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Author Topic: Front-end problems... is it safe?  (Read 2093 times)

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chewd

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Front-end problems... is it safe?
« on: April 28, 2009, 04:02:15 PM »
Ok first i should introduce myself. Im Chewd, and i have a 78 westfalia... and due to financial mechanisms beyond my control me & a friend have decided to pack our things into the westy & go out across America in search of a new beginning.

I play bass, he plays guitar/drums... we both have useful skills and strong backs... we should be able to find something somewhere.

The plan is to use databases like the AIRS list on type2 dot com & couchsurfing dot com and craigslist & just drive around till we find out where we belong.

You can read more about it on my blog thewestylife dot blogspot dot com

Anyway, in preparation for this journey, ive been going through the westy fixing whatever i can & i ran into a problem which may or may not be a show-stopper... i wonder if anyone here would mind offering some input.

It was pulling to the left when braking, so i bled the brakes & checked it out & everything appeared to be fine there... however, on the left side the large bracket which bolts to the frame & carries the front axle is badly rusted. What is happening is that when i hit the brakes, the left side of the axle is shifting rear-ward slightly causing the left pull.

Not good... not good at all.... very very very bad. If this came apart on the road... the thing would be uncontrollable & i'd wind up upside-down in a ditch somewhere.

So heres my conundrum.... nobody in KC (where im at now) works on type-2's anymore (darn you vee village!) so getting it fixed properly may not be an option just yet. Indeed from what ive been told, fixing it properly most likely involves overhauling the entire frontend & will cost upward of $1000 (assuming i can find someone to do it)

So... plan B is to weld in some temporary supports to stabilize the area, from what i can tell, this part of the axle doesnt need to move (in fact it needs to -not move- hence my problem) to get me down the road long enough to 1. drive down to arkansas, the nearest shop i can find which will do this for me. and/or 2. keep me on the road until cash isnt in such short supply (hopefully my house will sell soon).

Is this crazy? Should i just ground the westy until it can be fixed properly? Or can i get by just welding in a few bits of metal in and around the frame/axle?

The frame itself is in immaculate condition, as is the axle. Whoever bought my westy new got the undercoat & so everything under there is pretty much pristine except for this one (admittedly major) bracket which i assume only rusted out because its location allows a lot of abuse from rocks & the like.

What are your thoughts?

note: sorry about all the "dot com" business, the forum wont let me post websites since this is my first post.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by chewd »

Peter M King

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front end
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2009, 10:41:21 AM »
I would get it welded and drive on, you might want to check on it once in a while
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Peter M King »

chewd

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« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2009, 09:56:12 AM »
Yea... we ended up patching in some pieces of angle-iron down there. I'm feeling really good about its structural integrity now, the original stuff was just stamped out of body metal, now ive got 3-inch angle-iron holding it, its probably stronger than factory.

So im back on schedule and not nearly as panicked as a few days ago.

Thanks :)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by chewd »


For Westies-at-watkins.org check out Watkins 2019
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