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Easiest way to remove front suspension as a unit

 
Old 10-03-2017, 11:05 AM
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Socal_Tom
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Default Easiest way to remove front suspension as a unit

Like this?

Remove tie Rod and sway bar and brake lines...
Support rotor with jack
Top shock bolts
Engine bay side 22mm bolts
Lower control arm bolts

Then pull away?

Any corrections or sage advice?
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Old 10-03-2017, 12:07 PM
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FredR
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If you are pulling the front suspension I would think it is easier to do it piece meal given the brake lines have to be disconnected if you pull as a complete unit.

I would remove the caliper [leave the hoses connected] and tie it up, remove the disc, split the upper ball joint, remove the lower arm and then the coilover and the upper arm comes out.
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Old 10-03-2017, 12:09 PM
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Socal_Tom
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Originally Posted by FredR View Post
If you are pulling the front suspension I would think it is easier to do it piece meal given the brake lines have to be disconnected if you pull as a complete unit.

I would remove the caliper [leave the hoses connected] and tie it up, remove the disc, split the upper ball joint, remove the lower arm and then the coilover and the upper arm comes out.
Hi Fred, thanks for the note.

In my case the calipers / rotor etc are all being swapped, so basically the entire front suspension from one car (a later S4) being swapped on to an earlier one.

Thanks!
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Old 10-03-2017, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Socal_Tom View Post

In my case the calipers / rotor etc are all being swapped, so basically the entire front suspension from one car (a later S4) being swapped on to an earlier one.
Have not attempted that one- still suspect you will find it easier piecemeal, particularly the reassembly given you are trying to manipulate quite a chunk of metal.

Doubtless others will have some opinions.

Rgds

Fred
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Old 10-03-2017, 12:23 PM
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Socal_Tom
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Originally Posted by FredR View Post
Have not attempted that one- still suspect you will find it easier piecemeal, particularly the reassembly given you are trying to manipulate quite a chunk of metal.
True, that entire assembly will be pretty heavy. Good consideration since i have to reinstall it on the other other car.
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Old 10-03-2017, 12:31 PM
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dr bob
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Tom,

Unless there's a need to pull the crossmember for something else, you can leave it in place to hold the engine up. That allows you to leave the steering rack in place too. Motor mounts and pan gasket are good reasons to drop the crossmember, along with rack mounting bushings. It also offers much easier access to the upper control arm nuts next to the engine. You'll need to support the engine from above though. Floating around your neighborhood there's a good overhead engine support tool, or you can do some fab with lumber, J-bolts and chain. I decided to just buy the tool after we moved north and lost access to the local one down in your area. After one use, mine languishes under the workbench, still looking like new in the box... I did use a 25%-off coupon at H-F, and there's no sales tax here so it netted out pretty cheap.
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Old 10-03-2017, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by dr bob View Post
Tom,

Unless there's a need to pull the crossmember for something else, you can leave it in place to hold the engine up. That allows you to leave the steering rack in place too. Motor mounts and pan gasket are good reasons to drop the crossmember, along with rack mounting bushings. It also offers much easier access to the upper control arm nuts next to the engine. You'll need to support the engine from above though. Floating around your neighborhood there's a good overhead engine support tool, or you can do some fab with lumber, J-bolts and chain. I decided to just buy the tool after we moved north and lost access to the local one down in your area. After one use, mine languishes under the workbench, still looking like new in the box... I did use a 25%-off coupon at H-F, and there's no sales tax here so it netted out pretty cheap.
Hi Doc, thanks for the note. Sorry for the newbie follow up question, but is the crossmember connected to the a-arms? Seeing that I am planning/doing a full S4 front swap I believe the a-arms are a must swap since the dimensions vary by series.

If this were a 911 (or TR6) I'd know it all in my sleep but clearly learning here...

Thanks!
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Old 10-03-2017, 07:08 PM
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The crossmember is the upper/top-half of the saddle that holds the rear bushing for the lower control arm. You can easily swap the lower control arm in or out with the crossmember in place. Were it my project, I'd leave each crossmember with the car it came with when you are done. Deciding if or when to remove it is a decision driven by project scope. If you plan to do motor mounts or oil sump gasket replacement, it will come out as part of that operation.

Consider removing the calipers, rotors, and disconnect'suspend the ABS and wear sensor wiring. Pop the tie rod ends from the steering knuckles. Unbolt the lower balljoint from the LCA so the spindle can swing free, supported by the spring/shock and the upper control arm & balljoint. Then remove the lower control arms. If you are going to remove the crossmember, support the engine from the top and get the crossmember out. The steering rack will be disconnected form the steering shaft as part of this, and the PS hoses will be disconnected at the rack. Drop the rack free. Wiring comes off and clamps for same unbolted, then motor mount nuts, then crossmember bolts and the crossmember drops straight down. That will give you easier access to the nuts holding the upper control arms to the fenderwalls, and the upper ams/spindles/lower balljoint assys can drop down off the springs. If you plan to move the springs/shocks then they come out easily now with three nuts each from the top.
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Old 10-03-2017, 08:22 PM
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This is the largest chunk you can take off as a unit- Hub, spindle/steering knuckle, dust shield, upper and lower control arms.

Remove:
1. Wheel and tire
2. Wheelwell liners
3. Swaybar from swaybar ends
4. Tie rod ends from steering knuckle
5. Brake caliper- suspend it on a piece of coat hanger hung on one of the wheelwell liner mounting holes
5a. Brake wear sensor, ABS sensor, RDK sensor harness (and its ground wire) from steering knuckle
6. Lower shock bolt
7. Loosen foremost tow bracket bolt, remove 2nd tow bracket bolt
8. Remove front lower A-arm bolts, let tow brackets swing down
9. Remove rear lower control arm bolts, let LCA swing on lower ball joint
9. Undo 22mm nuts from upper control arm in engine compartment, keep one nut on each side loosely
10. Undo six upper shock mount bolts in engine compartment
11. While lifting upper control arm to slightly above horizontal, drop the shock out through the arm opening.
12. Remove the loose upper control arm bolt, and remove the knuckle/hub/arms assembly. Should look something like this:


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Old 10-03-2017, 08:54 PM
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Thanks for the follow up Doc.

Going to dive into this tomorrow leaving the crossmember in place.
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Old 10-03-2017, 08:56 PM
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Thanks Rob, very helpful.

Figure one hour of dedicated wrenching for those steps?
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Old 10-03-2017, 10:25 PM
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If everything comes apart as they're designed, an hour per side, yes. But I have spent an hour trying to get a tie rod end off the steering knuckle, an hour getting the setscrew out of a brake rotor (which I forgot to list as step 5b), or an hour undoing the upper control arm bolts, before A) I got the right tools for the job, or B) learned not to take suspensions off before R&R'ing the engine for clearance.

It helps a great deal to have an impact wrench and a good ball joint separator. I have the latter to loan if you'd like, since you're likely within 3 hours of Irvine, depending on traffic...
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Old 10-03-2017, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Socal_Tom View Post
Thanks Rob, very helpful.

Figure one hour of dedicated wrenching for those steps?
I'd allow a bit more time...
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Old 10-03-2017, 11:52 PM
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That sounds like a Sharktoberfest Challenge, on one of Anderson's parts cars. What's the wager? A barrel of Pub mix?
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Old 10-04-2017, 11:53 AM
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Heck - I'll tow both the '84 and '88 donor there and we can have teams compete on either side for lowest elapsed time!

Rob - I am, depending on traffic, about 5 minutes away. Will drop you a PM to borrow the ball joint separator if that is OK.
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