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Help with raising a lowered Bus
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Betty Bus
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 5:17 pm    Post subject: Help with raising a lowered Bus Reply with quote

Hello, we recently acquired this 72 bus that is lowered. We're unable to enjoy road trips because it's so low it bottoms out & scrapes on everything. We want to restore the stock ride height. I've been researching on how to lower these things, to determine what methods are used. The rear seems pretty straight forward, to clock the torsion bars. In the front is where I'm stumped how to correct this vehicle. There appears to be 3 common methods, and have found no evidence of these yet. What am I missing?

1) Drop Spindles
2) Front Beam Adjusters
3) Remove the Torsion Spring Leafs

Here's the Bus in action:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Front Spindle, this looks stock with VW logo found on the part:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Front beams are not adjustable:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Front End Plate appears stock, with lower torsion removed:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Spring Leafs removed from lower, appear to be a full stack:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The only part I haven't removed is the upper torsion. Because it's under a pretty strong spring load, it's difficult to remove, and I don't want to pull it apart unless it's necessary. Thanks in advance!
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SGKent Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 5:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Help with raising a lowered Bus Reply with quote

Make sure the leaves go back in the same way they came out and that there are no broken ones.

I'd ask the prior owner what they did to lower it. If they are a Samba member maybe search thru their threads to see if there are any on how they lowered it.

You can use a crowbar to raise that top spindle a little and knock it off with a dead blow hammer. Same putting it back on. Or a 2x4, 4x4 etc on a floor jack - don't lift it more than a little so not to topple it off the floor jack on the other side.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 6:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Help with raising a lowered Bus Reply with quote

your upper ball joint is going the wrong way. the stud should be pointing down.

holy shit...just when you thought you've seen it all...

I would check the spindles. they could have drilled the taper the other way around somehow.

honestly, I would probably cut those spindles in 1/2 and toss them. I bet they are trash from being used with the ball joints flipped like that
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gprudenciop wrote:

my reason for switching to subaru is my german car was turning chinese so i said fuck it and went japanese.......
[email protected] wrote:
most VW enthusiasts are stuck in 80's price land.

Jake Raby wrote:
Thanks for the correction. I used to be a nice guy, then I ruined it by exposing myself to the public.

Brian wrote:
Also the fact that people are agreeing with Skills, it's a turn of events for samba history
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 7:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Help with raising a lowered Bus Reply with quote

[email protected] wrote:
your upper ball joint is going the wrong way. the stud should be pointing down.

holy shit...just when you thought you've seen it all...

I would check the spindles. they could have drilled the taper the other way around somehow.

honestly, I would probably cut those spindles in 1/2 and toss them. I bet they are trash from being used with the ball joints flipped like that


Don - you are so right. I was trying to get my head around that photo of his because it didn't look right, now I see it too. Maybe he might look over this thread https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...mp;start=0
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 7:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Help with raising a lowered Bus Reply with quote

^^^^

I have seen people do a ball joint flip on other makes...just never on a bus. it's the cheap dirty way to lower a car. I have never seen it done on a bus...

I have to wonder how much of a drop that was. I am betting is was quite a lot.

I have 3" drop spindles on one of my buses and I will get some tire rub with 2 people up front if I am on a really, really shitty road.

I have to wonder how that setup even worked seeing the eccentric drops in from the top.

wow...what a shit show
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gprudenciop wrote:

my reason for switching to subaru is my german car was turning chinese so i said fuck it and went japanese.......
[email protected] wrote:
most VW enthusiasts are stuck in 80's price land.

Jake Raby wrote:
Thanks for the correction. I used to be a nice guy, then I ruined it by exposing myself to the public.

Brian wrote:
Also the fact that people are agreeing with Skills, it's a turn of events for samba history
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Betty Bus
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 7:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Help with raising a lowered Bus Reply with quote

Wow good catch! That is so hilarious I'm not even mad. Here's a pic I took right after removing the spindle. Both ball joints pointing up. This thing was pretty low and bottoms out every bump in the road. If you're in a turn, the front tires can lock up causing you to lose control, very dangerous. Thanks for the help and now at least I have a plan.

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Zed999
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2020 11:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Help with raising a lowered Bus Reply with quote

There is a company in UK, Transporterhaus, who have been making those flipped spindles and arms for decades, I've used them myself. About 4-4 1/2" drop, not for the faint hearted!

The ball joints are fitted with a snap ring so once in the arms they are never coming out without machining.

But this makes it very easy to convert back to stock using stock spindles and stock arms. You'll get more money selling your flipped spindles and arms than the stock replacements will cost you. If you were in the UK I'd sell you the whole lot for £100.

You will also have two adjustable tie rods because they are also fitted upside down at the spindle end for more clearance to the chassis. You can use them but it will be easier to set up if you get one fixed length one like stock and you can sell your extra along with your "lowering kit".

The other good thing for you is that you still have your bump stop arms. If it had been lowered with adjusters they would have been cut off.

