Front Lower Control Arm Torque Spec?

Bhavick

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2018
Location
United Kingdom
TDI
1.9TDI
Hi,



I was just wondering if there is a specific torque spec for the bolts on the lower control arm? The reason am asking is because I recently changed mine and tightened all the bolts back up with a ratchet but for some reason one of the bolts keeps coming loose.

The bolt that keeps coming loose can be seen in this video around the 2:48 mark


I've just ordered an impact wrench so should be here this week and am gonna go over all the bolts again hopefully this time it doesn't come loose. I am from the UK so i don't have BEW engine.
 

KrashDH

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Location
Washington
TDI
2002 Golf
Hi,



I was just wondering if there is a specific torque spec for the bolts on the lower control arm? The reason am asking is because I recently changed mine and tightened all the bolts back up with a ratchet but for some reason one of the bolts keeps coming loose.

The bolt that keeps coming loose can be seen in this video around the 2:48 mark


I've just ordered an impact wrench so should be here this week and am gonna go over all the bolts again hopefully this time it doesn't come loose. I am from the UK so i don't have BEW engine.
Do NOT hit your control arm bolts with an impact wrench for final torque! You will overshoot every time and damage parts or break bolts. That is not the solution.

Invest in a proper torque wrench. Especially for the control arms. One of the nuts is captured...if you try and tighten or break it free with an impact you will break that captured nut off its tack welds then you need to cut a hole to get at it...

The reason that your bolts likely aren't holding is because you're not torquing them properly...most of the bolts on these cars are tty ( torque to yield) which means they stretch when the proper torque is achieved. This, along with clamping preload, keeps them in place.

You'll have to search or look in the manual for the number (it's been listed on the forum before) but they will be somerhing like __ Nm + 1/4 turn.

In all seriousness though if you plan on continuing to work on your car, ensure things, especially control arms, are properly torqued or you risk the safety of you and others in the vehicle. Invest in a torque wrench, not an impact...one is not a substitute for the other.
 

BobnOH

not-a-mechanic
Joined
May 29, 2004
Location
central Ohio
TDI
New Beetle 2003 manual
Yes, the impact tool is only good for removing things, maybe the real expensive ones will yoield proper torque, IDK. It's possible you have reused a torque to yield bolt and it is stretched.
 

jokila

Vendor
Joined
Dec 3, 2004
Location
Houston, Texas
TDI
2003 Jetta GLS, Manual
The front bolt setup on the lower control arm has a known problem where the internal nut that is basically epoxied to the metal will come loose and spin.

Don't hit it with an impact or you can certainly cause it to have that happen. If it does, the only recourse is to cut some slots and open up that location to tack weld the nut back on and then close it up.

 

Vince Waldon

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 25, 2009
Location
Edmonton AB Canada
TDI
2001 ALH Jetta, 2005 BEW Wagon
70nm (52 ft-lbs) + 1/4 turn.

Need an 18mm box-end 45 degree offset wrench (like the one in the screen-grab of the You-tube video linked) to hold the nut at the top in place, and yup like most all the suspension bolts it's torque-to-yield which means they are single-use replace-em-with-new each time.

The sideways bolt that goes thu the rubber bushing pressed into the control arm is also 70nm (52 ft-lbs) + 1/4 turn, the big bolt that goes straight up into the captured nut inside the frame is 100 Nm (74 ft-lbs) + 1/4 turn, and the ball joint bolts are 20Nm (15 ft-lbs) + 1/4 turn.
 

Bhavick

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2018
Location
United Kingdom
TDI
1.9TDI
Thanks for the replies, what is the best torque wrench size to tighten the wishbone bolts? Also are you supposed to tighten the bolts in FT or NM?
 

BobnOH

not-a-mechanic
Joined
May 29, 2004
Location
central Ohio
TDI
New Beetle 2003 manual
Well the best torque wrenches are expensive. After buying a real piece of junk from Harbor Freight, I use 2 torsion style torque wrenches. A 3/8" for 0-75 ft/lbs(100 Nm) and a 1/2" for 0-150 ft/lbs(200 Nm). For frame/suspension fasteners the 1/2" is more appropriate.
 

Bhavick

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2018
Location
United Kingdom
TDI
1.9TDI
I've just purchased a Haynes manual as it has the correct torque values for the lower control arm for my Golf, the thing is I don't understand which bolts they are talking about in the book. Here's a snippet of the Haynes manual with the torque values for the control arm, I was just wondering if someone can tell me which torque values I need to use for which bolts on the control arm.


