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View Full Version : Opening a can of worms .....



fred2ka4
01-12-2007, 01:26 PM
I was all excited this morning because I was dropping my car off to get my K-MAC upper control arm inserts/camber adjustments installed when I get the call .....

I was told that my tie rod ends were bad, so I called Monument car parts and they had them in stock for $54.00ea. I figured I needed them now so I didn't mind paying the high price. Then I get another call that my ball joints on the upper control arms are bad also. So I make another call and they are $170.00ea. I finally get the last call that I need the front and the rear on both sides ........ DAMN!!

Well I made a call to PUREMS and bought the Febi-Bilstein control arm kit for $479.00
So now I have to wait until the kit gets here so that I can have the K-MAC installed on the new control arms and then install the whole kit on the car. Should be fun and I will post pics as soon as it's done and 4 wheel aligned. Until then, happy ........... [wrench] [wrench] [wrench]

bellofello
01-12-2007, 01:30 PM
so what defines a controll arm as "bad". Like rust, corrosion, bent, damaged?

nizmosx
01-12-2007, 01:32 PM
the rubber bushings on them get warn. sometimes the crack and the greese in the escape. its very imparitve they are installed right. If you tighten the control arms while the car is still up in the air and then lower it, the rubber bushings twists on them lowering the life of them.

neter
01-12-2007, 01:39 PM
^ they make noise when turning stearing whell of breaking. Your suppose to hear a kind of grinding noise. at Least mine were like that.

Got then on ebay from http://stores.ebay.ca/FCP-Groton and paid $52cnd shipped for both, branded RUEVILLE.

I purchase all my parts from this guy, he has great prices. Also got both back bearings (Complete set) which you cannot find else where for the same price. $70cnd shipped also branded RUEVILLE.

tunerb5
01-12-2007, 02:17 PM
the rubber bushings on them get warn. sometimes the crack and the greese in the escape. its very imparitve they are installed right. If you tighten the control arms while the car is still up in the air and then lower it, the rubber bushings twists on them lowering the life of them.

how else would you tighted them? It's impossible after you lower the car.[confused]

badassbaldie
01-12-2007, 02:33 PM
how else would you tighted them? It's impossible after you lower the car.[confused]

You don't lower the vehicle. You'll need a couple of jacks and/or stands to do this. I hand-tightened everything, placed the wheel onto the hub, and then placed a jack with a board underneath the tire. I then jacked the tire to its approximately ride height and then torqued the bolts accordingly.

I agree that it is a PITA but this is necessary to prolong the life of your newly purchased control arms.

If someone has a better method I'm sure they'll chime in...

fred2ka4
01-12-2007, 04:05 PM
so what defines a controll arm as "bad". Like rust, corrosion, bent, damaged?


The bushings were worn and some of the boots were cracked so that there was no longer any grease inside to lubricate the ball joint. I would also get a slight vibration at about 45-55mph. The tie rod ends were also elongated and there was a lot of play. It was cheaper to just buy the kit than to try and replace the 6 pieces.

bellofello
01-12-2007, 08:13 PM
so couldn't you just replace the bushings and boots? or is it just easier/labour intensive swapping it out in entirety

fred2ka4
01-12-2007, 09:04 PM
so couldn't you just replace the bushings and boots? or is it just easier/labour intensive swapping it out in entirety

More cost effective time wise. Plus this way I'll have a more rock solid suspension.

Here is the kit I ordered:


http://i78.photobucket.com/albums/j91/fred2ka4/4615_x600.jpg

SeanF
01-13-2007, 09:39 AM
i just eyeballed them when the car was on the ground.... the main point is to not have them tightened when the suspension is at full droop...

AudiMan
01-13-2007, 12:03 PM
i just got new tie rods and upper control (4) front done last month, i paid $1018 total, labor was about $350 rest was parts and tax.

fred2ka4
01-26-2007, 08:37 PM
I just got the car back today and "Holy Suspension Batman, what a difference"!!

The car feels 100% more solid and a lot of vibration that I had has gone away. I will be going to the shop on Monday to have the car aligned. I feel like I just bought a new car, and the bad thing is that I did not know how really bad my car was until I saw the old parts. I will take some pics this weekend while I am adding some NEW parts ....... [:D] [;)] ..... and post them up.

MEDEL51480
01-26-2007, 08:55 PM
^ they make noise when turning stearing whell of breaking. Your suppose to hear a kind of grinding noise. at Least mine were like that.
I've been hearing, not a grinding noise, but a creeking noise comming from the front passenger wheel when doing slow turning manouvers. It almost sounds like an old chair when you first sit in it, but on the car. I was hoping it was just a loose bolt or something, but after reading this post, I think my control arms are due for replacement too.

