MGTD Kit car suspension

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This topic contains 197 replies, has 36 voices, and was last updated by  edsnova 6 months, 1 week ago.

Viewing 25 posts - 126 through 150 (of 198 total)
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  • #236303

    kentt
    Participant

    @kentt

    Back to this popular topic…

    What suggestions for rear shocks?  GR2s or just OEM oil-filled, or what?
    I picked up my fresh, used front beam this afternoon, and it came with the torsion leaves and a pair of used oil-filled shocks.  That will be my starting point on the new front suspension…
    But, if the rears are anything like the ones I pulled off the front of my car originally, I could play them like a trombone…. I think they were the original 45 year old factory shocks.  
    So, what do I replace the rears with?

    Early FF TDr on 69 VW pan
    Slowly coming back from the ashes...

    #236304

    royal
    Participant

    @royal

    Kent, 

    My TDr had a port list due to 45 years of weakening of the rear torsion bar due to a heavy prior owner.  You might want to make sure that your have plenty of clearance between the wheel and the fender before deciding. Adjustment of the rear torsion setting on the TDr’s that i have looked at requires pulling the tub.  

    OR 
    you might be able to fix sag with coil over shocks which give you a bit of a boost that is somewhat adjustable.  That’s what we put on Happy Jack’s.  On mine, I added JCW aftermarket booster springs around the existing shocks.  Both these fixes worked but Jack’s fix is more elegant.  Gas shocks would also provide lift if needed but I didn’t want them. 
     
    Because we all are light in the front end, most of us just use old worn OEM oil front shocks.  
    #236305

    kentt
    Participant

    @kentt

    I don’t have noticeable sag of one side more than the other, though the entire rear is “droopy” — likely due to the original manual’s decambering one notch method… so those coil-overs might be a possibility. 

    My concern is getting too harsh a ride, or causing the soon-to-be softer  front to “plow.”   Most of the weight change with the fiberglass body and changed seating position is on the front axle, but the rear is likely a bit lighter also — especially those of us not hanging a spare tire off the back.
    Anyone know what most of the Speedster guys run on the rear?

    Early FF TDr on 69 VW pan
    Slowly coming back from the ashes...

    #236306

    edsnova
    Participant

    @edsnova

    Kent: I have old oil-filled shocks on the front. On the back I wanted a very little bit of lift so put on the KYB gas adjust shocks.

    As you may know, coil-overs and gas adjusts are both supposed to be a no-no on our light cars, as they supposedly make the ride too firm. That’s the word.
    Schu runs coils and swears they are comfortable (though he is also the inventor of a seat fix involving softer “springs” where once was just plywood, so . . .).
    I’ve been well-pleased with the KYBs on my car. The ride is firm but smooth over the road and predictable at the limit, and I hope to keep the same rig after the Soob goes in it (fingers crossed).
    The gas-adjusts will lift the rear just a tad–maybe half an inch or three quarters.
    The coils will let you raise it anywhere from (help me out here, guys) maybe an inch, inch-and-a-half to like two or two-and-a-half.
    With the gas-adjusts I am sure I am paying some price in ride roughness. I’m a few years younger than most of you guys and a few pounds lighter too, so take that into consideration. Every year I notice I become less tolerant of things like air mattresses, unpadded seats, and teenagers on my lawn.
    If mine’s ride height were right I would stay with the GR2s. And if I were 20 years older I might opt for something even softer–stock oil-filled.
    #236307

    royal
    Participant

    @royal

    Kent, 

    I am only trying to tell you of my experience.  I installed Superior 750# Loadmaster helper springs and they raised the rear just slightly more than 1 inch.  I decided on the 750’s as the weakest helpers that I could find.  Since I am essentially driving a VW bug while sitting in the back seat, on 1969 torsion bars, I needed to increase the rear tire clearance a bit.  I also am running new radial ply tires which I doubt were standard in 1969.  And lastly, I only run about 20# pressure in the rear so these tires absorb a lot more of the bounce than old stiff-walled bias belted tires.  My wife, who used to put on her sports bra when we went for a ride in my 1948 Willys CJ2A, says that the TDr ride is great – very comfortable.  I agree.  

    Regarding the front end:  you will have a lot more adjustability than I have.  I simply went with the advice that I received on this site and removed all the small leaves from both beams.  Maybe I got lucky when the front end came down just slightly more than 2″.  The ride was dramatically improved.  I am running new radial tires on front at 16-18″ and am very happy.  Now, I am moving the battery from under the seat all the way to the front which will put a bit more weight forward and remove it from the rear.  My spare is up front.  
     
