Adjustable and Narrowed Front Axl
A majority of Aircooled Volkswagens, except for the Type 25 and Super Beetle use a torsion bar front suspension type of system. Our article on suspension checks discussed how they work. It is fairly easy to modify them to allow for adjustments in height. There is a weld in beam adjusters located in the middle of the lower and upper torsion tubes. The torsion leaves pass through them, so the ride height can be altered by moving them up and down. If you prefer the look of a tucked wheel, then you can achieve it with a narrower beam. This is basically a narrowed front axle with an equal amount removed from both the lower and upper torsion tubes and are then welded back together again. In addition to the aesthetic benefits that come with narrowing the front axle, it can also help with readjusting your geometry after you have fitted wider wheels, a brake disc conversion kit, or dropped spindles. If you are not experienced with using a welder, we recommend that you buy a ready-made narrowed front or hire a reputable specialist workshop to do the work on your axle.
First, let’s discuss the basics. On Aircooled VWs, spindles are located on one of the ends of the front axle. They are connected t the wheel via brake discs/drums and wheel bearings and are joined to the axle by ball joints/link and kingpins and torsion arms on the inside. The front shock absorber’s lower part attaches to them as well. The concept behind dropped spindles is to raise the hub mounting potion of a standard spindle a couple of inches higher on the wheel arch. That raises the wheel’s centre point and at the same time lowers the car. Importantly, the same suspension shock mountings are used, so they can be used along with stock shocks for optimum comfort while travelling. Warning: dropped spindles have a tendency to widen your car’s track, which is why they are so popular to use along with a narrowed front beam so that arch-to-wheel contact is avoided. For early water-cooled VWs owners, several car builders have applied a similar theory to raise the brakes and rear hubs higher up on the arch using specially engineered drop plates. Make sure you hire a reputable engineer if you plan to explore this route since you do not want it to fail.
Performance Anti Roll Bar
It is probably worth mentioning if you are looking for high-quality suspension systems then see Apex Suspension. Body roll may compromise confidence when taking on corners at speed or lap times for more determined drivers. It is unlikely that you have selected a vehicle without anti-roll bars (ARBs) that would be better suited for more spirited driving. Therefore, we will assume that there are hardware and mounting points in place already and that your car has them fitted on both the rear and front. The Front Anti Roll Bar will be mounted under the body of the car and is spread over the width of the vehicle. This is usually done by tying both of the suspension sides together. While cornering your vehicle, the bar twists and provides some resistance to the lean that naturally occurs. You can improve things even further by installing a Performance Anti Roll Bar made out of thicker material to reduce the amount of body roll further.