Front End Alignment Issues - AudiWorld Forums

Go Back   AudiWorld Forums > Audi Models > Audi A6 / S6 / RS 6 > A6 / S6 (C5 Platform) Discussion
Sign in using an external account
Register Forgot Password?


A6 / S6 (C5 Platform) Discussion Discussion forum for the C5 Audi A6 and S6 produced from 1998-2004

Front End Alignment Issues

Reply
 
 
 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 03-25-2014, 10:17 AM   #1
AudiWorld Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,110
Default Front End Alignment Issues

Hi guys. As many of you may recall, I've had some issues with my front end alignment and tires getting destroyed. I just put two new tires on the back and moved the old tires to the front (they were near the end of their life) and gave the shop one more chance to align the front. Well, they failed so I took the advice here and took it to the local stealership. I started getting the "we'll bring it in for diagnostics" from the second I walked through the door. I didn't mention I do my own work on the car and just let them run with it.

After a few hours, they call me and say, "well, we have bad news". Long story short, they did not do the alignment because the car is leaking oil (I have a clogged breather hose that I know I need to replace) and some other very minor things (cracked taillight that was cracked when I bought the car 5 years ago, brakes that are OK but used and starting to get old that they told me were shot, etc). And they said the tie rods were seized - which was never mentioned at the other alignment shops (who couldn't fix the problem).

So, my plan now is to get on things that I've been putting off and fix a coolant leak (auxiliary pump hose that is leaking), replace the breather hose, replace the O2 sensors, etc.

My question is - on the tie rods, would you recommend going for the entire assembly or just the outer tie rod? I have 265,000 on the car and would like to get it to about 350,000 (it runs pretty well and I don't feel it is unreliable other than the tire/alignment issue). I'm thinking a cheaper set of tie-rods will be fine, if they even are seized, since I only need them to last about 75,000 miles and if I have to replace them in 35,000 miles then I learned my lesson...and since I'm planning on a bunch of work I could be looking at dropping $750-1000 now and another $1,000 in a couple months on brakes, etc. I'd also consider a cheaper suspension kit, as I have the originals on there - but the car drives pretty well, so I'm wondering if going with a cheap kit that fails may actually introduce failure...since these have been reliable.

WHat are your thoughts?
jseklund is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2014, 10:22 AM   #2
Tech Guru
 
4Driver4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 33,258
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jseklund View Post
on the tie rods, would you recommend going for the entire assembly or just the outer tie rod?
If they are seized, and I don't doubt that they are, it is the inner and outer that are seized together, so you need both.

On the suspension, replace the shocks if you want, but don't change any springs that aren't broken.
__________________
4Driver4

Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.

2005 A6 Sedan Q 3.2 (wife's whip)
2003 S8 (Q Ship)
2000 A4 Avant Q 2.8 (daily driver)
1999 BMW M Coupe (clownshoe)
1980 VW Scirocco (mid-life crisis car)
1983 Mazda RX-7 (revolutionary sports car)
1999 Mazda Miata SSB (track beotch, no plate)
2003 GMC Yukon Denali XL (the anti-earth)
2004 Dodge Dakota (hey, at least it's stick and 4x4)
4Driver4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2014, 10:29 AM   #3
AudiWorld Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,110
Default

Thanks 4D4, That was my assumption. I am figuring that they were seized and the lazy guys at the alignment place weren't dealing with it - is there another part to the procedure that could be wrong? Someone said something about having to drop the subframe to make adjustments - but the dealership didn't seem to know anything about that....
jseklund is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2014, 10:41 AM   #4
Tech Guru
 
4Driver4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 33,258
Default

Tie rods adjust toe. Camber can't really be adjusted, but the subframe can be shifted left or right so that both front wheels have the same camber. So if 1 degree is camber is perfect, and you are at left 0 and right 2, the subframe can be shifted to make it 1 and 1...perfect. But if you are at 2 and 2, that's it; no adjustment.

Usually camber is OK, unless the car has been crashed or lowered.
__________________
4Driver4

Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.

