[T3] type3-vwtype3.org Digest, Vol 89, Issue 3

Jim Adney jadney at vwtype3.org
Mon Feb 12 06:31:27 PST 2018

On 12 Feb 2018 at 8:00, Ross G Clarke wrote:

> I found my front suspension ball joints rubbers perished on my 1966
> fastback. The joint seemed ok however there was a rust build up inside.
> It is recommended to replace the joint or just the rubber boot if the
> joint proves sound?

There are published wear limits in the Bentley manual. You apply axial 
pressure to the joint and see how far it compresses. If it's less than the wear 
limit, the joint is still servicable. It can be hard to do this test, but it's worth 

The rust is unlikely to be in an important area, but if the ball is rusted, the 
joint is junk. Otherwise, if you can find a replacement boot, that's a 
reasonable way to go.

If these are OG ball joints from '71 or earlier, there will be a plastic plug on 
top, which you can remove and install a TEMPORARY grease fitting. This 
will allow you to flush the ball area with fresh grease before installing a new 
boot. Replace the plastic plug when you're finished. Replacement ball joints 
do not have this feature.  

Do NOT fill the boot completely with grease when you're done; that will 
cause the boot to split when it's asked to flex. That's why the grease fittings 
must be removed when you're done, because the next person will be 
tempted to use them to fill the boot.

I sometimes find cars with grease fittings installed on all the ball joints. The 
boots on those joints are always broken.

Jim Adney, jadney at vwtype3.org
Madison, Wisconsin, USA

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