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ride height and wheel size
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ernieballbass
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 4:11 pm    Post subject: ride height and wheel size Reply with quote

Hello everyone,

I'm trying to form a plan to restore my 1974 Thing. I stumbled across a pale-green Thing in this photo gallery (photos 4, 22, and 62).

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157609216349827/show/

Would anybody know the size of the wheels and how much it's been lowered? I want to do a "German-look" theme with porsche 17in rims and need to figure out my max wheel size/drop height. (yes i have read the tire/wheel stickie, but most of the lowered stuff had <15s with smart tires)

Thanks in advance,
Chris
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15 windowdelux
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Check with emersonbiggins this is his with 17 inch new beetle aftermarket rims and tires.

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Ian Epperson
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 9:34 am    Post subject: Re: ride height and wheel size Reply with quote

ernieballbass wrote:
Hello everyone,

I'm trying to form a plan to restore my 1974 Thing. I stumbled across a pale-green Thing in this photo gallery (photos 4, 22, and 62).

Hard to tell which one you're talking about. This one?
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3034723719/

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3034718643/

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3035567956/

It only looks like it's been lowered a few inches - probably 2" - 4". For that much, he probably just swapped out the spindles and trailing arms with bug ones, then reindexed the rear spring plates. Cheap and easy. Note that the yellow one next to it is lowered nearly the same amount.
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Fun 181
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's hard for me to imagine that you wouldn't have a lot of clearance/rubbing issues with 17" wheels on a lowered Thing. Especially after all the issues that I had with 15" wheels on a stock height Thing. But I have seen plenty of lowered Things online and they seem to roll OK. I guess it all depends on your offset and what size rubber you go with. Even so, I still would think that you would run into problems the second you hit any bumps in the road or any type of uneven terrain. I know that the ends of the two screws that fasten each turn signal protrude down into the wheel well a little in addition to the headlight well and wiring. I don't know if that would be a clearance concern when lowered. All that may be far enough forward to where it won't matter. Another consideration will be if the new size of your spare will fit under the hood.
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Fun 181
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BTW, thanks for turning me on to the awesome KTK pics! There were a couple of photos posted on the event thread, but these are a lot better. How come nobody from the event posted a direct link to this slide show?
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ernieballbass
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yup, that was the green thing i was talking about. here is what i'm thinking as far as clearancing:

Diameter:
currently i'm running 215/70/14 without a problem (stock wheel and height of course) which makes the overall diameter 25.9 inches. if a go to a 17x7 rim with a 205/40/17, the diameter shrinks to 23.5 inches. so a 2in drop wouldnt be too bad.

Width:
again, i am currently running width of 215 without a problem. so a new 7in wheel with a 205 width tire should be just as wide if not narrower than by current setup...right???

Offset (God help me):
from what i researched, i think the stock offset is 114.3mm. the Porsche wheel has an 55mm offset. so if a go with disk brakes that adds 10mm, i still need a 49mm spacer...

Brakes:
right now the leading contender is the disc brakes offered by airkewld. but, i was at the Pasco Bug Jam and saw a few bugs with HUGE disc brakes with red porsche calipers (again, huge). i have seen 944 brake conversions before, but these were massive. any idea what these are?


Chris
Ps: i'll definitely pm emersonbiggins. thanks for the tip.
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kubelmann
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

if you run 17" wheels with 5 x 130 wheel studs you are a candidate for my 4 wheel brake conversion found at:

http://veewiki2.webfactional.com/K-mann_4_wheel_brake_conversion



Em er sum awesome looking wheels I really like phone dials but the 17" ones have about the best look I have seen. Very cool.
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dasding
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is the stock ride height? I found an 11" ground clearance spec, but what should the stock bumper to pavement distance measure Question
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kubelmann
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

According to the 73 VW Thing owner's manual the stock ground clearance is 8 inches or 205 mm
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emersonbiggins
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fun 181 wrote:
It's hard for me to imagine that you wouldn't have a lot of clearance/rubbing issues with 17" wheels on a lowered Thing. Especially after all the issues that I had with 15" wheels on a stock height Thing. But I have seen plenty of lowered Things online and they seem to roll OK. I guess it all depends on your offset and what size rubber you go with. Even so, I still would think that you would run into problems the second you hit any bumps in the road or any type of uneven terrain. I know that the ends of the two screws that fasten each turn signal protrude down into the wheel well a little in addition to the headlight well and wiring. I don't know if that would be a clearance concern when lowered. All that may be far enough forward to where it won't matter. Another consideration will be if the new size of your spare will fit under the hood.