    Hopefully will complete this weight redistribution this week.  It’s got to warm up a bit first.  
    #236308

    kentt
    Participant

    @kentt

    I’m undecided between the KYB GR2s and the stiffer Gas-Adjust for the rear.  I’ll try to do some more digging…

    Most of the Samba info is for either heavier, full-bodied stock or even-lighter Manx-type dune buggies with a slightly different seating position (and potential off-road use).  
    I’m trying for a balance of decent/predictable road handling and acceptable ride quality…
    Similarly, the same quandary exists for sway-bars.  I put a stiffer sway-bar on the front of my KG back in the day, and added one to the rear.  That made a world of difference and it cornered predictably and flat with only a slightly harsher ride.
    But, I don’t have either stock weight now, nor stock weight distribution, and so this would be almost flying blind, unless someone else here or Speedster owners have some insight….
    Speedster kits are likely the closest parallel to our TDrs…
     

    Early FF TDr on 69 VW pan
    Slowly coming back from the ashes...

    #236309

    kentt
    Participant

    @kentt

    Roy, thanks for sharing your experience.  I wouldn’t mind boosting the rear end back up a smidgeon — though I don’t think I need the clearance, necessarily — so maybe Ed’s idea of Gas-Adjusts on the rear would do that, while really not adding additional spring rebound to what’s there now.  

    I do think there will be the potential for more torque-twist and squatting during heavy acceleration with the new engine… 

    Early FF TDr on 69 VW pan
    Slowly coming back from the ashes...

    #236310

    kentt
    Participant

    @kentt

    BTW, I ran across these while researching handling issues, and wanted to bring the link back…

    I knew you could get weld-on replacements for the pan stiffener’s that were added to the outside edges of the stock VW pan when convertible bodies were added by Karmann-Ghia, the coach builder for all the cabriolets (aka convertibles).  Convertibles usually require stronger frames because there is no framework around the top of the windows nor the metal top itself to reinforce the frame, and resist twisting forces…
    However, here’s a company that offers bolt-on stiffeners.  So, if you’re getting a lot of body flex (doors rattling is one indication), these might be worth considering….
    If you’re seriously into autocrossing or gymkana, these should likely be on your Christmas list…

    KentT2014-01-20 12:02:30

    Early FF TDr on 69 VW pan
    Slowly coming back from the ashes...

    #236311

    kentt
    Participant

    @kentt

    Also found bolt-on frame stiffeners at BGW, the manufacturer of those ’40 Ford noses and such.  They don’t look as beefy as the ones above.

    KentT2014-01-27 12:58:16

    Early FF TDr on 69 VW pan
    Slowly coming back from the ashes...

    #236312

    capnmike
    Participant

    @capnmike

    Took the red roadsters out on the freeway today for the first time. With the front lowered from removing the 6 lower bars it feels a little “squishy”. Would a little extra weight adde To the front compartment help to make it less soft?

    #236313

    royal
    Participant

    @royal

    Mike, now would be a good time to check your shock absorbers to make sure that they are working and also to make sure that they are operating within their design range.  

    It is very likely that by lowering the front end, you now need to re-align it but alignment would not likely cause a “squishy” feel.  Shocks might (would).  

    Did you take the six smaller leaves out of each beam?  If so, that should be about right, leaving four of the larger leaves in each beam..  
    Adding weight woud probably be counterproductive.  
    Lets see what some of our pros have to say.  Kent, Allen, Ed??
    #236314

    kentt
    Participant

    @kentt

    Yes, please clarify which specific leaves you removed from each torsion bar stack.  

    What air pressure are you running in your front tires? 
    What type of front shocks are you running?
    It’s easy to add stiffer shocks to the front, but they’d also make the ride a bit firmer/harsher…
    Adding weight is a last resort…

    Early FF TDr on 69 VW pan
    Slowly coming back from the ashes...

    #236315

    capnmike
    Participant

    @capnmike

    1. Removed 6 short leaves from each tube.
    2. 22 lbs pressure in front tires
    3. 15″ shocks measured from lower spindle to upper washer. (GR-2)
    She seems to track straight and alignment looks good. My issue is more play in the steering wheel than I think is proper. I’m going for a ride now and will try to get more specific when I return.
    Btw, there is very little vertical movement in the shocks when I press down the front, perhaps one inch. Is that about right?

    #236316

    kentt
    Participant

    @kentt

    GR2s should be plenty stiff enough for a VW-based TDr front.  In fact, many people caution against using gas-charged shocks of any type on the front, because of stiffness.

    Your air pressure in the front should be around 14-16 PSI for the best ride. 24-26 PSI in the rear.

    The front steering gear backlash is adjustable to remove some sloppiness in the steering.  But to adjust requires you remove the front splashpan or cut an access hole.  If the steering gear is really worn, you likely cannot adjust all the slop out, without it starting to bind up — which you don’t want.  But if not, you should be able to adjust it to where there is 1/2″ or so of play at the steering wheel — assuming the rest of the front suspension components are in good condition.

    The next recourse is start looking for play in tie rods, ball joints, and front wheel bearings… You can adjust play out of the wheel bearings, but any play in the tie rods or ball joints calls for replacing them.

