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volkswagon

Time for ball joints, alignment

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So what should I know heading into this project? I came across this somewhere (maybe it was even here somewhere, can't remember) and wonder what you guys say about it. http://www.turbodieselregister.com/tdrarticles/tdrarticle53_fromtheshopfloor.html I plan to go with Moog parts. What about the alignment, I understand that getting things set precisely is important on these trucks. I have a serious wandering problem and hope to gain a lot of ground with this problem.

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When you get the new parts in and go for an alignment print THIS and have them set the specs to what the sheet says.

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MN why these specific specs?

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When you get the new parts in and go for an alignment print THIS and have them set the specs to what the sheet says.

So what about the offset bushings that it talks about? Are they needed for sure or just possibly? Do they have to put it all together and do an alignment to find out and then tear down and put them in if needed? Thanks for putting up with all the questions:duh:

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my truck has offset bushings in it and the alignment shop didn't know whether they were going to need them or not until it got on the alignment rack and then i needed a track bar as well.

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there are alot of discusions here and other forums about this. pro and cons exist every where you go. I just rebuilt my fornt end with moog parts. i have heard good and bad about them and the oe parts both. only time will tell for me wether the moog is any better than what came on the vehicle. i have heard that most alignment shopes dont know how to deal with the adjustable ball joints. dont know how true that is so i went with non adjustable. i replaced every thing except the steering box(track bar,tierod ends, drag link all of it). i got a very good price from advance auto. they gave me 20% off and had them in stock. Rock auto.com has a better price. if you have some time to wait. they also have a large vatiety of other brands to choose from. i cant recomend any of them untill i see how the moog holds up. the upper and lower will require you to have a press the remove and install, mainly to install, you can beat the old ones out. lowers anyway. if you still have the factory parts on the truck replace them all. it is not a bad day working on your truck. as far as the specs for the alignment i left mine up to the alignment shop. steering was much better though straight line driving requires more input than i like and i will probably take it back and let them try something different. hope this helps.

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if you still have the factory parts on the truck replace them all. it is not a bad day working on your truck. as far as the specs for the alignment i left mine up to the alignment shop. steering was much better though straight line driving requires more input than i like and i will probably take it back and let them try something different. hope this helps.

Mine doesn't really wander around much, but my steering seems stiff, and laggy.. And like you, input seems way more than should be required, to do even the simplest lane changes, etc.. I've already replaced my track bar, TRE @ pitman, both inner TREs. I know my L/F upper Ball joint is bad, and I've got a new one to replace it, but I've decided to wait until I have all 4, before tackling that job..

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mine is the same way. and i have a 2wd. on the last 1.5yrs i have changed the whole front end. the biggest difference was when i changed the steering gear box. my local part store(oreilly's) only stocked remans (by the brand CARDONE). at first it was AWESOME, but over time the slop and extra work came back. the gear box has a lifetime warrenty, but i have been to lazy to remove it and take it back. as far as the moog balljoints. i have their uppers and lowers on both sides. they have been good so far

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Mine doesn't really wander around much, but my steering seems stiff, and laggy.. And like you, input seems way more than should be required, to do even the simplest lane changes, etc.. I've already replaced my track bar, TRE @ pitman, both inner TREs. I know my L/F upper Ball joint is bad, and I've got a new one to replace it, but I've decided to wait until I have all 4, before tackling that job..

iput a steering stabilizer on mine the helped the wandering. straight line steering bugs me. it seems to over and under steer in the first 2" of wheel turn.

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MN why these specific specs?

Because even though your truck may be aligned to the factory specs the specs are broad enough that your truck may still wander. Use those numbers and it will drive much better.
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Thanks for all the useful info here guys, it really helps. I guess I'm still wondering if I should get the offsets ball joints to fine tune it even more or at least make sure it can meet the specs. Or will it be no problem to meet them with just the regular ones? I just have to wonder since some1 made them and some guys use them and say they help. I'm afraid of spending all the money and not doing it EXACTLY the best way possible.

