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crosswind handling
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roadkingdoc
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:44 pm    Post subject: crosswind handling Reply with quote

my liitle 61 rag is all over the road driving in a good crosswind. the car seems to want to dart a little in normal driving conditions. normal for a swing axle? anyone else have similar experience or do i have an alignment issue? thanks
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Jon65
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

...

Last edited by Jon65 on Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:50 am; edited 1 time in total
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wayne1230cars
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The VW beetle is a light car. As such it is susceptible to crosswinds. Forty years ago, when I was driving VW's as my only car, (a 1959 & 1967), both swing axle with bias ply tires, you slowed down and drove accordingly when wind conditions dictated. When I bought a brand new 1974 bug(IRS) and installed radial tires on it, handling was substantially better but crosswinds were still a factor. When driving modern cars, we sometimes get a little spoiled by how well they handle in wind and we use that to compare to the beetle's handling.
My answer to your question would be this.
1) All front end and steering components and tires must be top notch regardless of year.
2) Handling on the later models(IRS standard and super) is better and more forgiving than swing axle. Good radial tires are also a positive factor.
3) I would not say that the 1960 bug that I now drive "darts a little in normal driving." That can be subjective but really give your front end and tires a thorough inspection.
4) Accept the limitations of the car and drive accordingly.
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roadkingdoc
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

everything in the front suspension is new,beam,steering box,shocks,tie rods,bearings, tires. the rear end is new also with the exception of the swing arm bushings. the car tracks straight down the road. was wondering if i need my rear alignment check?
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60ragtop
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=531937&highlight=wind
read thru here
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Bugone
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have driven Beetles of all kinds for over 40 years, and it takes practice and respect for the car to handle the crosswinds, as has been said, know the car's limitations and enjoy. That being said, no bug, swing or IRS should 'dart' in normal driving. Have that front end alignment checked, too much toe-out will seem to drive 'straight', but will dart around and act squirrely over uneven roads or in the wind. As has been said, please do have it all checked out. Also, if the rear is lowered the swing axle alignment has been changed, so check that out too. Good luck and happy motoring.
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cory464
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

roadkingdoc wrote:
everything in the front suspension is new,beam,steering box,shocks,tie rods,bearings, tires. the rear end is new also with the exception of the swing arm bushings. the car tracks straight down the road. was wondering if i need my rear alignment check?


lowered or stock height?
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Chris659
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know if this is the right answer for you but I have a 61 ragtop as well and had the same problem. Car is slightly lowered front and rear. I added a front sway bar and it felt like the car is alot firmer driving in the same windy conditions now. Got rid of the poor turn in as well if your car suffers from that.

There was no sway bar on it when I got it and I used a bugpack lowered link pin version. I recommend the SS screw on clamps as it made for an easy install. Kind of pricey for clamps but nice...
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roadkingdoc
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

my car is at stock height. sounds like i need to have the alignment looked at. thanks for the help.
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crvc
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've lived in Wyoming nearly 30 years. "Wyoming' is an indian word meaning 'friggin windy place'. The constant wind we have is why I first lowered my bug. It did seem less reactive in the wind but it could also have been the massive sway bars front and rear. I went back to stock height but left the sway bars on and that seemed to work the best. I keep the front tires around 20psi and the rear 30psi because of snow 9 months out of the year. I've got a pair of snow tires but haven't put them on the back wheels yet. Since we got several inches of snow a couple days ago it might be time.

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Bilbobug
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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 8:30 am    Post subject: Re: crosswind handling Reply with quote

I lowered my 1200 few months ago, in the hope it would make great difference driving with crosswinds...

The car has now adjusters in the beam, with caster shims, and the car is lowered some 5 cms, front and rear (I think thatís 2 inches, more or less).

The only thing I feel is the suspension is far more stiffer than before, but nothing of the benefits I expected.

When there are no wind, the car goes great in highway, like a gokart in good surface. But when the breeze blows (so few as 8 mph in google weather), the car still wanders a bit and I need to correct it all the time. I feel it very "nervous" and little confident.

When the wind blows with more force, is better to leave the car and take the train...

Is this a characteristic of the beetle? I remembered, when I was young, driving my car at 75 mph at the speedo and felt so confident...

I am getting old or I can do something more to recover the joy of driving my beetle?

Greetings,
Felipe
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iowegian
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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 2:17 pm    Post subject: Re: crosswind handling Reply with quote

I have been in the habit (wrong, I know) of running 30psi in front and rear tires on our '66. It blew all over the road. So, last Sunday we took a 150 trip with cross wind of 18-22 mph with occasional higher gusts. Before setting out, I dropped the pressure to 18 front and 27 rear. (total occupant weight=325 lb and full tank of fuel) Major difference with lower pressure----no more scary darting all over the place.
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KTPhil Premium Member
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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 2:43 pm    Post subject: Re: crosswind handling Reply with quote

Bilbobug wrote:
I lowered my 1200 few months ago, in the hope it would make great difference driving with crosswinds...

The car has now adjusters in the beam, with caster shims, and the car is lowered some 5 cms, front and rear (I think thatís 2 inches, more or less).

The only thing I feel is the suspension is far more stiffer than before, but nothing of the benefits I expected.

When there are no wind, the car goes great in highway, like a gokart in good surface. But when the breeze blows (so few as 8 mph in google weather), the car still wanders a bit and I need to correct it all the time. I feel it very "nervous" and little confident.

When the wind blows with more force, is better to leave the car and take the train...

Is this a characteristic of the beetle? I remembered, when I was young, driving my car at 75 mph at the speedo and felt so confident...

I am getting old or I can do something more to recover the joy of driving my beetle?

Greetings,
Felipe


Do as above and check all of the front for play, and set tire pressures right. Check and maybe replace the rear torsion arm bushings, and then get a 4-wheel alignment. You want a slight toe-OUT on the rear of a swing axle. It will bring a bit of self-correction to crosswinds (as well as bumps on hard long corners like interchanges).
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my59
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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 3:43 pm    Post subject: Re: crosswind handling Reply with quote

Running the 59 on bias plys, and once the pressure was set to the manual's spec I no longer had to watch the trees up ahead like a sailor reading the water for wind gusts. Well, at least not like I did, but still do it to produce a smoother driving experience.
Put the tire pressure to spec. It is way lower than you think.
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hitest
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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 7:20 pm    Post subject: Re: crosswind handling Reply with quote

If all of your front end components are new- go back and check the torque on every fastener. Match your tire pressure. Fill the gas tank and retest.

My '63 is all over the lanes due to bias ply behavior. My '62 drives straight, but has radials and an oversize tank that I keep fairly topped off.
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