1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Changing Ball joints?

Discussion in 'Bay Tech Clinic' started by MatB, Jul 30, 2008.

  1. MatB

    MatB New Member

    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    sydney
    Has anybody got any tips for a first time ball joint changer. I have read a couple of articles and some are telling me to pay somebody to push them in others to heat to get them out. I was just wanting the thoughts from somebody who has actually done it as a home mechanic.
    MatB
     
  2. Tassiedave

    Tassiedave New Member

    Messages:
    232
    Location:
    Dodges Ferry, Tas
    I too need to do this and want to have a go at home. I think that you/I will a press for the job. I am not sure how big a press is required, anybody? Super cheap sell a 6 tonne press for $90, problerly too small.
    Awaiting for some answers.
    dave
     
  3. Mordred

    Mordred Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,978
    Location:
    Penna, Hobart
    on my list of jobs to do as well. I was going to get it done by Andrew next time I need a service, but depending on the answers I might DIY instead.
     
  4. Tassiedave

    Tassiedave New Member

    Messages:
    232
    Location:
    Dodges Ferry, Tas
    Mordred
    I was thinking of buying a press, as it is quite an expensive job for Andrew to do. Maybe we could do ours together, always easier with 2 people. I just need to know what size press is required.
    dave
     
  5. beep

    beep Member

    Messages:
    40
    Location:
    Brisbane
    I would love to know the answer to this one too. As far as I know its pretty much the only kombi job you can't do yourself. I did try once (after failing a rego inspection for bad ball joints) and I could not make them budge.. even with heaps and heaps of force. And thats just getting the taper side out. You need a press for the other side.. and I don't know what kind of fittings etc.

    Has anyone done this who isn't a mechanic?
     
  6. mamarene

    mamarene New Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    brisbane
    in the old days we would apply downward force with a length of pipe or 3x2
    then bash either side with a reasonable size hammers ,heat applied for hard ones

    never did a kombi though
     
  7. MatB

    MatB New Member

    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    sydney
    It seems i'm not the only one who would like to have a crack at this job. I have access to a very large press which seems to be a bonus. I would still like to know if its a job i should attempt myself or am i more likely to stuff up brand new ball joints in the pursuit of saving a couple of bucks.
    MatB
     
  8. jon ward

    jon ward Active Member

    Messages:
    5,752
    Location:
    Travelling Australia
    I had a spare front beam so when my ball joints clapped out I swapped the whole lot over,mind you the new beam has got adjusters!
    So no help sorry guys.
     
  9. GypsyWannabe

    GypsyWannabe Active Member

    Messages:
    3,030
    Location:
    Quakers Hill, Sydney
    Must be the season for ball joints. My front left ones need doing too. I'm already convinced it's beyond me! :rolleyes:

    Baz
     
  10. MatB

    MatB New Member

    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    sydney
    Maybe Kombi Club members could purchase a mobile press with the specific purpose of ball joint replacement in kombi's. It could be mounted on a trailer and towed around the country performing on site ball joint replacements for all.
    Just a thought.
    MatB
     
  11. beep

    beep Member

    Messages:
    40
    Location:
    Brisbane
    I've just had a look in the manuals I've got.

    Haynes gives a procedure for measuring and then taking apart the front end, then says take your torsion arms to VW to have new ball joints pressed in.

    John Muir says:
    "We don't cover the repair and alignment of the ball joint front suspension as the work requires special tools and methods needing experts. You'll probably have less trouble with ball joints than king pins, but when they go, they need to be replaced at Volkswagen."

    But in Chapter XXI, Grab Bag:
    ".. but for the past several years a long-time VW "Idiot" in California has been grumbling to himself - and anyone else who would listen - about the absence of a ball joint procedure.

    ..While you may or may not be able to remove the ball joints - depending on the tools and skills you possess, along with a certain amount of luck - you will not be able to install the new ones yourself without a press with the necessary fittings. They are a press fit into the torsion arms and must be installed by a skilled operator with the right equipment.
    In fact, if you live in a small town or out in the boonies, your main problem is going to be finding a VW shop with this press and fittings."

