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Skezza

How To: Ghetto Fix / Long-Term Fix Checkstraps (Without buying a new pair)

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Updated: 29th April 2014
So, I figured it was best to make this into one single thread rather than having a few explaining how to fix the same issue.
The 'official' way of fixing this is to buy new checkstraps. They are £40 a pair, but why spend more than you really need to. If you're willing to get your hands a bit dirty, here are three ways you can fix it quickly.
This thread was inspired by the original checkstrap fix thread found here:
Like I always say, this is just a guide. You might need to use a bit of intuition if something isn't quite working as you expected. Hopefully this thread is enough to see you through.
Ghetto Fix (Temporary)
What you need:
Bag of cheap assorted heatshrink. (found on ebay for about £3)
Heatgun/Hair dryer/Hob
10mm socket wrench
(Optional) Cup of water
(Optional) Spray grease
1. Remove the pin using the 10mm socket wrench.
Hnm72R1.jpg
2. Cut a piece of heatshrink to the size of the unthreaded part of the pin and place it so it covers it.
zlZcHux.jpgNSu5yx9.jpg
3. Heat the pin so that the heatshrink wraps itself tightly around the unthreaded section.
7H8xSgE.jpg
4. I suggest adding a couple more layers although not an exact science and too many will stop you from putting the pin back in. Might be worth using a slightly smaller piece each time. Not massively smaller, just a couple of mm. I found using the same length for each piece made it a little harder to screw back in.
BbIft69.jpg
5. Reinstall the pin and check if it's quieter, if it is, undo the pin slightly and give it a blast of spray grease. Should reduce the amount of wear on the heatshrink pieces.
This fix lasts a few months usually. It only takes 10 minutes so is worth doing if you're in a rush or have some spare heatshrink.
Job Done!
Permanent Fix 1 (Recommended)
This for me is the best way of doing it and should last for the lifetime of the car.
What you need:
Oilite repair bush link
10mm socket wrench
Pliers
Rag/Tissue
Rubber Mallet/Hammer + Cloth
Step 1 is the same as the Ghetto Fix. Simply remove the pin, place something into the bush to stop the door from swinging.
2. Clean the checkstrap and pin using your tissue or rag. No need for alcohol cleaning agent, just touch dry will do. This is quite an important step as oilite bushes are porous and can absorb oil causing them to expand.
3. If you have a checkstrap with a nylon bush, you'll need to remove the remnants. The easiest way is to get a screwdriver and start lifting up from the top hat. Additional force from a round file can really help. Once you've got it all out, clean again using your cloth. At this stage, there's no going back really. If your checkstrap has the new style aluminium bush, simply pop it using a round file. It's tight but shouldn't be too tight.
4. You'll need to press the oilite bush in using something like a set of pliers, or a g-clamp. I found I couldn't exert enough force using a g-clamp but pliers were great.
5. Once in, you'll probably need to lightly tap your checkstrap pin back through using a mallet or cloth covered hammer.
The bush is oilite, therefore will weep oil as you use the door more and more. There is absolutely no need to grease/oil it and I would actively discourage you from doing so. You may find the door is quiet, but not as quiet as you expect on the first day, however after a day or two it will become very quiet thanks to the oilite effect.
Job Done!
Permanent Fix 2
This is another way of permanently refurbishing your checkstrap. The material is similar to that used by VW, however it's slightly harder wearing so should last considerably longer. I wrote this tutorial in June of last year. It's currently April 2014 and the door is just as quiet as the day I did it.
What you need:
Piece of 12mm x 6mm hard Nylon tubing, or if you have an aluminium bush 8mm x 6mm, again, eBay.
10mm socket wrench
Pliers
(Optional) Spray grease

The unthreaded part of the pin is 5.9945 (according to micrometer). It slides perfectly inside the piece of tubing from fleabay. It's not super tight so you don't have to hammer it or heat it, but at the same time the pin is gripped so there is a solid fit.

Step 1 and 2 are the same as the Ghetto Fix. Simply remove the pin, place something into the bush to stop the door from swinging.

3. I suggest cutting a generous piece of tubing, perhaps an inch or so long. You can be more precise if you want but I found it was easier to work with a larger piece and to get the tubing into the bush then cut away the excess from above. I haven't got a photo for this but I'm sure you can work out what I mean :P

4. Getting the tubing to press was the hardest thing. I just used a set of strong pliers and it worked okay, but you need to put some effort in. I was using 8mm x 6mm tubing and inserting into an aluminium bush. If you had a nylon bush, you need 12mm by 6mm and should remove the entire bush, or press 8mm x 6mm into the worn bush as to crush it.

BtGllUU.jpg

5. Once you've done this, you're good to go. You know that the pin already fits on the inside of the tubing. Spray the hell out of the whole thing with some grease just so it's nice and slick.

Job Done!

Edited by Skezza
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A real ghetto mechanic would have use electrical tape. Heat shrink is the stuff of luxury

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A real ghetto mechanic would have use electrical tape. Heat shrink is the stuff of luxury

Hahaha, Defcon, the first time I did this I did use electrical tape :D :D

Unfortunately it only lasted for about 3 weeks :P Heatshrinks a nice compromise ;)

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So..... If you do the ghetto, you don't need to do the perm fix? Or do you need to do both? It looks like you've done both to that, or was this months apart?

Does this fix the bouncing? When I open the lupos door it looks like the pin is bouncing all over the place.

Wont just buying a new check strap + bolt from VW cure all this?

Edited by danoid

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So..... If you do the ghetto, you don't need to do the perm fix? Or do you need to do both? It looks like you've done both to that, or was this months apart?

Does this fix the bouncing? When I open the lupos door it looks like the pin is bouncing all over the place.

Wont just buying a new check strap + bolt from VW cure all this?

Ahh, I probably should have said. No, you don't do both. They are two separate methods of fixing it. I did both fixes, one on each door as to allow me to grab the photos and write up the details.

Yes, both of these fixes stop the pin from 'bouncing'. You see, the pin is bouncing because the bush has worn away, so it's slipping and the impact is causing the massive creaking and banging noise. I probably should have done that video as I demonstrate the improvement.

Yes, buying a new one from VW is a viable solution as I said at the top of the original post. The problem is, that will also wear and eventually creak too! My passenger door has a newer checkstrap which suffers from the same problem and is very noisey. My point is, if you buy a new checkstrap, you will probably be buying another new one in a few years time as they still suffer wear issues. £40 for a new pair each time, is it worth it? This method costs pennies and if you do the 'Long Term Fix' probably lasts just as long as a new checkstrap.

Up to you which one you prefer ;)

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Ah good point!

Edited by danoid

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Good write up and explanation Skezza. :clap:

Question is what do you do with the 950mm ish you have left ? :D

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Good write up and explanation Skezza. :clap:

Question is what do you do with the 950mm ish you have left ? :D

Hahaha, good question. Ermm... Well I threw it in my box of assorted bits and bobs haha!! Hopefully I won't have to use it again, but if I do (in several years) I've got plenty more haven't I ? :D

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