Clearance isn't that bad. Mine has 17 x 7.5" with 235/45s on all four wheels. This setup is only 1" shorter then the 195/14 tires on stock wheels that I had on it. The 17" wheels have a 35 ET so they fit under the fenders just fine. I did have to make sure the lip on the front fenders was as small as possible. I had to notch the rear spring plates and trim the bump stop a little. 2 of the bolts that hold the spring plate I had to get different bolts and countersink them to clear the wheels. It's tight but rubbing isn't a problem. Turning radius is reduced some. For the spare I just got a donut spare with a 5 x 100 pattern and it is about the same height as the setup on the car. Spare fits great in the trunk.
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Fun 181
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just found these in the gallery...

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Ian Epperson
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2008 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fun 181 wrote:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Wow! I hadn't seen that Thing before. It's ... like a different car. I didn't think a Thing could look right without bumpers, but there it is. I think those are widened fenders all the way around too.
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carterzest
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ian Epperson wrote:
Fun 181 wrote:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Wow! I hadn't seen that Thing before. It's ... like a different car. I didn't think a Thing could look right without bumpers, but there it is. I think those are widened fenders all the way around too.


x 2 on that!



It must be a radiator in front as the custom rear decklid seems to allow for even extra cooling Question Also, manual turn signals Very Happy



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


Anyone know the backstory on this one. Sweet chopped windshield too!

Fairweather cruiser=No wipes!~ Breathtaking! BUMP!~
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ernieballbass
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

emersonbiggins wrote:
Fun 181 wrote:
It's hard for me to imagine that you wouldn't have a lot of clearance/rubbing issues with 17" wheels on a lowered Thing. Especially after all the issues that I had with 15" wheels on a stock height Thing. But I have seen plenty of lowered Things online and they seem to roll OK. I guess it all depends on your offset and what size rubber you go with. Even so, I still would think that you would run into problems the second you hit any bumps in the road or any type of uneven terrain. I know that the ends of the two screws that fasten each turn signal protrude down into the wheel well a little in addition to the headlight well and wiring. I don't know if that would be a clearance concern when lowered. All that may be far enough forward to where it won't matter. Another consideration will be if the new size of your spare will fit under the hood.


Clearance isn't that bad. Mine has 17 x 7.5" with 235/45s on all four wheels. This setup is only 1" shorter then the 195/14 tires on stock wheels that I had on it. The 17" wheels have a 35 ET so they fit under the fenders just fine. I did have to make sure the lip on the front fenders was as small as possible. I had to notch the rear spring plates and trim the bump stop a little. 2 of the bolts that hold the spring plate I had to get different bolts and countersink them to clear the wheels. It's tight but rubbing isn't a problem. Turning radius is reduced some. For the spare I just got a donut spare with a 5 x 100 pattern and it is about the same height as the setup on the car. Spare fits great in the trunk.


Thanks for the response. I have a few more questions...
1. For the rear, could I just use spacers or is the modification of the spring plate totally necessary?
2. Also, are you lowered at all?
3. Is there a limit on how thick a spacer I can run? (new wheel has 55mm offset)
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emersonbiggins
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ernieballbass wrote:
emersonbiggins wrote:
Fun 181 wrote:
It's hard for me to imagine that you wouldn't have a lot of clearance/rubbing issues with 17" wheels on a lowered Thing. Especially after all the issues that I had with 15" wheels on a stock height Thing. But I have seen plenty of lowered Things online and they seem to roll OK. I guess it all depends on your offset and what size rubber you go with. Even so, I still would think that you would run into problems the second you hit any bumps in the road or any type of uneven terrain. I know that the ends of the two screws that fasten each turn signal protrude down into the wheel well a little in addition to the headlight well and wiring. I don't know if that would be a clearance concern when lowered. All that may be far enough forward to where it won't matter. Another consideration will be if the new size of your spare will fit under the hood.