2005 A6 Sedan Q 3.2 (wife's whip)
2003 S8 (Q Ship)
2000 A4 Avant Q 2.8 (daily driver)
1999 BMW M Coupe (clownshoe)
1980 VW Scirocco (mid-life crisis car)
1983 Mazda RX-7 (revolutionary sports car)
1999 Mazda Miata SSB (track beotch, no plate)
2003 GMC Yukon Denali XL (the anti-earth)
2004 Dodge Dakota (hey, at least it's stick and 4x4)
4Driver4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2014, 11:39 AM   #5
AudiWorld Senior Member
 
Airbag's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: In my Garage
Posts: 1,425
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Driver4 View Post
Tie rods adjust toe. Camber can't really be adjusted, but the subframe can be shifted left or right so that both front wheels have the same camber. So if 1 degree is camber is perfect, and you are at left 0 and right 2, the subframe can be shifted to make it 1 and 1...perfect. But if you are at 2 and 2, that's it; no adjustment.

Usually camber is OK, unless the car has been crashed or lowered.
Camber is adjusted by the bolt that atached the lower " wishbone" to the hub assembly . loosen the nut .. the bolt is a special one that has a groove in it keyed to too eccentric washers. as you turn the bolt the camber will be adjusted.
Re tighten the nut.
__________________
2000 A6 2.8 Q
1978 911SC Targa
2013 Town and Country .. hey dont hate .. i have to carry all the Audi parts somehow
1976 Yamaha XS 360.
Airbag is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2014, 12:03 PM   #6
Tech Guru
 
4Driver4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 33,258
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Airbag View Post
Camber is adjusted by the bolt that atached the lower " wishbone" to the hub assembly . loosen the nut .. the bolt is a special one that has a groove in it keyed to too eccentric washers. as you turn the bolt the camber will be adjusted.
Re tighten the nut.
Ah. Good catch. Forgot about the rear. Your statement is true, but for the rear only. Rear has adjustable toe *and* camber.
__________________
4Driver4

Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.

2005 A6 Sedan Q 3.2 (wife's whip)
2003 S8 (Q Ship)
2000 A4 Avant Q 2.8 (daily driver)
1999 BMW M Coupe (clownshoe)
1980 VW Scirocco (mid-life crisis car)
1983 Mazda RX-7 (revolutionary sports car)
1999 Mazda Miata SSB (track beotch, no plate)
2003 GMC Yukon Denali XL (the anti-earth)
2004 Dodge Dakota (hey, at least it's stick and 4x4)
4Driver4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2014, 01:41 PM   #7
AudiWorld Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,110
Default

Thanks guys - I have no clue how the alignment really works. I will take a closer look. If I am correct the "toe" is the angle of the tire to the ground - so if it is perfect, the tire will be flat on the ground perfect. If you to "out" a little, the top of the tire will be pointing out and the bottom pointing in, so the outside edges of the tire will receive too much pressure, and if you toe in, the opposite is true, correct?

If this is accurate, then I believe this describes my issue - because the tire gets a groove on the inside corner, and I thought it was rubbing something for the longest time, but as we discussed in a thread about 2 months ago, this is not possible from my inspection. I think it is has too much toe in.

My assumption is the 3 crappy places I took it to, despite knowing the problem, were not getting the tie rod free and not telling me that was the problem.
jseklund is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2014, 02:14 PM   #8
Audiworld Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 21
Default

Hey don't mean to steal your post but i have a simular problem and need some help.


[img=http://s30.postimg.org/v4al591cd/photo_2.jpg]

I took it to Mavis and they don't know hoe to adjust this. any ideas?
mohamedali21 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2014, 03:47 PM   #9
AudiWorld Super User
 
SloopJohnB@mac.com's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Olney, MD
Posts: 6,142
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jseklund View Post
Thanks guys - I have no clue how the alignment really works. I will take a closer look. If I am correct the "toe" is the angle of the tire to the ground - so if it is perfect, the tire will be flat on the ground perfect. If you to "out" a little, the top of the tire will be pointing out and the bottom pointing in, so the outside edges of the tire will receive too much pressure, and if you toe in, the opposite is true, correct?

If this is accurate, then I believe this describes my issue - because the tire gets a groove on the inside corner, and I thought it was rubbing something for the longest time, but as we discussed in a thread about 2 months ago, this is not possible from my inspection. I think it is has too much toe in.

My assumption is the 3 crappy places I took it to, despite knowing the problem, were not getting the tie rod free and not telling me that was the problem.
No. You've described camber. Toe is the amount the front of the tire is angled inward.
SloopJohnB@mac.com is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2014, 05:18 PM   #10
AudiWorld Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,110
Default

Thanks Sloop! I'm researching the alignment a little and now realize what I thought was "toe" is actually camber, I had it backwards. A negative camber appears that it would definitely cause the exact issue I am looking at, so the sub frame may be the issue...

