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Front End Fix Up
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vwwestyman Premium Member
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Joined: April 24, 2004
Posts: 2749
Location: Manhattan, Kansas, USA
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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 1:48 pm    Post subject: Front End Fix Up Reply with quote

When I got the Thing on the road, I always had it in the back of my head that I needed to do some work on the front end because I knew the steering tie rod ends were getting loosey-goosey and the ball joint boots were torn.

Well, now the tie rod ends have gotten loose enough to be a bit frightening as the front end starts swaying! No more putting it off.

The ends are for sure loose. The ball joints don't feel loose, but the boots are all torn. Replace the boots only, or the joints?

Would you replace just the tie rod ends, or the whole tie rod? The Thing Shop has both available. Just the ends are a little less money, but time saved may well be worth it.

The damper was replaced when I got it going two years ago to that is good to go.

What else do you see, if anything, that I'd need to do while I take this apart?

Passenger side:

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Driver Side:

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At Steering Box:

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Dave Cook

Stuartzickefoose wrote:
I'm gonna punch vwwestyman then shake his hand when I meet him.

notchboy wrote:
Ill just punch you in the face. Wink


1978 Champagne Edition Westy, repowered to '97 Jetta TDI
1973 Wild Westerner
My Thing
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hobie16
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Joined: July 26, 2013
Posts: 205
Location: Maui
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PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 8:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Front End Fix Up Reply with quote

Replacing the entire assembly makes it pretty easy. And while you're in there, swap out the steering dampner too.
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Wildthings
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Joined: March 13, 2005
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 2:57 am    Post subject: Re: Front End Fix Up Reply with quote

Particularly if the car has seen any road salt, I would just go ahead and buy new rods as the ancient rusty threads can be a PITA to deal with.


You need to do your ball joints as well.
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vwwestyman Premium Member
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Joined: April 24, 2004
Posts: 2749
Location: Manhattan, Kansas, USA
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 4:25 am    Post subject: Re: Front End Fix Up Reply with quote

I don't know if it has seen any salt, but for the small price difference, I decided to go ahead and order whole tie rod arms. Also have ball joints on the way.

Steering damper is two years old, so it'll stay for now.

The local tire shop said they thought they could replace the ball joints on the car, so I think I'll probably replace the tie rods and drop it off with the ball joints. That way I don't have to mess with removing the trailing arms and still find a press.

It'll need an alignment anyway, which they can do as well.

Unfortunately I have to go out of town this weekend, so it'll be a week at a minimum before I can do anything with it.

Meanwhile, the '78 Bus is trying on the Thing's General Grabbers for size. I decided it was worth a couple mount and balance fees before spending big bucks on a full set of tires. So far, I like 'em on the Bus!
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Dave Cook

Stuartzickefoose wrote:
I'm gonna punch vwwestyman then shake his hand when I meet him.

notchboy wrote:
Ill just punch you in the face. Wink


1978 Champagne Edition Westy, repowered to '97 Jetta TDI
1973 Wild Westerner
My Thing
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