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To those who've cured saggy bus butt..... FAQ
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rsorak
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:00 pm    Post subject: To those who've cured saggy bus butt..... FAQ Reply with quote

To those who've cured saggy bus butt.....How much did you have to raise it back up? I'm doing my bus now and have one side done and one to go. I needed to raise mine 1 spline or 7 degrees...How much did yours need?

My bus should be at 23 degrees and was at 16! My back tires were noticably tilted in at the top.
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ratwell
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow that was indeed saggy. How many miles on your chassis?
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you thought about maybe getting some new torsion bars?
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rsorak
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sure how many miles last documented milage was about 75K in 1976 when the engine was replaced. It still has that same engine case and it was just rebuilt again, the odometer says 34K and some such.....I'm guessin it's 134K rather than 234K as the bus is rather tight and original overall.

No I hadn't thought about new bars, with them being fully adjustable, I don't see their spring rate changing because of the twist, as the rate is determined by the diameter.
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rsorak
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I messed up my math in calculating how much I needed to rotate things. It appears that I have about the 24 degrees I'm supposed to, but my busses butt is definately saggy....New bars are $300 that's orageous to me, as new bars for my Mopars are $135/pr.

Must I just guess how much to rotate things to get it back up? I'm assuming the tires should be close 90 degrees to the pavement at ride height when viewed from the rear?

With the one spline I've rotated the 1 side, I expect that side will be too high when I set it back down. Guess it's time to set it back down and test.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2005 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Busses always look like the butt is saggy. It's supposed to be that way. The only way I changed my look was with taller tires in the rear. Wink
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rsorak
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2005 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok I set it down for a test. The one side is much higher, the edge between the smooth part of the sidewall and the tread is now about even with the lower edge of the wheel cutout in the body.

It looks much better. I always thought it looked to be to high in the front.

I'll do the other side and if I need to lower them both a little later no big deal, this job is not that hard.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2005 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or those evil coil-overs. ($39.95 each from CIP1; free shipping) Put them on last week to replace some still-good KYBs. Result: raised the rear by 2" and the bus rides much better than before. My '69 came with aftermarket 15" wheels with about 2" of offset towards the outside. The coil overs gave me enough room to clear my new 205/75/15 Bridgestone Duelers --- with only a weee bit of tweaking the fender lips.
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rsorak
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2005 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No coil overs won't work as I've gotten in on the very last Koni's order and they should be showing up any time now....! I need them as it appears that my stockers are leaking at the top.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2005 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i know shocks dont really raise the bus properly but last sat i put new ky's on the rear. did not have a chance to drive it til today and when i got in i had to adjust the rear view mirror. i was debating doing the torsion adjustment also. the bus actually sits level as i had a more noticable sag in the right side. i'm happy.
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rsorak
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2005 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow look at the email i just got! What timing!!!

Dear Type 2 List Member:

You are receiving this email because you signed on to the Type 2 List group
buy from Koni shocks for your Bus. They have come in. We will bill the same
credit card that you used for your deposit, and ship your shocks to the
address that you provided at that time, this Wednesday. If there is any
problem with this, please email me immediately.

Thanks, and enjoy your shocks!

- Ron Salmon
The Bus Depot, Inc.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2005 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I absolutely abhor the idea of coil overs as a bandaid to saggy bus botttoms...........
But I digress, and will not argue the point as it has been done before.

Now I will go write "ITS THEIR BUS AND THEY CAN DO WHAT THEY WANT TO IT" 100 times on the blackboard.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2005 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How many times can christmas come this year. This is getting ridiculous. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2005 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rsorak wrote:

It looks much better. I always thought it looked to be to high in the front.


Don't be making decisions based on aesthetics. You have to put a couple of people in the front to know what your travelling ride height (read: headlamp aim and steering caster) really is.
Set both your spring plates to 23 from sill horizontal and KNOW that your rear axle camber and front end caster is correct. Half tank of gas, vehicle empty, 7" from lower edge of transaxle to ground.
Any mention of torsion bar replacement as a cure for butt sag should be ignored. These things have been proven to sag just once. Once you have done one spring plate correction you are good forever. New bars will just sag themselves. I adjusted my spring plates while working at Arcosanti in Cordes Junction AZ in October of 1980, that was it.
Colin
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2005 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not the appearance of the parked bus that motivated me to do this but the amount the rear tires tilted in at the top. It WAS excessive. My tire wear would have been horrible.

Researching here on Samba I found 3 ppl who said they raised there's by one spline, I found no other posts that mentioned a specific figure. I think it's gonna be too much, but it will give me a reference to work with. I've never heard of that 7 inch figure before, but I'll check that too.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2005 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rsorak wrote:

It's not the appearance of the parked bus that motivated me to do this but the amount the rear tires tilted in at the top. It WAS excessive. My tire wear would have been horrible.


Not necessarily. Make your determination based only on unladen ride height and the 23 free spring plate angle. Rear camber is adjustable by means of rotating the diagonal arms against the spring plate/hub. Once your camber is within specs at the correct ride height, those rear tires can splay alarmingly, the diagonal arms will toe the wheels in just right as the bus gets loaded down.

rsorak wrote:

Researching here on Samba I found 3 ppl who said they raised there's by one spline, I found no other posts that mentioned a specific figure. I think it's gonna be too much, but it will give me a reference to work with.


