Vaico Contorl Arm Kit Review


One of the many projects for the Avant Resto was tackling the sloppy and soft suspension. This was in part relived by the addition of stiffer coilovers for the wagon. However there was still the task of dealing with the tired and worn out control arm bushings. For those of you that may not know, the control arm bushings for the B5 model are non-serviceable and require replacement when the rubber joints start to crack and fail. A few months ago we went through the install process, and swapped out the old parts for nice, shiny new ones. We opted to go with Vaico, a cheaper generic brand, with the intention of saving a few dollars for other projects on the car. (Not all aftermarket parts a created equal, so it’s always safer to stick to OEM, however there are a few acceptable substitutions out there.) The install was straight forward, as the wagon’s old hardware didn’t put up much of a fight. Since completing the install, we have put several thousand miles on the Vaico kit and are happy to report it’s held up well so far. The immediate difference was staggering. The car felt stiff and precise. It no longer wanted to wander out of its lane and the handling was much improved. The ride and responsiveness had also improved dramatically, breathing life into our old wagon again. So far the cheaper Vaico kit has held up well, the rubber bushings are in great shape, with no rattles or squeaks to report. We have put the kit through its paces with some spirted driving and a few potholes (Unfortunately) However the control arms have always bounced right back and we are very happy with the results. The real test remains to be seen, as we have not put the control arms through a winter yet. Obviously we will report on the kits performance after the cold winter as well. Overall we would feel safe purchasing the Vaico kit again, the initial quality is high and we have been happy with its performance. However it is worth noting that the gamble with aftermarket parts, especially the budget ones, is that the quality of one kit may vary to another one. So while we have our success story, others may have a dud. That being said, we feel confident is saying the Vaico kit is a solid option for economy replacements. Look for another review in the future in where we will discuss the longevity of the kit. Thanks and happy wrenching!

-CA Staff


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