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Suspension Control Arms

Discussion in 'A4/S4 forum(B5 Chassis)' started by d4mo, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. d4mo
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    d4mo Member

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    [Mar 25, 2009]
    Guys,

    After having a bit of a rattle at the front a week ago, which has now gone and been replaced with a knocking noise over bumps and sometimes when turning etc. I have had a look round the old threads on similar problems and it looks like it could be the front suspension control arms, I will be checking these later visually and if i can get the car jacked up tonight I will also see if there is any play.

    My question is.... where would you recommend getting replacements from? A lot of the other threads on this subject mention a German make Meyle which at the time could be bought on ebay but now I cant find them. Instead there are these kits but im not sure if these are a reasonable price or if they are decent quality?

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&item=150333206099

    Should I look at getting these and replacing the bushes for a decent polybush set? If so which ones (dont they do red and yellow ones?), where from and how much is that likely to set me back?

    Cheers

    Damien
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  3. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 25, 2009]
    I baught one of those cheap kits first time round, they lasted less than 4kmiles and wrecked two front tyres. Also it was the balljoints that failed, so polybushes wouldnt have helped in that case.

    second time i got the meyle arms from german ebay:

    http://cgi.ebay.de/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=160288247372

    The cost then was about £300 all in including shipping (shipping was around 20-30 euros) however it might be a little more now with the exchange rate.
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  4. d4mo
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    d4mo Member

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    [Mar 25, 2009]
    Cheers aragorn, thats what I was worried about, been stung before by 'cheap' parts and then having to replace them pretty soon after.

    Anyone know of a UK supplier for Meyle products?
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  5. Broken Byzan
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    Broken Byzan Photographic Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 25, 2009]
    i think if you look in the classifieds, there is a set that a guy bought from Meyle and didnt fit to his car s they didint arrive in time.

    Aoran ??? (SP)
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  6. d4mo
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    d4mo Member

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    [Mar 25, 2009]
    Cheers Byzan.

    On an aside, I just rang a company called 'All German Parts Ltd' and they are a Meyle distributor in the UK and can do the full set for about the same as getting it from the German Ebay site.
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  7. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 25, 2009]
    when i ordered them, german ebay was a good bit cheaper than those All German chaps.

    Delivery was pretty quick by signed for courier etc too.

    Exchange rate might well mean the Uk company is cheaper now though
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  8. ian52
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    ian52 2000 a4 1.8tqs-yellow

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    [Mar 25, 2009]
    i bough a chocolate set of ebay when i got my car less than a year ago and the upper ones are away already! i think the lower ones are ok but it is harder to check them for play.its the ball joints that are away as well. looks like i will have to buy a decent set now.
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  9. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 25, 2009]
    ye it was the top joints that went on mine. Only on the car for about 2 months before the bushes started groaning and then the knocking started. Month or so later i was fitting some new brakes and thaught holy ****! when i saw the state of the insides of the tyres.

    The play had caused the tyre to wear eggshaped too, so there was a horrible vibration thru the steering wheel!
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  10. ian52
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    ian52 2000 a4 1.8tqs-yellow

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    [Mar 25, 2009]
    my tyres are ok. it is the forward ones that are worn too. were your lower ones ok when you removed them?
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  11. d4mo
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    d4mo Member

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    [Mar 25, 2009]
    hmmm, think i will avoid the cheap sets for definite then :)

    These things always come at the wrong time, I'm due to go on holiday in a weeks time so its going to have to wait till I get back. I do a lot of mileage for work (and claim it all back) so its worth me spending the money on a decent set from the start really.

    Aragorn, I quickly worked out the exchange rate and i think the set from All German works out about £15 more but the guy did say that he might be able to do something on that price for me. Also he mentioned that they come with a 4 year guarantee now so seeing as my German is non-existent, if anything goes wrong I know there's someone who can understand me at the end of the phone :)
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  12. ian52
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    ian52 2000 a4 1.8tqs-yellow

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    [Mar 25, 2009]
    how much is a set? might be worth seing if he would do them cheaper if we got 5 or 10 people to buy at the same time.
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  13. d4mo
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    d4mo Member

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    [Mar 25, 2009]
    The price I was quoted was £320 + vat but that includes the postage cost and he said he might be able to do something on that price. I know they advertise over on the VWAudi forum so they may have offers on there?

    I could always call him back tomorrow and check to see if he is willing to do any sort of group buy deal, who would be interested in this?
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  14. ian52
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    ian52 2000 a4 1.8tqs-yellow

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    [Mar 25, 2009]
    is it just full sets he does or can you buy just the upper 4?
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  15. d4mo
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    d4mo Member

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    [Mar 25, 2009]
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  16. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 26, 2009]
    ian, the bottom ones were all very slack too, perhaps not actually knocking but defo not 4months old tight!

    d4mo: you'll find the german folk at autoteile_24 speak english just fine. I emailed them about shipping and got a pretty decent response back in terms of language:

    "[FONT=arial,sans-serif]the shipping-costs for that item are 27,70 Euro to GB. Delivery-time with DPD-parcel-service are between 2 - 4 days. Greets Claus Mühl/autoteile_24"[/FONT]

    Might be worth seeing if the autoteile guys will do a group buy too?

