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Lowering a Bay FAQ
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MrBreeze
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2006 10:09 pm    Post subject: Lowering a Bay FAQ Reply with quote

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Everyone has their own opinions on lowering a bay, this is just information for those who wish to try it. My only comment on this is that if you feel the need to do this, PLEASE BE CAREFUL AND DO IT THE SAFEST WAY POSSIBLE!

I will adjust the first post as needed. I'm going to leave this unlocked for now for people to present their arguements on HOW TO DO THIS. This is NOT for arguing whether to do it or not. Anything inflammatory will be removed from this thread. Please try to support your thoughts with facts, we want this to be a SAFE primer on doing this.

Thank you, Bub for the great information:

The Front:
#1 Drop spindles up front , $250-$350 depending on drop and maker, try Nate at www.wagenswest.com
They will leave you with an almost 100% stock suspension.

#2 Yank torsion bars out of the front beam until desired height it reached.
This way you lose ALOT of suspension for every 1/2", up to about 4" lowered when you have none.

#3 Adjustable front beam. This is lots of work, but allows you to select what ride height you desire and set it back to stock if you like. Not cheap, and not as easy since the whole front beam must be removed and cut / welded.

#4 There are some suppliers in the UK who have some other things such as Coil overs shocks, but they're expensive and I dont have any first hand knowledge.

The rear:
#1 Take the rear suspension apart and turn the springplate on the splines. Lower as much as desired, but again, you lose some suspension travel.
A caution added by Karl - The more you lower the rear by adjusting the torsion bars, the more negative camber you put in the tires. They will be riding on the inside edge and be severely tilted in

#2 Drop plates. These are a metal plate that bolts to the spring plate and raises the point where the axle bolt on UPward. Lowers the rear, and theoretically leaves the suspension stock. Never tried them.

#3 The guys in the UK again have some neat stuff.

Other information:
How to lower a 1968-79 VW bus from wagenswest:
http://www.wagenswest.com/How_to_1968-79_bus/
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steponmebbbboom
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2006 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
#2 Yank torsion bars out of the front beam until desired height it reached.
This way you lose ALOT of suspension for every 1/2", up to about 4" lowered when you have none.


#4 There are some suppliers in the UK who have some other things such as Coil overs shocks,


just FYI: bad, bad ideas. The torsion leaves trick is akin to the cutting or heating coil springs trick, quick & dirty and very breakable. The coil overs also is dangerous in that it transfers more stress to the shock mounts than they were originally designed to carry. If a shock bolt gives way, the suspension will drop possibly causing you to lose control of the vehicle.

The safest methods involve leaving the suspension intact, such as drop spindles and adjustable beams, but with the adjusters, make sure the welds are sound and have this work done if you arent completely comfortable with welding.
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flabay
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So sounds like #1 on the front and #2 on the rear is the safest way. I believe this gives you a maxiumum of -2.5 inches all around. The rear "boomeang" kit or plates are available from www.bus-boys.com for $324 for the kit. I would think if you want to retain useful drivability, this would be the only way to go. Just my cents. My bus is stock hieght, but I like the looks of a properly (mild) lowered bay window.
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73Horse
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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I had the front lowered using busboys adjust beam and had the rear turned a couple of turns. If you dont go very drastic in the rear i dont notice anything different. But the front is another story . This is definately a weekend warrior. It is lowered allthe way in the front and is sitting on the bump stops. Rides like a brick. If you have an everyday driver use drop spindles or leave the front alone. But it really sits good. If you lower it get the wide 5 adapters and chrome wheels look sweet and the size tires are really cheap. 195-55-15. Get the performance ones though like v,w, or z as they have stronger sidewalls. The rear barely clears but never rubs as the suspension travel angles in.

Good Luck
Ric
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steponmebbbboom
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

note that the camber in the rear will kill your tires. Mine had a natural sag in it before I cranked it back up and in the meantime did some damage to my CR21s. I would use boomerangs myself, oh wait, no I wouldnt.
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Long-roofs
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am about ready to get a set of Nate's drop spindles...but 2 1/2" drop isn't enough IMO. I would still run an adjustable beam.

