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Old June 18th, 2007, 10:31 AM   #1
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Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 117
Default Tips for lowering rear swing axle suspension

I lowered the back of my 64 bug this weekend. I have a few tips that I wanted to post.

-Get a repair manual and use it. There should be a section on removing the spring plate. Mine had helpful tips like don't mix up the rubber bushings as the inner and outers are different.

-Use an angle finder. BmwEuro gave me that tip. This is essential.

-You have to take the brake drums off to release the parking brake cable which is in the way. You'll need a huge 36mm socket to do this. Also buy some new cotter pins for the castle nuts.

-When prying the spring plate off its perch, it's easier to use a claw hammer or a pry bar than a screw driver. Also lower the spring plate a little at a time, and make sure you wedge doesn't get caught.

-I found a chart posted online that listed number of inner and outer splines to adjust for certain drop heights, but when you're pulling out the torsion bars you'll probably lose your original index. Instead of using the chart I calculated the approximate change in height per degree of change in angle. The center of the torsion bar to the center of the axle is about 17 inches. So the circumference of the circle is 2*Pi*17 which is about 106. Divide that by 360 and you get the distance per degree, about 0.3 inches. This is a close approximation for fairly level spring plates, but not so great for larger angles. I ended up changing mine about 6.5 degrees for about 2 inches of drop.

-When putting the caps back on the torsion bars you have to squeeze the big rubber bushings. To do that I got one of the top bolts started, and then use some channel lock pliers to pull the bottom in to where I could get a lower bolt in.

-Once it was all back together it looked like the car was actually higher, but this was just because of friction holding the tires together. Once you drive it a few feet it will settle down to ride height.
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Old June 18th, 2007, 10:47 AM   #2
Unkl Ian
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Default Re: Tips for lowering rear swing axle suspension

Check the Toe In on the back when lowering signifigantly.

Too much won't help handling.

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Old June 18th, 2007, 11:41 AM   #3
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Default Re: Tips for lowering rear swing axle suspension

Good tips (though I have a IRS . . . ), thanks!
M D "Doc" Nugent
"Slow the fuck're making us slackers look even worse." - Budreaux
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