Front Suspension Apart

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    Man, between this site and Samba I feel like I actually know what I’m doing.  Thanks to all those who have tried and succeeded and failed and kindly posted your experience.

    I pulled the trailing (torsion) arms today while my son finished welding up the frame.  I was so afraid I would not be able to pull the parts off the torsion bars based on several posts that I started using my secrete weapon a week ago to try and speed things along…..

    Next to duct tape and vise grips this is one of the greatest inventions ever!

    Knowing how difficult breaking apart the front end could be I would spray the bolts and sway bar clamps every day I walk through the garage for about 4 days.  When it came time to break it all apart…easy cheesy.

    Kinda looks like the lower arm had been replaced.  The bearings were the same way.  

    I didn’t bother removing the torsion bars since they were still assembled and locked in place with plenty of grease on them.  Plus I’ve read several folks say don’t mess with them if you don’t have to…advice heeded.

    The sway bar was straight and solid and the bushings, to my surprise, were in pretty good shape.  But I will replace them anyway.

    Among the things welded today were a mistake and the places where we cut out rust.  The mistake was mine.  Look how nice it looks after my son got done with it.

    Then, after finishing a few spots on the frame head we shored up the spot where we cut out all the rust.

    We still have to close up the bottom but I’m finally ready to install the floor pans.  That’s tomorrow’s job.  I’ll provide pics when I’m done.

    Rock on!

    Paul Mossberg


    This is an awesome thread Rocky!
    Thanks for sharing this project with us!

    Paul Mossberg
    Former Owner of a 1981 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

    Marc Lipsius


    That’s looking really nice, nice to see you can actually do that so well to restore a rusted out frame.
    And nice to see you are spending so much “quality time” with your son. He does nice work.
    You know he is going to want to borrow the car when it’s all done, right?


    edward ericson


    Your son is an artist. I’d love to be able to just watch and ask a few questions while he works.

    Keep going and keep posting. You’re doing great.

    Uh, one thing about those torsion springs though: I believe you will have to mess with them. Once the kit’s all assembled, the front of your car will be much lighter than a stock Bug. You’ll have too much springage up there to work–it’ll be too high and too stiff.

    If you do what the kit instructions say–cut one of the tubes and weld it with the springs more relaxed–you’ll end up with a decent ride height but still too much spring rate. Don’t do it that way.

    Search the site for “adjustable beam” and read the threads. Since you’re building fresh you might try to get away with just removing the small leaves and reassembling your stock beam without them. It’s likely to ride close to the right height then, and the spring rate should be spot-on. If the height’s too low you could pull the control arms and add back some of the small springs.

    Easier to do with the adjusters, though. And the weld-in kind are pretty cheap.

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