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Been there done that - Narrowed IRS Trailing Arms
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SoCalJes
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:16 pm    Post subject: Been there done that - Narrowed IRS Trailing Arms Reply with quote

So I'll be getting my pan back temporarily from the body shop so I can finish the suspension while they work on the body (71 Ghia). So I decided on one of the items would be a dual bolt pattern discs for front and rear (5X130 and 5X4.5) and a set of rims.

So the rim guy says I will need to have "Narrowed IRS Trailing Arms" to fit anything other than stock. I've looked up and down everywhere and could not find a single place that sells anything related to a "Narrowed IRS Trailing Arms"...

Can anyone in the"been there, one that" group let me know what I'm missing here??? Brick wall
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never seen them offered off the shelf. Contact Ron Lummus Racing I know he modifies them for the drag race guys. You'll also need to get custom axles made.

brad
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SoCalJes
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply bud but what Id really like to know is...
Is it normal to go through this to fit any set of 16" or 17" wheels on a Ghia?

Seems kind of odd since there is no reference to them anywhere. Think
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Been there done that Reply with quote

SoCalJes wrote:
So I decided on one of the items would be a dual bolt pattern discs for front and rear (5X130 and 5X4.5) and a set of rims.

So the rim guy says I will need to have "Narrowed IRS Trailing Arms" to fit anything other than stock. I've looked up and down everywhere and could not find a single place that sells anything related to a "Narrowed IRS Trailing Arms"...

Can anyone in the"been there, one that" group let me know what I'm missing here??? Brick wall


Here's some dual bolt pattern drums, maybe they can source some discs for you as well: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=1270192
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Search "narrowed arms" in the classifieds. There's two vendors selling them. Or you can build them. Therez some good threads on that, too.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just did the same thing to my Ghia, it's not quick, cheap, or easy. My '65 is on a '72 IRS pan. It doesn't have anything to do with the wheel diameter being 16" or 17". Yes you use a larger diameter wheel, but you also use a shorter sidewall tire, so you still end up at the same overall diameter as a 15" wheel with a tall sidewall tire. The thing that causes all the grief is the 7" width. On a Bug there is plenty of room for wide tires, but the rear fendwells on a Ghia are very tight. I have 205/50/17 stuffed in there now and it's incredibly tight to both the outer fender lip, and to the inner springplate; the tire barely clears on both sides. I haven't been able to drive it yet (because I'm still waiting on a front beam I ordered eight weeks ago to eventually get here) but I've rolled the car around, bounced it, ect. and it looks like it will clear.

What you need to pay attention to is the wheel width and offset, the diameter doesn't matter. I used the 17" Fuchs replicas that are 7" wide with a 5.6" backspace (+42 offset). If you're using those then you can try my setup, but no guarantee. But if you're using a different offset then you'll have to start from scratch. The wheel offset is the key, that is what determines how far the rim portion of the wheel is mounted inward/outward over the mounting pad section of the wheel. I have an extensive history of fitting big wheels/tires to extremely lowered cars, and I always do a lot of measuring and computing (Goggle "offset calculator" there are plenty online to use) and even with my background this car was a challenge.

You'll probably want to do yourself a favor and just slap on some 15x5.5 wheels like everyone else and be done with it. But if you're interested, here is what I did...

I had Bugzilla narrow my control arms, here is their ad: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=1454603

Then you'll need shorter axles. I used these: http://www.mooreparts.com/store/product/3259/Vw-Ir...Cv-Joints/

Then, you'll need to cut off the outer 1/3 or so of the metal upper bump stop cup for tire clearance. Don't worry about not leaving enough of it because you won't have bumpstops on the control arms anyway when they're done being narrowed by Bugzilla.

Also, of the three bolts that connect the springplate to the control arm, you'll need to use a countersunk bolt for the front one on each side. The tire will rub the standard bolt head... so that gives you an idea of just how close the tire is to the springplate. If your car has the type of springplate that is the double style (not sure of the correct name for it) then I dobut it will work. Also, the springplates with adjusters (like Sway A Way) are obviously a no-go as well.