    And then theres the procedure for taking apart the front end and says take your torsion arms to VW to have new ball joints pressed in.

    Love the Muir book!

    Muir,J 1999, How to keep your Volkswagen Alive, John Muir Publications, Santa Fe NM (pp190 and 441)
    Haynes, J & Kinchin, K 1989 VW Transporter Automotive Repair Manual, Haynes Publishing Group, Somerset, England (pp176)
     
  12. GypsyWannabe

    GypsyWannabe Active Member

    Messages:
    3,030
    Location:
    Quakers Hill, Sydney
    In that case, I'm leaving the job for Steve Muller! :rolleyes:

    Baz
     
  13. beep

    beep Member

    Messages:
    40
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Don't be discouraged. I would LOVE IT if we could pull this off with a press from supercheap or whatever. Ball joints are pretty cheap and it would mean that there is pretty much nothing a home mechanic can't fix on a kombi. The simple, elegant design of our busses is surely one of the reasons we're so fanatic right?
     
  14. Mordred

    Mordred Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,978
    Location:
    Penna, Hobart
    I suppose we need to look at the price to get them done. The amount of effort required might be better to just to pay to get them fixed. I know the joints themselves are around 40 bucks each and suppose doing a full set would take around half a day at least for someone who knows there stuff.

    You have to work what your time is worth to you and I am betting for someone like me a whole weekend or at least 2 days at each end of a week frigging around, it might be worth spending the dough. You will pick up savings on other DIY jobs that you need to do.

    I used to do all my own car servicing but it worked out that the couple of hundred bucks to do the full service and check that I dropped the car in for at the start of the day and picked up on the way home saved me time with the family that (in my case) is very important, and worth every cent.

    I think it is a case of pick your battles. That said, I am interested in helping you Dave if you still want to go down the DIY route. My father inlaw has a decent press but I am not sure how many tons.

    Adrian
     
  15. MatB

    MatB New Member

    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    sydney
    Well i have considered the option and have decided to get the ball joints pressed in properly. I had the whole lot off the car in 2 hours tonite and will drop the 4 arms in tomorrow. I will update everybody on the cost.
    MatB
     
  16. beep

    beep Member

    Messages:
    40
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Any chance you can watch the guy do the pressing and let us know how hard it is and what equipment etc?
     
  17. MatB

    MatB New Member

    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    sydney
    I will try and stick my head into the workshop while they are being done.
    MatB
     
  18. StevieVW

    StevieVW Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,474
    Location:
    Somerset, Tasmania
    I've done the ball joints in my beetle thats pulled apart up in the shed. And damn some of them were tight..... Not too hard but quiet time consuming. I'll have to try my luck on a bay one of these days tho...
     
  19. MatB

    MatB New Member

    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    sydney
    So i dropped the 4 arms off today and the mechanic said they were a terrible job to do. You apparently need the adaptor for the ball joint so it can be pressed in properly. He didn't mention how much pressure was needed. He did say that to get them out they just belt them with a 3 foot sledge hammer.
    What was more interesting was the options for replacement. He said he would only use the german ball joints which will cost me $88 each and 1 hours labour for each arm. Total for the 4 arms , which were delivered to his workshop off the vehicle and clean will be somewhere around $672.
    I thought this might be a little step myself. Anybody else have a thought on this price? The other thing he said was the cheaper ($35 ish) balljoints were crap and he wouldn't put them on his lawnmower.
    MatB
     
  20. GypsyWannabe

    GypsyWannabe Active Member

    Messages:
    3,030
    Location:
    Quakers Hill, Sydney
    I didn't get a written quote yet, just a verbal and I didn't really take much notice because I'm more concerned about fixing my fuel leak first but I think it was under $200 for the left hand ball joints (only) including parts. That's with me taking the bus to my mechanic and him going from there.

    Baz
     

Share This Page