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SGKent Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 12:31 pm    Post subject: Ball joint and Tie rod rubber boots FAQ Reply with quote

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Working on this 1977 Bus restoration. While doing the passenger front brakes, noticed the ball joint boots are torn. Currently as of January 2009, who makes / sells the best ball joint and tie rod boots?
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometimes the replacement boots are pretty low quality and do not hold up well. I seems that most sources were having quality problems about two years ago. I bought some from West Coast Metric 5-ish five years ago and they have done well.
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itlives
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd just get the whole thing new from BusDepot- as a matter of fact, that's what I did!
http://www.busdepot.com/view.jsp?model=57&category=19&group=41&prodgroup=-1
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Itlives. We did a quick measurment with a C clamp and the ball joints are showing .015 wear which is well between the .012 min to .080 max. I hate to go through all the hassle of sending the torsion arms off to have ball joints replaced when all they need is boots. I bought the tool that is used to manipulate the ball joints to inspect them so those clearances may change. I put a dial indicator on the spindle and then measured how much the freeplay changed. It was a consistent .015. That said we are not out of the woods yet. This bus does not look well kept up in many areas so when we pull the torsion arms to inspect them we may find them full of rust or the bushing and needles worn. I am thinking however that replacing the balljoint boots is the best solution so far.
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Godspeed to all who undertake a journey with a VW Bus.

*You can do it right the first time, or do it over, the choice is yours. It is a free country. As to brakes, steering, tires, axles etc. - you may only get one chance at doing those right.

* VW Buses and VW cars share many of the same systems but if you haven't owned a bus and maintained it for awhile, you really don't know how different it is.

Bus Engine Cooling Issues? https://kentcomputer.com/77VW/BusEngineCooling.pdf
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 4:32 pm    Post subject: Re: question on ball joint and tie rod rubber boots Reply with quote

Does anyone know if these BD boots hold up better than the CIP1 ones? Did all mine 2 months ago with the CIP1 ones and they are all split Sad Any other recommendation for a better boot?
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:41 am    Post subject: Re: question on ball joint and tie rod rubber boots Reply with quote

captincanuck wrote:
Does anyone know if these BD boots hold up better than the CIP1 ones? Did all mine 2 months ago with the CIP1 ones and they are all split Sad Any other recommendation for a better boot?


Here you go, they are reputedly the best out there.

http://t3technique.com/suspension-and-drivetrain/d...-boot.html

Bolt kits are sold separately if you need them.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:26 am    Post subject: Re: question on ball joint and tie rod rubber boots Reply with quote

Wildthings wrote:
captincanuck wrote:
Does anyone know if these BD boots hold up better than the CIP1 ones? Did all mine 2 months ago with the CIP1 ones and they are all split Sad Any other recommendation for a better boot?


Here you go, they are reputedly the best out there.

http://t3technique.com/suspension-and-drivetrain/d...-boot.html

Bolt kits are sold separately if you need them.


I have ordered some of those Rockford CV boots to replace my "Mayle" or something like that ones, that lasted less than 3 months. Currently put on some empi ones because that was what was available at the time. Holding up so far.

But I was referring to Tie Rod Boots here (Guess that wasn't so clear) not CV boots. So any known source for them?
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:54 am    Post subject: Re: question on ball joint and tie rod rubber boots Reply with quote

I had found a potential source for tie rod and ball joint boots and had it bookmarked, but my computer dumped all my bookmarks a month or so back. Crying or Very sad Evil or Very Mad Crying or Very sad

As for CV boots, I don't think any brand is good all the time. Been that way for as long as I can remember.
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Tcash
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:02 am    Post subject: Re: question on ball joint and tie rod rubber boots Reply with quote

Let's not get started on the CV Boots in this thread. I made the same mistake and then caught myself.
Please use
CV Boot Best Brand and Supplier FAQ
Thank you
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:05 am    Post subject: Re: question on ball joint and tie rod rubber boots Reply with quote

captincanuck wrote:
Does anyone know if these BD boots hold up better than the CIP1 ones? Did all mine 2 months ago with the CIP1 ones and they are all split Sad Any other recommendation for a better boot?

