Audi allroad Front Air Spring Replacement |

28 Jan 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Audi allroad Front Air Spring Replacement |
Audi Allroad

Audi allroad

Front Air Spring Replacement

Thou Shall Not Fear the Pinch Bolt

So your allroad has the dreaded death knell and is bowing to the air spring gods. No need to worry, as this is one of the easiest DIY#8217;s to do on this car. And if you#8217;ve done any suspension work at all, I assure you this repair is 10 times easier.

Audi Models

Audi allroad C5 (2001 #8211; 2005)

Parts Required

Tools Required

Jack and jack stands

Metric ratchet set (16mm, 18mm, 19mm)

Metric wrench set (10mm, 16mm, 18mm)

Torx ratchet heads

Triple square ratchet heads

Allen wrench/spinner (something with leverage)

Torque wrench

Needle nose pliers


Flat head screwdrivers (small and large)

Lithium grease

Large channel locks

Dremmel (optional)


Overview of the Procedure

With the front of the car supported by jack stands and the front wheels off the car, we will be removing the airspring and shock tower from the car. Once removed, we will separate the shock tower, shock mount and strut from the airspring. We will replace the shock mount, airspring and o-rings, reassemble everything and then reinstall them into the car.

Step 1

Place the car into JACK MODE by turning the key to the ON position and then simultaneously pressing  and holding the suspension UP/DOWN buttons on the dash until the icon appears.  Once the suspension is locked, turn the key off, open the hood, and remove the cowl cover. This is done by gently removing the rubber seal and pulling the plastic cover toward the front of the car.

Once the cover is out of the way, you can access the three 16mm bolts that secure the shock tower.

Note 1: Now is a good time to look at your cabin filter and replace it if it#8217;s dirty.  It is also a good idea to take a flashlight and look under the battery for any sitting water or debris. If you see either, remove the battery and battery tray and clean out the area.  In addition, be sure to check the drainage hole beneath the battery.

  If clogged, water will backup and eventually seep into the passenger compartment and possibly fry some expensive electronics. This topic is the subject of a recent class action lawsuit.

Next, jack up the front of the car, support with jack stands at the pinch weld/jack point.  Remove the front wheels and place them out of the way. Next, remove the fender liners with a torx head and ratchet.

Step 2

Using a 16mm ratchet and extension remove the three bolts holding the top of the shock tower in place. These bolts will be reused so put them aside.

Step 3

Audi Allroad

Using the 16mm ratchet and an 16mm wrench, loosen the pinch bolt that should have been soaking in penetrating oil for the last 2 days. If the bolt does not thread out on its own, you may have to give it a few whacks with the mallet and screwdriver/punch. Once the pinch bolt is removed, a few upward blows with the mallet are needed to free the upper control arms.

Step 4

Using a 10mm open end wrench, loosen the air fitting at the top of the air spring. Once free, you will hear the spring fully deflate. Adjacent to the air fitting, on the underside of the fender well, there is a PIA 1 cent locator clip that must be removed before the entire shock tower will come free. To remove this, use whatever works!

In addition to excessive force and swearing, a  small screwdriver, a hammer, a dremmel or needle nose pliers are all acceptable approaches. Feel free to mangle the clip. We did not replace it (the dealer does not replace it) but if you really feel you need to, go ahead.

  It is a very inexpensive part.

Step 5

Loosen the 18mm lower strut mount bolt using a ratchet and wrench. If your car has not been touched since factory assembly, the bolt will be inverted, ie. the head facing the rear of the car.  If this is the case, you will need your floor jack to position the lower control arms in a position that allows proper clearance for the removal of the bolt. Be patient. Once you find the sweet spot,  it will be relatively easy to remove.

However, you may need the assistance of the mallet and a punch to push the bolt free of the hole. Once the bolt has been removed, the entire assembly can be removed from the car.

Step 6

With the assembly out of the car, we can begin dis-assembly.  We will start by removing the air spring from the shock tower.  Using the ratchet and the triple square head, loosen the bolts.  With all bolts removed, separate the shock tower from the air spring by simply puling them apart.  With the shock tower removed,  you should now be able to see the rubber shock mount.

Using channel locks, grab the shock mount and loosen the strut bolt with a 19mm ratchet. Once you break it free, it should spin off without too much effort. If it does not, you may have to use some ghetto means to loosen it.  My friend grabbed a 19mm socket and held it with channel locks while I took the Allen key and placed it through the socket into the top of the strut.

Using this method, we were able to have one person turn while the other held and the nut came free.  With the nut removed, the strut can be removed from the air spring.  Discard the air spring, o-rings and shock mount immediately so they are not confused with the new parts.

Note 2: Inspect the strut for leaking fluid or damage. If it needs to be replaced, now is the time to do it.

Step 7

In the new kit, locate the two o-rings.  Lube both with the lithium grease and seat the larger one into the channel at the top of the new airspring.  Place the smaller o-ring over the top of the strut shaft and seat on the barrel.

   Insert the strut through the airspring and place the new shock mount in place.  Tighten the nut for the strut using the same ghetto method we used to remove it #8212; a socket held with channel locks and the allen key.  Once tightened, lube the smaller o-ring with lithium grease and seat in the shock mount.   Carefully align the shock tower with the airspring and hand tighten the triple square bolts while checking to make sure the the o-rings stay properly seated.

  Torque the triple squares in a star pattern (just like wheel bolts) to 23nm.  Please note that we had to do 3-4 passes in a star pattern before achieving the proper uniform torque settings.

Step 8

With everything reassembled, you can begin the reinstallation process. You may have to compress the strut a bit to get it back in the wheel well. Once you align the upper shock tower bolts, hand tighten them.

Next, align the bottom strut mount bolt. You may need to use the floor jack to get the orientation correct. Feel free to re-insert the bolt from the front side as well. Fully tighten the 3 upper bolts and the lower strut bolt.

Next, seat the upper control arms into the pinch bolt housing. You may need to use the mallet to get them fully seated. Reinstall the pinch bolt and make sure everything is properly aligned.

Reinstall the air line, being careful not to cross-thread or strip it.

Step 9

Before re-installing the wheels, it is a good idea to pressurize the system and look/listen for leaks. Jack up the suspension and support it with an additional jack stand. Turn the car on and remove jack mode.

The system should begin to pressurize and you will likely hear the compressor turn on. Once a level is indicated, put the car back into Jack Mode and turn the key off. Go inspect the airspring and look and listen for anything unusual.

Step 10

If all is OK, remove the jack stands from the suspension and reinstall the wheels. Jack up the front of the car again, remove jack stands at the pinch weld and start the car. With the car running, slowly lower it until there is weight on the wheels, but do not lower it all the way.

Remove the car from jack mode and allow some pressure to build before lowering completely. With the car on the ground, cycle through the levels to make sure all is working properly.

Audi Allroad
Audi Allroad
Audi Allroad
Audi Allroad
Audi Allroad
Audi Allroad
Audi Allroad

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