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VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old October 3rd, 2006, 10:41   #1
Wingnut
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Default HOW TO change the lower control arm bushings

I just had these extra LCA's kicking around my garage, so I decided to throw in some new bushings and I will Re & Re them in the car another time. So I don't have any pics of how to do that part yet. But they are not that hard to take out if you are not replacing your ball joints.

3 x 13mm bolts to remove the lower ball joint, a 16mm bolt to disconnect the swaybar end link, and 2 x 18mm bolts holding the LCA to the subframe. Removal is very easy. When I get around to actually installing these things, I will take detailed pictures & post here. But for now, see below for the bushing replacement procedure.




DISCLAIMER: This post is for informational purposes only. If you attampt to do this procedure, you do so at your own risk. Please use caution & common sense when working with hammers & power tools.
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Last edited by Wingnut; October 4th, 2006 at 07:34.
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 10:42   #2
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Default How to remove the old bushings

The first thing you need to do is remove the old bushings. This can be done in several ways. If you have a press, you can just push it out. If not, you can cut it out with a jig saw, reciprocating saw, or even a simple hacksaw.

First thing to do is cut out the rubber center to make room to work inside the ring (sorry for the fuzzy pics. I think its time for a new camera:






Once the center is out, you can use the saw to cut the bushing ring. It is soft aluminum, so should be easy to cut. Just be careful not to cut too far and cut into the LCA itself:



Here you can see how deep I cut. Don't worry about cutting it deep. The aluminum will break and there is no need to go all the way through the ring:



Using a punch, break the ring and bend it inward to loosen the tension:



Now the ring should just slide out easily:



Now you need to remove the front bushings. I have read where people set these on fire to melt away the rubber. This is NOT necessary. These bushings can just be knocked out with a hammer.

Place the LCA on a bench vice or over a large socket so that there is room undermeath it to push the bushing out:



After a hard hit or two with a hammer, the bushing should have sunken into the LCA about a 1/2 inch or so. Don't be shy, give it a good whack:



Now, clamp the LCA in the vice and use a socket to drive the bushing through the rest of the way:



Now you should be able to just grab the bushing and yank it out by hand:



If it is too stubborn, you can trim away the rubber lip on one side to help it go through, but I don't think its necessary.


Congratulations, you just removed your old bushings. At this point, if you have the time & the inclination, you can clean up the LCA's & give them a fresh coat of paint.
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New Ride: (2003 Silver Wagon): Malone Tuned, T4 injectors, 11mm pump, 2.5" Magnaflow cat back, PD150 intake, OMI, Wingnut SS, ERF 6 speed, Bilstein TC Sport susp. w/GTI springs, Neuspeed RSB, Santa Monica's, Autometer Cobalt Boost & EGT, MFA Sport cluster, GLI Leather seats, SS vacuum lines, AVIC Z3 Nav and I still get 4.5L/100km (I got 3.9L/100k on a tank once)
Some handy 'How to's'

Last edited by Wingnut; October 4th, 2006 at 07:36. Reason: Adding pictures
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 10:42   #3
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Default How to install the new bushings

Now that you have the old bushings out, you are ready to install the new ones. I went with a hybrid set. The front are poly bushings from the Prothane kit and the rears are the Audi TT/R32 bushings.

To press the new bushings in, just use a couple of hard pieces of wood to go around the center pin and clamp it in a vice:



It wouldn't be a bad idea to put a dab of grease around the hole to help it slide in. Here is a side view:



Slowly wind in the vice and the new bushing will get pressed into the LCA:



Be advised that it will only go in from one side. It will be obvious which side that is when you see the LCA. Here is the new bushing in place:



The fronts are very easy to insert. Ther are 2 pieces and just slide in from either end:



Don't forget to lube up the parts before puting them in. They should go part way by hand:



Then you can press them the rest of the way with the vice:



After a going over with a wire brush and a quick shot of black paint, here is the finished product before & after shot:



I decided to throw in a new set of ball joints while I was at it, but it is not necessary. It is more dificult to re & re the LCA's if you are doing the ball joints. But it might not be a bad time to do them if yours have a lot of miles on them.
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Old Ride (2000 Black Sedan): Gone

New Ride: (2003 Silver Wagon): Malone Tuned, T4 injectors, 11mm pump, 2.5" Magnaflow cat back, PD150 intake, OMI, Wingnut SS, ERF 6 speed, Bilstein TC Sport susp. w/GTI springs, Neuspeed RSB, Santa Monica's, Autometer Cobalt Boost & EGT, MFA Sport cluster, GLI Leather seats, SS vacuum lines, AVIC Z3 Nav and I still get 4.5L/100km (I got 3.9L/100k on a tank once)
Some handy 'How to's'

Last edited by Wingnut; October 3rd, 2006 at 14:42. Reason: Add more pictures
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 17:08   #4
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what you need to do is tell how to put in the front OEM bushing... thats the tricky bugger.

involves a long allthread and the vise and about 3 nuts... oh ya, and a big wrench..

Nice writeup!