    You need about 3″ of travel (body going down, hubs moving up) to have the suspension in the middle of its range of motion… Is it bottoming out on the shocks? If so, that means your shocks are too long.  You can buy front shocks for VW suspensions lowered 2″ or more. 

    Once you get the sloppiness out of the front suspension, I suggest you completely unbolt the bottom of the shocks, and carefully take the car on a very short test drive, to see how much the suspension travels with no shocks on it.  

    KentT2014-02-22 15:45:12

    Early FF TDr on 69 VW pan
    Slowly coming back from the ashes...

    #236317

    capnmike
    Participant

    @capnmike

    Just took it out again and I correct my previous post. It’s not excess play, it just seems to “wander” or sway a bit at speeds over 55. I will reduce the front pressure and try it again. There is only about a couple inches of play.
    I’ll also check the travel of the shocks more carefully.
    Thanks again…. Mike

    #236318

    edsnova
    Participant

    @edsnova

    You should have no more than an inch of steering play. Do not touch the steering box until after you make sure the clamp nut on the steering shaft is good’n’tight, and the rag joint (and bolts holding it together are also as the factory intended.

    I seem to remember someone on this board screwing with his steering box before discovering these much simpler things were amiss. Getting the steering gear lash right was regarded in the old days as something for a guy named Hans or Gunther to do….
    #236319

    kentt
    Participant

    @kentt

    If you haven’t had it aligned recently, a bit of extra toe-in can help with the “wandering”…

    Early FF TDr on 69 VW pan
    Slowly coming back from the ashes...

    #236320

    royal
    Participant

    @royal

    Both  Hans and Gunther are entered in the big autocross in the sky.  

    I really don’t know why adjusting the steering box is verboten.  Maybe that was Hans and Gunther’s little rice bowl??
    I have adjusted and corrected the steering box of others a few times.  Seriously, if you can remove leaves from the front beam and re-assemble, then I would say you have the skills necessary to adjust it.  
    If you adjust it too tight, then, as expected, it will be hard to steer.  A little bit at a time and test.  
    It’s not black magic.  
    #236321

    kentt
    Participant

    @kentt

    I have no idea how many steering boxes I’ve adjusted over the years. It’s not difficult, but it can take a little while to get it right. As tight as possible without binding.  It definitely needs to be done with both front wheels off the ground, so the front tires turn easily.  Adjust a bit, try the steering wheel, crank it from lock to lock, repeat until you get it the steering as tight as you can without binding…

    Do not leave it set where there’s binding — and you can feel it.  Back it off just a bit so you can turn it lock to lock. Then test drive it.  You may need to tweak it just a bit more, once you’ve had weight on the wheels, and the steering under stress…
    While in there, top off the gear oil, if needed…

    Early FF TDr on 69 VW pan
    Slowly coming back from the ashes...

    #236322

    mg-wanna-b
    Participant

    @mg-wanna-b

    I’ve enjoyed the reading on here concerning the vw suspension, but, does anyone here have any comprehensive information on the tube frame suspension shock replacement?

    mine has the tube frame suspension, with coil over shocks, and, has some rear end sag that I want to remove.

    can I just swap the fronts for the rears, or, do I need to purchase some type of adjustable coil over shock?

    #236323

    gbidick
    Participant

    @gbidick

    The London Roadster has a rear shock that is mounted in the center of the rear coil spring. The front has a coil over shock. If you remove the rear shock you should be able to buy a matching shock. Must do both sides in the rear. If you can’t get a replacement then get a shock that would be in the middle of it’s throw when the car is sitting on the coil’s only. That way you shouldn’t ever bottom the shock out. The front and rear shocks have different mounting ends unless they have already been modified. Hope this helps a little.

    #236324

    mg-wanna-b
    Participant

    @mg-wanna-b

    i’ll check on that later today.

    thanks

    #236325

    jebarry
    Participant

    @jebarry

     Thxz  guys all this is great info ..   Thumbs Up which I have been trying to find out herefor three years  .. Edward you have the magic  touch   🙂

    #236326

    mg-wanna-b
    Participant

    @mg-wanna-b

    guess it’s the touch of a newbie.

    can’t wait until I can get it up on my lift and take some pictures.

    gonna try to get the brakes done on my B today, so, I can take it off the lift.

    kinda want to get it back on the road.

    #236327

    mg-wanna-b
    Participant

    @mg-wanna-b

    well, was able to at least look at the rear set up, and, you’re right, they are different, so, when I get it up on the lift, it’s gonna be a picture fest, and some clean up.

    heater cable disconnected, odd bolts holding the bottom of the shocks in, from what it looks like, and, the PO installed some copper tubing for a throttle cable casing. need to replace the purple wire loom that was put in the engine bay, too.

    also, was able to dig out the newly rebuilt B front cross member to get the parts to replace the front brakes. it has all new parts on it, so, I’m just gonna remove, and replace the pads and rotors, and, finish stripping it for possible needed parts later on down the road.

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