Axle Weight Distribution VW based TDs

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Mark Hendrickson


Adding ballast is NOT the way to make your kit car ride and handle correctly. The one and only way is to lower the the spring rates to fit the weight and weight distribution of the car.

When racers dial in their cars, they don’t add weight to the front or rear of the car to get the thing right. True, they may add weight in a particular spot (usually a frame rail) to make minimum weight requirements and affect weight distribution, but this doesn’t even compare to what is being done to these VW kit cars.

Ferdinand Porsche designed the twin beam front end on these cars to be spring rate (torsion leaves) adjustable by adding or removing torsion leaves. There are 10 in each tube. Four leaves in each tube are wide and are required to stay. Six leaves in each tube are narrow and up to all six can be removed from each tube.

So, I do not understand why the manufacturers and builders use the “Add 4 tons of dead weight to get it right theory”. It took me an after noon to remove the torsion leaves and correct the ride on the Pink MG (now Angelica).

Please note that adding a large amount of dead weight to these cars is also unsafe. the weight becomes a projectile in even a small wreck if not fastened properly. I have a friend who added weight to a racing car improperly and suffered a crushed left tibia as a result.

I know I hammer all the VW kit builders on this, but taking the time to do it it renders your ride a pleasure to drive and makes it safer too. Plus, it’s free! I hammered so much about this that two Speedster owners in my club did it and can’t believe they are driving the same cars! They are both using only the 4 wide leaves and none of the narrow ones in each tube.

No offense meant by my stance on this subject. It’s just the right way to do it.