Making my 72' standard handle....

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andy198712
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Making my 72' standard handle....

Post by andy198712 » Sat Jul 21, 2018 4:37 am

Hi,

Thought i'd add my build into the forum here.

i've had a 1972 1200 standard UK beetle for a while now (9 years ish)
though that time i put on a HD front roll bar, KYB gas shocks (too hard) and a camber compensator.

it was stock height and when i tried to lower the rear, it made a great change in handling but sat on the bump stops and the Empi 8 style wheels i have wouldn't clear the wings so was short lived sadly.

now i have a 2110cc in it which just made things worse :lol:
i put some sticky bridgestone potenza RE003 on it which helped but it was getting very flighty at speed and on turn in, i was getting positive camber into corners ect. (admitantly this was with the CC off)


So i decided i would do something about it while i'm doing a mini body off resto.




Front end:
New custom made 4in narrowed front beam
caster shims
new high tensile bolts
Limebug dropped spindles (disc)
disc brake conversion, braided hoses
custom billet shocks (to be ordered once length is know)
unsure on roll bar yet
Polo rack and pinion steering rack
all new Febi ball joints
new frame head (mine was rotten)
new brake lines front to back
Wheels, hopefully 5.5in beetle steels will fit with my beam, failing that something else, basically want some sticky rubber under there.


Rear:
Welded in IRS conversion brackets
Beetle IRS arms and brakes
IRS gearbox and beetle shafts, gene berg mid mount
beetle 5.5in new steel wheels (should clear when lowered slightly)
Custom billet shocks
Poly buses for torsion bars, IRS arms
lowering one outer spline and will see how that goes with the front, want it slightly back down.



so thats where i'm at!

yes i know people will shy at the 4in beam but that will let me get the dropped spindles and disc brake conversion in AND have a wheel that is not 4.5in wide in the front....
i'm looking forward to the billet shocks too! adjustable and modern technology.

What shall i do for alignment settings?

i'll get some pictures up this week coming 8)

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sideshow
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Re: Making my 72' standard handle....

Post by sideshow » Sun Jul 22, 2018 4:06 pm

Having used poly bushings on the swing plates before, save yourself some effort and don't. Noise that promptly goes away with the install of black can be avoided by saying no to red.
A great place to start; http://www.aircooled.net/vw-handling-suspension-tuning/
Yeah some may call it overkill, but you can't have too much overkill.

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andy198712
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Re: Making my 72' standard handle....

Post by andy198712 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:22 pm

I've got them so will see how i get on, if its too much i can always swap but its going to be a fair weather car...

i've seen that in the past but most has fallen out of my head lol will re read.

Thanks :)

eskamobob1
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Re: Making my 72' standard handle....

Post by eskamobob1 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 2:56 pm

Hey man. I am in the middle of this exact same process for my 74' and I would stay away from anything narrowed more the 2". It is almost impossible to find sway bars for them and if you narrow your front beam too much you end up with unstable weight transfer. Out of curiosity, is there a reason you are looking to narrow so significantly? 5.5"s will fit on a standard beam just fine and you can even go up to 7" (with some tricky stuff) in the rear on the standard suspension. Also, not something I have done myself yet, but something I see referenced as a massive improvement to flightiness at speed is a front damn under the front fender. Not quite sure where to find one though unfortunately.

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andy198712
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Re: Making my 72' standard handle....

Post by andy198712 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:02 pm

Hi bud,
Well the front track will end up close to stock once the dropped spindles and disks and wider wheels take there part,
I had empi 8’s on there and they sat proud of the wings, that was with drums so once I’d added track of a disc conversion a nd dropped spindles they,d be poking out by a good inch or more.
Part of that is the terrible wheel offset but I want a 5.5 beetle steel in the front and be lowered a bit, and everyone who lowered the front on a stock beam seems to end up with 145 section tyres.... I want 165 to 195 what every I can fit and buy in a sticky tyre.... also not low profile either.

The anti roll bar is an issue, but may not be, as the torsion leaves are narrowed they effectively become stiffer and resist roll (in my head at least?)
I’ve seen roll bars shortened and sleeved and work fine so that’s any option.

On the rear I tried lowering the rear a click but it was resting on the bump stops and again, the empi 8’s wouldn’t clear the wings :(

I think a lot of my issue was the rim, but now hopefully the rear stock steels should clear find (he says)

And the fronts should clear too.....
and now being IRS it should handle better.

I mostly welded on the new frame head today, after about a whole day or measuring and trimming to perfection!

vwo60
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Re: Making my 72' standard handle....

Post by vwo60 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:16 pm

The worst thing you can do is narrow the beam to fit wheel that are wrong for the car, I have a karmann ghia with a standard width beam with heaver torsion bars, it has a 20mm sway bar, KYB gasajust shocks, castor shims, dropped spindles and ventilated rotors with 6 spot calipers, I originally came with a narrowed beam and Fuch 6 x 16 rims,, the car had an issue of tram lining and bump steer, this was aligned correctly, I removed the beam and installed the standard width beam along with the other components, I also had a set of Image wheels made with 6 x 17 front with an ET of 60, this bought the scrub radius back an acceptable level, if you narrow the beam and push the wheel out and think you have maintained the track, you have not, the scub radius is very important and should be maintained as close to standard as possible if you want the car to handle without extra bump steer and tram lining, also you will increase the wear on the inner trailing arm bushes, the other thing is the needle beaings in the beam, there is no real equivalent, on my early beetle i have machined bronze bushes and they seem to work well also, shocks, I have run Bilstein,s, Koni's and KYB's and run gasajusts on all of my cars with excellent results and very good ride quality. I also need to mention unsprung weight, with a light car like the beetle the further you hang the wheel out on the suspension there is more unspung weight , also the further the wheel hangs out you decrease the scub radius and increase the leverage on the steering.
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andy198712
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Re: Making my 72' standard handle....