Clearance isn't that bad. Mine has 17 x 7.5" with 235/45s on all four wheels. This setup is only 1" shorter then the 195/14 tires on stock wheels that I had on it. The 17" wheels have a 35 ET so they fit under the fenders just fine. I did have to make sure the lip on the front fenders was as small as possible. I had to notch the rear spring plates and trim the bump stop a little. 2 of the bolts that hold the spring plate I had to get different bolts and countersink them to clear the wheels. It's tight but rubbing isn't a problem. Turning radius is reduced some. For the spare I just got a donut spare with a 5 x 100 pattern and it is about the same height as the setup on the car. Spare fits great in the trunk.


Thanks for the response. I have a few more questions...
1. For the rear, could I just use spacers or is the modification of the spring plate totally necessary?
2. Also, are you lowered at all?
3. Is there a limit on how thick a spacer I can run? (new wheel has 55mm offset)


1 The modification to the spring plate. It has to be notched if you lower the rear. The bolts will have to be countersunk if they won't clear the wheels. Spacers will push the wheels out towards the fender so it depends on the width and affset of the wheels to see if you need spacers.

2 I switched to ghia spindles on the front so I could run disk brakes and I bought new calipers and 5 x 100 drilled rotors. Rear is lowered 1 notch. (if I remember correctly)

3 Not sure on your wheel tire combination and what issues you will run into, but you can read more here.

http://www.shoptalkforums.com/viewforum.php?f=8

http://www.germanlook.com/Forums/forumdisplay.php?f=12
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Rockstar Suzuki
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The wicked black primer Thing is from Florida.Tuckin 20's on the back.Pic was taken at the Pasco Bug Jam on Nov 9--I talked to the owner about his cool mods Cool
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ernieballbass
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found these narrow IRS arms at http://www.aircooled.net/new-bin/viewproductdetail.php?keyword2=DRS0007&cartid=1122200823146442.

With those I can fit an even wider wheel (8.5?) in the back and still use those 944 brakes kubelmann suggested. I know it's possible to narrow my current arms, but to be honest I don't think I would trust my welds with my life :/

Can anybody confirm the ET of a standard Thing wheel? I searched like crazy to find it, but nobody has posted a number. The only number I personally could come up with is 114.3mm which does not sound correct (probably messed up on my conversions)...

Chris

Ps: Pasco Bug Jam was my first Vw show and it was awesome. I got to see that black primer Thing and as well as a 1914 turbo powered Thing. Funny though, as many Vws were there, few were 181s.
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kubelmann
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

25.4 mm = 1" hence 114 mm = about 4.5" it would be tough to have an offset was 1/2" shy of the entire width of the wheel.

Early Porsche cookie cutters have an offset of 23 mm a bit under 1"

Late Porsche phone dials have a 54 mm offset about 2"

Early cookie cutters (23 mm offset) bolt right up to a Thing with absolutely no clearance issues

Early 14" bus wheels have clearance troubles because of offset.

front disk brake conversions require 15" wheels for clearance.
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ernieballbass
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i figured i would resurrect this thread and add to the current wheels and tires sticky.

i can't believe i made the original post four years ago. i was so set on buying new wheels and getting my stance where i wanted it back then. i had plans on restoring it with my dad and even made a "build list". unfortunately, life happened. i finished my last two years of college, went on to grad school, and got married! between work, school, and marriage, i just did not have time for the poor car.

but now that i'm done with grad school, i've made her a priority in my life (with the wife's permission of course lol). the first thing i did was order some nice wheels. i finally got those 17s Smile

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my tastes changed with maturity. instead of going super german-look, i went more vintage with the BRMs (big BRMs) wrapped up in some awesome dunlops 225-45-17. the pics where super quick with bad lighting so the tires do look smaller than they really are. i haven't driven her with the tires on yet, but everything seems to have fit perfectly! there are no visual clearance issues at stock height.

Wheel Specs
BRMs from cip1
17in
7in wide
ET42

next step is to drop it! i'm searching for some beetle spindles and arms right now. i guess the only questions i have concern notching the rear trailing arm.

1. how much metal should i leave on?
2. how hard is it to remove the arm? tips or tricks?


chris
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icekoffee
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

now you need a beam with adjusters, some beetle spindles and to notch your spring plates Smile

My springplates were pretty easy to remove.
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Its a little late but....
His username on here is garsan78
I believe he is from Indiana
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