Home Technical Discussions Volkswagen Vanagon: 1980-1991 (T3)

Volkswagen Vanagon: 1980-1991 (T3) Front End?

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Last Post: Jun 7, 2014 10:29 AM Last Post By: TomB

Posts: 6
Registered: 04/03/08
Front End?
Posted: Jun 5, 2014 1:51 PM
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Hi all, got one that's baffling me. Over the last couple years my 89 has this droning growling noise and it sounds like it's under my feet all up front. I assume it's old bearings as everything else looks in good shape and some mechanics agreed. So I do the entire front rebuild, bearings races rotors pads lines upper ball joints etc. and guess what, still droning away. I have a fellow Vanagon addict/mechanic take a little ride with me and listen. He says immediately it's coming from the back! Telegraphing up through the frame and making it sound like it's up front.. So now I'm about to tackle the back.. Has anyone ever had this happen and also what am I in store for when I tear the backs apart?? I've also started hearing a clicking noise when rolling to a stop, have the rears gone to catastrophic failure? Thanks...

Posts: 1,416
Registered: 08/06/02
Re: Front End?
Posted: Jun 7, 2014 10:29 AM   in response to: dakineguy in response to: dakineguy
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The rear bearings are a bit unusual - like the IRS Beetle design: a caged ball bearing for side loading held in the housing by snap-ring from the inside, and a straight roller bearing for weight-loading. The large nut (45 or 46mm) is torqued to pre-load the stub axle in tension to prevent fatigue failure. Be sure to tighten it to correct torque to prevent axle failure. A LARGE torque-wrench or geared tool like Torque-meister is needed for the nut.
I've also heard a lot of noises from the front upper A arm suspension bushings that are under the front seats, either from worn-out bushings or loose retaining nut. That can click when stopping as the forces shift. Being under the seat it's hard to tell the location when you are driving. These rubber-lined bushings are spot-welded to the arms after pressing in place.

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