Front suspension lower ball joint

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maverickMechanic
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Front suspension lower ball joint

Post by maverickMechanic »

Hi,

Reconditioning the front suspension on my 1990 Syncro. All bearings and bushes pressed in. When pressing in the Lower Ball Joint on a late cast lower arm ( and the casting cracked across the inner end which has a flat on it. Everything was aligned and going very steadily. Ball Joints from VW Heritage the are Meyle-HD 'better than OE" and measure up at 48.5 on the spline.
 
I see from this thread the original Llemforders were actually 48.6

What are my options. We filled the spline down on the second one to 48.3 ish and it went in OK. That piece of casting seems so thin, looks modified from the 2WD version. Guess they should have taken more meat of the upright cast member which does have a bit of a cutout on it.

Regards

Peter

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1990 RHD 2.1 Caravelle GL Syncro
1982 LHD 1.9 AAZ 4 Speed DK box - Camping - Westfalia Joker 1

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silverbullet
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Re: Front suspension lower ball joint

Post by silverbullet »

It may have been strained in an accident? Looks like an old crack to me, full of dirt. Replace the arm with a good one.
Last edited by silverbullet on 25 Aug 2020, 08:10, edited 1 time in total.
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Aidan
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Re: Front suspension lower ball joint

Post by Aidan »

2wd drive LCA is completely different, 2wd the ball fits in the upright and the shaft in the LCA and the spring seats against the LCA, Syncro is coil over design
If this can't be repaired then you'd be looking for a replacement - no longer available new - or convert the whole to early pressed steel arms which are generally easier to come by, but that requires changing the arb links too to match
The late cast arms look stronger and don't suffer the rust issues of the pressed steel ones, but have their own drawbacks, this being one of them and were probably were cheaper to make hence the change

maverickMechanic
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Re: Front suspension lower ball joint

Post by maverickMechanic »

silverbullet wrote: 25 Aug 2020, 06:49 It may have been strained in an accident? Looks like an old crack to me, full of dirt. Replace the arm with a good one.
Thanks for the thought but definitely not. The arm had been shotblasted and powder coated. We saw it crack on the press. The dirt is actually black paint from when I filed it clean to check the damage :(

 
Aidan wrote: 25 Aug 2020, 07:29 2wd drive LCA is completely different, 2wd the ball fits in the upright and the shaft in the LCA and the spring seats against the LCA, Syncro is coil over design
If this can't be repaired then you'd be looking for a replacement - no longer available new - or convert the whole to early pressed steel arms which are generally easier to come by, but that requires changing the arb links too to match
The late cast arms look stronger and don't suffer the rust issues of the pressed steel ones, but have their own drawbacks, this being one of them and were probably were cheaper to make hence the change
Thanks @Aidan for the detailed info. I have gone for the repair option. Didn't want a specialist cast weld so went for a SS strap with drilled and tapped M4 x 10 countersunk alen screws. Fingers crossed I have enough clearance and it holds the balljoint securely I think it will.





 
Last edited by maverickMechanic on 27 Aug 2020, 08:40, edited 1 time in total.
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1982 LHD 1.9 AAZ 4 Speed DK box - Camping - Westfalia Joker 1

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silverbullet
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Re: Front suspension lower ball joint

Post by silverbullet »

Sorry but this engineer's eye says that isn't going to last 5 minutes. All you have done is to weaken the balljoint socket even more by putting holes in it. That will fail in short order.
FYI stainless steel is soft, it stretches relatively easily even though it is tough to cut and drill.
Now you need another suspension arm.
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axeman
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Re: Front suspension lower ball joint

Post by axeman »

Hi
Please stop and think about what your suggesting or have done. If that fails what will the consequences be. I don't want to come across all ameriacan but what are the liabilities when that fails?
Years ago the same thing happened to one of my lca when the mechanic I was using broke the casting while removing the lower ball joint. I did not hesitate in finding a replacement. I had to buy the pair as cj would not split them up.
Recently when removing the shock bolt it snaped and there was a strong possibility that a me lca would have to be sourced. Fortunately I manged to remove the snaped bolt but buying another was not the end of the world
Neil
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jebiga41
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Re: Front suspension lower ball joint

Post by jebiga41 »

Sorry but I have to agree with the others. That repair does not look safe there are huge forces going through that area and if it fails you could easily end up killing yourself or someone else. Please remember syncros are not cars they are a lot heavier and do not have anything much in terms of crumple zones and please don't think we are busting your balls over this Paul
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jes*b
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Re: Front suspension lower ball joint

Post by jes*b »

A cracked LCA is not uncommon. Scared the "pooh" out of me the first time I pressed a ball joint out . It’s beyond repair. Bin it and ask around for another. You are in the right place .

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mrhutch
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Re: Front suspension lower ball joint

Post by mrhutch »

There's no way that will hold, and you do not want it letting go (and the probable collapse of a front corner) in any situation - even braking at 20mph.
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TONYT25T25
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Re: Front suspension lower ball joint

Post by TONYT25T25 »

Mine is not a Syncro but have seen some videos of how this ball joint is removed by hammering with a lump hammer, no wonder they get damaged. I would have thought that this repair would be picked up at the next MOT in any case.  Not wishing to sound paranoid but it could also invalidate insurance.
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maverickMechanic
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Re: Front suspension lower ball joint

Post by maverickMechanic »

Anybody got any Lower Control Arms for Sale  it is the LHS 251-407-153-G ?
 
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1982 LHD 1.9 AAZ 4 Speed DK box - Camping - Westfalia Joker 1

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Re: Front suspension lower ball joint

Post by Aidan »

If you can't find a cast one then I can probably supply a complete set of the early LCA, both arms and ball joint holders and the radius rods to match, but I haven't got the matching drop links for the ARB (different to the late ones) and they would need new bushes pressing in (or poly if that's your choice) and they are currently still attached to a subframe and need the bolts cutting to remove them as is common, but are in pretty decent condition themselves, the early type are more common and you are more likely to find someone with spares of those than the late ones. 

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hugomonkey
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Re: Front suspension lower ball joint

Post by hugomonkey »

ive only got complete sets no singles im afraid
 
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