VW Passat & Audi A4 1990-2000

Steering Linkage

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
Tie Rod Ends

WARNING
The following procedures will require the vehicle's alignment to be checked and if necessary, adjusted. This should be done by a professional with proper resources and equipment. Failure to recheck the alignment could cause poor handling and loss of control resulting in vehicle damage and bodily injury.

1990-97 Passat models
  1. Note the radio security code and disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Remove the wheel and tire assembly.
  6.  
  7. Matchmark the steering rod to tie rod end lock nut and tie rod end.
  8.  
  9. Counter hold the steering rod.
  10.  
  11. Loosen the lock nut one turn.
  12.  
  13. Move the steering rod back and forth to make sure it is free. If necessary spray a penetrating lubricant onto the threads to loosen it.
  14.  
  15. Remove the self-locking nut from the outer tie rod end.
  16.  
  17. Separate the outer tie rod end from the bearing housing (knuckle) using an appropriate tie rod end removal tool.
  18.  
  19. Counter hold the steering rod and counting the number of revolutions for removal, remove the outer tie rod end.
  20.  

To install:

  1. Clean the threads on the inner tie rod spindle (front wheel spindle connecting rod).
  2.  
  3. On left side tie rods, install the tie rod to achieve the predetermined length specified by the manufacturer. The distance varies by year, model and steering rack manufacturer. The toe is adjusted using only the right tie rod/steering rod.
  4.  
  5. On right side tie rod ends, if identical, thread the replacement outer tie rod end onto the steering rod the same number of turns as the previously removed part. If the replacement part is not identical, thread it onto the steering rod until it bottoms against the jam nut, then back off one turn. Make sure there is a sufficient length of the steering rod installed into the tie rod end.
  6.  
  7. Install the tapered spindle of the outer tie rod end into the bearing housing (knuckle) and install the self-locking nut. If necessary, preload the tie rod end into the fitting using a pair of locking pliers to prevent the tapered shaft from spinning.
  8.  
  9. Tighten the tie rod end to:
  10.  
  11. Tie rod end-to-bearing housing: 52 ft. lbs. (70 Nm)
  12.  
  13. Counter hold the steering rod and thread the jam nut until it contacts the tie rod end, then counter hold the tie rod end and tighten the jam nut to:
  14.  
  15. Steering rod-to-tie rod end nut: 37 ft. lbs. (50 Nm).
  16.  
  17. Reinstall the wheel and tire assembly. Torque the lug bolts in a three step crisscross patter to:
  18.  

Lug bolts:



M12 x 1.5: 81 ft. lbs. (110 Nm)
 
M14 x 1.5: 89 ft. lbs. (120 Nm)
 

  1. Reconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Check the alignment and set the toe adjustment using the right side tie rod to specification.
  4.  

A4 & 1998-00 passat models
  1. Note the radio security code and disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Remove the wheel and tire assembly.
  6.  
  7. Matchmark the steering rod to tie rod end lock nut and tie rod end.
  8.  
  9. Counter hold the steering rod.
  10.  
  11. Loosen the lock nut one turn.
  12.  
  13. Move the steering rod back and forth to make sure it is free. If necessary spray a penetrating lubricant onto the threads to loosen it.
  14.  
  15. Matchmark the tie rod end spindle height-to-bearing housing. (Note: this adjustment affects the raised toe)
  16.  
  17. Remove the cap bolt from the top of the tie rod end, counting the number of revolutions needed for removal, then loosen and remove the pinch bolt and self-locking nut.
  18.  
  19. Separate the outer tie rod end from the bearing housing (knuckle) using an appropriate tie rod end removal tool.
  20.  
  21. Counter hold the steering rod and counting the number of revolutions for removal, remove the outer tie rod end.
  22.  

To install:

  1. Clean the threads on the inner tie rod spindle (front wheel spindle connecting rod).
  2.  
  3. If identical, thread the replacement outer tie rod end onto the steering rod the same number of turns as the previously removed part. If the replacement part is not identical, thread it onto the steering rod until it bottoms against the jam nut, then back off one turn. Make sure there is a sufficient length of the steering rod installed into the tie rod end.
  4.  
  5. Install the spindle of the outer tie rod end into the bearing housing (knuckle) and install the cap bolt the same number of revolutions counted during removal.
  6.  
  7. Install the pinch bolt and self locking nut and tighten to specification, the tighten the cap bolt as follows:
  8.  

Tie rod end-to-bearing housing (knuckle):



Pinch bolt and nut (replace nut): 33 ft. lbs. (45 Nm)
 
Cap bolt: 62 inch lbs. (7 Nm)
 

  1. Counter hold the steering rod and thread the jam nut until it contacts the tie rod end, then counter hold the tie rod end and tighten the jam nut to:
  2.  
  3. Steering rod-to-tie rod end nut: 30 ft. lbs. (40 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Reinstall the wheel and tire assembly. Torque the lug bolts in a three step crisscross patter to:
  6.  

Lug bolts:



M14 x 1.5: 89 ft. lbs. (120 Nm)
 

  1. Reconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Check the alignment and set the toe and toe raised adjustment as necessary.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Use a suitable tie rod end removal tool to release the tapered shaft from the bearing housing/knuckle assembly



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. When reinstalling a tie rod end, locking pliers can be used to keep the tapered spindle seated and prevent it from spinning freely

Inner Steering Rods
1990-97 Passat models
  1. Note the radio security code and disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Remove the wheel and tire assembly.
  6.  
  7. Remove the tie rod end.
  8.  
  9. Remove the steering rack assembly.
  10.  
  11. Plug and cover all openings and clean the rack thoroughly.
  12.  
  13. Pull back the steering boot and clamp the toothed portion of the steering rack into a sturdy vice equipped with soft jaws.
  14.  
  15. Use a properly fitting open-end wrench on the machined flats of the steering rod retaining nut and remove the nut.
  16.  
  17. Note whether the nut was installed with a liquid locking compound by examining the threads for residual remnants of the locking agent. If a locking agent was used clean the threads of the rack using an M14 x 1.5 tap, and if necessary the threads of the steering arm with an appropriate sized die or wire brush, then clean the threads with
  18.  

To install:

  1. The toothed portion of the steering rack must be clamped into a sturdy vice equipped with soft jaws.
  2.  
  3. If the steering rods were installed with a locking agent, apply one drop of a locking agent such as D6 or its equivalent to the second thread of the rack.
  4.  
  5. Install the steering arms and tighten to:
  6.  
  7. Inner steering rod-to-steering rack: 52 ft. lbs. (70 Nm)
  8.  
  9. Inspect the steering boots and replace as necessary. Make sure the boots are not twisted during assembly. Apply a light coating of grease between the boot and the steering rod to help prevent the boot from twisting during an alignment procedure.
  10.  
  11. The balance of the installation is in reverse order of remov