From: John Meeks
Symptom(s): Squeek Klunk over bumps
First, soak the large nut on the ends of the long bolt that goes
through the wishbone arm ends as well as the Allen head bolts that
hold the upper ball joint to the wishbone with a good penetrating oil.
Have some anti seize compound as well as some good synthetic grease an
hand for reassembly.
Jack up the front of the van on both sides and place jack stands on
each side on the frame inboard of the jack points. Wheels off.
Next, remove the two Allen bolts holding the upper ball joint and lift
the wishbone arm up to free the steering arm/ball joint assembly which
you can then move forward and out of the way.
Now comes the fun part. Get a socket on the long bolt's nut which is to
your left or at the rear arm of the wishbone and a 14MM hex key to hold the
long bolt head. Remove the nut and slide the long bolt out forward.
This is where I had the most trouble. Spent hours getting that long
bolt to move. Had to cut one with a sawsall blade. Hopefully yours
will come right out. There are a couple of offset (eccentric) washers
on this long bolt which you need to keep. Notice and remember where
these washers go. Once that long bolt is out you can lift the wishbone
The bushings are probably welded to the wishbone arm so you'll need to
grind off the welds in order to press out the bushings. I just took
both wishbones to a real mechanic with a press to do the bushing
replacement. Once the new bushings are pressed in, you can tack weld
the bushings to the arm. Use an arc welder (MIG) A gas weld will melt the
Clean the rust and junk off the long bolt. I painted mine with POR-15.
When you're ready to re-assemble the whole mess, pack the tube that
the long bolt goes into with the synthetic grease, put the wishbone in
position and slide the long bolt back through the bushings replacing
the eccentric washers as you go with the larger lobe of the washer
down. The long bolt has a flat side. This side should be vertical and
to the inside of the van. Replace the nut using some anti-seize in the
threads and tighten it to 55 ft/lbs (or 75 Newton meters eh).
The rest as they say is the reverse of disassembly. The upper ball
joint bolts get 40 ft/lbs of torque (55 Nm) and some Loctite threadlocker.
You can use a hex key in a socket on your torque wrench.
Drive straight to your local alignment guy to adjust the camber angle.
Have fun with your vastly improved steering!!
See Comments on this entry (F.W.I.W.)
Free in the Android Market, the Vanagon Rescue Squad app for Android
phones. Scan the QR or search the
Market for Vanagon.
NEW! Now on the App Store for iPhone and iPad.