Type II Front Suspension

Capt. Mike

The most common cause of squeeking or creaking in the Type II front axles was from lack of lubrication of the front end. Although the Bentley Section 9-5.3 calls for every 15,000 miles, this is NOT enough. There are five factory fittings and they should be lubed with each oil change. The torsion bars inside are not a solid bar, but leaves and they can work a bit. They should be greased with every oil change, hopefully at 3,000 mile intervals.

Checking the torsion arms is in the Bentley 2-7.3 and the bar itself, 2-7.5 Both are 'shop jobs', although you can check the setscrews per figure 7-15.

Also check your sway bar, bushings and attachment. I presume you have checked and eliminated shocks.


New member
Capt. Mike, you have hit it right on the head with the "lubrication" of the front beam. I pump grease into mine at least every other oil change. But I change the oil every 1500 miles (maybe not neccesary, but I do it anyway) so the "lube at every oil change at 3,000 miles" applies here as well.

I seem to have the same squeak that jeanO is describing. These things I have done were needing to be done anyway:
All front and rear wheel bearings replaced.
All 4 CV joints replaced.
New front and rear shocks (I thought about the shocks making that squeak from not being correctly torqued, but they are).
New bushings on new front sway bar. (It squeaked before this, but would new polyurethane squeak?)
Lubed the front end...all 5 points.

I do have a broken boot on the driver's side upper ball joint and the boots on the tie rods look cracked. I was given some tips on another forum to try and locate the squeak, especially with the ball joint with the broken boot (squeeze some grease up in there and see if the squeak is still there) but I have not found exactly where it is coming from. If I grab the bus at the drip rail and rock it back and forth, I get that same squeak. Would a damaged ball joint squeak?

I do all the maintainence on my buses, but have yet to really get into the front end. I haven't given up on it, but as soon as I locate it, I will post again. Thanks.


New member
I had a '73 westy that made this noise, and now have a '79 that does the same. Funny, I can't make it sqwark at rest by bouncing the front. I will investigate and post back if I find the source. I have pumped the suspension full of grease.

Ludwig van

New member
Greasing Front Axle Beam

'78 Westy - I'm having a hard time forcing grease into the middle fitting on the front axle beam. Even if I press the grease gun firmly onto the fitting, most of the grease oozes out around the fitting. The fitting isn't plugged. I've even tried removing the fitting and using a needle attachment on the grease gun. It seems like the relay lever pivot is a very tight fit, leaving almost no room for grease.

Is this normal?

Capt. Mike

When grease comes out from around the fitting, it usually indicates the seal of fitting to the box is no longer tight. Unfortunately, the box is basically sheet-metal and their isn't a lot of thread depth to correct. You could have a GOOD welder tack a doubler on that would be rethreaded for a deeper and tighter nipple thread contact. The risk is that excessive heat would damage the seals inside. Try Teflon® tape (no excess into the box) to improve the seal first. Note: Metric fittings are straight threaded (US are tapered NPT).

You can, of course, remove the relay lever & shaft to prevent this risk. At that point, however, you might as well clean up & overhaul the shaft. R&R plus overhaul instructions are in the Bentley, §2-9.6 I'd got to the dealer or a good parts vendor to get a blow-up diagram as there are 12 parts in the lever shaft assembly and getting them in the right order is important. Many parts are NLA from VW, so you'd want to have a source of aftermarket parts lined up. The overhaul would probably solve the problem and the doubler no longer necessary. Use Teflon® tape to improve the seal anyway.

The removal instructions for the shaft itself after the lever is removed start with prying off the bottom end cap and pulling the relay lever shaft outward §2-9.6 (5) & (6). I'd start by pulling it out just a ¼" or ½" first and seeing if it will take grease with that little bit of slack & motion.