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Lower ball joint boot dilemma
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eamanb
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2021 11:59 am    Post subject: Lower ball joint boot dilemma Reply with quote

Hello Samba,

I have a 1981 aircooled camper that I decided to replace all the suspension bushing and joints on. Everything that came off the van was original made in West Germany and torn to pieces and loose as a goose. Everything going in is brand new and powerflex goodies. I have a question about the lower ball joint. I purchase a new Myle HD lower ball joint. BUT reading on the forum these things don't last more than 6 months or a couple of thousands of miles before the boot rips and the whole thing needs to be replaced. Reading on the forum I also came across this suggestion from a member:
https://www.amazon.com/Energy-Suspension-9-13130G-...amp;sr=8-1

Basically a polyurethrane compound boot that is supposed to be more durable.

NOW my question:
Should I replace the new perfect rubber boot on my Myle HD lower ball joint with the polyurethrane boot from above BEFORE pressing it as a preventative measure or should I just risk it and install the Myle HD lower joint untouched and hope for the best?

Any input is muchas appreciated.
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2021 12:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Lower ball joint boot dilemma Reply with quote

When I did my 82 lower ball joints, I removed the boots to prevent damaging them and to give me a little more room to press it in. They come off and go on pretty easy. Can't comment on the poly boots. It seems it's more important that the boot seal on the joint tight enough, dirt and water won't find their way into the joint.

The stock boot is on there pretty good.
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1982 Vanagon Camper with ALH TDI.
1990 Vanagon Camper Syncro.
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eamanb
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Lower ball joint boot dilemma Reply with quote

MarkWard wrote:
When I did my 82 lower ball joints, I removed the boots to prevent damaging them and to give me a little more room to press it in. They come off and go on pretty easy. Can't comment on the poly boots. It seems it's more important that the boot seal on the joint tight enough, dirt and water won't find their way into the joint.

The stock boot is on there pretty good.


Thank you for your comment. My question is trying to get at the durability and longevity of a polurethrane boot vs. a rubber boot and whether or not is worth replacing a rubber boot from the get go to avoid the labor of having to remove the part later for replacement of the boot
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Lower ball joint boot dilemma Reply with quote

As long as the poly boot seals, I donít see a problem. The linked picture looked pretty generic. I donít see a groove for the factory retaining clip.
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1982 Vanagon Camper with ALH TDI.
1990 Vanagon Camper Syncro.
In Car https://youtu.be/5hbfdUJR88Q
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DanHoug
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Lower ball joint boot dilemma Reply with quote

don't go to the bother of replacing the boot if it is undamaged. there's a strong chance the joint will wear out fairly soon anyway, mebbe not, but i'd do new joints with high end stuff if you go to the trouble.

maybe spray the existing boot with some magic rubber conditioner juice every now and then. the more frequently you look at it, the less chance it will tear!
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Wellington
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2021 1:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Lower ball joint boot dilemma Reply with quote

The problem with todays lower ball joints is actually the cap on the bottom of the joint. Most suppliers are simply using a thin stamped sheet metal plate.
Look at how the lower ball joint is supporting the whole weight of the van, soon that sheet metal cap get pounded and the ball joint gets sloppy.
The quality lower ball joints have a thick cast plate on the bottom of the ball joint. Much more durable. Lemforder is still using a thick cast plate, MOOG has switched to the lousy thin plate. There was talk that TRW is cast, longevity is unknown. A quality boot is important, but it won't solve a poorly made part. Lower Lemforders are very difficult to find at the moment, but if you can find some they are worth it. Replacing lower ball joints is not something you want to do again too soon.
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eamanb
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Lower ball joint boot dilemma Reply with quote

Wellington wrote:
The problem with todays lower ball joints is actually the cap on the bottom of the joint. Most suppliers are simply using a thin stamped sheet metal plate.
Look at how the lower ball joint is supporting the whole weight of the van, soon that sheet metal cap get pounded and the ball joint gets sloppy.
The quality lower ball joints have a thick cast plate on the bottom of the ball joint. Much more durable. Lemforder is still using a thick cast plate, MOOG has switched to the lousy thin plate. There was talk that TRW is cast, longevity is unknown. A quality boot is important, but it won't solve a poorly made part. Lower Lemforders are very difficult to find at the moment, but if you can find some they are worth it. Replacing lower ball joints is not something you want to do again too soon.


