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Spring Plate Angle/Torsion Bar Adjustment (Pics Added)
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lil-jinx Premium Member
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 6:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Spring Plate Angle/Torsion Bar Adjustment (Pics Added) Reply with quote

With that much lift will the spring be hitting the lower stop when the bus suspension jounce and rebound.
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Last edited by lil-jinx on Thu Mar 09, 2017 6:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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richparker
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 6:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Spring Plate Angle/Torsion Bar Adjustment (Pics Added) Reply with quote

BusPriest wrote:
I sure had a frustrating morning and afternoon. I have read this is a 2-3 hour job. Well i spent 7 hours on one side... that included a few trips to the store.

So I am lifting the rear to go along with my bigger tires and fix the saggin rear.

I pulled it all apart and the bushing looked in decent shape so I didnt plan on changing them. My original angle was 23* after compensating for the angle in the driveway. I regeared to have an angle of 30*

Heres the issue i have. I cant get the arm back far enough to stay on the stop. I did get it on once, but the hub would not bolt on, as the arm wasnt pushed in far enough onto the inside of the bus.

The method i have been using to put it on is pushing the index bar in all the way so that the bar is fully on on the inner splines, then put on the plate and put on 3 screws. Then jack it up to be above the stop bump. Then tighen the 4 bolts on the plate in and it will push it on, but not push it on enough. When the jack is let down, it slides off the bump.

I have tried messing around with the jack, sliding it all around. Hitting the arm with a 4lb mini sledge, hitting a block of wood on the splines. Lots of Johnson & Johnson baby talc.

Any suggestions?? This is suppose to be an easy job Sad
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30* is too much. The plate is either going to sit right on the stop or its gonna hit the stop on every bump. I first set mine to 28.5* and it hit the stop on every bump.

As far as the time goes I've done the job twice and it's an 8 hr job for me, 4 or so hours per side.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 6:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Spring Plate Angle/Torsion Bar Adjustment (Pics Added) Reply with quote

Even a half a degree makes a noticeable difference in ride height, while a full degree makes a big difference.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2017 7:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Spring Plate Angle/Torsion Bar Adjustment (Pics Added) Reply with quote

Ok maybe my issue is that there is too much down pressure?

I thought with the Bentley saying it was 7 inside and 8 outside (or other way around) that one notch on inner and outer would mean 15 degrees and that was ok. I guess you change it so that it's 8 forward 7 back so it's only 1 degree. I thought that since the picture instructions said both clockwise... and the pictures showed that it changed 20*, but I guess that is minutes...

Sorry for the confusion. Maybe by changing it to 26-27 degrees it will go on better?
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:41 am    Post subject: Re: Spring Plate Angle/Torsion Bar Adjustment (Pics Added) Reply with quote

This is why I never try to do this job with degrees and protractors. Much too confusing. A simple measurement from the bottom of the shock mount to the ground before you start will tell you how much you have, and how much you want to add/subtract in ride height. Trying to calculate degrees and deviations from level and relying on your 50 year old springs to be the same as they were when Bentley wrote the manual is just asking for problems.

As has been said, you will not want that much lift as you will be riding on the bottom stop most of the time resulting in a really crappy ride. In my experience, when the angle is set just about right with the torsion bar/spingplate/splines, as you go to bolt up the cover that holds it all together the bottom of the spring plate will just barely cover the bottom stop. You may have to either pry it up 1/8" onto the stop, or use your floor jack under the shock mount to pre-load the suspension just a little. Using a combo of longer bolts and alignment tools will get the cover back in place over the donuts and torsion bar end.

This job can be done in an hour per side. If all the nuts/bolts/threads are clean and everything goes well. Any time a wrench gets thrown into those works, time is added. Next time you do it, it will go much faster I guarantee it.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Spring Plate Angle/Torsion Bar Adjustment (Pics Added) Reply with quote

I've only replaced the torsion arm bushing on one bay bus but have done this on lots of bugs. When I did my bus, before I started I insured all the tires were the same air pressure. I then measured the bus side to side front and back. My drivers side rear was 1/2" low.

