View Full Version : New control arms, alignment questions

06-06-2008, 01:15 PM
I just replaced all 8 control arms, sway bar links, and tie rod ends on the front of my 2001 A4 1.8TQMS. I have just over 80,000 miles on the car and my control arms were pretty bad...I could have woken up neighborhoods by just turning right (drivers side, rear lower control arm was the main culprit.) All of my ball joints were very loose as well.

Now that I have it all back together I've been driving around the neighborhood here (so not higher than 35mph) and I've noticed a drastic change in steering. The problem is I don't know if it's a good change. It seems to be harder to turn and the wheel doesn't return to straight after a turn. I took it in for an alignment but they said everything looks good except for the camber, the guy thought I put shorter springs on it. I'm pretty sure the shocks/springs are original and really need to be replaced and that's what is causing the negative camber, but he also used the standard suspension specs to check the alignment rather than sport suspension.

Here's the specs:

How bad is that camber? Anything else really off? And would the camber cause the stiff steering I'm experiencing?

06-06-2008, 01:27 PM
The only things that causes stiff steering is caster or a mechanical steering issue. Audi doesn't list a caster spec or a way to adjust it.

06-06-2008, 01:30 PM
Well I guess it's not really stiff, it just feels like it doesn't want to do exactly what I want it to. It's almost like I'm fighting it but it gives in easily.

06-06-2008, 01:34 PM
Does it track straight and does the wheel feel like it really wants to return to center? If so, then that is a caster issue. That is what pulls the wheels straight and keeps that feeling of stability at speed. Odd though since it doesn't look like you have a ton of caster.

06-06-2008, 01:36 PM
It tracks pretty straight. When I turn if I let go of the wheel it'll almost go straight but will stop at about 20 degrees or so. I'm also running 225 tires on an otherwise stock car so that may make any steering issues worse.

06-06-2008, 01:39 PM
225 is fine. I've run 205/55-16, 225/50-16, 225/45-17. 235/40-17, and 245/40-17 without any steering problems whatsoever. The only difference was the available grip.

If you are just rolling in first gear at say, 5-10 mph does the steering wheel turn smoothly from lock to lock? Sounds like it might be binding.

06-06-2008, 01:57 PM
I just went through a parking lot in first gear and had no problems going lock to lock. But after coming back from full right to straight I heard a couple soft pops...didn't hear them any other time though.

Took it out on the highway as well and it was pretty straight...possibly drifting left a little but I think that was because of the slope of the highway.

06-06-2008, 02:22 PM
Well, the stiffer steering is normal... Not as much play in the steering now... Mine did that and it gives the car more of a sporty feeling I think... Like the car only goes where I want it to..