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Old 9th February 2014, 17:53   #1
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Default VW Polo DIY: OEM front armrest

Fixed the OEM armrest today morn with the help of my room-mate. Took us 2 hours and some elbow grease to insert one tiny bolt through the internal threading but was well worth the efforts.

VW Polo DIY: OEM front armrest-wp_20140209_12_39_23_pro.jpg

This DIY applies for the basic OEM armrest which does not include the cupholder at the rear. For the GTI-spec armrest installation, refer this thread - VW Polo DIY: GTI-spec Front Armrest installation

I've clicked a few snaps during our installation which may help someone who intends to get an OEM armrest installed on a Polo.

First, move both the front seats forward to get working space and push the seatbacks to the front.

Then, detach this plastic piece:
VW Polo DIY: OEM front armrest-wp_20140209_10_44_17_pro.jpg
It comes off quite easily without the need of any prying tool.

It exposes the handbrake cables:
VW Polo DIY: OEM front armrest-wp_20140209_10_44_41_pro.jpg

Using a #20 Torx bit, remove this screw:
VW Polo DIY: OEM front armrest-wp_20140209_10_45_08_pro.jpg

Notice the threaded hole below the carpet:
VW Polo DIY: OEM front armrest-wp_20140209_10_51_06_pro.jpg

And another one to its right side:
VW Polo DIY: OEM front armrest-wp_20140209_10_51_25_pro.jpg

Now, insert the Aluminium base of the armrest into the open slot. The right end should go in first as indicated in the snap:
VW Polo DIY: OEM front armrest-wp_20140209_10_46_15_pro.jpg

Use the supplied hex. washer-head bolt through the base into the threading:
VW Polo DIY: OEM front armrest-wp_20140209_11_28_03_pro.jpg
The length of the supplied bolts were high so we used some leftover 3mm thk Neoprene rubber sheet as the washer. Repeat the same for the RHS hole and using the same Torx screw which was removed initially, screw down the AFT end of the base.

After the base has been screwed completely:
VW Polo DIY: OEM front armrest-wp_20140209_11_31_43_pro.jpg

Another snap showing the RHS bolt of the base:
VW Polo DIY: OEM front armrest-wp_20140209_11_32_31_pro.jpg

Now, here is the best part. Notice the bush inside the snap below?
VW Polo DIY: OEM front armrest-wp_20140209_12_23_33_pro.jpg
This had to be done because the base material is Aluminium and the supplied bolts were of grade 8.8! Grade 8.8 is usually used in high tensile applications and are much superior in strength. When this bolt was inserted into the armrest hole and removed, it ate the internal threading! The threading just came off like that! So remember, do not insert and remove the bolt into the armrest base multiple times otherwise you may have to drill another hole over the existing one and insert a bush as shown in the snap above.

Now, the plastic cover on the RHS of the armrest is in place:
VW Polo DIY: OEM front armrest-wp_20140209_12_25_39_pro.jpg
This had to be done before the armrest was screwed to the base else the plastic piece just wouldn't go inside.

An alternate view from the LHS:
VW Polo DIY: OEM front armrest-wp_20140209_12_25_54_pro.jpg

After the LHS plastic piece is in place:
VW Polo DIY: OEM front armrest-wp_20140209_12_34_14_pro.jpg

Replace the cover provided with the armrest:
VW Polo DIY: OEM front armrest-wp_20140209_12_34_47_pro.jpg

Another view:
VW Polo DIY: OEM front armrest-wp_20140209_12_35_55_pro.jpg
The previous aftermarket armrest was brushing against the plastic portion on the handbrake lever and thus, that mark.

View from the driver's side:
VW Polo DIY: OEM front armrest-wp_20140209_12_39_02_pro.jpg

The compartment inside has a soft rubber lining:
VW Polo DIY: OEM front armrest-wp_20140209_12_40_03_pro.jpg

The box inside which the parts arrived:
VW Polo DIY: OEM front armrest-wp_20140209_13_16_15_pro.jpg
From Shanghai VW.

This armrest is supremely comfortable over the previous aftermarket one and has a solid build quality. The cushion of the rest is good and it does not interfere with the handbrake operations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thebfg View Post
could you give an explanation and is the unit available in colour because it wouldn't suit my grey car, that plastic unit.
I am preparing a DIY thread on the antenna installation part and it should be up this week. So hold on for a bit longer.

I believe it can be painted to any shade you'd want but this was how the unit was shipped from the store.

PS: All the snaps were clicked using the Lumia 920.

