Volkswagen Cars 2000-05

Lower Ball Joints

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Inspection



  1. To check the ball joint, raise and safely support the vehicle. Let the front wheels hang free.
  2.  
  3. Insert a prybar between the control arm and the ball joint clamping bolt. Be careful to not damage the ball joint boot.
  4.  
  5. Measure the play between the bottom of the ball joint and the clamping bolt with a caliper. Total must not exceed 0.100 inch (2.5mm).
  6.  

  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



  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions section.
  2.  
  3. Remove:

    Front wheels.
     
    Ball joint clamping bolt.
     
    Ball joint from the steering knuckle, by prying the lower control arm down.
     
    Ball joint-to-lower control arm retaining nuts and bolts or drill out the rivets with a14
     
    Ball joint.
     

  4.  

To install:

  1. Install the new ball joint in the reverse order of removal. If no parts were installed other than the ball joint, no camber adjustment is necessary. Tighten the 2 control arm-to-ball joint bolts to 18 ft. lbs. (25 Nm) and the ball joint clamping bolt to 37 ft. lbs. (50 Nm).
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Remove the ball joint nut



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Use a brass drift to remove the pinch nut if it is stuck



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Fig. View of ball joint pinch nut and bolt



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Remove the ball joint to lower control arm bolts



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. You may need to spread the knuckle-hub assemble to remove the ball joint



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. When using a fork style ball joint separator be careful not to tear the boot on the ball joint



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. A short pry tool may be all that is needed to separate the ball joint from the knuckle



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. View of ball joint and lower control arm

  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle, allowing the front wheels to hang. Remove the front wheels.
  2.  
  3. Remove the ball joint clamping bolt.
  4.  
  5. Pry the lower control arm down to remove the ball joint from the steering knuckle.
  6.  
  7. Remove the ball joint-to-lower control arm retaining nuts and bolts or drill out the rivets with a 1 / 4 inch (6mm) drill. Remove the ball joint.
  8.  

To install:

  1. Install the new ball joint in the reverse order of removal. If no parts were installed other than the ball joint, no camber adjustment is necessary. Tighten the two control arm-to-ball joint bolts to 18 ft. lbs. (25 Nm) and the ball joint clamping bolt to 37 ft. lbs. (50 Nm).
  2.  

  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions Section.
  2.  
  3. Remove:

    Front wheels.
     
    Ball joint clamping bolt.
     
    Ball joint from the steering knuckle, by prying the lower control arm down.
     
    Ball joint-to-lower control arm retaining nuts and bolts or drill out the rivets with a 1 / 4 in. (6mm) drill.
     
    Ball joint.
     

  4.  

To install:

  1. Install the new ball joint in the reverse order of removal. If no parts were installed other than the ball joint, no camber adjustment is necessary. Tighten the 2 control arm-to-ball joint bolts to 18 ft. lbs. (25 Nm) and the ball joint clamping bolt to 37 ft. lbs. (50 Nm).
  2.  

 
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