Information Submitted By: Dino Apostolakos
This conversion involves using a Volkswagon strut bearing and is actually a large pyramid-shaped bushing with a bearing in the center. Try and get an old set, since new ones will be too expensive and the only thing that wears out is the bearing in the center (you will knock this out to fit over the bolt). The alignment shouldn’t be affected since I had enough adjustment in the front end to bring the wheel back to proper camber with just the factory alignment cams.
The Ranger stock spring seat sits inside the top of the VW bushing cone. This was one of the main reasons I used it – it was safer sitting inside the cone rather than flush, and it turned out to be juuuust the right size.
The VW bushing is a steel cone with an outer rubber covering over the whole bushing. There is enough of a rubber coating that the spring seat will not slide around due to the indentation on top of the cone, and the amount of rubber.
Knock the bearing out of the center with a punch/screwdriver/whatever, then grind the cup off on the bottom. Grind as much of the cup base off as you can – I held it flat in a vice and made four cuts in an X pattern, then bent them back and forth until it separated. Then, I used my grinder to grind what remained flat so that it’d sit flush on the arm. You’ll be able to see how much to grind off when you test fit it – you’ll need to grind enough off to allow the stock bolt enough thread above the Ranger coil seat.
When you test fit them, you will see that the bushing may not sit entirely flush on the Ranger arm. You may have to make a straight cut on one side of the bottom of the cone (sort of like a “key” cut) so that the bushing sits flat and locked against the outer part of the Ranger IFS arm (where the arm swells upward towards the upper ball joint).
Use some loctite on the bolt upon assembly if you’re using the stock bolt. There will be about 8 threads left on the bolt once you get everything together, so loctite is a must.
Adjust camber to bring wheels back into line. (the factory cams had enough movement on my truck – 94 IFS – to bring it back to spec.)
The modifications are about 10 minutes per bushing, plus disassembly and assembly of the spring on the truck. Took me about 2 hours total, and I retorqued the bolts once about a week later. No problems.
The spacer is visible as a black base (seat) under the coil in the photos. The Ranger posted below is Dino’s with the coil spacers installed to level it.
Update – 12/22/2013:
We have no idea what years or models Dino used for this and don’t have any information for contacting him.
Doing some searching on the internet, we found that a VW G60 strut bearing looks very similar to the one shown in Dino’s photo above. G60 refers to an inline 4-cylinder used from 1988 to 1993. These were used in the VW Golf MK2 and VW Corrado.
Here is a strut bearing assembly taken apart by prying the bearing out and knocking the spring cap out with a hammer
You could probably find some old strut bearings from an older VW Golf at a shop that specializes in VW work. If anyone attempts this, please let us know.