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 1st September 2015 at 09:03. Reason: Added link for GTI-spec armrest.
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Old 10th February 2014, 11:57   #2
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Default Re: The VW Polo GT TDI - Update @ 3500 kms. New Head-unit, Shark fin antenna installe

Great job, Gannu! You have done a professional job. Thanks for detailed instructions. The armrest looks really good. I am sure this will be great support for long drive. Only downside I see is, only place where rear passenger can keep the bottle is gone now.
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Old 10th February 2014, 16:54   #3
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Default Re: The VW Polo GT TDI - Update @ 3500 kms & new head-unit, sharkfin antenna installe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gannu_1 View Post
Fixed the OEM armrest today morn with the help of my room-mate. Took us 2 hours and some elbow grease to insert one tiny bolt through the internal threading but was well worth the efforts. :
can u please share the link for the Vw Arm rest. looks good.
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Old 11th February 2014, 16:38   #4
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Default Re: The VW Polo GT TDI - Update @ 3500 kms & new head-unit, sharkfin antenna installe

Quote:
Originally Posted by radek View Post
Great job, Gannu! You have done a professional job. Thanks for detailed instructions. The armrest looks really good. I am sure this will be great support for long drive. Only downside I see is, only place where rear passenger can keep the bottle is gone now.
Thanks Radek. That slot is now gone but this armrest is much better in terms of the support and the build quality compared to the previous one. I suppose the compromise is worth it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gocool2007 View Post
can u please share the link for the Vw Arm rest. looks good.
I have shared my purchase experience here - Link

I'd advise you to get this locally instead. There are a few dealers who retail this armrest here in India. The pricing is reasonable and you get it shipped within a few days' time. Sending you a PM shortly.
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Old 14th February 2014, 10:49   #5
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Default Re: The VW Polo GT TDI - Update @ 3500 kms & new head-unit, sharkfin antenna installe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gannu_1 View Post
I'd advise you to get this locally instead. There are a few dealers who retail this armrest here in India. The pricing is reasonable and you get it shipped within a few days' time. Sending you a PM shortly.
Hi Gannu,
Great DIY thread. I read your experience on the online shopping thread and don't want to deal with Customs and definitely don't want to wait for 2months. Could you please share the local source, Vagtune seems too overpriced at 14k.

I do have some queries regarding the install, but will PM you when I get my Armrest kit.

P.S.: Special to Lumia's picture quality, it definitely doesn't look like pictures taken with a mobile camera. Awesome.

Cheers,
D.
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Old 14th February 2014, 11:44   #6
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Default re: VW Polo DIY: OEM front armrest

Vagtune is charging 12.4k for the regular armrest inclusive of shipping. The other one you are referring to for 14.8k, is a different model for the GTI (as advertised on their website) that has a cup/bottle holder at the back. The base frame is slightly different as indicated below:

Name:  771473466_174.jpg
Views: 29440
Size:  40.6 KB

J&J Motorwerks, Bangalore supplies these arm rests at nominal rates I was told. Fellow BHP’ian Robi sourced his Euro-spec tail lamps from them and had good things to say about these guys. I am in no way affiliated with them and I am not endorsing them here! If you know of any other dealer, you are free to post the details here.

This is their Facebook link - J&J Motorwerks
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Old 1st March 2014, 06:24   #7
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Default re: VW Polo DIY: OEM front armrest

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gannu_1 View Post
This is their Facebook link - J&J Motorwerks

I did contact J&J for the armrest, after a wait of 6 days someone got back to me and they quoted 10750 for it, but shockingly mentioned it will take 4-5 weeks to ship it, looks like they dont stock and probably order from Aliexpress itself. And their website is still in progress, so even if you want one you can't get it unless if you are in Bangalore.

So I turned back to Aliexpress, and got it for $120 with FedEx shipping and received it yesterday in less than 6 days. The product quality looks worth the bucks.
Tip to fellow buyers: While the seller quotes around 135 plus for EMS shipping and 150 or so FedEx shipping, it's good to contact through the messaging service and workout a bargain. I had asked for a better quote and he offered me 120, so there is room for proper bargaining there.


Hi Ganesh,
I am planning to fix the armrest today by myself.
So few doubts:
- How did you pry open the side panels of the arm rest, As in from top-down or vice versa ?
- Also, I don't have a prying tool, can I use some make shift ones, is the plastic too soft for a grinded screw driver?
- To fix the base frame, do you need a wobbly attachment to your ratchet? I couldn't find mine. Also will metal washers be better than rubber washers?
- This bolt where you had mentioned, the threaded hole came off and you had to make a sleeve. Did it happen because of over tightening or you fixed it and removed it couple of times?

Sorry for so many questions, this is my first DIY on my car, so didn't want to start off without covering my base.

