1972 Beetle - Want Advice on Replacing Front Suspension/Steering Linkages

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rrb6699
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Re: 1972 Beetle - Want Advice on Replacing Front Suspension/Steering Linkages

Post by rrb6699 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:56 pm

yea no shimmy at 90mph. well maybe 70 mph max from now on. :)

sorry it was a display issue that caused me to miss the entirety of your response.

getting a new phone soon. it's happened many times with this device.
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Re: 1972 Beetle - Want Advice on Replacing Front Suspension/Steering Linkages

Post by Marc » Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:14 am

rrb6699 wrote:
Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:56 pm
...sorry it was a display issue that caused me to miss the entirety of your response....
And I apologize for being brusque, I was running low on patience today. No worries.

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Re: 1972 Beetle - Want Advice on Replacing Front Suspension/Steering Linkages

Post by Piledriver » Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:54 am

Get the black urethane rear bushings (inner and outer) if you use urethane.
They seem to keep the rear alignment...aligned better over many miles than the stock ones.

The black ones are graphite/moly filled and IME do not squeak if lubed.
The "ricer" red ones are just urethane, ~OK for replacement ball joint/tie rod end boots (on greaseable joints) and that's about it.
SACO/German sells hard yellow urethane bushings, but their quality (ID fit) is horrendous, at least for the rears.
Some off road guys swear by them, but they require had fitting at best.
They are actually ~hard enough to machine...

There also exist delrin bushings for the front (and rear) suspension, but they are really for racers, has very little give but wears well, and very low friction.
Expensive too, a new front beam might be cheaper.

As to the "rag" steering joint just look for an OE replacement, most of the usual VW suppliers carry decent ones.
As Marc noted, the urethane versions aren't fit for purpose, nor are the "replacement" urethane motor mounts.
Urethane has its place if the part design is "compatible" with urethanes strengths... Those parts, as designed, aren't it.
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Re: 1972 Beetle - Want Advice on Replacing Front Suspension/Steering Linkages

Post by rrb6699 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 7:35 am

I'm ordering the tie rod ends and ball joints. black bushings. for these and the shocks which are almost gone.

this could be sales hype but here is some text on the Mevotech ball joints: I like the installation that doesn't require boot removal.

Ball joints engineered so boot does not protrude outside of housing, eliminating need to remove boot during installation and risk pinching or tearing boot.

Includes application-specific heat treated hardware which exceeds industry standards and makes installation safer and easier.
Knurled housing provides a more secure fit, for increased contact area and maximum safety.

........

I'm going to place the order for these parts unless anyone else chimes in on something else I should get. I think O'Reilly Auto parts has loaner BJ removal lianer tools if anyone has tried one.
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Re: 1972 Beetle - Want Advice on Replacing Front Suspension/Steering Linkages

Post by rrb6699 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:51 am

just noticed on the tie rod ends stuff like left hand thread and connects to steering. I picked correct year and model. why do they list these specifics?
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Re: 1972 Beetle - Want Advice on Replacing Front Suspension/Steering Linkages

Post by Piledriver » Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:35 pm

Of your 4 tie rod ends, two are going to be left hand threaded, two right, this allows toe to be set by rotating the tie rod shaft, works like a turnbuckle. Some have additional clearance built in...

Buy them by specd location, R inner, R outer, L inner and L outer..
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Re: 1972 Beetle - Want Advice on Replacing Front Suspension/Steering Linkages

Post by rrb6699 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:01 pm

ok thanks. another bug thing learned. so, nothing different as long as I order each one for its location on the front end?

some of them specify thread and one even specifies Left Outer; Gear Box Design; From Chassis,

then another Right Inner; Left-Hand Thread; Accepts Steering Damper; To Chassis Standard Version

and Left Outer; Left-Hand Thread; Straight; From Chassis

that's why I ask.
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Re: 1972 Beetle - Want Advice on Replacing Front Suspension/Steering Linkages

Post by Piledriver » Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:03 pm

They are different, just order one for each location.
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Re: 1972 Beetle - Want Advice on Replacing Front Suspension/Steering Linkages

Post by rrb6699 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:47 pm

ok, i'm going to try all Mevotech parts and see how they do. thx
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Re: 1972 Beetle - Want Advice on Replacing Front Suspension/Steering Linkages

Post by Marc » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:13 pm

Each of those four tierod ends is available in an early version with a small stud and a larger late version but so long as you're shopping for a 1972 you should get the right parts. The change was made midway through `68 production.

