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Help Please Replace one or all control arms?

meph137 May 4, 2018

  1. meph137

    meph137 Active Member Audi S4 Black Edition

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    Hi all, cars done about 50k miles and I've got a judder throughout the car at certain speeds (bit random), confirmed this is due to the nearside front lower rear control arm (now that's a mouthful! In other words "the bendy one") being a bit worn so it needs replacing.

    Question - previous driver drove it somewhat hard, not abused but he wasn't light on the throttle. Would people suggest I go the whole hog and upgrade the entire front control arm set?

    The reason I ask is that I've seen sets such as the 034 one which claim to be better than original parts and to be honest I find my steering feel so all the upgrades I have planned are handling mods (ARB, springs, strut brace etc).

    Or, just replace the one I know is wobbly and be done with it?
     
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  3. meph137

    meph137 Active Member Audi S4 Black Edition

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    No opinions on this, no-one done it? Maybe that's my answer - i.e. "just do 1, why would you do them all?!" :D
     
  4. Lavis89

    Lavis89 Well-Known Member Regional Rep Team Sprint Audi S4 Audi A3

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    When I replace mine I'm going to go whole hog and do the whole lot, purely to save me the effort have having to keep taking it apart doing them separately
     
  5. meph137

    meph137 Active Member Audi S4 Black Edition

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    What mileage are you going to do it at? I’ve no idea of the longevity of the bushes really - 034 say as little as 40k but no idea if that is sales talk :)

    Are you gonna do it yourself? Not sure how hard it is


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  6. spartacus 68

    spartacus 68 Active Member Team Ibis Audi A2 Audi Avant Owner Group quattro

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    If you can afford, then just replace the lot. Meyle HD parts are guaranteed for 4 years. It's all I'd fit. Get the car tracking done afterwards. Check the dampers too, seeing as everything will be off the front.
     
  7. Roadrunner146

    Roadrunner146 Active Member Team Moonlight TFSI Owners Group Team V6 Audi A6 Audi Avant Owner Group quattro Supercharged S-line owners group

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    Have you thought of just replacing the bushes. You can keep the original arm's and have Poly Bushes pressed in.
     
  8. meph137

    meph137 Active Member Audi S4 Black Edition

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    Reckon it’s a tough job to do? I’ve seen videos of people using blowtorches to try and remove the upper arms...

    You’d go for Meyle HD over anything such as the 034 density line?

    Cars done 52k, I reckon it was driven a bit hard previously so I wouldn’t be surprised if they were worse than normal, but does 52k sound a bit young?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  9. meph137

    meph137 Active Member Audi S4 Black Edition

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    I did briefly consider this, I’ve read mixed things - some people seem to dislike them, I’ve no experience with them though


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  10. Roadrunner146

    Roadrunner146 Active Member Team Moonlight TFSI Owners Group Team V6 Audi A6 Audi Avant Owner Group quattro Supercharged S-line owners group

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    I'm tempted. If you use a decent company it should be a better set up.
     
  11. Lavis89

    Lavis89 Well-Known Member Regional Rep Team Sprint Audi S4 Audi A3

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    My car is on 94k, I'll hopefully do it myself. It's usually the pinch bolt the seizes I believe, I'll just buy new pinch bolts and cut the damn things off if need be, if I'm changing the arms anyways it doesn't matter if they get a bit mangled
     
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  13. Retroman

    Retroman Audi A3 2010 Sportback 2.0 TDI 170 (CBBB engine)

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    Mileage seems low for control arm failure but maybe its a issue on high performance S4s. I've done lots of BMW ones and would suggest doing across the axle rather than just one side. Meyle HD - whilst I've found their ball joints tough, I've had problems with premature wear of the rubber bush bits - both on BMW control arms and droplinks and had to replace again quite soon with Powerflex purple which I find superb quality.
     
  14. RyanJonS4

    RyanJonS4 Drive It Like You Stole It

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    I had an advisory on 2 front arm bushings on my B6 S4 a few years back, rather than replace 1 set then need more the year after etc I replaced the full lot up front with meyle hd arms. It saves massively on labour in the long run if you plan to keep the car a while and brings the steering feel and front end ride back to as new. My b6 is a keeper so it was worth the investment.

    I’ve got a B8.5 S4 as well which is fully polly bushed on the front end. While I was having coilovers installed last year and the suspension was in bits anyway I thought I may as well get them all done. 2 of the lower polly bushes have cracked twice but there is now a revised version which is due to be fitted next time my car is in. I’ve not noticed any increased NVH but I had my KW v3’s installed at the same time so maybe it’s not a true test. The feel of the front end is super tight though now it’s polly bushed
     
  15. meph137

    meph137 Active Member Audi S4 Black Edition

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    It's not awful I don't think but has some play, the first I knew of it was an RAC inspection of all things, now I'm getting a steering wobble at high speeds, feels exactly like a badly balanced wheel. Funny that it's taken my local garage ages to find that one arm is wobbly - it's the front left lower rear (the wavy one), I even told them the RAC inspection noted it and they said they checked and said it wasn't an issue, seems now that it is after checking again.

    Longer story - they were waiting for the part, but never got back to me and they said they'd have to drop the subframe to fit the arm which I think sounded wrong (someone may correct me) so I just didn't chase and they've never contacted me, think I'll get it done elsewhere.

    Even longer, I rang a local VAG specialist who said that a worn control arm wouldn't ever cause steering judder (he seemed to say this as if it were quite obvious, i.e. never in a million years would this happen), I'm pretty certain this is wrong as I think (can someone confirm?) there is a TSB 2024687/2 which describes this very situation and suggests replacing 8K0 407 693 and 8K0 407 694, so I'm now wondering whether to even bother going to this so called VAG specialist!
     
