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Mk I lower suspension tie bar build
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TDCTDI
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:55 pm    Post subject: Mk I lower suspension tie bar build Reply with quote

Having just acquiring a ‘82 Rabbit truck & having owned many MkI cars before and also knowing one of their major weaknesses, I decided that the first thing that I would do is to install a lower suspension tie to prevent the dreaded frame horn fracturing.

VW made a lower tie bar for the 16v Sciroccos & several aftermarket companies did also. Long ago, I installed one of the last ones available through VW & I also used up all of the ones that I pilfered off of junked Sciroccos so I decided to whip one up out of some scrap 1” square tubing & some angle iron that I had laying around, both of which are readily available at local big box hardware stores.


I started by drilling a hole in a couple of 4” long sections of angle iron & then bolted them to the body at 45° using the forward lower control arm bolts.
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I then took a section of the 1” square tubing, cut it to length, & tack welded it to the previously installed angle iron.
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Once tacked together, I removed the tie bar & welded it up.
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After reinstalling it...
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I then clamped a couple more pieces of angle iron to the body. Later cars have a single 8mm hole here for the factory brace but you will need to drill a hole for the early cars.
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And cut a couple more pieces of square tubing to triangulate back to the angle iron.
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While making sure that the transmission drain plug wasn’t obscured.
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Once I got all of the pieces tacked together...
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I then removed the bar once again & welded it all up.
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Needing to drive this beast home tonight, I had to reinstall it before painting but here it is anyway.
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While this bar hangs a bit lower than the factory style, there’s still plenty of clearance & would be a great attachment point for a skid plate. Twisted Evil
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ps2375
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2021 3:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Mk I lower suspension tie bar build Reply with quote

A long time ago, I bought a used 1980 Rabbit. After a month or less of ownership, it broke inner CV cage a couple of times. After measuring the distance between the inner control arm mounts I found out that it was out of spec some ( I don't remember by how much and which direction), but after installing a home built tie bar with the correct spacing, I drove that car for 20+ years and well over 300K miles before it was rear-ended by an F450 service truck. Never broke an other CV joint, inner or outer.

I didn't add the triangulation like you are, so yours will be even better. Looks very nice.
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volksworld
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2021 11:37 am    Post subject: Re: Mk I lower suspension tie bar build Reply with quote

looks good...i used to use a piece of round tubing and cut a slot in the ends for 2 flat plates like 1/4 thick....i like your extra K bracing...that things not going anywhere
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sgnimj96
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 6:34 am    Post subject: Re: Mk I lower suspension tie bar build Reply with quote

Excellent work!!! People act like those 16v factory braces are so hard to get, but few actually stand up and change that.
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Butcher
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 7:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Mk I lower suspension tie bar build Reply with quote

Few have a welder to make that happen. It's not in every ones tool box or skill set.
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ach60 Premium Member
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2021 1:01 am    Post subject: Re: Mk I lower suspension tie bar build Reply with quote

Bought the upper and lower bar from Saw-A-Way for $125 in 1986 at Bugformance Sunnyvale,
and installed them with my Rabbit on jack stands at my apartment.
Seems like yesterday.
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Butcher
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:27 am    Post subject: Re: Mk I lower suspension tie bar build Reply with quote

Sway-A-Way.

Saw-A-Way is for Stihl tools. Very Happy
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