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Old June 8th, 2012, 09:45 AM   #1
Meat/Grinder
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Default Z- bar vs. Sway bar vs. Camber compensator

I searched and read alot, probably not enough. But, I am still wondering if a factory Z-bar is necessary on a Volks Rod?

Also read alot of posts stating good things about the camber comp.

So, if the oem Z-bar is not needed, and a camber comp. is a good thing, and I inst. a heavy duty aftermarket sway bar for good measure. all things should stay firmly planted to the pavement, so to speak.

The reason I ask is. I am going to have to remove the Z-bar for oil cooler clearance and additional duct work, but I don't want additional wheel tuck..

Thanks

Joe
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Old June 8th, 2012, 10:08 AM   #2
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Default Re: Z- bar vs. Sway bar vs. Camber compensator

Swing or IRS?
Do you want camber or not?

I run a 67 swing with no z bar or sway or anything like that. I have been told I drink like a nut at times and I have not rolled it or had any wheels off the ground, yet! If you have it lowered to the max they won't help anyhow. Some people have horror stories of the death roll in turns. Just don't drive like a nut in turns and use that rare method of COMMON SENSE.
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Old June 8th, 2012, 10:54 AM   #3
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Default Re: Z- bar vs. Sway bar vs. Camber compensator

Thanks Scott76,

The Grinder is a '67. It is not lowered, yet. Drove it like it was on fire, beat the ever living snot out of it. For the most part it handled well, with a bit of body roll.

When I get it back on the road. I would like to have it handle better.

Thanks
Joe
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Old June 8th, 2012, 12:22 PM   #4
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Default Re: Z- bar vs. Sway bar vs. Camber compensator

I have never had a Z-bar on any of my bugs in 27+ years of driving them.
Tim
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Old June 8th, 2012, 02:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: Z- bar vs. Sway bar vs. Camber compensator

I ran a camber compensator on my 68 baja and loved it at speed.
It has allot of pos Camber in the rear though and big 31" tires.
Never ran one on a stock one yet.
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Old June 8th, 2012, 02:48 PM   #6
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Default Re: Z- bar vs. Sway bar vs. Camber compensator

I've owned 4 or 5 '67 bugs with Z-bars (a '67-68 only deal, btw). I like how they drive but I don't think they are that much better than a bug without them. I took a camber compensator off another '67 bug (didn't have z-bar) and didn't notice the difference. I may still have it out back? I've never driven a bug with a rear sway bar. I can't say I noticed a difference when removing the front sway bars either. I made a couple of long shifters out of sway bars.
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Old June 8th, 2012, 08:03 PM   #7
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Default Re: Z- bar vs. Sway bar vs. Camber compensator

Thank you all for the replys. I guess from your experiences, there is no need for the z-bar. As long as I replace it with a sway bar of some sort. Thank you again. Sorry for the squished post I am posting from the new cell phone.
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Old June 8th, 2012, 11:13 PM   #8
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Default Re: Z- bar vs. Sway bar vs. Camber compensator

dude the camber comp & Z bar are only for swing axle setups.
the sway bar is for IRS.
none are needed on a lowered bug.
I have a '61 with 235-75R15 rear tires
If it was stock height It would be squirrelly
I have mine lowered two splines & it has a little negative camber.
It is stable & rides great

remember also after you build it you can change it later
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Old June 9th, 2012, 05:20 AM   #9
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Default Re: Z- bar vs. Sway bar vs. Camber compensator

Used to have a 1969 that I drove on the street and road raced, lowered all around , ran wide, 5 bolt, 13" Chevy Corvair rims with wide tires all around. Had the front lower then the rear, for a negative angle of the underside of the pan at high speed.Very good running engine. This was in the early 70's. Out ran a 340 Duster on a 20 mile S turn road, no straights. Also out ran the State Police 2 different times, they never had a chance. :) It was stable and drove as nice at high speed as low. Don't know what the top speed was, speedometer just went to 90. Had friends say that they were doing 90 mph and I went past them on the interstate, like they were going backwards. Pops ( I cooled down in my old age).
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Old June 9th, 2012, 08:50 AM   #10
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Default Re: Z- bar vs. Sway bar vs. Camber compensator

My understanding is the Z bar set up is not used for camber compensation, but for additional load handling. Customers complained about the harsh bumpy ride, so VW lowered the spring rate of the rear torsion bars. And created the Z bar set up to come into effect only when the rear is loaded either with passengers or cargo. Their version of a progressive rate spring set up if you will. The plan for my '67 is for no Z bar, (the bushings and other rubber and plastic bits and pieces are trashed anyway) a camber compensator, and a slightly larger front sway bar. I'll see how that handles and go from there.
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Old June 11th, 2012, 04:27 PM   #11
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Default Re: Z- bar vs. Sway bar vs. Camber compensator

I just installed a camber compensator from aircooled.net on our buggy. At the same time I reindexed the springs to bring the ass end up about an inch to level the car better. (spring angle is almost stock now) No other changes. The car always handled real well and we love the twisties in it, but I was a little concerned about tuck in with the increase in height. Installed the compensator and gave it some serious testing. My wife summed it up pretty well - car feels "tighter" and more glued to the road. Gonna install one on her 61 Cal Look bug as soon as I am done playing around with the buggy. Will probably order another one for my stock 65.
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Old June 12th, 2012, 06:20 AM   #12
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Default Re: Z- bar vs. Sway bar vs. Camber compensator

My 66 was the only swing axle Bug that I drove for almost 13 months before I crashed it, I always drove it like I was being chased by the police

I raised it up 1 notch and it got real scary when cornering, almost to the point of 2 wheeling around a couple corners, once I got smaller tires in back I dropped it back down 1 notch below stock it cornered like a totally different car

All my other 23 VW Bugs had IRS, I never had any problems in them no matter if I raised them or dropped them

Pop, I to have started driving slower the older I get, but every once in a while I just can't help myself, I'll open up the throttle & slam it thru the gears as fast as I can without using the clutch, & I have yet to break a gear box, but I plan another 60+ years of life, so I still have plenty of time to ruin one


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Old June 14th, 2012, 04:08 PM   #13
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Default Re: Z- bar vs. Sway bar vs. Camber compensator

Thanks all,

Just a little info for you and I. The bug is a 67, has swing axle, is not currently lowered, has mounted in rear 225/70R15, out front are 185/60R15. This is the tire sizes that came with the bug when I purchased it a few years ago. I do realize the rears are going to be squishy, do to being on 5.5 inch rims. Going to fix that later. But I like how it rides.

From what has been shared so far. I don't need to run a z bar or a camber compensator? If this info is good I shall be removing said old z bar and movimg forward.

Joe
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Old June 15th, 2012, 07:22 AM   #14
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Default Re: Z- bar vs. Sway bar vs. Camber compensator

Its still up to you. Being that it is stock height I would add a Camber Comp.
I have a 67 that I put one on also and while it didn't affect it around town
it did help on the freeway to keep trucks from blowing me into the other lane.
And I wouuld leave that Z bar alone, Its not hurting anything and helps
when you have a bigger load in the rear.
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