The possibilities?

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CR500Rider
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Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:09 pm
What year is your cabby?: 1990
Do you own a Cabriolet?: Yes

The possibilities?

Post by CR500Rider » Sun Apr 07, 2013 9:41 pm

I've come to the point in working on my 90' Cabriolet that it's down to getting the front end straight. The car pulls to the right and the right front wheel is physically "pushed back" towards the rear of the car. I am not familiar with the layout of the VW steering/suspension. What are the possibilities that will cause this? I'm having a hard time telling if anything is bent under the front end. The control arm does have a dent in it, like a square edged "something" whacked it but I can't tell if it's physically bent.
1990 VW Cabriolet, 1.8L automatic.

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CalAltaDubber
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Re: The possibilities?

Post by CalAltaDubber » Sun Apr 07, 2013 10:32 pm

I think you answered it. If there is a big dent in the control arm, it is probably bent, buckled, distorted or twisted.
Phil

'87 Cabriolet, "Topless Bunny"
'88 Cabriolet, "Posh Bunny"
'04 Golf
'12 Golf Wagon TDI
'69 Manx type Dune Buggy (New Toy)

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Briano1234
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Re: The possibilities?

Post by Briano1234 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:12 am

If the Tire/Wheel isn't centered in the wheel arch, then your lower control frame is bent. (Curbing can do that).

Measure the other side front edge of the tire to the arch and then the same at the back side. (wheels centered) Then take the same measurements for the other side.

If you have a Standard Tranny and it is the drivers side, then no worries...
If you have a Automatic, and it is the drivers side, then you will have to remove the 3 tranny mounts, and jack the transmission or lift it clear of the bolt. (yeppers it is a pain in the ass.)
Removing the 3 mounts allows you to jack or lift the Transmission up without doing to much other creative stuff, as there is only about 1/2 inch clearance between the head of the bolt and the valve body. Oh and the bolt is about 7 inches long.

They sell kits that include the bushings along with the control arm. Be warned if the new control arm doesn't easily bolt up, the new arm could be bent, as I have had that happen to me, and after 3 hours of fussing, I went local and bought a new one and 10 minutes later I was done. The hardest part of the job is getting the sway bar repositioned. I loosened all the mount points and that allowed me swing room to reattach. If you get a new control arm, then you will also need a new ball joint, if your ball joint is still new, then you could re-use it.

Passenger side plenty of room.
Image

Driver side automatic... no room to swing it.
Image
Briano

Yes as matter of fact, I have the Luck o'the Irish...everything I touch turns to fertilizer of the bovine variety.
You can lead a user to a link, but you can't make him Click.... :screwy:

CR500Rider
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:09 pm
What year is your cabby?: 1990
Do you own a Cabriolet?: Yes

Re: The possibilities?

Post by CR500Rider » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:14 pm

Thanks guys! I wasn't sure if anything else could be bent (ie: anything the control arm bolts up to) that would cause the wheel to do that. I knew the car had some damage to the right front when I bought it but I'm a glutton for punishment I reckon.

Here's a picture of the passenger side

Image

The drivers side.

Image
1990 VW Cabriolet, 1.8L automatic.

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Calimus
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Re: The possibilities?

Post by Calimus » Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:23 pm

The control arm is the cheapest part to replace to see if that's the issue. An it's the most likely piece that bends easily.
12' A6 3.0T Prestige
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CR500Rider
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:09 pm
What year is your cabby?: 1990
Do you own a Cabriolet?: Yes

Re: The possibilities?

Post by CR500Rider » Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:59 am

Finally got around to ordering the control arm and a ball joint, should be here tomorrow. Briano, does there exist one of your great writeups on replacing the control arm? This car has definitely been on an offroad trip. If I had to guess, a metal culvert was involved. Probably explains the big gob of JB weld on the power steering pump.
1990 VW Cabriolet, 1.8L automatic.

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Briano1234
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Re: The possibilities?

Post by Briano1234 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 2:21 pm

CR500Rider wrote:Finally got around to ordering the control arm and a ball joint, should be here tomorrow. Briano, does there exist one of your great writeups on replacing the control arm? This car has definitely been on an offroad trip. If I had to guess, a metal culvert was involved. Probably explains the big gob of JB weld on the power steering pump.
No, the closest I get is the thread to say how to press in a bushing without a press.
I bought one of these Kits off of ebay and how do I get the front bearing installed, because I don't have a press to do it.?

Image



Image

Go tho the hardware store of your choice and get a bolt that goes into the
bushing, and is 2 1/2 times as long also get a nut and a flat fender washer that is larger than the diameter of
the bushing.

Image

Apply a little grease to the inner frame.
Assemble it and start tightening it.

Image

To finish it the last 1/4 of an inch, take the nut off and the washer and use a large socket on the bottom of the control arm
bracket wrench end out 24mm worked for me.... Replace the washer on the back end of the socket, replace the nut and re-tighten. You can use a large c-clamp on the socket...at the end but to get it started and inserted use the bolt.