Interesting about the smaller-O.D. boot on the Mevotech BJs. I suppose the downside is that if you ever needed to replace one the "normal" kind wouldn't fit - but if that day ever comes you'd still be able to put on a "floating" boot that isn't attached.

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Re: 1972 Beetle - Want Advice on Replacing Front Suspension/Steering Linkages

Post by rrb6699 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 7:05 pm

I'd demand a replacement if it does fail and it falls within their claimed wear and lifecycle specs.
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Re: 1972 Beetle - Want Advice on Replacing Front Suspension/Steering Linkages

Post by rrb6699 » Fri Mar 03, 2017 5:18 pm

ok, finally a decent day but couldn't work.much due to time. I got the lower broken ball joint completely removed with a harbor freight tool (tightened until it felt like it would strip then beat on it and the ball came out of the assy) and a borrowed bj press for the part in the control arm... now...
do I need to align the lower bj any particular way? I dont see any alignment notches or can I just press that one in?

the upper bj has that big nut for camber? I see how its oriented. that's the one you say to just face forward correct? e.g. the larger part towards the front.

I'm a little confused on the uppers. do I take them apart then separate the ball with the tool then press the rest out?

then does the top bj have to be aligned a certain way to go back in?
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Re: 1972 Beetle - Want Advice on Replacing Front Suspension/Steering Linkages

Post by Marc » Sat Mar 04, 2017 12:23 am

The rims of both balljoints have two notches in them, 180° apart. If you look closely at the control arms, they have a little divot or chisel mark, or a nub on the outside that the notch should line up over. If your manufacturer hasn't provided those, you can manipulate the stud to feel where the slot that it moves through is and make your own marks on the rim corresponding with the ends of the slot.

On a car with double-A-arm suspension, the slot would be oriented crosswise (perpendicular to the centerline of the car) to correspond with the arc that the control arm swings through, but if you install Beetle balljoints that way they'll have almost no travel - and you'll have no suspension travel to speak of. The slots must point fore-and-aft on the Beetle (corresponding with the location of the notches on the rim and marks on the control arm).

Image

Here's an example of a balljoint installed wrong - the slot is lined up with the red line on the picture, and it should be lined up with the green one: Image

Ordinarily the studs stay in place when the old balljoint is pressed out - if a stud pops out of its socket it was ready to fail on the road and you got to it just in the nick of time. The camber eccentric and the upper stud have a taper which locks them together when the nut is tightened, and it almost always takes a press to pull the eccentric back off once it's seated on that taper. Image

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Re: 1972 Beetle - Want Advice on Replacing Front Suspension/Steering Linkages

Post by rrb6699 » Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:24 am

on my front driver lower bj, it has no marks. it was pretty dirty when I pushed out the collette left in the control arm. I guess I should have marked that one.

since there are no marks and I havent removed the right lower bj. should I just orient it the wat the right side is oriented but for the left side? see pic. the left side of the pic is towards the front of the car.

I guess I haven't pulled an upper bj. is the purpose of the harbor freight tool I bought to actually destroy the bj first by pulling the ball out of it? then you press the fitting out of the control arm? it was never explained like that but since the upper has the camber nut see other pic with upper, lower and upper control arm . pic taken facing rear of the car.
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Re: 1972 Beetle - Want Advice on Replacing Front Suspension/Steering Linkages

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:48 am

RR, I would be a bit antsy on doing what you propose (I make mistakes). My recommendation would be: do you know anyone that has a spare arm for the side you are working on so you can do a "lay over" to trace the proper location and side from.

There is a bit of leeway involved but I would I think I would be a bit careful in "guess-timating" so there isn't any suspension binding caused by not being within the built in range of the BJ.

The blue tape on the pix that Marc posted was my way of coding to make sure that the proper arm was used and I was pressing the BJ in the proper direction for the side I was pressing the BJ in (it was my first attempt at pressing in BJ plus they were for a Thing which is another problem).
Last edited by Ol'fogasaurus on Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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