Whiteline Anti Lift Kit – WALK Review

Whiteline Anti Lift Kit – KCA316

Overview

I fitted the Whiteline Anti Lift Kit just a few days ago. My stock rear control arm mounts were a little tired from the mileage. I would’ve waited just a little bit more but I had some work done (cv boot tore) that would’ve necessitated an alignment anyway. So I decided to knock two things out in one go.

The Whiteline Anti Lift Kit (we’ll just refer to it as the WALK from hereon) replaces the rear control arm mount on the front arm. It relocates the rear mounting point slightly lower compared to stock and replaces the rubber bushing with a polyurethane bushing design. The name is a little bit misleading because it doesn’t actually add any “anti-lift” to the suspension. It removes the built in “anti-lift” geometry built in from the factory allowing the suspension to apply more force on the tires. Anti-lift is engineered into the suspension to reduce the nose pitch under acceleration. Manufacturers design suspensions like this for comfort. It can reduce front end traction because some of the suspension loads are then transferred into the suspension arms. This kit removes some of that designed in anti-lift geometry to allow the suspension to work directly. On a car with lets say, 100% anti-lift geometry, the nose will not lift at all and 100% of the chassis loads will be absorbed by the suspension arms instead of deflecting to the springs. On a car with 0% anti-lift, there is nothing resisting lift and the suspension is free to work (in this case extend into droop). An excellent conversation with some general theory behind this is here. It’s a Subaru site but the theory still applies. Just read the information about how it works. Whiteline also has a PDF paper. Here’s a quote from the Whiteline PDF:

“A softer front suspension during acceleration and braking will even out the load on the
front tires, giving a higher total cornering load available or more front-end grip. This will
lead to less understeer when cornering under power or brakes.
Another way of looking at this is that under power or brakes the effective spring stiffness
is lower, reducing the front-end anti-roll resistance, hence reducing weight transfer at the
front and less understeer.”

The kit adds .5 degrees of positive caster. The MKV GTI is already a caster heavy setup and the WALK only makes it better. Steering effort is raised a bit. I like it as the extra caster also makes the car more stable and the heavier steering is a plus for me. Camber gain while turning is also increased as a result of the caster and reduced bushing movement.

I didn’t do this on the lift

Installation

Installation can be difficult if you don’t have the proper tools. You can be creative with what you have but it took me a lot longer than I thought it would take on jackstands. I did not remove the control arm for this. I just unbolted the control arm mount, pried the control down and levered the old mount off. Contrary to what I had read, that mount was on there tight. I used a flat metal bar to lever it off the arm but it took some time, WD-40 and a lot brute force. If I had to do this again, a gear puller might work perfectly to pull off the mount.

Inner Bushing and Mount

The Whiteline bushing is actually a two part design. One is pressed into the WALK’s mount and the smaller bushing goes into that. It prevents binding and is actually quite clever. The bushings have grooves that hold the grease in to prevent noise and to keep everything moving smoothly. The smaller bushing goes on first and then the mount goes over it. You have to press the mount in with considerable force to get it to go all the way in. The instructions say to let some air out at the one end to help align the bushings. There is an illustration but I didn’t really get what they were talking about until I installed it. Grease the control arm shaft first to make sure it’s easy to remove if you ever have to take it off for any reason. Once you are ready slide the main mount onto the smaller bushing, you have to push it on pretty hard. The poly makes an airtight seal and if the grease you use is thick, you have to contend with the excess grease push it out the other end. Once the holes line up or are near (you may have to use a pry bar on the control arm to help get it into position, bolt up the shiny new Whiteline piece. I used blue Loctite on the three bolts.

Grease Retention Grooves

I used a lot of grease, way more than necessary. Better to over grease now than to have too little. It will make noise if the grease runs out. Whiteline included a packet of moly grease but I didn’t use it. I used a polyurethane specific grease that I wrote about before in this post. This grease is extremely tacky and silicone based. It’s much thicker than the grease they supply. I’d recommend you find this grease or order it online. It’s washout resistant and should keep you noise free for a long time. It’s sold in small tear off packets or a grease gun cartridge.

Here’s a copy of the installation instructions straight from Whiteline.

Control Arm Mount Bushing – Control Arm Side

Driving Impressions

This kit changed the car’s handling in a very positive manner. I know it removes some of the anti-lift geometry but it feels as if there is less lift when you are accelerating. The steering effort definitely goes up. On the freeway, the car feels more stable due to the added caster but it is subtle. The biggest difference is in the turns. It’s so much more fun now. The front end has picked up a lot of grip and feels considerably more stable and planted. I feel like I can push the car harder than ever and it will keep gripping. It’s really eye opening when you take a familiar corner. The front now feels sharp and alive. I love it. Apply some throttle and the car just dives into the turn. Fun fun fun.

