If you’ve had the experience of Beetle ball joints you will know what I mean by the title. My car has been sat on a drive since 1996 so these are being a right bugger to remove. So far the short steering tie bar is written off and I’ve had to cut out one lower ball on the front beam. More details to follow but might take me a while………
Like I said it’s taking me a while so far 4-6 hours over a few separated days. I decided to purchase a ball joint press off eBay for about £40 but I think it’s better to go with a large hydraulic press for this job.
Starting on the lower right ball joint and using the new ball joints as a clearance check for the ball joint press I managed to do sweet F all to the position of the joint so after an hours of trying I decided to cut the ball out of the socket using an angle grinder and drill a slot down the side of the collar holding the joint I. Place on the arm. Then with a hammer and cold chisel I finally released the joint.
this can be tricky to do without damaging the arm so take your time with this. As you can see it was pretty rusty in the arm.
Getting the top right joint out was a bit quicker by going straight to the cut and drill technique. First removing the eccentric washer by trying a hub puller (didn’t work) then the ball joint separator (worked great), the ball joint was out. A quick clean with a drill and flapper wheel I was ready to fit some new joints.
These are specifically orientated so make sure the slots line up with the previous positions. I marked these before removing the old joints as well as taking photos.
Putting the new joints in was quick and easy with the press.
i also tried to prevent rust with a little loctite on the joints as I pressed them in. Once seated I was ready to refit the eccentric washer (check orientation) and the disc break hubs I pick up off a friend.
The hubs are a little tricky to fit with new ball joints but with a little pulling and pushing to line everything up everything went together smoothly. I also put a little copper grease on the eccentric washer to help with adjusting the camber at a later date.
Next I’m going to do the other side. Then redo some paint work around the beam……