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How to Lower / Raise Front and Rear Suspension
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topnotch
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 3:22 pm    Post subject: How to Lower / Raise Front and Rear Suspension Reply with quote

Hope this is helpful to people who want to raise or lower their type 3`s Smile

i was bit fed up of always hitting my beam, framehead etc on hidden dips in the road, so i decided to raise the car all round, front and back today.

thought it`d be useful to take some pictures as i went along so people could see how to it Wink

anway here goes -

for the rear -

first thing to do is jack the car up and support it under the torsion bars. once done, with the wheel off, i removed the cover plate on the end of the torsion bar so you can see the outer splines -

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


i then marked the top of the spring plate with a centre punch so i could see where to line it up again - here i `ve put 2 punch marks -

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i then disconnected the handbrake cables, just remove the nuts - i found i had to remove the handbrake lever to let the cables pull back through the tunnel -

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this is where the cable comes out - just pull the outer sleeve of the chassis -
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then removed the lower bolt for the shock mount -

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3 19mm bolts holding the spring plate to the rear axle removed - i needed quite a large breaker bar to get these free -

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


i then supported the spring plate with a jack and move it upwards so it just clears the step it sits on - a scissor jack here only because my trolley jack is broken -

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


once this is done, remove the torsion bar cover to reveal the rubber bush -
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i then pulled the rear axle free of the spring plate and up above it - i supported it with some wire tied to the rear bumper mount -

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


next i , i used my `lowering stick` Smile - basically, its from a stairwell and has a hooked end which i can get round the spring plate -

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


if the car hasn`t been adjusted before, these can be a nightmare to get free sometimes, but it just takes a massive lever of some sort usually!

once its clear of the step, let the jack down slowly to release the plate - keep fingers well out of the way here as sometimes it can spring down with force. at this pint, once its down and not stressed, mark where it is positioned!

here it is after i`ve dropped the plate down, then levered it off the inner splines. the plate did start to come off the outer splines which i didn`t want in this case (i`d turned the oppostie side on the inner splines already). if this is what happens, just hammer the spring plate back on to the torsion bar. once it is not under stress, you should be able to pull it back off the inner splines (hopefully!)

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


you can raise the plate up to lower the car or pull it down a spline (or 2) to raise the car.

once, you`ve got it where you want, make sure the rubber bush on the inside of the torsion housing is positioned correctly otherwise you`ll struggle to get the plate seated back in.

at this point i always struggle to bolt the torsion bar cover back into place - the bolts never line up with the holes once i have plate raise back into place. i found the best way to get it in place is to fit the cover and get the bolts started before i raise the plate into postion. this way you can raise it into place just above the step, then pull the plate into the housing by tightening the cover down Smile

toget the spring plate started back into the housing i found it helpfult ot give it a wack with the lowering stick -

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


once its all back in place, torque up the various bolts - job done!

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
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topnotch
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ok, to raise or lower the front -

in this case i adjusted the lower arm on the inner splines -

here is the suspension. to start with, i made some marks on the housing so i knew where i started from. i then removd the lower ball joint pinch bolt marked here -
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


here it is undone -

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push the lower ball joint out of the lower arm - you`ll probably need a hammer and some sort of clamps maybe to compress the upper and lower arms together. i then pulled the hub clear of the lower arm.

to remove the lower arm of the inner splines i needed to remove the bolt on the opposite side of car - this screws into the end of the torsion bar. by undoing this halfway and tapping it with the hammer, this pushes the bar out of the housing. you can then remov the botl completely and lever the arm out using a large bar of some sort Very Happy

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


here it is pulled free from the splines -

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


then either move the arm down to raise the car up up to lower it and push it back onto the splines. you can refit all the bolts and torque them up Very Happy

front done Very Happy

hope thats helpful to people,

cheers,
mike
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Air_Cooled_Nut
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Note: IRS cars don't need to worry about the e-brake cables. At least I haven't had to Wink

