I'm not sure if there's one of these on here but I thought I would write up a little bit on this since I just did this last weekend on my allroad. It's a pretty straight forward project that can be done with basic hand tools.

Before you get going on this you will want to spray all of the bolted connections with some type of penetrating oil a couple days before you start. I did this every day for three days to make sure nothing was seized up.

Tools needed:
6mm Allen
Flat Head screw driver
17mm Allen (for axle nut)
16mm socket
18mm socket
16mm wrench
18mm wrench
Breaker Bar or impact
long extension
pliers (any kind is fine)
Tie rod tool (either the fancy screw type or fork type)
Floor Jack
Jack Stands
Penetrating Oil (PB Blaster or the like)

#1 Axle bolt

First off, with the car on the ground loosen the axle bolt on the corner you are starting on. This will take a 17mm allen and a long breaker bar or a powerful impact gun.

Next break loose the lug nuts and jack up the car. Place it on a jack stand and remove the wheel.

#2 Under tray

My under tray is pretty easy to remove since the previous owner lost most of the hardware. You will need a 6mm allen to remove the two front bolts and a flat head screw driver to remove the 1/4 turn screws at the rear. You will also need to remove the rear under tray and that is held on with a few 1/4 turn screws as well. There might be more screws then that but that's all the mine had so double check you got them all before you start tugging on stuff.

#3 Sway bar link

Next I disconnected the sway bar. You may want to jack up the steering knuckle a little bit to take the pressure off of the bolts.

They are 16mm bolts that have a nut so you'll need a wrench on the other side.

Here you can see mine have the bolts loose.

#4 Upper Control Arms (aka the dreaded pinch bolt)

I've read countless post about this bolt and I didn't have any problems removing either one. This is another 16mm bolt with a nut. Spray it down again with PB Blaster just to be safe.

To reach the upper bolts of the upper control arms you need to drop the whole shock assembly. First remove the lower shock bolt with an 18mm socket and wrench.

Next loosen the top bolts in the engine bay. There are (3) 16mm bolts with two in the rain tray and one in the actual engine bay. An extension is helpful here as well. Once these are loose slowly remove them one by one while holding the shock assembly so it doesn't fall too far (sorry no pictures of this).

With the shock assembly out you can now reach the upper bolts. These are 16mm on each side but the inner nuts are still pretty tight to get too. You have to slide in the wrench between the airbag and the shock mount. Not too hard but kind of fiddly.

#5 Lower Control Arms

The lower control arms are a little harder because you have the tapered ball joints to deal with.

First, loose the front nut on the outer ball joint but don't remove it. It requires an 18mm socket.

Also, remove the axle bolt that you loosed at the beginning of your journey.

Seen here on the far bottom left.

Next remove the inner bolt on the front control arm. This is an 18mm bolt and nut. There is a window in the subframe to get a wrench in there.

To the far right of this same picture

Now remove the suspension level sensor that is clipped to the control arm. You just need some pliers to unclip it and move it out of the way.

Next remove the inner bolt on the rear control arm. It is also an 18mm bolt and nut with a similar window to access the nut.

A note on this bolt: The bolt is slightly longer then the space they give you so there is another relief window to slide the bolt out of. It's pretty tight in there but the bolt comes out pretty easy.

Now for the outer tie rods. These are kind of a pain.

Place your floor jack under the rear tie rod so that the front tie rod just is still exposed. Jack up the whole assembly about as far as you can and rotate the whole assembly for easier access. Now take your hammer/mallet and wack (technical term) the bottom of the nut until the tie rod pops free. The nut will keep things from flying out. Now remove the nut and the front control arm should out.

Now with the front control arm removed and the suspension upright rotated away from the axle you should see the rear tie rod nut. This is an 18mm nut and you may need someone to hold the assembly if you don't have an impact as it's on there pretty tight. Leave the nut loose on the threads like you did with the front lower control arm.

To remove the ball joint I used tie rod fork with a 15/16" opening and a hammer. Place the fork between the lower knuckle and the tie rod. This method usually destroys the ball joint boot so you can't reuse it.


You will note that I did not remove the steering tie rod. Be sure to support the steering knuckle as it will be hanging off of the steering tie rod now. I did this so that the alignment (at least the toe) wouldn't be affected.

Here are the comparisons of the old and crusty with the new and shiny parts.

Upper rear

Upper front

Both lowers

#6 Putting it all back together

This is really just a reversal of the removal so I'll just condense it down to a list.

Install lower rear tie rod end into steering knuckle.
Install lower front tie rod end into steering knuckle.
Pivot suspension assembly back onto the axle.
Loosely install rear lower inner bolt to subframe.
Loosely install front lower inner bolt to subrame.
Loosely install front upper inner bolt to suspension assembly.
Loosely install rear upper inner bolt to suspension assembly.
Install upper suspension assembly bolts in rain tray and engine bay.
Loosely install lower shock bolt to lower control arm.
Loosely install pinch bolt for both upper control arms.

Now you should have everything loosely connected except for the sway bar link (that will go on later). Place your floor jack under the suspension assembly and jack it up to it's rough ride height. This is so that when you tighten down all of the inner bushings they are in roughly the correct orientation and won't be placed in twisted tension when the car is back on the ground.

Now go through and tighten all of the inner bolts to spec starting with the upper control arms and going to the lowers. Then do the lower shock bolt.

With the jack still in place raise or lower the suspension assembly so that the sway bar link lines up with the sway bar. Install and tighten the bolts and lower the suspension.

Your suspension should look pretty close to this. Dirty parts mixed in with nice shiny and new parts.

Upper Control Arms

Lower Front Control Arm and Sway Bar Link

Lower Rear Control Arm

Double check all your bolt connections to make sure you didn't miss any. Reinstall the suspension level sensor onto the lower front control arm. Install the axle bolt into the end of the hub and reinstall your wheel. With the car back on the ground torque down the axle bolt to spec (I believe that it is 130 ftlb but check the Bently).

You are half way there. Now go to the other side. It should go much smoother now that you're an expert. Let me know if I miss anything or gave the wrong information and I'll update the post.