I may try to turn the tie rod myself and see if I can break it free. If that is the case, then I can see the tire shop probably adjusted the tie-rod, but not the subframe (I can see why) and the issue stayed the same. I think I am finally getting somewhere now...

It may be worth replacing the tie rods anyway, they are cheap enough and I know all those parts seize from the road salt and dirt that they are subjected to....so for less than $80 I can remove one issue....
jseklund is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2014, 07:14 AM   #11
AudiWorld Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,110
Default

I haven't had a chance to get under my car yet, since we are getting a big storm today, but I figured it would be good to replace the tie rod assembly on both sides of the car whether they are needed or not at this point, just to remove all doubt. I'm looking at ECS, Rock Auto, etc. and have noticed that none of the complete assemblies list the APB or BEL engines. On ECS in particular, the parts all mention a vin split in 1999 and are good up to this split, but nothing is noted for after the split (my car is a 2004).

Was there actually a change? I'm assuming the parts didn't change and I can get whatever....but does anyone know?
jseklund is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2014, 10:45 AM   #12
Audiworld Junior Member
 
Nialist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 93
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mohamedali21 View Post
Hey don't mean to steal your post but i have a simular problem and need some help.


[img=http://s30.postimg.org/v4al591cd/photo_2.jpg]

I took it to Mavis and they don't know hoe to adjust this. any ideas?

Mavis? Isn't that a rental center? Your picture does little to describe your problem. Unless you are going for the 4 x 4 look, and wondering how to get rid of some of that gap.

You should read what 4d4 says below. The only way to correct front camber (tires leaning in or out) is to buy a 400 buck camber kit that replaces a couple upper control arms or shift the subframe. The tie rods adjust the toe angle (think pigeon toed, and duck footed) as far as the front wheels are concerned. The rear has 2 eccentric bolts and washers that can adjust both. Have fun with the inboard toe angle bolt. That one beat me up for about an hour. Best bet, bring it to an alignment specialty place with experience in German cars. Or else you'll be flying through the rubbers (tires), me boy!
Nialist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2014, 11:12 AM   #13
Tech Guru
 
4Driver4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 33,258
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jseklund View Post
A negative camber appears that it would definitely cause the exact issue I am looking at, so the sub frame may be the issue...
It might, but toe is more likely. Car is toed out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jseklund View Post
I may try to turn the tie rod myself and see if I can break it free. If that is the case, then I can see the tire shop probably adjusted the tie-rod, but not the subframe (I can see why) and the issue stayed the same. I think I am finally getting somewhere now...
You won't get them free. Don't bother.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jseklund View Post
It may be worth replacing the tie rods anyway, they are cheap enough and I know all those parts seize from the road salt and dirt that they are subjected to....so for less than $80 I can remove one issue....
Do the tie rods, have the car aligned by someone who understands the problem and cares about the result.
__________________
4Driver4

Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.

2005 A6 Sedan Q 3.2 (wife's whip)
2003 S8 (Q Ship)
2000 A4 Avant Q 2.8 (daily driver)
1999 BMW M Coupe (clownshoe)
1980 VW Scirocco (mid-life crisis car)
1983 Mazda RX-7 (revolutionary sports car)
1999 Mazda Miata SSB (track beotch, no plate)
2003 GMC Yukon Denali XL (the anti-earth)
2004 Dodge Dakota (hey, at least it's stick and 4x4)
4Driver4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2014, 12:53 PM   #14
AudiWorld Senior Member
 
Huskerbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 1,155
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jseklund View Post
I haven't had a chance to get under my car yet, since we are getting a big storm today, but I figured it would be good to replace the tie rod assembly on both sides of the car whether they are needed or not at this point, just to remove all doubt. I'm looking at ECS, Rock Auto, etc. and have noticed that none of the complete assemblies list the APB or BEL engines. On ECS in particular, the parts all mention a vin split in 1999 and are good up to this split, but nothing is noted for after the split (my car is a 2004).