You'll have to do the rears too. At that height it may have hinged spring plates. I'd sell those too and replace with stock. Your rear bump stops will also have been cut down, again very easy to replace, they just push on.
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nebe
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:20 am    Post subject: Re: Help with raising a lowered Bus Reply with quote

Every time a lowered bus is raised, an angel gets its wings.
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chachi
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2020 7:30 am    Post subject: Re: Help with raising a lowered Bus Reply with quote

nebe wrote:
Every time a lowered bus is raised, an angel gets its wings.


yes, i just dropped in to say iím no help but youíre fighting the good fight.
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Betty Bus
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2020 7:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Help with raising a lowered Bus Reply with quote

I appreciate all the help and support. We're making progress to obtain new front spindles and trailing arms. They've all been customized exactly as Zed999 pointed out, and can't be re-used.

Moving onto the rear. Looking at the spring plates, the angle is showing about 21 degrees. If I index one spline it becomes 30 degrees, which is way off spec. Then I notice what appears to be a custom adapter. Wagenswest has a similar product they call it a horseshoe plate. Looks like it gives a 3" drop without affecting camber. It appears that I can just remove the horseshoe and bolt it back together?

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2020 8:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Help with raising a lowered Bus Reply with quote

are there any scribe or chisel marks on the arms and hubs that someone made before taking them apart? Look on the top.
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Betty Bus
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Help with raising a lowered Bus Reply with quote

I'm not sure I'll take a look. I guess those are slotted to adjust for alignment. I will probably goto an alignment shop after this is all done.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Help with raising a lowered Bus Reply with quote

if there are marks on top (and maybe bottom too - paint, chisel, scribe etc.), you can line them up and the toe should be the same. Camber is more complex and usually folks don't screw with it. You'll have to call around to old time shops if you want to have the rear of the bus done. Modern shops won't have a clue what to do. It took a special tool too that moved things around while the bolts were loosened.
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Dibaltic
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2020 3:13 am    Post subject: Re: Help with raising a lowered Bus Reply with quote

Betty Bus wrote:
Moving onto the rear. Looking at the spring plates, the angle is showing about 21 degrees. If I index one spline it becomes 30 degrees, which is way off spec. Then I notice what appears to be a custom adapter. Wagenswest has a similar product they call it a horseshoe plate. Looks like it gives a 3" drop without affecting camber. It appears that I can just remove the horseshoe and bolt it back together?


Yes you can remove the horseshoe plate and bolt back together to get rid of the drop.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2020 3:36 am    Post subject: Re: Help with raising a lowered Bus Reply with quote

nebe wrote:
Every time a lowered bus is raised, an angel gets its wings.


Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

I thought I had seen a lot. There is no way this thing is road worthy like that.

SMH
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Betty Bus
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2020 6:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Help with raising a lowered Bus Reply with quote

After replacing a pile of parts it's finally done. New spindles, trailing arms, ball joints, tie rods, shocks, and bump stops. Now she's back to original height. Thanks for all your help!


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Last edited by Betty Bus on Sun Aug 16, 2020 7:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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TomWesty
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2020 7:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Help with raising a lowered Bus Reply with quote

Betty Bus wrote:
After replacing a pile of parts it's finally done. New spindles, trailing arms, ball joints, tie rods, shocks, and bump stops. Now she's back to original height. Thanks for all your help!


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
Great Job!
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Betty Bus
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2020 7:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Help with raising a lowered Bus Reply with quote

TomWesty wrote:
Great Job!


Thanks! I forgot to post the stuff I took out. I'll probably list it for sale at a really fair price, if anyone wants a lowrider special. Very Happy

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Betty Bus
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2020 7:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Help with raising a lowered Bus Reply with quote

The bus's maiden voyage didn't go well. I got 1/2 mile down the road and a trailing arm popped off. The set screw was torqued to spec at 29 ft/lbs, so I dunno. Has anyone had this happen before?

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2020 8:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Help with raising a lowered Bus Reply with quote

just in case one of these threads goes poof:

another thread posted:

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=9437351#9437351


[email protected] wrote:
looks like you have a lot of threads hanging out of the locator bolts. are you sure that the torsion bars 1) were centered in the beam and 2) had the dimple in the leave stack so the locators could bite in?

I know this was an abortion when you got to it, so I would make sure the leaf stack didn't shift and all of the locators went into the dimples correctly



[email protected] wrote:
ok...

how many threads do you have going? I would stick with one or the other, and will cut and paste this in your original thread

anyway, these are the dimples


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gprudenciop wrote:

my reason for switching to subaru is my german car was turning chinese so i said fuck it and went japanese.......
[email protected] wrote:
most VW enthusiasts are stuck in 80's price land.

Jake Raby wrote:
Thanks for the correction. I used to be a nice guy, then I ruined it by exposing myself to the public.

Brian wrote:
Also the fact that people are agreeing with Skills, it's a turn of events for samba history
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