Don't know about those two Ball Joint Boots?
http://vwparts.aircooled.net/Ball-Joint-Boot-1968-79-VW-Bus-211-405-375A-p/211-405-375a.htm
This is supposed to be the size, check against yours.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/221446183562?_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
Good luck
Tcash
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raygreenwood
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:09 pm    Post subject: Re: question on ball joint and tie rod rubber boots Reply with quote

I think I Asked this a while back.

Does anyone have a measurment for the large diameter of the bus ball joint?

And.....does it snap over a groove?

I recently found a racing comlany that sells some boots that "might" fit the buw ball jlint. They have two different pattsrns and two different materials.

One pattern fit my 412 hall joints perfectly. The 412 has BIG ball joints. They may fit tje bus.

They have theae boots in Viton and Neoprene.

A lot of what is probably killing boots too fast.....is not just the material. I have said this before. You can find synthetic rubber like neoprene...commonly used in boots (basically similar to chlorinated neoprene)....which is great for ozone ....and damn good for oils....but a lot of these neoprene and similar rubber boots have issues with some of the oil bases in certain greases. Some of this may also have issues with the metals used in those greases which change the charge polarity and PH of the greases they are suspended in. Ray
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:12 pm    Post subject: Re: question on ball joint and tie rod rubber boots Reply with quote

The bus boots are significantly larger than 411/412 boots, maybe by a 1/2" in diameter or so
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:48 pm    Post subject: Re: question on ball joint and tie rod rubber boots Reply with quote

raygreenwood wrote:

Does anyone have a measurment for the large diameter of the bus ball joint?


kreemoweet wrote:
Info for some Nakata bus BJ's I have:

-- large end of boot sits in a groove 47 mm diam X 4 mm wide.

-- small end of boot seats on taper of BJ pin. On the upper BJ's (with the adjusting bushing), the seat diameter will be
somewhat larger than on the lowers, but will not exceed 22 mm. I don't think the seat on the lowers can be any smaller than 21 mm.

No reason I can think of that other brands of BJ's will be the same, but I did take a boot off one of my Nakata's to replace
a torn original, and it seemed to fit fine.


cdennisg wrote:
Wildthings wrote:
cdennisg wrote:
I recall that in a another thread where these boots came into a topic of discussion that someone mentioned a urethane boot from an off road manufacturer. Possibly intended for an oversized American tie rod end or similar. Does anyone else remember that conversation?


I have wondered what might be available for tie rod ends on big trucks or construction equipment. Never looked though.


I just did a few quick measurements and a search of some boot suppliers. I found this... http://www.suspension.com/bjb.htm

Scroll down a little ways until you see a bunch of dimensions and part numbers. Part # 13026 would be areal close candidate, except for the overall height. It might be worth contacting them to see if this part might work. Who wants to drop seven bucks to take a chance?
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:07 pm    Post subject: Re: question on ball joint and tie rod rubber boots Reply with quote

Wildthings wrote:
The bus boots are significantly larger than 411/412 boots, maybe by a 1/2" in diameter or so


Not really I'm betting. The main section of the buw joint is rounder and deeper. It just looks bigger.
411/412 ball joints are 46.7mm diameter. The boots I found are slip ons,at 52mm and have a zip tie groove.
Tcash just noted the groove is 47 mm wide.
Ray
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 5:29 am    Post subject: Re: question on ball joint and tie rod rubber boots Reply with quote

I just installed 1 of these to replace a split boot.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-X-High-Quality-Rubber-Du...2749.l2649

The fit is pretty close to the Febi-Bilstein boot that it replaced, except that the inner hole is slightly bigger and the outer hole is slightly smaller. The new boot does not have as much pleated rubber as the old one, but it will still handle the full range of motion of the ball joint shaft. I recycled the retainer clips from my old boot for the new one.

