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In the next few weeks, I'm going to power wash my pan and do some touch up painting, so I have a clean foundation before I start installing new parts. I'll pull the engine and probably the transaxle, since I am going to replace the transaxle mounts sooner than later. That got me to looking at how to remove the axle shafts, that led to reading about inspecting/re-greasing the CV joints etc.

Question: Complete CV joint axles shafts are about $80 each. Should I just replace the whole thing since I don't know the condition/history of mine? Or is this a waste of money?

It's  cracked/torn CV boots that destroy the joints by letting grit/sand in.  I'd get new quality boots and take them apart for inspection and cleaning.  Of course you don't want "blue balls" - a sure sign of over heating or "galled balls."  Nuff said!  Then regrease - force it between the balls.  And use new boots.

Ha, I'm sure this post will be censored!

Last edited by WOLFGANG

I just went ahead and installed new complete axle shafts instead of replacing the boots. It was so much easier that it seemed worth the money.

I used Duralast from Autozone.  The shafts themselves are a little larger in diameter than the old shafts.

My old shafts had urethane boots that over time had gotten stiff.

Well, that would keep me from worrying about those certain colored balls that Wolfgang mentioned! (Was that diplomatic enough to keep from getting censored?)

OEM CV joints tend to last a long time unless the car has been beat to death. I agree with Wolfgang. Many years ago I built a dune buggy from scratch starting with a totally rusted out 1970 Beetle. Pans and mostly every system was replaced including the full front beam and steering components and brakes, wiring harness, rebuilt motor with new tins, carb, ignition, exhaust, etc (back then in the middle to late ‘80’s good parts for these cars were plentiful and inexpensive). I pulled the axles, cleaned them and took them apart and the CV joints were good so I got one of those colored EMPI axle boot sets (we didn’t know any better then; I recall they were blue and included the grease tubes) and repacked them with the special gray grease. Anything OEM is infinitely better than any new replacement you can get today unless it’s New Old Stock. This is one if not the only remaining photo of it; our female Lhasa Apso Nina on the right seat. Note the old faithful ‘79 Olds next to it, which along with a beautiful ‘69 Ghia were our first cars that took us to and back from high school and first few years in college. My youngest brother totaled the Ghia in a car accident around 1986 and I built the buggy to replace it. Needless to say, I’ve had my Speedster since 2004 and my brother has never driven it; can you guess why? 😉EC9ECEC2-A9DF-46D9-80DB-071303ECD4AC

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08335474-C4A6-4CB2-9BA1-44EAA5F375251EC9198F-EC31-4B8A-B876-7FFD733FFBA1@TreyG posted:

Thanks guys, this gives me something to stew on.

Impala, you mentioned the blue boots and you didn't know any better, is there something wrong with colored boots?

Not really anything wrong I guess, although at least for my swingaxle car the EMPI colored numbers didn't seal well. I now only use  OEM VW (when I can find them) or the FEBI/Bilstein German units (they are marked "Volkswagen" so maybe even their molds were the OEM units). Those seem to last. The anti bling thing also seems to set in as you grow older...;-)

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Last edited by Impala

I haven't replaced a drive shaft boot on IRS in, like, forever.  I do the same as Mike and Alan and just get complete axle drive shafts and put them in.  The pair in my car now came from Raxles in Gainesville, Florida and have beefed up (Porsche 924/944) CV joints and thicker shafts.  They've been in there for years.  It is best to call Raxles and talk with someone to determine the best product mix for you.  They'll want to know the car, your driving habits, engine size (torque and HP) and a few other tidbits.  IIRC, they were around $120 each but they'll probably last forever in this car.  Raxles never rebuilds from used axles.  Their website is a good read:

https://www.raxles.com

I have a spare set from NAPA, too.  Last I knew, they were around $65 each at my local NAPA store and they'll take your old ones as "cores".   Just order a pair for a 1970 VW sedan.  They seem pretty good quality, but I haven't had to use them yet.  While I'm not a fan of "refurbished" and especially not of "reground" CV joints (the regrinding cuts through the case hardening and causes premature wearing), I don't put enough miles on my car yearly to worry about refurbished quality for a pair of spare shafts.

Regarding IRS CV joints and boots: as usual, I'm swimming against the current.

The boot/axle/CV kits sold by EMPI on eBay (and well, everywhere else) have Chinese CV joints. They are nowhere near OG quality.

If you want quality CV joints, GKN Löbro is the only good choice. A single CV joint costs about as much as the entire setup from EMPI-- but they are the best available, and one of the pieces where you get what you pay for. As far as I know, nobody sells the already assembled kits using these CV joints, and you are stuck with EMPI boots no matter what you decide to do-- but the EMPI boots at least offer some options (stock, or a couple of heavy-duty options).

I really wish I could unbolt the entire setup and slip new ones in when the boots crack (and if you've got an IM with the drivetrain slid forward, they will crack), but I'm unwilling to risk it with a big/powerful engine. I might risk it with a 1776, etc.-- but not with a 2L+ engine.