Post by andy198712 » Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:25 pm

Surely having the wheel further out increases scrub radius?

I’m not sure how to lower the car with 5.5 beetle steels without rubbing when converted to disc brakes....

The custom wheel route is probably the best but probably costs more than my car to have custom alloy wheels made lol

The beam I have is made with the correct roller bearings and inner bushes.

Also the bump steer issues.... I’ll be having equal length track rods I think....

What’s the ideal caster angle as well? I know it’s a really trade off between steering weight and self centring etc and straight line stability...

vwo60
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Re: Making my 72' standard handle....

Post by vwo60 » Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:06 pm

A custom offset wheel would be required, steel could be made to work, I run a set of Porsche boxer wheels on my convertible, 6 x 16 with a ET of 55, dropped spindles and 195 55 16 tyres with no rubbing, it just required adjust the lock stops slightly to stop the wheel rubbing on the trailing arm screws, you are correct as the scrub radius will increase with the dropped spindles and the wheels , have you also considered the increase in steering effort when you increase the scrub radius as this hangs the tyre further out from the center line of the ball joints, if you are running a standard steering box and not a center steer rack you will have to shorten the tie rod 2 inches a side thus increasing the bump steer on an already compromised design.

I run the factory castor angle of 3.5 degrees plus or minus 1 degree but shoot for 4 degrees, I try to maintain the scrub radius as close to the standard as possible, narrowing the beam will also change the spring rate and will ride like a dray and for the car to handle you need to have supple suspension with good sway control, I have four modified cars and all run dropped spindles, all wheels are between 6 and 7 inches in width with an ET between 55 and 60, I am currently building a new chassis with double A arm suspension at both ends for my 60 beetle and in Australia we have to engineer the car modifications and have them approved for use on the roads, my engineers first question was about the scrub radius and the second was the bump steer.
My green beetle in the photo runs 7 x 17 and a 205 tyre but has 2 inch wider guards while still keeping the scrub radius to as close as possible to standard.
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andy198712
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Re: Making my 72' standard handle....

Post by andy198712 » Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:11 pm

That’s a cool car, so I’m lucky and converting to rack and pinion steering which should solve the steering side of it.

I’ll measure my camber once I set the ride height, I have a set of camber shims if needed :)

I think with the narrowed beam I’ll have to suck it and see as I have it. I know some people do some tricks with the torsion leaves or the adjusters to soften the front I can look into if I find it an issue but I’ve not noticed it in friends radically lowered cars.

H2OSB
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Re: Making my 72' standard handle....

Post by H2OSB » Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:51 pm

I am soo tempted to say sell the car and get a Super Beetle like the offroad guys do when someone says they'd like to build a baja bug out of a Super Beetle.

JohnL (aka H2OSB)
www.superbeetlesonly.com

P.S. ohh, I just did

vwo60
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Re: Making my 72' standard handle....

Post by vwo60 » Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:15 pm

The rack and pinion is very hard to get right as the trailing arms swings in a different arc to the rack, have you checked the bump steer and do yourself a favor and use the standard width front end and start with a sound foundation.

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andy198712
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Re: Making my 72' standard handle....

Post by andy198712 » Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:35 am

H2OSB wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:51 pm
I am soo tempted to say sell the car and get a Super Beetle like the offroad guys do when someone says they'd like to build a baja bug out of a Super Beetle.

JohnL (aka H2OSB)
www.superbeetlesonly.com

P.S. ohh, I just did

Yeah I know what your saying, and it’s the right, sensible thing, but you know what it’s like, I’ve had the car a very long time and ploughed a lot of effort and time into it I’m too attached!

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andy198712
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Re: Making my 72' standard handle....

Post by andy198712 » Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:41 am

vwo60 wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:15 pm
The rack and pinion is very hard to get right as the trailing arms swings in a different arc to the rack, have you checked the bump steer and do yourself a favor and use the standard width front end and start with a sound foundation.
Haven’t mounted up the rack and pinion yet, it’s off a early model polo and I have a adapter bracket to mount it too the beam

Is there a check for bump steer without driving it? I can mount it at what ever angle I want I think so can get this right now :)

Snag with the standard width front end is my wheels will stick out past the wings, short of having custom offset wheels made and then 4x130 isn’t common so won’t be able to have the black steel and hubcap sleeper look I’m after :( that and my credit card has seen enough beetle parts :D

H2OSB
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Re: Making my 72' standard handle....

Post by H2OSB » Wed Jul 25, 2018 7:37 am

andy198712 wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:35 am
Yeah I know what your saying, and it’s the right, sensible thing, but you know what it’s like, I’ve had the car a very long time and ploughed a lot of effort and time into it I’m too attached!
I get that. I was just being a smart ass. I'm building my 1303 to autocross, but not because I think I'll have a chance of winning, but because I like curved window Super Beetles and think it will be fun. You do you and have fun!

H2OSB

H2OSB
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Re: Making my 72' standard handle....

Post by H2OSB » Wed Jul 25, 2018 7:38 am

andy198712 wrote:
Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:35 am
Yeah I know what your saying, and it’s the right, sensible thing, but you know what it’s like, I’ve had the car a very long time and ploughed a lot of effort and time into it I’m too attached!
I get that. I was just being a smart ass. I'm building my 1303 to autocross. I'm not doing it because I think I'll have a chance of winning, but because I like curved window Super Beetles and think it will be fun. You do you and have fun!

H2OSB

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