April 24, 2011 at 9:53 pm #233446
So. Finally got Bridget out on the road today, first time since the new beam is in (excepting ’round the block tests). She tracks pretty well for not being properly aligned. That’s the good news. Runs good too, still, and the new speedo works great (though she needs the cable to be pulled a bit forward to give a bigger bend into the speedo. Too tight a turn and the needle is jumpy).
But. The driver’s tire rubs the fender on hard stops and some turns. Gonna pick the whole mess up another inch and hope that cures it. Hoping the alignment will ad some negative camber too, which might help “tuck” the top of the wheel under the fender a little. Kicking myself for not buying the narrowed beam though. The 2-inch narrowed would’ve worked. A 4-inch cut would be just about perfect. I don’t want to add back springs as the bounce feels just about right.
Here’s the weird thing though, and wonder if anyone has help:
The steering is sort of popping on slow tight corners (like into the driveway). Feels like something is binding up–not hard, just that “pop” sound that i don’t recall being there before. Wondering if it could be the biscuit.
I tried to line the box back up
just so with that long, long steering shaft, but couldn’t get it perfect. It seems to need to turn slightly at
an angle that’s oblique to the beam–which I don’t think it can do,
given the way it’s clamped.
Anyone got an idea? Is it possible (or desirable) to shim these things on one side? Or am I barking up the wrong tree here? Thinking it could also be a tie rod that needs to be flipped and attached under instead of on top of the steering arm.
Anyone has an idea, good, bad or mocking, chime in, please.
edsnova 40657.9210532407April 25, 2011 at 7:45 am #244388RichParticipant
I would not think it would be a tie rod But you never know .Can you Jack the front end up and start it up turn the wheel back and fourth.How about the a arms? Just trying to give some help.April 25, 2011 at 8:35 am #244389
It works good in the shop, jacked up and on the ground. Flat floor.April 25, 2011 at 8:46 am #244390
HA! Found it. Grounding wire is binding on the fiberglass. I’ve got the horn rigged elsewise so I’ll just rip that sucker out tonight.
Then I’ll jack ‘er up and adjust the suspension to give me another inch of down travel and hope that gets it.April 25, 2011 at 9:13 am #244391RichParticipant
Ah good for you EnjoyApril 25, 2011 at 8:29 pm #244392
Update: tried to lift the front end a bit with the adjusters; NG. Got the lower one dialed in as high as it will go. That got me about 3/8 of an inch. But the top tube adjuster won’t turn up beyond where it was before. Assume I’ll have to disconnect the upper trailing arms to get it to go, and that’ll preload them and give me some extra height.
Starting to appreciate the benefits of the old shocks, which bottomed out before the tires contacted the fenders. Might put those back on, and just get new fillings after every third or fourth cruise.April 26, 2011 at 10:24 am #244393Mark HendricksonParticipant
Ed, these adjusters should be in sync or “parallel” to each other. If the top one won’t move then something is wrong up with the top tube/leaves.
Here’s how I did mine after removing the small torsion leaves:
Jacked car up and put the lower tube on jack stands.
Got a piece of angle iron I had laying around, place the center of it on the jack pedestal and the ends under each tire until they just contacted the tires with slight pressure. This keeps the suspension from dropping when the adjusters are loosened.
Loosen both top and bottom adjusters, then jack it to the ride height desired. Tighten both adjusters.
Without the adjusters tightened, the whole front suspension should just pivot on the upper and lower leaves. In reality they now are really just a like sway bar. When the center screws are tightened, the leaves lock and then they twist for your suspension.
You probably know all this, but if that top adjuster is not moving, something is wrong.April 26, 2011 at 1:57 pm #244394
Thanks, Mark. I was hoping you’d chime in.
Indeed, the top adjuster moves–it went way low when I lowered the car with the adjuster nuts loose.
But when I raised it back up, max rise, with the wheels and tires hanging, the top adjuster went only so far. Maybe three quarters of the way back.
The nose is all assembled now, and the grill is in the way of it too, so applyiong pressure to the grub screw to kind of “lift” the adjuster into place was difficult. Failed, anyway.
The lower adjuster went to max up position without much persuasion. Seems like the upper one wants to preload the upper control arm, though by your description that isn’t the case.
I think either:
A. The upper adjuster is bound by the travel of the upper control arm, and will not rotate further until that arm is disconnected either from the springs or the spindle. Or,
B: I misassembled it in December, missed the divot in the center of the spring pack and so it won’t turn further now.
Hope I’ll find out tonight.
Let me hear what you think.April 26, 2011 at 2:26 pm #244395newkitmanParticipant
Been following along with this thread and ws just wondering. You are talking about an adjustable beam front end correct? If not, I’m not sure what adjuster you’re referring to. But continue on please. I’m always learning.
VW based 53MGTD - "MoneyPenny"
"If one thing matters, everything matters" - from the book The ShackApril 26, 2011 at 3:28 pm #244396
Yeah, it’s an adjustable beam. And my above musings are bogus–at least in terms of musing # B. The way it’s made, pretty sure you can’t miss the divot. Can’t get the springs in wrong either–it’s right or it doesn’t go.
For more on adjustable beams, and suspension adjusters, do a search for Pinkmg’s posts. He set his up nice and is generally a knowledgeable, competent sort. I’m more of the Goofus example here.
edsnova40659.7262152778April 26, 2011 at 3:46 pm #244397Mark HendricksonParticipant
Correct…you can’t miss that center guide with the leaves that are replaced…just MUST have the 4 wider ones. The six narrow ones can be removed/added as required.
Ferdinand was pretty smart on this design. Change the front spring rate depending on the vehicle requirements.
Are you sure that when you are trying to move the upper adjuster that the suspension trail arms aren’t hitting a bump stop preventing you from moving it any more?