I just bought the last pair of Lemforder lower joints on eBay for 116 shipped (OUCH!!) Now, the question is applies still. Should I replace their boots before installation or should I just install them and constantly monitor the boots for cracks or violation before replacement with polyurethrane ones?
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Lower ball joint boot dilemma Reply with quote

The picture you linked on Amazon does not show the lip and groove that seals
it to the vanagon ball joint. You seem to want to try them, so go ahead and get them. Report your findings.
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DanHoug
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2021 2:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Lower ball joint boot dilemma Reply with quote

eamanb wrote:


I just bought the last pair of Lemforder lower joints on eBay for 116 shipped (OUCH!!) Now, the question is applies still. Should I replace their boots before installation or should I just install them and constantly monitor the boots for cracks or violation before replacement with polyurethrane ones?


did the photo look like a NOS photo by an individual? i was chasing Lemforders on eBay and the seller had a generic photo that didn't look like any Lemforder i'd seen and the seller didn't respond to inquiries for more info.
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'87 Westy, ratty but drive anywhere.
'89 Westy, gorgeous but hasn't been gone thru to drive anywhere.
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eamanb
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Lower ball joint boot dilemma Reply with quote

DanHoug wrote:
eamanb wrote:


I just bought the last pair of Lemforder lower joints on eBay for 116 shipped (OUCH!!) Now, the question is applies still. Should I replace their boots before installation or should I just install them and constantly monitor the boots for cracks or violation before replacement with polyurethrane ones?


did the photo look like a NOS photo by an individual? i was chasing Lemforders on eBay and the seller had a generic photo that didn't look like any Lemforder i'd seen and the seller didn't respond to inquiries for more info.


It was a generic photo which wasn't even lemforder. But he had sold 7 sets before me and nobody had said anything about them not being genuine or fake so I guess we will find out. If they are not genuine they go back.
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DanHoug
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Lower ball joint boot dilemma Reply with quote

please post a photo including the bottom when you get them! i had them in my cart and chickened out.

i'd ordered two TRW from Lithuania.. one came with the cast bottom and the other was stamped. but it should be a good joint never the less.
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He who knows he knows, doesn't know. But he who knows he doesn't know, knows.

'87 Westy, ratty but drive anywhere.
'89 Westy, gorgeous but hasn't been gone thru to drive anywhere.
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Wellington
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2021 5:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Lower ball joint boot dilemma Reply with quote

No affiliation what so ever

http://www.westy-world.com/store/p66/Front_Lower_Ball_Joint_%E2%80%93_LEMFORDER.html
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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Lower ball joint boot dilemma Reply with quote

MarkWard wrote:
The picture you linked on Amazon does not show the lip and groove that seals
it to the vanagon ball joint. You seem to want to try them, so go ahead and get them. Report your findings.


I am possibly the source of that Amazon boot alternative. It has no lip nor groove, just squeezes down and over the joint:

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


It has only been a couple of years though it seems to keep the grease in and water/dirt out.

But I am a desert dweller and see little rain and no water crossings.

Were I in the OP's situation I would keep the boot that comes with the ball joint being installed. Really, it isn't that big a deal to sneak in there and replace just the boot if it becomes necessary down the road.

Edit - I should note, the Westy is not my first use of this boot. I installed them on a vehicle 9 years ago and it also seems to be doing fine with them:

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


That one has seen it's share of rain and 40,000 miles.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Lower ball joint boot dilemma Reply with quote

If the Energy Suspension boot doesn't seal tightly I would want to add a grease fitting so I could purge the water and dust on a regular basis as per the days of old.
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eamanb
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Lower ball joint boot dilemma Reply with quote

Wellington wrote:
No affiliation what so ever

http://www.westy-world.com/store/p66/Front_Lower_Ball_Joint_%E2%80%93_LEMFORDER.html


Just called them. They're out too. Been out for a while. Thanks for sharing though nonetheless.
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eamanb
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Lower ball joint boot dilemma Reply with quote

Ahwahnee wrote:
MarkWard wrote:
The picture you linked on Amazon does not show the lip and groove that seals
it to the vanagon ball joint. You seem to want to try them, so go ahead and get them. Report your findings.


I am possibly the source of that Amazon boot alternative. It has no lip nor groove, just squeezes down and over the joint:

[/i]


Yes you are. I couldn't find the thread where I found your post.
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eamanb
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2021 6:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Lower ball joint boot dilemma Reply with quote

DanHoug wrote:
please post a photo including the bottom when you get them! i had them in my cart and chickened out.

i'd ordered two TRW from Lithuania.. one came with the cast bottom and the other was stamped. but it should be a good joint never the less.


Received the items. They are NOT Lemforder, rather Febi/Bilstein brand. They are being sent back. Ended up ordering TRW from Lithuania on eBay much like yourself. 40 dollars a pop, $86 total. I hope these are adequate. I also found a set of MOOG balls for 140 on eBay that look like the old MOOG that were machined. If the TRW doesn't look promising, I'm forced to order the MOOG.
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DanHoug
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Lower ball joint boot dilemma Reply with quote

i think the Lithuanian sourced TRW is a genuine TRW and will be a fine joint. i've a standing back order from summitracing.com for a pair of TRW but they never come out of back order.

that bugger on eBay selling the Lemforders>Febi. toadface.
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He who knows he knows, doesn't know. But he who knows he doesn't know, knows.

'87 Westy, ratty but drive anywhere.
'89 Westy, gorgeous but hasn't been gone thru to drive anywhere.
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eamanb
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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2021 12:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Lower ball joint boot dilemma Reply with quote

I finally received the TRW lower ball joints from Lithuania. They are pictured below. This is the best I could find and I hope they will last for a while more than the other brands:


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

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

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

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