Ball joints revisited.

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RZAR
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Post by RZAR » Mon Jun 22, 2009 8:07 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

I'm just torn between replacing just the boots and keep my OG ballboints or just replace the balljoints. I have heard that the replacements out there are not as good as the originals
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Amskeptic
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Post by Amskeptic » Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:00 am

RZAR wrote:I'm just torn between replacing just the boots and keep my OG ballboints or just replace the balljoints. I have heard that the replacements out there are not as good as the originals
It is a tough call. Replacing the boots is a good idea if your ball joints are still reasonably tight, but the replacement boots are skinny delicate.
The Lemforder ball joints have decently rugged boots but have had issues with being too tight which ruins return-to-centering of the steering . . . a spooky thing on a windy day.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 93,996 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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RZAR
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Post by RZAR » Tue Jun 23, 2009 4:21 pm

Ok I am going to just replace all four ball joints. What the hell, the more I debate it the longer my bus sits. Shopping around I found these at the Depot. OEM Germany it says, which could mean anything. Should I keep shopping?

http://busdepot.com/details.jsp?partnumber=211405371A
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satchmo
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Post by satchmo » Tue Jun 23, 2009 5:07 pm

RZAR wrote:Ok I am going to just replace all four ball joints. What the hell, the more I debate it the longer my bus sits. Shopping around I found these at the Depot. OEM Germany it says, which could mean anything. Should I keep shopping?

http://busdepot.com/details.jsp?partnumber=211405371A
I would call them up and ask where they are made. Most vendors say "German made" for the Lemforder joints made in Brazil or China because they can't say "Made in Germany".

I know German Supply has some genuine German BJs that are a little more expensive, but it's a small price to pay when you consider how big the job is and how you are unlikely to ever need to do it again.

Are you going to press the joints out yourself, or do you have someone local with the right tools and know-how?

Good Luck, Tim
By three methods we may learn wisdom:
First, by reflection, which is noblest;
second, by immitation, which is easiest;
and third, by experience, which is bitterest. -Confucius

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RZAR
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Post by RZAR » Tue Jun 23, 2009 5:54 pm

satchmo wrote:
RZAR wrote:Ok I am going to just replace all four ball joints. What the hell, the more I debate it the longer my bus sits. Shopping around I found these at the Depot. OEM Germany it says, which could mean anything. Should I keep shopping?

http://busdepot.com/details.jsp?partnumber=211405371A
I would call them up and ask where they are made. Most vendors say "German made" for the Lemforder joints made in Brazil or China because they can't say "Made in Germany".

I know German Supply has some genuine German BJs that are a little more expensive, but it's a small price to pay when you consider how big the job is and how you are unlikely to ever need to do it again.

Are you going to press the joints out yourself, or do you have someone local with the right tools and know-how?

Good Luck, Tim
I have a press at work i can use so that no problem. I will check out GS and see if he still has them. BTW there is an eccentric (sp?) on the upper ball joint. How does that come off?
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satchmo
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Post by satchmo » Tue Jun 23, 2009 8:50 pm

RZAR wrote:
I have a press at work i can use so that no problem. I will check out GS and see if he still has them. BTW there is an eccentric (sp?) on the upper ball joint. How does that come off?
I did this job only last Fall, so you would think I would remember. I think one of my eccentric adjusters was stuck on the stud of the ball joint and I just used the same tool to get it off as I used to get the ball joint out of the steering spindle. The other one was loose and came right out.

Make a mark or score on the spindle where the notch in the eccentric is before separating so you are close to the original alignment when you put it back togther. This gives a good starting point for your alignment job once you have the new joints in. I think the manual says to have the notch facing forward when you put everything back together. Either way is okay, I suppose.

Put some grease on the contact area between the ball joint boot and the spindle upon assembly. This helps the boot glide over the spindle and prevents some twisting of the boot while turning. It might make the boots last a little longer.

Tim
By three methods we may learn wisdom:
First, by reflection, which is noblest;
second, by immitation, which is easiest;
and third, by experience, which is bitterest. -Confucius

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Post by airkooledchris » Fri Jun 25, 2010 11:12 am

The ball joints on my new 79 bus are supposedly bad, the PO gave me new ones with the purchase.
I could hardly find anything about this company, anyone use them personally before?

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JereandJess
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Post by JereandJess » Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:23 pm

The replacement rear wheel brake cylinder that we got recently is that brand from Bus Depot. Seems to be good quality.

