Stance adjustment on a '65 Variant

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MeyerII
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Stance adjustment on a '65 Variant

Post by MeyerII » Thu Dec 31, 2009 5:24 pm

I dropped two outer splines on the passenger's side and one outer spline on the driver's side, and these are the comparsions:

BEFORE:
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AFTER:
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Post by MeyerII » Thu Dec 31, 2009 5:26 pm

BEFORE:
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AFTER:
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Post by MeyerII » Thu Dec 31, 2009 5:27 pm

Before:
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After:
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Post by MeyerII » Thu Dec 31, 2009 5:30 pm

I wrote it up some on the Samba, so repeating it here in case it helps. The best way to research this is to go through the Samba T3 forums. Lots of good information there:
Meyer wrote:I just got done with a front-end height adjustment on a 1965 Squareback.

I had previously swapped in a later-model beam - I've been told that it is a 1973 build and that it has stiffer torsion bars than what was on the car in '65. The front end was way too high, especially on the passenger's side front. I think that the car had been hit in the front and some part of the frame was out of kilter, even though the car drove good. But it was to the point where the camber adjustment was maxed out on both sides in the front, so I knew I had to lower it and get it level - although my intention was to keep it as stock as possible and not just dump it on its nuts.

So naturally, I went and read all of the T3 "lowering" threads and viewed the excellent videos that are available, then did the work. I'm a first-timer here: so I hope you all will forgive me where I repeat what has already been stated - or where I am just plain wrong - but there are one or two things that I wished people would have told me before I went into this thing that I didn't see in the aforementioned threads. So if it is OK with you, I'd like to share my notes. Yes, I'm a complete amateur, so anybody who wants to is welcome to disagree with any of my points: I'll even number them for your convenience:

1) Fill your T3 completely up with gas before starting front-end height adjustments. After I put my new front end in, I loaded the front cargo area with 120 pounds of sand to work the suspension in. Turns out that it didn't do the job, but it learned me that weight in the car makes a difference, so why not go with the worst-case scenario before you begin? After you do each adjustment, you will see how the car sits on a full tank of gas, which is probably better than otherwise.

2) I found that taking accurate measurements before you start and also while you are going through the process is extremely important. Therefore, you need to have a car-sized, flat and level surface to work on before you start. To most people, this should be obvious, but it is up to you: are you measuring your ride-height, or are you measuring the variances in the ground?

3) Then you need to decide where you are going to take your starting measurements from. I started out measuring from points on the bumpers, but soon realized that the chassis was the only place that you can really trust in order to determine the effects of the adjustments that are being contemplated. Other people might differ, but for my purposes the best points for measurements are the points just behind the front wheel wells and just in front of the rear wheel wells - basically figuring the lay of the rocker panels. Anything else, like bumpers, might not be level wirth respect to the chassis, so why measure it?

4) Raising or lowereing either side of a T3 requires only a few things and the entire process can be done in under a half-hour if you are prepared. But this is only true if you are trying to LEVEL your car or alter the stance. If you are truly trying to dump your car on its nutz, stop reading here.

Still here?

Good. Regardless of which of the three methods below you use to raise or lower your T3 front end, there are a couple of things you will need to do. First, take the bolt and lock washer off of the lower shock mount. Then take the top nut and washer off of the lower ball joint - it is acceptable to loosen from the bottom for the lower ball joint, but then you risk messing with the camber.

Whoops. Just realized that no matter what you do as far as raising or lowereing the front end of your T3, you really ought to take it in when you are done and get it fully alligned by a professional. That is what I plan to do.

I don't know what the torque specs are on the shock mount, but the top nut on the ball joint is a 30mm fitting that requires 80 ft/lbs.

Three ways to alter the stance of your T3 using only the parts that came with the car:

4a) Outer spline adjustment. You really should have a Bentley's manual at this point. This is achieved by removing the torsion arm from the torsion bar momentarily and replacing it one or more splines up or down from where you started. Regardless of whatever method you choose, it is extremely important to mark your starting point with a good metal punch and hammer before starting (see other threads on how this is done).

I suppose that there are many ways to remove the torsion arm from the torsion bar, but I was lucky enough to have a friend send me tool "VW 276a" torsion-arm extractor. Other people have been known to jam a fitting bolt where the grub screw goes and bang on it with a 2x4 and a mallet. But if you want a working facimilie of VW Extractor 276a, feel freee to contact me, and I may be able to put you in touch with a guy who can build one for you. Here are a couple of pictures of the original that was sent to me, with scale.....

Image
Image

But you could just as easily remove the retaining bolt and grub screw and insert something else in there and bang the thing off the outer torsion spline. Doesn't matter. Only thing you need to know is that when you put the grub screw back, it needs to be put back at 22 ft/lbs so as to avoid damage to the outer spline.