I need the torque values for the following bolts on the lower control arm:

The 18mm nut and bolt fitting that you have to use a swan neck on at the top and a ratchet at the bottom to tighten.
The link arm bolt that is 16mm
The three 13mm bolts that hold the ball joint and ballpoint bracket in place.
There is also another 18mm bolt that goes in from the side.

I apologise for these nob questions but if someone could help I would really appreciate it.

Thanks
 

jokila

Vendor
Joined
Dec 3, 2004
Location
Houston, Texas
TDI
2003 Jetta GLS, Manual
What year is your vehicle?
1) Ball joint bolts are done in two stages, first torque it to 20nm, then after they are done, come back and finish off at 45nm.
2) Anti-roll bar (sway bar) and link is given. I don't know your suspension, but you should be able to tell. by the description which bolts need what.
3) Pivot/ mounting bolts is the big bolt that you use the swan neck wrench is done in two stages.
4) That leaves the front bolt of the lower control arm. I would do it similar to the sway bar bolt torque. It cannot be as much as the 18mm bolt.
 
Last edited:

Bhavick

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2018
Location
United Kingdom
TDI
1.9TDI
What year is your vehicle?
1) Ball joint bolts are done in two stages, first torque it to 20nm, then after they are done, come back and finish off at 45nm.
2) Anti-roll bar (sway bar) and link is given. I don't know your suspension, but you should be able to tell. by the description which bolts need what.
3) Pivot/ mounting bolts is the big bolt that you use the swan neck wrench is done in two stages.
4) That leaves the front bolt of the lower control arm. I would do it similar to the sway bar bolt torque. It cannot be as much as the 18mm bolt.
The year of my vehicle is 2002 and i am from the UK. Am sorry but you have only given me the torque value for the ball joint bolts, I had a look an anti roll bar (sway bar) in the image i uploaded but there are a few different torque values an am not sure which one is the correct one. Is someone able to tell me all them by any chance?

Thanks
 

jokila

Vendor
Joined
Dec 3, 2004
Location
Houston, Texas
TDI
2003 Jetta GLS, Manual
The year of my vehicle is 2002 and i am from the UK. Am sorry but you have only given me the torque value for the ball joint bolts, I had a look an anti roll bar (sway bar) in the image i uploaded but there are a few different torque values an am not sure which one is the correct one. Is someone able to tell me all them by any chance?

Thanks
To your comment in red, you never gave your vehicle information in your post that's why I asked you and even said I don't know your vehicle. You probably don't realize this, but 1.9TDI is not exactly descriptive enough.

I searched in here and found this thread for the swaybar link torque value. It says 33ft lbs. That bolt is the same size as the front bolt on the control arm so if you cannot find the torque value anywhere, that's what I would use.
 

Vince Waldon

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 25, 2009
Location
Edmonton AB Canada
TDI
2001 ALH Jetta, 2005 BEW Wagon
I've just purchased a Haynes manual as it has the correct torque values for the lower control arm for my Golf, the thing is I don't understand which bolts they are talking about in the book. Here's a snippet of the Haynes manual with the torque values for the control arm, I was just wondering if someone can tell me which torque values I need to use for which bolts on the control arm.


I need the torque values for the following bolts on the lower control arm:

The 18mm nut and bolt fitting that you have to use a swan neck on at the top and a ratchet at the bottom to tighten.
The link arm bolt that is 16mm
The three 13mm bolts that hold the ball joint and ballpoint bracket in place.
There is also another 18mm bolt that goes in from the side.

I apologise for these nob questions but if someone could help I would really appreciate it.

Thanks

70nm (52 ft-lbs) + 1/4 turn.

Need an 18mm box-end 45 degree offset wrench (like the one in the screen-grab of the You-tube video linked) to hold the nut at the top in place, and yup like most all the suspension bolts it's torque-to-yield which means they are single-use replace-em-with-new each time.

The sideways bolt that goes thu the rubber bushing pressed into the control arm is also 70nm (52 ft-lbs) + 1/4 turn, the big bolt that goes straight up into the captured nut inside the frame is 100 Nm (74 ft-lbs) + 1/4 turn, and the ball joint bolts are 20Nm (15 ft-lbs) + 1/4 turn.
 

Vince Waldon

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 25, 2009
Location
Edmonton AB Canada
TDI
2001 ALH Jetta, 2005 BEW Wagon
It's worth being clear that published factory specs that include an initial torque setting plus an additional fraction of a turn are specs for *new* single-use torque-to-yield bolts (since that's VW's specification for this application); VW does not publish specs for re-use of a single-use bolt.
 
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