Hey, wasn't Audi of America doing the control arm replacements a little while ago as part of a recall?

fred2ka4
01-26-2007, 09:03 PM
I've been hearing, not a grinding noise, but a creeking noise comming from the front passenger wheel when doing slow turning manouvers. It almost sounds like an old chair when you first sit in it, but on the car. I was hoping it was just a loose bolt or something, but after reading this post, I think my control arms are due for replacement too.

Hey, wasn't Audi of America doing the control arm replacements a little while ago as part of a recall?

What size wheels and tires are you running?

allshowA4
01-27-2007, 12:43 AM
whats the danger of driving with bad control arms?

fred2ka4
01-27-2007, 10:37 AM
I had a bolt off one of the control arms that had actually sheared off. So I was lucky that nothing really bad happened. Also almost all of the boots had torn so there was no grease to lubricate the bearing which could lead to something in your suspension siezing. All in all it was a good mod and money well spent in my case.

burner799
01-27-2007, 11:04 AM
Hey, wasn't Audi of America doing the control arm replacements a little while ago as part of a recall?

I believe they were but, im not sure because its on record while my car was still under warranty. all it says is "major front suspension work" or something like that.

onemoremile
01-27-2007, 11:13 AM
Creaking and groaning when turning is usually a tie rod end. The sound will sometimes come from the offending wheel and sometimes seem to come from the steering column. See the thread in the link below for an inner tie rod end failure.

http://audizine.com/forum/showthread.php?t=114286

fred2ka4
01-27-2007, 09:10 PM
Creaking and groaning when turning is usually a tie rod end. The sound will sometimes come from the offending wheel and sometimes seem to come from the steering column. See the thread in the link below for an inner tie rod end failure.

http://audizine.com/forum/showthread.php?t=114286

I was only able to get 11 out of 12 pieces of the kit installed as the driver side Outer tie rod has seized to the inner tie rod. So I will have to replace the inner tie rod before I do the alignment. It was making a weird sound that fits the description that you gave, so that should solve my problem.

MEDEL51480
01-27-2007, 10:52 PM
What size wheels and tires are you running?

I have dunlop 225/40/18 tires, I was noticing to day while driving on the highway that the car seemed to drift ever so slightly in either direction. Kinda like an older car does which needs more correction. I don't know if that's tie rod related or if its the control arms. If I were to take the front wheels off, what would be the best way to check the control arms to see if they're still good?

fred2ka4
01-27-2007, 11:21 PM
I have dunlop 225/40/18 tires, I was noticing to day while driving on the highway that the car seemed to drift ever so slightly in either direction. Kinda like an older car does which needs more correction. I don't know if that's tie rod related or if its the control arms. If I were to take the front wheels off, what would be the best way to check the control arms to see if they're still good?

First you can start off by checking all the boots to make sure that they are not torn or ripped as this will cause failure of the joint. Next you can check for any excessive play in the steering and other control arm components.

Fred

audiboy12
01-28-2007, 08:02 AM
I just ordered the ECS controll arm kit by meryle 8 -it includes the whole kit
it was 500 dollars though. ill let you guys know how the install went-i'm also doin an left rear wheel bearing.

onemoremile
01-28-2007, 08:08 AM
A couple guys mentioned that the upper arms need to be tightened at ride height. The correct way is to tighten them when they are 50mm (2") from the upper edge of the arm to the bottom edge of the big upper strut plate. You don't even need them on the car to do it. I put the strut assembly on the workbench and slip a chunk of 2x4 between the arm and plate and tighten it up. The 2x4 right at the edge is perfect for a lowered car. Push it is a bit for a stock car.

MEDEL51480
01-28-2007, 08:54 PM
I'll have to inspect them soon. I take is alot of people have DIY the control arm kit here? Nothing too tricky other than torquing the bolts?

onemoremile
01-29-2007, 03:26 PM
The bottoms are time consuming. One upper bolt may be frozen and one lower is hard to get out due to clearance. Otherwise it is pretty straightforward.

fred2ka4
02-08-2007, 06:42 AM
So here is an update on my suspension woes.

I was only able to get 11 pieces of the 12 piece Febi-Bilstein control arm kit on the car because the driver side outer tie rod had seized onto the inner tie rod and would not come off for nothing. I was just going to replace them both so I figured I could take them off as a unit, but was told that the outer has to come out first before the inner can be removed. So after several attempts and no progress I decided to resort to heat. AAaaahhhh, Fire!!

After about 5-10 minutes with my propane tank the tie rod broke loose and I was able to replace the worn and broken piece. After my trip down to LeSchwab Tire for an alignment, the car feels absolutely great. I would recommend this upgrade to anyone who has worn and old suspension parts as this made a very big difference in my everyday ride as well as the overall handling.

Next is my search for 2000-2002 S4 aluminum spindles. If anyone has them please pm me as these are needed for my Porsche BBK project.

Thanks, Fred