Tie rod ends take two.

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ruckman101
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Tie rod ends take two.

Post by ruckman101 » Tue May 31, 2011 6:50 pm

Isn't hindsight wonderful. Too bad we by definition only gain those insights after the fact.

So today I started to tackle the inner tie-rod ends on the ghia, having already had my fun with the outer ones a couple years ago, and realize first, that I should have done all four at once, and second, that the task would probably be easier if I had, and the opportunity to better inspect the tie-rods themselves.

Last time I applied the infamous pickle fork to remove the bad tie-rod ends. However, I've seen warnings that this would be a bad approach for the inner ones, banging away there near the steering box, so I picked up a tie-rod press from Schuck's nee O'reilly's. And of course the back brace part was too wide and slid right off the pitman arm, but got a good hold on the passenger side and the press worked well. Finally, finagling pickle fork, chisel and press, I was able to finally press out the driver's side.

I seem to be stuck. I figured out the passenger side inner tie-rod has reverse threads, and was able to loosen the lock nut, and the clamp nut, but tie-rod end refuses to budge. Hit it with PB Blaster and will tackle it again tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I'm pretty certain the ball joints are shot, too. I'm still scratching my head on that process, but it looks like I'll have to tear down the front end mondo serious, removing the torsion arms to take into the shop to have the old ball joints pressed out and the new ones pressed in. It looks like brakes, shocks, tie-rods,...and goodness knows what else has to be taken apart to get the torsion arms off.

I'm starting to think I should just bite the bullet and go for it, rather than replace the inner tie-rod ends, reassemble, align, drive another month and the tear everything back apart.

Completely rebuild the front end. Where do I stop? Steering dampener seems fine.


:shaking:


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Hippie
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Re: Tie rod ends take two.

Post by Hippie » Tue May 31, 2011 6:59 pm

I vote to do all you can afford when it's apart. You'll thank you later.
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hambone
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Re: Tie rod ends take two.

Post by hambone » Tue May 31, 2011 8:14 pm

Lineup Shop will do it but it's pricey, lots of labor. It sucks taking so much stuff apart. Then ya gotta bleed the brakes again too. Well it's one of those "1ce a lifetime" jobs at least.
I have an old Beetle tie rod you're welcome to, if it fits. '69 - ??? I think it should, same front end.
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Re: Tie rod ends take two.

Post by ruckman101 » Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:14 am

I fear I must delay this task. New territory, my head hurts trying to figure it out, and so many specialty tools.

Why do I feel the ball joints need replacing? The clank/clunk I hear hitting bumps while driving that sounds and feels like the front of the car is being bent back.

Need to research so that I won't be wasting time running to get parts I didn't realize I needed, too. And I want to do it right. If I have the torsion arms off, shouldn't I go ahead and pull the torsion plates to repack with grease, check over etc, needle bearings there, oh my. Maybe July.



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Re: Tie rod ends take two.

Post by Amskeptic » Wed Jun 01, 2011 4:56 pm

ruckman101 wrote:I fear I must delay this task. New territory, my head hurts trying to figure it out, and so many specialty tools.

Why do I feel the ball joints need replacing? The clank/clunk I hear hitting bumps while driving that sounds and feels like the front of the car is being bent back.

Need to research so that I won't be wasting time running to get parts I didn't realize I needed, too. And I want to do it right. If I have the torsion arms off, shouldn't I go ahead and pull the torsion plates to repack with grease, check over etc, needle bearings there, oh my. Maybe July.



neal
I'd like a look at this when I come through. Your tie rod threads are opposite so the center sections can be turnbuckles to lengthen or shorten them.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,885 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,899 miles

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ruckman101
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Re: Tie rod ends take two.

Post by ruckman101 » Wed Jun 01, 2011 5:15 pm

Couldn't get the passenger side inner tie rod end off the tie rod until I removed the tie rod entirely. I think it was just years of rust on the threads. Why are there three clamps the same on the tie rod ends, and one weird one in the tightest access space? Three just tighten down like you'd expect, and the fourth at the passenger side inner tie rod end, is a nut that tightens down another with a slant that matches the end of the tie rod?

And yes, I understand the reverse thread business, but trying to get a wrench on a 19 mm nut with like four inches around it seems, wrong. I must be missing something. Anyway, the press worked great on the outer tie-rod ends recently installed, and having the tie rods out of the way, replacing the brake hoses was easier. I've got the short tie rod to put back before I call it a day.

