[Vwdiesel] Tie rods/wheel bearings on a Mk2 Jetta

Val Christian val at mongo.mongobird.com
Wed Jun 2 12:37:39 PDT 2010

I've probably done front bearings 25 to 30 times.  I do not have a tool for 
in situ removal, but have dreamed about making one out of threaded rod, some
oversized washers and some 3/4" or 1" sockets.  Generally I use a hydraulic
press and a oxyacetylene torch.  

This normally involves pulling the spindle, which normally necessitates 
a reset of the camber.  If doint tie rods at the same time, I would just work
quick and bite the cost of the realignment.

With the spindle out, pressing out the bearing can be done with a small
press.  I use a 12 ton Harbor Freight press.  I should caution you that in 
81 I didn't have that press and took it to a shop with a 50 ton press.  
I think they distorted the spindle the pressed.  12 ton works fine, and 
use a hammer tapping the casting while you are pressing to keep things
moving.  The inner race can usually be taken off with bearing "moons" but
normally, I just use a cutting torch.  I'm not real skilled with the 
cutting torch, but I've only nicked, in a very minor way, the hub shaft
just once.  

Placing the bearing in the freezer prior to pressing it in, helps with 
clearances, and it usually slides in with the press hardly working.  Any
condensate from the -10F bearing will help lubricate the assembly process.
I've also used never-sieze, and I can say that it doesn't seem to make a 
difference in this area.  The bearing - spindle interface stays pretty dry
and enjoys braking heat to dry it out.

I've learned to not pull the inner CV joints.  It's far easier to mess
with the strut / spindle assy, than inner CV joints that don't want to 
come off.

I had a friend who had a similar assembly from a larger vehicle, and 
could not press his bearing out with the 12 ton press.  After the hub
shaft was out (with inner race) I torched the outer race out.  Slightly 
messier than using a cutting torch on the inner race, because there was 
lubricant involved.  Using the freezer cooled bearing, it slid together

When pressing, I normally use 3/4" sockets (Harbor Freight set I've had for 
30 years) to apply pressure where I want.

The 12 ton press is not that expensive, and you may find someone in the
area with one.  Almost any service place may also press things apart
for you.  Be sure that you properly sequence the installation of the 
bearing, so that you don't get  an unusable bearing.

I don't remember exactly what I used, but I think I ground a large
(cheap) socket to make a tool for inner tie rod removal.  It was for
a 78 Rabbit, and the last I used it was in 85.  If I can find it, I could 
email a picture.

What I describe may not be the approach for you, but it might give you some 
ideas.  Good luck.  When you get the process worked out, you can do both
front bearings in about 70 minutes.


> Marco,
> If your into DIY, the links you posted are a nice deal. Being too busy
> otherwise, I recently had a half-handy customer get those particular spindle
> assemblies and he only called me for suggestions a coulpe times, but he had
> a mk3 w/ABS..
> If your gentle removing the splines (axle) from the hub you can zip tie it
> away and not mess with the XZN (triple square) bolts.
> the links you posted regarding the tie rods are a fair price too considering
> they are complete assemblies. but if your going this route its going to be
> tricky if even possible, to loosen&tighten the inner joint to the rack with
> standard hand tools. I have a special tool that looks like a paper towel
> roll with locking crowsfeet into one end that makes this task a breeze, but
> for minimal use would be cost prohibitive..
> i would strongly recommend avoiding makeshift methods for pressing bearings
> in & out of spindles. I have seen these methods vary drastically in results,
> but for a first timer, very risky. not to mention dealing with inner race
> from hub removal..
> couple other notes: anti seize paste and medium threadlocker you should
> buy.. torque tight but not broken..  I prefer to tighten the axle nut
> moderately as the tire touches the ground (before road weight) again when
> fully loaded and once more after rotated 180 degrees.. I have nice air tools
> but dont use them all that much. Oh, aerokroil by Kano labs is the best
> penetrating oil ive ever used.
> -brian
> .
> On Wed, Jun 2, 2010 at 1:48 AM, Marco <nwmarco at yahoo.com> wrote:
> > Yes, the entire hub/knuckle assembly is $110 each
> >
> > http://www.partsplaceinc.com/products/product-detail.aspx?s=339&sku=11566
> >
> > Tie rods are $40.
> >
> > http://www.partsplaceinc.com/products/product-detail.aspx?s=347&sku=2067
> >
> > Of course I'll need the 30mm axle nut socket and the 12pt 8mm CV bolt tool
> > too...
> >
> > $300 for parts, $16 or so for the tools, plus shipping and core charge for
> > the knuckles.
> >
> > I'm sure my spindles/etc. are all old and worn out so replacing the entire
> > assembly seems like a reasonable step at this point.
> >
> > Then I would still need to have it all re-aligned, even if I'm super
> > careful to note all the positions on disassembly.
> >
> > Cheers,
> > Marco
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > ________________________________
> > From: Erik Lane <eriklane at gmail.com>
> > To: LBaird119 at aol.com
> > Cc: vwdiesel at vwfans.com
> > Sent: Tue, June 1, 2010 7:56:47 PM
> > Subject: Re: [Vwdiesel] Tie rods/wheel bearings on a Mk2 Jetta
> >
> > Though he said that he could get the whole "bearing assembly" so he
> > wouldn't need a press. The only way I can think of not needing a press
> > to replace a wheel bearing is if you're getting the whole hub/knuckle
> > whatever you call it assembly. That could easily push the price up to
> > $400...
> >
> > On Tue, Jun 1, 2010 at 7:00 PM,  <LBaird119 at aol.com> wrote:
> > > In a message dated 6/1/2010 6:35:18 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
> > > nwmarco at yahoo.com writes:
> > >
> > >> I can get all the parts for about $400 to do both bearings/tie rods.
> > >>
> > >
> > >  Should be able to get tie rods and bearings for about $25 each
> > > ($100) and new boots for <$5 each.
> > >    Loren
> > > _______________________________________________
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> > > Vwdiesel at vwfans.com
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> > >
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> -- 
> [blinders off&earplugs out]
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