  16. meph137

    meph137 Active Member Audi S4 Black Edition

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    How much difference would you say it made to the feel of the car? Not had arms done on a car before so not sure how much different it feels. Obviouslly based on age etc, but would be interested to hear how it felt for you.

    What brand bushes did you go for? How much did it cost to get everything poly bushed?
     
  17. meph137

    meph137 Active Member Audi S4 Black Edition

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    Also I'm interested, specifically because you've got both Meyle HD arms and also poly bushes. My question (being a total mewbie to all this), does the arm itself make much difference, or is it pretty much just the bush? To me, an arm is an arm - as long as it doesn't snap or flex and it's not too heavy then all arms seems equal to me, is this true or not? To me it seems like you'd go for OEM or Meyle based pretty much on the bushes, does that sound true? Because if so then I'm fine to keep all my arms and just replace bushes if I so choose the poly bush route.
     
  18. spartacus 68

    spartacus 68 Active Member Team Ibis Audi A2 Audi Avant Owner Group quattro

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    The pinch bolt inevitably seizes but nothing penetrating fluid and impact driver can't handle. Sorry no experience of poly bushes. Meyle HD are quality parts. If you renew the entire front it will transform the ride. Only tighten top arms with vehicle on the ground, or you'll stress the bushes.
     
  19. meph137

    meph137 Active Member Audi S4 Black Edition

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    So I took this to a local VAG specialist (all ex Audi mechanics) and they couldn't feel a vibration, however they did hear a very slight knocking from the offside front but they couldn't feel any play in any of the arms. It's a bit odd to be fair - all a bit random and mainly felt on good quality A roads going high speeds (so that's probably about 0.001% of UK roads!!), they suggested that on different days it may come and go depending on how wet it was etc, I never know what to believe from garages to be honest.... a previous place I went did say they observed movement in the lower rear (curvy) arm.

    I'm trying to figure out a plan of action being as I can't actually observe the issue....

    My question is - at what age would you expect to have to replace any one arm? I've done nearly 53k miles and whilst it's not been thrashed I do enjoy going round corners quite fast :D if it's getting to the sort of mileage where arms start to go then I think I'll just replace the whole lot, but the local VAG place seem to think doing so is madness and these arms should go on forever, but that seems to run a bit contrary to opinions on here where people have renewed all the arms just to keep things fresh.

    If 52k miles is in "arm sloppiness" territory then I'm happy to spend the cash to change them all as I'd much rather do the lot but I don't want to do it if it will make no difference at all to the feel of the ride, if that were the case then I'd just replace the single bad arm.

    Thoughts?
     
  20. rum4mo

    rum4mo Well-Known Member

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    I need to start keeping an eye on your progress, my February 2011 S4 has always, since I bought it at 12.5K miles in July 2013, a very slight "movement" on the offside, though I've not worked out which bush that could be, certainly I'd guess it will be years before I need to do anything to it, but I'd prefer that I knew where the issue was and got rid of that very slight issue.

    Pinch bolt, maybe I should start to feed that with proper release oil and then coat it with some thing to stop it seizing, I did that with my 2000 VW Passat B5 and had got the near side fully free to move - just in time for that road spring to break, AA sorted that out as I was well away from home. That car, while only having a 2.8 30V 193PS engine, must have been almost as heavy as a B8 S4 and when I sold it at 89K miles and 13 years old, it still had all its original arms and joints on it - and felt very tight - ie like new, now at 18 years old and 109K miles it is still on all its original arms and joints!

    It is a nuisance when you put your car into the hands of experts and they don't seem to be finding out what you are convinced is the problem.
     
  21. Mario

    Mario Active Member Audi A4 quattro TDi S tronic S-line owners group Manual

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    How long is a piece of string? Our B7 A4 is on all original bushings at 12 years old & 83,000 miles. However we have just found a worn front lower, inner track arm bushing on our B8.5 A4 which turns 5 years old in October with only 21,000 miles on it.

    So the honest answer is no-one knows. Now you have been asking about this since May....in your shoes I would simply replace the known bad control arm bushing (only the bush, not the entire arm) with a genuine Audi one and then see what happens.
     
  22. meph137

    meph137 Active Member Audi S4 Black Edition

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    I shall try and keep the thread up to date :)

    I meant on a B8, as the B7 bushings will be different. I assume there is some form of pattern to when bushes fail - obviously there will be exceptions for different styles of driving, where you live (potholes) etc - but I'd have thought there is a rough pattern of mileage or age.

    Most seem to suggest replacing both sides at once, not sure how important this is. Also, I don't want to do one arm now if there is a fair likelihood that other arms will soon fail - if that's the case I'd opt to replace them all if the price was not awful.

    Strangely I haven't given this much thought - mainly because it seems that no-one does this. I can see that you buy the bushing separately, but I do wonder - why does no-one really do this? It certainly costs a whole load less than buying the entire arm (about a 20th of the cost), so how come people don't do it more often? Meyle arms seem to have the bushings moulded to the arm if I'm right in saying, so I presume it's not possible on their arms? That said, I know the OEM arms are Lemforder so this doesn't apply, just curious.
     
  23. meph137

    meph137 Active Member Audi S4 Black Edition

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    Actually that's for a Meyle HD bush, not an OEM Bush. If this eBay link is anything to go by then OEM bushes cost only half the price, and if the advice of replace both sides is to be followed then that costs £200 and you start to think should you go down the route of doing the lot with Meyle HD, if indeed any of the other bushings were soon to fail.

    I'd have to do a parts request to Crewe Audi to determine how much the bush only is from them, that eBay seller may be asking for a scandalous price!
     

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