Warning about Lemförder upper balljoints

Big lumps of metals and spanners. Including servicing and fluids.

Moderators: User administrators, Moderators

Post Reply
syncroandy
Trader
Posts: 1725
Joined: 18 Oct 2005, 18:15
80-90 Mem No: 851
Location: North Lancs. UK
Contact:

Warning about Lemförder upper balljoints

Post by syncroandy »

Re. Lemförder 10162 02

My pickup just failed MOT on 'suspension arm ball joint excessively worn offside front upper'. Which was a bit of surpise as there were no symptoms apparent. More concerning is they've only been fitted 3 years and have done only ~20k.

When I got them, one of the tappings on each joint was skewed and I had to drill through and use a nut. No prizes for guessing where they were made..

As the original OEMs such as Lemförder, ATE, TRW etc downgrade the manfacturing quality of parts for older vehicles by moving them to China, I am wondering if it might be worth looking at 'cheaper' brands, eg. Febi which allegedly may still be sourcing components from EU manufacturers.

Anyway, I've ordered a pair each made by JP Group and by Febi, so I can compare them for apparent quality. 
Syncrosport
Volkswagen Transporter, reloaded.

252 GC5 EJ25 AAN L90D
246 097 AFN AVL+ L90D

davidoft1
Posts: 1167
Joined: 27 May 2009, 18:56
80-90 Mem No: 16628
Location: hayling island

Re: Warning about Lemförder upper balljoints

Post by davidoft1 »

I fitted some febi ones from gsf recently and they looked well engineered, clear rubber/plastic boots , which suggests some rubber deterioration has been addressed , they looked excellent, new bolts too . Be interesting to see how they last

User avatar
silverbullet
Trader
Posts: 13630
Joined: 08 Jun 2009, 09:51
80-90 Mem No: 6908
Location: Surrey Syncronaut #156
Contact:

Re: Warning about Lemförder upper balljoints

Post by silverbullet »

I know that there was a load of TRW ones doing the rounds a while back that had cockeyed tappings...
85 syncro Caravelle twin slider Oettinger T3200E-6
90 SA Microbus supercharged wbx/UN1 project

http://www.025motorsport.com

User avatar
jamesakers
Posts: 223
Joined: 20 Apr 2015, 14:26
80-90 Mem No: 14421
Location: Manchester

Re: Warning about Lemförder upper balljoints

Post by jamesakers »

I'm just about to fit some Lemförder ones. I got them from AutoDoc. The box says made in Germany so maybe it's older stock?

Image

There's a tiny bit of surface rust on the bottom of both.
Sir Adventure - 1991 Autosleeper Trooper 1.9DG Petrol
https://vwt25.blog/

syncroandy
Trader
Posts: 1725
Joined: 18 Oct 2005, 18:15
80-90 Mem No: 851
Location: North Lancs. UK
Contact:

Re: Warning about Lemförder upper balljoints

Post by syncroandy »

Today I was dismayed to note that TRW are now apparently part of the ZF group, as is the Lemförder brand. So ZF may now be peddling the same chinese "pooh" under two different 'fake' brands.
Syncrosport
Volkswagen Transporter, reloaded.

252 GC5 EJ25 AAN L90D
246 097 AFN AVL+ L90D

syncroandy
Trader
Posts: 1725
Joined: 18 Oct 2005, 18:15
80-90 Mem No: 851
Location: North Lancs. UK
Contact:

Re: Warning about Lemförder upper balljoints

Post by syncroandy »

Hi James, that's interesting, 'cos the part number is different..

Maybe they had a different pn for the german and chinese versions ?

(Frantic Google ensues..)

PS. I loves a bit of surface rust on NOS parts, often an encouraging sign :)

PPS. 10159 03 is the lower balljoint, so the box in the pic doesn't match the part.
 
Syncrosport
Volkswagen Transporter, reloaded.

