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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So pulled the wheels to inspect the TREs and they're worn. Bought the replacements but when I tried to remove them the passenger side pinch bolt wouldn't budge even with w 3 lb. sledge and the driver side bolts came out easily but the outer doesn't want to unscrew from the inner. I pre-soaked the joints with Liquid Wrench for an hour before trying to take it apart.

What's the easiest way to get this done?
 

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A MAPP torch and/or air hammer is usually the next step. Really, I'd just tack it back together and take it to a shop and let them beat the daylights out of your probably-rusty parts.
 

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I think it depends on what area you live in. I live in Minnesota where we use a lot of salt in the winter. I don't have air tools, so for me I ended up drilling the bolt out. I spent quite a bit of time soaking/heating/pounding repeat, repeat and none of that worked. If I have to do my other side, I will go right to the drill. Just get a very good quality bit and it will make quick work of it!
 

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if inner and out tierods are frozen together, it is usually a good indication that the inner tierod balljoint is likely to be shot as well. I'd replace both the inner and out tierod.

as for the pinchbolt, I'd hit it with the MAPP gas until it was reasonably hot, then spary it with some PB Blaster - the effect of cooling it off with the PB Blaster will pull the liquid into it and help loosen it up. a couple of love taps with a BFH will usually work then.
 

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Air hammer and PB Blaster will take the bolts out in short order. I used a punch attachment and left the nut just barely screwed on to protect the threads. The bolts came out in good enough shape to reuse again. I ended up replacing both the inner and outer on one side since the threaded part was spinning inside the joint on the outer. Way easier than fighting it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys! This time around I'm going to leave it to a retired VW mechanic as I don't have a compressor/impact gun and only a basic propane torch. Days like this I miss my heavy equipment operator life with access to any tool I ever needed incl. shop pit.

The inner rod seemed fine on the drivers side that I was able to remove the 2 bolts (no play when I wiggled it hard) so I'm hoping to get away with just the outers.

It's a 5 min. job per side if everything is loose so hopefully he'll have it done in an hour.

I'll let you know the outcome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So I had the VW mechanic do the TREs today. He said he used an air chisel to remove the stuck pinch bolt. I probably paid as much as I would at the dealership though as it cost me $180 for an hour of his time & I supplied the parts (mint used orig. pulled from PicknPull). My fault for not asking in advance and assumed he'd charge about $60/hr as he works out of his house. I won't make that mistake again.

The good news is my diagnosis was correct and the steering & suspension is now tight with no rattles going over bumps, can turn hard with no issues and no wandering left and right on the highway. Didn't even need an alignment. However, he didn't use Never Seize on the bolts so now I have to take it apart and do it myself this weekend. Should be 15 mins/side with new bolts.

The first mechanics I took it to after purchasing the car in Oct told me I needed new control arms. Pure BS. The help I've received here in PW both firsthand and thread reading has saved me ALOT of $. You know who you are. Thanks.
 

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So I had the VW mechanic do the TREs today. He said he used an air chisel to remove the stuck pinch bolt. I probably paid as much as I would at the dealership though as it cost me $180 for an hour of his time & I supplied the parts (mint used orig. pulled from PicknPull). My fault for not asking in advance and assumed he'd charge about $60/hr as he works out of his house. I won't make that mistake again.
Holly .......! Did he have a gun??
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Holly .......! Did he have a gun??
No:( , but he was Bosnian!:icon_eek: I'm sure he had one;)

This is a small city of about 100k people & my review will be he knows his stuff but takes short cuts and charges about the same as a dealership.
 
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