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Discussion Starter #1
I have bored a few of you recently with my knocking front suspension.
The most often offered solution was the control arms.My reply was how do I know which one(s) it is.


The noise was usually at low speed over rough ground. The noise was a light knocking , but recently getting louder. It came from the front passenger side.

Maybe I was in denial , but I never wanted to eliminate the noise by just changing arms one at a time until the noise stopped (perhaps it was just the cost !)

I did all the usual tests. Jacked it up, grabbed the wheel and shock it.All OK.The boots were fine and the bushes looked OK. I even removed the upper arms from the hub carrier .The ball joints were fine, the bushes OK. I did the same with the lower rear ones ( the curved arm).

So, I asked my local dealer.Which arms are the ones you sell the most of ?

His initial reply put them in this order
Lower front( the straight one)
Lower rear
The the upper ones. ( very few of these)

However he said that recently they have sold very few arms,but the item they do sell lots of is the "drop link" that fits between the anti-roll bar and the lower front arm.He reckoned that 80 % of all Passat (B5)suspension knocking is down to these.

I checked this with 2 other dealers and they gave similar answers.

So tonight I fitted my 2 new drop links and guess what ....A silent front suspension. 8) 8) 8) 8) 8)

So , if yours makes a noise and you have the old type links ( ball joints) this is where to start.

The job was fairly easy.Just some simple spanner work, but if anyone is intrested I can detail it a bit more.
I know, there will be those out there who will say this is a well known solution etc......but nowone told me ! :wink:
 

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It's on my to do list 8)

 

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Discussion Starter #3
flipsauce said:
It's on my to do list 8)

That's the boys.
You'll need to either use apit or use ramps.Axle stands are no good.The front suspension must be loaded. This leaves it in a neutral position. The old links can be a bit difficult to remove. Be prepared to cut all 4 of the old studs.The old link can only be removed by either cutting the upper studs or un bolting the damper lower fastners and moving the damper out of the way ( not recomended if on ramps/over a pit !)
The new fastners will need to enter the links from the engine side rather than the road side. Again the other alternative is to remove the damper lower fastner......
I renewed my anti-roll bar bushes as well. Give the suspension a good bouch before doing the final torquing etc...haynes said 90NM and a further 90 degrees. This is quite a lot for this size of fastner. Also you'll need some good 16mm spanners ( not a common size..in the UK anyway)


Should take a max of 2 hours BTW

oh, blue is for left,yellow for right ( as you sit in the car).The large spacer looking piece fits onto the roll bar ( well that's how I fitted mine !!)


Why are you doing this job ?
 

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I've had some rattling in the front suspension for a while now. I took it to the dealer and they said the tie rods were bad, and replaced them. However the knocking is back. So I think this might be the problem. Do you have a part # for those and how much are they. I am getting sick of the knocking.
 

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Yourface

I have a 98 with a bad clunk. :shock: Took it to a front end shop and they told me the creaking and clunking is a bad ball joint. :mad:

Passenger side, lower rear control arm. The balljoint is part of the control arm. I plan on changing mine with the ECS kit...

Hope this helps.

Tim
 

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Yourface

I have a 98 with a bad clunk. :shock: Took it to a front end shop and they told me the creaking and clunking is a bad ball joint. :mad:

Passenger side, lower rear control arm. The balljoint is part of the control arm. I plan on changing mine with the ECS kit...

Hope this helps.

Tim
 

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I replaced my links last year and most of the clunking was gone. I just had my right lower control arm replaced with the new Meyle arm. No clunking at all. I spent a year in denial thinking the links weren't installed correctly. Control arm $120 install $85.
 

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The Great Roberto said:
Why are you doing this job ?
There has been some prior discussion around here regarding these sway bar links. I had clunks that started soon after I had my front control arms replaced, so I tentatively ruled them out.

