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Front end weight – VW based TD

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  • #232376
    Dave Barczak
    Participant

    @dbar

    I find the front end of my VW based MG feels light when I drive.  It’s based on a 1969 beetle.  Has anyone else exepereinced same and willing to share how hey addressed?  I seem to remember a post 1 year ago but cannot find it.

    Thanks!

    Dave

    #237343
    Dale Schumacher
    Participant

    @schu

    Dave,

    Make sure you have the battery up front. I also added a nice storage area up front and filled it w/ everything I need for a long trip – Jack, tools, replacement parts etc. It seems good now. Sometimes when I brake hard ( discs up front ) it slids, so maybe it still is a bit light.

    Some people are using a area in the front of that storage and filling it w/ lead shot or something heavy.

    Try them in order until you have enough weight up front.

    Dale

    #237344
    Mark Hendrickson
    Participant

    @pink-mg

    With all due respect to the “ADD TONS of WEIGHT” method to fix these cars, that’s NOT the correct way to correct the problem. Front mounting of the battery and a storage area are GREAT ideas and well worth the effort.

    However, you are asking for trouble adding lead or other ballast to compensate for the front end being too stiffly sprung.I’ve told this hundreds of times to VW based TD and Speedster owners. The people that have done the right fix swear that they have a completely different car, handling and riding so much different that is has become a pleasure to drive…not to mention safer.

    The feeling you are getting is from the front suspension being MUCH TOO STIFF for the light nose weight of the car. If the car is sprung correctly, the car will not skid or “push” the nose (understeer) under hard cornering and normal braking.

    The thread about removing torsion leaves from the VW beams has been posted to several areas on this website. If your car is based on a ’69 Beetle, you should have the VW repair manual by Robert Bentley commonly called the “Red Book”. It will have picture of how the VW twin beam front suspsension is designed and how it can be adjusted. Cutting and turning one tube is NOT THE CORRECT WAY TO DO IT. It is the quick fix method used by the manufacturers to get the ride height correct, not the correct spring rate. If you remember, these kits were marketed as “build it in a weekend!” 

    To do this job right, you’ll have to remove the front beam (if it’s been cut and turned) and install ride height adjusters or better buy and adjustable beam and reinstall your exisiting components minus a bunch of torsion leaves.

    We wouldn’t ride a Harley with 1972 Cadillac Sedan Deville springs, so why are we doing it with these VW based kits?

    #237345
    Dale Schumacher
    Participant

    @schu

    Mark,

    I have followed your instructions w/ the beam etc. – been there did that – I think Dave was just saying the front end felt light a high speeds. When I added the weight up front it was all stuff I wanted to do anyway and it helped keep the front down at speed – mine feels quite good at most any speed. The skidding I feel sometimes in front is only at very heavy braking.

    Dale

    #237346
    Mark Hendrickson
    Participant

    @pink-mg

    10-4 Schu…you’re 100% right. I had completely forgotten that at highway cruise speeds, the front fenders catch air and make the front end feel “light”.

    I didn’t drive my VW based ride much on the open road, but when I did, the front end did exactly what dbar and you you described.

    Thanks for catching that!

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