When I jacked the bus up and put it on jack stands, I made sure it was level side to side and front to back with levels.

I found the Bentley and it's measurements to be spot on. I identified which torsion bar was in it and then measured the unloaded spring plates. It was scary how accurate the measurements were in the Bentley. The book said my bus with the bar it had in it should be (if I remember right) 23* 50 minutes. The R/S rear bar showed that exact number on the protractor. The drivers side rear that was a 1/2" low on that side showed 23*. I adjusted the bar one notch down on the inner and one notch up on the arm. This came out to the same number on the protractor as the passenger side. When I was done. The bus was level again at the correct height.

Anyway, that was my experience. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 4:28 am    Post subject: Re: Spring Plate Angle/Torsion Bar Adjustment (Pics Added) Reply with quote

Would a smaller diameter -passenger bus- torsion bar, make for a smoother/softer ride on a westy?
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:58 am    Post subject: Re: Spring Plate Angle/Torsion Bar Adjustment (Pics Added) Reply with quote

Dogo wrote:
Would a smaller diameter -passenger bus- torsion bar, make for a smoother/softer ride on a westy?


While somewhere in the back of my mind I think I've heard of two kinds of torsion bars for buses, I've no experience with it. My guess is that if it was possible to switch it would be a huge blunder.

Can I ask, what makes you think your camper has a stiff ride?
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:05 am    Post subject: Re: Spring Plate Angle/Torsion Bar Adjustment (Pics Added) Reply with quote

Westy's had a bigger Tbar due to the extra weight. Smoother ride? I'd look at shocks, Swingarm rubber bushings etc to improve the ride. Worn out parts greatly contribute to a crappy jerky ride.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:51 am    Post subject: Re: Spring Plate Angle/Torsion Bar Adjustment (Pics Added) Reply with quote

My '74 had the larger bars, if anything the ride and handling was better than a similar van with the smaller bars. Don't know if they are interchangeable or not.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 2:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Spring Plate Angle/Torsion Bar Adjustment (Pics Added) Reply with quote

My 79 Westy had the sagging rear end problem and I adjusted it one year ago according to the info in this thread and it looked great. I have noticed the sagging returning, however, and now after one year it's about back where it started. It seems like most people on the Samba are able to adjust their busses and the adjustment lasts for quite a while, therefore I'm thinking that my torsion bars are shot and need to be replaced. I'm worried that if I adjust them again I might get to the point where one just plain fails altogether, although I've not read of any flat out failing yet.

When I had my torsion bars out I measured the diameter at the middle of the bar and it was around 26.2 mm. This seems to be one of the smaller diameters out there for the bus, and I would like to have the stronger 28.9 diameter torsion bars considering we usually drive fully-loaded with camping gear. I have two main questions:

1. Is the diameter of the torsion bar measured properly in the middle of the bar as opposed to at the obviously thicker ends with splines?

2. If I were to search for a torsion bar for a bus at a junkyard are there key differences that I should watch out for to make sure I get the right set for my bus? I.E. if I find a set of torsion bars at a VW junkyard that are 28.9 mm in diameter in the middle of the bar, will these fit right in my 79 westy even though I currently have the smaller diameter bars?


I have read and understand that the torsion bars are manufactured specifically in a left and a right variety - BusDepot lists the right rear as 211511116C, and the left rear as 211511115C, although they don't mention anything about length or diameter. An earlier post on this thread lists all the lengths as 610 mm, so it seems like the diameter should be main variable of concern unless some have a different number of splines or a different spline-end diameter. I don't remember if the part number was prominently stamped into the torsion bar, and if it isn't how can one tell which is the left vs the right torsion bar?
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 3:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Spring Plate Angle/Torsion Bar Adjustment (Pics Added) Reply with quote

The bars are prestressed for use on one side only, otherwise to the best of my knowledge there is no difference between sides.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 3:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Spring Plate Angle/Torsion Bar Adjustment (Pics Added) Reply with quote

I've been searching for a set of the thicker torsion bars for a late bus and came across the following product from North American Motorworks.

http://www.mamotorworks.com/VW/subcategory/rear-torsion-bars

Has anyone had experience with these NEW bars? They are advertised as 29 mm in diameter which is slightly thicker than the thickest option from the factory. Who's to say the materials are comparable to stock.