One thing I like about this new boot is that the larger inner hole lets the boot rotate on the inner shaft when you turn the steering. The old boot would not rotate on the shaft so the whole thing would just twist whenever you turn the steering, which put a lot of stress on the boot. That's probably why it finally tore. There was no evidence of rubber cracking like you see on the Chinese boots.... Time will tell how well this boot I found on eBay holds up, but I've used the Bus Depot Chinese ones and they did not last a year before the rubber disintegrated.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:32 am    Post subject: Measure Ball joint or Tie rod for boots Reply with quote

How to Measure Ball joint or Tie rod for Dust cover boots
http://www.suspension.com/universal-dust-boots.asp
https://vimeo.com/79823235

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Ball joint and Tie rod rubber boots FAQ Reply with quote

Here is a bus balljoint sitting next to a 411/412 balljoint, the bus boot is at 1/4" larger on the big end than the 411/412 boot and also quite a bit larger on the small end.

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


Here is an even smaller in size 411/412 balljoint. The boot is about 1/2" smaller on the big end than the bus boot.

411/412 ball joint
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Bus ball joint:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



The bus ball joint also articulates more in use than the 411/412 boots as the bus swing arms are much shorter than the arms on the 411/412.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:27 am    Post subject: Re: Ball joint and Tie rod rubber boots FAQ Reply with quote

Wildthings wrote:
Here is a bus balljoint sitting next to a 411/412 balljoint, the bus boot is at 1/4" larger on the big end than the 411/412 boot and also quite a bit larger on the small end.

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


Here is an even smaller in size 411/412 balljoint. The boot is about 1/2" smaller on the big end than the bus boot.

411/412 ball joint
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Bus ball joint:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



The bus ball joint also articulates more in use than the 411/412 boots as the bus swing arms are much shorter than the arms on the 411/412.


As I noted....these boots are not from or for a 412.
And thats not actually a 411/412 stock joint. Thats the repop joint by Rare parts it has a smaller ball and outer neck. Its actually from a Volvo....but works for the most part.

From the measurements that Tcash posted. The new boots I picked up should fit a bus with no issue. They are actually much larger than the stock 412 boot especially in length.... but fit because they are thicker than,stock and have a large end with a 3/16 cast in groove to use a wire tie or band clamp.

I will post actual measurments when I get back in town. Ray
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:58 am    Post subject: Re: question on ball joint and tie rod rubber boots Reply with quote

69BahamaYellow wrote:
I just installed 1 of these to replace a split boot.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-X-High-Quality-Rubber-Du...2749.l2649

The fit is pretty close to the Febi-Bilstein boot that it replaced, except that the inner hole is slightly bigger and the outer hole is slightly smaller. The new boot does not have as much pleated rubber as the old one, but it will still handle the full range of motion of the ball joint shaft. I recycled the retainer clips from my old boot for the new one.

One thing I like about this new boot is that the larger inner hole lets the boot rotate on the inner shaft when you turn the steering. The old boot would not rotate on the shaft so the whole thing would just twist whenever you turn the steering, which put a lot of stress on the boot. That's probably why it finally tore. There was no evidence of rubber cracking like you see on the Chinese boots.... Time will tell how well this boot I found on eBay holds up, but I've used the Bus Depot Chinese ones and they did not last a year before the rubber disintegrated.


CORRECTION - Use these boots instead.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2x-Polyboots-Track-Contro...2749.l2649

The natural Rubber boots can be used also, but you should only use Silicone Grease with them, since standard lithium grease will attack rubber.

