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sup73bk

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VW Brainiac
Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 188
Reply with quote  #1 
I was wanting to lower my 72' super, but I am worried about bump steer. I know that their are kits out to correct this problem, but I was wondering how far can you lower your car before you need to add this kit. Also, could you just do drop spindles, because I heard that they don't change your steering geometry. First of all is this true and secondly if it is could you get away with drop spindles and lowering springs without having to use a bump steer kit. Thanks, Josh
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1972 1302S
dual 34 icts,Pertronix Points,Corbeau Seats, GT Exhaust, Lower front and rear sway-bars, Strut tower bar, Jacob's Elec. Ign., Empi Shifter, Front Disc Brakes & SS Brake Lines

1973 Squareback (1776cc, dual 40mm)
Wayne

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VW Guru
Registered: 02/17/04
Posts: 1,672
Reply with quote  #2 
Josh,

I sent an email over to Jon at Topline Parts to find out a bit more about lowering your Super. I know they have tons of options for getting Super-low without steering or clearance problems. You can visit their site in the mean time at Topline Parts Hopefully we'll have a post from Jon before the days over.

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Wayne Dean

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sup73bk

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Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 188
Reply with quote  #3 
Thank You Wayne and Tom, I should have thought to ask you guys at Top Line Parts first.
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1972 1302S
dual 34 icts,Pertronix Points,Corbeau Seats, GT Exhaust, Lower front and rear sway-bars, Strut tower bar, Jacob's Elec. Ign., Empi Shifter, Front Disc Brakes & SS Brake Lines

1973 Squareback (1776cc, dual 40mm)
Envious

VW Enthusiast
Registered: 02/20/04
Posts: 33
Reply with quote  #4 
I've lowered the front end of my 71 by 4.5" and drive without a bump steer kit. A little twitchy maybe on rough roads but not an issue in day to day driving.

As far as lowering goes, Topline is your best bet for parts and support. I'm using their Adjust-a-Strut system, sport springs, and upper stress bar. All good quality and easy to install.

Unless you've got the proper tools, have a local shop assemble or disassemble your strut assemblies and don't forget to have the car re-aligned after you make any front end changes.

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71 Custom Beetle
64 Convertible Beetle
63 Beetle Sedan Gulf Blue
64 1500s Squareback Nutria
52 BSA C11G
65 Lambretta Li125
04 Touareg
ginrob

VW Enthusiast
Registered: 02/29/04
Posts: 31
Reply with quote  #5 
If I lower the front end will that help my front end shake I get?
Rob
72 Super

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Ginger and Rob
72 Super (daily driver)
68autobug

VW Guru
Registered: 02/20/04
Posts: 1,907
Reply with quote  #6 
Yes Rob,
It May help stop the Super Beetle front end shimmies, espcially if You replace all the suspension & steering rubber bushes with Nolathane bushes... they are guaranteed to stop all the movement in the rubber bushes which cause the problem.

Lee Noonan 68AutoBug

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Envious

VW Enthusiast
Registered: 02/20/04
Posts: 33
Reply with quote  #7 
I have to disagree with 68autobug a little on this. The cars did not come from the factory with this shake. It's only when the rubber components of the front suspension start to wear that the problem becomes evident. My point is only that lowering is not necesarily a solution.

Even at stock height, like 68autobug said, upgrading to urethane bushings where ever possible and replacing the rubber bushings where you can't will help a lot.

Don't overlook the obvious either like balancing your wheels and correct tire pressure. Both little things but can really exagerate a front end problem.

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71 Custom Beetle
64 Convertible Beetle
63 Beetle Sedan Gulf Blue
64 1500s Squareback Nutria
52 BSA C11G
65 Lambretta Li125
04 Touareg
sup73bk

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Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 188
Reply with quote  #8 
I am with you envious, lowering probably will not help anything, but instead depending on how low you lower it could make more problems. I would get your front end to stop shaking before doing any lowering. Also, when you get your tires balanced get them balanced while on the car, check out toplineparts.com for more info.
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1972 1302S
dual 34 icts,Pertronix Points,Corbeau Seats, GT Exhaust, Lower front and rear sway-bars, Strut tower bar, Jacob's Elec. Ign., Empi Shifter, Front Disc Brakes & SS Brake Lines

1973 Squareback (1776cc, dual 40mm)
javajuice

VW Ace
Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 122
Reply with quote  #9 
I am new here.

But its the changing of bushings and replacing or adjusting wheel bearings that will cure the shimmies, not lowering.

