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shock installation, loose upper bushing
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steve_1125
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2022 11:07 am    Post subject: shock installation, loose upper bushing Reply with quote

Hello, my new shop found why the front left side was clanging. I had new Bilstein shocks installed but the last shop said he was not able to get a replacement shock upper bushing to secure it. If you watch the video, the passenger side is secured, the other side not and it makes a very annoying clanging over bumps

https://www.youtube.com/shorts/Bpb-AG85Soc

Is there any interchangeability with other cars? One enthusiast thought the Porsche 912 shock upper bushing may work. Thanks, Steve


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raygreenwood
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2022 7:55 pm    Post subject: Re: shock installation, loose upper bushing Reply with quote

Ok...I do not have time for a complete answer tonight....but...DO NOT DRIVE YOUR CAR.

Several things I can absolutely see right now:

1. Bilstein as far as I know...never made replacement cartridges for 411/412. So I do not know what you have in there or where they came from. Mfgs that made them were KYB, Sachs (hard to find), Gabriel, Monroe.

The last manufacturer that was making cartridges for 411/412 was KYB. They stopped production in 1999.

2. The strut cartridge you do have is the incorrect one for your car. You have a 1974 model. It is using the "asymmetrical" strut mount as compared to 411 and early 412 that used a 120* bolt pattern.

I can tell you this for a fact because you have about 2.5X too much thread protruding from the top of the nut. That is impossible to do with the correct strut cartridges. And....when you start hitting hard bumps....the strut rod will pound the inside of the trunk...ruining it. I know. I have a hood that was damaged this way.

3. The little metal dished plate under the nut has FAR FAR too much gap between the edge of the dish and that nylon buffer ring underneath...on both sides.
On the drivers side where the dish is loose....you either are missing the rubber donut underneath or it is the wrong one.....or there is possibly a bump stop spacer issue.

4. the :clanging: you hear...when the dish is loose like that...is usually the main coil spring dislocating and rattling on the spring perch. It will destroy itself at some point.

So....no....there are no other cars that use the same shock.

However we do have a workaround that requires making an adapter stub and using the strut cartridge out of the Audi 4000/quantum (fits many golf and some jetta as well).

Here is the link to the original document at the start of this thread in my drop box. I swear I thought I redid this one already.

DO NOT dig through the document at this link yet. Its harder to read and needs to be updated. Its there for when you finish the next link

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=624354&highlight=

This thread will tell you everything you need to know about the struts on the late model 412 cars like yours......how every part works and how they should be put together and how they can be modified and what few parts crossover from the late model super beetle.

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=764509

Please post the part numbers of your strut cartridges and where you got them so we can figure out what you have.

But for sure they are incorrect for your car.

EDIT:

So I am assuming you are using Bilstein 34000311. I can find them in several places on the web.

NOTE....that in all of these places....they list this same part #...for a 1972 411 and a 1974 412. This is what tells you for 100% sure that these are the wrong parts for your car.

The 411 and early 412 with symmetrical strut mount.... and late 412 (like yours) with asymmetrical strut mount...use a totally different strut cartridge, bump stop and spacer assembly and strut mount assembly. They cannot use the same strut cartridges'.


Ray
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raygreenwood
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2022 7:23 pm    Post subject: Re: shock installation, loose upper bushing Reply with quote

Just to put a finer...quicker...point on this for you:

The Bilstein 34000311 strut I have found listed at these places....just in a very quick survey.

Autozone
https://www.autozone.com/suspension-steering-tire-...181549_0_0

Ebay...in many different ads
https://www.ebay.com/itm/363772490336

Autodoc UK
https://www.autodoc.co.uk/bilstein/7543330

Rockauto
https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=125869...FR9w%3D%3D

Fahrwekstechnik (Germany)
https://www.mk-fahrwerkstechnik.de/BILSTEIN-B6-SPO...-34-000311

All of these sites.....list this part # for both 411 1971 to early 1973 and 412 1973 to 1974.

And....its impossible that it could fit both "eras" of these cars....UNLESS....there is some kind of significant spacer kit included.

So.....

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


In order for these Bilstein strut cartridges to actually fit a 411 of any kind...they MUST have the shape and dimensions shown on the left above. The one that fits your 1974 412...is shown on the right.

BUT....the early 411 strut cartridges CAN be made to fit in a late 412....with a bushing like the one shown below. In fact...this actual bushing is PART OF THE 411 BUMP STOP SYSTEM.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


So in fact....the 1968 to 1973 strut cartridges are the same total length as the struts in 1974 (within a small margin). BUT....the 411's and early 412's have a totally different bump stop which has a steel spacer inside...like the one shown above.

To use this "early" strut in your 412...you need those 2.1" spacers...and about another 12mm of spacer washers that are normally installed on the late 412 strut.

So...make your mechanic pull you struts out and strip them down and show us the "stack up"...and I can tell you what you need to make these work.

By the way....these Bilstein cartridges would be VERY interesting to see if they can be made to work....because they are Bilstein B6 series....which are between 10% and 20% tighter valving than a stock application.

Ray
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raygreenwood
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2022 12:11 pm    Post subject: Re: shock installation, loose upper bushing Reply with quote

Another VERY, VERY important note.

