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Thread: New Front Struts on my 2016 GTI with Electronic Dampening Control (EDC)

  1. #1
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    New Front Struts on my 2016 GTI with Electronic Dampening Control (EDC)

    Hey All,

    My trusty GTI is about to click over 100,000km and it's time to do some suspension work.

    I've located a knocking coming from the front end when I'm driving over speed-bumps to the front strut top mounts - an easy fix. So I'm thinking if the struts need to come out, and I've done 100,000km, I would replace them.

    Surprisingly, the lower control arm bushes are also torn and will need to be replaced. This was unexpected, but I'll replace them while I'm there.

    The challenge is, I have the Sport button activated Electronic Dampening Control (EDC) and when searching for replacements front struts with this feature, I have come up with nothing.

    I'm been trying different part suppliers, however having no luck. I do use the Sport feature a lot and would like to keep the active suspension.

    The OEM part is 6C0.413.031BT

    Has anyone else come across this issue? I'm open to
    suggestions on how to solve.

    Thanks
    Last edited by Buck0; 04-07-2023 at 07:57 AM.

  2. #2
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    There are solutions available.

    There are 'blanking modules' which plug into the harness to stop the car throwing errors if you wanted to replace the struts with non-switchable units. You would want to replace all 4 dampers though. The options for replacement dampers and springs that don't use electronic switching are huge. That would just come down to your budget and what direction you wanted to go in, eg simple budget replacement with OEM-type aftermarket parts, mid or high-end dampers, adjustable coilovers etc. The dampers are the expensive part - springs are cheap.

    Another option is to replace the mounts, keep the original struts. The struts are no known for being prone to failure and seem to last quite a while - certainly much longer than 100k km in normal use. Replace all the bushes, mounts etc and call it a day.

    If you wanted to replace the struts with original-equivalent parts - to be frank, I'm not sure you will find any aftermarket suppliers who have parts available immediately. Likely you'd need to buy through VW parts department at your local dealership. There will be aftermarket VW parts suppliers that will be able to source the parts for you on an order-in basis, and they would probably be cheaper than ordering from a dealer, but I'd be very surprised if anyone keeps these in-stock.
    Last edited by doc_777; 19-06-2023 at 08:22 AM.
    Cheers

  3. #3
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    Hey doc_777

    Thanks for replying.

    I'd really like to keep the adjustable feature. It's fun to put the car into Sport, stiffen things up, and rip around like it's a go-cart. I'm not really looking to go the full-aftermarket suspension set-up. It's more a zippy, fun city car than a weekend racetrack warrior (though, Ive had those in the past)

    You are correct about finding stock in Australia, there's zilch available, and I'm going to leave talking to VW parts as a last resort. I am talking to a company outside of London who say they can help and just waiting to hear back from them now. I was expecting this to be a little difficult, the option was only offered on 6R GTI from 2015 - 2017, so I can't imagine there's much demand here in Oz.

    I'm also considering not replacing the struts as you mentioned. If this all proves to be too hard or too expansive, I'll do the top-mounts and the lower control arm bushes and call it a day. She should be for another 50,000kms or so.

    I'll let you know how I go.

    Thanks - Buck0

  4. #4
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    My son has a 2015 Polo GTi (6C) - the 2015 did not have switchable dampers - it came as standard fitment from model year 2016 onwards in Australia (to the end of the 6C) and is one thing that I think is missing from the car. They do ride quite firmly and would benefit from being able to switch damping. That being said, the handling on these things is kart-like - such an underrated platform. When you have the rear dampers out, check out the bump stops - Audi A1 bump stops fit and are much shorter - helps stop the rear suspension from bottoming out so much and really improves the ride quality apparently. There is info on this forum about it.

    Last of the great Polo's IMO. The newer ones based on the MQB platform don't have the same quality feel IMO. The MK5's are built like little tanks.

    We've gotten some parts from the UK - their shipping costs are usually pretty reasonable in my experience - certainly worth enquiring for UK suppliers.
    Last edited by doc_777; 21-06-2023 at 07:51 AM.
    Cheers

  5. #5
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    Hey doc_777

    I agree, I feel the final 6C (6R) GTI was underrated when it was released here. The car kind of flew beneath the radar for most people and that's one of the reasons why I like it. I feel the new MQB version looks good and is more refined, however it's just a little heavier and has the same performance figures, but now out of the 2lt. When I drove it, it seemed to lack the urgency and go-kart feeling of the 6C. That's when I decided I'd keep the 6C, keep her in good shape, until it's time go electric.

    Mine is also a manual, which I love and something I'm going to miss in an EV.

    Thank you for the information about the back-end and the Audi bump stops. I'll keep that in mind when it's time for back-end tune up.

    The company in London, LLL parts, came back with an updated part number and price for the 'switchable' front struts:

    https://www.lllparts.co.uk/product/6...le-6c0413031cl

    Their price, before shipping and UK tax, is approx. AUD$282 each - which I felt was kinda okay.

    VW Parts have just come back to me and have the struts on backorder for $253.00 + GST - pick up. I've placed the order!!

    Just for anyone looking, my part number 6C0413031BT was superseded with part number 6C0413031CL in June 2016. Ive been assured twice that they are a perfect fit.

    It's always nice when a dealer comes through with a better than expected price. I'm glad I stopped into VW Waitara to have a chat with John in the parts division.

    Thanks,
    Buck0

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    Niiiice!
    Cheers

  7. #7
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    VW got me good!!

    I picked up my new 'switchable' struts, only to discover they didn't come with any hardware. The repair manual recommends replacing all the nuts, something I was planning to do anyway, as I certainly don't want anything falling off my front suspension.

    Spoke with VW only to the be told the top-mount nuts are $50 each!!! They're particular shape to accommodate the connector for the switchable set-up....so had to suck that one it up.

    Call me nuts, but all-in all I spent $150 on 6 nuts!! (Edit 7/7) add $50 for drive-shaft nuts - takes the total to $200 for 8 nuts

    The new struts went in on Sunday and what a transformation.

    The lower control-arm bushes were completely stuffed and I was happy to be swapping them out. The struts weren't terrible, but not good either, with very little push-back when tested. I'm glad I took the time to change them out (even with the cost of the nuts!) The rubber top-mounts were squashed out of recognition and have been replaced with polyurethane bushes from PowerFlex.

    The lower ball-joints were good, and I didn't touch the tie-rod ends, which meant I could have a drive straight after the work was done. Amazing transformation, the car much is much more composed with a faster turn in. Gone is the crashing over pot-holes and speed bumps replaced with a much more smooth ride. I had a wheel alignment done today and the car feels like a go-cart again.


    Working on your own car is always such an adventure with times during the install when I questioned why I was doing this work myself. However, driving the car after made it all worth the while. All-up the parts cost $1100, no bad really. I would hate to think what a dealer would have charged!!

    Buck0


    Last edited by Buck0; 22-07-2023 at 12:55 PM.

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