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Tech Article

Audi C5 A6 Quattro 4.2 V8 Front Bumper Removal

Last Updated: 09/24/2017
Parts Group: Bumper assembly
In my experience, removing the front bumper is a prelude to removing the headlights cleanly, and moving the radiator-mounting cross-member forward to provide access to the front of the engine for work on the fan, fan clutch, timing belt, water pump and so on.

I have done this a few times on various 2000 Audi C5 A6 4.2 V8 cars (I collect them). I didn't take precise notes at the time, so this is all from memory:

In general terms, the bumper is mainly attached with two massive upward-pointing silver-colored bolts, as in the heads are at the bottom and the thread is above them. There's one on each side, 120mm long with an 8mm Allen-key head. I remove these two bolts and basically, that's it. However, it's not quite that simple.

To gain access to the bolt heads, I remove the two side lower grilles, one on each side. There's a plastic catch that breaks, as I've proved many times. My clever tech showed me it's possible to the catch from the front using a flat screwdriver. As I recall the catch on each grill is inboard.

Hypothethically, were I now to tug the bumper forward, it would resist due to a water hose, the outer sides, and two electrical connections.

1. As to the water hose, it's the connection to the headlight washers. On the driver side, in US models, look underneath and behind the bumper. Find the hose and then the general connector area with a black plastic C-shaped clamp that's approximately the size of a dime. Gently pry it away and remove it, then separate the hose connecting the bumper to the car. If such a hose is too tight, then I don't yank it -- I simply pour a few cups of hot water over that area to soften the hoses first.

2. As to the outer sides, on each side (driver side and passenger side) the rear of the side of the bumper is pulled snugly against the front of the fender, by three 10mm nuts that thread onto three studs that are attached to the rear of the side of the bumper bumper. These studs point rearward and fit inside corresponding holes in the front of the fender. Those nuts have to be removed. I like to use a very long extension on a 1/4" ratchet.

3. The problem is that the inner fender splash guard is in the way, and that needs to be loosened in front, which has in the past allowed me to squeeze my arm inside the gap I could pry open in the inner fender splash guard, and then at the cost of bruising my forearm, I could reach the three 10mm nuts in front. A better way is to jack up the front of the car, put the car on a jack stand, then swivel the wheel or remove it, to make it easy to totally remove the dozen or so Torx fasteners that affix the inner fender splash guard, then wrestle it loose. Then I can remove the inner fender splash guard and have easy access to the three 10mm nuts in front. I've tried both the fast route and the methodical route. I recommend the latter.

4. The next problem is that the bottom side of the outer flexible front of the bumper folds into a crease in the side of the lower air dam area, and to get it out cleanly I bend the outer corner of the bumper as it I were peeling it away, as if it were a piece of cardboard. That allowed me to guide it precisely out of the slot into which it fits, for a clean exit. When I see an Audi A6 in a parking lot somewhere with a bumper gap there, I know that the mechanic didn't do that bend-the-corner trick "just so." Without bending it, it looks impossible to get tab A out of slot B (or in again).

5. After that, I have everything ready to move the bumper forward as if I were opening a chest of drawers and pulling it forward. As soon as I can, I lay the bumper down with its front facing down, without straining the electrical connections I'd mentioned earlier. Those go to the two fog lamps, respectively. It's easiest for me to remove the connectors with the bumper in that position. To pull the clips out, I don't just yank them. It's subtle. I find the catch on one side and then pull the plug away from the bumper using that catch as the focus of the force. That force depresses the catch just enough to clear a barb that would otherwise have kept it captive.

That's it! The bumper is now lying on the ground.
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