I would think Scott would know most about the brand.
Jeremy

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ruckman101
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Re: Ball joints revisited.

Post by ruckman101 » Wed May 04, 2011 3:04 pm

So if I have the wheel up, and grab it at the 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock position and wiggle back and forth, play of perhaps as much as half an inch would be a pretty solid indicator the ball joints need to be replaced.


neal
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satchmo
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Re: Ball joints revisited.

Post by satchmo » Wed May 04, 2011 4:39 pm

ruckman101 wrote:So if I have the wheel up, and grab it at the 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock position and wiggle back and forth, play of perhaps as much as half an inch would be a pretty solid indicator the ball joints need to be replaced.


neal
I think that is more likely due to wheel bearing play than loose ball joints. VW has a special tool that measures ball joint play - I think there is a picture of it in the Bentley. We don't have access to that tool, so we have to rely on symptoms like clunking noises from the front end when we go over railroad tracks or surface irregularities.

Tim
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First, by reflection, which is noblest;
second, by immitation, which is easiest;
and third, by experience, which is bitterest. -Confucius

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ruckman101
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Re: Ball joints revisited.

Post by ruckman101 » Wed May 04, 2011 5:41 pm

Hmmm, just repacked them getting the new rotors on. Sounds like I better take another look.


neal
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vdubyah73
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Re: Ball joints revisited.

Post by vdubyah73 » Thu May 05, 2011 3:19 pm

3 and 9 to check tie rods. push and pull the top of the tire for wheel bearings. feel for a slight movement that stops solid kinda almost sorta imperceptible movement. looser is better than to tight. to check ball joints jack one front wheel just high enough to get a bar under the tire. pry the tire upwards looking for movement by eyeball. might get a false diagnosis trying to do it by feel. same with tie rod ends, if you feel movement eyeball the steering/suspension till you find it. till you find it.
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Amskeptic
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Re: Ball joints revisited.

Post by Amskeptic » Mon May 09, 2011 7:00 am

vdubyah73 wrote:3 and 9 to check tie rods. push and pull the top of the tire for wheel bearings. feel for a slight movement that stops solid kinda almost sorta imperceptible movement. looser is better than to tight. to check ball joints jack one front wheel just high enough to get a bar under the tire. pry the tire upwards looking for movement by eyeball. might get a false diagnosis trying to do it by feel. same with tie rod ends, if you feel movement eyeball the steering/suspension till you find it. till you find it.
The reason VW has that special tool is that the steering knuckle is heavily preloaded with both torsion arms. The tool they have pulls the torsion arms together to check the lower ball joint, then pries them apart to check the upper ball joint. It is next to impossible to get a decent idea of ball joint play with any other method. However, the good news is, when the ball joints are really bad, you'll know it by the clonk sound when you hit a pothole or because the boot is so long gone that you can see the ball loose in the pocket with rust dust all around it.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 93,996 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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ruckman101
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Re: Ball joints revisited.

Post by ruckman101 » Tue May 10, 2011 5:27 pm

Ok, gave my way wobbly front driver's side tire another look, and virtually no play when holding the wheel at the 12 and 6 o'clock position, but plenty at the 3 and 9 o'clock position. Sure enough, the tie rod ends at the steering box. It never occurred to me it could be a problem, or that perhaps they should have been replaced when I replaced the outer ones. Doh!


neal
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Amskeptic
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Re: Ball joints revisited.

Post by Amskeptic » Mon May 16, 2011 8:55 am

ruckman101 wrote:Ok, gave my way wobbly front driver's side tire another look, and virtually no play when holding the wheel at the 12 and 6 o'clock position, but plenty at the 3 and 9 o'clock position. Sure enough, the tie rod ends at the steering box. It never occurred to me it could be a problem, or that perhaps they should have been replaced when I replaced the outer ones. Doh!
neal
Neal, what vehicle are you talking about? A bus does not have a steering box anywhere near the tie rods. So it makes me wonder, are you talking about the tie rod ends where they join the relay lever?
Are you talking about the Karmann Ghia?
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 93,996 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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ruckman101
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Re: Ball joints revisited.

Post by ruckman101 » Tue May 17, 2011 2:06 pm

Yes, Gretchen Ghia. Replaced outer tie-rod ends not last summer, but the summer before. Everything else currently seems ok.




neal
The slipper has no teeth.

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