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Control Arms Pinch Bolt Removal Guide (worked very well for me)

jakm15 Feb 9, 2020

  1. jakm15

    jakm15 Active Member

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    I thought I'd share the method I used to successfully remove the front pinch bolt as many people seem to have a nightmare getting them out, some come out easy and some are very corroded in like mine was.

    Tools and bits needed:

    1. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/VW-Audi-...900901&hash=item288d9c6454:g:f~8AAOSweEFeMaQz

    2. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Makita-D...632653?hash=item3624342b0d:g:ZDkAAOSw25VePV-X

    3. https://www.machinemart.co.uk/p/clarke-cat139-professional-150mm-air-hammer/

    4. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/PB-BLAST...615690&hash=item3fd97e98b7:g:RdAAAOSwMNxXXA09

    5.https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Rothenbe...153862&hash=item281a6e6b8b:g:tiUAAOSwkXdav7Z7

    6. 16mm 1/2 inch short socket

    1. Give the area a really good clean around the bolt and upper arms and back the 16mm nut off about 3mm, drive with the nut like this for approx 4 weeks and apply a liberal dose of PB Blaster (best one I found after a lot of research, ebay approx £13) every 3-5 days or so. If your paranoid about the nut coming off and the bolt falling out just put another nut on the end to lock it in place but tbh you've more chance of winning euro millions than that that happening.

    2. Heat the knuckle underneath where the upper control arms drop into it, nice and gentle heat not a roaring flamethrower (the amount of heat applied will not do no damage etc if your nice and gently), do this for about 5 minutes and keep the flame moving about, remove the flame and apply PB Blaster all over, get the heat on it again and keep doing this until you see the PB Blaster bubbling out the end of the thread. Gentle heat, the rubbers on the upper control arms don't get hot if you do it right.

    3. while it's nice and hot get the air hammer with the special tool attached on the thread end and give it the full beans and at the same time get the impact wrench on full beans on TIGHTEN (only if its the one in the link above, more powerful ones may snap the head off), keep at this and the bolt will start to push out.

    4. Once its started moving get the heat on it again and get the PB Blaster on it again.

    5. repeat the above and eventually the impact wrench will start to spin the bolt, let it spin itself nice and free and then the bolt will just push out.

    Jobs a good one then, just take your time. Mine was 10 years old, 100K miles and had never been touched it was really corroded in but came out well, no need for new knuckles, drilling, grinding or anything like that.

    If you want anymore info just drop a message on here or a private message, i'm more than willing to help and share my experience to help others.

    IMG_20200101_151819338.jpg IMG_20200101_151842061.jpg IMG_20200207_160746106.jpg IMG_20200207_160752602.jpg IMG_20200207_160806416.jpg
     
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  3. rum4mo

    rum4mo Well-Known Member

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    This is one area where the Audi versions are trickier to work on than the VW equivalents, well at least the B5 generation, I owned a B5 Passat and it had a steel upright whereas Audi used alloy uprights.
    For some strange reason, I bought new bolts and nuts, then cleaned these areas up and applied an industrial strength releasing fluid, same as above, for roughly the same period, then slackened off the nuts and worked away on the bolts bit by bit, after maybe a week or so I had both original bolts out, holes cleaned up and new bolts and nuts on - then a few weeks later, as luck would have it, that car broke a front spring while 600 miles from home, AA guy came out and quickly removed the strut, got a garage to swop springs and whacked the strut back in place, he or I was very lucky that I had gone round these bolts just before that. I think that WD40 do market a specialist release fluid now - thought completely different to the original WD40 which should never be used for that purpose as it just "wets" the areas that you need to encourage the release fluid into - and if ordinary WD40 is already in there, the proper release fluid will just run off.
     
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  4. jakm15

    jakm15 Active Member

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    I think you were all lucky you had changed it, from what I've read unless the garage you take it too has had a lot of experience in getting seized pinch bolts out a lot of them seem to just fit a full new knuckle, probably to save themselves the time and hassle of trying to get it out and failing.

    Sent from my moto e5 plus using Tapatalk
     
  5. rum4mo

    rum4mo Well-Known Member

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    A lot of specialist tool makers have made good money out of this nasty bit of design by Audi.
     
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  6. jakm15

    jakm15 Active Member

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    That Neilson tool that goes into the air hammer is a good bit of kit for £9, definitely wouldn't have got it out as easy without that.

    Sent from my moto e5 plus using Tapatalk
     
  7. spartacus 68

    spartacus 68 Active Member

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    Most of us have been here with this job. There is a workshop tool if you were doing it regularly made by Klann. Regards the drift, Laser tools make the same tool, superior quality to Nielsen in my opinion. Agree regards PB Blaster, great product.

    I don't have an air hammer, but when it was done previously, it was heated until cherry red (torched the upper arms in the process) and hit it with a lump hammer and punch. Danger is you can mushroom the nut end. Poor design by Audi. Fine in hot dry climates, but a never ending nightmare for anywhere else.
     
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  8. jakm15

    jakm15 Active Member

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    Yeah it is a really poor design, it can make a nice straight forward nut and bolt job into a bit of a nightmare, if they had coated it with some high quality grease that would have helped or reduced the size of the shank so it wasn't as tight.

    I'd be reluctant to get it so hot with the knuckle being ally but if the bolts stuck and it won't come out you've not many other options really apart from drilling it out which would be pretty hard or like you said the Klan specialist tool or the other option is replacing the knuckle or removing it and having at go at it on a bench.

    Sent from my moto e5 plus using Tapatalk
     

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