Author Topic: front ball joints?  (Read 4105 times)

Offline rastafoo

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front ball joints?
« on: June 29, 2008, 05:31:59 PM »
From what I can tell Janis has some creaky ball joints.($16each at busdepot) When I start to turn the steering wheel, I get a pronounced 'knukle' sound (just one)no matter what direction I turn the wheel. I guess I'll start with the ball joints and get to all the other tie rods (which have chewed up rubber boots), and other joints in the front end. The thought of it being the steering box depresses me seeing that they are over $200.
Anybody dealt with this sort of problem in the past?
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Offline Happy

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Re: front ball joints?
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2008, 05:51:23 PM »
My ball joints look rough but Betty makes no sounds and steers with little play and straight as an arrow.

I am also curious what preventive stuff is needed on these Buses on the front end.  When should we be replacing old joints like these.....I want to know too!

Offline vdubyah73

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Re: front ball joints?
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2008, 03:41:45 AM »
check the center pin and bushings. Crawl under the Bus and have someone gently turn the steering back and forth only taking up the play not moving the wheels. You'll see a bellcrank with the tie rods attached about in the middle and behind the front splash pan. As the helper moves the steering wheel back and forth, just taking up the play see if this bellcrank and the tie rod ends attached to it move up and down. If it's moving up and down the pin and bushings are worn. Colin has a write up on replacing it, with photos somewhere in here.
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Offline rastafoo

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Re: front ball joints?
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2008, 02:27:56 PM »
I found the problem! The drag link ball (the end that hooks up to the swing lever, coming from the pitman arm) is knackering every time the steering wheel is turned by my son, before the wheels turn. (Haynes manual top left corner, pg. 179) I can see it shift up and down a bit each time it does it...... wolfsberg west has it cheapest shipped at $64 ( busdepot $67 shipped and j-bugs the part is $74 before shipping.) It looks like I have to buy the whole drag link as the ball joints are built in...?... :102:
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Offline vdubyah73

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Re: front ball joints?
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2008, 11:05:41 AM »
We're talking two different things here, we are not on the same page. The center pin has nothing to do with ball joints. not sure what you're talking about, the center pin and it's bushings are in the middle of the axle. the balljoints are out by the ends of the axle.

http://itinerant-air-cooled.com/viewtopic.php?t=3164
Itinerant Air-Cooled Forum :: View topic - Center Pin Bushings I

http://itinerant-air-cooled.com/viewtopic.php?t=3165
Itinerant Air-Cooled Forum :: View topic - Center Pin Bushings II

Balljoint
http://www.busdepot.com/details.jsp?partnumber=211405371A
BusDepot.com - VW Bus / Camper / Vanagon / EuroVan Specialists

Centerpin or swinglever kit
http://www.busdepot.com/details.jsp?partnumber=211498171A
BusDepot.com - VW Bus / Camper / Vanagon / EuroVan Specialists
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Offline rastafoo

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Re: front ball joints?
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2008, 03:48:35 PM »
Gotcha. The center pin look/feels fine and I was planning on replacing it anyway. I was just talking about what I found making the noise - the drag link where it attaches to the swinglever (towards the front of the bus from the swinglever).
It goes between the pitman arm/steering gearbox and the single arm of the swinglever. It has ball-and-socket joints.
Page 179 of the Haynes manual has a great exploded view of the whole steering system. (#38 in the pic)
I hear you really need to replace all that stuff at the same time, so I'll be getting the drag link in first, then all the ball joints, tie rod ends, center pin, etc next paycheck.

The itinerate links on replacing the center pin are awesome!
Thanks Bill.
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Offline olylawnboy

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Re: front ball joints?
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2008, 12:43:38 AM »
Hey Rasta, did you do the ball joints? I just got some for Winnie and was wondering if you did them on your own or had them done. If you did them how hard was it? Heck I'll ask that same question about the drag link and center pin. Oly
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Offline vdubyah73

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Re: front ball joints?
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2008, 05:34:55 AM »
you need a serious press to do them with. They won't budge, they won't budge, they won't budge bam bang clangity clang, holy sh!te. they come out explosively when they finally come out.
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Offline McT

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Re: front ball joints?
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2008, 09:43:37 AM »
Take em to a garage and slip the guy 10 bucks  :045: Job done-In and out in a few minutes- lika all good things in life, shopping, swimming, hairdressers.. lol
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Offline rastafoo

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Re: front ball joints?
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2008, 05:17:17 PM »
Oly, I don't have to do the ball joints right now. I had John from Wagenhaus let me put Janis on a lift and we went thru the underside....I do need axle boots asap.  I have no slop in the steering and will wait on the ball joints.

Awhile back i did the drag link myself in the parking lot...the only thing I had to buy was a correct size 'pickle fork' to tap the old ball joint stem out of it's place. It went in really easy (you really only get one shot to set it in - if you need to adjust the length after it is in, you would mess up the rubber on it by tapping it out again)
Mind you, I bought the whole drag link.....$54 I think?

My focus right now (when I get the $$) is on the following.....axle boots, shocks all around, electrical gremlins in the interior camping lights, and finishing the interior design. Things have slowed down alot due to colder weather and lack of $. Our due date was yesterday (13th) but we believe it will be another week.......I'll get the 'featured member' stuff together when I can have a full family pic. :Drogar-Smile(LBG):
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