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Steering Damper

If you are driving a Beetle with the kingpin or ball joint front end you either have or will at some time have this experience. You hit a small pot hole in the road and your steering wheel shakes uncontrollably for just an instant at first but as time goes on it can progress to the point where you may have to stop the car to make it quit. When your suspension system is new there is very little play in the moving parts and there is very little resonance when you hit bumps in the road. But in a short time (long before the front end needs rebuilding) everything loosens up and there is a certain amount of vibration that passes through the suspension system every time you hit a bump. Your Bug is equipped with a device called a steering damper that is designed to control this under most conditions. It is a long thin horizontal shock absorber.

It bolts to the front beam on one end
The other end slips into a sleeve that is built into the left end of the right side tie rod.
To replace the unit you will need to raise the front of the car and secure it on stands. From beneath the car on the right side you can reach the end attaches to the front beam. You will need to bend up the lock tab to loosen the 17mm bolt.
A flex head ratchet works best.
The other end can be reached from the left side. There will be either a self locking nut or two jam nuts holding it in place.
Sometimes this end could be a little stubborn to get out of the sleeve so spraying a little PB Blaster in advance could be a good idea.
When you replace it you will need to reach over the chassis with the new one and slide the end into the sleeve. It can be a little tricky to get it lined up just right to go in.
Once it is in then the other end can be bolted into place. Be sure to put the lock plate back on and lock it again when you have tightened it down.
NOTE: This job can also be done from above with the gas tank out. We will be showing you this along with rebuilding the front end in a future video so keep in touch. Hope this make you VW motoring much smoother.

Rick Higgins and Crew
Bug Me Video, Inc

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