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How to replace upper control arms bushing?

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Old 09-11-2013, 04:37 AM   #1
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Default How to replace upper control arms bushing?

Hello, everyone!

Some of you remember I had a post recently about front wheels vibration while I was just touching the brake pedal. I've replaced the brake discs and it fixed the issue. But my bushings are cracked. So far they are holding the road very well... Anyway, few pictures:
Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Maybe I have stupid question, but before doing it I'd like to understand how people do that. I've seen post recently about it by BMW750. I remember he had some issues doing that. So, I'd like to ask few questions. I have Audi A8, 2007, 4.2 FSI BVJ, sport suspension

1. What type of bushing you prefer? I think going with original, but some prefer the aftermarket blue with no metal ring outside. Somehow I think the physics would be different on those without ring. Eventually they would be able to rotate inside of the arm. I think. Just want the opinion.

2. I was looking at the space there and could not figure out the proper process to replace those bushings. Also I'm afraid to touch the air suspension. Traditionally I would dump the full assembly down and work with it. But looking at the air suspension it has few pipes going there and I'm not sure if they could be disconnected. So, any advice really appreciated.

3. What is the proper technique to compress them in the control arms at home? I can see how polymer bushing would be easier to compress them in rather than original with metal ring around it.
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:05 AM   #2
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Use OEM bushings. There are two types (prices). I would suggest more expensive ones (~$35) since they are dedicated to S8. Polyurethane ones are better but they create noise and have to be lubricated every now and than.

Nothing special in replacing them. You have to disconnect both ends of the links, push, or cut out the old bushings and press new ones in. It can bi done in vise but press would be better. Only problem are inside ends of rear links. Bolt doesn't have enough room to be pooled out, but you can just force it by unscrewing it until it is out. Put it back from the other side.
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:40 AM   #3
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It's not a fun job, per se, but it's not horrible. It is MUCH easier if you loosen the top mount to the strut and use a pry bar to pull the whole assembly down a bit to get to the bolts (obviously a help here is handy).

I used PowerFlex urethane bushings, and the improvement in handling is fantastic. You do have to grease them periodically to control noise, but they'll last forever.
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:56 AM   #4
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The PowerFlex bushings are dramatically better than the stock rubber, BUT every month you have to raise the car to Lift mode and spray some lubricant on them (takes a total of less than 2 minutes). If someone comes up with a better method for lubricating please let me know (I was thinking about getting a long piece of tubing and squirting grease back in to the bushing)

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Old 09-11-2013, 10:11 AM   #5
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Mishar!
I think that is the main question how to disconnect links properly I found very good description here =>
http://www.audipages.com/Tech_Articl...rmreplace.html

But the challenge is the air suspension. Somehow I need to disconnect it if I'll follow the steps from the link above. That's what I'm afraid to touch.

Also, I understood the BMW750 never fully dropped the struds So, I'm trying to figure out the best method for myself how to do that. I'm not even sure I have to do it right away as I do not experience any issues so far. That is definitely something to do in the future.
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:22 AM   #6
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You do not have to do it right now. They will look worst when it becomes urgent. Even than your wheels are not going to fall of.

Forget that link. That's if you want to replace all of bushings, but on our cars lower ones have way longer life. To replace the upper ones you just follow what I said in my previous post and if you do not fell like forcing anything you drop the top mount a bit, as bmwm750 suggested, to take that bolt out.
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:31 AM   #7
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Default The completely other way to deal w/ the bolts is...

...to cut them--the ones that have clearance issues when removing that is. That's what I did on the 2000 C5/A6 4.2 with basically the same links. The new kit I used came with all the nuts and bolts needed, so I had new ones on hand anyway. I did it with a demo/reciprocating saw, but the A8 may have somewhat less room. In that case a cut off wheel would do it; if you are comfortable w/ those kinds of tools that is. The bolts are hardened, so w/ the demo saw it took a hacksaw/metal type blade.