Was there actually a change? I'm assuming the parts didn't change and I can get whatever....but does anyone know?
Just FYI when I rebuilt my A4 front end I took it to the local Subaru dealer. They know how to do 4 wheel alignments and do it for $78 compared to about $400 at the Audi shop. Make sure your tie rod ends are tight.
__________________
2001 A6 Quattro Avant 2.8l (sold)
2000 A4 Quattro Avant 1.8l t auto
2003 Eddie Bauer Exploder 4.0 4x4
Huskerbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2014, 02:15 PM   #15
AudiWorld Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,110
Default

Guys, thanks for the replies. I'm going to grab some new tie rods, pop them on this weekend and then take it to an alignment shop that was recommended to me by a guy who works on Audi's. There are very few places around that specialize in Audi's on Cape Cod, and the ONE guy that I think knows what he is doing told me to take it to this place, so I will try to get it to them on Monday with new tie rods already in place.

I think the dealership in my area is just lazy and didn't want to do it or know how. There was a guy who owned Audi/VW and he sold the Audi rights to another guy who owns many many dealerships in the area - and they appear to have gone from bad to worse. I would have paid the $190 they were asking for an alignment if it fixed my tire issues...
jseklund is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2014, 04:25 PM   #16
AudiWorld Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,110
Default

Ok guys, so I took it to the shop who did the alignment 2 months ago and they checked it out. The showed me the computer and I spent some time in the shop with them. It looks like I have a -1.6 on the driver's side and -1.5 on the passenger's side for the camber, and the toe is within spec. They were aware that the subframe moved the camber and that the issue would not be corrected because it was even on both ends.

The pointed out that if they raised the front of the car quite a bit the camber became better, so the springs may be compressed.

My thinking is it is time for some new control arms. They suggested adjustable control arms.

What do you guys think of all this? Just get the adjustable control arms, leave the springs alone and be done with it? Or will regular control arms fix the problem? Or should I also do the springs/shocks? I have 265,000 on the original parts as far as I can tell...
jseklund is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-28-2014, 05:22 PM   #17
AudiWorld Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,110
Default

After thinking about this, I'm assuming it's an issue with the uppers, but it could be the lowers that are letting the wheel come out too far if the bushings are shot (I'm just thinking, I could be wrong). In other words, I should probably bite the bullet hard and get all new arms. I don't have $1,000 to spend on 2 new tires and a set of control arms, but I'm gonna try to do it anyway.

I am looking at this kit, which will give me all new arms and adjustability:

http://www.fcpeuro.com/products/vw-a...y-4d0498998m-1

I know it isn't as good as lemforder, but I'm hoping it will get me another 75,000 or more.

Does anyone else think this is a good idea? Or a bad idea? Any thoughts?

I was looking at the shock kit from Blauparts and that's like $900 more - but I think I will leave that be for now and maybe change them in the future....
jseklund is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2014, 06:08 AM   #18
AudiWorld Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,110
Default

I just ordered the control arm kit from FCP Groton. It will give me the adjustable control arms and replace all of the arms, tie rod ends, etc. and I am hoping I will be good for a while.

The shop that worked on the car yesterday said the tie rods appeared to be fine, except one had a rubber boot that was completely torn - which they showed me and it was torn wide open. He said despite that it was still tight and in good shape. He was surprised about it, but it obviously will need to go.

Good to know the Audi place was just jerking me around. I am totally shocked! (Heavy sarcasm).
jseklund is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2014, 03:39 PM   #19
Audiworld Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 21
Default

http://postimg.org/image/v4al591cd/
basically what happen was the front right wheel is too close to the rear side instead of being center. This is the front right that's off. I'm still trying to see what cause it and took it to my mach and he didn't see anything bent.
Attached Images
 

Last edited by mohamedali21; 03-29-2014 at 04:20 PM.
mohamedali21 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2014, 11:19 PM   #20
Audiworld Junior Member
 
Nialist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 93
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mohamedali21 View Post
http://postimg.org/image/v4al591cd/
basically what happen was the front right wheel is too close to the rear side instead of being center. This is the front right that's off. I'm still trying to see what cause it and took it to my mach and he didn't see anything bent.
I see what you are saying. Could you post a pic with the wheel off? Maybe some pics of the control arms, and their attachment bolts? Something isn't put together properly or there is an discrepancy with the assembly in there. Seems really odd though…. Some good pics may help myself and any others get a idea of what it is that could cause this.
Nialist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-29-2014, 11:19 PM
AudiWorld
Audi R8




Paid Advertisement
 
 
 
Reply

Tags
2004, a6, adjustable, alignment, arm, audi, b6, bent, camber, compensate, end, forum, front, issues, kit, subframe

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:27 PM.


Copyright 2014 AudiWorld.com Audi Enthusiast Community