So, I recently bought some Rota SVN R 18×10 with tires for a really good deal from one of my friends. With my 15mm adaptors, it makes the final offset to et15. After test fitting the wheels, the tires were poking 1.5″ from my already pulled fender!! But I still wanted the wheels and if there is a will, there is a way. Since the GTI come with stock with rear camber bolts I maxed it out to -4 then with a heat gun and baseball bat I flared the rear fenders.
Sorry for some the pics, I use my cellphone for some parts of the builds. Anyways with the rears sorted out, I proceeded to do the front. Since the tires were poking out of the fenders, I pulled and rolled my fenders even more. Using only a heat gun, baseball bat, fender roller and a phone book, this is what it looked like:
After massaging the fenders, you can clearly see I rub like a b!@ch. BUT I didn’t want to raise my car another inch or so to clear the fenders, so the next step was to add camber. Most coilovers for the MK5 GTI doesn’t come with camber plates (kinda wish they did though). I looked around and not much camber plates were offered for my car and it was really pricey. I stumbled on these K MAC camber plates from Australia. I heard mixed reviews about them but from the other camber plates, this would give me the most camber and I can adjust caster also. K MAC is the only camber plate to offer caster adjustment. I paid only $380 for the plates and this was the cheapest too. The other camber plates where in the $450-$550 range.
After 3 business days, I got the parts and the instruction manual wasn’t very good. I kinda had to figure out how figure out how to how to mount the camber plates for the most camber. The camber plates isn’t marked left or right, because you a can switch the camber plates to give you a lot or little camber. Problem is if you want more negative camber and you switch the plates then the most you wil get is -1.5. After figuring out the diagram I proceeded to remove my front suspension.
You take off the one bolt on the bottom strut. Then take off the bolt that connects the link to the sway bar. WIth a little PB blaster and pushing down from the control arm, the coilover will separate from the control arm.
On the drivers side, the GTI has a HID leveler and you have to remove from the control arm too. This will allow the control arm to separate from the coilover. (Its the one my hand is touching.)
After you remove the bolts from the bottom, there are 3 bolts at the top to remove the strut. The back bolt is hard to get but I used 13mm wrench. Once the top bolts are off, you can simply pull out the coilover. Its only took my 30mins to remove my front suspension. My coilovers are significantly shorter than the stock suspension so I didn’t need to push down on the control arms that much to separate it from the coilovers.
Here it is out.
The camber plates vs the stock top mount. The camber plates looks like the same height, and doesn’t affect the ride height.
I took my coilover to a local shop, because I didn’t want to labor over an hour to remove the top mount. Using a air gun makes things a lot more more easier. At the shop they put on my camber plates for $25 and took only 30mins.
The top view. There are grooved slots were you can use a flat head screw driver to move the camber and caster.
Now time to reassemble the coilovers back on.
With the K MAC camber plates, they have a patented design where you loosen the top bolts and then use use a flat head screwdriver on the grooved slots to adjust camber and caster. You can do this with the wheels on the ground, its a quick 30sec adjustment!!
I also did used a Dremel to cut off the metal tabs from the fenders, and some of the fender liner out.
Right after the install.
before pic and then after:
At this time I’m not sure how much camber I was running but it was a lot compared to before which was -1.2. Now time for alignment!!
I went to One Stop Auto Service in Houston located on Highway 6. They are the best and hooked me up with an alignment! The shop has an in ground alignment that is DUMP friendly.
We made minor adjustments to the camber. No need to remove the wheels or suspension to adjust camber with the K MAC camber plates. The final adjustment was -3.5 in the front and -4 in the rears. I pretty much maxed out my camber haha.
I know some people will say thats a stupid amount of camber and thats wrong, yada yada yada. But I dont care, because its my car. With the increased negative camber my handling is actually better! I dont get the push understeer when I attack the corners. I also feel the road better, because the camber plates completely replaces the top mount. I still have my 17×9 et20 Enkei RPF1s, and im going to make that my track wheels. Just going to put sicky 255/40/17 tires on those 😀
Rolling on Rota SVN R 18×10 et15 with stretched 225/40/18 tires on all four corners, with a static drop. I’ve been on the Volkswagen forums and I haven’t seen anyone rock this fitment. If there is a will, there is a way. I love the fitment scene, and I aways wanna push the envelop.