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Front Wishbone swap- how hard?

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by chrisb, Dec 31, 2005.

  1. chrisb
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    chrisb Member

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    [Dec 31, 2005]
    I've had a slight clonk from my 99 TDi's front suspension for a while, and I had a look today. Predictably the bushes in the front wishbone/track control arm are on the way out. I know there have been posts here before about not bothering trying to change the bushes without a press, so I was going to buy the whole thing.

    I was going to change them myself. How hard is this? It looks quite easy: a few bolts, split the balljoint, and bolt back together. I'll probably be doing it on a driveway, not inside with a vehicle lift or anything.

    It looks like the only locking bolt to disturb is the nut on the top of the balljoint, so I'll need one of those. Is this correct, or should I order anything else?

    Is it worthwhile replacing the balljoint while I have it in bits?
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  3. RichA3Turbo
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    RichA3Turbo ...Watching you! Staff Member Moderator

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    [Dec 31, 2005]
    I can swap a wihbone on my A3 in about 20 minutes.... Bolts through big bush, bolt through front bush, 3 bolts at the bottom of the ball joint(no need to split the actual joint!, just lever the plate out of the wishbone!)...and then the ARB. Its easy enogh to do!


    Rich
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  4. dickys3
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    dickys3 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Dec 31, 2005]
    Give yourself a couple of hours if you have never done it before. Take your time and its very easy if you have the whole assembly....
    #3
  5. chrisb
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    chrisb Member

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    [Dec 31, 2005]
    [ QUOTE ]
    3 bolts at the bottom of the ball joint(no need to split the actual joint!

    Rich

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I was wondering about changing the balljoint anyway, as I had the bushes changed on my Ibiza a few years back, and the joint promptly went squeeky a week later- the front suspension was similar. Predictably, the A3 now has done about the same mileage the Ibiza had. I've ordered the wishbones and joints now from GSF. I'll change the joints if it doesn't give me too much grief. Thanks for the advice guys.
    #4
  6. Khufu
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    Khufu Active Member

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    [Dec 31, 2005]
    Remember to check your tracking afterwards too.
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  7. chrisb
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    chrisb Member

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    [Jan 1, 2006]
    [ QUOTE ]
    Remember to check your tracking afterwards too.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Does anyone have any experience of the devices you can buy to check it (trakrite?)

    There is no way I'm letting the local tyre fitting monkey adjust anything. They *always* mess it up.
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  8. god_thats_quick
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    god_thats_quick Numptie of the highest order

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    [Jan 1, 2006]
    it's not too bad, assuming all the bolts come off! I've had mine on and off loads over the last two months, and I can jack the car up and get the wishbone (inc caliper + caliper and disc) in about 20 - 30 mins.

    on the first go though it took ages because one of the nuts on the ball joint (different on A3 / S3) would not come off at all! I ended up having to cut it off with a hacksaw as it broke two nut splitters! also needed a 2 foot breaker bar to get off some of the other bolts!

    You'll need a pretty serious ball joint splitter to get that off but probably worth the effort, you should also get new bolts etc from Audi as they recommend replacing!

    Any other questions let us know.
    #7
  9. Buster
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    Buster Member

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    [Jan 2, 2006]
    I think I will be doing this myself in the next couple of weeks. What bolts do I need to replace and does anyone have any part numbers or sizes.

    Has there been a how to writen or is the haynes manual any good?
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  10. chrisb
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    chrisb Member

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    [Jan 2, 2006]
    [ QUOTE ]
    Any other questions let us know.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I'm hoping the bolts will come with the balljoint, but I've looked up the partnumbers in case. I should have the parts tomorrow/wed, so if I need anything else I should be able to order from the dealer for the weekend: I might have a go then.
    #9

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