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posted on April 24th, 2011 at 04:23 PM



Quote:
Originally posted by Fueldup
Yes matt it makes alot of sense to find a good straight relatively rust free car, most of the beetles I have been looking at have had 1500 engines, I was hoping for a 1600 but really upgrading this at a later date is far easier than having to do heaps of body work.

What can you tell me about the 1500 engine, how does it compare to the 1600 ?

Some beetles have been advertised as having lowered suspension, now obviously this is heading in the wrong direction for what I want so does it make it difficult to raise it up for offroad work and will it be exspensive to raise it again or is it no big deal ?
Thanks.


1500s won't be too much different to a 1600. The heads will be singleport whereas the 1600 is twinport heads.
if the engine has ever been rebuilt in it's life there's a 995 percent chance that it's already a 1600. You can't buy new pistons and barrels for the 1500s they they are always rebuilt as a 1600 because it's a slip in mod.


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posted on April 24th, 2011 at 05:01 PM



Quote:
Originally posted by Fueldup
Hey Matt, you know everytime you guys tell me something new about your cars I suddenly get a whole heap of new questions pop into my head, for you its common knowledge but for me I end up with the ''What The'' feeling and then I want to know.

This time its the IRS suspension which I thought would stand for independent rear suspension but I am probably wrong, is this the system that eliminates wheel camber ?
IRS comes from which VW ?
So you are saying that buying a car with lowered suspension isn't a problem judging by what you did to yours in one week and yer that must of been a hell of a week.


Yes mate, you got it. IRS is prefered for offroad as more travel can be gained with less camber change than with swing axle. It's a bit of a running joke around here that both suspension types are in fact independant rear suspension or IRS. So to be correct, or to please Gerg Mackie, we have to call them swingaxle and double joint or cv/open drive shaft rear suspension....:lol::lol::lol:

So, our mate and fountain of baja information Smileybajaman has covered the different types in the first page pics. The last pic is the swingaxle. The joint at the transmission is one major limit as is unsafe wheel/camber issues if more suspension travel is desired.

Stock swingaxle will squeeze maybe 6" or travel, where as stock IRS...oops 'double joint' 6-7" is easy and 10 isn't too difficult and if there is no budget, 20+ is possible. All this using the old VW design suspension :). 6" of suspension travel doesn't sound like much, but compare that to a 4wd, most would be lucky to have 4-5" stock, ok, similar to a VW, but they weigh twice as much as a Volksie... :)




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posted on April 24th, 2011 at 05:34 PM



Quote:
Originally posted by Fueldup
This time its the IRS suspension which I thought would stand for independent rear suspension but I am probably wrong, is this the system that eliminates wheel camber ?
IRS comes from which VW ?



Ok. Lesson time once again.

There are two different types of rear suspension offered on the Beetles. Swing axle and Semi trailing rear arm suspension. And while these are both fully independent styles of suspension they are most commonly referred to as swingaxle and IRS respectively.

Here's some info on both types.


SWING AXLE

The most common type of suspension. It is used on all models of Beetle up until 1967. Then it was used on all the standard Beetles until 1975. A standard beetle is a non superbug (strut front end).

With a swingaxle you have less moving parts, less to go wrong and lower unsprung weight, BUT throughout the travel of the suspension you get a lot of camber change in the wheel. This can make handling........interesting......at times. Especially when the suspension is raised. They get incredibly twitchy and unpredictable to drive. But they are predictably unpredictable, "If I hit that bump going quickly in the dirt things will get hectic"

Here is a picture of the swing axle in my car. You will notice that the axles are a part of the suspension with this setup. They are what hold the wheels at the distance from the transaxle and absorb any side loads put onto the wheels.
Then you have the spring plate which runs from the axles forwards to the torsion bars in the rear of the car. The springplate holds the wheel in the fore/aft position.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Alyce%20the%20Baja/P1030450.jpg


And here's a diagram showing the camber change etc


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/tech_pic_sus_swing2.jpg



IRS


Now onto the good stuff.

The later model suspension first come to Australia in the 1968 semi automatic Beetles, which were fully imported. Then it was on all of the superbugs. And lastly on the 1976 standrad Beetles. It offers very little camber change over the course of it's travel. With the potential to get some wild travel with mods.

Here's some pictures.


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/2327774.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/2327773.jpg


You will notice it has a secondary control arm, it's the diagonal one that goes from the wheel back toward the front of the transaxle. Because this suspension used CV joints no side loads can be transmitted through them. So the diagonal arm takes the side loads. The spring plates does it's job in exactly the same way.

