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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
have been trying to do a search on the forum for how to fit a balljoint front beam, whether its a mad job to consider, but keeps coming up with an error so thought i would ask if anyone had any links to a guide.

Much appreciated... :hangloose

Nick
 

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disconnect brakes, speedo cable, long track rod off, unbolt the beam and bobes yer unkle (assuming nothing has rusted away!)! Its not 'easy' but a DIY task.

Its tricky to refit on your own though trying to lift and bolt up etc.

you will spend longer swapping the parts from your existing beam to the new and converting it to RHD if not already, getting the spring through the centre section, splitting ball joints, and setting it up again etc, than the fitting part.

depends how mechanical you are. DOUBLE the estimated time you thnk it will take.

Not sure about a guide sorry. Wonder if the Haynes shows how to do this??

fitting dropped spindles would be a better option though if you don't mind a slight increase in track, easier/quicker to do and a better ride.
I've done both to 70's bugs and although I prefered the lower look of the adjustable beam the car became a maintenance nightmare, munching through balljoints and the framehead went. My dropped spindle bug had none of these problems but was only 2.5" lower.
Big offset wheels become a problem when using spindles though, I went through 2 sets of tyres as the Marathons although only narrow had a big offset.

b4 and after pics here:
http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e168/AlquarUK/Beefcake/b2cc53f6.jpg
http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e168/AlquarUK/Beefcake/c60edd05.jpg
http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e168/AlquarUK/Beefcake/ccc2b5c4.jpg
Good luck, Al :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Big Al said:
disconnect brakes, long track rod off, unbolt the beam and bobes yer unkle (assuming nothing has rusted away!)! Its not 'easy' but a DIY task.

Its tricky to refit on your own though trying to lift and bolt up etc.

you will spend longer swapping the parts from your existing beam to the new and converting it to RHD if not already, getting the spring through the centre section, splitting ball joints, and setting it up again etc, than the fitting part.

depends how mechanical you are. DOUBLE the estimated time you thnk it will take.

Not sure about a guide sorry. Wonder if the Haynes shows how to do this??

Good luck, Al :)
cheers Al

shouldn't need to do too much swopping as the beam i'm getting cheap seems to have everything already attached, leaves, steering box, arms. Going to change the drums that are attached to it for a set of disks but got the spindles so can fit them before the beam is even offered up. Ideally looking to get the beam ready before i attempt to fit it, just wondering how difficult it is as there is not a lot of room behind the wheel well to work in. car needs a serious thwack with the lowering stick and as long as the beam i'm being offered is solid, been sat for a while in a garden, i recon i'll give it a go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Mr.010 said:
Give yourself a day to do it. I'd not hard and just take your time.
thats cool, the bug is going to be my daily, once i finally get the mot sorted, so would need to do it in a weekend, hence getting everything sorted on the new beam before i pull the old one out.

Al - your car looks sweet lowered! it really does make such a difference to the appearance. can't run to cost of dropped spindles at the moment, would love to as then i could keep the comfortable ride, but this beam is cheap and kind of hard to pass up if it is solid.
 

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I recommend getting hold of a balljoint splitter, a pickle fork and a friend before you start.

Bear in mind that disk spindles are different to drum spindles too.

Also, take the petrol tank out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Tomarse said:
I recommend getting hold of a balljoint splitter, a pickle fork and a friend before you start.

Bear in mind that disk spindles are different to drum spindles too.

Also, take the petrol tank out.
A pickle fork?? is that to go with the cheese and biscuits i'll be enjoying whilst doing the job.. :lol:

have to pursuade a mate to help me out which i fear will be the hardest part as he has spent so long on the bug trying to sort it for mot already. will just have to offer LOTS of beer as payment and tell him it will look sweet, he has lowered his on dropped spindles and it has transformed the look of his!

Is it difficult to re-press the ball joints and will i need to take them to a workshop? can get round that by taking to beam to get them pressed as the beam will be set up to put directly into the car with the disk spindles already attached, once the original has been removed.

got the correct spindles for disks so that isn't a problem, gonna be so good to get rid of the drums on the front! :hangloose
 

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If you need a hand fitting it just give me a shout.
I've got a balljoint splitter you can borrow too.

If you're gonna build it up complete before fitting it then its a simple unbolt the old, bolt in the new job.
It took me about 3 hours to fit an adjustable beam and disc setup on my bug as its just a bit of spannering.
 

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Ball joint splitting means to basically seperate the spindle from the trailing arm. The ball joint remains attached to the trailing arm. Replacing ball joints requires a hefty press to push the old ball joint out of the trailing arm and a new one in again.

This is a pickle fork:


By putting the forked bit around the ball joint between the trailing arm and spindle, you can hammer them apart. ;)

This is a ball joint splitter/seperator:


They tend to be too small for the main ball joints but are good for using on the track rod ends so as not to damage them.
 

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If you can try and 'tap' the balljoint/spindle off first with a 'persuader'. Not sure if you plan to fit new balljoints (I would) but in my experience the splitters always damage the rubber boot so can't be resused. If not reusing split away :)

Also when you take them to the machine shop for pressing, mark which side and way they need to go. Beckett & Garner in sheffield (now shut down thankfully) pressed one of mine in upside down!! as the ring on the arm is tapered it just split! :rolleyes:

Good luck :)
 

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If you do try a persuader first, then be careful not to damage the thread. One way is to keep the nut on there loosely so that you hit that instead.

If the boot does split but the ball joint is still good, you can buy the rubbers seperately from companies like Cool Air.

Also, if you do need to have new ball joints pressed in, then make sure the firm that do it know that the notches in the new joint must face perpendicular to the shaft of the trailing arm.
 
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