Use this procedure along with your Benley shop manual. Although, don't get caught up in what the Bentley gives for figuring out the height with inner & outer splines unless your ride is uneven left to right after adjusting your ride height. If you can, make adjustments based on just the outer splines of the trailing arm, hopefully leaving the inner splines set in place when you remove the outer trailing arm.
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chopperpaintin
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How are you counting the inner splines? Didnt know how you are keeping it even. The allen head set screws to pull the arms off are seized on my 67. Ths sounds like the way to go in my case. Thanks for the nice pics and the help
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Mason
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Make this a sticky!
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topnotch
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

chopperpaintin wrote:
How are you counting the inner splines? Didnt know how you are keeping it even.


to count the inner splines, i more or less do it by feel - i just turn the arm until i feel the splines engage on the next tooth. i then make sure that the other side has moved by the same amount visually or meausuring.

i can see the distance relative to the mark i punched on to the beam before i moved anything Wink

hope this is helpful!
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Air_Cooled_Nut
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Masona14 wrote:
Make this a sticky!

I think more detail would be needed.

To count splines, slowly pull the trailing arm and apply a small twist to it (normally in the direction you want the arm to eventually end up, clockwise or counter). The spline engagement will keep the arm from rotating. As you are slowly pulling out (and twisting) you will feel the splines of the arm and torsion bar disengage -- STOP! Push the arm back in to the same splines (no height adjustment). Okay, you are now ready. Slooooowly pull the arm back out while twisting. When it disengages, rotate a tiny bit so you will have a tooth from the torsion bar and a tooth from the arm butted against each other, then begin pushing the arm back on to the torsion bar. When the arm slips back on to the splines of the torsion bar then you know you've rotate one spline. It's actually simple once you do it.
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topnotch
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Air_Cooled_Nut wrote:
..., hopefully leaving the inner splines set in place when you remove the outer trailing arm.


if you want to rotate the outer splines and the inner splines start to come off instead, you can put a small block behind the spring plate, then knock the torsion bar back onto the inner splines by hitting just the end of the bar and not the spring plate.

i think in the past i`ve used an old trolley jack handle that i had lying about.
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DMNCLNR
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am a little confused at this part i qouted below. You actually loosen the bolt on the oppisite side of the car? Do you also loosen the bolt on the side you are working on as well? And if i were to loosen the bolt and then hit it with a hammer wouldn't i damage threads?



"to remove the lower arm of the inner splines i needed to remove the bolt on the opposite side of car - this screws into the end of the torsion bar. by undoing this halfway and tapping it with the hammer, this pushes the bar out of the housing. you can then remov the botl completely and lever the arm out using a large bar of some sort"
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topnotch
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DMNCLNR wrote:
I am a little confused at this part i qouted below. You actually loosen the bolt on the oppisite side of the car? Do you also loosen the bolt on the side you are working on as well? And if i were to loosen the bolt and then hit it with a hammer wouldn't i damage threads?



"to remove the lower arm of the inner splines i needed to remove the bolt on the opposite side of car - this screws into the end of the torsion bar. by undoing this halfway and tapping it with the hammer, this pushes the bar out of the housing. you can then remov the botl completely and lever the arm out using a large bar of some sort"


to adjust the inner splines, the only thing stopping that torsion bar coming out is that bolt on the oppostite side of the beam.

you don`t have to tap the bolt with a hammer but i find this the easiest way to dislodge the torsion bar from the splines. instead you can lever it out at the end you`re working on. to be honest i wouldn`t worry too much about damaging the thread too much - just undo it about half way, then tap it with a hammer - it should`nt take too much pressure to move the bar off the splines.
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tim3
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

remember you dont have to take off the top trailing arm in the front the adjust the suspension hieght. (common mistake with bug owners... i did it once)

also marking the spot is a good refrence for getting the height the same.. i usually never mark the spot but rather use hole or lines on the parts to see where it was before.. this really only works if your going to only lower or raise it a notch,,, more notches becomes a bit more difficult..


also a good reference of how much a notch lowers the car:

i would say from looking at it one notch either way is about an 3/4 inch.




the biggest problem you will have is getting the cover plate back on... like he said the best way to get it back on is to leave the arm down not on the support ridge where it cuases the arm to tweak and put on the bolts but dont tighten them too much so you can raise the arm into postion...