Loosen the Lug bolts.
Jack the car and support it on jack stands.
Remove the wheel.
Remove the pinch bolt on the bottom of the strut that holds the strut to the ball joint.
Pry the strut off the ball joint
Loosen the sway bar hanger behind the control arm.
Loosen the rear hanger bolts for the control arm
Remove the sway bar bolts and strap from the control arm.
Remove the big long bolt that holds the control arm to the frame.

On the new control arm.
Press in the front bushing.
Press on the rear bushing.
Bolt the Ball joint on. DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN. 18 ft/lbs
Place never-seize on the ball joint that goes in to the strut but wait till you get it mounted.
Place the control arm in place in the rear, then put the long bolt in front. (if it don't go in easily as in about 10 minutes your new control arm may be bent. It happened to me and I fussed a while before I went and bought a new one, which went right in.)

Ball joint pinch bolt is 37 ft/lbs
Sway bar bolts 18 ft/lbs
Rear control arm mount 26 ft/lbs
Front control arm bolt 52 ft/lbs
Briano

Yes as matter of fact, I have the Luck o'the Irish...everything I touch turns to fertilizer of the bovine variety.
You can lead a user to a link, but you can't make him Click.... :screwy:

CR500Rider
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:09 pm
What year is your cabby?: 1990
Do you own a Cabriolet?: Yes

Re: The possibilities?

Post by CR500Rider » Mon May 13, 2013 5:43 pm

Finally got enough time to swap the control arm. It was definitely bent. The wheel moved forward at least an inch. Here's pics of the control arms.

Image

The wheel location before and after.

Image

Image

I can get it to an alignment shop but I'd like to do it myself. I've read up on the link below but one thing I can't seem to figure out how to do is set ride height. I don't see it in the Bentley. Any help?

http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.p ... IY-Inside!
Last edited by CR500Rider on Tue May 14, 2013 12:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
1990 VW Cabriolet, 1.8L automatic.

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CalAltaDubber
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Re: The possibilities?

Post by CalAltaDubber » Mon May 13, 2013 11:20 pm

CR500Rider wrote:Finally got enough time to swap the control arm. It was definitely bent. The wheel moved forward at least an inch. I can get it to an alignment shop but I'd like to do it myself. I've read up on the link below but one thing I can't seem to figure out how to do is set ride height. I don't see it in the Bentley. Any help?

http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.p ... IY-Inside!
Ride height, I believe is not adjustable on OEM struts. You would have to find a set of coilovers or something like that.

I went with an FK 60/40 lowering kit (60 mm front and 40 mm rear) when I did the Posh Bunny. It gave me a nice stance and was cheaper than OE struts and springs.
Phil

'87 Cabriolet, "Topless Bunny"
'88 Cabriolet, "Posh Bunny"
'04 Golf
'12 Golf Wagon TDI
'69 Manx type Dune Buggy (New Toy)

Image Image

CR500Rider
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:09 pm
What year is your cabby?: 1990
Do you own a Cabriolet?: Yes

Re: The possibilities?

Post by CR500Rider » Tue May 14, 2013 3:51 pm

Thanks for that info. I was racking my brain trying to figure out where that adjustment was. The engine has been sorted out, the cooling system is all new and now the front end is sorted out. It drives nice! Now I can start with the new top and interior!
1990 VW Cabriolet, 1.8L automatic.

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CalAltaDubber
Frozen Guy in the Northern Country
Posts: 2004
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 11:10 pm
What year is your cabby?: 1987
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Re: The possibilities?

Post by CalAltaDubber » Tue May 14, 2013 6:07 pm

CR500Rider wrote:Thanks for that info. I was racking my brain trying to figure out where that adjustment was. The engine has been sorted out, the cooling system is all new and now the front end is sorted out. It drives nice! Now I can start with the new top and interior!
Got a photo?
Phil

'87 Cabriolet, "Topless Bunny"
'88 Cabriolet, "Posh Bunny"
'04 Golf
'12 Golf Wagon TDI
'69 Manx type Dune Buggy (New Toy)

Image Image

CR500Rider
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:09 pm
What year is your cabby?: 1990
Do you own a Cabriolet?: Yes

Re: The possibilities?

Post by CR500Rider » Tue May 14, 2013 9:02 pm

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
1990 VW Cabriolet, 1.8L automatic.

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Briano1234
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Re: The possibilities?

Post by Briano1234 » Wed May 15, 2013 2:47 am

Get a upper radiator card made and installed on this guy, it assist in the cooling efficiency of the radiator 100 and 50 percent.
Otherwise Oh so pretty.


opps

www.cabby-info.com

http://www.cabby-info.com/Files/Baffles_All_AC.pdf
Briano

Yes as matter of fact, I have the Luck o'the Irish...everything I touch turns to fertilizer of the bovine variety.
You can lead a user to a link, but you can't make him Click.... :screwy:

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