#Tip 14 Sway bar links and Radius rods
What in the world are these? They are suspension parts, that keep the front wheels right with the rest of the vanagon. What in the world do these have in common? These both have a very similar style rubber joints. I don’t know the technical name for it, but you guys who like to google things feel free to chime in here. Both of these parts have a joint mounted in rubber that is free to move just the right amount. To much movement and it will not work properly, to little and it breaks the rod or link. In our case with the vanagon, these have been getting so old that I’m finding most all vanagons need these rebuilt. Once again I can here a few of you saying “mine are in great shape”! Well I thought that to, until this past month when I saw two of these fail. One was on a rust free, kept in the garage vanagon. From day one and the first time water gets into these parts, rust starts. In time, that rust grows so much that the joint is no longer free to move as much as it needs to. In this condition the joint now puts excess pressure on the rod or link and eventually it breaks. At this stage of our vanagons life I can assure you that no effort would be wasted to remove these parts completely, inspect them for rust, replace or repair and re-install. Go-west has some parts that are stainless, (but are being machined poorly), and most of these parts are still available at this time. The sway bar link if broke can be repairs, so don’t throw out that old one…….