Volkswagen Golf/Jetta 2 manual

Tie-rods and balljoints - removal and refitting
Suspension and steering / Tie-rods and balljoints - removal and refitting


Manual steering
Removal
1 If the steering tie-rod and balljoints are worn, play will be evident as the roadwheel is rocked from side to side. In this case, the balljoint must be renewed. On RHD models, the right-hand tie-rod is adjustable (see illustration) and the balljoint on this tie-rod can be renewed separately, however the left-hand tie-rod must be renewed complete.

On LHD models, the tie-rods are vice versa.

15.1 Right-hand adjustable balljoint
15.1 Right-hand adjustable balljoint

2 Jack up the front of the vehicle and support on axle stands (see УJacking and vehicle supportФ). Apply the handbrake and remove the front wheel(s).

3 If removing the tie-rod end balljoint, measure the distance of the exposed thread inboard of the locknut. Make a note of the distance then loosen the locknut.

4 Unscrew the balljoint nut on the side concerned then use a balljoint nut separator tool to release the joint from the wheel bearing housing (see illustration). With the tie-rod outer joint separated from the wheel bearing housing, the outer balljoint can be unscrewed from the tie-rod (where applicable) .

15.4 Balljoint separator tool in position on left-hand balljoint
15.4 Balljoint separator tool in position on left-hand balljoint

5 To remove the tie-rod, release the retaining clips from the steering gear bellows then slide the bellows outwards along the tie-rod to expose the inner balljoint.

6 Loosen the inner joint locknut then unscrew the tie-rod from the steering rack. The steering gear bellows can then be withdrawn from the inboard end of the tie-rod. Renew the bellows if they are damaged or perished.

Refitting
7 Refitting is a reversal of the removal procedure but note the following.

8 Clean the old locking fluid from the steering rack and from the old tie-rod if it is being refitted. Smear both threads with a locking solution prior to assembly.

9 Lubricate the inner bore of the gaiter ends before sliding it onto the tie-rod .

10 When reconnecting the tie-rod to the rack, screw it in to give the specified dimension УbФ (see illustration). Where both tie-rods (left and right) are being refitted to the rack, centralise the rack so that dimension УaФ (see illustration) is equal on each side.

15.10a Tie-rod-to-rack dimensions (b)
15.10a Tie-rod-to-rack dimensions (b)

15.10b Steering rack centralised when dimension (a) is equal on each side
15.10b Steering rack centralised when dimension (a) is equal on each side

11 Centralise the steering, then set the length of the left-hand tie-rod at a distance УaФ (see illustration), measured between the centre of the outer balljoint and the steering gear stop face on the inboard end of the driveshaft, When the distance is correct, tighten the locknut against the tie-rod end to set it at the specified fixed length. Set the right-hand tie-rod to the original length measured on dismantling, This will provide an approximate initial setting only, On completion, it will be necessary to check the toe-in setting. If further minor adjustment is required, adjust the right-hand tie-rod to provide the specified front wheel toe-in alignment. Any subsequent adjustments to the track setting must only be made by altering the length of the right-hand tie-rod.

15.11 Check that fixed length of left-hand driveshaft is as specified between
15.11 Check that fixed length of left-hand driveshaft is as specified between points indicated

Distance СaТ = 410 mm

12 Alternatively, screw on the balljoint to give the exposed thread dimension noted during removal, then tighten the locknut. Check that the steering gear-to-inner balljoint distance is as previously specified, then lock the inner locknut. Refit the steering gear bellows and ensure that they are not distorted.

13 Reconnect the outer balljoints to the wheel bearing housing and tighten the locknuts to the specified torque wrench settings. Always fit new locknuts if refitting the old balljoints/tie-rod.

14 On completion, check front wheel alignment.

Power steering
Removal
15 Remove the steering gear unit together with the tie-rods from the vehicle. This is necessary to avoid damaging the rack and pinion.

16 With the steering gear removed, clean it externally then release the clips and slide the bellows outwards along the tie-rods away from the inner joints.

17 Support the steering gear in a soft jaw vice with the steering rack in the jaws. Do not clamp the rack into a vice not fitted with protective jaws.

18 Each tie-rod and outer balljoint can be removed in a similar manner to that described for the manual steering gear unit.

Refitting
19 Refit the steering tie-rods to the rack and adjust the fitted lengths, as given. Tighten the tie-rods to the specified torque when the settings are correct.

20 Refit the steering gear and tie-rods.

21 On completion, check front wheel alignment.


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