Thanks and regards,
D.
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Old 1st March 2014, 09:33   #8
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Default re: VW Polo DIY: OEM front armrest

Quote:
Originally Posted by delta5 View Post
So I turned back to Aliexpress, and got it for $120 with FedEx shipping and received it yesterday in less than 6 days.
Amazing! For 120 USD inc. of shipping, that’s a kickass deal. Many congrats! Some of the dealers on AliExpress are extremely courteous, sincere and communicative. The dealer from whom I sourced the armrest from, turned out to be a good friend as well and I intend to source some more stuff from him shortly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by delta5
The product quality looks worth the bucks.
Indeed. It is not that anything Made in China translates to bad quality and workmanship. Unfortunately, thanks to the cheap 4-SIM mobile phones, iPhone look-alikes, no warranty 20 Rs. CFLs, LED bulbs and other cheap stuff we get in the local markets here, people tend to think that quality of the items originating from China is bad. But this isn’t always the case. VW has setup a proper manufacturing facilities in China which manufacture components at a cheaper rate thanks to the super cheap labour and raw material prices. The end result is that the finished product costs a lot cheaper compared to the UK and EU pricing. And with an e-commerce portal like AliExpress that caters to customers across the world, the dealer is able to send his stuff virtually anywhere. Look at some of the dealer feedback and ratings, the buyers would mostly be from Europe! When they could source the replacement parts from their neighborhood VW spare part store, why would they order from AliExpress instead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by delta5
- How did you pry open the side panels of the arm rest, As in from top-down or vice versa ?
Did your armrest parts not come dismantled inside the box? Which side panels are you referring to? Could you upload some snaps please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by delta5
- Also, I don't have a prying tool, can I use some make shift ones, is the plastic too soft for a grinded screw driver?
You do not need a prying tool for this DIY at all. There is only part that needs to be pried open and that’s the one in the second image on the OP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by delta5
- To fix the base frame, do you need a wobbly attachment to your ratchet? I couldn't find mine. Also will metal washers be better than rubber washers?
I did not use a ratchet because the ratchet wouldn’t reach there because of the plastic part that covers the handbrake. I had a screwdriver and used 2 sockets from the socket set.

You should take those hex. head bolts to a neighbourhood hardware shop to get the correct sockets. There will be 2 types of bolts in your shipment:

1. 2 nos. to fix the base frame to the car’s body.

2. One to fix the armrest attachment to the base frame.

As for washers, we cut small pieces from a 3thk rubber sheet because the 2 bolts (in sr. no. 1 above) have excess length. You can either saw the excess length off or use washers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by delta5
- This bolt where you had mentioned, the threaded hole came off and you had to make a sleeve. Did it happen because of over tightening or you fixed it and removed it couple of times?
Precisely! It came off because we fixed it and removed it 3 times or so during the process. The thing is, the whole assembly is constructed out of Aluminium casting and the bolts supplied are of Grade 8.8 which has a very high strength! Gr. 8.8 bolts are used in industries for high tensile applications such as securing heavy machinery - it is THAT strong!

Quote:
Originally Posted by delta5
Sorry for so many questions, this is my first DIY on my car, so didn't want to start off without covering my base.
Absolutely no worries. Do ask if you have any further queries. Happy to help!
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Old 3rd March 2014, 09:31   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gannu_1 View Post

Did your armrest parts not come dismantled inside the box? Which side panels are you referring to? Could you upload some snaps please.

You do not need a prying tool for this DIY at all. There is only part that needs to be pried open and that’s the one in the second image on the OP.

Absolutely no worries. Do ask if you have any further queries. Happy to help!
Hi Ganesh,
I have attached the picture of the armrest as it came in the box, n I had to pry open the marked panel to fix it in. It did come out with gentle push with a screwdriver and some force later on.

About the spacers for the bolts, I went to a store looking for some 2mm washers but the guy at the store suggested a shorter MS bolts, they fitted fine.

I wanted to do this alone, but since my ratchet gave me a hard time, had to go get my dad's screwdriver socket set and he tagged along. We managed to complete it in about 30mins once we set to work. And thanks to your thread since the pitfalls were already being highlighted all fell in piece smoothly. Putting back the last piece of panel was a bit of a struggle though. As I had allotted a full 2hours for the install, I had enough time to do a quick interior detailing as well.

Additional info:

The bolts are of
1. size 10 or M6 - 2 in nos. this fixes the base to the car's chassis.
2. size 13 or M8 - this fixes the armrest and to the base.
3. There is also a Torx screw size 20.

Pros:
The arm rest does not stick out and gels well with the interiors.
The padding is good and supports perfectly when your arm rests completely.

Cons:
I just wish it had some adjustments to move it axially along the cars' longitudinal axis.

Thanks again for your nice thread and support bro,

Cheers,
D.

The way the armrest was delivered - fully assembled.
Attached Thumbnails
VW Polo DIY: OEM front armrest-image.jpg  


Last edited by Technocrat : 4th March 2014 at 01:56.
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Old 3rd March 2014, 10:54   #10
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Default re: VW Polo DIY: OEM front armrest

Very nice! Congrats on getting it installed. This is one of the simpler DIY jobs and hardly takes an hour but well worth the efforts.

