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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Pretty bummed right now. I had bought this car years back to help my ex-wife, ended up keeping it for reasons I won't get into here, thinking it would be a good car to have around as my son turned 161/2 and started driving. I had done the timing belt, the valve cover gaskets, serviced the alternator, front shocks/springs, front brakes, took care of a leak from the cabin air filter, and replaced a flex pipe.

Well, my son is ready to get his learner's permit now, I recently refinished the wheels and got brand new tires, so knowing I had to do the heater core, service the automatic transmission (filter, fluid change), rear brakes, and the seal in the front differential, I started getting to work the other day. Oh boy! Looking at the rear subframe as I got into the brakes had me sighing. A lot of rust. It's pitted and scaly, but still hasn't affected anything structurally as far as I can tell. I'd like to keep this car for years to come, but seeing this, it needs work now or I may end up having a giant paperweight if I can't source a subframe in the future-Already seem pretty difficult to find.

I wire brushed and wire wheeled where I could, thinking I might treat with some metal prep and then brush on some por15, spray some fluid film/wax oil, but I'm realizing there are areas that are probably still very rusty and are pretty inaccessible, and it would probably just buy me time. I have pulled a rotted rear subframe and picked up a replacement that I refinished for my mk4 Jetta wagon before, but this seems a lot more complex. In the few resources & write ups I've found online, it seems like pulling it on the 4motion is quite the operation, and I'm nervous about lining things up properly afterwards.

I also realized rear shocks/springs should probably be refreshed while I'm back here, so I think I may just need the push to do it if I'm that far in. Is it just a matter of brake lines, the exhaust, the differential, and then the 4 main bolts holding the subframe?

I have so many house and car projects on my plate at the moment, and this discovery has really taken the steam out of me. As a teacher, summer is my work time, but I start in 3 weeks.

If I go this far I'll probably have it blasted before treating with the por15. If folks think I may be able to just take care of it with the subframe still attached let me know, that would be much preferred.

Any videos or resources people can suggest, much appreciated. Which Audi is the same again? A6? I may try some Audi forums for some write-ups once I know. Anyone know if there are kits available for the rear control arms? It would be helpful to find a shopping list of the bolts and bushings that will need replacement.

Thanks!

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I guess I will have to refinish the rear control arms because I'm not seeing any kits available, just $400 for each piece OEM. I wish there were more aftermarket options like for the front. Also, shock mounts are discontinued per FCP Euro and ECS??? What? Shouldn't those be replaced when I do my shocks/springs?
 

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Is this a compatible rear subframe?

I have no clue, but they have really good shipping rates, $16 to Canada for a sub-frame o_O

lmfao, or really bad. 4 plastic engine cover screws $14.99 shipping to Canada. :unsure:
 

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I don't think it fits as the A6 is several inches wider than a Passat. I think the A6 uses the same control arms and bushings, but you would need to confirm part numbers. You should talk to Rob.Achmann as he is doing a rebuild/replacement of his 4Mo rear subframe.
 

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The A4, not the A6, is the Audi sibling of the Passat. However, when I checked compatibility on an eBay listing for the A4/S4 rear subframe, it did not mention cross-compatibility with the Passat. The front suspension on the A6 is substantially different than the Passat and I'm not sure about the rear.

There have been some nice looking B5 2.8L Passats showing up at PickNPull in the Bay Area and Sacramento lately, though I don't recall how many are 4Motion. We don't get rust like that unless the car has been in a flood. I don't know if my mechanic skills (and upper body strength) are up to disassembling a rear subframe but if you want a road trip to CA you could get them.

I don't know if we kept the rear subframe on my Passat but it was FWD anyway. Same for all the suspension parts.
 

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The C5 A6 (non-Allroad) rear suspension is the same as the Passat 4Mo, but it uses a wider subframe. The front suspension on the C5 A6 is the same as the Passat, again with a wider subframe. The rear suspension of the A4Q is nothing like a Passat 4Mo.
 

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The steering should be similar too, unless there's a variable ratio version on the A6. I would not worry about memory problems, mine is pretty bad now too.
 
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