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Adjustable Front Beam - How much can I change the height?
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Chopchop
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:07 am    Post subject: Adjustable Front Beam - How much can I change the height? Reply with quote

Fellas,
I'm unfamiliar with these adjustable front beams. I was told my pan is a '68 but I have no idea.

I think my front beams are adjusted as "firmly" as it can be adjusted because I cannot turn the set screws in any more than they are right now. I can, however, turn them out. It appears that if I turn them out, the front bumper of the car gets lower. Is this correct ? Right now the ride seems rock hard to me but what do I know ? This is my first road-going VW so I have nothing to compare it with .

Anyway, if I can adjust the height with the set screws in the beams, how much can I lower/raise the car with this method ?

Thanks in advance for your input.

Dave
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Wolfgangdieter
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A picture of what you have would help. On an OEM beam the set screws or grub screws hold the torsion bar springs in place. They aren't for adjusting the height. To adjust the height you have to cut and weld in aftermarket adjusters. Usually one in lower and one in upper are used. Loosening the grub screw will just let the spring flop loose - yeah it will be lower but with no real spring effect possible.
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Chopchop
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh. I didn't know that, thank you.

I thought that if the beam had a set screw and a locking nut around it then it was adjustable. In other words, I might not even have an adjustable front beam. I saw no weld marks anywhere on the horizontal torsion bars.
The car is at my parent's farm and the next time I am out I will take a picture of the torsion bars.

Thank you for your information,

Dave
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Chopchop
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there another way to soften the ride ?

My dad said you can take out some leafs or torsion bars and the ride will get softer.

Does this happen and how hard is it to do ?
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aceracer24
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chopchop wrote:
Is there another way to soften the ride ?

My dad said you can take out some leafs or torsion bars and the ride will get softer.

Does this happen and how hard is it to do ?


New shocks might help but removing the torsion bars is not recommended. Most vehicles have leaf springs. A 68 beetle does not. But even removing some of the bars that make up the torsion bars would not be a safe idea.
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ashman40
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What type of shocks do you have? The front end of the Beetle is SO light that most shocks are too stiff.
I installed KYB GR-2s which are supposed to be a little stiffer than stock and they are plenty stiff. In hind sight, I should have bought a pair of stock shocks.

Also, a thicker sway bar will also stiffen the ride.


For clarity reference...

Here's a pic of the stock beam w/ the grub screws and lock nuts. This beam is NOT adjustable for height.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

This pic shows the weld-in adjusters installed with the adjustment screws at the front of the beam.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
In this config, loosening the adjustment screws will LOWER the front of the car.

The below pic is of Avis-style adjusters that require ovals to be cut-out from the beam and adjuster pieces welded around these cuts.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
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Chopchop
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

According to those pictures, I clearly do not have an adjustable beam.

I contacted the old owner and he told me that he remembered his mechanic taking out "leafs" from the front torsion bars and in his words, "It went a lot lower in the front."


I would assume this means that he took out bars from the front beams.
Does anyone know how many torsion bars I should see if I pull the end caps off the passenger side ? Perhaps this is why the car is so low and the ride is so stiff ?

The shocks are very old and I have no idea what make they are but they work properly so other than the fact that they are old, I wouldn't think they warrant replacing.

Thank you,
Dave
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ashman40
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Pulling out leafs(?)" was a common way to drop the front of the non-Super Beetle. It weakens the front springs, changes the spring rate and allows the torsion bars to twist more than they normally would, lowering the front end.

It is possible your shocks are working, but they may be bottoming out.
Imagine your shocks allow for 6-in of compression at a stock ride height. If you weaken the front springs they sag 3-in, dropping the nose of the Bug. This looks cool, but you now only have 3-in of compression at the shocks before they can no longer compress. The next big bump you hit feels like you hit a rock or a curb. That's your shocks.

The adjusters pictured above work by rotating the anchor point of the torsion springs to allow the torsion arms to sit higher (front of car is lowered). This doesn't change the spring rate, but it does compress the shocks and rotates to ball joints. Both of these components "think" the front suspension is compressed. There is a limit to how much either (shock/ball joint) will allow the front to compress. You may need to replace these if your front end sits very low.
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Chopchop
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the previous owner's mechanic took out some torsion bars, I'd like to get a new set of bars to try to bring the ride quality back. However, I don't know how many bars there are supposed to be in the suspension.

If someone could please tell me how many bars there are supposed to be I could count how many are in the car. At that point I would have a true idea of what is going on with them.


My ball joints are all new and have 0 miles on them.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you can only buy leaf packs, not single springs. shop around, get prices everywhere

http://www2.cip1.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=VWC-131-411-107-A

http://www.bfyobsoleteparts.com/Upper-and-Lower-Torsion-Bar-Set-ca-0-pr-1348-pg-2.html
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