IRS is better, plain and simple. Handling is better both on and off the road, you open yourself up to a wider range of gearboxes (like all the Kombi ones mentioned earlier), and it's a lot safer and more predictable to drive. Swingaxle is fine for a play car, or something you don't really want to spend any money on. Mine is a swinger but will be IRS as soon as I get around to it.
I've found that because the axles transmit side loads into the box I'm forever ripping rear gearbox mounts to pieces, something you don't have as much trouble with in IRS.


Any questions about anything I've said above don't hesitate to ask, I'm sure Matt will jump on soon and correct all my mistakes :lol::lol:


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posted on April 24th, 2011 at 05:42 PM



Quote:
Originally posted by matberry
Yes mate, you got it. IRS is prefered for offroad as more travel can be gained with less camber change than with swing axle. It's a bit of a running joke around here that both suspension types are in fact independant rear suspension or IRS. So to be correct, or to please Gerg Mackie, we have to call them swingaxle and double joint or cv/open drive shaft rear suspension....:lol::lol::lol:

So, our mate and fountain of baja information Smileybajaman has covered the different types in the first page pics. The last pic is the swingaxle. The joint at the transmission is one major limit as is unsafe wheel/camber issues if more suspension travel is desired.

Stock swingaxle will squeeze maybe 6" or travel, where as stock IRS...oops 'double joint' 6-7" is easy and 10 isn't too difficult and if there is no budget, 20+ is possible. All this using the old VW design suspension :). 6" of suspension travel doesn't sound like much, but compare that to a 4wd, most would be lucky to have 4-5" stock, ok, similar to a VW, but they weigh twice as much as a Volksie... :)


You were typing while I was!!


Quote:
Originally posted by matberry
All this using the old VW design suspension :). 6" of suspension travel doesn't sound like much, but compare that to a 4wd, most would be lucky to have 4-5" stock, ok, similar to a VW, but they weigh twice as much as a Volksie... :)


Plus compared to a 4WD (shudder) a Beetle has less track and less wheelbase. So 6" of travel on it is far more in relation to 6" of travel on a 4WD.


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posted on April 24th, 2011 at 05:46 PM



Ahhh but I was quicker !!!!

Keep up Smileybajaman !!!:D:D:D

EDIT...but you got pics :(

Oh and no mistakes :)




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posted on April 24th, 2011 at 11:05 PM



Here I go again after I just typed a heap of stuff only to have it diappear.

Smiley the pics help alot and thanks to you and matberry I now have a good understanding of how the suspension works. Would the IRS bolt straight in where the swingaxle comes out of or is it a heap of work to make it fit ?

Now I also realise that I will need an IRS to be able to run the Kombi gearbox, and what a bugger that the superbugs had a great rear suspension and a not so great front, well thats what I think I have worked out please correct me if I am wrong.

Yes the list continues to grow and grow. One thing I have learnt from speaking to you guys is that the setup on these beetles is more advanced than many modern cars and probably nearly all 4wds, do you find they can really cover rough ground quick compared to a 4wd ? With so much suspension travel I would have thought so.
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posted on April 25th, 2011 at 10:55 AM



Quote:
Originally posted by Fueldup
Would the IRS bolt straight in where the swingaxle comes out of or is it a heap of work to make it fit ?



It's not a heap of work to make it fit if the body is off the pan and you are handy with a welder. Everything will bolt straight in except for the front diagonal arm pivots. If you compare the last picture of a swingaxle on the previous page to the pictures of the IRS on this page you will see the little pivot boxes that are missing. And if you look closely at the picture of my floorpan above you can see them in the corners, that's because the back half of my floorpan is Superbug.


Here's a quick thread on how to do the pivot boxes

http://forums.aussieveedubbers.com/viewtopic.php?tid=76337&page=1#pid728784 

You will have to make or borrow a jig the same as the one in this thread to hold the pivot boxes in the correct place in order to weld them. You can make a jig using the superbug floorpan you pull your IRS bits off.
Nils also does this in his build thread that I posted on the first page for you to read.

You can buy the pivot boxes from VW stores. And I can highly recommend a pair from CVD, I have a set and the quality is exceptional. http://www.customveedub.com.au/store/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=22 


Quote:
Originally posted by Fueldup
Now I also realise that I will need an IRS to be able to run the Kombi gearbox, and what a bugger that the superbugs had a great rear suspension and a not so great front, well thats what I think I have worked out please correct me if I am wrong.



