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.