Author Topic: Adjustable beam or drop spindles?  (Read 1584 times)

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Offline Buggytime

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Adjustable beam or drop spindles?
« on: July 26, 2014, 10:28:42 AM »
Is there a better way to lower a balljoint front end?  An adjustable beam or drop spindles?  I have a dune buggy with a stock balljoint front beam and drum brakes, and it's very light in the front end, and I don't think I should have any clearance issues.  If I put in an adjustable front beam, would it be possible to leave one adjuster loose so the suspension is only putting load on one set of torsion spring bundles, therefore making it a softer ride in the front?  Or is this unsafe and a stupid idea?  Because right now, the front end doesn't give, and it's a very hard ride.  Any other ideas are greatly appreciated. 

Offline Hansk

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Re: Adjustable beam or drop spindles?
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2014, 09:33:54 AM »
As far as lowering your buggy , the best would be both dropped spindles and adjustable beam . The spindles to get most of your lowering and keep some comfort and the beam to fine tune the height .  Modifying the beam to use only one set of torsion bars has been done but as far as ride quality, I feel the biggest difference comes from the shocks .  I have a manx style buggy with a stock beam that I use in the sand . Its light enough at the front I can  pick it up off the ground my self . I left the 50 year old original shocks on it and the ride is pretty smooth . I know that any replacement or after market shock would be way to stiff for my liking. 
What do you have for shocks on there now?
« Last Edit: July 29, 2014, 09:41:54 AM by Hansk »
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Offline Atomwerk

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Re: Adjustable beam or drop spindles?
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2014, 07:36:05 PM »
As far as lowering your buggy , the best would be both dropped spindles and adjustable beam . The spindles to get most of your lowering and keep some comfort and the beam to fine tune the height .  Modifying the beam to use only one set of torsion bars has been done but as far as ride quality, I feel the biggest difference comes from the shocks .  I have a manx style buggy with a stock beam that I use in the sand . Its light enough at the front I can  pick it up off the ground my self . I left the 50 year old original shocks on it and the ride is pretty smooth . I know that any replacement or after market shock would be way to stiff for my liking. 
What do you have for shocks on there now?

This is good advice. I always tell my customers that they should start with drop spindles first and then if needed they can move to the secondary form of lowering by utilizing an adjustable beam.

Two things to caution about:

1) Make sure that your adjustable beam has the adjusters positioned in the right spot, and was not made as "a lowered beam" only. You should verify if your beam can still hit the factory angle mark. I know of many WELL KNOWN builders who simply sell lowered beams. If you use a beam that cannot hit the factory torsion leaf angle then you can bet that they are not very compatible with drop spindles. The reason is because drop spindles will lower your VW without changing the factory control arm articulation. If you use drop spindles with a "lowered adjustable beam" you may find your self with a lowered car that you can not raise up enough.

2) By loading only one spring and not the other you are reducing the life of that spring and may overload it and fail it. The two sets of torsion leaves in a VW were designed to share the load of the front end together. While this WILL soften the ride it will also shorten its life.

If your ride is harsh I would advise disconnecting the shocks (only as a method of testing) and seeing if it is still harsh. You may have a case of stiff shocks, which means that softer shocks may get you the ride you are after.
Lower or raise your air-cooled VW the right way!

Offline Buggytime

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Re: Adjustable beam or drop spindles?
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2014, 11:17:20 PM »
Thanks for your information.  I picked up an adjustable front beam already, but I haven't installed it yet.  Is there an easy way to tell if the adjusters are positioned correctly or do I have to install it and see?
Either way I guess it's going in and I will find out.

Offline Atomwerk

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Re: Adjustable beam or drop spindles?
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2014, 09:16:39 PM »
You want your adjuster to be angled about 50° from the horizontal position.
Lower or raise your air-cooled VW the right way!

 

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