Yeah, the superbug's front suspension is not rugged or strong enough to be used offroad. The struts mount on to the body, and this can crack or flex. There's no way to raised the suspension easily. And the travel is limited. It is a fantastic for onroad use, and you'd probably get away with it in a stock height Baja that you only used on fire trails or the beach.
People commonly buy a wrecked one for the rear suspension pieces to convert to IRS. You need the diagonal arms, spring plates, torsion bars and brakes etc.
I have wrecked a superbug for this reason.

The other thing you can do is buy a non-super Semi auto and convert it to manual, cause they are all IRS. Or get a 1976 Beetle, this is the last year they were built in Australia and they and balljoint front end and IRS rear.


Quote:
Originally posted by Fueldup
One thing I have learnt from speaking to you guys is that the setup on these beetles is more advanced than many modern cars and probably nearly all 4wds, do you find they can really cover rough ground quick compared to a 4wd ? With so much suspension travel I would have thought so.


I wouldn't say that the suspension is more advanced. You're talking about 1930's technology here. It's very agricultural and not really much advanced from a tractor. Modern suspension is far far far better........onroad. The VW suspension is great offroad because it's very rugged, overengineered and can take a beating. Also, when the wheels hit a bump or hole the wheel moves back, up and away from the obstacle. This takes a lot of energy out of the blow. Whereas in a 4WD the suspension basically goes up and down with only a very small amount of rearward deflection given by the rubber bushes.
As far as driving fast, that depends a lot on your suspension set up, shocks, travel, etc. I wouldn't recommend driving super fast in a swingaxle. I've had the rear end of the car in mine overtake me on a dirt road a few months back. But generally they can go quite fast.

This has just reminded me of something else. If you haven't bought a copy of Baja Bugs and Buggies by Jeff Hibbard, do so immediately. While some of the information is quite dated, there's a lot of good tips and tricks in there all about offroad VWs.

http://www.amazon.com/Baja-Bugs-Buggies-VW-based-off-road/dp/0895861860/ref=s...



Smiley out :D




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posted on April 25th, 2011 at 01:05 PM



OK Smiley now my head is starting to hurt, 66 beetle has an IRS rear and let me guess it has drum brake front....I have been hunting down 69s and thinking great it will have disc brakes up front but now the IRS is very appealing and I think a brake upgrade may be an easier option. I don't really want to have to wreck another car for parts if I can help it. Thanks heaps to you guys for advice or I would have gone off half cocked and bought the first thing I fell over thinking that all beetles were created equal.

Yer I may have gotten carried away with the suspension being better than many modern cars statement ,although it probably was better than many of its time but hey I still find it very interesting.
I will get myself a copy of Baja Bugs and Buggies.

Its perfectly normal to wake up in the middle of the night thinking about VWs isn't it .......I hope. All good fun.
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posted on April 25th, 2011 at 01:36 PM



Quote:
Originally posted by Fueldup
Yes the list continues to grow and grow. One thing I have learnt from speaking to you guys is that the setup on these beetles is more advanced than many modern cars and probably nearly all 4wds, do you find they can really cover rough ground quick compared to a 4wd ? With so much suspension travel I would have thought so.



no worries at all, i had a 1600 kombi irs box in mine and it handled everything the local 4wd's could. i quite offen got up hill they couldnt cuz of the weight they carryed and on the mud flats i could scim across the top at speed while they sunk like stones..

Sure a serious 4wd will be better but ur everyday lifted patrols/hilux's etc etc are not going to show u a clean set of heels :crazy:

on the topic of how good each suspension set up is the swinger can hold its own, myself and smily went out for a day of playing in vastly different Bajas, his a swinger with little lift and pretty much standard everything, mine nothing standard, body lifted,irs,subaru turbo, etc etc etc and he managed to do everything mine did apart from getting beached hey smiley :lol::lol::lol::lol:.. yes mine mite have done it easier but his was there the whole time ...


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posted on April 25th, 2011 at 01:48 PM



Quote:

Its perfectly normal to wake up in the middle of the night thinking about VWs isn't it .......I hope. All good fun.


:) Welcome to our world.




