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Bus Beam narrowing and making dropped spindles
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busracer
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2002 9:42 am    Post subject: Bus Beam narrowing and making dropped spindles Reply with quote

ive been looking at some beams i have lying around(split bus) and have come to the conclusion that i can narrow a beam approx. 3 inches by simply shaving of the outer 1.5 inch that protrudes from the torsion tubes. other than that to go narrower it seems like youd have to heavily modify the stamped steel mounting area somehow cut and narrow that portion which looks pretty sketchy.any one have any more info on bus beam narrowing??? also in this section there was minimal talk about building your own drop spindles for king and link. ive been hearing it for years about swapping sides and flipping them over. if this is truly the case how come everyone isnt doing it? i have the tools(reamers etc) to rebuild spindles but this"free" dropped spindle method seems to good to be true.does anyone have a more detailed description of how its done? dont worry purists i have my stock busses also but dig customs as well. thanks for any help. rob cress
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rizzag
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2002 6:14 pm    Post subject: Bus Beam narrowing and making dropped spindles Reply with quote

people who talk about flipping the spindles from side to side and upside down and around have no idea what they are talking about. they stay on the same side they came off. if the trailing arms were even then maybe, but the lower arm is out further than the top, also you are on the right track on the beam but when you cut off the outer edges of the beam you have to open the ends up for the bearings
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rizzag
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2002 6:18 pm    Post subject: Bus Beam narrowing and making dropped spindles Reply with quote

http://images.thesamba.com/vw/gallery/pix/47341.jpg

heres my current project, i narrowed the beam 4 inches and made a set of spindles, also added adjusters to the beam.
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DaveB
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2002 12:31 pm    Post subject: Bus Beam narrowing and making dropped spindles Reply with quote

How do you open up the beam? Take it to a Machine Shop, with the Bearing? What else is envolved, shorting the Springs?

Dave
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jason
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2002 4:46 pm    Post subject: Bus Beam narrowing and making dropped spindles Reply with quote

I have made a few narrowed beams. The way that I do it is to cut the beam open on the outsides with a plasma cutter. I leave the steel around the bolt holes alone for strength. I just cut where the metal is raised. When you get the ends off there is about 2 inches give or take a little sticking out. I cut 2 inches off of the tubes. I then remove the little ring that goes around the tube ends, it rides up against the trailing arm seals. I press the bearings out of the pieces that I cut off. I then press the inside bearings 2 inches further in. Measure them before, I have seen them pushed in already from use. Once they are where they are supposed to be, I press the outside ones in. I use early beams with the clay bushings, they are easier to work with, you dont have to mess with reaming for the bearings. I usually bolt everything together and measure the arms. If everything is in spec., I weld the rings onto the tubes. I then weld the ends, I put steel plate on the ends and weld it. I also cut the shock towers off. I use a 1/4 piece of plate steel and cut out shock towers. They are welded in the stock position, they are straight up now instead of being off center. I usually make them about an inch higher, more shock travel. It seems like alot but you can do it all in one day.
The spindles are easy. I press them apart. What you then want is to grind the arm behind the spindle. You put the knuckles on the otherside of the spindle. The stock spindle has one linkpin on top and one in the middle of the spindle. You need one in the middle and one on the bottom. When the knuckle is able to turn with the linkpin installed you've grinded enough. I then put gussetts on the outside of the arm where you grinded. On the arm where the tie rod connects, I ream it on the opposite side and use late model bus tierod ends, they're bigger. I also tack weld the cover over the kingpin end, it isn't able to be pressed in anymore. I don't think I left anything out, if you have any questions, email [email protected]
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jason
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2002 4:54 pm    Post subject: Bus Beam narrowing and making dropped spindles Reply with quote

The springs, I move the holes 2 inches in and then cut the ends with a cut off saw. Try to make the holes as accurate as possible. This is where the measurements will really affect your trailing arm measurements. The tie rods you can cut the end off of it and re tap it. Make sure you cut the side with a regular thread instead of the backwards one. Or you can cut two inches out of the middle and weld a stock inside of the tie rod, or outside.
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jason
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2002 3:54 am    Post subject: Bus Beam narrowing and making dropped spindles Reply with quote

