Radius rod bushes

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scotttie
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Radius rod bushes

Post by scotttie »

A few weeks back I noticed the big washers on my radius rod bushes were touching the subframe as per the picture below (though in a slightly different place as this was taken with the front on axle stands). So tonight I had some spare time to investigate.

Image

I marked up the position of the nut and counted the rotations needed to remove it. With the washer removed the bush was ovaled. It was a VW bush and could well have never been replaced.

Image

Now with the bush off, I could see that the sleeve around the radius rod threads has not worn through but isn't in great shape.

ImageImage

I assume the rusted washer that is still attached to the subframe was once bonded to the bush? It looks like the sleeve has eaten through this washer and is now touching the subframe (fingers crossed it hasn't caused the hole in the subframe to oval significantly).

So my questions for you wise folks are:

1. What is the recommended replacement option? (i.e. powerflex vs the Febi/Birth kit from brickwerks)

2. When replacing, if I do not alter the position of the inner nut, and ensure the outer nut is in the same place as before removal, will the wheel alignment stay the same? My only thought on this is that if the new bushes are slightly different thickness to my old ones, then this could shift my radius rod into a different position?

3. Is this amount of wear normal or am I potentially looking at repair work to the subframe before I replacing the bushes?

TIA

Scott


 
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Re: Radius rod bushes

Post by silverbullet »

If you choose the "OEM" black rubber, they will split within months. Been there, twice. Modern rubber is "dog toffee" as my learned friend would say.
I'm waiting for the polybush kits to come back into stock.
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Re: Radius rod bushes

Post by slowcoach »

I've done this recently, quite a few threads about the work involved with 'radius rod' in the title. Different for early and late rods, each with pros and cons for labour

Go for the powerflex ones as said

Doesn't matter if the holes in the chassis aren't perfect since the powerflex sleeve has a shoulder on it to support the rod, although if there's a lot of wear and it's loosey goosey, then you'll have to judge yourself once it's in bits. some rust treatment and coat of paint at the minimum!

Expect lots of whacking, swearing and sweating to get the rods off though


PS castor angles will be wrong since new bushes are different thickness to the old ones

PPS just realised this is in syncro.. same rules apply though, I guess!
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Re: Radius rod bushes

Post by scotttie »

silverbullet wrote: 29 Sep 2020, 20:53 If you choose the "OEM" black rubber, they will split within months. Been there, twice.
Assuming this is on the syncro, they split before any driving forces were applied to them? Polybush it is then...
 
slowcoach wrote: 29 Sep 2020, 21:33 PS castor angles will be wrong since new bushes are different thickness to the old ones
Thanks slowcoach, this is what I was thinking. I'm wondering whether taking accurate measurements of the distance between the subframe and the control arm, then ensuring this distance is the same with the new bushes will be sufficient to maintain the same caster angle?
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Re: Radius rod bushes

Post by silverbullet »

I rebuilt and fitted up my syncro suspension with all new rubbers etc before the bodywork was started, so that everything could be easily removed for access if required.
The castor/camber wasnt set, so the nuts on the radius rods were just spun on and nipped, the rubbers werent even compressed.
I have since found a split in both flanges of the TCA bushes (also OEM supplier but not NOS)
So thats more unnecessary work.
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Re: Radius rod bushes

Post by axeman »

Be prepared that you may end up havering to cut the lcr off the subframe. Which wi require new bushes and a new nut and bolt. This has happened to be me on 3 out of the last 4 syncros that I have worked on. Just to throw a spanner in the works I have always used polly on the lca to subfram and rubber on the radius rods.

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Re: Radius rod bushes

Post by scotttie »

axeman wrote: 01 Oct 2020, 19:19 Be prepared that you may end up havering to cut the lcr off the subframe. Which wi require new bushes and a new nut and bolt. This has happened to be me on 3 out of the last 4 syncros that I have worked on. Just to throw a spanner in the works I have always used polly on the lca to subfram and rubber on the radius rods.

Neil
Cheers Neil. Have you had to cut the LCA off the subframe with early LCAs? As mine are early I was hoping I would be able to unbolt the 3 bolts holding the radius rod to the LCA but that maybe wishful thinking. I've started soaking the nuts/bolts in plus gas in the hope they'll budge when I get the replacement bushes...

When you replace them, do you take measurements from the subframe to the LCA so you can set the same distance with the new bushes? Or is it best to just get the caster angle checked/reset after replacement?


 
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Re: Radius rod bushes

Post by silverbullet »

Scott, I have previously posted the factory suspension set-up data on this forum, its nothing you cant do at home on level ground with some bricks, a couple of straight edges, tape measure and an angle gauge (digital ones are pretty cheap now)
In principle, if you take accurate measurements before disturbing the radius rod nuts it should all go back to the correct positions, the same as when the rubbers were new.
Changing to polybushes may result in castor angle alteration.
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Re: Radius rod bushes

Post by TONYT25T25 »

Don't think this is particular to Syncros, noticed shortly after buying my van and getting ready for next MOT spotted splits in mine, fortunately only the outer ones, replaced with a couple from GSF but they also cracked after a while, thought I may have tightened them to much, never picked up on an MOT though.
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Re: Radius rod bushes

Post by silverbullet »

Its not a syncro problem, its a universal problem for the entire aftermarket rubber parts market for all vehicles. A bloody nightmare.
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Re: Radius rod bushes

Post by scotttie »

silverbullet wrote: 02 Oct 2020, 08:31 Scott, I have previously posted the factory suspension set-up data on this forum, its nothing you cant do at home on level ground with some bricks, a couple of straight edges, tape measure and an angle gauge (digital ones are pretty cheap now)
In principle, if you take accurate measurements before disturbing the radius rod nuts it should all go back to the correct positions, the same as when the rubbers were new.
Changing to polybushes may result in castor angle alteration.

Cheers Ian. I've done some reading up on caster angle so I'm feeling confident enough to try to measure it at home. The factory set up data you previously posted (I tried to find your post by searching but no luck), is this the same as the settings currently on the wiki? I see there is some talk about VW changing the syncro alignment specs in 1990.
 
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Re: Radius rod bushes

Post by silverbullet »

Data chage might be to accommodate 16" variants but the option was actually available from quite early on, circa 1987...

Anyway, the first table looks to be the same data. I'm always dubious of our transatlantic friends with their "theories" and use of inches and pounds. Not to forget their habit of driving around grossly overloaded...

We are close to the source, we use mm and kg, we can always ask a German friend (and often do)
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Re: Radius rod bushes

Post by silverbullet »

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=172095

"steering geometry"
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Re: Radius rod bushes

Post by scotttie »

Thanks Ian! Slightly embarrassed to not find this with such an obvious topic title... Very useful - agree this should go on the wiki/sticky
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Re: Radius rod bushes

Post by scotttie »

Question for those who have fitted the yellow powerflex radius rod bushes: Do I go with the standard torque of 150nm on the outer nut (according to bentley) or is there a different torque setting that should be used with these due to the difference in material?
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