Ball Joint Press - '77 Bay

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RussellK
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Ball Joint Press - '77 Bay

Post by RussellK » Wed Aug 22, 2007 8:26 am

I've read the Bentley & Haynes at least 3 times, then had my son read it. Am I missing something? We both surmise we need a press to replace the ball joints. Is this correct? What kind of press?

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Sluggo
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Re: Ball Joint Press - '77 Bay

Post by Sluggo » Wed Aug 22, 2007 11:33 am

RussellK wrote:I've read the Bentley & Haynes at least 3 times, then had my son read it. Am I missing something? We both surmise we need a press to replace the ball joints. Is this correct? What kind of press?
You'll need a machinist to do it. Or you can buy them already installed from BusBoys.
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busman78
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Post by busman78 » Wed Aug 22, 2007 1:39 pm

A 15 ton press will get them out, that is the lightest press I have used, make sure you have a bucket under it capture the joint when it releases.

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Post by RussellK » Thu Aug 23, 2007 6:34 am

Thanks. I'm not as worried about removal as I am with installation. My Son works at a repair shop and the manager used to be a VW mechanic at a dealership. When asked about pressing the ball joints in he offered the shop's press but get this. He said to remove the entire beam and bring it in because it's easier than removing the torsion arms.

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Post by busman78 » Thu Aug 23, 2007 7:30 am

Oh yea, he must of been a top-notch mechanic, paid by the hour, not flat rate. Pull the arms, easy job, don't forget to remove the upper stopper, makes pulling and installing the upper arm easier.

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germansupplyscott
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Post by germansupplyscott » Sun Sep 09, 2007 7:23 pm

removing the beam to do the balljoints is crazy. that's akin to pulling the type 4 engine to change the pushrod tube seals.

what you do need is some tooling for getting the joints out of the arms. it can be home or shop-made but you do need some tools to suppoert the arms when pressing. anyone who has used a press more than a few times will be able to make some tooling that will work, but be well prepared because the old joints are very tight and really explode when they come out.
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satchmo
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Post by satchmo » Tue Jul 08, 2008 9:43 am

germansupplyscott wrote:removing the beam to do the balljoints is crazy. that's akin to pulling the type 4 engine to change the pushrod tube seals.

what you do need is some tooling for getting the joints out of the arms. it can be home or shop-made but you do need some tools to suppoert the arms when pressing. anyone who has used a press more than a few times will be able to make some tooling that will work, but be well prepared because the old joints are very tight and really explode when they come out.
I might need to do this job (ball joint replacement) soon since it feels like my front end is going to come apart when I drive over washboard roads. How do I check to see if the ball joints are toast? I know one boot has been ripped for a long time. My bus has 178K mile on it.

I have access to a 50 ton farm press. What tools do I need to press the joints out and in? There is an ad on theSamba where someone is selling a set of 'tools' for removing and installing ball joints for $125, but I have no idea how they work. Any hints appreciated.

Tim

PS: Did the issue of the 'tight' ball joints that Colin described ever get resolved? What brand of joints are the best/recommended?
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and third, by experience, which is bitterest. -Confucius

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Amskeptic
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Post by Amskeptic » Wed Jul 09, 2008 10:16 am

satchmo wrote: PS: Did the issue of the 'tight' ball joints that Colin described ever get resolved? What brand of joints are the best/recommended?
I am unresolved and sad. I would love to do a ball joint replacement on my own. Lemforder is good, but they have oversize joints here and there, and I think if you mash an oversize joint into a normal arm, you get tight joints forever. That's what I think happened to me. .010" oversize for galled torsion arms. If that is not the cause of my tioght joints, then quality control is questionable.
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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satchmo
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Post by satchmo » Wed Jul 09, 2008 11:58 am

Amskeptic wrote:
satchmo wrote: PS: Did the issue of the 'tight' ball joints that Colin described ever get resolved? What brand of joints are the best/recommended?
I am unresolved and sad. I would love to do a ball joint replacement on my own. Lemforder is good, but they have oversize joints here and there, and I think if you mash an oversize joint into a normal arm, you get tight joints forever. That's what I think happened to me. .010" oversize for galled torsion arms. If that is not the cause of my tioght joints, then quality control is questionable.
Colin
Well come on back through E. Washington and we can have a ball joint replacement party. :geek:

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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Amskeptic
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Post by Amskeptic » Fri Jul 11, 2008 10:21 pm

satchmo wrote: Well come on back through E. Washington and we can have a ball joint replacement party. :geek:
I'm gonna end up backtracking to the poorhouse, but it is tempting. . . . I am trying to hit Redding CA to visit BusBoys for new torsion arms, tomorrow.
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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satchmo
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Post by satchmo » Fri Jul 11, 2008 10:32 pm

Amskeptic wrote:
satchmo wrote: Well come on back through E. Washington and we can have a ball joint replacement party. :geek:
I'm gonna end up backtracking to the poorhouse, but it is tempting. . . . I am trying to hit Redding CA to visit BusBoys for new torsion arms, tomorrow.
Colin
Great. Let us know how it goes.

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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satchmo
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Post by satchmo » Mon Sep 08, 2008 1:34 pm

I removed and replaced my ball joints this weekend. The bus has 180K miles on it. It had a loose joint on the left lower, and a loose one on the right upper. The clunking going over railroad tracks and on gravel roads was starting to drive me crazy. This was a fairly involved job for the inexperienced (like me). I have access to a 50 ton hydraulic farm press, and being the masochistic sort, I decided to press the old joints out and press the new joints in myself. What was I thinking?

I looked around for some German made (not ‘OEM manufactured’) ball joints and found both Lemforder and Fawos brand at German Supply. I got the Fawos brand. The boots on the Fawos were old, brittle, and cracked, so I used some other rubber boots I already had.

Getting the torsion arms out is fairly straightforward. You have to take off the calipers, the brake disks, the wheel spindle and the sway bar. You also need to disconnect the tie rods and remove the upper rubber bump stop. I ran into a major problem trying to remove the sway bar clamps. They were totally rusted and just bent with every removal method I tried. I finally got out my die grinder with the cutting blade. A quick cut on each and they were history.

The upper torsion arms are the hardest to remove and reinstall. They are still under considerable tension resting against the bump stop even with the rubber bumper removed. A pry bar of some sort comes in handy to keep them off the stop as they are pounded out and back in.
The spindles were tough to remove from the lower ball joints. The tie rods and eccentric camber bushings were pretty frozen too. I used this tool to get them apart: (http://www.germansupply.com/home/custom ... 278&page=2)

Pressing the old joints out was a new experience for me. I had a heavy duty jig and a fairly new press for the job. The lower joints took about 25 tons of pressure before they moved with a very loud bang. As I reefed on the hydraulic press arm, I was sure that something was going to break and send shrapnel about the shop, probably straight at me. Lucky for me, that did not happen. The upper joints moved out slowly with about 15 tons. Pressing the new joints in takes only about 5 - 10 tons of pressure.

I cleaned all the old crud off the beam and torsion arms before reinstalling, and everything went together pretty nicely. The clamps I had on hand, to replace the sway bar clamps I had to cut, were too big, so I haven’t driven the bus yet. I have some new clamps on order, and the bus has an appointment with the alignment specialist this weekend. I’m eager to see how it drives.

Tim (Ball-Joint-Press-R-Us)
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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chitwnvw
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Post by chitwnvw » Mon Sep 08, 2008 2:24 pm

satchmo wrote:I’m eager to see how it drives.

Tim (Ball-Joint-Press-R-Us)
Me too, keep us posted.

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