oh and hook back up the handbrake... dont be lazy like most people it sucks to buy your car with out the cables hooked up
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**ALAn**
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yo thanks for making this thread u guyz saved me alot of work...well today i lowered the front of my square i belive 4 inches or three im not sure but im running with no shocks right now cuz the other 1s didnt work any more but i love the stance of it it rubbs a lil bit on the top of the fender but im going to flair out the fenders a lil bit with tha ole baseball bat trick lol and tommorow in going to lower the back tomorrow after skool Cool it looks kinda confusing but ill figure out a way! oh and ill post up sum pics tommorrw i would do it right now but its took dark so u guyz r gonna have to wait
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Bobnotch
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

**ALAn** wrote:
yo thanks for making this thread u guyz saved me alot of work...well today i lowered the front of my square i belive 4 inches or three im not sure but im running with no shocks right now cuz the other 1s didnt work any more but i love the stance of it


Sounds like you went at least 3 splines down. Anything over 2 requires shorter shocks. Just a little heads up, but you can use lowered link pin bug (pre 65) shocks on the front of your t-3. I hope this helps.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 9:36 pm    Post subject: lowering a 71 squareback Reply with quote

i'm going to attempt to drop the frt of my 71', and was wondering how the car will handle after i do this?,,I'm going 2 notches and will put new shocks on shortly after,,any recomendations for the best shocks?,,,Thanks,,Russ
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 9:51 pm    Post subject: lowering a 71 squareback Reply with quote

i'm going to attempt to drop the frt of my 71', and was wondering how the car will handle after i do this?,,I'm going 2 notches and will put new shocks on shortly after,,any recomendations for the best shocks?,,,Thanks,,Russ
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2007 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bobnotch wrote:


Sounds like you went at least 3 splines down. Anything over 2 requires shorter shocks. Just a little heads up, but you can use lowered link pin bug (pre 65) shocks on the front of your t-3. I hope this helps.


i'm running stock lenght shocks on the front of the purple notch... there is actually still suspension travel and the nose is more than 2 clicks down.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you dont plan on adjusting the inner splines, do you have to unbolt that end of the torsion bar?
In other words, can i adjust the outer splines only with unbolting the inner torsion bar bolt?
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**ALAn**
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey guyz i used a diffrent way lowering the rear and it still has good supension and no massive camber in the rear i dont have any pics of it right now but ill get em up asap but anyways i fabed 4 plates for a 3 and a half inch drop .....First i unbolted the part thats kinda behind the drum and i rasied the shock towers and placed to plates on each side and screwed em on and i did the same to the other side all in all it took me like 30 to like 40 mins to lower the rear so ya i personally think its fairly E-Z but mmm....like i said ill gett some pics up when i get it back on monday.............but mmm..... i hope this helps to all of ya !
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ArkansasChad wrote:
If you dont plan on adjusting the inner splines, do you have to unbolt that end of the torsion bar?
In other words, can i adjust the outer splines only with unbolting the inner torsion bar bolt?


If you're wanting to do your adjusting on the outer splines only, then no, you don't have to remove the bolt or the torsion bar from the opposite end that you're lowering on. In other words, just remove the lower torsion arm from the outside end of the bar, and rotate it up to lower it.
Some of us have a hard time getting them to seperate (due to rust), so doing the inner bar end is another option. In my son's case, his car had been lowered some before he got it, and it was uneven. He had to work both ends of the 2 bars in order to get it even, and lowered. Shocked This is where a protractor comes in handy (to be able to check both sides, and make sure they're set the same).
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71 Notch ...aka Krunchy; build pics here;
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=249390 -been busy working
64 T-34 Ghia...aka Wolfie, under construction... http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=412120
mark tucker wrote:
dont the youthinasisa make all our vw stuff? Shocked
Tram wrote:
People keep confusing "restored" and "restroyed".
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

whenever I adjust the ride height in the back, I use this to make sure both sides are set at the same degree of angle. Use it when the arms are unloaded and set both sides at the same degree of angle. (this also helps if you forgot how many"splines", inside or out, you turned.
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/gallery/pix/337533.jpg

Get it at Home depot for about $15[/img]
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