As I said, I'm often the guy swimming upstream, but this is my story and I'm sticking with it.

Pulled the motor today. One of the lower nuts was missing and one of the upper bolts. Also found out that I don’t have the thermostat mechanism for the fan shroud vanes and the linkage that operates them. I will have to remove the shroud and see if the vanes are in there. Also found that the header and muffler were full of rust, so I’ll add that to the list to replace.

I had my best helpers with me. I can just imagine what the conversation will be when they go back to school after Christmas: “friend - I programmed my new cell phone over the break. My daughter - That sounds boring. I helped my Dad pull a motor out of his Porsche. My Dad is the coolest.”  (Maybe that’s close to what they will say anyway....)

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Finding a set of air vanes with the associated linkage bar, thermostat and thermostat actuator rod is the hard part.  Once you get them delivered we can walk you through the installation and adjustment to make them work smoothly.  The newer spring-style thermostat doesn’t look like the older, bellows style, but from what I’ve heard they work just as well.  Don’t forget to check local salvage yards to see if you could find a whole fan shroud with the vanes intact.  You have the older, “36 hp” style fan shroud.  There is a newer version with a bigger fan, but it is flat across the top, rather than rounded like yours.  For that, you can fit a bigger oil cooler and bigger fan and it’ll cool better - A must for engines 1,915cc and larger.

The German hardware to install them was slotted 6mm screws.  Unless you wish to grow up as a sainted Purist, I would suggest going to a local hardware store and get a box of 6mm X 1.0 pitch X 12mm long (1/2”) Phillips Pan-Head screws and flat washers to fit.   Those screws come in handy for a lot of stuff on these engines and a box of them is cheap - washers, too.  Don’t forget some metric lock washers, just in case, too.

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

Don't waste your time with old crap. Get a brand new set from Clark.

http://www.awesomepowdercoat.c...hermostat_flaps.html

I put a set in my engine when I replaced my crappy Chinese shroud with a Cooled1 replica thing shroud. Couldn't be happier. Solved the overheating issues I had on long freeway and 5%< grade runs.

Per Gordon's post, Clark has the older bellows-style thermostats, but they're pricey because they're getting rare.  On my Spyder, I couldn't use one because the exhaust is in the way, so I fabbed up a Triumph choke cable to operate the flaps manually  

And +1 on ditching the OEM straight blade cheesehead screws  I used SS pan head allens, spring washers, and locktite on mine.

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Last edited by dlearl476
@TreyG posted:

Looks like I am missing the entire system. No screws in the tin and no posts sticking out.
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I’ll add this to the parts!

When you get it apart, take a good look at an exploded cooling parts diagram. I think the "what is this crap? I don't need this" mentality that led to leaving off the thermostat flappers also led to leaving off the internal baffles which channel the airflow to where it needs to go.

When I got mine all apart, it was also missing these.

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Clark sells great reproductions of all the necessary bits to get your cooling system back to the way the VW engineers designed it to work.

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ETA: From your your pic it looks like you're also missing the ducting for your oil cooler, which means you're dumping hot air into your engine compartment or blowing it right in one if your carbs (if you have dual carbs). Numbers 2&3 in the parts pic.

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Last edited by dlearl476
@TreyG posted:

Thanks guys, this is good info! I found Clark’s website the other day and was thinking that getting a full set from him is probably the best route. Then I have all that stuff correct. Good tip on the fasteners Gordon and dlearl476.

Clark is a great guy. Very responsive to emails, too. If it strikes your fancy, his threads on The Samba are pretty informative. Other than Jake Raby, he's probably done more research into AirCooled VW cooling than anyone else. His username in The Samba is Volksaholic.

Happy New Year!

I tried to drain my transaxle today to remove it. I don’t have 17mm hex wrench. I tried using a bolt with a couple nuts jammed on it, but that failed. (25 years ago I welded a bolt to a piece of rebar for a homemade wrench, I guess I should have kept it!)

Y’all know any tricks to getting it out other than the correct tool? I am going to look around town tomorrow to see if I can get a wrench or socket locally, but don’t have high hopes for finding it local.

@TreyG posted:

Happy New Year!

I tried to drain my transaxle today to remove it. I don’t have 17mm hex wrench. I tried using a bolt with a couple nuts jammed on it, but that failed. (25 years ago I welded a bolt to a piece of rebar for a homemade wrench, I guess I should have kept it!)

Y’all know any tricks to getting it out other than the correct tool? I am going to look around town tomorrow to see if I can get a wrench or socket locally, but don’t have high hopes for finding it local.

I had no luck with a double-nutted 17mm bolt either when I couldn't find my socket. (I turned up in the door pocket after an extensive search. DOH!)

IIRC, it was <$10 at Lowes.

FWIW, this is the wrong time if year to be messing with gear lube.

My suggestion? Put the new stuff in a pan of hot water for a while, and either go for a long drive or put a heat lamp on your trans for a few hours before you drain it.

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