I read back through your original post. You note that your previous mechanic could not source a bushing to "secure" one of the two struts.

I enlarged your photo as much as possible and looked at the gap between the dished plate and the bearing cartridge......and YES....YES.....the mechanic appears to have left out the rubber donut bushing and instead wrapped the bearing cartridge in some kind of rubber.

First.....in a pinch you can simply use the same part from a late super beetle. Same strut mount and bearing and bushing.

Secondly......handing over a car....any type of car..... with a strut bushing actually MISSING.....is absolutely CRIMINALLY NEGLIGENT.

You cannot drive the car in this condition. If you hit the right bump while turning.....it can literally break the mount and you WILL lose directional control. You could kill yourself or someone else.

Your mechanics are hacks. Do not go back to them.

Here is the bushing you need. It's a Gabriel part #142251

https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/volkswagen,197...mount,7600

These particular bushings are not the best quality and are a little thin but are functional....and they are 63 cents each.

A better way....is you can buy the complete strut mount housing WITH a new bearing AND the rubber bushing for ~$57 each....and these are excellent quality

https://www.jbugs.com/product/133412329B.html?utm_...s2EALw_wcB

You can buy these at Cip1 and several places like top line as well.

It sounds like your "mechanic" did not do any research or even search for parts.

Not saying he or she is a totally "bad" VW mechanic.....but they are certainly not qualified to work on your 412. And.....if they can't work on the front end of a 412....they cannot work on a super beetle either.

Everything I have written in the previous posts is probably mostly correct as well.....about parts mis-match....unless the strut cartridges come with the spacer kit to allow both generations of strut to use the same replacement cartridge.

And.....technically there are THREE variations/generations through the entire production of 411/412 since 1968.

Back in the 70s, 80s and 90s when you could still easily buy replacement cartridges.....the ones that were made to fit the early 411 (1968 to ~1971) and late 411 through early 412 (1971 through August 1973)......these replacement struts came with a little bag of parts.

In that bag were a new top strut rod nut, the centering spacer ring .... and a small spacer bushing of about 14mm in height that slipped onto the strut rod to all the replacement cartridge to fit all 411 from 1968 through 1972 and early 412....up to...1974....but NOT including 1974.

The 1974 would be a totally different strut cartridge part #.

And.....from what they list for this Bilstein cartridge......they say it fits late 411 and all 412....but do not list the dates to fit early 411. If all of that is true....then it would probably not contain the 14mm bushing....but instead would contain a large 2.1" bushing to allow it to fit the 1974s.....if it can REALLY fit 411 and 412 cars with the same strut cartridge.

Ray
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steve_1125
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2022 12:00 pm    Post subject: Re: shock installation, loose upper bushing Reply with quote

Ray, thanks for your input and the part links!
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raygreenwood
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2022 6:32 pm    Post subject: Re: shock installation, loose upper bushing Reply with quote

steve_1125 wrote:
Ray, thanks for your input and the part links!


Let us know what goes on and post some pics.

As simple as these early struts seem to be.....they can be a pain to work on if you do not do it much. If your mechanic needs some help or pointers.....contact me. Ray
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2022 11:25 am    Post subject: Re: shock installation, loose upper bushing Reply with quote

I am very fortunate Ray to have found a mechanic in my area who also had a 412 as a daily driver and worked on VWs as long as my '74 has been on the road. As with the vents, a few months ago, I was hoping the last shop would correct or complete the work under warranty, but as I got the runaround, I am lucky to have found a few mechanics here who are still of the old school and can work on this rarity. It will get completed correctly in the near future!
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raygreenwood
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2022 1:09 pm    Post subject: Re: shock installation, loose upper bushing Reply with quote

steve_1125 wrote:
I am very fortunate Ray to have found a mechanic in my area who also had a 412 as a daily driver and worked on VWs as long as my '74 has been on the road. As with the vents, a few months ago, I was hoping the last shop would correct or complete the work under warranty, but as I got the runaround, I am lucky to have found a few mechanics here who are still of the old school and can work on this rarity. It will get completed correctly in the near future!


Let us know if he has any trouble. There are a couple of issues with the rubber bushings that are available. They have some quality issues.

I made note in the long late 412 strut document and also in the early strut document, that the most commonly available rubber donut bushing is a little thin...or perhaps the inner hole and angle is a little large.

Two problems can be caused:

1. The bearing cone insert that comes up from the below can sit too deeply in the rubber bushing once the car weight is on it. This allows too big of a gap between the "dished" busing plate on top of the strut mount under the nut.

This causes excessive vertical travel when you go over the bumps and it beats the bushing up further, eventually making it need to be replaced.

2. Along with this....some bushings have what I consider "substandard" rubber. The rubber breaks down with age over a short period of time even when its not in use. It gets "soupy"....causing the bearing to protrude too much and eventually causes the same issue as in #1.

I have this issue right now. My struts have been built for about 6 years....and were not even installed in the car. I installed them last spring to roll the car into the garage...and now the bushings....with 0 miles...have failed. They have enough sag in them that my dished plates have 0.5" of gap and are offset sideways.

I have to find new bushings too...or an alternative that is better. Ray
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