This is a basic Do It Yourself for replacement of Rear Beam bushings with OE VW Bushings.
OE VW MK2-3 Rear Beam Bushings
Note that this bushing has two separate shoulder heights (you have to press on the 'carrier'). If you press on the metal sleeve in the center you will RUIN the bushing. This is what makes this job tricky. I will share what I learned through trial and error on this one.
Lets begin with the hard part
- Rear Beam Bushings (~$22 each)
- a good length(3 feet x 2) of 1/2" by 13 threaded rod purchased at local hardware store (ACE or ACO)
- 1/2" Nuts (6-8 incase some fail)
- 1/2" washers (8 at the very least. They will deform)
- 3/4" wrenches (for the 1/2" nuts)
-  'Pitman Arm Pullers' purchased at Murray's Auto Parts (~$8 each) These will have to be modified
- You typical VW wrenches, sockets (11mm,13,14,15,17,19) and rachet
- Murphy's Oil Soap (or equivalent for lubrication)
- A SawZall or Hack Saw
- A Hammer or Metal Sledge
LONG threaded rod
What is a pitman arm puller?
Here ya go.
They are avaliable to rent at Murray's, but you are going to have to DESTROY two of them.... So I suggest buying. They are cheap.
Pitman Arm Puller Packaging.
If you are thinking that you are going to be using a press..... to get your new bushings in
- This requires complete removal of the beam (keep in mind that means disconnected brake lines (possibly the Prop Valve if your car has one))
- Disconnecting means rebleeding
- You will need to make an elaborate fixture.
- You will most likely end up partially destroying the stamped CRS part of the bushing carrier (most presses are too powerful)
- The worst part is you will need to stand the rear beam up length-wise on your shoulder and support it WHILE operating the press (it's a bitch, I tried that too. This worked but partial mangled a bushing and more than partially mangled my back erectors :| )
Partially Mangled bushings from using a press.
Note the damage to the rubber and bushings carrier. This is not the appropriate way to do this job.
If you are thinking you'll use a 'Vice' to press the bushings in....
- You'll still need an elaborate fixture
- You'll need to enlist half the neighborhood, beleive me, I tried this.
- It will take 100 times longer to finish.
- There is a good chance you will break your (neighbor's.... ) vice.
Great Neighbors, but we couldn't finish the job this way.
This is as far as we could get with the Vice, and it took a good 4-5 hours of adjusting and grunting
The RIGHT way to do the job!
How to modify the Pitman Arm Pullers to get the job done
Pitman Arm Puller #1
This is actually THE hardest part of the job as these puppies are made of Forged Steel.
- Remove the hardened steel thread rod in the center. You don't need this. You will be running your 1/2" threaded rod through here.
- Saw through (BOTH) of the arms to produce the following
Here is what mine looks like
Pitman Arm Puller #2
- Again.... remove the hardened steel thread rod in the center.
- Saw through only ONE of the arms to produce the following
- Find a socket that is 29mm tall and duck tape it to the remaining arm as shown
Here is mine
CONGRATS! You are now ready to get this puppy finished! :naughty:
Here's the Setup!
- Apply Murphy's Oil Soap liberally to the outside of the bushing carrier.
- Hold one 3/4" wrench stationary on an end of the threaded rod and turn the other 3/4" wrench to tighten the fixture.
- The bushing will SMOOTHLY slide into the Rear Beam Carrier acceptor. NO JOKE! It goes it will serious ease if you have preped the rear beam well enough. Make sure the Pitman arms are touching on two points on both ends of the fixture. This means that the bushing should be lined up pretty straight. Don't worry, as the bushing is pulled/press in this way.... it straightens itself out!
- It is literally a one man operation if you can 'jam' one of the 3/4" wrenches against the beam or chassis while you turn the other.
- Continue to pull the bushing through (as per bently's spec angle) until the bushing carrier pulls through 350 thousands of an inch Make sure both sides are pull through to the approximate same distance. This will ensure that not only the rear beam will be centered on the chassis, but it will fit easily back into place when you are re-installing it.
Note, the first time I did this job I only used one Pitman. The other have was just a make shift fixture of two sockets and a flat peice of steel with a hole in it. This kind've sucked because whenever you lose tension, the sockets fall. It was a slight pain and required an extra set of hands. I highly suggest using two Pitmans.