Feb 4, 2012
Think someone's taking the mickey, how long should a garage take to change one? Roughly
Not a clue but I think you have to drop the top mounts to slide the bolts out to remove the arm.
as above also the pinch bolt generally is siezed in and bends through the clamps and can be a bugger to remove also new pinch bolt is required
When i do them i always change both the front and rear one as you have already done most of the work
Time wise it dependes on the pinch bolt and the person doing it so i would estimate 1 to 2hrs per side .
Would 3 hours be excessive?
Depends on what issues they get when doing it.
Have you got this done, getting a quote or its in at the moment?
Look at doing a full kit. Makes life a bit easier and you only have to fanny about with the front arms every couple of years depending on the make and miles.
The pinch-bolt can be a right swine to remove if they haven't been disturbed in a long time.....
The 1st time I had to replace an upper suspension arm no amount of heat would unseize the bolt.
In the end the whole suspension leg had to come out (complete with arms) for it to be drilled out etc.....
Now I slap loads of copper grease on those bolts whenever I get the chance, and have had no probs since, its a lousy design IMHO.
the top pinch bolt secures both top arms to the carrier/upright. due to it carrier being ally and the bolt being steel they can seize in like theyve been welded there.
theyre a total nightmare. plus the top strut/arm carrier needs unbolting to get the bolts out of the arm bushing.
3 hours isnt excessive if the jobs turned into a ball ache!!
ive been there and got the t-shirt in doing these, being a vag specialist mech.
Ok cheers guys it was 3 hours with 1 hour free from a club discount so much happier now
Most B5's have steel uprights, not alloy, but that doesnt change anything, the steel bolt just nicely rusts into the steel upright and effectively welds itself together.
When i did the bearings on the A4 a few months back i spent nearly an hour drilling the bloody pinch bolt out on one of the uprights alone, so 3 hours for the whole job on both sides isnt outrageous.
later a4 b6/b7s ones are alloy and if anything theyre worse than b5s.
Yeh B5 RS4 and some late S4's got alloy ones too. I think the other issue with them is you cant really be quite as rough with heat/hammers etc on the alloy ones. I think mark on here managed to break one a while ago trying to get the bolt out of an alloy upright.
Those pinch bolts... Are they just a normal nut and bolt or are they tapered or anything like that?
Standard 8.8 grade nut/bolt.
My replacements were baught from ebay:
eBay - The UK's Online Marketplace
Ideally you want to swap the nuts for nylocs or other locking nuts though.
Worth lubing the pinch bolt with decent marine grease or copper-ease annually - which would mean replacing it. Had the same problem myself last year. No amount of heat or hitting it would work, so got the mechanic at my work who put it on ramps - so it was at the right height. Lot easier to hit it and it and it eventually shifted. Audi and VW main dealers and specialist independents use this VAS6085, REMOVAL TOOL VAS6085 ... but I've read they can fail too!
Why replace it? Its not a torque to yeild fastener, you can reuse it just fine.
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