Project CC Part 4: More Suspension Upgrades

Project CC Part 4As most projects start, I had a plan in mind for which parts would be installed onto Project CC. And as many of you have experienced with your own project car builds, plans are usually scrapped in favor of just installing whatever awesome new part or upgrade comes out.

The original suspension upgrade plan for Project CC was to install our Type I Coilover Suspension along with a solid rear sway-bar and be done with it. After all, coilovers and a rear sway-bar are all you really need to make a daily driven mid-sized sedan that much more fun and great looking. And if you read part 3 of the Project CC series, you’ll remember that just installing the Type I Coilovers and performance tires did greatly improve the CC’s handling across the board.

Well this was all before NGP general manager and all around racing enthusiast Nate Brown installed the TyrolSport Rigid Deadset Subframe Collar Kit, SuperPro Control Arm Bracket/Bushing Kit and Roll Control Adjustable Ball Joints on his Mk5 GTI. According to him installing these parts drastically changed the handling characteristics of his car for the better. For those of you that don’t know Nate, he’s owned his fair share of VW’s over the years, and values handling a great deal in his vehicles. He’s also quite the racing enthusiast, with a fair amount of track time under his belt, so when he tells you a suspension part or upgrade is great, you just have to know that it’s the real deal. With Nate giving such high remarks to these upgrades, Project CC needed to have them.  At this point I grabbed NGP technician and all around VW enthusiast Joey Langlois and we started the installation process.

The first parts we decided to tackle were the SuperPro Polyurethane Control Arm Bushings. These are constructed from high quality polyurethane and are completely solid, unlike the rather soft “hollow” rubber stock bushings. The stock bushings are designed this way so they can twist and contort in order to absorb the bumps and inconsistencies in the road. This may be great for giving you a smooth comfy ride, but the inherent flaw in this design arises the moment you make a turn. When you do, your car has to essentially fight against the rubber bushing which causes the steering to feel somewhat soft and indirect. Fortunately installing a set of SuperPro’s Polyurethane Performance Bushings create quite the opposite effect on your vehicle’s handling.

These bushings are available in standard or race density and either standard or anti-lift geometry (if you have a Mk5/6 vehicle you can also choose to purchase complete brackets with the bushings pre-installed). In the case of the CC I decided to use the standard density/geometry bushing since the car is mostly used as a daily driver and the harder density can add some extra unwanted NVH**.

The installation process couldn’t be more simple: unbolt and remove your control arm brackets, press out the old rubber bushing, press in the new SuperPro Bushings and install in reverse.

Next we moved on to the TyrolSport Rigid Deadset Subframe Collar Kit. This kit removes the unfortunate “slop” that is inherit in the subframe/front suspension of most VW’s and Audi’s built on the Mk5/6/B6 and related platforms. This “slop” is caused by a gap between the subframe and the hardware holding it to the vehicle. This gap effectively allows the subframe to shift under hard turning which can eventually cause a noticeable “clunk” feeling and noise to appear over time. The TyrolSport Subframe Kit fixes this issue by filling the gap and prevents the subframe from shifting. This allows your car to have a much more direct and connected feeling from the road to the steering wheel.

Installing the TyrolSport Rigid Deadset Collar Kit requires the subframe to be lowered and the control arm bushing brackets removed from the vehicle. We began by removing the dogbone mount hardware and loosening the subframe hardware. Once the subframe was lowered slightly, we started to install each of the collars into their appropriate areas. Since we opted to replace the faulty original hardware, we removed each of the bolts one at a time and installed the respective collars and hardware individually. After installation of the kit, you will need to have an alignment performed since the suspension geometry has now been altered. At this point you may notice that there is a decided lack of movement to adjust alignment. This is where the SuperPro Adjustable Ball Joint kit comes into play.

Yet another flaw from the factory, the Mk5/Mk6/B6 and related platforms have limited camber adjustment. The subframe can be moved slightly to adjust it into spec, but if you’d like to properly setup your car for handling, it’s not possible. To correct this issue, the guys at SuperPro have developed a ball joint kit that adds camber adjustment. Installation was fairly simple and only required us to unbolt the stock ball joints and install the new units into place.

At this point we used our in-house alignment rack to get everything into spec, adjusted the ball joints to set the front to -1.5* of camber and went for a quick test drive. At this point all I could keep saying over and over again was wow. Turn in is now razor sharp with each turn of the steering wheel followed by a crisp and direct response. Understeer while still present (it’s still a fwd car after all) is drastically reduced. The CC really does handle like a completely different car now. Even under normal cruising conditions the car just feels much more nimble and quick to respond to even small inputs such as lane changes. I was so surprised by the handling difference that I let Joey take it for a drive just to make sure I wasn’t just imagining this amazing handling. After driving it he didn’t need to say a word to me, the big grin on his face was all I needed to see.

In terms of bang for your buck, this is hands down one of the best upgrades your money can buy for improving the overall feel of your car. I’d even go as far to say that it’s almost as defining to the handling as installing a set of coilovers (although you will appreciate your car much more if you do both). The total for all of the parts that were installed comes to only $629.97; a relative bargain for the amazing difference that you’ll experience. We keep all of these parts in stock, so if you are looking for a great weekend project or if you’d like us to install them, they’re here waiting for you. If you have any questions about these upgrades or would like to schedule an install, please feel free to contact us.

Parts Installed:

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**NVH  – Noise, Vibration, Harshness