I also reccoment the TT rear bushings. really improve the handling all by themselves.
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 17:21   #5
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Yeah. Good point on the OEM front bushing. But to be honest, that one usually doesn't need replacing. Its not a prone to need replacing as the rear ones. But with lots of lube, you can slide an OEM front bushing into the hole with just a vice & 2 blocks of wood.
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New Ride: (2003 Silver Wagon): Malone Tuned, T4 injectors, 11mm pump, 2.5" Magnaflow cat back, PD150 intake, OMI, Wingnut SS, ERF 6 speed, Bilstein TC Sport susp. w/GTI springs, Neuspeed RSB, Santa Monica's, Autometer Cobalt Boost & EGT, MFA Sport cluster, GLI Leather seats, SS vacuum lines, AVIC Z3 Nav and I still get 4.5L/100km (I got 3.9L/100k on a tank once)
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 21:33   #6
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Wingnut for Vise President !!!!

Nice writeup!! You give the "rest of us" hope...

Thanks !!!!! (yet again...)

Yuri.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 07:17   #7
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Dude, you NEED a shop press! Make slife sooooo much easier.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 07:27   #8
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Tell me about it. It would make things a lot easier for me for sure. But then I wouldn't be able to do it the hard way & show everyone else how to do it that don't have access to these expensive tools

But really, the vice is one of my handiest tools. It can do a lot more than just hold my bench together.
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New Ride: (2003 Silver Wagon): Malone Tuned, T4 injectors, 11mm pump, 2.5" Magnaflow cat back, PD150 intake, OMI, Wingnut SS, ERF 6 speed, Bilstein TC Sport susp. w/GTI springs, Neuspeed RSB, Santa Monica's, Autometer Cobalt Boost & EGT, MFA Sport cluster, GLI Leather seats, SS vacuum lines, AVIC Z3 Nav and I still get 4.5L/100km (I got 3.9L/100k on a tank once)
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Old October 4th, 2006, 07:44   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wingnut
Yeah. Good point on the OEM front bushing. But to be honest, that one usually doesn't need replacing. Its not a prone to need replacing as the rear ones.
I wouldnt exactly say that...



that was the entire reason I couldnt align my car when I bought new tires.. and why I decided to put the TT control arm bushings in as well..


good thread man!
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Old October 4th, 2006, 07:46   #10
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Point taken. I guess then I better buy an OEM one and try it out once I get my old LCA's off the car

I'l post the pics here once I do that.
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New Ride: (2003 Silver Wagon): Malone Tuned, T4 injectors, 11mm pump, 2.5" Magnaflow cat back, PD150 intake, OMI, Wingnut SS, ERF 6 speed, Bilstein TC Sport susp. w/GTI springs, Neuspeed RSB, Santa Monica's, Autometer Cobalt Boost & EGT, MFA Sport cluster, GLI Leather seats, SS vacuum lines, AVIC Z3 Nav and I still get 4.5L/100km (I got 3.9L/100k on a tank once)
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Old October 9th, 2006, 07:09   #11
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thanks for posting this.

i am just about to do my wifes. she had such a large
clatter when hitting bumps. i thought it to be the struts
but then i saw the rears Control Arm Bushings were super dead!


so where to you get the red polly fronts?

where is a cheep place to buy rears?

alex
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Old October 16th, 2006, 22:18   #12
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Great info - I'm needing to do this sooner than later.
michael.
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Old February 8th, 2007, 09:17   #13
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3 suggestions for those having problems with the front bushing installation.

Lube Lube Lube. I've seen ppl use liquid soap plus a little water. I use mercedes general lube which can be purchased in small quanitites as "sun roof lube" or you can buy silicone grease at say- a dive store. Lastly NAPA or the likes might have a high-silicone spray. I've got a tub of the MB lube and it works WONDERFULLY. Don't want to use grease on rubber parts as it will degrade the rubber with time.


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Old March 25th, 2007, 05:45   #14
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After just doing this in my driveway I have a tip. Do NOT remove the balljoint from the control arm. Take the control arm off with it attached. No way could I install the c.arm with the ball jt left in the knuckle. With it still attached it was easy. I waisted alot of time figuring that out.
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Old March 25th, 2007, 08:45   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -=PYRO=-
After just doing this in my driveway I have a tip. Do NOT remove the balljoint from the control arm. Take the control arm off with it attached. No way could I install the c.arm with the ball jt left in the knuckle. With it still attached it was easy. I waisted alot of time figuring that out.
So you were able to remove the ball joint from the spindle? You are lucky. Usually, that nut wil not come off without spinning the shaft of the ball joint. An impact gun is usually required to remove the top nut from the ball joint and the strut has to come out to access that nut.

But you are right. If you can remove the ball joint from the spindle, it is better as there is not as much change in geometry after the swap, so the alignment will be close to what it was before. But an alignment is still a good idea. But I have never been able to remove the top nut of a ball joint without an impact gun. But that is probably due to the corrosion caused by all the winter road salt used here???
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Old Ride (2000 Black Sedan): Gone

New Ride: (2003 Silver Wagon): Malone Tuned, T4 injectors, 11mm pump, 2.5" Magnaflow cat back, PD150 intake, OMI, Wingnut SS, ERF 6 speed, Bilstein TC Sport susp. w/GTI springs, Neuspeed RSB, Santa Monica's, Autometer Cobalt Boost & EGT, MFA Sport cluster, GLI Leather seats, SS vacuum lines, AVIC Z3 Nav and I still get 4.5L/100km (I got 3.9L/100k on a tank once)
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