D.I.Y Mk I, Ball joints, Rack ends + Tie rod ends

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Posts: 5693
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Location: Durban

D.I.Y Mk I, Ball joints, Rack ends + Tie rod ends

Post by UDC »

Ok this weekend I decieded to help my friend sort his suspension out on his Mk I Golf
So we went and purchased new ball joints, rack ends + rubber boots and tie rod ends.
Tools you may require for this job
13mm spanner x 2 or socket
17mm spanner x 2 or socket
19mm spanner
22mm spanner
28 mm spanner or shifting spanner
30 mm spanner or shifting spanner
Ball joint remover or 4 pound hammer
Flat screwdriver
Jack + Wheel spanner + jack stands - if available.

Firstly shock the back tyres of the car + hand brakes up
Loosen front wheel nuts, jack up car, and secure it on the jack stands
Remove both front wheels.

Loosen ball joint bolt that locks it onto the hub, you will the 17 spanner for this.

Once this bolt is out completely, you need to lever the control arm down to get the ball joint out of its housing.

Now use the 13 spanner and remove the 3 bolts and nuts holding the ball joint onto the control arm.

Next use a flat screwdriver slide the ball joint out of the control arm

Fitting of the ball joint will be the reverse of removal.

Next up is the Rack ends, very small space to work in here and better if down from under the car, move steering so that the place where the rack end and steering rack meet, gives you enough place to get it loose, clip of the cable ties and slide the rubber boot towards the tie rod end. Now the rack end should be exposed, from under the car use the 28 & 30mm spanner to loosen the rack end, they not usually tight, but to get the spanners in there is a mission, space is really limited.
Note, you only need to loosen it on the steering rack end, you still need to open the tie rod end and unscrew the rack end out. Once the rack end is loose we can now tackle the tie rod ends. If your car has the castle nut with a split pin through it, use the plies remove the split pin, then use the 19 spanner and remove this nut.

Next you can either use a 4 pound hammer and shock the tie rod out or use the ball joint remover in this case, which I prefer.

Once the tie rod end joint is out, you can now unscrew the entire rack end along with the tie rod end out. When assembling the new tie rod end with the rack end, make your adjustments to match the same of the ones you just removed, just to ensure your alignment won’t be totally off. Use the 22 spanner to lock the tie rod end to the rack end.
Also make sure the rubber boots are securely fastened with cable ties to the steering rack as you do not want dirt and water to get in there.
Fitment of the new tie rod ends with rack ends will be the reverse of removal.
Make sure all nuts are tightened properly before closing things up, put tires back on remove jack stands tighten wheel nut and take car for alignment

There must be lots of variations to get this job done, but this was the route i went this weekend. Its not a hard task at all, only problem i encounted was getting the rack end loose, but that wasn't a big issue, just space was limited.
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Post by bru-tom »

Nice write up UDC,pitty you only did the DIY now,would have liked to have done it myself a coupla months ago :lol: but thanks,will copy and past in MS WORD for future usage :D :D :wink:
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