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posted on April 25th, 2011 at 04:39 PM



Quote:
Originally posted by Fueldup
OK Smiley now my head is starting to hurt, 66 beetle has an IRS rear and let me guess it has drum brake front....I have been hunting down 69s and thinking great it will have disc brakes up front but now the IRS is very appealing and I think a brake upgrade may be an easier option. I don't really want to have to wreck another car for parts if I can help it.



66 Beetle will not be IRS, unless someone has converted it. It'll be swinger standard with drums all round. IRS is Semi-autos, superbugs and 1976 model only.
The IRS is very appealing. There are also a number of shops that can do the conversion for you. You don't necessarily have to wreck a whole car for the IRS. If one is being parted out, or the body is completely rusted you can pick up the bits pretty easily.
I'm currently searching for another super pan to start doing my buggy on.

You should update your profile information to show your location. That way we car recommend VW shops and people nearby.


Quote:
Originally posted by Fueldup
Its perfectly normal to wake up in the middle of the night thinking about VWs isn't it .......I hope. All good fun.


I normally can't even get to sleep in the first place because of it..... :D


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posted on April 25th, 2011 at 04:42 PM



Quote:
Originally posted by DubCrazy
on the topic of how good each suspension set up is the swinger can hold its own, myself and smiley went out for a day of playing in vastly different Bajas, his a swinger with little lift and pretty much standard everything, mine nothing standard, body lifted,irs,subaru turbo, etc etc etc and he managed to do everything mine did apart from getting beached hey smiley :lol::lol::lol::lol:.. yes mine mite have done it easier but his was there the whole time ...



That's cause poor little Alyce is stock and has no ramp over!!!


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Offroad%20in%20Gladstone%2027-11-10/DSC_0020-1.jpg


http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Offroad%20in%20Gladstone%2027-11-10/DSC_0021-1.jpg


And what she lacks in ability I make up for in determination and revs!!!


Smiley :cool:



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http://i933.photobucket.com/albums/ad172/smileyman1968/Offroad%20in%20Gladstone%2027-11-10/SAM_0556.jpg




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posted on April 25th, 2011 at 08:15 PM



Smiley how did you raise your rear swinger ? Do you have camber probs?
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posted on April 25th, 2011 at 09:46 PM



Great pics Smiley, looks like Alyce wanted a rest from your heavy right boot.
Steff I get what you are saying, looks like you can spend as much or as little as you like and still have a capable Baja.

I don't really have any more questions right now but give me a moment, what I do have is alot more knowledge and I am very thankful for that, just gotta sit back and keep my eyes peeled for something that grabs me and something I can improve on without spending a fortune, I have spent way to much on projects over the years and I hope I can streamline this one a bit.
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posted on April 26th, 2011 at 12:02 AM



Quote:
Originally posted by Redbackemu
Smiley how did you raise your rear swinger ? Do you have camber probs?


Completely by accident. When I built the car I set the rear torsions to, what I thought, was stock. Turned out an inch or two above stock. I don't have any problems with camber or tyre wear. The camber is noticeable with the naked eye, but not excessive. It looks a little excessive in that last picture because I reversed in behind Steff's car to pull him out, reversing causes the rear of the car to raise slightly, much like reduction boxes cause it to raise while going forward.

And in the other two pictures the RHS is at droop because I'm hung up.


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posted on April 26th, 2011 at 08:29 AM



Quote:
Originally posted by Smiley
. It looks a little excessive in that last picture because I reversed in behind Steff's car to pull him out, reversing causes the rear of the car to raise slightly, much like reduction boxes cause it to raise while going forward.


Smiley :cool:


Sorry Smiley, but if your rear ride height changes as you move the car (forward or back) you'll find it's the rear alignment way off. In your case, I'll put money on it, check your alignment after the car coming to a natural stop. You will find it is toe out excessively. You may find after resetting it, you car will handle heaps better and might have some of that awesome power back.
The toe out when going backwards is toe in towards the rear which when excessive drives the wheels towards the middle of the car which lifts the ride height. It works opposite too, excessive toe in will lift the car going forward and squat when going rearwards. Set it to zero or 1-2mm toe in AT RIDE HEIGHT.




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posted on April 26th, 2011 at 08:35 AM



Quote:
Originally posted by Smiley
People commonly buy a wrecked one for the rear suspension pieces to convert to IRS. You need the diagonal arms, spring plates, torsion bars and brakes etc.
I have wrecked a superbug for this reason.



Another slightly easier option is just get the IRS subframe from a late type3.