Also lowering the front more than the back is really bad for handling escpecially at speed. The bug is a wing and the air pushes down on the front (to the engineers, I know the air is not actually pushing) at highway speeds keeping the car stable. If you lower the front you start weighting the front and pivoting between the front wheels, this is bad for handling. Its better to keep the weight in back for handling. You can try lowering the car a few inches, and keeping it in the same proportions as stock, but you'll lose travel in the suspension, depending how you loer the car. But the center of gravity is so high, you would do better to chop the top, that would lower the center of gravity more than lowering the car.

You have to consider the sprung and unsprung weight of the suspension, not just the total reduction in height.

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formerly 1973 Super Beetle: Bugpack quick shift, Bug pack hide a way, TMI light grey tweed seat upholstery, a decreasing amount of grey primer
gzempich

VW Enthusiast
Registered: 03/15/04
Posts: 14
Reply with quote  #10 
I heard that you can nat use the drop spindles on the super beetle because of the diffrent front end. I was told that you could use lowering struts. If im wrong please reply
sup73bk

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Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 188
Reply with quote  #11 
Yeah, you can use drop spindles, they make kits espeacialy for supers check out c.b. performance, C.B. Performance . Drop spindles are the best and they don't mess up your steering geometry like dumping the front end with struts.
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1972 1302S
dual 34 icts,Pertronix Points,Corbeau Seats, GT Exhaust, Lower front and rear sway-bars, Strut tower bar, Jacob's Elec. Ign., Empi Shifter, Front Disc Brakes & SS Brake Lines

1973 Squareback (1776cc, dual 40mm)
Ryan

Registered: 04/02/04
Posts: 697
Reply with quote  #12 
No they actually don't have dropped spindles for Supers, even says so on CB's site. When they say ball joint front end they mean ball joint beams instead of link pin beams.
You can usually get an inch just out of lowering springs, more than that and you need the whole setup.
Biggest cause of shimmies is bad balancing and warped rims/drums. Get the wheels balanced on the car and use a torque wrench when you tighten the lugnuts.
And lowering the front does help handling, just don't overdo it, 1" to 1 1/2" lower up front than the rear is plenty. It biases more weight towards the front where it's needed to keep the tires planted. There's already plenty of weight in the rear, it's about a 60-40 bias towards the rear. Also, the benefit of lowering the car is to cut down on how much air flows under the car, not just lowering the center of gravity. The more air that flows under the car, the lighter it gets as you go faster, downside to a pan car. This is why people that race on road courses use air dams, it disrupts airflow under the car. Upgrade the front sway bar and add a rear and you'll be able to pull enough G's that you'll need to add a sump to prevent oil starvation. Plus, if you want handling get some real tires, the dinky 165s just don't cut it. --Ryan
javajuice

VW Ace
Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 122
Reply with quote  #13 
Read how to hot rod your volkswagen, or talk to an engineer or your physics professor and you'll understand why lowering will not signiifcantly lower your center of gravity, and dropping the front more than the back, while making launches safer up to say 50-60mph after that you are becoming unstable. If its a daily driver it won't hurt to lower it if done properly, but its purely aesthetic, but I wouldn't drop the front more than a inch than the front if your doing sometime on the highway.
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formerly 1973 Super Beetle: Bugpack quick shift, Bug pack hide a way, TMI light grey tweed seat upholstery, a decreasing amount of grey primer
Tobra

VW Brainiac
Registered: 04/20/04
Posts: 181
Reply with quote  #14 
My handling was significantly improved with lowering springs, but they are progressive(resistance increases as they compress)Lowering more on the front will not lower the center of gravity so much as move it forward, which I think was Ryans point. The shimmies and shakes that supers are famous for is due to worn front end components. If you can afford to, replace the struts, ball joints, tie rods, bushings at the same time. That way, worn parts left on the car will not cause the new pieces to wear prematurely. Coverting to disc brakes also helped in my case. A rotor is a machined part, much more of a precision piece than a drum. I have seen people with drum brakes imprve the shimmy by rotating the wheel 180 degrees on the drum, apparently getting better balancing from this
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'79 Super Beetle Convertible, Topline Sport+ springs and disc brake conversion. SS brake lines, KYB GR-2struts and Gas-a-just shocks
javajuice

VW Ace
Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 122
Reply with quote  #15 
Some people avoid unbolting the wheel from the drum because its easy to warp the drum and induce shimmies. When you lower the front, thus shifting the weight forward as you said, you are then also pivoting with the front wheels instead of the back wheels- not ideal.
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formerly 1973 Super Beetle: Bugpack quick shift, Bug pack hide a way, TMI light grey tweed seat upholstery, a decreasing amount of grey primer
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