The Polyurethane boots are compatible with most all grease and are ozone resistant
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:48 am    Post subject: Re: question on ball joint and tie rod rubber boots Reply with quote

69BahamaYellow wrote:
69BahamaYellow wrote:
I just installed 1 of these to replace a split boot.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-X-High-Quality-Rubber-Du...2749.l2649

The fit is pretty close to the Febi-Bilstein boot that it replaced, except that the inner hole is slightly bigger and the outer hole is slightly smaller. The new boot does not have as much pleated rubber as the old one, but it will still handle the full range of motion of the ball joint shaft. I recycled the retainer clips from my old boot for the new one.

One thing I like about this new boot is that the larger inner hole lets the boot rotate on the inner shaft when you turn the steering. The old boot would not rotate on the shaft so the whole thing would just twist whenever you turn the steering, which put a lot of stress on the boot. That's probably why it finally tore. There was no evidence of rubber cracking like you see on the Chinese boots.... Time will tell how well this boot I found on eBay holds up, but I've used the Bus Depot Chinese ones and they did not last a year before the rubber disintegrated.


CORRECTION - Use these boots instead.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/2x-Polyboots-Track-Contro...2749.l2649

The natural Rubber boots can be used also, but you should only use Silicone Grease with them, since standard lithium grease will attack rubber.

The Polyurethane boots are compatible with most all grease and are ozone resistant


Thats the problem right there.....You cannot use a silicone grease in a ball joint, tie rod end or CV unless its heavily infused with molybdenum disulphide and/or graphite or lead (old school grease).
The ball joints and tie rod ends make hard contact with the swaged or machined (depending on construction method) flange on the ball stud side. Without extreme EP grease....they will wear fast at this outer flange. Also....what are you calling "natural rubber"?

I have never seen any automotive rubber part North of the 1950s made of "Natural rubber". Buna N....nitrile.....replaced virtually all of the use or anything natural.

Polyurethane.....is very poor for a boot. There are two basic chemical methods used to make it with zillions of recipes. Both of them increase their hardness by a factor of 5% per year under CONTROLLED conditions. In contact with any hydrocarbon they can increase hardness by a factor of 3X or 15% per year. Urethane also does not do well with molybdenum djsulphide grease.....which is why urethane bushings are sold with special silicone non-EP grease.
Urethane is cast resin. Its actual total initial cure time after demolding is about 150 hours. During that time it shrinks by about 3%. As it hardens over its lifetime it continues to shrink.

However....what you note as natural rubber which is usually Buna-N.....works very well with moly grease.....but has virtually no ozone resistance.....and does not,work well with synthetic esters....so you have to be careful what is actually in the grease you use. A lot of modern greases.....I am finding.....have some small amounts of synthetic additives even when they are not listed as synthetic.
You also find a lot of these boots being made with neoprene.....which works well with ozone.....but horrible with moly grease (because of the VOC's/ hydrocarbons most have).....so neoprene requires a synthetic grease base.....so that means you have to find a synthetic EP grease made for joints that has either MDS, graphite or at bare minimum....a lot of teflon.

A few boots I have seen....are made with EPDM....which is really odd......and expensive. EPDM has the most ozone protection, but cannot work with hydrocarbons at all. They must have silicone based oils or some ester based oils and greases.
For reference.....EPDM is what windhield gaskets and brake cylinder seals are made of.

In reality.....these boots should be made of one of the numerous vitons out there....or one of the other fluoroelastomer rubbers on the market.

Along with the changes in rubber formulation we have been seeing over about 10 years....there has been a large change in the formulation of greases. Some of the application engineers I have been speaking to at some of my automotive clients.....have the same opinion I do and have been seeing sone of the same issues I have. The quality of rubber formulations is a big factor...yes....and its not just a "China" problem.....manufacturers here and in Europe changed their formulations in response to scarcity and cost of several chemicals......but added to that...changes in grease/oil formulations are also affecting these rubber formulations.

I am listing this information because over the last month I started helping one client to make up samples....contact patches on quartz plates.... of various rubbers and grease....for their weather-ometer units.
Since I am also working on a similar/parallel project....I started a contact patch test of my own. In a week or so I will start a thread to post results over a period of time. Ray
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