I forgot to say that when you put the spindle together you need the steering stop bolt on the outside.
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busracer
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2002 7:57 pm    Post subject: Bus Beam narrowing and making dropped spindles Reply with quote

rizzag and jaygvert57 thanks so much for the time you spent in your replies. i really appreciate it. jay i may email you as were gonna give it a try in the next few days. rizz nice clean bus. really like it subtle but trick. thanks again! rob acuople questions jay. after you cut off the outer stamped steel portion you say you replace that with steel plate as well as fab shock towers? and when you say you weld the rings back on the ends of the tubes you are referring to the pressed in "seal" retainer rings? one last one. if you have to ream for nedle bearings(later beams) do you have a "hand" reamer to do that or some other type of machinist tool? thanks again and im sure a lot of other people appreciate you divulging your secrets! rob
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Ryan
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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2003 6:42 pm    Post subject: Bus Beam narrowing and making dropped spindles Reply with quote

I've got a spare beam and "an awesome set of tools"... I've read all of the posts that I can find and read the recent (less than helpful) article in hot vw's mag.

Some of my confusion comes from the article in hot vw's. When they are talking about removing sections from the middle of the beam, they then have to mount the beam to the inside of the frame, is this correct? That certainly isn't what they show in the pictures and it isn't what they imply, what gives?

Second question... when you remove the shock towers you end up with a beam that is about 2 inches too narrow. Do you remove the section of the torsion tube that is outside the shock towers and re-attach it to the end of the tube and then weld on the new shock tower plates?

Also, as far as cutting the torsion springs, do you just use a metal band saw or are you using something like an "iron worker" to shear it?

If I weren't so dang poor I'd just buy one. Besides I like a challenge.

Thanks in advance,

Ryan
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jeremyrockjock
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2003 6:25 am    Post subject: Bus Beam narrowing and making dropped spindles Reply with quote

Hey Ryan,
I asked the same question when I started researching on how to narrow a beam. I wondered if you remove a inner section than that brings the bolt flanges in and then what. I figured it out soon after with the help of the Hot VW article. What they are doing is narrowing the beam from the center then fabricating new flanges. If you look at a stock beam, there is a lot of space taken up by the stock bolt flanges. Over 2 inches on each side. When they weld the new plate steel flanges back on , they move them out the correct distance to fit back on the outside of the frame thus making no mods to the bus. The trailing arms are then closer to the flange. Look at a stock beam and you'll see how much tube is covered by the stock flange and picture the flange being only 3/8 of an inch thick. It leaves over 4 inches to play with if you wanted that much. Hope I helped.


Last edited by jeremyrockjock on Tue Nov 22, 2005 8:14 am; edited 1 time in total
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Ryan
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2003 11:24 am    Post subject: Bus Beam narrowing and making dropped spindles Reply with quote

OK, so I guess what I was missing was the fact that you aren't severing the torsion tube inside the existing flanges to remove them, you are removing the flanges from around the tube, keeping the tube in tact. Then remove the 2" to 4" from the inner section of the tube. That makes sense now.

I wasn't about to start until I could conceptualize the whole process!

Thank you, that clears up a lot.

I'll post my results when I'm finished. I might also post pictures on my website (if it turns out purty).

Thanks,

Ryan
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Ryan
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2003 11:50 am    Post subject: Bus Beam narrowing and making dropped spindles Reply with quote

Dang, I wish I could edit my post. What I meant to say was remove the end plates/shock towers from around the torsion tube.
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jeremyrockjock
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2003 11:51 am    Post subject: Bus Beam narrowing and making dropped spindles Reply with quote

Well Kinda. You are severing the tube in one method. You move the flanges out and shorten the tubes in the center. -Jeremy
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Ryan
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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2003 12:00 pm    Post subject: Bus Beam narrowing and making dropped spindles Reply with quote

Yeah, that's what I meant, I just can't seem to spit it out today...

Thanks,

Ryan
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nickmiller
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2003 4:29 am    Post subject: More king&link info please rizzag and jason Reply with quote

rizzag and jason, back on king&link flipped spindals for a moment.

Just so I am clear, they are flipped upside down which makes total sense, and turned round, so they line up with the.08 inch that the torsion arm ends eyesare are different by.

Q. You are saying to clearance the top link by grinding the spindal body?
What about milling the head down on the Link? how much needs grinding as i don't want to compromise the strength of the spindal body?

Q. Then with the steering stop nut and bolt on the outside, what can be done to put back the stop in the steering. Because that steering column is going to take a right hammering otherwise, and I have seen column before where the worm has hit the end and cracked bits off?