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=330316208922

    Thats the company i baught them from, not sure what the difference is between them and the link above, but the price is the same.
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  17. d4mo
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    [Mar 26, 2009]
    Cheers aragorn, I'll drop them and email and ask about the group buy idea.

    Ive also got a concern that none of the kits ive seen appear to list the B5 Avant 2.8 Qauttro so I want to check that it will also fit my car :)
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  18. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Mar 26, 2009]
    ye all B5 cars are the same.

    The S4 and RS4 have different part numbers, but the arms ARE the same, just the inner bushes on the "S" arms are apparently stiffer.

    We fitted the Meyle kit to craigs S4 without any issues.
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  19. Geeman
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    Geeman Low Life

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    [Apr 1, 2009]
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  20. Geeman
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    Geeman Low Life

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    [Apr 1, 2009]
    They are made by "Lemforder" - they've just turned up.

    Ended up costing me £339.52 + VAT - including two front top mounts.

    12 parts altogether...

    2x top mounts

    2x anti roll bar links

    2x lower front arms

    2x lower rear arms

    2x upper rear arms

    2x upper front arms

    It's going to be interesting fitting them!
    #19
  21. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 1, 2009]
    not doing the track rod ends while your in there?
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  22. Oranoco
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    Oranoco Well-Known Member

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    [Apr 1, 2009]
    I changed my knackered set with Lemforder after a very very poor experience with QH arms. I have to say so far I have been very impressed. They have covered about 6k miles and been subjected to a full bore track day where I was driving like a hooligan. No annoying creaking or knocking or anything. Very pleased
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  23. Geeman
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    Geeman Low Life

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    [Apr 1, 2009]
    That's good news! I was a bit worried to start off with as I wanted the Meyle kit.

    Do you think I need to change my rods too? I'm no street-racer and I look after my cars, so I won't be giving it any undue hard work while I have it. There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with the ones that are on it at the moment...

    Now I've said that, they'll fail tomorrow!
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  24. d4mo
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    d4mo Member

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    [Apr 1, 2009]
    Geeman, I spoke to Jason at All German Parts earlier last week he also recommended the Lemforder parts to me but also said that the Meyle parts are a similar price and quality.

    I was looking at going for the Meyle kit as it was easier for me to compare the prices of the complete kits with track rod ends.
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  25. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 1, 2009]
    Its more that you've changed everything else, and will need to get the tracking done anyway after you put it all back together, so it'd be nice to know its all new. As you say the TRE's could fail in 6 months time meaning another expense for tracking it again, and seen as the tracking probably costs more than the TRE's your as well to do them now!
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  26. Geeman
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    Geeman Low Life

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    [Apr 1, 2009]
    Tracking is cheap (free) here as I have a 'man who can' when I need it...

    I here what you're saying... but I'm loathed to fork out any more money right now. Will probably do it at a later date, but for now I'll just hang fire.

    Thanks for the advice though!
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  27. d4mo
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    d4mo Member

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    [Apr 23, 2009]
    Geeman, have you fitted your control arm kit yet? If so how did it go? I've got my Meyle kit on order from Germany and fingers crossed it should be here ready for me to fit this weekend so im out looking for all the hints, tips and advice I can get.
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  28. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Apr 23, 2009]
    Well i've done mine twice now and Craigs S4 so heres some tips:

    The top pinch bolts can be a bastard, on craigs he soaked them in wd40 everyday for a week before we did the swap and they came out fine, on mine we had to drill them out the first time!

    I started by pulling the damper and top mounting out, then undone the two bottom ones. On ours the first time i removed the entire upright as i was changing the bearings, second time i ended up removing it again as i couldnt shift the lower balljoint, didnt need to do that on craigs though, we kept one of the lower arms on while we changed the other.

    ALL of the lower bolts are supposed to be tightened with the car on the floor. without a ramp thats not easy, so what i did was put the jack under the upright and jack it up until the hub was at its "normal" position in relation to the sill, then tightened everything.
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  29. d4mo
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    [May 2, 2009]
    Well its nice weather, a long weekend so I thought I would get on with fitting the control arms this weekend.

    So far I have jacked the car up and got it on axle stands and given all the bolts a final soak with some penetrant.Whilst waiting for that to soak in I thought I would have a look at the new parts against the old parts, drivers side all matched up and looks right then I went ont the passenger side.....

