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Boot struts - hydraulic arms

Discussion in 'A4/A4 cabriolet/S4 forum(B6 chassis)' started by Jimmeh, May 13, 2010.

  1. Jimmeh
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    Jimmeh Active Member

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    [May 13, 2010]
    Chaps.

    Last few weeks I've noticed a 'clunk' noise when I drop the tailgate too.. (bearing in mind it's up and down a few times a day as and when I'm working... (more so than an ordinary boot, anyway..))

    This afternoon I noticed the right hand side strut was loose and the bolt was moving with the motion of the tailgate. Not looking good..

    Detatching the top fixing allowed me to re-allign the bolt and try for it again but it seems the fixing plate behind the C-pillar has shifted!? That or the threads are ruined for the movement over the last few months usage... Not looking good.

    Not sure where to start or even what to ask really.. Has anyway stripped back the headlining pieces in the rear of the interior that face the C-pillars? Wondering if its accessible this way rather than cutting a blooming great big whole out of the bodywork!! :(

    Is it worth me going direct to Audi about it?

    Any help here much appreciated.. Thank you.
    Jim
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  3. quattrojames
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    quattrojames Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [May 13, 2010]
    Hi Jim

    I had a look on Etka, and it shows the struts and the screw in 'ball pins' but it doesn't really show what they screw in to. I will try Elsawin later.

    [​IMG]
    #2
  4. defsix
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    defsix Member

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    [May 13, 2010]
    's captive, mine came lose the other day. Popped of the ram, dropped the tailgate on my head, tightened up the nut/balljoint. Good as new..
    #3
  5. Jimmeh
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    Jimmeh Active Member

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    [May 14, 2010]
    Thanks guys.

    My Step-Dad and I had the whole strut off, tried to re-allign and tighten, but, the mount that the balljoint screws into seems buggered!

    Hopefully at sompoint this weekend I'll be able to have a closer look.
    #4
  6. graves_x
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    graves_x New Member

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    [Mar 19, 2012]
    Hi, just found this thread as the same has happened to mine and I need to know how / if a fix is possible

    2004 A4 Avant

    So the right hand (drivers) side mounting for ther tailgate lifting strut is just knackered.. Now that I look at it, its clearly been loose and getting looser for some time, and now the internals that the thread for the ball joint screws into has gone completely. Theres also some damage in the area that shows that the panel has been bent in where the internals have failed.. Wish I'd noticed sooner, but no obvious symptomns of noise or poor shutting... Shame !

    I'm a real mechanical novice so just going to take it to the local independant garage / workshop where they seem to take on an work, but is it going to be possible to weld in the balljoint ?? Or is it possible / easy to get inside the C-pilar to repair the damage ??

    Any ideas would be welcome !

    Cheers
    #5
  7. jutlis 3.0
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    jutlis 3.0 Member

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    [Mar 19, 2012]
    i had exactly the same issue with our previous avant and even with stripping the trim back you cant access anything if i were you i would take the ram off for the moment as the twisting action will split the metal around the fixing before long (just be aware that 1 ram wont hold it up and they are heavy if they come down on any part of your anatomy!) i sold the car soon after (not for this reason)but the easiest way to fix would probably be a very small, neat weld, not ideal i know but possibly the easiest solution
    #6
  8. Scuttle
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    Scuttle New Member

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    [Jun 14, 2012]
    Just had the same problem. Never noticed that it was loose when we bought it. Really annoying that there is no access. Has anyone got a simple fix? I've got a few in mind

    Drill an access whole in the pillar behind the pillar trim to get a nut on.

    Tig weld it in place - tig will minimise the heat damage to the surrounding area and it's also the neatest. Not sure if there are any cables in close proximity.

    Loctite liquid metal, can be drilled and tapped. Used this over 20 years ago to fix an oil leak on my GS850GN - still oil tight and showing no signs of parting company.

    I'm favouring the loctite solution at the moment.
    #7
  9. Scuttle
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    Scuttle New Member

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    [Jun 19, 2012]
    Got an easy fix for this – steel blind rivet nuts,10 M8XL rivets cost me £2.79 inc delivery.

    You don’t need a £50 plus setting tool, you can set the rivet with a bolt, washer, nut and some copper slip/grease. I used an allen bolt as the allen key doesn’t get in the way of the tailgate seal where as a socket set might.

    Select a bolt that will carry the nut, washer and rivet with a thread or 2 to spare. You need to grease the bolt threads at the head of the bolt where the nut will sit – this makes it a whole lot easier to set the rivet. Run the nut up to the head of the bolt and work it back and forwards a few threads to spread the grease.

    Smear a small amount of grease on both sides of the washer, keeping it away from the hole. Slide the washer up the bolt making sure you don’t get any grease on the bolt threads.

    Now run the rivet onto the bolt.