As you already know or can see in the other replies, replacing them is easy since you just put them in the other way--like the factory should have if they thought through service and maintenance.
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:15 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone! I'll have to think about those upper control arms. I'm still not comfortable... Will try to find ELSA instructions and I have very old ELSA. Need to download somewhere the new one
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:23 PM   #9
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Could it be just over-thinking?
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:55 PM   #10
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Default PowerFlex bushings

Quote:
Originally Posted by mishar View Post
Could it be just over-thinking?
Anyone have a link to the "PowerFlex bushings". Thanks
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Old 09-11-2013, 04:07 PM   #11
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I bought a whole set for A8 D2 $500 on Ebay (Meyle) brand and replaced all of them. I don't know if they have it for D3. People who replace with the orange stuff seem to ride very hard.
I wouldn't mind replacing these @ every 100k miles. I like original rides unless the new and improved version make it more comfortable.

My A8 D2 suspension replacement

Cheers,

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Old 09-12-2013, 07:55 AM   #12
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Thanks a lot! I think I have enough info now
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Old 09-12-2013, 11:00 PM   #13
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Question...when tightening these up I know the suspension is to be loaded, but does it matter which setting the suspension is in? If it was loaded in comfort would it matter when car is driven in dynamic for example? Thanks
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Old 09-13-2013, 03:17 AM   #14
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Looking at the diagram, the initial height for the Comfort and Dynamic is the same. So, it must make no difference as long as it is not in Lift mode.
That could be partially why my bushings are cracked. My car has factory sport suspension. At some point I noticed the right rear wheel had 1 cm. difference if you compare with the left rear. I went to Audi and they re-calibrated it. When I got it the car became higher in general.
Also, as long as we raised that topic what is the measurement should be for the sport suspension and regular one between the center cap and body? Does any one know?
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Old 09-13-2013, 06:08 AM   #15
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Actually the dynamic and comfort there is a difference of 20mm. It's the auto and comfort there is no difference. Does suspension height matter when tightening the upper control arms. Since having mine done, I feel a slight popping noise when going over small bumps when cornering...this does not happen when hitting bumps straight on and didn't happen prior to replacing the arms. Jacked car up, removed wheels and everything's tight.
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Old 09-13-2013, 06:28 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike141 View Post
Actually the dynamic and comfort there is a difference of 20mm. It's the auto and comfort there is no difference. Does suspension height matter when tightening the upper control arms. Since having mine done, I feel a slight popping noise when going over small bumps when cornering...this does not happen when hitting bumps straight on and didn't happen prior to replacing the arms. Jacked car up, removed wheels and everything's tight.
I believe the height does matter. Basically, you don't want to tighten the bushings in a position where they won't be living most of their lives, it adds undesirable stress/tension on them. Lightly hold the eraser of a pencil, and hold the pencil horizontally. Now let the pencil tip drop a little bit. Now hold the eraser firmly. Now bring the tip of the pencil back into the horizontal position. Get it? BAD!

At least that is what I think the theory is!
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Old 09-13-2013, 08:33 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike141 View Post
Question...when tightening these up I know the suspension is to be loaded, but does it matter which setting the suspension is in? If it was loaded in comfort would it matter when car is driven in dynamic for example? Thanks
Like greginfinity said, they should be tighten in the usually used position. But that small difference won't kill them anyways. Pure design is in charge of that.

The easy way to do it is to tight bushings before connecting ball joints to the knuckle holding them horizontally. Easier than lowering your car to blocks with a chance to have it on top of your head.

Sport suspension has same height in Comfort and Dynamic. Regular is 20 mm higher in Comfort.

You may want to check Height Adjustment tread. Link below.
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:43 AM   #18
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Thank! Michar!

So, the regular suspension is 416 mm (front) 398 mm (rear).
The sport suspension is 396 mm (front) 378 mm (rear)?

It looks like after re-calibration they did calibrated it as "regular" suspension.
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Old 09-13-2013, 02:27 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vicl View Post
Thank! Michar!

So, the regular suspension is 416 mm (front) 398 mm (rear).
The sport suspension is 396 mm (front) 378 mm (rear)?

It looks like after re-calibration they did calibrated it as "regular" suspension.
Not likely, but mistakes are always possible with this adaptation.
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