Tightening Control Arm Bolts

Huw Powell audi at humanspeakers.com
Thu May 22 10:01:37 PDT 2008

> I use a closed end wrench with an offset that I bought at Sears. BTW,
> tighten those bolts with the control arm in it's normal resting
> position, i.e. where they sit with the car on the ground. If you just
> let them hang and tighten them, you will overstress them on
> compression. You will then find yourself replacing them in the not too
> distant future.

I agree with Tony on both points.  I have some offset closed end 12 
point wrenches, nothing "special", that work fine for this.  Putting a 
little "goop" on the outside of the nut can help keep it in place while 
you get things started.  Use new locknuts.

If you're on a lift (why do I think people might be using lifts?) you 
can lower the tire onto a muffler stand to "preload" the control arm. 
If you're on jackstands, you can lift the tire with your jack, being 
careful not to take all the weight off the jackstand.  Or, tighten them 
"almost all the way" and shift over to ramps to get the CA into "normal" 
position to finish torquing.

>> In a bout of "You may as well-itis" I purchased replacement control
>> arms for the 215k km wear on the originals for my wife's (previously
>> mine) 1990 90Q. Getting the 4 bolts off was OK, but holding the nut
>> inside the subframe while turning the heads is proving impossible to
>> reinstall, not to mention torque. What tool or technique can you use
>> to hold the nut? I've tried every 17mm spanner, but the angle is too
>> extreme and any grips or pliers are too big to fit through the access hole.
>> Any suggestions welcome.
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Huw Powell



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