The MkIV Jetta, Golf and New Beetle TDI are truely special vehicles. Even now, almost 14 years after the first arrival of the A4 chassis and ALH, 1.9 TDI diesel engine, many of us still use one as our daily driver.
So, 10 years on, stuff starts breaking. These cars were designed to last a few hundred thousand, certainly, but 300,000 miles and 10 years? Thats a lot of abuse. The glove boxes and armrest hinges are the two most common points of failure.
Thankfully, there is now a armrest repair kit available for MkIV Jetta, Golf and New Beetles. This kit is available at IDParts and by its creator, AARodriguezcorp
Installation outline past the break…
Installation is hands on but straightforward, and can be broken into three parts – remove old hinge, install first half of new hinge, put top in place & install second half of new hinge. The most difficult task is removing your old, broken hinge. This requires cutting the hinge off using a dremel, hacksaw or sawzall.
The replacement hinge is made to work even if there is some of the old hinge left on the cover. On the underside of the replacement hinge there are two groves that accomodate the leftover material. The groves fit with the leftovers nicely, so it may actually be easier to align the hinge with some of the original hinge left on the cover.
The replacement hinge comes in two pieces. The first piece will be installed while the armrest top is still out of the car. Use the groves and leftover hinge material to align the first piece, then use one of the self-tapping screws to secure the hinge-half to the armrest top.
Now we must go into the car with the armrest top. Align the first half of the hinge into one of the hinge holes in the armrest. With that side in, take the second half of the replacement hinge and align that with the opposite side hole.
Once the second half is aligned you can snap the two halves together. Its a tight fit and it will only click in if its correctly aligned so it may take a few tries to get it right.
With the second half snapped in all thats left is to finish attaching the remaining self-tapping screws.
Installation video also available below: