Thanks for the information.
The shocks I was sold by the local supplier are 3″ longer (collapsed) than the original shocks. I will return them to the supplier tomorrow. These are supposed to be the standard shock for the 1973 Beetle. They are thinking a shorter shock has been installed by the builder. They will try to match the size tomorrow.
I have gone ahead and ordered the adjustable axle beam. I found where only the lower tube had been turned and rewelded. It must not be a tight weld because water/rust was form one end to the other end in the lower tube.