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Blow Torch, Pinch Bolt and air suspension dont mix

zjamiez May 22, 2010

  1. zjamiez

    zjamiez New Member

    I have been trying to get the pinch bolt out of the near side supension on my all road. First I tryed the traditional methon of plus gas and a hammer which did not work .
    -I then started drilling which was taking forever
    -The the blow torch came out which has done no good at all. Control arms need replacing now, the heat also damaged the airline and blew a hole in it. Has anyone replaced and airline before, any tips would be much appreciated.

    -Any tricks getting the pinch bolts out as well would be much appreciated?
  2. kid-jensen

    kid-jensen New Member

    My condolences...you seem to attack jobs on the car in a way that's very familiar to me....

    Anyway, I found the best way to get the pinch bolt out was to put a nice tight socket on the bolt head end and lever it with a long piece of scaffolding pole... It will either break the rusty hold or snap off. Either way, you're one step nearer getting it out.
    If the head breaks off, you can then take the nut off the other end, slip on a larger nut (or a few washers) and extract the broken bolt by doing up the nut. Bit of GT85 or similar sprayed everywhere helps.

    With the headless bolt extracted, the rest of the job is easy-ish, but I was niggled because I had to remove the air-spring/damper assy to get the inner bolts on the top arms out, which seems a bit unnecessary to me.
    In fact, the whole suspension seems to be designed with the "why use one arm when two or three will do" philosophy.. It would make sense if it gave you measurable advantages, but there's nothing special about the way the A6 rides or handles, so why go about things in such a complicated way? ~Just more stuff to wear out..

    That sounded like a bit of a rant, but I found the upper suspension arm replacement reasonably straightforward, so I shouldn't complain..

    I got my upper arms from an Ebay supplier for the bargain price of £32 a pair. The front one is not as curved as the one that came off (maybe it's form a standard-suspension A6?) but I've kept my eye on it and there's no rubbing, so I'm happy...especially at that price.

    There's plenty of pneumatic fitting places about,and if you're lucky, you may find one selling compression back-to-back fittings that fit the air lines...can't remember the size, it may be a bit small for off-the-shelf fittings. Worth a try though.

    Good luck!

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