Fitting a Rear Anti Roll Bar to Mk7 GTI
Cars are fitted with two anti-roll bars, front and rear. They serve the purpose of stabilising the car through cornering by controlling and reducing lateral chassis roll. Without anti-roll bars you would feel the car lean over quite heavily when cornering which would greatly unsettle the chassis and the amount of grip available to you.
Increasing the stiffness of a rear anti-roll bar, specifically on front-wheel-drive cars, will reduce understeer. The beauty of the VW Golf being such a popular car is there is a vast amount of options when it comes to upgrades and tuning.
The MQB platform has seen tuning options from big brands in the aftermarket segment but further to this is the option for upgrades available from within the VW Audi Group.
Whilst there are several aftermarket options available, the plan for our project car was to enhance its characteristics but maintain its everyday usability. With this in mind we sourced a Clubsport S anti roll bar for the Rear of the car. The front bar is the same across all GTIs and doesn’t need changing.
Powerflex PFR85-815-21-7 Rear Anti Roll Bar Bush
Whilst the anti-roll bar was out it made absolute sense to change the anti-roll bar bushes. The factory fitted items will perish over time due to the material they’re made from. OEMs like to keep costs down so high quality rubber materials aren’t often an option. We opted for Polyurethane upgrades which will offer some more precision and also last the life of the car.
We sourced the PFR85-815-21-7 Kit from Powerflex who are a reputable brand when it comes to Polyurethane bushes. We’ve already fitted their engine insert mount kit which made a significant improvement. The kit is for all GTIs as they are all 21.7mm in diameter. The difference comes from the material wall thickness. The standard unit is 3.0mm thick and the Clubsport S unit is 3.6mm which is how the stiffness is increased.
The kit consists of the 2 bushes for either side of the anti-roll bar and a tube of PTFE silicone grease.
Fitting the Anti Roll Bar
Begin by removing the nut and bolt for rear drop links – 13mm either side. The bolts may get stuck under tension and maybe need a bit of force to remove them once the nuts have been removed.
Next, remove the M10 triple square nuts which fix the Anti Roll Bar to the body.
Lift the drop links up, rotate and tuck them into the arms of ARB. The bar can now be manoeuvred away and off the car. Remove the metal clamps once the bar is off the car.
The original bushes seemed to have some kind of adhesive on them between the bush and the anti-roll bar. They needed to be broken away using a flat head screwdriver. However, there was still some residual rubber on the bar after removal.
The residual rubber was heated with a blowtorch and then scrubbed off with a wirebrush until the surface was clean from any old material.
It’s not essential but if you have slightly higher mileage then it makes sense to replace the drop links whilst the roll bar is off. The part number is 5Q0-505-465-C. We fitted two new droplinks to the GTI during the install.
The anti-roll bar is ready for the new bushes. The Powerflex kit is supplied with grease. Apply the grease to the anti-roll bar and the inner section of the bush. The clamps can be loosely fitted over the new bushes ready for refit.
Refit the anti-roll bar by placing the drop links into place first and fitting the bolts. Then put drop links in to place first and loosely fit the bolts before fitting clamps back on. Whilst bigger anti-roll bars on the rear can promote oversteer, there have been no encounters of this so far so.
The noticeable difference is a more stable rear end. The Mk7 GTI can feel a little numb so any gains in feeling are always welcome. The upgraded bushes and Clubsport S rear anti-roll bar allow for some improved feeling. There is a sense of the rear end being more planted without creating any level of discomfort like you’d find with some suspension modifications. The car is still very compliant and comfortable over rough surfaces. Usually with increasing stiffness of the rear anti-roll bar on a front-wheel drive increases the tendency for oversteer but the car has remained very well balanced. The cost of the part is relatively cheap, and it isn’t a difficult install to improve the dynamics on an already great platform. Do it, you won’t regret it.
Clubsport S Rear Anti Roll Bar – 5Q0511305BA – £120 new at the time of fitting
Rear drop links – 5Q0505465C
Video guide for fitment of a similar part: