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Steering Coupling Disc 211415417 (coupler)
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BusterBrown
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:39 am    Post subject: Steering Coupling Disc 211415417 (coupler) Reply with quote

I've had a new replacement sitting in my to-do pile for awhile. Got it from "Wagen Works". I'll be replacing it sometime soon, but thought I'd ask for some feedback in advance. '78 Westy

Is this as easy to do as it looks?

Bentley fig. 9-12 (Front Axle) shows there to a lockplate on the coupling flange, whereas you can see on mine, there is not. Anyone know if mine's OK without it, i.e. did some come without it?

Thanks for looking, and for any input.

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Last edited by BusterBrown on Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mal evolent
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

did this yesterday. you can do it solo by pulling the clutch pedal down, putting a box end wrench on the nut and let the pedal hold it in place.

there should be a ring terminal wiring jumper from the steering box to the column, to carry ground to the horn button.
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borninabus
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

as easy as it looks?
no.

not a hard job though. you have to work through the driver's door. one hand above and one hand underneath.
use nylon lock nuts. OGs were castle nuts (on my 71 at least).
you have to loosen the whole steering shaft for access.
there is a horn wire that grounds under one of the bolts & also the column ground that is a b**ch to deal with (again on a 71).

i think you'll be ok w/o the lock plate. looks OG to me.

thought you said you were gonna swing by sometime?
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VWsArent4Hippies
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

borninabus wrote:
as easy as it looks?
no.

not a hard job though. you have to work through the driver's door. one hand above and one hand underneath.


you have to loosen the whole steering shaft for access.



No... You can do it all from underneath the bus fairly easy.
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germansupplyscott
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

make sure the replacement coupling is genuine VW or the job will be a waste of time.
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BusterBrown
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mission Accomplished. 1.5 hours (remember, I'm a novice).

Good for me to know how long it took, because I read Scott's advice after I was done. Not a German made part. I bought that part way back when I first got the bus, before learning the importance of good rubber. So we'll see how it holds up, and when I have to do it again I'll know how long it takes.

Thanks for all your replies.

Mal volent; I started off with your technique of doing it from the bottom only, but when it was time to pull the bolts up and drop the new rubber in, I couldn't see how to do that without working from the top. So I pulled the carpet back and removed the 2 screws which hold the steering wheel column base cover on, and pulled it up and out of the way. Then I finished the job from the top.

The ground wire was broken long before I came along, and yet my horn has been working just dandy. Of course I replaced it with a new wire, but how could it have been working without one? Always a new mystery.

Old coupling before removal. You can just see the old ground terminal, minus its wire.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


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


Old & New;
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


New parts installed;
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


And the new coupling from the bottom;
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

be careful, i think that's the bad coupling. euromax brand, probably. might have a PPI yellow sticker somewhere on the package. it's too soft. it's not that it won't last, it is not stiff enough to do the job. if it's the coupling i think it is, it's borderline unsafe.

the genuine coupling looks and feels like the original and has a VW logo molded into it. that one in the photo above feels like it's made of tupperware, the original is much harder in feel and is very difficult to bend with your hands. the bad coupling can be bent in half easily with your hands.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

germansupplyscott wrote:
be careful, i think that's the bad coupling. euromax brand, probably. might have a PPI yellow sticker somewhere on the package. it's too soft. it's not that it won't last, it is not stiff enough to do the job. if it's the coupling i think it is, it's borderline unsafe.

the genuine coupling looks and feels like the original and has a VW logo molded into it. that one in the photo above feels like it's made of tupperware, the original is much harder in feel and is very difficult to bend with your hands. the bad coupling can be bent in half easily with your hands.


Thanks for your input on that Scott, I really do appreciate it. I will tell you that the coupling I used does not fit your description though, so maybe it's not the one you're thinking of. It actually felt quite robust (nothing like tupperware), and would not easily bend in my hands as you described. Kind of hard/stiff rubber, and although the perimeter shape looked different when they were side by side (as you can see in the photo), the general feel of it was much like the original that was removed (still could see the VW markings on the OG). The new one had no markings on it, and did not come in a package. I looked for and found the invoice showing where I got it from months ago. Wagen Werks.
http://www.vw-wagenwerks.com/servlet/the-4477/415417-211-Steering-Coupler/Detail

I'll definitely keep an eye on it over the next while. If you have any more thoughts/input to share about it, I would most appreciate it, and I'm sure other folks would feel the same. That's why we come here. To listen and learn, and hopefully stay safe, and only have to do a job once. Thanks to help from you and the other knowledgable contributors who give so much of their time and expertise, the rest of us can keep our old buses going down the road.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

germansupplyscott wrote:
be careful, i think that's the bad coupling. euromax brand, probably. might have a PPI yellow sticker somewhere on the package. it's too soft. it's not that it won't last, it is not stiff enough to do the job. if it's the coupling i think it is, it's borderline unsafe.

the genuine coupling looks and feels like the original and has a VW logo molded into it. that one in the photo above feels like it's made of tupperware, the original is much harder in feel and is very difficult to bend with your hands. the bad coupling can be bent in half easily with your hands.


