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Thread: Tool recommendation for ball joints in front suspension

  1. #1
    Registered User kday's Avatar
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    Tool recommendation for ball joints in front suspension

    I've had new lower front control arms sitting in boxes for almost two months now. I finally started taking the front suspension apart tonight and realized that I don't have any tool to remove the ball joints with.

    I can't seem to find a supplier for the Audi T40010 and aside from that I'd like to find a generic tool locally. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Registered User Aronis's Avatar
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    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	vw_matra_t40010..jpg 
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ID:	12685

    You mean this tool??


    Mike


    Quote Originally Posted by kday View Post
    I've had new lower front control arms sitting in boxes for almost two months now. I finally started taking the front suspension apart tonight and realized that I don't have any tool to remove the ball joints with.

    I can't seem to find a supplier for the Audi T40010 and aside from that I'd like to find a generic tool locally. Any suggestions?

  3. #3
    Registered User kday's Avatar
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    I am really getting the itch to drive my rs6 again -- it's been parked in my garage since April waiting for the control arms. It seems like every week since then I am at a stoplight next to a new v8 turbo of some sort -- mostly new BMWs. Why doesn't that happen when I'm in the rs6? Though I am not sure how it would fare against the Panamera turbo S...

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    Registered User kday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aronis View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	vw_matra_t40010..jpg 
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    You mean this tool??


    Mike
    That looks similar to what is pictured in the bently... Think I can find one at an Autozone type place?

  5. #5
    Registered User Aronis's Avatar
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    I actually rented one from Autozone, similar idea, not quite the same quality part and not the correct size. You can find a kit at some of those places.

    I ended up buying this to do the second side after fighting with the wrong tool.

    I was trying to find my receipts from my purchase to tell you where I found it.

  6. #6
    Registered User Bigglezworth's Avatar
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    What do you need the special tool for if you are changing the part out? You can beat the crap out of the old one coming out because you are replacing it with a new one. Just replaced all four control arms on both sides on the blue beast. Straight forward with no hitches.
    '02 S6 Avant Silver - Pokey | Carbon Black/Ebony RS6 w/ stuff - darn quick | '03 Daytona Grey/Ebony RS6 w/ more stuff - quicker yet | '91 NSX CDN issue with 6spd & BBSC - quicker yet and then some | '87 Buick GNX OEM clone w/ lots of stuff - quickest hands down

  7. #7
    Registered User kday's Avatar
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    Can you describe your procedure?

    I only have the straight arm for each side... Was planning on trying one at a time. Need to remove and reinstall the ball joint on the curved ("guide") arm to replace the track arm.

  8. #8
    Registered User SFJ_RS6's Avatar
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    I found a decent quality KD tool at NAPA to pop out that joint. It's KD 3916, and as I recall it was about $45. Not cheap, but a lot less than the special Audi tool price that Snap-On charges!

    Edit - the 3916 works on the curved "guide" arm. I could not get it to work on the straight "track" arm.

  9. #9
    Registered User JSRS6's Avatar
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    The problem that I had with simply "beating" on said control arms was that the bushing that is supposed to stay in the upright was instead stuck to the ball joint. This isn't too much of a problem when it's time to remove the rear arm, but it tends to put a damper on things when removing the main arm. Had to use a small fork to remove those arms, which also tore up the old ball joints, not that it mattered at that point.
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  10. #10
    Registered User kday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SFJ_RS6 View Post
    I found a decent quality KD tool at NAPA to pop out that joint. It's KD 3916, and as I recall it was about $45. Not cheap, but a lot less than the special Audi tool price that Snap-On charges!

    Edit - the 3916 works on the curved "guide" arm. I could not get it to work on the straight "track" arm.
    Cool -- that looks similar to this part which I can have overnighted: http://www.amazon.com/OTC-6297-Ball-...dp/B0015PN010/

    What was the problem with the track arm? Does it not open wide enough?

  11. #11
    Registered User SFJ_RS6's Avatar
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    From the Amazon picture, they look like the same tool, and the price is about what I paid.

    IIRC, the problem it had on the track arm was that it wouldn't fit deeply enough into the cut out throat to stay in place. It may have also been that it wouldn't open wide enough.

    If you find a way to use this tool on the track arm, or if you find a different generic tool for the track arm, please post it.

  12. #12
    Registered User SFJ_RS6's Avatar
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    I just checked Bentley, and it shows a different Audi "special tool" for those 2 control arm joints.

    The tool for the curved guide arm is 3287A, and looks the same as my KD 3916, and your Amazon OTC 6297. I see Snap-on charge $115 for the 3287A.

    The tool Bentley shows for the straight track arm is a T40010, which looks different. Just looked, and Snap-on wants $100 for the T40010, which seems a bit exce$$ive to me.

  13. #13
    Registered User kday's Avatar
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    I was able to get the tool to work with the track arm, but not without modifying it. Since it doesn't open up far enough to keep the jaws parallel, it kept slipping off the stud as I tightened it. What I did was drill a hole in the straight jaw and put an allen key through it and into the allen socket on the ball joint stud. This kept the jaw in place. Still kind of a PITA but it worked.

    Other notes on the procedure:
    - It is possible to replace the track arm without undoing the guide arm ball joint. It seems like the strut bolt will be trapped, but after all other attachment points are undone there is just barely enough room to wiggle the bolt out.
    - The big inboard bolt on the track arm is likewise a puzzle but can be removed without touching the subframe. (This doesn't appear to be the case for the guide arm though.)
    - Even with only one corner of the car jacked up the anti-roll bar is not under tension and can be removed and reinstalled simply.

    I'll find out tomorrow if replacing one front control arm (out of the 8) makes any difference to my braking vibration problem.

  14. #14
    Registered User kday's Avatar
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    Well, the new right front track arm did not cure my braking vibration, but it seems to have reduced the ranges where it occurs. I guess I'll assume I'm on the right track and keep replacing front suspension pieces...

  15. #15
    Registered User grizz's Avatar
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    DO NOT Hit the alloy upright to loosen the ball joint , This will damage the housing .......
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    Home of all things for the RS6 .....

  16. #16
    Registered User kday's Avatar
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    This is the modification I made to the OTC 6297 to remove the ball joint on the straight arm:



    The hole is big enough to insert an allen key into the ball joint stud's socket:



    And this keeps the jaw from slipping off the stud.


    One down, 3 to go (or maybe 7 to go...)


  17. #17
    Registered User SFJ_RS6's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing this kday. That is a clever mod you made to the tool to do the job! One tool for 2 joints - that's not the Audi way.

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