Much of the stability probably comes from the poly bushing. The stock GTI bushings are practically cut all the way around to keep NVH down. The A3/S3 gets a much stiffer design with only two small voids. There is much less play in the suspension, which helps provide the feeling of stability. Speaking of NVH, the new bushing adds only a very small amount at road speeds of about 20-40 mph. Ride comfort remains the same with no harshness.

You will require an alignment after fitting this as the toe will be pushed out a bit. I recommend you tell the alignment shop to keep front toe-in close to zero or at zero.

Here’s a great review from the MKV forums.

Inner Bushing

Downsides

Where would a mod be without the downsides? I can’t really point out any faults that I can back up with evidence. There is one person whose inner bushing fell apart after one track day (R32). I’ve seen one or two split inner bushings in the UK forum but that is it. I’ve read other people have tracked with the bushing and it held up just perfectly. The majority consensus is that they are flukes (maybe 3 cases). Still something to think about.

There is also the need for periodic lubrication. I don’t think the grease Whiteline provides is tough enough for this application. It is thin and looks like regular moly grease. Polyurethane specific grease would be much better. I don’t know how long mine will last until it needs relubrication, but I’m hoping the grease I used holds up for a while.

The stiffer rear bush also transfers more force to the front control arm bushing. I didn’t replace that one since it was still good. Only time will tell if the rear poly mount helps deteriorate the front rubber bushing. So far so good though.

Overall

I wish I had fitted this mod sooner. It affects the front end in such a positive manner. More grip, better steering feel, sharper. It makes me long for turns. NVH is not an issue with this modification and it’s rather pleasant to be able to feel some of the road surface again. The heavier steering is a plus for me. I thought it was too light at highway speeds before, now it’s perfect. This mod gets an A+ from me.

Tinted Tail Lights By Darcness

Now the deal on the OEM smoked tail lights is great.  However, if you want something a little darker, you’re going to have to go somewhere else.  There is a guy on the MKV forums that goes by “Darcness” who can tint tail lights to your preferred shade and even do the amber turn signal modification while he’s at it.  The amber turn signal DIY is actually his own doing as well.  He does excellent work, as attested to by several forum members, and this huge thread.

Not my car, but featuring his work

I do not have his tail lights nor have I ordered from him, but I like what he does.  He does quality work.  He has many satisfied customers and is a forum sponsor.  In general, a good guy.  Check out that thread if you’re interested in purchasing a set of custom tail lights from him.  Basically, you pay for your tails plus a deposit.  You receive your tails, install them and then send back your old set and your deposit is refunded.

If you need some tail light work, send him a private message on GolfMKV.com under user name “Darcness”.  He can elaborate more on pricing.

 

Disclaimer: Please understand that if a situation or something arises, I am in no way tied to “Darcness”.  I cannot help you in transactions with him.  This post is just to let others know of a forum recommended source for tinted tail lights.

 

Amber Rear Turn Signals – DIY Mod

Red turn signals have always bothered me.  They’re much harder to notice than amber turn signals and difficult to differentiate from the brake lights in certain cars.  The MKV cars have amber turn signals in Europe but for some reason, the US-spec cars get the horrible red flasher.  Fortunately not all is lost.  A forum member by the name of Darcness came up with a cheap, very easy DIY to incorporate amber turn signals into the US-spec tail lights.  It just requires you to purchase two bulb sockets.  The mod requires some soldering but it is not difficult.  It also requires the use of VAG-COM to change some settings around.

I love this mod, I finished it up a few days ago and the amber turn signals do a much better job of signaling my intent to other drivers.  They are a little dimmer in the daytime but still very noticeable.  At night, they are absolutely fantastic.  I’ll get a picture up ASAP.  I will say that you should use 921NA bulbs in the mod.  It will give you the brightest light in this application.  A 194/168/916 bulb will fit and work but is dimmer than the 921.  The thread on the forum will state that there might be heat issues but with the intermittent nature of a turn signal, that won’t be a problem.  It may not even be a problem with continuous usage.

You’ll need a few things for the DIY:

Soldering iron

Solder

Cutter

Wire strippers

(x2) 921 NA (Amber) wedge bulbs

(x2) bulb holders  (Order these exact ones www.discoverbulbs.com/connectors.htm.  Click the link and scroll to the 194/921 wedge pigtail connectors; they are part number 60-XX @ 2.99 each)

EDIT: This site no longer exists. Try looking for 194 bulb sockets or pigtail connectors on ebay. A Google search will also bring up a good amount of sources.

Vag com or someone who has it

And finally the link to his DIY below

Amber Rear Turn Signals – DIY

Can’t thank Darcness enough for his DIY!  If you find his DIY useful, send your thanks his way on that post!

Here’s a video of them in action: