January 24, 2010 at 9:44 am #232871edward ericsonParticipant
I’m fixing to buy and install an adjustable front axle beam for Bridget, my VW-based kit. Thanks again to Pink MG for his very informative article–and stalwart evangelism–on the subject.
So I?m looking for the adjustable beam and on one of the parts suppy websites I see the standard one is out of stock but there is a two-inch narrowed version available for the same $300. And I start to wonder.
Bridget?s front track is a good deal wider than a stock TD?s (51.6 inches vs 47 3/8, according to the BCW materials). It?s so wide, in fact, that the front tire is outside the fender on one side (right, only one side! This is another issue I plan to address before long). If the car were assembled straight on the frame, the outsides of the front tires would be just about flush with the outsides of the fenders. A stock ?52 TD?s front tires are tucked well under the front fenders. Maybe too far for my taste.
Anyway, I?m thinking an inch less width on each side might improve the look of the car, but I wonder a couple of things. Does anyone have any knowledge of, or experience with, these narrowed beams? If so, could you let me know:
1. what are the differences involving installation of a narrowed beam. (i.e., just cut the leaves an inch? Does it require different tie rod ends–or different tie rods? Can the stock sway bar be used? If not, are there narrowed sway bars to be had, and at what price?)
2. how would the narrower track affect handling? (tighter turning circle–or wider? Would stability be noticably affected?)January 24, 2010 at 10:47 am #240567Will BurgeParticipant
Ed, I just went out and looked at mine,since as you know it is currently a bare pan. I have no experience with a narrowed beam, but I did install my own adjusters. if they take the two inches from the middle when they cut the beam to put in the adjusters it appears to me that sway bars should be fine, cutting the leaves should not be a problem although I would do it with a saw and not a torch, heat could change their characteristics. The tie rods look like I have around an inch adjustment on the long one and more on the short one. so that may not be an issue. The only issue I can see and they may account for this by moving the mount is the little steering damper shock, there is no adjustment so if they did not move the mount you may have to do so or find one made for this application which is shorter, The mount is very simple and could be moved easily with a grinder and a welder. Others may chime in if I’m wrong but bug guys do this to put wider tires on the front so that should tuck them under a bit as you have stated. The nice thing about lowering the front end with adjusters rather than drop spindles for my Migi was that it also moved the center of the tires back to the center of the fender with the stock ride they were a bit forward of center. If I can help in any way drop me a line. And as always I guarantee this advice to be worth every penny you paid for it. good luck!
WillJanuary 24, 2010 at 2:00 pm #240568edward ericsonParticipant
Will, thanks once again for the knowledge. I didn’t even know the steering damper was there! I’ll try researching this via the sandrail peoples and the Google, and post back any apparently relevant info I dig up.
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