View original topic: lowering barndoors.. Page: 1, 2  Next
camerod Mon Apr 21, 2003 11:39 pm

I am soon going to be lowering actually SLAMMING a '54 barndoor, anyone out there done it? I have heard that a beetle beam is an easy swap? do spindle interchange? etc..

BUCIOBATISTI Tue Apr 22, 2003 12:44 am

I've heard of people using '55-'59 Bus Beams and/or trailing arms/spindles/brakes or a '67 Bus Beam is supposedly good for some reason too, not sure which reason it is that they like.

EverettB Tue Apr 22, 2003 7:05 am

Cut & turn?

I think Ronnie in Lake Havasu lowered one using a later beam somehow.

rizzag Tue Apr 22, 2003 7:24 am

my buddy had a slammed BD. if i remember right his beam was either cut and turned or pulled torsions and i *think* later trailing arms with drop spindles. the rear is easy, spring plate to spring plate is the same width as a bug.

camerod Tue Apr 22, 2003 10:01 am

I guess I will have to dissasemble it and do some measuring, looks easy enough.

campingbox Tue Apr 22, 2003 10:19 am

I think the latest fad for lowering a barndoor is making the front beam from scratch....

[email protected] Tue Apr 22, 2003 10:25 am

Cameron- I have a Barndoor beam you can have if you use it to hammer this bus. email me. Patrick in Salem

mynameismud Tue Apr 22, 2003 11:58 am


I'm no expert by any means- but have you contacted Rikki?

busracer Tue Apr 22, 2003 12:33 pm

just put 14"s on it!

doveblue3 Tue Apr 22, 2003 1:28 pm

in the interest of stopping the spread of mis-information i offer the following:
keep in mind, this is what i have seen from friends, i like mine TALL. beetle tranny bolts in to BD spring plates and they dont even need to be adjusted (unless you really want it on its nuts). look how the BD reduction bolts up in relation to the axle compared to a 55-67 bus and you will see what i mean. on a bd, the stub axle hangs lower than the spring plate, where on 55-67 the spring plate is even with the stub axle. again, that was the long of saying what was said in the first line: get a swing axle beetle/type 3 drum to drum tranny and bolt it in (with nose cone adapter of course). if you have looked under the front end of a bd the beam bolts up way different than a later bus or a beetle. it would take mass quantities of PBR and some torch/welder nastiness to get another beam in there, in my opinion. the front can be lowered with adjusters or drop spindles. not sure if you can make drop spindles out of original bd spindles, but i do think it seems like a bad idea. you can order early (aka small) link pin spindles and they will bolt up to BD torsion arms, or you can get '63 only spindles which are early link pin and big brakes to increase stopping power. FYI, '63 only can be made with a combo of parts, its not like you have to look for that particular year. wolfgang may even stock them. the problem here is that the tie rod will now be at a bad angle because the bd spindle has the tie rod bolting up high and 55-67 spindles have the tie rod bolting up down low. an 'adapter' to effectively raise the tie rod could be made, and i have seen that, but you would be on your own for that. judging by pictures of the metal work on the bus that shouldnt be beyond your capabilities. would definently need to be beefy, since it is your steering and all. anyways, thats about all i know about lowering BDs. hope it helped.

BUCIOBATISTI Tue Apr 22, 2003 1:29 pm

I believe the cavemen used to let the air out of the tires back in the day.

66split Tue Apr 22, 2003 1:32 pm

yeah but we all know cam...he will find a way...and it WILL be slammed!!

bubblehead Thu Apr 24, 2003 5:31 am

Cameron,try Bus Boys. They did the beam in the Mercury panel from scratch. If you used a later beam you'd have to relocate the swing lever to left of center. Do you know if the beetle mounting brackets are the same as barndoor? They look like they are.

camerod Thu Apr 24, 2003 6:52 pm

It will probobly be a few months before I get the bus to this point but I will for sure get pictures and let everyone know what I figgure out! thanx for all the tips and sugestions!

camerod Thu Apr 24, 2003 6:52 pm

patrick, can you bring that beam up to puyallup this weekend? I would love to have it for a patient!

[email protected] Fri Apr 25, 2003 10:45 am

If I bring my single cab up I'll bring the beam, but chances are I won't. I'm kinda all driven out after Kelley Park and trying to recharge my batteries before driving to the Classic and Sacramento. You could snag it on your way back from BOR or come get it anytime you want. If I'm driving the single to Puyallup I'll holler alright.

Major Woody Fri Apr 25, 2003 12:14 pm

Cameron, I'm driving to puyallup from PDX. Patrick can get the beam to my place, I can shlep it the rest of the way for you. Lemme know 503 335-3920 or home email [email protected].


Major Woody Fri Apr 25, 2003 12:15 pm

Whoops, meant to say IF Patrick can get the beam to my place...

campingbox Fri Apr 25, 2003 1:42 pm

I think the beam in the mercury panel was built from scratch by longhairjohn.

mynameismud Fri Apr 25, 2003 2:52 pm

Check out Rikki's UK link-

1954 UK Samba's

1954 RHD deluxe

owned by myself. I wanted a very early RHD samba, preferably a barn door, that was fast, safe, as my daily driver, and this is it!if you are a purist then do not read any further, this bus has had some serious modifications done to it.
Obviously the suspension has been lowered, the rear has been IRS'ed and the front beam has had a height adjuster grafted on to it to get the van low, it has also been narrowed 3" each side!

The bus also features porsche 914 disk brakes on all four wheels with golf gti callipers, to attempt to slow the thing down. The wheels are 2 litre porsche alloys, fully polished, I didn't want wheel adapters so they seemed the best solution.

The gear box is also Porsche, a 911 G50 5 speed, with close ratio 2nd and 3rd, man what a headache that was to install!

The engine is a type 4 unit, presently a 2.6 with straight cut timing gears, 48 carb's, major work on the heads, lightened, balanced, race cam, magneto etc. full flow oil, upright porsche fan conversion, carbon fan shroud, and so on....

The body has had some work but I have tried to leave it as it is, rough! Inner and outer sills were replaced, along with both front wheel arches, generally the bus has survived quit well apart from the dents and dings everywhere,
also there were a few things missing.

I probably will restore the bus's paint some day but for the moment I am concentrating on speed! speed! speed!

The engine seemed to take for ever to run in, however that's all history now, just to give you an idea of it's performance you can change in to 5th gear at around 100 mph!! Can't wait to running it up the drag strip at Santa Pod later on this year.

Matt Keene's new 1954 rhd deluxe barn door!!! Chassis number 20-104503. He has assured me that the bus will have a hot turbo motor, IRS, disk breaks etc. and is not having the full restoration treatment yet, the bus originally comes from Sweden and has the three rows of bench seats set up, the full width dash has been removed at some stage in it's life (for what reason I have no idea) and been replaced with a non deluxe pod. The bus came with a few spears, some N.O.S! lights, 16" wheels, etc. Matt says he reckons that it will be on the road this year! go for it Dude, looks like I will be racing him next season on the strip, Yessaaa!!
Ex-Richie King Swedish '54 RHD Delux
Steve Carrington's Austrian '54 LHD Delux 2001

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