Tomorrow, ghia back brakes.



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Re: Tie rod ends take two.

Post by ruckman101 » Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:52 pm

Or at least one side.


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Re: Tie rod ends take two.

Post by Hippie » Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:02 pm

That's always the way it goes.
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Re: Tie rod ends take two.

Post by ruckman101 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:18 pm

Indeed. So yesterday got the other side set up with new brake shoes. All new disc brakes up front, new shoes in the back. Oh baby does she stop well now, and with the two new inner tie-rod ends, it's a very different drive that gives me much more confidence around corners. Even the alignment, based on the steering wheel position is slightly improved, I guess. I'm surprised the shop even aligned it last time with the sloppy inner tie-rod ends. Maybe they weren't so bad at the time and went south fast with the new outer ones installed.

The front end still seems a bit chunky/funky, that I'm attributing to the ball joints at this point.

Is there any way to test those things without the fancy schmancy tool to unload the torsion arms. All I got from my Bentley was to measure the ball joint posts loaded, then unloaded, to get a length of travel # that should be within tolerance. Perhaps I should take it to a shop, but I'm suspicious the report would be that they need to be replaced, even if I knew they had only been in there a month. Job security and all.


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Re: Tie rod ends take two.

Post by Hippie » Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:25 pm

I may be all wrong here on the torsion bar suspension, but usually just putting a jack at the right place under the ball joints with the wheel hanging in air can load and unload sufficiently for a check. Hard to 'splain it here, but try typing in the usual ball joint test in ehow.com or somewhere for pictures.

Edit:
http://www.ehow.com/how_2175979_check-ball-joints.html

http://autos.yahoo.com/maintain/repairq ... 109_1.html

http://www.clipshack.com/Clip.aspx?key=B7C4B9EC888F4D8A
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ruckman101
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Re: Tie rod ends take two.

Post by ruckman101 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:50 pm

Thanks Hippie, I will peruse and ponder.


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Re: Tie rod ends take two.

Post by Amskeptic » Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:26 am

Hippie wrote:I may be all wrong here on the torsion bar suspension, but usually just putting a jack at the right place under the ball joints with the wheel hanging in air can load and unload sufficiently for a check.
I hope vdubyah73 READS THIS :flower: but it is damn close to impossible to get a proper reading of ball joint play without the VW tool. Here's how to do the damn close to impossible test of the ball joint play.

To Test Lower Ball Joint:

Jack the lower torsion arm near the shock stud and crank that sucker up until it moves the upper arm off the rubber snubber and the tire is off the ground by enough to get BFPrybar under the tire. The lower ball joint is now unloaded.
Get your BFP under the tire and you have to have sufficient leverage to actually pick up the tire and the upper torsion arm. See if you can feel more than the specified .030" is it? slop. You can have your assistant do the up-down-up-down pry while you put your hand between the arm socket and stud and feel for the click.

To Test Upper Ball Joint:

You need to jack lower torsion arm near the shock stud sufficiently to unload the bump stop and place a spacer between the bump stop and the upper arm. A big socket will often center nicely on the rubber. Release the jack until the socket is trapped and now look/feel for the upper ball joint unloading. You can use the BFPrybar to get your up-down-up-down check.

This check requires that you overcome the other torsion bar. That is what makes it tricky. The bugs are easy enough, the buses have pretty good preload between the ball joints.
Colin
(p.s. what is the upper limit of ball joint play, .030" or sumpin?)
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,885 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,899 miles

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Re: Tie rod ends take two.

Post by vdubyah73 » Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:55 am

Yep, read it.

if you have the "noise" the ball joints will move using the method I posted earlier. if any one moves replace all four. If you just hang the calipers with coat hanger wire, or lay them on milk crates, without disconnecting the brake hose. no bleeding will be needed. Start pre soaking your upper shock mounting bolts with penetrating oil well in advance of your planned attack.
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Hippie
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Re: Tie rod ends take two.

Post by Hippie » Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:18 am

vdubyah73, can you post a link to your procedure? I have not seen it yet.
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Re: Tie rod ends take two.

Post by vdubyah73 » Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:55 am

just jack the bus up so the wheel is only far enough off the floor to get a good size bar under it. 3' or 4' piece of pipe works. Push pipe under wheel an pry up while someone that knows what they are looking at watches for movement. Colin doesn't like my method.
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