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Rear torsion indexing-sag removal

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  • #234174
    Royal
    Participant

    @royal

    Can you re-index or change the rear torsion bar setting on a kit car without removing the body tub?

         I have a Daytona MiGi and would like to increase rear clearance by about an inch due to my putting on wire wheels and changing tire sizes.  Also, I noticed that the driver side sits low.  I have about a 1/2″ port list with no one in the car.  I weigh about 200# and it seems that the drivers side should be about 1/2″ or more higher than the passenger side unloaded.  Passenger side is ok but only marginally so, the drivers side touches the tires on a moderate turn to the right.  No good.  

         I’ve got MiGi up in the air and can easily remove the running board but I can see that I can only get about 1/2″ to slide the spring plate hub cover over after removing the bolts that hold it on.  It looks like the hub cover plate and the rubber bushing that the plate houses will not slide off totally due to body interference. Maybe I can get 1/2″ sideways movement of the plate and that is enough but I doubt it.  Then of course, I need to slide the spring plate itself over so that it dis-engages the spline on the torsion bar.  Before I go buy a special torsion bar adjusting/removal tool, I would like to know if this can even be done on my kit.  
    Have any of you kit owners actually done this with the body on the car?  I would really appreciate a technical assist here.   I’m stumped because it looks like the only other option is to install those funky coil spring assist helpers that go around the rear shock absorbers.  Has anyone ever done that?  I don’t really like this option since it would increase the roughness of the ride but maybe that is the only way without removing a whole bunch of fiberglass which is much more than I am willing to do.  
    #250790
    edward ericson
    Participant

    @edsnova

    Roy, I think you need more than a couple inches to even get the torsion bar covers off.

    Here’s a step-by-step I found. Not a great pic but you get the idea.

    I’d like to set mine up an inch but same problem: gotta remove (or at least lift up 6-8 inches) the body to do it.

    Kind of a dicy job even then.

    The coil-overs work. Dale has them. But they stiffen your ride up quite a bit. Dale says it works great for him, but he flat tows his car everywhere and drives it only short miles, so if you’re planning on a lot of seat time, 100-plus miles trips, etc., you may notice the extra stiffness more than he does.

    My for-now solution is a set of gas shocks. KYB-KG5529

    They do seem to lift the back end a tad compared to the old shock. I get maybe a half, three-quarters of an inch. Lots of people who know say these are almost as bad as coil-overs, ride-wise, and they’re probably right. But it beats taking the body off the pan, at least for the time being.

    Good luck & post photos.

    e

    #250791
    newkitman
    Participant

    @newkitman

    Roy,

    You can reindex the torsion tube by rotating the tube one spline one way or the other BUT…you need some special tools. Especiall for the Spring Plate. You must use a spring plate tool or you stand an EXCELLENT change of losing your fingers without using the spring plate tool. And I believe you have to remove the body. I redid the ones on my Ghia but I had nothing but the chassis at the time. Look at http://www.thesamba.com for the procedures. Or check Muir’s How To Keep Your Volkswagen Alive. It’s not too difficult if you have the proper tools. I recommend you DO NOT attempt this without the spring plate tools. I got mine at http://www.mamotorworks.com. I paid $29.95 for them a couple years ago.

    Allen Caron
    VW based 53MGTD - "MoneyPenny"
    "If one thing matters, everything matters" - from the book The Shack

    #250792
    Royal
    Participant

    @royal

    Hi guys.   Hey, I’ve read all of your earlier comments about this Ed had no idea what clearance you might have to remove the spring plate.  Regarding the how to do it, I have watched videos, and read my 4 books on VW repair.  It doesn’t seem difficult if you can get to it.  Clearance is my problem.  Regarding the special tool, If I needed one, which it seems that I don’t, I would make one now that I have my very own personal  MIG welder :D.  Guess I’ll go down to the auto parts place and see about their coil over thingies.  

    #250793
    Royal
    Participant

    @royal

    Do any of you guys have the rubber bumper things that limit the upward motion of the axle in the rear?  The PO must have removed mine (maybe because it was bottoming out all the time due to incorrect torsion bar setting?).  The fronts are alive and well, but the rears are missing in action.   Allen and RockyX, if I were building a kit, I would be doubly careful to make sure that I had this torsion set just right before mounting the body since it’s almost not doable later.  Maybe pile on a few bags of “VW equivalent” concrete on the frame and then set the rear torsion tension.  This is an unfortunate design flaw.  

    #250794
    Royal
    Participant

    @royal

    Here’s an update on what I’m doing and how it’s working toward correcting my rear end sag.  I now believe that I was sitting very close to all the way down to the stops.  I bought some Superior Loadmaster 750# coil over springs that go around the shocks.  It was easy to find their 1250# springs but I felt that would be too much.  Now I am certain that the 1250’s would be overkill. Installation is impossible without a strut type coil spring compressor.  The bottom of the rear shock housing is a “well” and the spring cup that comes with these springs fits perfectly inside as though it was made for it.  So, the bottom of my helper springs sits in this well and is not attached to the shock.  The upper portion uses the muffler clamp type device on top of another cup and it fastens around the shock “dust cover” as high up as possible.  These springs raised my rear up about 1-1/2″ and cost only about $30.  The first photo shows the assembly, the second shows the spring bottom in the “cup” in the shock well.  

    #250795
    Royal
    Participant

    @royal

    Oh and No Fair making fun of my brake drums painted with hi timp paint.  It’s kinda a Hendrix trademark that shows that I once owned that car.  –  yeah I know about heat dissipation and I also know that others paint theirs red also.   (Really looks cool with wire wheels.)