Do post some more images of the armrest post-installation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by delta5 View Post
Hi Ganesh,
I have attached the picture of the armrest as it came in the box, n I had to pry open the marked panel to fix it in. It did come out with gentle push with a screwdriver and some force later on.
In my case, the whole armrest was dismantled into several parts and secured using bubble wrap and Styrofoam sheets within the box.

Quote:
Originally Posted by delta5
About the spacers for the bolts, I went to a store looking for some 2mm washers but the guy at the store suggested a shorter MS bolts, they fitted fine.
Glad that you swapped the Gr. 8.8 bolts with the MS ones. The MS bolts are more than sufficient in this case. I am not sure why the Chinese folks are sending us Gr. 8.8 ones for securing such a measly piece of equipment!

Quote:
Originally Posted by delta5
The padding is good and supports perfectly when your arm rests completely.
In case you decide to change your car's upholstery to Stanley or Karlsson, you can get the padding on the arm-rest changed too. Just dismantle the padding from the armrest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by delta5
Cons:
I just wish it had some adjustments to move it axially along the cars' longitudinal axis.
Correct. Initially the armrest felt a bit short in length but eventually got used to it. The Vento and Rapid gets height-adjustable arm-rests. I wish we got those with the front-aft movable padding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by delta5
Thanks again for your nice thread and support bro
No problem. Some more simpler DIY threads would be up soon.
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Old 3rd March 2014, 12:42   #11
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Default re: VW Polo DIY: OEM front armrest

Great DIY thread and you made it seem so simple , great job and definitely a nice utility addition to the car. I am also planning to get one in my fabia now sometime soon and hope that it will be not too complicated and more along the lines of how you have done it .
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Old 20th April 2014, 23:57   #12
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Default re: VW Polo DIY: OEM front armrest

That's a good DIY. Always a pleasure reading your DIY's.
Couple of quick questions:
1. Is the armrest practical? I mean can you actually rest your arm comfortably without having to move it every time you want to change gears?
2. Does it extend forward towards the gearbox? Like how it does in the Civic for example.
3. Is it fixed or can it be adjusted for height?
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Old 21st April 2014, 04:33   #13
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Default re: VW Polo DIY: OEM front armrest

Quote:
Originally Posted by DWC View Post
Couple of quick questions:
1. Is the armrest practical? I mean can you actually rest your arm comfortably without having to move it every time you want to change gears?
2. Does it extend forward towards the gearbox? Like how it does in the Civic for example.
3. Is it fixed or can it be adjusted for height?
1. Yes. I do not have to move my arm to quickly flick the gears. Immensely comfortable during long highway drives.

2. No. The arm rest does not move back and forth.

3. It is fixed and the height is not adjustable. However, it pivots about the rear center and can be rotated.
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Old 15th July 2014, 18:03   #14
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Default re: VW Polo DIY: OEM front armrest

Dear Gannu_1,

I am fascinated by the details you have put up in the DIY. I am going through each one as we own a Polo.
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Old 19th July 2014, 17:48   #15
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Default re: VW Polo DIY: OEM front armrest

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gannu_1 View Post
Very nice! Congrats on getting it installed. This is one of the simpler DIY jobs and hardly takes an hour but well worth the efforts.

Do post some more images of the armrest post-installation.



In my case, the whole armrest was dismantled into several parts and secured using bubble wrap and Styrofoam sheets within the box.



Glad that you swapped the Gr. 8.8 bolts with the MS ones. The MS bolts are more than sufficient in this case. I am not sure why the Chinese folks are sending us Gr. 8.8 ones for securing such a measly piece of equipment!



In case you decide to change your car's upholstery to Stanley or Karlsson, you can get the padding on the arm-rest changed too. Just dismantle the padding from the armrest.



Correct. Initially the armrest felt a bit short in length but eventually got used to it. The Vento and Rapid gets height-adjustable arm-rests. I wish we got those with the front-aft movable padding.



No problem. Some more simpler DIY threads would be up soon.
hey bro, now m in the process of getting a armrest for my gt. was going to order the oem polo but stopped due to what you wrote above. looking for some clarifications.

1. is it short in such a way where in a shorter person who has not pushed back his driving seat medium to way back won't be able to rest his arm on the armrest comfortably...?

2. Can the vento/rapid height-adjustable arm-rests be ordered from vw/skoda india or sourced from aliexpress or another place ? Did you try it ?

3. was browsing through aliexpress for polo armrest and saw some with the "front-aft movable padding". You think these might be more comfortable over the regular armrest just like the one in the golf gti which i suppose moves front/back and up/down ?

Cheers...
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