But this was the big surprise for me: I had no idea that as I pulled the torsion arm out, it really looked like the entire torsion bar was coming out along with it. As bad as it looks, it really isn't. As long as that bolt is affixed on the other end of the beam, you are OK. Don't worry.

4b) Inner spline adjustment. You really, really should have a Bentley's manual at this point.

The Inner Spline adjustment ... well, that has been fully explained in other threads, and I have not attempted it personally. But I think that there is some controversy here that probably needs to be argued out by more experienced people than myself. But we'll try to get you the meat of it, even lacking real experience.

The most important thing to know is that the inner spline adjustment - as opposed to the outer spline adjustment - is a bigger amount of change as regards lowering or raising of your front end. One spline inner is more change than one spline outer. The method for doing this has been detailed in other videos and threads quite well, so no need for me to go into the 'hows'.

And this is where I kind of wonder why the bulk of the front-end stuff so far on the Samba seems to concentrate on inner spline adjustments. Outer spline adjustments have a finer granularity, so why start with the inner? What's more, I have a friend who was factory-trained who tells me that back in the day they were told that inner spline changes were only needed as a last resort. I'm a newbie here, but if you have the right tools, why would you start with an inner as opposed to an outer spline adjustment? To me, it defies logic.

4c) "Control" adjustment. Absolutely paramount that you get a Bentley maual here. The "Control" adjustment is a way of adjusting the "inner" one way, and the "outer" the opposite way and thereby acheiving a smaller adjustment up or down. I haven't done it myself, so this is up to you to figure out.

5) Getting the torsion arm back in took a little bit more persuasion than I expected. A mallet with a 2x4 was not enough. I have this big brass thing that is larger in diameter than the torsion rod end that was very helpful in driving it home with a big-ass hammer.



More to follow.........

Meyer wrote:This should give you a good idea of what dropping one outer spline will do, by measurement.

Dropping one outer spline on both sides in the front:

Measuring at the bumper (the top of the chrome button on each corner):

LF went from 14 5/16" to 12 11/16"
RF went from 14 9/16" to 12 14/16"
LR went from 13 14/16" to 14 7/16"
RR went from 13 13/16" to 14 6/16"

Measuring at the rockers aft of the front wheel wells and fore of the rear wheel wells:

LF went from 9 11/16" to 8 11/16"
RF went from 9 11/16" to 8 11/16"
LR went from 9 1/16 to 8 11/16"
RR went from 9 1/16 to 8 12/16"
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Post by vwlover77 » Thu Dec 31, 2009 9:15 pm

What a sweetheart of a Squareback... both before and after!
Don

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Post by Amskeptic » Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:18 pm

MeyerII wrote:I wrote it up some on the Samba, so repeating it here in case it helps.
I am frequently bemused by the avoidance or adherence to moving or not moving outer or inner splines. You can yank the torsion bar out without match-marking, spin it in your hand, whatever, it does not matter. Then you can slap it in any old which way. Then you can stuff the torsion arm onto the bar and start your measurements. THIS is where your decisions must then determine which end gets moved in which direction. Who on Earth can say "I never move the inner (outer) splines." You have to move whatever it takes. The fact that the inner rotates in larger increments is how we get vernier adjustments. I assume that I have to move both ends in opposite directions to get the fine adjustment. If the inners were to move in 1º 20' increments, and the outers moved in 45' increments, I get either a 2º 5' adjustment if moved in same "gain" direction, or I get a 35' "gain" adjusting the bar then then the arm in opposite directions. You just have to add and subtract net changes. That's why VW mentions "eight splines up and seven splines down" as an adjustment, you are adding or subtracting minutes that allow you to GET the final degree you WANT.
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Post by MeyerII » Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:51 am

Amskeptic wrote:
MeyerII wrote:I wrote it up some on the Samba, so repeating it here in case it helps.
I am frequently bemused by the avoidance or adherence to moving or not moving outer or inner splines. You can yank the torsion bar out without match-marking, spin it in your hand, whatever, it does not matter. Then you can slap it in any old which way. Then you can stuff the torsion arm onto the bar and start your measurements. THIS is where your decisions must then determine which end gets moved in which direction. Who on Earth can say "I never move the inner (outer) splines." You have to move whatever it takes. The fact that the inner rotates in larger increments is how we get vernier adjustments. I assume that I have to move both ends in opposite directions to get the fine adjustment. If the inners were to move in 1º 20' increments, and the outers moved in 45' increments, I get either a 2º 5' adjustment if moved in same "gain" direction, or I get a 35' "gain" adjusting the bar then then the arm in opposite directions. You just have to add and subtract net changes. That's why VW mentions "eight splines up and seven splines down" as an adjustment, you are adding or subtracting minutes that allow you to GET the final degree you WANT.
ColinMakeSense?
Well .... I agree in that I don't understand why all of the Samba information is biased towards inner spline adjustments. But Tram did tell me that the factory guys said to only change the inner spline unless you need to replace the torsion bar or do a control adjustment. I see what you mean, in that when a control adjustment is necessary, it is necessary, so no need to discuss.

