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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just got enough courage this week to put Konis on my 2000 Passat 4-Motion.
After studying the discussions about the pinch bolts on the upper control arm ball joints I decided to try a combination of suggestions and I was able to remove the frozen pinch bolt in 15 minutes without any damage to the ball joints.
Of course I sprayed PB Blaster in the area first and tapped the knuckle with a hammer.
I then used a Dremel, with the flexible shaft and a 1 inch reinforced cutting wheel. I cut the bolt in the slot near the head of the bolt (not the slot near the nut). You do not have to cut all the way through but you have to get most of it. You can then torque the bolt head enough to snap the bolt material that wasnt cut. Crank the head around a few times to loosen it up some.
Next I took the nut off and place a couple of washers on the bolt for spacers.
I used a six point socket and cranked the nut down on the bolt. The bolt is then drawn through the knuckle as use torque down on the nut. I needed to keep building up the spacers because the bolt coming through the nut pushed away the socket.
After the bolt is pulled out you can use a drift to knock out the the small part with the bolt head.
Someone suggested cutting off the bolt head, but you then have all that material to pull through the knuckle. Plus the slot is a pretty nice guide for cutting the bolt.
 

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Kisakron youre a genius. I was dreading the prospect of drilling the pinch bolt out. Your technique worked perfectly. My prior attempts involved impact wrenches and 5 pound sledges that did nothing but ruin the threads. With 6 New England winters my bolts were about as stuck as they could be so I imagine this techinque will work for just about anyone. For others i would advise not to bother beating on the bolt before hand you'll only screw up the threads and make your job harder. Taping the knuckle with a hammer might be helpfull i don't know. This is definitley the simplest way of the removing the pinch bolt I have seen and is both the least likely to cause damage and is the most like the action of the official VW pinch bolt removal tool.
Thanks for the good idea
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey Glucks glad to hear it worked out for you. You guys on this site have been pulling my butt out of the fire for a long time with other problems I had, so I am glad I could help one of you.
 

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one method that worked for me:

soak the bolt in pb blaster, keep the nut on the end, take a mini sledge to it til it sits flush, then take an air chisel and blast the crap out of it :)
 

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Was my 01 wagon put together improperly?

I just recently did both axles (stupid CV boots) and had zero trouble with either pinch bolt. PB blaster a couple times each the day or so before I took it all apart. After removing the nut and turning the bolt a little, the buggers just popped right out. Did I get lucky? Is my car broken? Did I waste my time by not doing control arms at the same time?

Seriously though, why all the hate for the pinch bolts. Mine were by far the easiest part of the entire axle replacement process.
 

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Hey 3rdtime, they put a lot of salt on the road in the winter where you live?
Ha :) . I live in the Los Angeles area of southern California. Not a grain of salt on the roads here.

I surmise you meant that the more corrosion-inducing agants a car encounters, the worse shape the bolts will be in. Thankfully our Passat has been a SoCal car since it was purchased. There wasn't a speck of rust on the control arms, pinch bolts or other suspension components. Lucky me, I suppose.
 

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Ha :) . I live in the Los Angeles area of southern California. Not a grain of salt on the roads here.

I surmise you meant that the more corrosion-inducing agants a car encounters, the worse shape the bolts will be in. Thankfully our Passat has been a SoCal car since it was purchased. There wasn't a speck of rust on the control arms, pinch bolts or other suspension components. Lucky me, I suppose.
Lucky us. I have done over 50 suspension installs and have yet to drill out a bolt. I have had 2 that took a good beating, I found out they were from Colorado and PA originally.
 

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It is not enough that your cars last twice as long down south you also have to rub it in our faces how easy it is to replace parts. Well next time your dash pad cracks from baking in the sun be sure to let us know about it so we can tell you how we have never seen that before.
 

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I covered the pinch bolt with anti-seize before inserting after the first problematic replacement. I do the same thing every time. It slides right out.
 

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agreed antiseize is a neccessity and if they had bothered to use it at the factory this thread would never had existed.
 

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Yeah but we have to wear oven mitts in the summer before we touch the steering wheel.
And never get in a car with black leather while wearing shorts :icon_eek:
 

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This is getting ridiculous, I'm now trying the dreaded frozen pinch bolt removal, first was torque, then hammer, then air hammer, all the while letting PB blaster soak for days, now I have one side sawed off and drilled 2/3rds of the way through, it still won't budge. I wish I would have read this thread before bashing the threaded section, I would have tried the cut the head off first option mentioned above, used the nut to pull the bolt out, maybe... Next I'll try heat. Yes, mine has been in Alaska, Germany, and Idaho, the trifecta of winter hell.

As it has already been posted, WHY didn't VW put some lube on this bolt? It's not just the salt, it's galvanic action, two different types of metal, basically have seized and welded themselves together in perpetuity...

Has anyone really screwed there arm up and needed a new one?

Oh well, a new arm only costs $360...
 

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In the future I will not be using a hammer either. It just ruins the threads. I was lucky I tried pounding but stopped when i noticed the screw was a little bent . fortunatley the threads were still usable. The threads continue in to the knuckle a little bit so if you have only ruined the end of the bolt you could try cutting ruined threads off and try to pull it with what is left. good luck let us know what works.
 
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I am a big guy and had a BFH...hit that thing for over an hour...nothing, air hammer...nothing. I put it back and did the swap via the top. I will glady pay for that bolt when the CA go bad
 
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