I have a 73 westy that came with the smaller diameter bars from the factory for whatever reason. I adjusted them once and it helped some but after ~10k miles and some increased camping gear and toys the rear is a sad sight once again. I was searching for a used set of the thicker factory bars but set of fresh bars is very tempting.

Any personal experiences are appreciated.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 3:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Spring Plate Angle/Torsion Bar Adjustment (Pics Added) Reply with quote

levi20AE wrote:
They are advertised as 29 mm in diameter which is slightly thicker than the thickest option from the factory. Who's to say the materials are comparable to stock.


Being larger diameter should make them stiffer, while the modulus of elasticity is going to be the same.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:09 am    Post subject: Re: Spring Plate Angle/Torsion Bar Adjustment (Pics Added) Reply with quote

Hi everyone, I am in need of help from you that have done this before.
I decided to go ahead and change the rubber bushings. I was telling myself - i am pretty sure my old ones would be alright but just in case I am already there. How wrong i was - they were in pretty ugly condition.
I was following method I found on here but as it usually goes I got really into it and before you know it I pulled out my right spring plate with torsion bar stuck in it. Now what? Would anyone tell me how to proceed? I cannot measure the angle of the spring plate since its out. Also since the bar is stuck in the plate I know where that was.
My bus is on nice level floor and i lifted both sides thinking i can get both sides ready but now when I read the thread people say do one side at the time. I was thinking I could get the measurement on spring plate on the other side but is it safe to remove both of them at the same time?
Thank you very much for any help.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:15 am    Post subject: Re: Spring Plate Angle/Torsion Bar Adjustment (Pics Added) Reply with quote

It experimental at this point in time. You just have to slide it in and see if the angle is correct, and then if it is not correct, you pull it out and turn it. A gauge block with the correct angle cut it that you can lay against the spring plate is all you need. Could just be something cut from stiff cardboard, it a gauge block doesn't need to be very special, but you do need to get the angle cut within 1/2 of a degree or better.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:28 am    Post subject: Re: Spring Plate Angle/Torsion Bar Adjustment (Pics Added) Reply with quote

Hey thanks for the response! I was so focused on how to measure it correctly that i missed your idea. That is brilliant! I will give it try.
I have to say I was somewhat hesitant whether to dive in to it but since I have the bushings in mail I decided to go for it. It took so much effort to loosen all the bolts and get there - my body hurts Smile Oh the perks of owning a bus -i love it

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Spring Plate Angle/Torsion Bar Adjustment (Pics Added) Reply with quote

I measured the torsion bars I have and it is 26.9mm. Just like everyone else from what I've seen around here. So according to bentley specs I should go with
23 +50' . Now how do you read that guys? Is there 60' in 1. It is simple geometry but the protractor that i bought is digital and its showing in decimal so I can go 23.1 to 23.9
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Spring Plate Angle/Torsion Bar Adjustment (Pics Added) Reply with quote

Martaskukla wrote:
I measured the torsion bars I have and it is 26.9mm. Just like everyone else from what I've seen around here. So according to bentley specs I should go with
23 +50' . Now how do you read that guys? Is there 60' in 1. It is simple geometry but the protractor that i bought is digital and its showing in decimal so I can go 23.1 to 23.9


I was able to measure exactly 23* +50' on the protractor I had. It wasn't digital. I'd make sure you have you bus level front to back and side to side. You should be able to adjust the bars to hit that number.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Spring Plate Angle/Torsion Bar Adjustment (Pics Added) Reply with quote

Maybe its me but I am still not sure here. When i look at a picture of VW tool 261 it says on it 1 strich (line) = 50

So is it actually 24* ?

Never mind - I see it now. They meant one line where the bubble is = 50


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