Thanks for the write up and tips. :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yourface said:
I've had some rattling in the front suspension for a while now. I took it to the dealer and they said the tie rods were bad, and replaced them. However the knocking is back. So I think this might be the problem. Do you have a part # for those and how much are they. I am getting sick of the knocking.
Part no's

8d0 411 317D
8d0 411 318D
These are the links
You'll also need n10286102 times 4 , these are the nuts
and n10425301 times 4 , these are the bolts

The nuts need a 16mm spanner.You'll need a ring and an open ender., i.e 2 spanners

Total UK cost from the VW dealer £50
My time to fit 1.5 hours

You see you did what I refused to do. Take it to a dealer, have work done and still have the problem !
If you ask 10 B5 members about knocking/noisey front suspension , 10 will say "Control arms"
When you ask them why, a few will tell you it solved their problem , and a few will tell you it didn't !
I checked mine ,as best I could, and there really was nothing wrong.I asked my local parts man at the dealership ( he 's very reliable/helpfull) and he gave me the right answer.

In terms of front sus. spend, this must rank as one of the cheapest, and IMHO, an effective one.I drove the car today and it felt the same as a new 04 mpdel I drove 3 weeks ago .really.I now aim for potholes to listen to the lack of a clunk !

I reckon this really is a must take !

FWIW my car is a 1999 Tdi (110) Variant with 99,300 miles. My 8 control arms are the original ones.
 

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Thanks for posting this information. Ill have to check it all out at ECS.

Having to remove the old links isnt hard. Jack car up and put jack stands on. Remove two front wheels and remove links. It makes it easier to do them all at the same time because swapping one at a time has tension on the link and makes it hard to swap out.

Just a little help.
 

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Yup on my 98 B5 with 93k miles, its my sway bar link that is making the clunking when going over rough roads.. NOT control arms.

Just had the brakes done and asked them to give the whole suspension a once-over while they had the car up with the wheels off.
All my control arms and shocks are still factory original.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ripple said:
Yup on my 98 B5 with 93k miles, its my sway bar link that is making the clunking when going over rough roads.. NOT control arms.

Just had the brakes done and asked them to give the whole suspension a once-over while they had the car up with the wheels off.
All my control arms and shocks are still factory original.
Well, glad it's not just me ! When you've changed them let us know if it sorted the problem ....

This forum seems obsessed with changing control arms and still having a clonky front suspension !

Ask your sealer what he sells more of, links or lower arms ? I know whick is the cheaper and more likey solution to a noisey front suspension !
 

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croman said:
before u go and spend the $$$ on the repair.. check with the dealership, cuz theres apparently a new recall on the front axle/suspension components of 1996-1999 passats...
No the recall that was just announced is just for them to check out your rubber CV boots, apparently they are of low quality and subject to tear which will cause problems when crud gets in there.
 

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Nice job on the investigating Roberto.
Mayeb if some one has to do this, there will be a new NIY for the info section :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
FWIW
When I did the links, the job needed to be done with the wheels level and under their normal load.i.e. on ramps or using a pit. This allows the new links with their bonded rubber bushes to sit in a "neutral" position. If you do it by jacking one side and then the other, the link is not fitted in this position.This could lead to premature failure of the bush etc.... The haynes manual does stress this, but I thought it worth pointing it out.!
I also changed my my anti-roll bar bushed at the same time ( £3.50 ea).

Also be prepared to cut the threads of the old links.The ones to the anti-roll bar were badly corroded. A small hacksaw will do nicely 8)
 

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@TGR: did you just cut the studs at the rubber boot? Between the sway bar and the boot?

Saturday was my big fix day. After changing the oil, silicone vacuum hoses, and TT DV, I was ready to tackle the sway bar links. Got the parts from ECS Tuning last week. After tracking down a 16mm wrench (it was defintely hard to find one that wasn't in a set) I got under the car and tried to take off the nuts :suspicio: :oops:. One of four loosened with some strenuous effort. :mad: I shot the rest with PB penetrating catalyst, waited, and tried again. No dice. I resigned to cutting the studs. I was all ready to cut, but Mrs. Sauce needed the car, so on hold I go. :roll:
 

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What exactly were the symptoms you were experiancing. I am getting a slight rattle from my right side suspension components when I hit any minor bumps. Is this something that would be covered under the powertrain or any other warrenty (not b2b)?
 
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