    Can anyone else see anything missing out of this photo of the lower part of the assembly on the passenger side?

    [​IMG]
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  30. joost
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    joost Active Member

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    [May 2, 2009]
    WTF???? Has it sheared off or is there just nothing there?
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  31. d4mo
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    d4mo Member

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    [May 2, 2009]
    Absolutely nothing there. Probably explains some of the noises and odd steering quirks

    And Im now stuck on the bastard, sorry, i mean pinch bolts :)
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  32. d4mo
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    d4mo Member

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    [May 2, 2009]
    After undoing the bolts it looks like the metal cart of the c bracket has detached itself from the rubber bushes!!

    Out of the 12 parts that I planned to fit today I only managed to get 4 done!! damn pinch bolts were stuck, one is loose after hitting it a ot with lump hammer. 2 separate trips to Halfords for new spanners etc and need to go back for another 18mm spanner tomorrow!!

    It would have been easier to go to a garage but wouldnt be as much fun or anywhere near as cheap even with the cost of new tools.
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  33. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [May 2, 2009]
    Ah sorry, i should have mentioned you'd need some 16 and 18mm spanners and sockets!

    Its a bit of an odd size!

    Halfords often do 50% off deals on their professional sets and i got one last year which i find really awesome.
    http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/..._productId_173083_langId_-1_categoryId_165572

    I think thats pretty similar to the kit i have, they revise the range every now and then so its layed out a bit different but it mostly has the same stuff looking at it.

    The only thing i've found lacking, is that most of the sockets below 22mm (bar the 19 and 17mm impact sockets) are only 3/8" drive, and quite often that means you end up abusing the 3/8" ratchet with a big bar on the end! The 3/8" to 1/2" adaptors arent particularly great so i suggest either investing in a good 3/8" breaker bar, or getting a rail of 1/2" sockets seperately.

    As a bonus it has a lifetime warranty, so kill a ratchet or snap a hex/torx bit or whatever and they'll replace it FOC.
    #32
  34. ian52
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    ian52 2000 a4 1.8tqs-yellow

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    [May 2, 2009]
    just get a decant 1/2 to 3/8 step down. handy things to have.
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  35. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [May 2, 2009]
    ye, ive killed a lot of those stepdowns though :(
    #34
  36. d4mo
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    [May 3, 2009]
    What an absolute pain in the arse this job is turning out to be, spent 3 hours on it today so far and managed to undo one nut for the ball joint of a lower rear control arm. Shame I cant just put it back together and take it to a garage now! Fingers crossed I manage to get it all done tomorrow otherwise im going to be a bit stuck for getting to work on Tuesday.

    Oh and Halfords have now had about £50 out of me for different sockets, spanners and ball joint splitters.
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  37. ian52
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    ian52 2000 a4 1.8tqs-yellow

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    [May 3, 2009]
    when i did mine i put a bit of heat into the top of the hub to do the pinch bolts and just worked them and they came out fine.i think it was for the lower rear ones where they bolt to the subframe you have to cut the bolts to get them out and put the new ones in the other way round.think i used a crow bar and a hammer to get the outer joints away from the hub.
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  38. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [May 3, 2009]
    I unbolted the subframe mount and levered the edge of the frame down to get the bolts out. Then put them in backwards.

    Is there any particular part of it you are stuck with and want some pointers on?
    #37
  39. neal
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    [May 4, 2009]
    i was planning on doing the top arms on my a4 this weekend been soaking the pinch bolts for a week.got as far as undoing the nut but could not shift the bolt.not having a replacement bolt i did not want to smash it to bits getting it out so gave up until a replacement bolt can be sourced been told its a main dealer part.any tips on getting it out?? while i had everything out could see that one of the lower rear arms was knackered so ended up doing that took best part of 4-5 hours doing that as i could not get the bolt out even after lowering the subframe orrible job!! cars makeing a right rattleing noise over bumpy roads hope it lasts another week as can't afford to be without the car!!
    #38
  40. ian52
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    ian52 2000 a4 1.8tqs-yellow

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    [May 4, 2009]
    just cut the bolt on the lower rear one. if your doing both upper ones put a bit of heat into the hub where the pinch bolt is. it will burn the boots on the arms but that wont bmatter if there going in the bin. once its got some heat in it just work the bolt back and forth. bont just keep turning it one way,thats how they end up snapping.
    #39
  41. Oranoco
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    Oranoco Well-Known Member

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    [May 4, 2009]
    The upper arm retaining bolt can be an absolute git to get out. Took my brother and I over 2 hours to shift mine. Transforms the car for the better not having any play in these parts though so is worth the ball ache. I gave my new pinch bolts a covering of copper grease when they went back in to make sure they weren't stuck fast the next time it all needs to come apart
    #40

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