I looked at the fender lip (at the rear, bottom edge) of the rear fenders on several Ghias and none were exactly the same. People say that Ghia bodies are handbuilt and no two are identical, especially in the fender area, and that seems to be true from what I've seen. My rear fenders had the folded over lip part that extended in a good 1/2" more than any other Ghia that I inspected for some reason. The tires would not fit so I had to break out my die grinder with a cutoff wheel and do some trimming. However, I believe the later Ghia bodies have the rear edge of the rear fender opening "swept back" more with a larger opening... so if that's true then your '71 should have more tire clearance in that critical area then my '65 has.

On a side note, I've seen where Pip (the incredible car builder from the DBK club) takes these 17x7" Fuchs replicas, cuts the rim off on a lathe, narrows them (to 4.5" or 5.5" I believe) and then welds them back up. He also welds in the "hearts" by the valve stem hole why he's at it. They come out awesome, but I wouldn't even want to know what he charges for that.
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SoCalJes
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the heads up Greg much appreciated. It makes it so much easier when people share what they have done on their projects specially sourcing parts. I think I am going to start by getting the rims, shafts and bearing carriers and build everything in between out of tubing. Also because as you mentioned the clearance on these cars I'm planning on moving the spring plate inward.

Wish me luck, I'll post some pics
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On IRS you'll also have to move the plate on the trailing arm that bolts to the springplate. If you narrow the torsion housing you won't have to narrow the trailing arm. But you still have VERY skinny wheel wells to deal with.

brad
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SoCalJes
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

slalombuggy wrote:
On IRS you'll also have to move the plate on the trailing arm that bolts to the springplate. If you narrow the torsion housing you won't have to narrow the trailing arm. But you still have VERY skinny wheel wells to deal with.

brad


Except replacing the "donuts" for tubs on the inside half like this will get me what I need.
http://home.comcast.net/~mlawless29/wkrswingtoirs.html
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mmmmm..donuts
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes then I'm building trailing arms out of Twinkies
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have 16x7 inch fuchs on the back of my super. Couldn't tell you the offset, but they clear inthe rear just fine. The suspension of a ghia should be the same. What width wheels are you running?
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LeviMan2001 wrote:
I have 16x7 inch fuchs on the back of my super. Couldn't tell you the offset, but they clear inthe rear just fine. The suspension of a ghia should be the same. What width wheels are you running?


None yet, the stock 4 bolt is still on there but will be changing to dual bolt pattern (Chevy/Porsche) I need to get the pan back so I can build the trailing arms and install the air suspension. Ideally I will be running 16X7 front and something between 16X7 or 8 to 17X7 or 8 in back. For the back most likely I will be cutting the rear inner wheel well and extending it inward while reusing the original piece and welding in new metal to make up the difference. The idea is more space but when you look at it nothing seems cut up or altered.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LeviMan - The wheels clear the suspension on the Ghia just fine. But they do not fit under the fenders which are much more narrow than the huge Super Beetle fenders.

So if you want them to fit then the only way it's going to happen is to move them inward, towards the center of the car. And to do that you have narrow and clearance parts like I described.

Comparing a Ghia's rear fenders to a Super Beetle's is apples to oranges.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did mine myself. It wasn't rocket science. Hit me up if you want to know how and don't want to read the whole thread.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=344869&highlight=
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SoCalJes
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice work George,

I just had to read the whole post anyway, but I might still take you up on a brief Q&A. Just my way of working, neat, safe and kickass bad.
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SoCalJes
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I cruised by the body shop today to make some measurements today and here is one that looks confusing to me right now.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
I measured the open space from the inside fender to the lip and it pretty much reads a little over 12 inches. I expected to see a much more narrower working space. The inner walls seem pretty much vertical except for some weird flat spots along the inside top of the inner fencers but they look very easy to pound out with a body hammer. So long story short I don't think I will need to change anything in the fender wells as I previously though.

What is the purpose of these flat spots on the inner top wheel wells adjacent to the storage compartment?
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got my narrowed trailing arms at aircooled.net over 10 years ago, but they haven't sold them for a long time. I don't know who was building them back then but maybe John can point you in the right direction.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dnielsen wrote:
I got my narrowed trailing arms at aircooled.net over 10 years ago, but they haven't sold them for a long time. I don't know who was building them back then but maybe John can point you in the right direction.


I've looked everywhere and they seem to be the pink elephant in the room. The closest I've come across are buggy builders but they make them longer not shorter.

Basically I'm just going to buy some chrome moly tubing, the bearing carriers, shafts and build my own.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blind Chicken Racing used to sell them, but I don't see them on their website now...
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