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Discussion Starter #1
I need to take apart the suspension so that I can pull out the knuckle and thus have access to the drive shaft to remove the boot...

I got the suspension control arm bolts off (18mm)...but now what? How does one get the arms off? See pictures of arms with bolts removed. I thought of using a hammer against a bit of 2x4 under the arm to knock it up?? What about the other one going down? Any video has both bolts on the bottom - mine, of course, has to be different... did they just put it together wrong? Anyway, how do I get the arms actually disconnected from the vertical support?

This first pic is looking towards the front of the car from the back of the wheel well. That bolt came off from the top:

100099


In the second pic, it’s looking towards the rear and outside. That bolt came off from the bottom:

100100
 

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I don’t think you need to remove all that.
Remove the center lock bolt, remove inner joint bolts and snake cv out.


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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I have the centre bolt out already, but can’t push in the drive shaft enough to snake it out. It doesn’t compress that much? Or does it work if I remove the inner bolts; so as far as it does compress, you can then bend the knuckle to snake it out? Or?
 

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Yeah. Just remove the inner joint bolts-be sure to not strip them.

You may need to use a couple of extensions.
Remove the top bolts and rotate as you remove them. You will need to use two lug bolts to secure the rotor and stick a sturdy screwdriver in the rotor fin, against the caliper so it doesn’t rotate as you loosen the bolts.
Once the inner joint is free, wiggle it and the outer joint will pop right out.


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I always find that one side (can't remember if it is the right or left) just won't come out unless I disconnect the upper control arms and tie rod, so I can move the steering knuckle further out.

For future reference, to loosen the ball joints and lower control arms from the knuckle, you just need to beat the side of the knuckle right where the ball joint is seated. Hit it enough times with a large hammer and you will be able to remove them.

 

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Discussion Starter #6
@axenstar, I already have the center bolt out. I just put the tire on and sat the weight of the car on it - the center bolt could easily be torqued that way. So I’m not sure why the inner bolts require messing with the rotor? I’m a bit confused
 

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you always want tires on the ground when you loosen or tighten center axle bolt do to its torque specs. the tires thru the action of the differential help take the load off the transmission's internal lock mechanism. Now outerbolt removed, remove the 6 inner CV bolts , remove the inner aluminum CV/heat shield , for passenger side turn the steering wheel all the way to the right, jack up both sides to hang suspension and free up differential,put car in neutral, obviously do not start. now push outer CV inwards (really push hard) and rotate axle,rotating will allow it "joints" to find a "sweet spot" which will allow it (the CV mechanism/joint) to go in just a tad more just enough to allow axle to com out of hub.
 

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@axenstar, I already have the center bolt out. I just put the tire on and sat the weight of the car on it - the center bolt could easily be torqued that way. So I’m not sure why the inner bolts require messing with the rotor? I’m a bit confused
this is so when you are torquing them to tighten or loosen you are not putting any stress on the transmission's differential stop mechanism, you do not have a tire on it to serve that function since you have it off to gain needed access to the 6 inner flange bolts, the rotor is still theoretically engaged to the axle and the screwdriver keeps it from turning
 

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So I’m not sure why the inner bolts require messing with the rotor? I’m a bit confused
Try it and you'll find the axle will turn unless you hold it somehow. The brake rotor is an easy way to hold the axle as long as you have a lug bolt installed. Put in two and you can then use both to get some leverage on them to hold the axle.
 

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^ I'll say! I usually just use something inserted into the rotor rather than use the bolts. Of course, at least one still needs to be installed but it shouldn't take too much force to break the inner CV bolts free.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Most of the bolts (they are 12 pt!! Who ever heard of 12 pt hex bit??) on the inner connection of the drive shaft are already stripped. I now also understand some of the dents on the lower control arms as it looks like the last person attempting this tried to pry the lower control arm off and failed. I now have to order a bolt remover, new inner bolts, inner boot (as it now looks too loose and has also been loosing grease), and have to basically dismantle the suspension To get this job done. What a PIA!!!
 

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I remove the upper control arms and tie rod to get the axles out. It's easier than lower arms, but that depends on the pinch bolt. We don't have rust here, so it's not really a problem. For the lower arms, you hit the hub carrier with that 2lb sledge where the ball joint stud passes through the carrier. After a few good hits, they tend to loosen up. The front lower may not come out without pulling the inner bolt. You might have enough room with just the rear lower as it drops out the bottom instead of the top.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ok, the inner bolts are triple-square type.. sheesh
 

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I think the inner bolts come in either triple-square or normal hex sockets. Both are prone to stripping if not removed carefully. The secret is to use the right tool and to be sure the hole is clean before starting. That doesn't help you of course so best of luck on the removal job. It does sound like PIA.

You might just try vice grips before ordering a bolt remover. I don't know if you could get enough grip on the bolts but take a look first.
 

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Interesting... I've never had to touch any of the control arms to get my axles out. I've replace the outer boots 5 times on each side through my car's life. I've gotten to the point where I can pull the axle, R&R the joint grease and boot, and reinstall the axle in 45 minutes. I just remove the center bolt, trans splash shields, remove the bolts to the inner joint axles flange and snake the axle out by slipping the inner joint end to the side of the trans to create more room.

Yes those inner flange bolts are triple squares and can be easily stripped. As Iowegian stated, having the right, quality 10mm triple square tool is imperative. I hate those types of bolts for axle applications, so I ended up tossing mine and replacing them with 10.8 grade hex head bolts. I think the allen tool gets a better "bite" then triple squares.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
#1 - Proper tool for job (all of you)
#2 - Clean nut well first ( all of you)
#3 - Teflon tape from my plumbing kit
#4 - Slapshot smack to the back of the net to seat Bit tightly (@cchief22)

Easy job ... lol

100123


Thanks all
 

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I need to take apart the suspension so that I can pull out the knuckle and thus have access to the drive shaft to remove the boot...

I got the suspension control arm bolts off (18mm)...but now what? How does one get the arms off? See pictures of arms with bolts removed. I thought of using a hammer against a bit of 2x4 under the arm to knock it up?? What about the other one going down? Any video has both bolts on the bottom - mine, of course, has to be different... did they just put it together wrong? Anyway, how do I get the arms actually disconnected from the vertical support?

This first pic is looking towards the front of the car from the back of the wheel well. That bolt came off from the top:

View attachment 100099

In the second pic, it’s looking towards the rear and outside. That bolt came off from the bottom:

View attachment 100100
Replaced both sides without removing any other parts. You can buy rebuilt axles for under $50 each, and they come with both inner and outer boots installed.
Cleaner and saves a lot of work lubing and replacing just the boots for just a little expense (maybe even less!)
Hope I'm not too late with this info.
 
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