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Adjusting Rear Suspension
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truse
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Joined: February 10, 2014
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Location: Estherville, IA
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:47 am    Post subject: Adjusting Rear Suspension Reply with quote

Hi Everybody. I'm currently restoring a '69 Bettle and I noticed the other day that it's sagging a little in the rear. I 've found plenty of threads on how to adjust the rear suspension but I just wanted to ask two questions to clearify before I started working on this. 1) Measuring the angle of the spring plates should be done while the car is off the ground and level. Correct? 2) How do you get the spring plate off? I've seen some people use a jack to lift the plate up before sliding it out but I've seen other people just slide it straight off. That's what I'm really confused about. Thanks in advance for your advice.
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Cusser
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've done the spring plate adjustment thing exactly once, takes about a half-day, not a job I like to do. And potentially dangerous too, with those loaded spring plates. You'll also need an angle protractor/level.

I use Gabriel air-adjustable shock absorbers to raise the rear of my sagging 1971 Convertible, the coward's way out.
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gt1953
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sure how mechanical you are, this can be dangerous and will remove fingers. Honestly save this one for the pros.
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Northof49
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When you jack the vehicle up off the ground, the spring plates droop until they touch the stop. No measurement is meaningful at that stage. You must pry the plate off the stop to allow it to droop fully, to take measurement of the current position of the torsion bars. It is the prying off the stop and lowering of the spring plate that requires a controlled decent. How you do that has several options, but I have had success by resting the plate on a sturdy floor jack that provides a convenient source of lift and easy lowering. You need to pry out wards on the plate just before you lower it past the stop. It will require a continuous prying outward until it clears the stop and then can fully droop.
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Northof49
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can't just slide it straight off because it is under tension until it is off the stop and fully drooped. You must remove the cover, lower the plate off the stop, before you can remove it.
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truse
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your input guys. I just wanted to post how it went for anyone else that had this question. I jacked the car up and found that Northof49 was correct about measuring the angle at this point. Both stopped at 12 degrees. I then unbolted the control arm hoping I wouldn't have to remove it completly but it wasn't possible to move it out of the way so I did have to completely remove it. At this point I jacked the spring plate up just until the car wanted to come off the jack stands and began prying. Once I felt like I had it past the stop I slowly let it down. The first one pulled right off but the second was really stuck so it took some work. Once those were off I adjusted and readjusted untill I got the right angle. This job wouldn't have been too bad if I knew what I was doing to start with and if all the parts had cooperated! All said it took about 3 hours of my afternoon. Thanks again for all your input!
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Northof49
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Three hours, that's not too bad for a first time.
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Cusser
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

truse wrote:
All said it took about 3 hours of my afternoon.


Nice. Visit Arizona and do mine !!
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1970 VW (owned since 1972) and 1971 VW Convertible (owned since 1976), second owner of each. The '71 now has the 1835 engine, swapped from the '70. Second owner of each. 1988 Mazda B2200 truck, 1998 Frontier, 2005 Yukon, 2004 Frontier King Cab. All manual transmission except for the Yukon. http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/album_page.php?pic_id=335294 http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/album_page.php?pic_id=335297
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flyboy161
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Then swing over by Georgia for some pecan pie and peach ice cream and do mine!
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