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Upper control arm bushing failure (pictures)
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Christopher Schimke
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Torque Junkie wrote:


Urethane bushings will be worse.



Actually, that's not proving to be the case. I have customers with many thousands of miles on their urethane upper control arm bushings, one up near 100,000, and not one person has reported any increase in harshness, vibration transfer or noise.
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presslab
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My buddy grokinthebox came by the other weekend to BS and rotate his tires. By the time he left we'd torn apart his suspension and did a redneck alignment! Shocked

His UCAB were doing the hee-haw, and apparently they were replaced not too long ago. Upon removal it was found that the new bushings were a no-name brand similar to the Febi, and that the feeler gauge showed 1.5mm gap from the bushing to the body. Bentley calls out no larger than 0.5mm for this distance, so we decided to make up some shims with some fender washers from Ace and a step drill bit:

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


The bushings didn't look bad. The urethane anti-sway bar bushings were also squeaking, so we decided to add zerks:

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


Then the redneck alignment with tape measure and carpenter's square got the camber and toe dialed in, with the utmost precision. Wink A few pumps of marine grease, and the hee-haw was a thing of the past! Very Happy
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have done the zerk trick with the UCABs.
I also ran a bead of RTV around the inner part of the bushing...as Chris Corkins did, but left a small gap at the bottom.
This way grease is kept in place, but has a way to release if it expands from heat.
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turbo2cv
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gowestyautoparts stocks the Lemfoerder for $21.

I used these and they look exactly like the ones that came in the bus. I believe my old ones were OEM and had 270K miles. Right hand side had failed: it had a lot of play and would clunk. No squeak.

When the shop welded the first side too long (maybe 10 seconds or 1/2 inch long) some grease boiled and squirted out. On the other side he did it right, JUST a TACK and all was fine.

http://www.gowestyautoparts.com/1985,Volkswagen,VA...omponents/

http://www.gowestyautoparts.com/1985,Volkswagen,VA...54011-054/
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Nuthin2It Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just greased the front and rear bushings on my 1985 with Bel-Ray grease (I thought they were squeaking, but it turns out that wasn't the cause of the noise). The lower control arm and anti-roll bar bushings were replaced about 90,000 miles ago, but the others have never been touched. The bushings and bolts were in amazingly good condition, maybe because I live in the southeast. What surprised me, though, was that there was no evidence of the bushings ever being greased. OK, after almost 260,000 miles there wouldn't be much left, but I think if the factory greased the bushings there would be some residue. With all the talk on this thread of zerks and preventative greasing, it looks to me like VW didn't think it was necessary to grease suspension bushings at all. And because most of mine have 260,000 miles on them and counting, maybe they were right.
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rumitcu
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm about to replace my UCA bushings and am wondering what size hex/Allen head the bolt is? The biggest I have is 10mm, and it is way bigger than that. Much thanks!
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Jake de Villiers
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IIRC, those are 13mm Allen head bolts.
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rumitcu
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Jake!
--Pat
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sanchius Premium Member
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rumitcu wrote:
Thanks, Jake!
--Pat


Pat,

I have the necessary allen wrenches if you need to borrow them.

Harbor Freight in Westminster is a great source of these type of big-dumb tools too
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rumitcu
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the kind offer. I was able to get one from NAPA which will be nice the next time my front end decides to start hee-hawwing again!
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Silentbay
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, does anybody ever tried the powerflex ones?
http://busschmiede.de/shop/T3-2WD-Syncro-Powerflex-1006-Querlenkerlager-oben-innen_1
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hans j
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't see anyone actually post about actually adding grease zerks to a syncro, so I tried it out. And it works so far!

I drilled them on the car, all the way down to rubber. I figured if it doesn't work I can weld the holes back up. Then I tapped best I could with a 6x1.0 thread and crammed in some 45* grease zerks I had laying around. Forced in some grease and it only oozed out a small section but I could tell right away by moving the arm it was getting better. After about 200 feet of driving, the squeaking was gone.

I am using the cheap WorldPac bushings and it was only the passenger side that has ever squeaked. About 7000 miles on all bushings and drivers side has never squeaked.

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


I'll see how it goes, but pretty much with the 45* zerks in there, I can grease it any time, no need to lift it up.
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Shojimon
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 4:07 pm    Post subject: My 2 cents after reading 14 pages for this thread Reply with quote

I read all this stuff. Incredible how much we go through to get the answer. Being a reluctant shade-tree mechanic I find this stuff really helpful. I think I paid $60 for someone to do this for me last time i did it. If you're doing your UCAs and never done it, the info seems to be here.
Also I found it easy once I watched some Youtube videos. One shows a guy beating the bushing out of the sheet-metal frame with a big hammer. Good way to damage the edge where the new ones will be pressed. I'd like to think that video was tongue and cheek as he beat the crap out of it.
Harbor Freight has a nice set of big tools that come in a kit for Ball Joints but cost $70.00 or so. instead I used some pipe as suggested in the middle of this thread.
To aid in getting them in and out...At our local NAPA I bought a generic muffler "flange". I got a 2.5" piece of pipe about 6" long for $5.
I cut it in half with a sawsall. This was the perfect size: 3" long. It just fits around the 2-1/4"to 2-3/8" or so bushing. I also utilized my 2-1/4" socket which was too small inside for pressing them out.
Using the vise, it was easy out and easy in.