I was thinking of buying some from one of your US companys (advertising everywhere at moment) as they have just set up in the UK. But from the picture on there website, back to front with no top link clearance, massive positive camber, and no reply to my mail asking about this, I am again glad the thesambaformum has cleared this up.

cheers for any help.

N
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nickmiller
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2003 4:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Q. Also I am running my standard king&link with the bus at the height I like (6" down) and have no problem with the tie rods and chassy, so when I flip the King&Link over the chassy/body will still be set back to it's current position and there should be no problem with the tie rods hitting. The chassy will still be the same distance from the road and so will the spindal-tie rod end, so what's all the bother about clearancing the chassy?

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/posting.php?mode=reply&t=48262

Oh, & all this is on a late split.

Cheers again.

N
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nickmiller
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2003 12:55 pm    Post subject: Hi Jason & Rizzag Reply with quote

Hi Jason & Rizzag , I really need to pick your brain about flipped king and link.

So far I have stripped it all down, taken the bottom (now top) turned it back to front so all the angels are the same.

I milled off the outer lip that would have been round the top Link pin head (dust deflector sort of thing), the part that fouled the spindal so badly. I milled it down to the shim surface, this has allowed me toe clearance the top king and link without grinding very much out of the spindal.

I then had some weld added the other side for strength, my worry is that this has compromised the strength of that area, as it got very hot while building up the weld. I should have asked the guy to pre warm, but didn't??? Could I have caused any damage to the case steel?

"I then put gussetts on the outside of the arm where you grinded" how did you do this Jason?

Have you ever done this and how did you weld it. Also did you do any stress relieving after, just want to be sure they are strong enough?

Cheers for any advice.

Nick
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NAES
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2003 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let me see if I can shed some light on the spindle thing.

You take the left spindle, make a tool to press it apart, flip the kingpin 180 degrees (upsidedown) and rotate it 180 degrees. As you will notice, your new upper link pin housing now hits the spindle. You will need to grind the spindle materiel away, enough so the link pin WITH 8 shims installed will clear. This is necessary because if you are a little off narrowing the beam you'll need the shims for proper camber. Now you are going to weld a metal gusset to the opposite side of the area that you just clearanced. In the past I have used 1/4" plate. Just make sure you get really good weld penetration. If you suck at welding, fab it up and have a pro weld it. It would suck like hell to bust a spindle. Now if you have access to a machinist your in good hands. Look at the bottom of the spindle (assuming you popped out the dust cap) and shave off the bottom of the spindle the same amount as the indent. Looks to be about 1/8" or so. Now, order new kingpin bushings if yours are shit and order rubber O-rings that go between all the kingpin parts. Also order new bakelite bushings if you need to. All thats left is to weld a disc to the top of the spindle as a new dustcap, clean, degrease, paint and reassemble. As for a turning radius stopper, you can weld a chunk of metal like Wolfgang so it hits the trailing arm. I have never had a problem. Now repeat for the right side. Keep the same stuff on the same side and you will have no problem.

2 more tips for y'all. Esp if your slamming it. Route the brakeline to the other wheel cylinder. Now its out of the way and you won't have to worry about crushing it. (Sucks real bad, been there). Second tip. Take the spindle and ream the steering arm for the tierod the opposite way, that way the tierod arm is flipped and won't hit the frame. And if your really worried about it, you can weld up the spindle hole for the tierod and redrill/taper it.

Good luck, NAES
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panel
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2003 8:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Bus Beam narrowing and making dropped spindles Reply with quote

jason wrote:
I then press the inside bearings 2 inches further in. Measure them before, I have seen them pushed in already from use. Once they are where they are supposed to be, I press the outside ones in. I use early beams with the clay bushings, they are easier to work with, you dont have to mess with reaming for the bearings.

We don't touch the bearings at all when we do them.And we've done 4 of them and the 5th is on it's way.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2003 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i do narrowed beams with marc and i think it's best not to move bearings our first ones we did the old way by pressing them in but that was a early bakelite bearing beam but a good needle bearing beam is better and you cannot hit the needle bearings in they are in a recess its best to cut everything off one side then cut two inches out of the tubes then fab a plate for the side with a shock tower and boss and weld it up then cut the other side off and repeat the procedure
good luck
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