    #250796
    newkitman
    Participant

    @newkitman

    Hey Roy,

    You’re doing a great job with the rear sag and the wire wheels. Keep it up.

     

    The rear stops you asked about are the rear bumper stops (pictured below) and can be ordered at http://www.mamotorworks.com for a mere $3.99 each.

     

    Bump Stop, Rear...

    Allen Caron
    VW based 53MGTD - "MoneyPenny"
    "If one thing matters, everything matters" - from the book The Shack

    #250797
    Royal
    Participant

    @royal

    Allen, my question is do any of you guys have these things installed?  On MiGi they are absent.  Not worn out, someone removed them.  I can see that they do limit the maximum movement of the rear axle.  Guess I’ll get some and install.  

    #250798
    Royal
    Participant

    @royal

    My helper spring “fix” to sag removal is not ideal but it does the job and they look pretty good.  I do wish that they were adjustable.  I was tempted to try these adjustable spring/shocks: http://www.cbperformance.com/catalog.asp?ProductID=1201 but they are more expensive and decided to go the other way.  Do any of you have any idea what range of adjustment the CB mechanical adjustable shocks give you?  Are we talking about an inch or more?  

    #250799
    Marc Lipsius
    Participant

    @mrlmd

    So how come coil over springs can work for the rear to raise it up, but you can’t do that for the front end? Won’t those springs give a really harsh bumpy ride like is described for the front, or doesn’t that matter here and why not?

    #250800
    newkitman
    Participant

    @newkitman

    Roy, On my TD I’m using a 71 Beetle chassis with IRS and it has both the bumper stops. I’m going to replace them mainly because the right one is pretty deteriorated and the left on has a crack about half way through. For what amounts to under $10 its worth the time and $$$.

    Allen Caron
    VW based 53MGTD - "MoneyPenny"
    "If one thing matters, everything matters" - from the book The Shack

    #250801
    Royal
    Participant

    @royal

    Thanks Allen, I ordered some today.  I think that I’m done with this phase of the project.  The rear is now up about 1-1/2″ and the car sits level.  I’ll post a photo in the wire wheel conversion thread.  

    #250802
    edward ericson
    Participant

    @edsnova

    How’s the ride?

    #250803
    Royal
    Participant

    @royal

    Ed, my 5 new wires came with tires mounted.  3 were visibly dry rotted and I trashed them.  New tires there.  Took it for a ride around the block today and have a bumpy ride.  Incredibly, the prior owner had all 5 tires blown up to 85-90psi.  Never heard of such a thing.  His tire pressure gauge must have been broken.  Way way over the max inflation pressure on the sidewall of 35#.  I think that some damage was done by that.  I expect that at lease one of the remaining 2 tires that came on the wires is no good.  Am going to take whichever one is worst in and have yet another new tire mounted.  That will give me 4 new tubes and tires on the road and an older spare.  Then I will (Julie’s birthday has been a small interference) take it for a good hard test ride and report – Monday if not sooner.  The rear never had much of a bounce before but it does now.  I really think that I was bottomed out.  If this all works out as I hope, I will sell my old wheels with good tires to get my bank account repaired.  

    #250804
    buddy
    Participant

    @buddy

    Roy,

    I  have a Daytona MIGI, I ran into the same problem with trying to re-index the torsion bars.

    I looked on Samba for answers, people were installing Monroe MA 803 air shocks.
    This works fine, I also installed a set of fill valves with air lines one for each shock.
    I purchased these on EBAY, sorry I can’t find the original Part # for these.

       I carry 60 PSI, left side and 50 PSI right side seems to balance the rear end.

    Shocks cost about $55. on Amazon.com

    Bud Hirsch

    #250805
    Royal
    Participant

    @royal

    Bud,  Thanks,  what I did works and looks good but I think that I prefer your solution and may go to air shocks this winter when I have nothing to play with.  

    #250806
    Mike Schumacher
    Participant

    @juneybug

    Didn’t know there was a spring plate tool, but I got it done without. A little tricky but possible. see new project juneybug for photo. getting the plate above the lip just below center of photo is 1 trick.

    And now to answer my own question… when I took the 3 bolts off at the swing axle the expectation was it would slide off the spring plate and release the tension. It didn’t, but when I took off the shock and kicked the axle back it did releasing the tension and allowing the splined spring plate to slide off. Also had to disconnect parking brake cable.
    Being someone who knows that if 1 is good 2 is better I wanted to rotate 2 splines. I didn’t and I think (hope) 1 will flatten the ride.
    All in all 4 times as long to do 1 side. sound right?

    #250807
    edward ericson
    Participant

    @edsnova

    Here’s a handy chart showing approximate ride height changes for given inner and outer spline adjustments.

    #250808
    newkitman
    Participant

    @newkitman

    Along the line of this thread there is also a rear end alignment. Hot VWs for this monh (June) has an excellent article. And believe it or no, most VW shops can still do the alignment. Juneybug I’m glad you got your adjustment acccomplished without injury. There have been storied of fingers lost etc.

    Allen Caron
    VW based 53MGTD - "MoneyPenny"
    "If one thing matters, everything matters" - from the book The Shack

    #250809
    Mike Schumacher
    Participant

    @juneybug

    Allen – thanks for your concern, I had read of the potential and was careful but for some reason the tension unload in my case was not that exciting.
    My motivation hasn’t been ride height but cambering, without the weight of the beetle body I fear my rear wheels will never see vertical again. Are there other ways to stabilize rear tread, shorter shocks maybe?

    BTW Allen watching your work on moneypenny is keeping me motivated. I won’t come out quite as clean but don’t want to be too far behind.

    Mike

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