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Lupo gti subframe removal


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Since I was refurbing the back axle, thought I might as well do the subframe as it looked pretty corroded. Did it on my garage floor so thought it would be a nightmare job but hasn't turned out too bad. One of the captive nuts has gone so I'll need to open that up but thankfully the subframe isn't too bad. Once places open up again I'll get it blasted and painted.

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I have an idea where it might be possible to simply drill a big hole (about 20mm diameter) right through the side of the reinforcing plate (lots of small drill holes in a circle-old skool styleee). Then once you can see the captive nut, plug everything with lots of weld, locking it back in again, being careful not to mess up the thread. Might work?

Last time I did it with an angle grinder and a small die grinder, it was a nightmare. About 4h work start to finish, just for a loose nut.

There is loads of anti rust wax in there (or should be). Take care when welding.

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Could you put a hole saw through it? Would that then leave you with a nice circle to weld back up with?

I've never done it, just a thought?

Edited by James_VW
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The captive nut has some play in it so it needs to be fluid.

When you find it spinning you should open the leg instantly and weld it in place so you retain location.

I once did a car and we could only get three subframe bolts in due to previous... 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Finally got round to this captive nut, straight forward enough so far. 20 minutes with a grinder and some messing about to get the captive nut cage out. No idea when I'll get back to welding it back up,  will wait til I've got the subframe refurbed. Some pics..

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I thought there was loads of wax in there. At least there should have been? I've noticed on a few Vdubs, the offside of the car has wax, but not the nearside sub frame mounting. I wonder if there was something happening for a few months on the production line. Fritz, the wax injecting waterproofer was off sick or enjoying too many late nights... (or was it Jean-Claude on the Belgium line?)

Fabulous pics by the way. Very useful. Shows, if you're careful, it is possible to drill a decent hole in the side at the bottom. Then before attempting to remove the bolt bung a plug of weld in. Then, in theory, if it rounds off, you might be able to weld something onto the threaded part and loosen it. Maybe the action of welding the captive nut may also help loosen the thread...?

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I've looked before and couldnt find any pics so thought it would be useful to share, I sprayed rustoff in the small hole at the other side after this one failed which I think helped to free it off. I'll get a new bolt and re use the original nut/block. I'll post pics

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...
  • 1 month later...

Finally got axle, subframe, suspension and brakes etc rebuilt and car driven out of garage. Quite happy with ride height (standard shocks and eibach springs) although I'm sure it may settle down once driven. Next step is to get camber/alignment set up and motd as its been off the road for 5 years. Have also fitted 280mm front brake conversion and hel brake lines.

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