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Front subframe removal

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by Grale1, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. Grale1
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    Grale1 Member

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    [Jan 19, 2013]
    Hi guys,

    I can't really seem to find the answer to my question as to how easy/ straight forward is it to remove the front subframe?
    Mine is bent on one side and seeing as my car is off the road at the moment I was thinking of getting a subframe as well as other parts that I need.

    I was also thinking of getting a different anti roll bar as I have seen a 23mm one from a bora that looks like it goes under the driveshafts would this be correct?

    Thanks simon
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  3. Scullies
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    Scullies Well-Known Member

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    [Jan 19, 2013]
    AFAIK its 4 bolts plus the bolts for the steering rack. There might be some other minor bits to loosen though.
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  4. <tuffty/>
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    <tuffty/> Badger 5 Edition Staff Member Moderator

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    [Jan 19, 2013]
    Four 'man' bolts hold the subframe on... you have to undo the steering rack and support it before removing the subframe... its advisable to get the front alignment checked after replacing the subframe as it can move on the bolts...

    Here is a link to when I did mine... its not a how-to but will give you and idea of whats there..
    Subframe off for the lads....

    <tuffty/>
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  5. Grale1
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    Grale1 Member

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    [Jan 21, 2013]
    Cheers tuffty, is changing the subframe something that can be done on the driveway on your own?

    I also want to get a arb that loops up under the drive shafts.

    Simon
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  6. <tuffty/>
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    <tuffty/> Badger 5 Edition Staff Member Moderator

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    [Jan 21, 2013]
    Anything can be done on the driveway at home if you put your mind to it ;P

    Yeah... big breaker bar required for the bolts... don't remember the torque settings off hand and the Haynes is in the boot of the car... if I remember I dig it out later... I believe its recommended to replace the bolts...

    <tuffty/>
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  7. Grale1
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    Grale1 Member

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    [Jan 21, 2013]
    Cool, ill have to buy a subframe then and collar a mate to give me a hand to fit new one and few other bits, then get it to a garage for a new clutch
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  8. Snash7
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    Snash7 Member

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    [Jan 22, 2013]
    Grale1 - have you found out why your tracking is out or is this the reason pal. How comes the motor is off the road ??
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  9. Grale1
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    Grale1 Member

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    [Jan 22, 2013]
    No mate I haven't got to bottom of it yet but think it may be related tho as it slightly bent and fitted with crapy wishbones etc, so was thinking of replacing the lot, it needs a new release bearing so getting a new smf clutch set up
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  10. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Jan 22, 2013]
    replace the lot mate, it's actually a really easy job.

    Complete subframe swap shouldn't take any more than 2 hours on a driveway with axle stands and simple tools.

    Unbolt the dog bone mount, and 4 steering rack bolts, then the ball joints on each side, then just undo the 4 subframe bolts and it'll drop right off.

    Drop it off with the wishbones and ARB still attached, and transfer what you're going to use onto the new subframe, then sit the centre of the subframe on a trolley jack and slide it in, then lift it up slowly into position until it's pressed against the body again with a very light force.

    this should allow you enough play to wiggle it about with a screwdriver to get the rear bolts to line up, then once they're located the fronts will just slide right in.
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  11. Grale1
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    Grale1 Member

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    [Jan 22, 2013]
    Cheers prawn, hopefully get round to buying the bits in the next week or so to start, do you know if a arb from the bora goes under the driveshaft?
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  12. Prawn
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    Prawn My other car is a MINI!!!!

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    [Jan 22, 2013]
    Spec for spec, the bora is exactly the same as the A3 mate, so no. it won't.
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  13. Grale1
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    Grale1 Member

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    [Jan 22, 2013]
    Ok, can you recommend one that goes under, as ill be putting one coilovers so don't want it rubbing the arb, and a mate of mine put an s3 one on hers but it looks like it needs Quattro coilovers for the drop links to connect properly.
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  14. rraghvani
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    rraghvani Whoever does not try, does not learn.

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    [Jan 22, 2013]
    Did mine last year on the drive way, as I had to replace the clutch. Don’t, like I did, remove the three bolts on the front suspension arms, as this will bugger up your camber. Use ball joint puller, see Running gear, Front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive - ElsaWeb, and you don’t have to remove the suspension arms, like I did, the whole unit can come down, as Prawn had mentioned.

    Have a look at some of the technical documents at ElsaWeb - VAG Audi Å koda Seat Volkswagen Online Repair Manuals to get a rough idea on what to do, and torque settings
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  15. Grale1
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    Grale1 Member

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    [May 21, 2013]
    Guys, I still haven't got round to buying a subframe, but I took the car to an independent Audi specialist the other week and he reckoned that the castor is out?? Not to sure what this is, any how as this left hand pull is really starting to get to me and wanting to push on with other things. So I got the tape measure out and from the measurements I took it 4-5mm further forward on the right hand side ( drivers side ) to the passenger would this really have much of an influence? On the pull to the left? So would I be able to adjust the subframe or is a case of getting a new one if its got a slight bend in in?
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  16. <tuffty/>
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    <tuffty/> Badger 5 Edition Staff Member Moderator

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    [May 21, 2013]
    There is caster adjustment by moving the subframe but this will also affect camber and toe if not done right and with alignment gear... the amount of movement is limited but is there to allow a little fine tuning... if its out regardless it suggests something is bent...

    Caster angle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    <tuffty/>
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  17. Grale1
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    Grale1 Member

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    [May 21, 2013]
    Cheers tuffty, the subframe, steering rack and driveshafts are the only bits I haven't changed, but there is a difference in the measurements between the two sides, so maybe the subframe might be bent, I haven't a breaker bar at the moment to be able to undo the bolts and try and adjust it. But be best to get this guy to do it and get it aligned from him and see what it's like after
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  18. robloake
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    robloake Member

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    [May 26, 2013]
    Hi mate, dropped my A3 on coilies recently and the best front ARB to go for is the Whiteline, around £150 from Balance Motorsport, goes under the driveshafts you can then drop as low as you like with no driveshaft rubbing at all.
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