Audi Cars 1999-05

Upper Ball Joints

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Inspection




NOTE
The 1990-97 Passat models Do NOT have an upper ball joint.

The ball joint is part of the upper control arm. If the ball joint has failed the control arm assembly must be replaced.

  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Place a suitable jack under the lower control arm and lift the arm upward 2 inches (50mm).
  4.  
  5. Carefully grasp the upper and lower portion of the front tires and attempt to rock the top portion of the tire in and out toward the center of the vehicle.
  6.  
  7. If looseness is felt at the upper portion of the tire:
  8.  
    1. Remove the tire/wheel assembly and inspect the upper control arm bushings using a suitable prytool to check for looseness. If looseness is felt, replace the upper control arm.
    2.  
    3. Using a suitable prytool, pry between the steering knuckle and each of the upper control arms. If looseness is present, replace the control arm assembly.
    4.  




Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. The upper ball joints are an integral part of the two upper control arms

Removal & Installation



The front suspension is equipped with two separate upper ball joints that are not replaceable, therefore the upper link (front or rear) must be replaced. To remove this link, perform the following procedures.

  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 pinchbolt and pull both control arms upward and out.
  6.  
  7. Cover the steering gear boot.
  8.  
  9. Remove the guide link ball joint and press off the joint.
  10.  
  11. Detach the ABS wheel speed sensor wire front the bracket on the brake caliper.
  12.  
  13. Support the suspension from excessive rebound travel.
  14.  
  15. Remove the lower strut mounting bolt.
  16.  
  17. Swing the wheel bearing housing aside.
  18.  
  19. Raise the hood and remove the rubber grommets from the plenum chamber.
  20.  
  21. Remove the upper strut-to-body mounting nuts.
  22.  
  23. Remove the strut together with the mounting bracket.
  24.  
  25. Clamp the strut in a vise with the protective jaw covers.
  26.  
  27. Remove the upper link bolts and detach both of the links.
  28.  
  29. Remove the bracket-to-strut mounting nuts, then separate.
  30.  

To install:

  1. Position the brackets and links as shown, and tighten the bracket-to-strut mounting nuts to 15 ft. lbs. (20 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Align the links as shown, then tighten to 37 ft. lbs. (50 Nm) plus 1 / 4 turn (90 degrees).
  4.  
  5. Install the strut with mounting bracket into the vehicle and tighten the upper strut-to-body mounting nuts to 48 ft. lbs. (75 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Install the lower strut mounting bolt and tighten to 66 ft. lbs. (90 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Install the nut on the ball joint and tighten to 74 ft. lbs. (100 Nm).
  10.  
  11. Install the upper links to the wheel bearing housing and tighten the pinchbolt to 30 ft. lbs. (40 Nm).
  12.  
  13. Attach the ABS wiring to the brake caliper bracket.
  14.  
  15. Install the wheel, lower the vehicle, and check the front suspension alignment.
  16.  

The Audi A4 front suspension is equipped with 2 separate upper ball joints that are not replaceable, therefore the upper link (front or rear) must be replaced. To remove this link, perform the following procedures.

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

    Front wheels
     
    Pinch bolt and pull both control arms upward and out
     

  4.  
  5. Cover the steering gear boot.
  6.  
  7. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Guide link ball joint and press off the joint
     
    Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) wheel speed sensor wire from the brake caliper bracket
     

  8.  
  9. Support the suspension from excessive rebound travel.
  10.  
  11. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Lower strut bolt and swing the wheel bearing housing aside
     
    Rubber grommets from the plenum chamber
     
    Upper strut-to-body nuts
     
    Strut together with the mounting bracket
     

  12.  
  13. Clamp the strut in a vise with the protective jaw covers.
  14.  
  15. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Upper link bolts and detach both of the links
     
    Bracket-to-strut nuts, then separate
     

  16.  

To install:

  1. Install or connect the following:

    Brackets and links, as shown. Torque the bracket-to-strut mounting nuts to 15 ft. lbs. (20 Nm)
     
    Links by aligning them, as shown. Torque to 37 ft. lbs. (50 Nm) plus a 1 / 4 (90 degree) turn
     
    Strut with mounting bracket. Torque the upper strut-to-body nuts to 48 ft. lbs. (75 Nm)
     
    Lower strut bolt. Torque it to 66 ft. lbs. (90 Nm)
     
    Nut on the ball joint. Torque to 74 ft. lbs. (100 Nm)
     
    Upper links to the wheel bearing housing. Torque the pinch bolt to 30 ft. lbs. (40 Nm)
     
    ABS wiring to the brake caliper bracket
     
    Wheels
     

  2.  
  3. Check the front suspension alignment.

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Exploded view of the front suspension-A4 and A6 models

  4.  

 
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