[A4] Front Control Replacement Completed

Brandon Rogers brogers at terrix.com
Mon Dec 6 12:17:04 EST 2004

pretty ironic timing on this in light of the recall letter....But I'm sure this will still be useful to plenty of people...

I installed (with help from another Audifans Lister) the complete ECS front control arm with upgraded tie rod end package this weekend.  It takes a good day.

Most of my parts were original - (I'll have to go through my old receipts to see what had been replaced since new - I think I had a single lower C/A replaced by the dealer a few years ago at a cost of like $250 - hopefully I'll get a reimbursement - it would cover the alignment..) anyway most of the parts were original but all the nuts/bolts came apart easily with little or no corrosion.  Very nice.  The one exception was the pinch bolt for the two upper C/A's. What a bitch.  A torch did the trick.  

Two other tricky items:  One of the upper C/A bolts is too close to the body to pull out.  So we took out the three bolts (from above in engine bay) holding the cast aluminum bracket in place - with a free bracket this made plenty of room.  An extra person was pretty crucial here when we put it back together.  The other one, as Richard Hurt mentioned to me a week or so ago when I posted looking for tips - was the rear lower C/A bolt - not enough room to pull it out.  We had been supporting the car by the subframe on jackstands, to get this bolt out we loosened all four subframe bolts then used two floorjacks to raise the body at the proper points right behind the front wheel wells - this allowed the subframe to drop a good inch or so - providing the necessary clearance to get those long bolts out.  We inserted the new ones and then re-tightened the subframe bolts.

Other than that it was pretty straightforward - just took a while - we eye-balled the tie-rod ends and I will be taking the car in for alignment asap - in the meantime I will not drive it - however I did take it around the block to make sure all was good.  Steering was better than I thought- very capable of safely getting to the dealer for alignment. 


'98 A4


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