[T3] Front suspension questions

Jim Adney jadney at vwtype3.org
Mon Sep 21 08:05:24 PDT 2020

On 20 Sep 2020 at 20:06, Max Welton wrote:

> I set the lower trailing link droop as specified in the brown Bentley. I
> don't have the clever protractor shown in the manual. But I do have an
> angle-finder graduated in degrees and a pool shooters eye so it should be
> very close to 39 degrees. And it looks just like figure 8-10.

Sounds fine, especially if the two sides are very close to one another.

> First question: In order to get both ball joints connected on each
> side I needed to compress the lower links with a jack after tying down the
> pan. I think this is normal since there's no weight to speak of. The body
> is still 18 miles from here. Comments?

That's normal, even with the body on. VW had a special tool, made from a 
VW jack, to do that. I have a homemade substitute, made from one of those 
adjustable clamps you add to a length of 3/4" pipe.

> Second question: Are there supposed to be big wavy washers under the
> nuts securing the ball-joints? Seems like there ought to be.

Yes, and the OE washers are often broken. Some replacement ball joints 
come with new washers, which is good. If your old ball joints had no 
washers, then they were not the originals. Up thru '70, the OG ball joints had 
a drilled hole thru the threaded stem, with a removable plastic plug in them, 
so grease could be added.  

When installing new ball joints, it's a good idea to polish any rust out of the 
tapered socket in the trailing arm first.

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

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