Classics Monthly - - Suspension Ball Joints -

1 Some ball joints are press-fit­ted into a sus­pen­sion arm, which means they are not so straight­for­ward to re­new as one that is se­cured with riv­ets or bolts. The fol­low­ing steps show how Her­bie Hospi­tal re­news these ball joints on VW Bee­tles and Trans­porters. 2 Undo the ball joint’s se­cur­ing nut, sep­a­rate the thread (see Split­ting Tips), then re­move the sus­pen­sion arm by un­do­ing its se­cur­ing bolt hold­ing it in po­si­tion on the end of the leaf springs. 3 On VW Trans­porters, use an an­gle grinder and cut­ting disc to re­move a lip on the ball joint (thread side). This will en­able the arm to be po­si­tioned on a vice and the ball joint re­moved in the next step. 4 Po­si­tion the sus­pen­sion arm in a vice with the ball joint fac­ing down in the di­rec­tion it has to be re­moved. Use a lump ham­mer to re­lease it. This will re­quire sev­eral wal­lops with the ham­mer, so make sure the vice can with­stand the im­pact. 5 Once the ball joint has been re­moved, clean in­side the hous­ing with an abra­sive pa­per (e.g. emery cloth) to re­move any dirt and cor­ro­sion. Check the con­di­tion of the hous­ing and sus­pen­sion arm. 6 Trial fit­ting the new ball joint is al­ways a good idea, mak­ing sure you know how it should lo­cates and whether there is a spe­cific po­si­tion it should be fit­ted in. 7 The new ball joint will need to be press fit­ted into po­si­tion us­ing a hy­draulic press. If you don’t have ac­cess to one, your lo­cal garage may be able to as­sist. 8 Fit a new rub­ber dust cover over the new ball joint’s thread, lightly pack­ing it in­side with multi-pur­pose grease. Se­cure the cover with a metal clip or plas­tic ca­ble tie be­fore re­fit­ting the arm.

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