Why do you think it's bad? I might have the same one, got it from Bus Depot but I don't remember if it was soft or what brand it was:
http://www.busdepot.com/details.jsp?partnumber=211415417
Even if softer. I mean, softer does not necessarily mean weaker. Just wondering.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Batan wrote:
Why do you think it's bad?


i don't think it's bad, i know. not necessarily the one in the photo, but one that looks similar. there are couplings packaged by euromax that are completely insufficient for the job. they will actually distort radically under severe steering effort, for instance while turning to the lock while not moving. we received some of these a while back and returned them to the supplier. they are out there.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

glad you were successful Smile
1.5 hours is not bad.

does the steering feel a little more solid now?
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

borninabus wrote:
glad you were successful Smile
1.5 hours is not bad.

does the steering feel a little more solid now?


Hi Pete,

Thanks. No, I wouldn't say the steering feels more solid now; pretty much the same, as I would have guessed. The old steering coupling disc was still doing it's job as essentially a thick gasket, and the new one is doing just the same. I replaced the old one solely because of its appearance; severely cracked all over.

Where I noticed a HUGE difference in the steering and road handling of the bus was last week after I changed the steering damper. The old one was completely shot, and the new one made it feel like a new bus.

Samba's been taking all my time lately, that's my excuse for not stopping in to see you! Laughing
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'vee been making a list of things to do while my bus is in the body shop. I have the same condition as pictured above with the disc and horn wire. My question is how can the disc be unsafe when 2 bolts are attatched to the steering box? It seems that even if the disc were gone completely it would still be bolted to the box and you would be able to steer. I am asking this because I ordered a disc from Bus Depot and the same one used here is what showed up. In fact wouldn't the cracked one be even more unsafe than the new softer one? I have no problem paying the extra money for a genuine disc but just wanting to know what the real purpose of it is, seems like it is more to decrease vibration or something rather than a piece of safety equipment. BusterBrown what have been your results with the use of this over the last 6 mos or so?
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kkirwin wrote:
I'vee been making a list of things to do while my bus is in the body shop. I have the same condition as pictured above with the disc and horn wire. My question is how can the disc be unsafe when 2 bolts are attatched to the steering box? It seems that even if the disc were gone completely it would still be bolted to the box and you would be able to steer. I am asking this because I ordered a disc from Bus Depot and the same one used here is what showed up. In fact wouldn't the cracked one be even more unsafe than the new softer one? I have no problem paying the extra money for a genuine disc but just wanting to know what the real purpose of it is, seems like it is more to decrease vibration or something rather than a piece of safety equipment. BusterBrown what have been your results with the use of this over the last 6 mos or so?


My results with this disc have been just fine. But to answer your other question; if there were no disc there, you would not have steering, period. The steering column is bolted to the disc with 2 of the 4 bolts, and the steering box is bolted to the disc with the other 2 bolts. The column is not otherwise connected to the steering box. If the disc fell apart for some reason, it would truly be bad news. My guess is that Bus Depot would be aware of this fact, and would know to sell only quality discs. But Scott is probably right; in some cases, such as this one, an inferior after market product purchased to save money could be a big mistake.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aahh OK, by looking closer at the pictures and the angle of the one you just posted I can now see what's going on. I'll have to look closer at the disc I have, I know it was a Euromax brand which makes me nervous now. Thanks for the response.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BusterBrown wrote:
kkirwin wrote:
I'vee been making a list of things to do while my bus is in the body shop. I have the same condition as pictured above with the disc and horn wire. My question is how can the disc be unsafe when 2 bolts are attatched to the steering box? It seems that even if the disc were gone completely it would still be bolted to the box and you would be able to steer. I am asking this because I ordered a disc from Bus Depot and the same one used here is what showed up. In fact wouldn't the cracked one be even more unsafe than the new softer one? I have no problem paying the extra money for a genuine disc but just wanting to know what the real purpose of it is, seems like it is more to decrease vibration or something rather than a piece of safety equipment. BusterBrown what have been your results with the use of this over the last 6 mos or so?


My results with this disc have been just fine. But to answer your other question; if there were no disc there, you would not have steering, period. The steering column is bolted to the disc with 2 of the 4 bolts, and the steering box is bolted to the disc with the other 2 bolts. The column is not otherwise connected to the steering box. If the disc fell apart for some reason, it would truly be bad news. My guess is that Bus Depot would be aware of this fact, and would know to sell only quality discs. But Scott is probably right; in some cases, such as this one, an inferior after market product purchased to save money could be a big mistake.

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


so how is that part holding up got any current pics?
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bugger101 wrote:
so how is that part holding up got any current pics?


Here you go. 6 months to the day later. Glad you asked, as it was easy enough to get down under the bus and take a look. It's just fine & looks good as new. I believe the non-German replacement part I bought is going to be just fine, but will check again from time to time, and if I can remember, I'll report back. Like I said, it's important that this particular part does not fail, so cheaper versions may not be a very good idea. Listening to German Supply Scott is a good practice. Wink

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

we went from Euromax to genuine VW and the bus wanders less.
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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2011 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We also had one installed without the VW logo on it, it failed after about 1500 miles while parallel parking. The coupling just "folds" instead of turns. We are running larger tyres though, so the load is increased. I think it probably won't fail while driving since the load is considerably higher during manoeuvring. Anyway, just sharing my experience, if I were you I'd replace the coupling if it's non-VW. Better safe than sorry.

I found a pic on my old phone:
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(Failed one on the left which has been distorted and bushes fell out, new VW one on the right)

Does look a little different from yours.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone know who in the US has the Genuine VW couplers in stock now? I received one from Bus Depot today, and it looks a little suspicious. It has Germany printed on it, but I think its a Euromax brand. It looks like Scott has them, but with shipping, its $72. I've searched several other suppliers with no luck- any help is appreciated.

Thanks
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