Does anyone know if the drop spindles widen the front end? I asked Nate but he didn't answer back yet.
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Long-roofs
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

steponmebbbboom wrote:
note that the camber in the rear will kill your tires. Mine had a natural sag in it before I cranked it back up and in the meantime did some damage to my CR21s. I would use boomerangs myself, oh wait, no I wouldnt.


Actually, when lowering the rear, you can maintain good camber if you shim on the top bolts between where the spring plate and trailing arm meet.
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73Horse
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I checked wagon west and it said this:

"These dropped spindles have a 12 mm wheel base increase per side, and you may need to trim a small bit from your backing plate. "


I actually might get a set of those as well so I can raise the front up a little. Laughing
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since they are only 2 1/2 inch you definately need the adjustable beam as well. I think mine was like almost 7 inch difference from stock height with just the adjustable beam but i suggest not doing that. With the beam halfway down and the spindles it will look slammed and give you some suspension travel.....
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Bub
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I lowered my 69' Single cab a little over 5". YES, I ripped ALL the torsion bars out of the top tube in front- wanna fight about it? Turned the splines in the back.
It rides kind of like hell, but Its fun and feesl sporty with the 1776.
And here's my 71' dropped 2.5" via Waganswest spindles. It DOES widen the front track about 10mm each side. It sits on 16" Audi wheels w/ 205/50 tires and will be lower when I can afford a proper narrowed beam.
Turned one spline in the back -which was sagging a little anyway.
And a note: I have NO camber issues at all with either of these busses.
I'll post pics of the S-C later.
Bob O
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

love the euro lenses. Cool
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David Househead
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

75 Westy
found a cut & turned beam in a junkyard for $75, bump stops removed
back is down 2 notches
195/60/14 tires on stock wheels
no issues with camber...
before
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after
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Long-roofs
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My bus has an adjustable beam and it sits about 4-5 inches lower before tire swap....and the ride isn't the best. I figure with the 2 1/2" spindles and adjusted up 1", it should be good.

Bub...your bus looks good! Where are you at in Wa.? I am in the Spokane area.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey BUB, Did you have to trim any from the backing plates when you put the Wagenswest spindles on?? And if so what part do you trim??
Also how did you get those Audo wheels to fit, did you machine the centers??
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Bub
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't have to trim a thing. THey said I might, but they bolted right on- no rubbing, no problem.
Here's the truck- with ALL the upper leaves gone from the front beam, and turned way down in back on 15" bug wheels, just for reference.
I did have to have some machining done on the front wheels, cost about $100, to fit over the front hubs. BUT now I know I could easily have gone with 17" wheels too. THese ones were cheap.
I'm located in Wenatchee! I'm the only one here. ...
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds great, I think I will give my machinist a call and see if he can do that for me! Thanks for the help. I will try an dpost sopme pix when I get doen , probably take me a month or so though..... Sad
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steponmebbbboom
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nice logo, what company is it? what do they do?
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

2 things.

I used to work for a little machine shop in Seattle were we would get in bus spindles and I would machine off the front of them, they supposedly were going to be modified for a large Porsche disc brace and a drop. I probably did 3 piles of 12-16 spindles in about 6 months, they must have sold a bunch, no idea who it was for, ten years ago I never imagined I would own a bus.

What about airbags and adjustable ride heights? Is this done?
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Long-roofs wrote:
Actually, when lowering the rear, you can maintain good camber if you shim on the top bolts between where the spring plate and trailing arm meet.

What did you use to shim it? washers?
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jagermeister wrote:
2 things.

I used to work for a little machine shop in Seattle were we would get in bus spindles and I would machine off the front of them, they supposedly were going to be modified for a large Porsche disc brace and a drop. I probably did 3 piles of 12-16 spindles in about 6 months, they must have sold a bunch, no idea who it was for, ten years ago I never imagined I would own a bus.

What about airbags and adjustable ride heights? Is this done?


I bet this was Franklin's, he has a shop over there, has a banner ad too.
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