The Samba thing is easy to figure out: its harder to pull the torsion arm off as opposed to sliding the torsion arm out. I say too bad. You don't do what's easy at the expense of doing it right. Of course when most people are talking about height adjustment, the're really talking about slamming a car on its nutz, so I guess the discussion ends there anyway.

But the factory recommendation ... well I don't know. Must be a German thing. I'll have to ask my friend about it. Its possible that they considered the outer spline adjustment to be less invasive, as you're not futzing with as much of the overall mechanism when you just do an outer spline adjustment. But I don't really know why they supposedly said that. I'll have to ask my friend about that some time.

 
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Post by Amskeptic » Mon Jan 11, 2010 3:32 pm

MeyerII wrote:
But the factory recommendation ... well I don't know. Must be a German thing. I'll have to ask my friend about it. Its possible that they considered the outer spline adjustment to be less invasive, as you're not futzing with as much of the overall mechanism when you just do an outer spline adjustment. But I don't really know why they supposedly said that. I'll have to ask my friend about that some time.
According to the bus Bentley manual:
"depending on the direction of deviation from specifications, move the torsion bar one spline forward and the spring plate one spline back on the torsion bar to obtain specified angle."
So what this does is make you go eight "steps" up and seven "steps" down where the "steps" are actually degrees. The actual amounts on the bus at any rate, are 8º 10' per inner spline, and 7º 30' per outer spline. This means your adjustments can go either higher or lower in 40' increments.
Colin

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Post by MeyerII » Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:29 pm

Amskeptic wrote:
MeyerII wrote:
But the factory recommendation ... well I don't know. Must be a German thing. I'll have to ask my friend about it. Its possible that they considered the outer spline adjustment to be less invasive, as you're not futzing with as much of the overall mechanism when you just do an outer spline adjustment. But I don't really know why they supposedly said that. I'll have to ask my friend about that some time.
According to the bus Bentley manual:
"depending on the direction of deviation from specifications, move the torsion bar one spline forward and the spring plate one spline back on the torsion bar to obtain specified angle."
So what this does is make you go eight "steps" up and seven "steps" down where the "steps" are actually degrees. The actual amounts on the bus at any rate, are 8º 10' per inner spline, and 7º 30' per outer spline. This means your adjustments can go either higher or lower in 40' increments.
Colin
I am only speaking to what came out of my research on early T3 front ends. No speaka "spring plate".

:-)

But YES, I grok control adjustments!

 
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Post by Amskeptic » Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:19 pm

MeyerII wrote:No speaka "spring plate".
But YES, I grok control adjustments!
Understood.
See, I am doing my Squareback suspension the next time I pull it out of storage. It is going . . . up . . . in the front, where it belongs, so I know that I have full suspension travel as God and VW intended, before I weigh it down with tools and whatnot.
Colin :blackeye:

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Post by MeyerII » Mon Jan 11, 2010 11:45 pm

Amskeptic wrote:
MeyerII wrote:No speaka "spring plate".
But YES, I grok control adjustments!
Understood.
See, I am doing my Squareback suspension the next time I pull it out of storage. It is going . . . up . . . in the front, where it belongs, so I know that I have full suspension travel as God and VW intended, before I weigh it down with tools and whatnot.
Colin :blackeye:
They drive so well at a stock stance that it seems a shame to slam 'em.

 
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Post by Amskeptic » Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:59 pm

MeyerII wrote:
Amskeptic wrote:
MeyerII wrote:No speaka "spring plate".
But YES, I grok control adjustments!
Understood.
See, I am doing my Squareback suspension the next time I pull it out of storage. It is going . . . up . . . in the front, where it belongs, so I know that I have full suspension travel as God and VW intended, before I weigh it down with tools and whatnot.
Colin :blackeye:
They drive so well at a stock stance that it seems a shame to slam 'em.

 
Other than my recent deep terror of other distracted ditzy motorists, I'd like to get my Squareback out and about again. It is just sitting there in upstate New York. Too many cars. Too little time and money . . .
Colin

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Post by bretski » Fri Jan 15, 2010 6:41 pm

Seeing both of your cars again renews my Squareback envy. I sooooooo want one.
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Post by MeyerII » Fri Jan 15, 2010 8:38 pm

bretski wrote:Seeing both of your cars again renews my Squareback envy. I sooooooo want one.
Off you go then:

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/ ... ?id=847581
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Post by Amskeptic » Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:16 pm

Perhaps you'd like to blow $18,500.00 on this catastrophe where the seller couldn't be bothered to clean the engine.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/ ... ?id=664350

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