252 GC5 EJ25 AAN L90D
246 097 AFN AVL+ L90D

User avatar
jamesakers
Posts: 223
Joined: 20 Apr 2015, 14:26
80-90 Mem No: 14421
Location: Manchester

Re: Warning about Lemförder upper balljoints

Post by jamesakers »

Well spotted!

Sorry. It's just me being careless which box I put the ball joints back in. (I'm doing all three).

These say made in Germany too. Just checked my emails and I got the uppers from Brickwerks.

Image

Threads seem fine on both.
Sir Adventure - 1991 Autosleeper Trooper 1.9DG Petrol
https://vwt25.blog/

syncroandy
Trader
Posts: 1725
Joined: 18 Oct 2005, 18:15
80-90 Mem No: 851
Location: North Lancs. UK
Contact:

Re: Warning about Lemförder upper balljoints

Post by syncroandy »

What date did you get the 'Made in Germany' uppers ?
Syncrosport
Volkswagen Transporter, reloaded.

252 GC5 EJ25 AAN L90D
246 097 AFN AVL+ L90D

User avatar
jamesakers
Posts: 223
Joined: 20 Apr 2015, 14:26
80-90 Mem No: 14421
Location: Manchester

Re: Warning about Lemförder upper balljoints

Post by jamesakers »

23 April 2020. They were £12.90 from this link.

Says they're out of stock but maybe drop Simon and Martin an email?
Sir Adventure - 1991 Autosleeper Trooper 1.9DG Petrol
https://vwt25.blog/

syncroandy
Trader
Posts: 1725
Joined: 18 Oct 2005, 18:15
80-90 Mem No: 851
Location: North Lancs. UK
Contact:

Re: Warning about Lemförder upper balljoints

Post by syncroandy »

The boxes in the pic are for the lower balljoint and the tie rod end, not for the upper balljoint.

PS. Also, I'd suggest not changing any balljoints that are still servicable, and until the MOT man says to, as any replacements are likely to last a fraction of the time of the originals.

I'd had an advisory on slight play on a steering rack inner joint for three years. This time I decided to sort it, and I re-used an old tie-rod from a 30 year old spare rack that was still fine. All the other components on the 30 year old rack I was servicing were still fine and went back on the vehicle.

 
Syncrosport
Volkswagen Transporter, reloaded.

252 GC5 EJ25 AAN L90D
246 097 AFN AVL+ L90D

User avatar
jamesakers
Posts: 223
Joined: 20 Apr 2015, 14:26
80-90 Mem No: 14421
Location: Manchester

Re: Warning about Lemförder upper balljoints

Post by jamesakers »

Haha. Still not got it right. I was very tired yesterday. I'll go back to the van for a third time and get the right boxes.

Too late for me as they're all off but I agree about not replacing them for the sake of it.

My upper ball joints were fused solid with no movement, tie rods had slight play. The lower ball joints were probably fine.
 
Sir Adventure - 1991 Autosleeper Trooper 1.9DG Petrol
https://vwt25.blog/

TONYT25T25
Posts: 510
Joined: 16 Sep 2013, 17:19
80-90 Mem No: 13596
Location: Hampshire

Re: Warning about Lemförder upper balljoints

Post by TONYT25T25 »

Replaced my nearside one with heavy duty ones from Heritage as the existing one had a split in the boot, supplied with bolts and felt ok.  On refitting I noticed that the steering rack gaiter on that side was also split, I think I may have caused that by letting the steering knuckle drop to far when changing the ball joint as did not notice it before. Replacing that is another story. 
1984 Campervan 1.9DG Petrol WBX

User avatar
jamesakers
Posts: 223
Joined: 20 Apr 2015, 14:26
80-90 Mem No: 14421
Location: Manchester

Re: Warning about Lemförder upper balljoints

Post by jamesakers »

Just checked the footage I filmed. Can't find the box as I never had any in the first place! They came loose from Brickwerks inside a nice Lemförder tote bag. I presume they are German NOS, but could very well be Chinese.

Image
Sir Adventure - 1991 Autosleeper Trooper 1.9DG Petrol
https://vwt25.blog/

Post Reply