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Previous Next Up Topic Re: ball joint vs link pin By Jeff Gum Date Wed, 16 Oct 2002 13:51:24 -0400

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Hi Wheat,

There is a difference in the distance between the upper and lower torsion bar tubes of the link pin and BJ beams. Basically, a VW chassis will fit one or the other, but not both. Use the beam that fits your chassis (depends on the year). If you're building a custom frame I suppose you could choose either. I can only say that the BJ front has a fairly large adjustment range in the camber setting, not so sure about this on the link pin. What I mean is the camber adjustment while aligning the front end. Neither design has any camber compensation while cornering, which is a slight negative aspect for performance street use. The LP is basically stronger by design and has much greater range in up-down movement compared to a BJ - making it the best off-road choice. For the street, IMO the BJ is maybe the best choice, though either will work.

The "steel" bolt on disc kits are the best (and least expensive) overall choice for general street use, and there are a wide variety of kits and wheel bolt patterns available. They just about all use the Ghia/T-3 front rotor/hub assemblies, calipers, spindles and hardware. Actually, I believe they all use the new Mexican Beetle front disc brake parts, which if I'm not mistaken are near identical to the earlier Ghia/T-3 stuff. Biggest differences in all the kits is fitting the 5 x 205mm bolt pattern wheels, most doing this with a custom hub - either aluminum or steel. The biggest drawback to these kits is they are heavier than the drum brakes you're pulling off, increasing unsprung weight. Not such a big deal on the average street car, maybe more so on a competition vehicle (on or off road). Don't expect a "huge" difference in braking capability over a well set-up set of drum brakes though. Probably better fade resistance, but for average street use they're not a significant improvement. They are, however, less maintenance than the drums up front as you don't have to adjust then once installed! The 4-bolt 4 x 130mm pattern hubs are all pretty standard VW stuff. Some of the lowering spindles increase track width, something to check into when buying a kit. I don't believe the basic standard height kit affects track width though, at least not to any appreciable amount.

As for parts availability - Internet and mail order shopping is the way to go these days!

Jeff

At 05:09 PM 10/16/2002 +0000, you wrote:

Ball joint or Link-pin front ends? Are there any big pros/cons as to which set-up to run on a street only buggy (i.e. alignment, tire wear, fit under the body, etc)? I haven't decided which set-up to run yet. All my Buds are using link-pin, so commonality (word?) is a plus with similar parts and more knowledge between our group. I would be the only one running the BJ set-up. I just figured newer design - probably better or VW wouldn't have changed it. Right or wrong?

I would like to run disc brakes (mostly for looks and self- adjustment) on the front. Are the bolt patterns and wheel compatibility the same for 4-bolt disc or drum? I was planning on buying a disc conversion kit to add to my front beam, since the kits have everything (bearings, seals, etc) already there. Am I going about this the wrong way? Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. There are NO VW places near me and not even a dealer (not that that would help in this case). I am definitely not in a big VW town, so I am relying on you guys for info. Thanks.

Wheat

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Hi Wheat,

There is a difference in the distance between the upper and lower torsion bar tubes of the link pin and BJ beams.  Basically, a VW chassis will fit one or the other, but not both.  Use the beam that fits your chassis (depends on the year).
If you're building a custom frame I suppose you could choose either.  I can only say that the BJ front has a fairly large adjustment range in the camber setting, not so sure about this on the link pin.  What I mean is the camber adjustment while aligning the front end.  Neither design has any camber compensation while cornering, which is a slight negative aspect for performance street use.
The LP is basically stronger by design and has much greater range in up-down movement compared to a BJ - making it the best off-road choice.  For the street, IMO the BJ is maybe the best choice, though either will work.

The "steel" bolt on disc kits are the best (and least expensive) overall choice for general street use, and there are a wide variety of kits and wheel bolt patterns available.  They just about all use the Ghia/T-3 front rotor/hub assemblies, calipers, spindles and hardware.  Actually, I believe they all use the new Mexican Beetle front disc brake parts, which if I'm not mistaken are near identical to the earlier Ghia/T-3 stuff.  Biggest differences in all the kits is fitting the 5 x 205mm bolt pattern wheels, most doing this with a custom hub - either aluminum or steel.  The biggest drawback to these kits is they are heavier than the drum brakes you're pulling off, increasing unsprung weight.  Not such a big deal on the average street car, maybe more so on a competition vehicle (on or off road).  Don't expect a "huge" difference in braking capability over a well set-up set of drum brakes though.  Probably better fade resistance, but for average street use they're not a significant improvement.  They are, however, less maintenance than the drums up front as you don't have to adjust then once installed!
The 4-bolt 4 x 130mm pattern hubs are all pretty standard VW stuff.  Some of the lowering spindles increase track width, something to check into when buying a kit.  I don't believe the basic standard height kit affects track width though, at least not to any appreciable amount.

As for parts availability - Internet and mail order shopping is the way to go these days!

Jeff

At 05:09 PM 10/16/2002 +0000, you wrote:

Ball joint or Link-pin front ends?  Are there any big pros/cons as to
which set-up to run on a street only buggy (i.e. alignment, tire
wear, fit under the body, etc)?  I haven't decided which set-up to
run yet.  All my Buds are using link-pin, so commonality (word?) is a
plus with similar parts and more knowledge between our group.  I
would be the only one running the BJ set-up.  I just figured newer
design - probably better or VW wouldn't have changed it.  Right or
wrong?

I would like to run disc brakes (mostly for looks and self-
adjustment) on the front.  Are the bolt patterns and wheel
compatibility the same for 4-bolt disc or drum?  I was planning on
buying a disc conversion kit to add to my front beam, since the kits
have everything (bearings, seals, etc) already there.  Am I going
about this the wrong way?  Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. 
There are NO VW places near me and not even a dealer (not that that=20
would help in this case).  I am definitely not in a big VW town, so I
am relying on you guys for info.  Thanks.

Wheat


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