Audi Cars 1999-05

Lower Ball Joints

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Inspection



  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. On 1990-97 Passat models, allow the control arm to fully extend.
  4.  
  5. On A4 and 1998-00 Passat models;
  6.  
    1. Place a suitable jack under the lower control arm attached to the strut assembly.
    2.  
    3. Lift the arm upward 2 inches (50mm).
    4.  

  7. Carefully grasp the upper and lower portion of the front tires and attempt to rock in and out toward the center of the vehicle.
  8.  
  9. If looseness is felt at the lower portion of the tire proceed as follows:
  10.  
  11. Using a suitable prytool, pry between the steering knuckle and the lower control arm.
  12.  
  13. If looseness is present;
  14.  
    1. On 1990-97 Passat models, remove and replace the ball joint assembly.
    2.  
    3. On A4 and 1998-00 Passat models, replace the control arm assembly of the failed or damaged ball joint.
    4.  




Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. On A4 and 1998-00 Passat models, the lower ball joints are an integral part of the lower control arms

Removal & Installation




NOTE
The A4 and A6 models are equipped with 2 lower ball joints that are not serviceable. The control arms must be replaced if a joint is worn. The lower track control link ball joint stud faces down, and the guide link ball joint stud faces up.

  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the precautions section.
  2.  
  3. Remove appropriate wheel.
  4.  
  5. Mark the installation positions of the ball joint nuts.
  6.  
  7. Remove upper and lower ball joint nuts.
  8.  
  9. Press ball joint from control arm.
  10.  

To install:

  1. Install ball joint into control arm and install retaining nuts to marked positions as removed. Torque the bolts to 55 ft. lbs. (75 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Install ball joint into wheel bearing housing using new self locking nut. Torque the bolts to 55 ft. lbs. (75 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Install wheel.
  6.  

Lower Guide Link
  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions section.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Remove the front wheels.
  6.  
  7. Remove the nut from the lower guide link joint and press out the joint from the wheel bearing housing.
  8.  
  9. Loosen the lower guide link-to-subframe attaching bolt.
    NOTE
    The subframe must be lowered at the rear to remove the lower guide link-to-subframe attaching bolt.

  10.  
  11. Loosen the rear subframe support plate bolts and subframe bolts.
  12.  
  13. Remove the lower guide link-to-subframe attaching bolt.
  14.  
  15. Remove the link from the vehicle.
  16.  

To install:

  1. Install the link into the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Install the guide link-to-subframe mounting bolt.
  4.  
  5. Tighten the support plate bolts as follows:

    Bolt type -A-: 18 ft. lbs. (25 Nm)
     
    Bolt type -B-: 55 ft. lbs. (75 Nm)
     

  6.  
  7. Install new subframe bolts and tighten to 81 ft. lbs. (110 Nm) plus 1 / 4 turn (90 degrees).
  8.  
  9. Install the joint end into the wheel bearing housing and tighten the nut to 74 ft. lbs. (100 Nm).
  10.  
  11. Load the suspension and tighten the lower guide link-to-subframe attaching bolt to 66 ft. lbs. (90 Nm) plus 1 / 4 turn (90 degrees).
  12.  
  13. Install the front wheels and lower the vehicle.
  14.  
  15. Check the front suspension alignment.
  16.  

  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the precautions section.
  2.  
  3. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Front wheels
     
    Nut from the lower guide link joint and press the joint from the wheel bearing housing
     

  4.  
  5. Loosen lower guide link-to-subframe attaching bolt
    NOTE
    The subframe must be lowered at the rear to remove the lower guide link-to-subframe attaching bolt.

  6.  
  7. Loosen the rear subframe support plate bolts and subframe bolts.
  8.  
  9. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Lower guide link-to-subframe bolt
     
    Link from the vehicle
     

  10.  

To install:

  1. Install or connect the following:

    Link into the vehicle
     
    Guide link-to-subframe mounting bolt

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Subframe support bracket bolt identification-A4 model

     

  2.  
  3. Torque the support plate bolts as follows:

    Bolt type A : 18 ft. lbs. (25 Nm)
     
    Bolt type B : 55 ft. lbs. (75 Nm)
     

  4.  
  5. Install or connect the following:

    New subframe bolts. Torque the bolts to 81 ft. lbs. (110 Nm) plus a 1 / 4 (90 degree) turn
     
    Joint end into the wheel bearing housing. Torque the nut to 74 ft. lbs. (100 Nm)
     

  6.  
  7. Load the suspension. Torque the lower guide link-to-subframe attaching bolt to 66 ft. lbs. (90 Nm) plus 1 / 4 (90 degree) turn.
  8.  
  9. Install the front wheels.
  10.  
  11. Check and/or adjust the front suspension alignment.
  12.  

Lower Track Control Link
  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions section.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle and remove the front wheels.
  4.  
  5. Remove the nut from the lower track control link, then press the ball joint out of the tapered seat.
  6.  
  7. Support the wheel bearing housing to prevent excessive rebound travel in the suspension.
  8.  
  9. Remove the stabilizer link and lower strut mounting bolt.
  10.  
  11. Remove the lower track control link-to-subframe attaching bolt.
  12.  
  13. Remove the lower track control link from the vehicle.
  14.  

To install:

  1. Install the lower track control link into the vehicle and install the subframe attaching bolt.
  2.  
  3. Tighten the lower strut mounting bolt to 74 ft. lbs. (100 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Install the stabilizer link and tighten the upper attaching bolt to 30 ft. lbs. (40 Nm) plus 1 / 4 turn (90 degrees), then the lower attaching bolt to 74 ft. lbs. (100 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Load the suspension and tighten the subframe attaching bolt to 59 ft. lbs. (80 Nm) plus 1 / 4 turn (90 degrees).
  8.  
  9. Install the wheels and lower vehicle.
  10.  
  11. Check the front suspension alignment.
  12.  

  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the precautions section.
  2.  
  3. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Front wheels
     
    Nut from the lower track control link
     

  4.  
  5. Press the ball joint out of the tapered seat.
  6.  
  7. Support the wheel bearing housing to prevent excessive rebound travel in the suspension.
  8.  
  9. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Stabilizer link and lower strut mounting bolt
     
    Lower track control link-to-subframe attaching bolt
     
    Lower track control link
     

  10.  

To install:

  1. Install or connect the following:

    Lower track control link
     
    Subframe attaching bolt. Torque the bolt to 74 ft. lbs. (100 Nm)
     

  2.  
  3. Install or connect the following:

    Stabilizer link. Torque the upper bolt to 30 ft. lbs. (40 Nm) plus 1 / 4 (90 degree) turn and the lower bolt to 74 ft. lbs. (100 Nm)
     

  4.  
  5. Load the suspension and torque the subframe bolt to 59 ft. lbs. (80 Nm) plus 1 / 4 (90 degree) turn
  6.  
  7. Front wheels
  8.  
  9. Check and/or adjust the front suspension alignment.
  10.  

 
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