Go Go Powerflex | James’ MK4 GTI
Unfortunately I can’t turn my Golf into a Power Ranger but I can improve it’s handling. So what’s one of the most effective ways to sharpen up the handling of a 17-year-old hot hatch? Those in the know will tell you that a set of polyurethane performance suspension bushes can completely transform your car’s suspension for the better (they’ll also probably tell you just what a pain these little plastic circles can be to remove/replace, but some things in life are worth the effort if you ask me…)
By now, I think we’ve established my 140,000-mile Golf hasn’t had the easiest of lives, so I was keen to get shot of my heavily perished standard rubber bushes in replacement for something newer and more performance-focused. After all, with my Eibach coilovers and new wheels and tyres also waiting to go on the car, this could prove to be the missing piece of the puzzle for the car’s underside refreshment.
With high hopes for a fair bit of track day time in 2017, as well as plenty of fun, fast road miles to look forward to, I decided to go with a set of Powerflex’s offerings, which promise to be a little bit firmer than OEM items while retaining some comfort for those inevitable dull daily driving duties.
The replacement parts covered the front arms as well as the rear upper and lower arms, along with both front and rear anti-roll bar kits, too. When the beautifully packaged gear eventually arrived, I could see my local mechanic shudder as he realised just how many old ropey bushes he’d have to prise off the car first!
Fortunately, he was prepared with all the tools he’d need – a decent press, an angle grinder, and even a blowtorch for the really, really bedded-in jobbies, so with a hefty dose of blood, sweat and tears, the manky old bushes were eventually swapped for the shiny new purple items in just under a day’s hard graft.
Powerflex is a UK company through-and-through, still producing all of its stock from its Uxbridge HQ. And now my car’s been set up and I’ve had a few miles to notice the differences, I can confirm they strike the perfect balance between road comfort and track performance.
The thought of performance bushes is often enough to make some people wince as they imagine the back-breaking ride that comes as a result of fitting them, but it’s a testament to the parts I’ve fitted that the ride is still nigh-on OEM quality during everyday driving conditions.
Next up, time to improve the chassis even further with the other new goodies I’ve bought for it…