For the sway bar, I couldn't find any info on removing the links on each end. I figured they were toast anyway and I used a drill to soften them up . Then I cut off the lip and worked them off.
You-tube offers only a video of someone burning them off with a torch. Too stinky for me.
There is a you tube that is from T3 technologies (I think) that shows how to put on the urethane ones and it's the same with the stock rubber ones.
Also helpful is: using Google images to see what it looks like. This is super handy for all kinds of things. I end up finding something else I need when looking at all the goggle-pics.
When I did a search in images for the UCA, I found several parts houses selling them. Including one that says they carry the Lemforders for $18.72 each! see all this at:
Google Images, search (the one I used): VW Vanagon+tech info+exploded view+Upper Control Arm Bushing.
Happy Vanagoning
This isn't easy by any means but I encourage all you DIYers to give it a shot. Paying a shop to do this could break the bank.
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Escorial Syncro Premium Member
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hans j wrote:
I didn't see anyone actually post about actually adding grease zerks to a syncro, so I tried it out. And it works so far!

I drilled them on the car, all the way down to rubber. I figured if it doesn't work I can weld the holes back up. Then I tapped best I could with a 6x1.0 thread and crammed in some 45* grease zerks I had laying around. Forced in some grease and it only oozed out a small section but I could tell right away by moving the arm it was getting better. After about 200 feet of driving, the squeaking was gone.

I am using the cheap WorldPac bushings and it was only the passenger side that has ever squeaked. About 7000 miles on all bushings and drivers side has never squeaked.

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


I'll see how it goes, but pretty much with the 45* zerks in there, I can grease it any time, no need to lift it up.


Hello Hans,
How has your zerk upgrade been doing? I'd love to hear about how things are doing after that 200 foot test drive!

I've got UCAB's from Van-Cafe that I installed about 6 months ago already squawking. Zerks seem like better option than a total re-do. Let us know, and thanks, Joel
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hans j
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Escorial Syncro wrote:


Hello Hans,
How has your zerk upgrade been doing? I'd love to hear about how things are doing after that 200 foot test drive!

I've got UCAB's from Van-Cafe that I installed about 6 months ago already squawking. Zerks seem like better option than a total re-do. Let us know, and thanks, Joel


It's good! I still get occasional squeaks but it's significantly reduced. I've only greased it a couple times and each time I do, the squeak goes away for a while completely. I might recommend using Dow 111 Molykote http://www.amazon.com/Corning-Molykote-Silicone-Lubricant-Cartridge/dp/B00CA7WB94 for the grease although I haven't had any issues using a standard grease. I don't expect them to last as long as factory, so if the grease reacts with the rubber, I was going to replace them anyway since they squeaked so bad...
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 2:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Upper control arm bushing failure (pictures) Reply with quote

Anybody have comments on the GW bushings? I am looking at redoing my front suspension bushings prior to doing a lift etc.

Here is the link:
http://www.gowesty.com/product-details.php?v=&id=24101
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Christopher Schimke wrote:
Petervw wrote:
these bushings range in price from $7 to over $90 ..for example like at "rockauto" for the "professional grade" ..since they almost all look the same for such a small item,..how can one be assured if the product is good enough without throwing a lot of money around..I have it hard to believe in this case, you get what you pay for...but, if that be so..$360plus for bushings..I can only shake my head


I'm so glad you reminded me about RockAuto. They sell Febi brand (a division of Bilstein) bushings which appear to be quite different than the rest. I just ordered a set and when they get here, along with the Meyle's that are on their way, I will compare them to see if they look any different.

Meyle has a good reputation but besides my upper control arm bushings, I have also had trouble with one of their clutch disks and one lower balljoint. Cross your fingers that Febi is the answer.


Does anyone have any feedback about DELPHI UCA/LCA bushings?
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Christopher Schimke
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

epowell wrote:


Does anyone have any feedback about DELPHI UCA/LCA bushings?


Junk!
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Christopher Schimke wrote:

Junk!



...hmmmmm, but maybe some feedback not from someone in the "high end" bushings business would be more objective.

Thanks anyway Smile
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Christopher Schimke
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

epowell wrote:
Christopher Schimke wrote:

Junk!



...hmmmmm, but maybe some feedback not from someone in the "high end" bushings business would be more objective.

Thanks anyway Smile


The Delphi bushings just don't last. That information is not coming from someone trying to sell you something, it's coming from a person with experience who is trying to help save you time and money. I'm sorry that you feel that I would offer up that info in an effort to try to sway you toward buying an expensive part. Anyone who knows me knows that that is not how I operate. I was just offering an honest answer to your question.
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