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Discussion Starter #1
I've been so busy lately with other projects and with the job that I've just been IGNORING my car and my membership here. :thumbdown

Anyway, I've accepted a part time teaching position at night and I'll be driving my car a bunch more. I'd like the car to be as good as I can get it and the new position that I'll start next tuesday night will give me the "hall pass" to get some stuff done.

So, I could probably do the control arms on my own car. It would be a battle and it would happen in my driveway in the heat. Or, I could have control arms done by a reputable place here in metro Atlanta. I just don't know how much to tell the boss that I need.

I'd like to do all 8 control arms and shocks/struts. Any idea how much I should be charged for this? Is it worth doing it in the driveway and risking life and limb (and the embarrassing fladbed ride to the shop when I mess something up), or should I just plan for the labor costs?

[email protected]!!!

AJ
 

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I bought a complete set of control arms off ebay for $150. And, my car is lowered but so far so good :). Have you done control arms or suspension before? If you haven't then I'd stay away, unless you know what you're doing. If you don't know then I wouldn't do it. You don't want another thing added to your labor cost.
 

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I'd love to help as I would be coming to the area late summer...
All could be done with a hand full of basic wrenches except for the front shocks in a few hours by me. Call around. Barry Palmer auto might be one good place to check on a quote.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I am a total hands-on dude. I just did all new wheel bearings and CV boots on the front of our Jeep Liberty and I understand and have watched this process on here and all the youtube videos.

Really, it doesn't look too bad, but I just want to know what labor time I'd get charged for. Since I need shocks/struts, too, should I do it myself in the driveway? Is it worth the effort to do myself? I don't like spending money on something I can do myself.

AJ
 

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Funny thing i put new control arms yesterday. (Control Arms kit with new bolts) left and right and i can for sure tell you its a DIY type of work.. all you need is two 16mm wrenches and two 18mm wrenches and maybe some BP blaster for those stubborn bolts .. it did take me a while for one side.. and you gotta make sure you do everything in order.. best of luck..:salute:
 

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They'll probably want book time, but you can talk them down. According to Mitchell(C), book time is abut 8 hours for all arms plus all shocks, give or take. A competent mechanic or DIYer can do it in half the time. Since your car is essentially in a salt free zone, bolts should be easy.

This could easily be knocked out in the driveway over a weekend. Just make sure you have an industrial sized fan pointed at you to keep cool. It's a permanent fixture in my garage.
 

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This could easily be knocked out in the driveway over a weekend. Just make sure you have an industrial sized fan pointed at you to keep cool.
And a bottle of Aleve or Advil for after. ;)
 

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Funny you ask this. I had my car in the dealer for a coolant leak and of course they do an inspection and find that my upper control arm bushings are torn. For parts and labor I was quoted about 1200.00 included the required alignment that needs to be done afterwards. Of course that's a dealer quote. I think the book calls for 2 or 3 hours per side. I've seen the videos online also and am tempted to do it myself as well. It doesn't look like it's all that hard, especially if you're gonna do the front struts at the same time.
 

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I had PZ do my shocks while installing a control arm kit since you have to remove some arms to swap the shocks anyways. Just like when I cracked my oil pan, went ahead and had him install new engine/snub mounts since he had to support the engine while dropping subframe.

2 birds with 1 stone, if you're a hands-on guy why pay $500+ in labor? iirc there are write-ups.

Personally I'm in an apartment and have zero space/tools. :( PZ has been a life saver, though. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
YEah. I don't know about you but I HATE spending money on stuff that I think I can do. Or...worse...spending the money and then watching someone do it and smacking my head saying "I could have done that". HAHAHA.

AJ
 

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Personally I'm in an apartment and have zero space/tools. :( PZ has been a life saver, though. :)
I know how you feel. Im also in an apartment complex and the mgmt co tends to frown on people working on their cars on the property.
I have some basic tools but I have to be very selective on what I do myself here. SIGH
 

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That's why you park as far away as possible from the leasing office when repairing. :) I've done some stuff atop/behind our parking garage, i.e. motherf*&$ing coolant flange and my HIDs. I limit it to items that only require the hood open...no service position or wheel removal.

Our leasing office is closed Sundays, but so is the stealership if I screw up. :(
 

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The job is only as difficult as your pinch bolt and/or other rusted fasteners. Since it looks like you are from a snow-free zone, you should be much better off than us northern aggressors.

While you have everything out you might want to do tie rod ends as well - much easier access, particularly if you want to do the inners also.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yeah. I want to do all the TREs, the control arms and the struts/shocks. I bought the car from a buddy who owns a shop in Ct., so the car spent its entire life there, but I know at least ONE of the pinch bolts has been removed before. I think he said they replaced one control arms when getting the car ready for sale. Had he knew I'd be the one buying it, it'd have all new ones. :D

AJ
 

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If the pinch bolts are frozen God bless you. Just did the passenger side on a car with 223k miles and had to drill it out. A 15lb sledge did nothing but bend the bolt.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
yeah. I just looked and the pass side pinch bolt is brandy new. The drivers side, however is not. But outwardly, it looks very clean. I know that doesn't say much. I won't be able to get to this until July, so maybe I should start with the PB right NOW!

AJ
 

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Yes. Also, you can test it by taking a box wrench in the 16mm variety and loosen the nut. Then put the boxed end of the wrench on the bolt end. Hit the wrench repeatedly with a mini-sledge to see if you can shock it loose. If you have acces to an impact wrench, even better. If you can get it to spin. Chances are very good that you can punch it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
OK, so I finally got the thing up on the jack last night. After lifting the driver's side and grabbing 9 and 3 and wiggling/pulling....nothing. Passenger side....nothing. So, I'm thinking crap!...it's an axle. So, I start turning the axle back and forth, letting it "bounce" off the CV joints and noticed that my trans is moving up and down throughout what appears to be the full width of the trans mounts. Could it be? Is it really? Trans mounts?

So, I found this:

http://www.passatworld.com/forums/42-volkswagen-passat-b5-discussion/346617-grunting-farting-noise-coming-entine-when-accelerating.html

and I think that's my issue. But, I still need shocks. Decisions decisions. The rubber boots on all the ball joints look fresh and there is no real play anywhere. Since I'll be doing struts anyway, should I just go ahead and do the control arms anyway....just to team up on the labor?

hmmmm.

AJ
 

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If you are doing shocks, I definitely recommend doing the upper CAs at the same time. IIRC there will be practically no additional labor, since I believe the best way to replace the shocks is to pull them out with the upper CAs.
 
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