Installation: (17,925 miles) I got the Defcon 1+ kit (from MCPaudi via the Modshack) as a Christmas gift. I started the installation a couple of weekends ago and finally got around to finishing it last night. Removing the control arms from the TT was very straight forward. You do need to drop the belly pan to access the bolt head on the front bushing on the driver’s side. MCPaudi has some nice photos available that are helpful. Once the control arms are off, get ready for the hard stuff. I used a ball joint press and a couple of large sockets as drifts to remove the OEM bushings. The rear bushings came out relatively easily, but the front bushing were a bit more stubborn. If you can get an edge of the aluminum sheath pried up around the outside, it is possible to use a drift and drive the bushings out using the same ball-joint press.
Once out, get ready for the really hard stuff. Well, not really, now that I’ve done it. I had hoped to get some liquid Nitrogen to freeze the Defcons, but I got impatient and settled for simply putting them in my freezer. While I got off to a good start on the first insert, I couldn’t seat the last 1/4″. The ball joint press just wasn’t enough to get the job done. So, for the other side, I also heated the control arm in my oven (on the warm setting) and used some anti-seize compound as lubricant. It went right in. Additionally, be sure to start on the side of the control arm with the bevel – it makes keeping it lined-up easier.
Now you might ask, what to do with the last 1/4″ on the first control arm? Well, fortunately, my brother-in-law is a mechanic at the local Caterpillar dealer. I told him what I was doing and asked him if he had a press that might take care of my problem. He said, “as long as 150 tons will do it.” Needless to say, it wasn’t a problem and it is now seated completely.
Reinstalling the control arms is very straightforward. I slid in the rear busing first and slipped a bolt through the hole to keep it in place. Then position the front bushings and secure with the new bolt. Torque as follows (from Bentley): Ball joint nuts to 75 Nm, rear bolt and nut to 70 Nm + 1/4 turn, and front bolt to 70 Nm + 1/4 turn.
Test Drive and First Impressions: My first test drive was rather conservative, considering I still need to get an alignment. Turn in is crisp and solid. Many others have noted substantial improvement, which is true, but perhaps less pronounced in my car because the OEM bushings were still rather fresh. In any case, I’m pleased and impressed.
Long Term Impressions: The TT has now had a 4-wheel alignment with the following specs:
|Front Left||Front Right|
|-0 deg 55′||
|-0 deg 50′|
|7 deg 6′||
|6 deg 48′|
|Front Cross Camber: -6′|
|Front Cross Caster: 0 deg 17′|
|Front Total toe: 0|
|Rear Left||Rear Right|
|-1 deg 58′||Camber||-1 deg 50′|
|0 deg 8′||Toe||0 deg 7′|
|Rear Cross Camber: -0 deg 9′|
|Rear Total Toe: 0 deg 15′|
|Rear Thrust Angle: 0 deg 1′|
I am very pleased with the results of installing the Defcon 1+. The combination of the new hardware along with an alignment that eliminated front toe, is quite pleasing – the TT goes exactly where you point it. I believe that I am going to appreciate this more and more as I put some more miles on the car. This is a great bang-for-the-buck mod.
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