this…

After all rust had been removed, all steel parts were given a light spray with acid etch primer then a good thick coat of “Jotamastic” – a really good epoxy paint, designed for marine applications. New Lemforder bushes were installed into the control arms. I had considered polybushes but decided against it as I had read reports of these particular poly bushes failing very quickly.

New Bilstein gas-filled shocks and Prosport 20mm lowered springs were fitted to complete the major work on the front running gear. Also replaced the anti-roll bar drop links, the ABS speed sensors, all the power steering pipes and hoses and bushes in the gear change linkage …