That one spline figure is too crude. Those splines are a vernier set up. I went eight up on the outside splines and seven down with the inside splines (or was it the other way around? anyways, VW gives you different progression on the outside versus the inside splines. You can adjust in 50 minute intervals. If you just do one spline, you jack that sucker up way quick, killing the CVs and the aesthetics.
Colin
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2005 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1 outer spline (I have 52) is 6.9 degrees. If you raised yours 8 "rotations" at 40 minutes each that's 5.3 degrees, all of a 1.6 degree diff. between the 2, not much. Like I said I think 1 spline is gonna be too much....but I'm willin to go back and lower it a few "rotations."

Quote:
Not necessarily. Make your determination based only on unladen ride height and the 23 free spring plate angle. Rear camber is adjustable by means of rotating the diagonal arms against the spring plate/hub. Once your camber is within specs at the correct ride height, those rear tires can splay alarmingly, the diagonal arms will toe the wheels in just right as the bus gets loaded down.


Where do you come up with this crap? Do you ever read Bentley? it says that the torsion bars are the primary camber adj. and that the diagonal arm can be used to get a minor camber adj. It also says that rear camber should be -50 minutes, or less than 1 degree!!! So if your rear tires visibly and obviously tilt in, you're way too low. (I was.)
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2005 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Where do you come up with this crap? Do you ever read Bentley?


Uh-oh......Rsorak just tugged on Superman's cape.

Note to Rsorak's friend and reletives: don't stand too close to him--somewhere there is a lightning bolt headed his way.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2005 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rsorak wrote:
Where do you come up with this crap? Do you ever read Bentley? it says that the torsion bars are the primary camber adj. and that the diagonal arm can be used to get a minor camber adj. It also says that rear camber should be -50 minutes, or less than 1 degree!!! So if your rear tires visibly and obviously tilt in, you're way too low. (I was.)


I think you might have misunderstood me. The 50' increment I was referring to was for spring plate angle adjustment, not camber specs. When I read your post that you had heard from three people who went up a spline, I was (unnecessarily as it turns out) alerting you to the inner/outer adjustment possibilities to get the spring plate angle correct. I have seen a lot of buses with jacked up rear ends because people thought you just go up one spline and they're done. You and I know that would be too severe.
With the correct spring plate angle and ride height, you then can check your camber angles and for any variations between the left and the right sides.
What I would like to warn you of is not to indict your tilting rear wheels. The tires will not necessarily wear strangely just because you see negative camber. My bus has gobs of negative camber and the tires are wearing just fine. The reason for this is (listen carefully Mr.Rsorak) I know my camber is within spec AT CORRECT UNLADEN RIDE HEIGHT. You have your 23 (24 in your case?) spring plate angle, correct? Did you then assume that your negative camber would be mostly gone when you set the car down? Depends on your particular car's weight and ride height. My bus happens to be chronically laden. So I have chronic negative camber. You, I think, incorrectly assume that your inner tire shoulders may wear prematurely with all of that negative camber when I am telling you that VW designs the rear toe to change as compensation for the negative camber increase as the car is loaded down or *even as the torsion bars sag*. What are you going to do to all of these poor neophyte bus owners who have all that junk loaded in their buses for years and they go out and see more than 50' negative camber? You are going to send them down the path of unnecessary worry or adjustments. The only time you need to investigate further is if the camber falls outside of spec at unladen ride height. Then, if you cannot tweak the diagonal arms enough, you might need to replace the diagonal arms.
Being a crap-filled non-Bentley-reading idiot, I went one step further than the Bentley procedure. After dialing in my 23 spring plate angles, I jacked my car up to get the 7" clearance at the differential, saw that my camber needed a minor tweak on the right side, did the diagonal arm twist, then shoved both hubs as far forward as the slots would allow so I could enjoy both excellent tire wear characteristics AND excellent transient stability. Because, as the Bentley will never tell you, a dollop of extra initial rear wheel toe-in will give you better tracking and dampen that good old rear wheel steering effect (turn out) which we want to avoid with our rear-engined cars.
Camber is a direct result of diagonal arm position. VW gives you the camber spec from their determination of that diagonal arm position with fresh torsion bars and an unladen new bus right off the assembly line.
You must place your old car with its unknown weight gains and torsion bar spring rate deterioration at that factory position (7" at the differential) and see if your camber is at the - 50' to 1. Then when the car settles to whatever it settles at (with your correct spring plate angle duly noted), you are to ignore the negative camber that may occur. And if you load up seven of your best friends to drive across the country, you are to ignore the splayed rear wheels under all of their weight because the factory has designed the suspension to cancel out the inner shoulder wear that *you just KNOW* is going to eat up your tires. It ain't going to eat up your tires. These cars were designed to run with almost a ton of junk in them and the tires will wear just fine.
Mr. Come Up With Crap
(by the way, if you DO have excessive wear on your rear tire inner shoulders, spring plate bushings can wear and allow the whole spring plate and hub to go backwards enough to cause too much toe-out0

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2005 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

payton wrote:
i know shocks dont really raise the bus properly but last sat i put new ky's on the rear. did not have a chance to drive it til today and when i got in i had to adjust the rear view mirror. i was debating doing the torsion adjustment also. the bus actually sits level as i had a more noticable sag in the right side. i'm happy.

It's because they are gas filled. Oil filled shocks won't have that effect.

This is a photo of my bus when it was about 4-5 years old:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The bus looks like it's sagging but the shape of the front wheel well it deceptive. We all know this. To check the sag without reading the spring plate angle, measure from the jacking points to the ground on both sides (4 times) and the distance should be about the same (expecially with the driver in the front seat).
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