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Discussion Starter #1
2001 Jetta VR6 - My last week in short - Noticed drivers side front tire wearing real bad on inside (belts showing).
So I take to local repair station to have them tell me whats wrong. They tell me the frame is bent and there is nothing they can do to fix, the camber has been adjusted as far as it can be adjusted.
So I take to a frame guy that the above place recommended. They say the frame is not bent and probably needs struts.
At this point I am totally frustrated with any repair station, so I take a look at the front end myself and take some pictures, by the way the underside does not look like it has ever been wrecked, looks good.
I have a few questions for the VW forum and would greatly appreciate some insight -
Can struts be so bad that the camber has run out of room to be adjusted?

Take a look at the attached picture and let me know what you think?

Thanks Dave (soon to be very familiar with the front end of my VW Jetta)
 

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MK4 & MK5 Owner
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There is no camber adjustment on the mk4 front suspension. The only way you can adjust it slightly is by the 3 bolts holding the ball joint to the control arm or adjusting the subframe. With that said I'm guessing they probably tried that but can't get it to spec. So no leads the question, how old are your : control arm bushings, strut bushings and ball joints? Those will cause camber issues. If you struts are sagging then yeah that would cause it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
FUBAR - I am mid 40's but a novice VW owner. Have owned for approx 1 yr. Did you take a look at the attachment (Is that the control arm bushing?)very different from the passenger side. Would you recommend replacing the control arm bushings, strut bushings and ball joints? I assume if one side is done should do both sides.
 

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Sorry I was afraid to click the zip file thing. Bet I did just look at it. That's the swaybar endlink. That ont cause any camber or alignment issue. I dont even have those or a swaybar for that matter.
You should replace suspension parts in pairs. You can do the whole refresh for I think under $200. If the car has atleast 80,000+ then its due.
Take a look at the rear control arm bushings. If the look ripped or like this...

That can cause a camber issue. Just too much slop in the bushing.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
FUBAR - I have put about 15K miles on the VW it now has 130K now, so it is due then.

Sorry about asking the simple questions but If I were to put a list of parts to get what would it look like? Thanks again for your assistance
 

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. You might need a spring compressor to change the strut bushing. You can cut the old control arm bushings out and press the new ones in with a vise and some well placed pcs. Of wood or steel. You will need the inner tie rod tool to remove it. All the tools can be rented from most parts stores.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
As I get ready for the front end suspension refresh I looked over the DIYs and noticed you have one for the control arm bushing replacement, that should be helpful. When I am in the process of replacing the strut bearings and mounts how can I tell if the struts need replacing? I figure if I am there and it needs to be done then I will do it. As I wait for the refresh kit I am trying to think of everything I will need. I don't want to be doing this all weekend long.
 

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When you pull out the strut to replace the bearing, check to see if the strut rod has resistance and rebounds. Also check for any oil or pitting on the rod.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
After the front end refresh and strut replacement (they were bad) I am gonna need some tires and an alignment. Winter is right around the corner and I have been thinking about steel rims and don't know what size I can use, so if I presently have the 225 45 R17 tires what size tires etc... can I go to? This whole ordeal is painful but cant wait until I can drive the VW again with all the new front end susp and tires. Where can I get some cheap steel wheels?
 

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Look on craigslist for 16in beetle steel wheels. A lot of people sell them with tires for around $300. I picked mine up for $150 without tires and bought used winters for about $200. 205/55-16 is the size for 16in. wheels. If you want to put winter tires on your current wheels then Run the same size.
My winter/mud wheels
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The entire front suspension on my Jetta has been refreshed, including the struts and 2 new tires. The ride is nice again. Thanks for the help. Still lookin for an inexpensive set of steel wheels for the winter.
 

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Nice. That was quick. Hunt craigslist night and day. I just found a set for $225. I thought about buying them just to resell.
 
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