    Its critical you don’t get grease on the bolt threads where the rivet threads sit, if you do, the rivet will most likely run off the bolt when you try to set it. You are relying on friction to stop the rivet unthreading as you turn the nut, hence the grease on the washer which lets the nut/washer rotate against the rivet face.

    Drill out the hole to the given size for you rivet. Don’t let the drill shoot through as there are cables there.

    Insert the rivet/bolt assembly. Hold the bolt stationary and thread the nut towards the rivet to set it. Initially, it will take a bit of effort to deform the rivet. Once the rivet has set, back the nut off and unscrew the bolt from the rivet.

    Job done.

    If you don’t feel confident, try it on a scrap piece of metal first.
    #8
  10. jr-323i
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    jr-323i New Member

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    [Jan 6, 2013]
    Hi Scuttle, great write up and it worked, but it did take a little time. I opted to use a standard hex bolt head (not an allen bolt). I used a longish adjustable spanner to hold the bolt head whilst tightening the nut/washer with another spanner. A few things I noticed when doing this procedure....

    Use masking tape to protect the surrounding area. The bolt/spanner could slip when tightening and I managed to chip some paint - this was in the boot well itself so no major dramas.

    I found it easier to start setting the rivet out of the car, you can then see when the rivet starts to bend and then pop it in place to finish it. You will need a nice large new M8 washer, which fits snugly around the bolt thread but has a large flat area to spin around the rivet head. I used quite an old small washer to start with which meant it over tightened and did not rotate. I found copper grease is needed just on the washer itself(both sides).

    The M8 hex bolt with thread must not be longer than 3.5cm. After setting the rivet, I only just managed to remove the hex bolt due to the width of the boot well – it is quite a tight space.

    I am glad I spotted this write up as I was about to rip out the rear lining of the car, which would have been a waste of time as there is no access to rear of the bolt thread!

    p.s. I purchased the same rivets as Scuttle from E-bay and they arrived next day.
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  11. Scuttle
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    Scuttle New Member

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    [Jan 7, 2013]
    Hi jr-323i,

    The reason for the allen bolt is that you have more control over the bolt and are less likely to slip and damage the paintwork.

    Apologies, I should have pointed out that the reason for selecting a bolt a few threads longer than the rivet assembly was to avoid getting it trapped in place.

    Greasing the bolt thread at the head reduces the torque required to set the rivet which means you require less force on your spanner and hence are less likely to slip and damage the paintwork. For me, it just makes it so much easier.

    The hardest bit of this fix is the initial deformation of the rivet, so I suppose starting this process in a vice makes sense. Good point.

    Glad it worked out for you.

    ATB Scuttle
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  12. Paul_TDi
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    Paul_TDi Member

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    [Nov 4, 2013]
    Thanks Scuttle, as above great write up and has worked a treat.

    As above I started my rivet off, off the car by inserting a allen bolt all the way through with a nut on either side of the rivet and squashing it this way.

    I then assembled the bolt, washers and nuts as described with the copper grease for the nut and washer. The only addition I made was some thread lock for the allen bolt inside the rivet.

    I think the rivets and new bolts, washers and nuts cost well under a tenner, yet the 14mm drill bit I had to buy for the rivets was a tenner!

    Not the neatest job maybe but certainly an improvement....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #11
  13. Scuttle
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    Scuttle New Member

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    [Nov 4, 2013]
    Look neat enough to me, good job.

    Shame you had to go to a larger rivet & drill. Still, cheaper than getting Audi to fix it !!!
    #12
  14. Mike.M
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    Mike.M Well-Known Member

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    [Nov 5, 2013]
    Looks good and was about to mention rivnuts as a solution.
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  15. Paul_TDi
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    Paul_TDi Member

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    [Nov 5, 2013]
    What size hole did yours require Scuttle? I assumed that it wasn't a ebay link in your original post and one of those weird buzz word links. So just searched on ebay and thought they seemed good as they had ribbed collars where they squashed.

    I don't think I squashed the rivnut completely but was enough for a secure fit.

    Nevermind I always welcome a new tool to the family lol
    #14
  16. Scuttle
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    Scuttle New Member

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    [Nov 5, 2013]
    I used the M8XL rivet from the link above. Body dia 10.9mm, drilll size11mm. Amazingly, the link still works.
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  17. biggrim
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    biggrim New Member

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    [Jun 2, 2014]
    Hi folks,

    Just joined and this is my first post.

    I've got the same problem with my 2003 A4 Avant. I've removed the ball topped nut and took it into the workshop where I work to match it up to compression rivets that we have. We have M8 but not the above M8 XL. What's the difference?

    I'm also having a bit of bother following the guide above on setting the rivet with a bolt and a couple of nuts. Could someone please verify?

    Cheers folks,


    Graeme
    #16
  18. biggrim
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    biggrim New Member

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    [Jun 2, 2014]
    Not to worry, total blonde moment this morning. A couple of cups of tea and a bite to eat got my brain into gear. I'll get the rivets ordered and let you all know how I get on.

    Cheers,

    Graeme
    #17

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