Weight distribution

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    Hi folks, Royal the new guy here!  I am new to kit cars (mine is a Daytona MIGI VW registered as a “1983 VW kit car”) and I have not been able to find any thread on trying to balance out (more weight in front) the weights on these kits.  I am still trying to get smart on where everything is, how to adjust it, tune it, and even drive it.  My battery is under the passenger seat.  It seems that it would help quite a lot if I were to move it to as far forward as I can, just aft of the grill, forward of the fuel tank??  Good idea?  Seems that mine is nose light and I don’t get as good a feel of the road above 45mph as I would like.  I have been reading the posts about softening the front suspension and while I am sure that it would help, I wonder about the benefits of just moving the battery.  Any thoughts would be appreciated.  Also, can anything be determined wrt manufacture dates, or the prior owners etc from my Daytona kit ser # 81/53188?  Thanks, Roy

    edward ericson


    My car’s battery is in front of the gas tank. No extra weights, all “small leaves” removed from both torsion tubes. About 18 lbs pressure in each front tire, 25 lbs in the rears. Makes an enormous difference to lower the tire pressure and use reasonably new tires.

    If I were you I’d move the battery, but plenty of folks do fine with the battery more aft. There’s only so much to be done cheap and easy within the design constraints of this chassis and suspension. There is a reason you don’t see these things tearing up the course at your local gymkhana.

    One more thing, re stability at 45mph: caster shims.

    For under $20 buy a pair of VW Beetle caster shims and the longer bolt kit that goes with, at any fine VW aftermarket parts retailer. The lower your front end is running, the more the caster angle will be reduced, and you end up with an unstable ride.

    Presuming your ball joints and tie rod ends are all good, the caster shims, which you can install in a couple hours and should do anyway when you do the adjustable beam, will cure your highway blues. (Some of the Speedster guys run two sets of caster shims…they have much shorter wheel bases, though, and that may be the reason some think they need them).

    Since doing Bridget’s front end and brakes, including one set of caster shims (about 4.5 degrees positive caster) I no longer feel terrified when driving her in normal modern highway traffic. She goes where she is pointed, stops reasonably well and does not lean unduly in turns or get squirrely in crosswinds.

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