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i would go with the offset bushings to make sure you have plenty of room to get it adjusted properly.

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Well I took the truck in today. The guy called back and said that he can't get the camber to the specs on the article that MnTom posted without the offset bushings. Those are 3 weeks away so now I don't know what to do, just do it without them or wait. Any ideas? Will not having the camber to those specs make as much diff as if he couldn't get the caster right? Thanks

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i would recommend that you wait and have them installed you will run thru tires and not like the way it drives if you dont! Trust me I have been there and done that!!!:banghead:

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I'm going to need to do this as well. I've got a balljoint press (cheep harbor freight kit), and plan on replacing everything with Moog parts like Dripley did, and then have the alignment shop dial in the alignment per the above listed specs. I'll probably throw in a 1" front end leveling kit at the same time - I can hide the cost from my wife that way. Is it the concensus to install the offset bushings with the upper ball joints when doing this? I'd really like to do it right the first time, and properly fix the loose steering and wandering. I have faith in the "new" proper alignment specs.

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Mine doesn't really wander around much, but my steering seems stiff, and laggy.. And like you, input seems way more than should be required, to do even the simplest lane changes, etc.. I've already replaced my track bar, TRE @ pitman, both inner TREs. I know my L/F upper Ball joint is bad, and I've got a new one to replace it, but I've decided to wait until I have all 4, before tackling that job..

any ideas why mine steers stiff, and why there needs to be so much input of the steering to get the truck to react? And it doesn't feel sloppy within the steering gear.. It definitely feels elsewhere, but I can't seem to find the "slack" area..

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any ideas why mine steers stiff, and why there needs to be so much input of the steering to get the truck to react? And it doesn't feel sloppy within the steering gear.. It definitely feels elsewhere, but I can't seem to find the "slack" area..

i replaced every thing in front of the axle excluding the steering box. also replaced all of the ball joints. i dont know which part did the most good, but it steers better than it did new. no more bump steering either. the steering on these trucks reminds me of driving a much bigger truck. i think thats the stiff and laggy feeling you are getting. i guess it is just the nature of the beast we drive. i might try the borgsen steering box one day and see what that does. that one is pretty low on the list for now though.

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I'd believe that, if my '96 didn't steer so nicely..

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i might try the borgsen steering box one day and see what that does. that one is pretty low on the list for now though.

I did the borgeson box and wow what an improvement:stuned: I think you should move it up your list quite a bit:lol:

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I'd believe that, if my '96 didn't steer so nicely..

my 96 drove just like this one before i fixed it, except no bump steer. you really had to think about a curve in the road and start steering before you got to it. the engine blew up and i traded it before i could have it fixed.

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I don't really have any bump-steer in the '01. It does tend to wander just a hair, on uneven road surfaces, but other than that, it's just hard to steer. Almost like the power steering is 90% inop, but the Ps is fine, brakes are fine, no leaks, etc.. I be confused.

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I'm no expert at this, but I remember hearing that if the steering geerbox gets adjusted as described in the TSB, it can get too tight (I think the term is the over center adjustment). That could cause serious resistance to the steering effort.

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I'm no expert at this, but I remember hearing that if the steering geerbox gets adjusted as described in the TSB, it can get too tight (I think the term is the over center adjustment). That could cause serious resistance to the steering effort.

I'll have to check into that. I've not touched my steer gear adjustment, but something isn't quite right. It's easy(er) to steer once it's moving, but even at a standstill, you can't hardly rotate the steering wheel. Sometimes, you just flat-out cannot turn the wheel at a stop.

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I am working on my front end as we speak.Mine is all played out.Steering wheel is to the left when i drive straight.So far i have,upper/lower moog, a dss steering stabilized and new endlinks with swaybar bushings.I am looking at 3rd gen track bar.

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