converting ball joint into link pin

Offroad VW based vehicles have problems/insights all their own. Not to mention the knowledge gained in VW durability.

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sandslinger
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converting ball joint into link pin

Post by sandslinger » Sun Aug 20, 2006 12:44 am

Hello, I am getting ready to purchase a sandrail frame with ball joint front end, but I need a link pin front end. What is involved with this type of conversion? I am thinking of using maybe an aluminum front end with shock towers out of a Hot Vw vendor. I only have 2 days to get a respond back to the guy. Thanks. You can take a look at this pic here.

http://www.dunebuggy.com/perl-bin/viewT ... orumID=3re.

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Crash
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Post by Crash » Sun Aug 20, 2006 1:57 am

The balljoint beam tubes are further apart than the kingpin. The easiest thing to do would be to cut out the upper mounts, fit the beam, then build new uppers and weld them in place.

-Mark
________________________________
Mark "Crash" Johnson
Blind Chicken Racing
www.blindchickenracing.com

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scott the viking
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Post by scott the viking » Sun Aug 20, 2006 2:56 am

What are your fab skills like? It's kind of perspective...to some of us this would be very easy and would not think twice about it, but for some would be too much. Like Mark said...some welding and cutting are going to take place. If you can get it cheap enough and cannot do this yourself, maybe you will have enough left over for a shop to do it.

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MNAirHead
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Post by MNAirHead » Sun Aug 20, 2006 8:32 am

Sand slinger...

Welcome to the forum... glad your here... please post often.

This is kind of like the "expensive french menu" question... by asking I"m guessing that you and I are on the same point of the learning/time/talent curve.

My gut suggestion would be either find a different buggy... OR work from the ball joint platform... remember cheap disk brakes are cheaper for a ball joint... and that a ball joint beam doesn't really fall apart that quick if driven withint reason (remember a type 181/thing) was shipped with a Ball Joint.

My opinion/suggestion... get it going and running with the ball joint... then drive it... repair the front a few times... then plan on converting.... chances are during the driving of it, there are some mods that can be done at the same time (you conert to ball joint).

One fact I know.. if you choose to buy it, we'll do our best coaching you trhough the conversion, fun and running of it.

Rails rock.

Timmy

sandslinger
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Post by sandslinger » Sun Aug 20, 2006 8:49 am

Thanks guys. It sounds easy enough. My father has a lot of knowledge when it comes to welding and fabricating. He will actualy be coaching and guiding me through the process of any welding and fab I do. I was just needing to know what the difference was and how to do it. This is my first time with a standard vw front end. I have owned 3 supers before with strut front ends. Again thanks a lot for the response. I think I am going to get it and go with what Crash said to do.

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MNAirHead
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Post by MNAirHead » Sun Aug 20, 2006 9:05 am

I'll add onto the questions....

-What shocks/suspension are a good mod (and budget)
-How wide should I make the front end?
-What beam should I use?


Suggestion --- open a separate thread on installing a King Pin beam... there's some tech info (geometry, degrees, proecedures) that someone else can learn from... what you're doing is a fun project.

Opening a separate thread will make it searchable in the future.

Thanks again.

T.

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Leatherneck
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Post by Leatherneck » Sun Aug 20, 2006 9:05 am

sandslinger if this is the frame you are going to be using it would be a breeze to do. These guys will correct me if I am wrong, but I would cut off the upper mounts set the beam in place bolted to the bottom ones and then adjust the down tubes to correct length. If this is not the frame then most others will be a bit harder. But still doable.

Image

If this is the frame I would also add a brace coming from beam back on the upper joints.

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jowlz
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Post by jowlz » Tue Aug 22, 2006 12:59 pm

Personally, I think there is too much hype with swapping over to KP from BJ, for the casual off-road car.IMHO it comes down to how much travel you want from your front end.

If you are looking to add a few inches of travel and beef things up you can use thing trailing arms and spindles and pick up a few inches of travel. Thing also uses a different balljoint, which is stronger than the type1. I know quite a few people using this set up and it works great. Downside is finding all the thing parts.

If you are looking to get maximum travel or switch to combo spindles, thru rods and coilover shocks, KP is the way to go.

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Leatherneck
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Post by Leatherneck » Tue Aug 22, 2006 2:56 pm

I have never had a ball joint front end, but how long would one last with a guy who drives it pretty hard including jumps but not all the time? I have always had a K&L pin and they last but I also have to do maintenace and repairs. I like K/P better and that is just a personal opinion, but are they? If you lined two vehicles up each with a dif front beam would it be the luck of the draw to have the K/P last longer?

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scott the viking
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Post by scott the viking » Tue Aug 22, 2006 3:03 pm

If both front beams are just raised stock...a thing balljoint is stronger than a link. It's when you start adding a few parts to the link that it blows by the balljoint.
A balljoint front will hold up to a shocking amount of abuse. As much as most folks seem to hate them...you would think that they would just collapse as soon as your car hit gravel...but they really are not very weak at all.

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