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Discussion Starter #1
I bought a set of Lower rearward control arms from Rock Auto. They came and the ball joint end was too small. However, nothing on any of the sites (ex’s, rock auto, Blau parts) seems to distinguish between the larger or smaller part. How do I know if I’m ordering the right part for my 03 GLX?
 

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There are 2 different versions of the front lower control arm, the larger and the smaller ball joint end. The change was implemented during the 2003 production year.
So, if the ones you have are to small, you have a car that was produced before the change.

Here is what you need: https://www.ecstuning.com/b-genuine-volkswagen-audi-parts/front-lower-control-arm-straight-priced-each/4d0407151p/

FYI, when you get these 'replacement' control arms, check to be sure you have the proper flange nut that secures the ball joint to the knuckle.
I have numerous posts about this issue. I'll find one of them and point you to it.
 

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Naturally I can't find any of my posts on this. :banghead:
Anyways...

Here is a picture.
The one on the right is the 'proper' nut to be used. Back a few years ago there was a rash of control arms shipped out with the wrong nut. Mostly isolated to parts coming from FCP Euro.
It's been a couple of years since I last bought a set of control arms, so I'm going to assume that this has been rectified.

 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the reply!! That’s for the forward arm. I am replacing the curved, rearward arms.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Is there a spindle sleeve or something that needs to be replaced as well when doing the control arms?
 

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Thanks for the reply!! That’s for the forward arm. I am replacing the curved, rearward arms.
Yes, everything I mentioned is for the front lower control arm.
The rear lower control arm never changed during the complete run B5 and B5.5 (1997 - 2005) production models.

Is there a spindle sleeve or something that needs to be replaced as well when doing the control arms?

My guess is that the tapered sleeve came out of the steering knuckle during the removal procedure of the rear lower control arm. That is known to happen on occasion.
Generally NO, there is no need for replacing the tapered sleeve. Unless of course it is damaged.
The only way that I know of to get one of those tapered sleeves is to get a used steering knuckle from the salvage yard.
 

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I just realized my post #2 is inaccurate.
I mentioned rear control arm.
THAT IS WRONG!
The front lower control arm is the part that changed during 2003 production year.
I should read my post before posting :crazy:
 

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You could go back and edit #2, AP ;). You are correct about the rearward lower though. It never changed over the B5-5.5 range. Even was used on the A4 and A6 of those years.

OP, while not nearly as common as the front straight arm, there may be a metal sleeve that came out with the old arm that you would need to reinstall with the new arm.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Just to wrap this up- the tapered sleeve in the steering knuckle came out when the front lower rearward control arm was removed. It was so stuck on that a shop had to use their hydraulic press to get it out. A few thousand pounds of pressure later and I am back on the road!
 

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Just to wrap this up- the tapered sleeve in the steering knuckle came out when the front lower rearward control arm was removed. It was so stuck on that a shop had to use their hydraulic press to get it out. A few thousand pounds of pressure later and I am back on the road!
Nice :thumbup:
Glad to hear you got it all sorted.
 

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Just to wrap this up- the tapered sleeve in the steering knuckle came out when the front lower rearward control arm was removed. It was so stuck on that a shop had to use their hydraulic press to get it out.
This happened with my '05 A4; I couldn't get the tapered ball joint stud to knock out, but the steel sleeve did - on the end of the ball joint stud. At this point a puller had better access, and I was able to get the thing separated. When putting it back, I left the knuckle in the hot sun, while the sleeve was in the freezer. A little lube and it tapped right back in.
 
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