Volkswagen Cars 2000-05

Upper Ball Joints



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.
  3. Place a suitable jack under the lower control arm and lift the arm upward 2 inches (50mm).
  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.
  7. If looseness is felt at the upper portion of the tire:
    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.
    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.

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 upper ball joint(s) cannot be replaced separately. If one or both of the ball joints become worn or damaged, their upper control arm assembly must be replaced.

The Passat front suspension is equipped with 2 separate upper ball joints that are not replaceable, the upper link (front or rear) must be replaced as follows:

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

    Front wheels.
    Clip No. 1 as shown. The clip does not have to be replaced.
    Pinchbolt and pull both control arms upward and out.

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

    Guide link ball joint and press off the joint.
    ABS wheel speed sensor wire front the bracket on the brake caliper.

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

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

  13. Clamp the strut in a vise with the protective jaw covers.
  15. Remove:

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

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Exploded view of the front suspension-Passat



To install:

  1. Position the brackets and links as shown, and tighten the bracket-to-strut mounting nuts to 15 ft. lbs. (20 Nm).
  3. Align the links as shown, then tighten to 37 ft. lbs. (50 Nm) plus 1 / 4 turn (90°).
  5. Install or connect:

    Strut with mounting bracket into the vehicle. Upper strut-to-body mounting nuts: 48 ft. lbs. (75 Nm).
    Lower strut mounting bolt: 671 inch lbs. (90 Nm).
    Nut on the ball joint: 74 ft. lbs. (100 Nm).
    Upper links to the wheel bearing housing. Pinchbolt: 30 ft. lbs. (40 Nm).
    ABS wiring to the brake caliper bracket.