Difficulty: 5.5 of 10
Total time: About 6hrs (10yrs of rust made some bolts resist turning)
Cost: Bearing/bub - $43x2 & labor for machine shop $48.
Audi Club Chicagoland Chapter style, start with a big beer. This is the only way to roll.
Start by removing the wheel, disk brake, caliper & caliper carrier (support the caliper with a wire or whatever). The wheels have 22mm nuts, caliper carrier has 17mm bolts and the disk brake floats. Mine was frozen solid. I decided to replace the rotors, so a few hard whacks with an axe and it was free. The 12mm caliper guide bolts/pins will need to come out (if you are doing a brake job) and you will also need to compress the piston.
Next, remove the cotter pin and nut from the bottom of the tie rod. This nut is 17mm too.
Using a puller, release the control arm. Note - this will make a lot of noise. Drink and beer - you will be just fine.
Loosen but do not remove the 2 upper shock absorber bolts/bots. These are 22mm. Also remove the ABS sensor with a 10mm socket.
With an impact gun, remove the cotter pin, lock cap and drive axle nut from the drive shaft. This nut is 30mm and has a HUGE amount of torque applied (219 ft/lb). The drive shaft will need to be broken loose from the splines. A few taps with a mallet will work just fine. Make sure NOT TO HIT THE DRIVE SHAFT - use the old sacrificial nut.**Reassemble without any locktite, oil, anti seize etc... Do not use an impact gun - only hand tools. If you cross thread this unit, you are f*vcked.
Finally, remove the 3 17mm lower control arm bolts/nuts. Don't try to remove the lower ball joint - it is WAYY to hard to get at and there is just no reason to do it.
Sorry - no pict.
Lastly, completely remove the 2 upper shock bolts/nuts and using a pry-bar, pry the steering knuckle from the shock. At this point, things will be very easy to simply pull apart
This is what you will now have:
Another glamor shot with 1 wheel hub removed:
I chose to replace the hubs and bearings at the same time. No reason to do this job again in a few years. Antioich NAPA has a full machine shop and was easily able to swap the bad parts for new in under an hr.
Reassemble to proper torque specs.
Axle Shaft Nut 217 (294)
Ball Joint-To-Lower Arm Nut 94 (127)
Ball Joint-To-Steering Knuckle 91 (123)
Caliper Bolt 79 (107)
Center Strut Nut Without Electronic Suspension 36 (49)
Lower Arm Pivot Bolt 152 (206)
Shock Absorber Cap Nut 9 (14)
Stabilizer Bar Bushing Retainer Bolt 14 (19)
Stabilizer Bar Link Nut 29 (39)
Steering Gear Mounting Bolt 134 (181)
Steering Knuckle-To-Strut Bolt 156 (211)
Upper Strut Mounting Nut 59 (80)
Tie Rod End Lock Nuts 54 (74)
Tie Rod End-To-Steering Knuckle Nut 36 (49)