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billington

A4 Cab rear anti-roll bar

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Hi, I have just had a major service and cambelt change on my '55 reg. A4 Cabriolet, 1.8T sport. It cost £725 which I thought was reasonable, but it was reported that the rear anti-rollbar plastic sleeves were split and the rubber bushes worn. Estimated cost of repair £350. I think that's a lot of money for a set of plastic sleeves and rubber bushes on a car which has only done 40.000 miles. Does anybody know if this is a regular fault and why it costs so much? The suggestion was that if the complete anti-rollbar assembly was not replaced it could snap which sounds like rubbish! Is it an MoT fail item if you have the test done by an Audi dealer (or anyone else)?

Thanks in advance for any information.

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Is it a B6 or a B7? Audi charge a lot of money for this job and what owners sometimes do is take this opportunity to fit a new RS4 ARB. If you are handy with the spanners you could do it yourself or visit a local garage that doesn't charge huge labour rates +++

I'm sure there will be more comments on this shortly.

B6 parts and 2009 prices:

2no A8AO 511 439 Clip @ 4.16 ea + vat

1no A8EO 511 409 AL Stabilizer Bar @ £53.77 ea + vat

2no A8EO 511 327 D Y34 Mounting Bush @ 2.44 ea + vat

4no AN 101 277 07 Z21 Bolt Hex @ 0.64 ea + vat (although can use old ones)

Total 79.96 inc Vat

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Thanks for the information Andy_Bangle. Mine is a B6, and I wouldn't mind undertaking the work myself, but would I really need to replace the stabiliser bar? Is that because the plastic sleeves referred to cannot be removed/replaced? I have Elsawin on my pc and changing the rubber bushes looks to be a very simple job, but the plastic sleeves don't seem to be mentioned.

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The bushes failing is very common and is happening on all A4's which have done around 90k miles or 5 years old. The reason is due to the plastic which cracks (MOT failure if it makes the ARB moves). I'm not 100% sure if it's advised just to change the bushes or the bar as well. Have you got under the car to check if the paint is cracking on the ARB?

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The ARB seems to be a poor design - it appears that water gets in under the plastic bushes, then the ARB rusts and splits the plastic bushes; its an MOT failure and unrepairable. However, the good news is that the ARB and rubber bushes are cheap (for Audi parts) and you can do the job yourself. My 2003 A4 cabriolet failed for this reason last year. I think my Audi dealer quoted me around £200 for the job (not £350 that you've been quoted) but being a cheapskate I decided to do it myself.

I decided not to upgrade the the RS4 ARB (even though it is no more expensive) because of insurance concerns (if you declare it your insurance may go up, and if you don't declare it what if you have a serious accident and they notice it?).

I must say I found it quite a difficult job, having not done it before and with no workshop manual, and with the car just on ramps. On the 3 litre petrol cabrio you have to undo the rear exhaust hanger bolts, and the bolts holding the 2 stiffening bars that you'll see under the car that go from front to back (presumably to stop scuttle shake?), and even then it is a b*gger to get the old bar out and the new one in. Half way through the job I wished I'd paid the £200 for someone else to do it. I managed it in the end though. Next time (in another 5 years?) I'll be able to do it much quicker.

Clive

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