Could be your beam is not slotted enough at the top tube too. I’ve seen this happen on Brazilian beams. I ran mine through the whole adjustment span before I installed it in the car, making sure both adjusters had the same full range.
Glad I did it too…the freaking grille shell was smack in the way and I had to remove it (and the headlights) to set the ride height/travel and then replace it.April 26, 2011 at 4:08 pm #244398Olimon RicardoParticipant
I ran into the same problem while adjusting the ride height on my car. After inital setup I decided it was too low so I decided to move both adjusters to a “higher” position. No problem moving the lower one but when I tried moving the upper adjuster I ran into the same issue you are describing. In my case the new “shortened shocks” I was using were keeping the front wheels from dropping any further when the front end was rasied off the floor. I removed the shocks top bolts which further dropped the front wheels and got more movement on the top adjuster. After readjusting and reassembling the shocks I test drove and decided I still needed to raise it further. This time I put the front end on jack stands then loosened the adjuster nuts and inserted an allen wrench in the top adjuster grub screw with its long end pointing down. I then used my hydraulic jack to apply a bit of pressure on the allen wrench handle and was able to “push it up” enough to achieve the movement I required. Tightened the locknuts and then lowered the jack.
From what I’ve read from your earlier post this may not work in your car but I thought I’d put it out there just in case.April 26, 2011 at 5:23 pm #244399
Thanks guys. Roger on the allen-wrench-as-prybar trick. That’s been my SOP since the beginning. Didn’t try jacking on it yet, but, maybe…. Seems like either it’ll work or break.
Already disconnected the shocks, so that ain’t it.
I got more slot visible above the top of the wrinkly curved lock plate still, and I know the mechanism moved in its full arc when the beam was out. So those aren’t the problem.
Pray, what is this “bump stop” you speak of, Mark? Don’t recall running into anything like that on assembly, but I’m just dense enough to have seen it, handled it, put it in (backwards, if at all possible) and then forgot it ever existed.April 26, 2011 at 5:37 pm #244400
Think the way forward here is to pull out the top ball joints and just turn the top trailing arms up and then tighten the adjuster locks. I want to add a pinch of negative camber to try to “tuck” the tops of my wheels under the fenders a tad, so the ball joints have to be loosened for that anyway. Thinking that’ll help keep the driver’s side (which is right now proud of the fender by a half inch or so) tucked under enough to maybe solve my fender-rub trouble. Siting down the side, looks like the thing has maybe a half degree of positive camber now. A half or even a full degree negative shouldn’t make it handle worse, and if it does I’ll just dial it back.
Talked to a guy at Peak Performance today about narrowing my old beam 3 inches and installing adjusters in it, cutting the springs and the tie rods down. That’s probably going to be the long term fix for that.April 26, 2011 at 9:08 pm #244401
OK, got it done. Calafer, thanks. Used your jack-the-allen-wrench technique. Got the top adjuster almost all the way home.
This was after taking both upper arms out of the spindle. To my surprise (but not Mark’s, I’m sure), they popped up and out. They were not pre-loading down on the lowers, they were fighting the lowers. Shot some WD-40 into the top adjuster hole. Loosened the grub as well, thinking that couldn’t hurt either. Still had that little allen wrench bent pretty good when she started to turn.
Put her back together and had 2 inches of additional ride height up front. So much the “shorty” shock won’t reach. Got to go back to stock height shocks. This doesn’t make me sad. I’ll save the short ones in case I decide to get the narrowed beam and lower the nose again later.
Here’s how she looks now:
Here’s the ride height I had at point of purchase (this is why I thought what I had was normal):
Now just got to put the old shocks back, check my toe-in again, and see how she do. And put the bumper back on. Before I do that I might even take it back down a little, at least until I find the time & gumption to take the body off the pan and dial up the rear torsion bars.
edsnova40659.8886226852April 30, 2011 at 1:09 am #244402Olimon RicardoParticipant
The ride height looks good Ed!!
You might want to make sure that the original shocks aren’t bottoming out half way thru
your suspension travel. I imagine I set my ride height similar to yours since we both had
the same type of issues. In my case the “shorty” shocks keep me from getting complete
extension but the normal shocks bottom out about 3/4 of the way down and I get alot of
bouncing from what I believe is riding on the rubber grommets at the top of the shocks.
In the end I left the shorty shocks, the lesser of two evils.
In regard to the rear suspension you might want to look into installing adjustable spring
plates. They make them for both swing axle and IRS suspensions. From your comment
regarding removing the body to adjust the suspension I imagine you have IRS rear
suspension. I have swing axle suspension on mine and after adjusting the rear
suspension for the 3rd time I decided to install the adjustable plates and they have
worked great for me.
from the Cip1 website:
ACC-C10-4010 – ADJUSTABLE SPRING PLATES – SWING AXLE – PAIR – BEETLE 60-68 /
GHIA 60-68 (SHIPPING CHARGES APPLY)
Phone-in/Mailorder Price US $119.95
Website Discount Price US $109.95
You save US $10.00!April 30, 2011 at 9:00 pm #244403
Thanks, CA. I actually dropped the front back down about a half inch before setting the toe-in (took a lot longer this time). Gonna take her to a suspension shop this week for a 4-wheel alignment; I’ll see if they can dial back the negative camber a bit out back. That should stand her up just a little higher, if it’s possible.
If not I’ll just live with it for a season or two. We took her to a restaurant last night and she did fine–no bottoming out on the tailpipe on the way out of the driveway, and no trouble with the bump stop on the shocks up front. And, believe me, i know how that feels.
Thinking about those spring plates but–can’t install them without accessing the torsion bars, right?
If I’m wrong about that I’ll give them another look.
Was thinking the adjustment available on them was more for autocross and racer types, to set up for different tracks.
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