October 11, 2020 at 8:56 pm #307285
My donor car is a 69 Type 1 with a ball joint front end. Handling is rather squirrelly around 60. Based on what I know so far, the ball joints are tight and the tie rod ends are good. Tire pressure is 17/24 front to rear with radial tires. Steering damper looks good, but I have a new one on order. I’d like to check the steering gear box and at some point I will, but it appears a lot has to be disassembled to get to it.
So, it’s going in for an alignment later this week. Do I tell them to follow the specifications for VW’s or because of reduced weight, does anyone have any other recommendations?
Once again, thanks for the input! GreggOctober 12, 2020 at 5:39 pm #307286crash55Participant
a good place to start is 1/8- 3/16 toe in ,0-.7 degrees negative camber you do not have much choice for castor you can buy shims to increase many of us have no complaints . tire pressure 16-18 in front 24-28 in rear if your damper is worn you will feel some improvement at speed Jim’s custom VW in Columbiana , Ohio has them nice place fair prices
October 12, 2020 at 7:54 pm #307288
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by crash55.
Thanks for your timely help. Normally, I would be a little apprehensive about accepting information from somebody with a screen name of Crash55, but since you recommended Jim’s Custom VW – I knew you were okay! LOL.
I actually bought a complete new engine from them 3 years ago as well as other parts. I think Jim and Amy are great and caring people with a professional love of VW’s. Prices are more then competitive! I drove my TD to their “Bug-Tober-fest” a week ago Saturday. I live near Akron, OH and it was a 90 min drive at 40F – no top or heater, but I do have heated seats. Great show! I was the only kit car there. Jim has been a big help to me as you are. Thanks again for the response! GreggOctober 12, 2020 at 8:37 pm #307289edward ericsonParticipant
Crash’s advice is spot-on. I run about .5 degrees negative camber on my car (spec is 0) and it’s good. I also have one set of caster shims in place, so the caster is about 3-4 degrees. Stock Bugs came with less than that, to keep low speed steering easy, and it gets worse: typically, any VW whose front end is lower then the rear will lose enough caster to feel “squirrely” at highway speeds and in cross winds. The shims make it better. Some guys run two sets, taking front caster out to about 6-7 degrees.
Also check your steering coupler (the donut between the stubby shaft that comes out of the steering box and the rest of your steering shaft), and replace it if it’s red (urethane) or old rubber. Use a stock rubber one, never urethane.
Finally, tighten the big bolt that holds the pittman arm on. Sometimes that loosens up a bit over time, and you’d never know it until you stack a couple big wrenches (or use a 2-foot breaker bar) and cinch it up like an eighth of a turn. Makes a big difference!October 12, 2020 at 11:16 pm #307290
”Surprise surprise!”, said Gomer. I never knew shims existed for castor adjustment. I thought that whatever you had, you were stuck with.
Once again, proof that this site is made for VW rookies like me. Thanks GreggOctober 15, 2020 at 10:03 pm #307293
Well, I went to my local shop that has done my tires, oil changes and light repairs for many years, for my alignment. Toe in was acceptable as is, but the “technician” and I had a discussion about the camber adjustment. He insisted that the car did not any eccentrics installed and showed me what they were supposed to look like. I informed him that old VWs had them built in and he just had turn this nut on the ball joint to adjust the camber. He laughed at me. So, fortunately I had my iPad with me and brought up a YouTube video showing how to do it. Silence… However, the shop did not have a wrench that was capable of fitting the adjuster. A crescent wrench was too bulky to fit, I guess. When they talked about wrench sizes, he just talked about SAE sizes. I said, “You know that this car is all metric?” More silence….. And of course, no metrics large enough. I think I have one that would work at home. My car was older then anybody working there.
Okay, can you adjust the steering gear box? Yes he can. I know how it is supposed to be done. That’s when I discovered that the builder had ground down the adjusting shaft so the cap he used to cover the hole in the front apron would sit down far enough. So, no adjusting slot! I knew I had a problem, because the gear box is seeping and the access hole is just large enough for the adjustment, not the fill holes. I’ve been thinking of different ways to correct that oversight.
In all, a wasted day – so sad…..October 16, 2020 at 2:50 pm #307294crash55Participant
I used vice grips to grab the very top of the screw because there was no way to get to the top of my adjuster . you should not have to move it much . VW resource is a great site for info. also the samba.com can help you find a shop near you hit community on the main page then click businesses . ohio search I looked & did not see any in Akron but there might be some near you you might try calling a VW dealer they should know who can do it right on your alignmentOctober 16, 2020 at 5:54 pm #307295edward ericsonParticipant
You can set camber by loosening the nut on the ball joint and turning the eccentric with a channel lock. You also need to set camber first, then toe. Changing the camber will change the toe-in, but changing the toe will not affect camber.
Oh! All this only after ride height is set. The ride height affects camber and toe!October 16, 2020 at 10:32 pm #307296Dale SchumacherParticipant
If you can find an old school hot rod shop around most of those guys know how to do it all without even looking at the book.
I have a local very old school alignment shop here in Fredericksburg that does it for me but I have heard the father passed away and not sure the son will keep it going – support those local shops while we still can before they are all gone. When you walk in the lobby of that place it has not changed since the 60’s – it throws me every time.
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