VW Bora - Crashing rear suspension - matstro

Got a 1999 VW Bora 1.6 petrol with 80K on the clock and something I've noticed is that going over potholes, the rear wheels just crash into the potholes with no dampening effect.

We had exactly the same problem with a year 2000 Seat Toledo 100K (almost same car).

The cars just been MOTed and theres no problem noted with the rear suspension also when the rear end is manually pushed down, the suspension just comes back up once.

Can anyone give me a clue whats happening? I'm thinking its worn shocks but if it was the MOT would have picked them up? Theres also some very slight wallowing of the rear end when going round corners so I'm thinking bushes and would this be connected?

Many thanks in advance.......

VW Bora - Crashing rear suspension - Peter.N.

Rear tyres over pressure or tread worn thin is the most likely cause. Could be worn rear shocks, when you push the rear down it down it should come up and maybe down a little way, it shouldn't bounce, wallowing could indicate worn shocks.

VW Bora - Crashing rear suspension - matstro
rear pressures are ok and the treads half worn also when pushed down the back end doesnt bounce, it just returns...

doesnt happen with the front only the back and I've never had this on any other car apart from this Bora and the Seat - strange!
VW Bora - Crashing rear suspension - Peter D

Check on the option codes on the ID label in the spare wheel bay to see if you have a sports suspension option. You can look the codes up on the net. Regards Peter

VW Bora - Crashing rear suspension - Peter.N.

I really don't know then, I have two Citroen XMs which do the same over rough surfaces when lightly loaded, the only thing that helps is to reduce the rear tyre pressures.

VW Bora - Crashing rear suspension - DavidR

I had exactly the same problems with my 2000 Bora 1.6, including the slightly wallowy handling. The problems appeared in the first few weeks of ownership after buying it second hand. The main dealer I bought if from could not diagnose the fault after 3 visits, so I took the car to a mechanic friend of mine.

After several test drives and plenty of poking around the underside of the car, it turned out the crashing was caused by the rubber bushings at the front end of the trailing arms where they pivot in the mounts bolted to the chassis. Under very close inspection it appeared there was a small amount of excess play and some of the rubber in the bush had perished. Once changed, it transformed the ride quality and the handling of the car.

Hope that helps!

VW Bora - Crashing rear suspension - matstro

DavidR, that sounds spot on. Its so rough I'm sure it cannot be shocks as if they were that bad, the MOT would have picked it up - it really is like the wheels just drop into the potholes with resonating throughout the car as it happens.

Re. these bushes, is that a DIY job, are the bushes available seperately or do I have to buy the arms?

Grateful thanks for everyone taking the time to comment....

VW Bora - Crashing rear suspension - DavidR

Mine got so bad some rear seat passengers thought I must have replaced the springs on the back with scaffold poles!

Anyway, the bushes are available separately- no need to replace any other components. I woundn't say it is a DIY job. You have to drop one side of the rear axle off the car and I think this may be a bit tricky and possibly dangerous unless the car properly supported on a workshop lift. I just left to my mechanic to sort, even though i'm quite comfortable doing most other things on my car. The bushes are pretty inexpensive, only about £15 if I remember correctly. It didn't take long to fit either.

VW Bora - Crashing rear suspension - matstro

David, many thanks for this, its a great help....I'll get it done...

VW Bora - Crashing rear suspension - bimmer-driver

Quite a common problem- nearly always the trailing arm bushes as mentioned.

VW Bora - Crashing rear suspension - matstro

Been pondering this and perusing the internet - theres lots of info out there on this job. It seems you don't have to remove the axle, just let it drop down apparently the brake pipes have enough slack to let this happen. Special tool for inserting the bushes, the prob seems to be getting them out. But, the one thing I don't inderstand is that the car has just failed a very strict MOT (brake discs fail that another place said they would have passed) so if these bushes are worn how come they weren't picked up on the MOT? I'm assuming then that it only takes a little wear to produce the problem....

VW Bora - Crashing rear suspension - matstro

may be of interest to Golf/Bora/ Seat owners but in the end I did nothing and lived with the problem as we don't use the car much. Until today when I removed one of the shocks to take a look and it was knackered! Bought a couple of new gas ones from GSF for £61 the pair and the crashing in potholes problem has gone - now have a nice smooth ride!

So the point of my follow up post on this thread is if you have any of the above models (we had a year 2000 Seat with exactly the same symptoms) don't jump to the conclusion its the bushes.

Replacement of shocks is such an easy job and at £61 the pair - peanut expense.

I'm not saying the bushes are not worn but it wasnt them that were causing the wheels to crash down.....


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