After a lengthy absence, PoloDriver.com contributor Simon Kimber updates us on the story of his 1991 Polo GT Coupé. This time he reports on his ongoing replacement suspension track control arms saga
Regular readers may recall that sometime ago I had the front track control arms on my 1991 Polo GT coupé replaced for a pair of TAS adjustable ones at C&R Enterprises. Now these arms are starting to show their age, with creaks coming from the original-type ball joints.
After much searching and with a few enquiries to companies such as Eibach at GTI International, I am seeking a little assistance and guidance to build my own as my search for replacements proved fruitless. I have been able to find gas pipe that will be plenty strong enough from a contact at Red 9 Design, who assures me it is of the required strength. The plan is to buy a pair of new arms from one of the many aftermarket suppliers, as VW are running down supplies of track arms – if I were to buy directly from my local retailer they would cost about £70 each, although there is only one single arm available with no possibility of obtaining a pair if I wanted to. And not at £140 a pair if I could anyway.
The aftermarket track arms are far cheaper, somewhere in the region of better than half price. Superspares Balham High Road suggested I go to Stockwell Motor Accessories, who said they can order a pair of TRW arms at the suggested price of £31 each. They arrived one Saturday back in August, and on comparing the new arms with the adjustable arms still fitted, they appear to be around 7mm longer. I have emailed TRW to find out if the specifications have been altered and what kind of settings I could possibly end up with once they are fitted.
When I stripped the front suspension and compared the relative lengths of the track arms, the new and unmodified arms from TRW were only 3mm longer in the crucial area between the inner mounting bush and the anti-roll bar locater outboard. This actually meant no modification was deemed necessary – I would assume to be in the region of 10′N from the original settings using the arms fitted so long ago by C&R Enterprises. I am guessing that TRW may have adjusted the design to suit the Camber specs to somewhere in the middle of 10′+ +/- 30′, which leaves me a little bit miffed by not being able to brew my own special pair of arms.
The C&R replacements have lasted well, though, as they have been subjected to regular trackday use in addition to everyday driving over the past 11 years and 90,000 miles. Their condition wasn’t brilliant, but then I have owned this 21 year-old car for a very long time and am pretty aware of what alarming noises early Polo suspension can make and what each little creak and crackle actually means. So, overall I am very satisfied with the replacements.