Unlike bugs they don't use chassis forks so the whole IRS subframe just unbolts out of the car.

As an added bonus is the bigger brakes and the wagons have bigger torsion bars than bugs which would be an advantage offroad.

I've got a set for mine they're noticeably bigger than stock bug 28mm thick over 24mm stock ones.
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posted on April 26th, 2011 at 08:55 AM



Quote:
Originally posted by Joel
I've got a set for mine they're noticeably bigger than stock bug 28mm thick over 24mm stock ones.


Mmmm 24mm type 3, 22mm stock type 1

but they are definately an upgrade well worth doing for most cars other than stock.




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posted on April 26th, 2011 at 08:58 AM



Knew it was something around that :lol:
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posted on April 26th, 2011 at 08:59 AM



:) :tu:



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posted on April 26th, 2011 at 10:00 AM



Quote:
Originally posted by matberry
Quote:
Originally posted by Smiley
. It looks a little excessive in that last picture because I reversed in behind Steff's car to pull him out, reversing causes the rear of the car to raise slightly, much like reduction boxes cause it to raise while going forward.


Smiley :cool:


Sorry Smiley, but if your rear ride height changes as you move the car (forward or back) you'll find it's the rear alignment way off. In your case, I'll put money on it, check your alignment after the car coming to a natural stop. You will find it is toe out excessively. You may find after resetting it, you car will handle heaps better and might have some of that awesome power back.
The toe out when going backwards is toe in towards the rear which when excessive drives the wheels towards the middle of the car which lifts the ride height. It works opposite too, excessive toe in will lift the car going forward and squat when going rearwards. Set it to zero or 1-2mm toe in AT RIDE HEIGHT.


My rear wheels are set slightly toed in actually. Unless they've moved in the couple of months since I last checked.
Will check them again in the next few day's to make sure.


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posted on April 26th, 2011 at 11:39 AM



Quote:
Originally posted by Smiley
Quote:
Originally posted by matberry
Quote:
Originally posted by Smiley
. It looks a little excessive in that last picture because I reversed in behind Steff's car to pull him out, reversing causes the rear of the car to raise slightly, much like reduction boxes cause it to raise while going forward.


Smiley :cool:


Sorry Smiley, but if your rear ride height changes as you move the car (forward or back) you'll find it's the rear alignment way off. In your case, I'll put money on it, check your alignment after the car coming to a natural stop. You will find it is toe out excessively. You may find after resetting it, you car will handle heaps better and might have some of that awesome power back.
The toe out when going backwards is toe in towards the rear which when excessive drives the wheels towards the middle of the car which lifts the ride height. It works opposite too, excessive toe in will lift the car going forward and squat when going rearwards. Set it to zero or 1-2mm toe in AT RIDE HEIGHT.


My rear wheels are set slightly toed in actually. Unless they've moved in the couple of months since I last checked.
Will check them again in the next few day's to make sure.


Smiley :cool:


Mmmm

No front trans mount issues?
That is where any change forward and back will effect the alignment.




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posted on April 26th, 2011 at 05:16 PM



Quote:
Originally posted by matberry
Mmmm

No front trans mount issues?
That is where any change forward and back will effect the alignment.


Doubt it. The standard front mount is in good nick and I have a swinger gearbox center strap kit from CVD.

I'll check it again next chance I get. Those pictures are from a trip we did 6 months ago in early November. I think I have replaced the rear mounts since then, but notice on the weekend that I've ripped one in half.....again. And I can feel the gearbox moving around a little.
The sooner I go IRS the better!!! :lol::lol::lol:


Smiley :cool:




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posted on April 26th, 2011 at 06:07 PM



OK, how do you set the toe in/out of the rear wheels as I will need to do this once the new gearbox is installed.
Sorry for the highjack Fueldup.




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posted on April 26th, 2011 at 06:40 PM



Quote:
Originally posted by baghall
OK, how do you set the toe in/out of the rear wheels as I will need to do this once the new gearbox is installed.
Sorry for the highjack Fueldup.


On a swinger, with the car at ride height on it's wheels, with the suspension fully settled. measure the distance between the rims at the front of the wheel and at the back of the wheel. Front should be 1-2mm less than at the back. Make sure you measure on the rim and not the tyre, also make sure that where you measure isn't dented or it can throw out your measurements. I find it best to measure on the outside face of the rim where the bead seals on other side of this face.

If it's out undo the 3 bolts at your spring plate and knock the axle tube backwards or forwards to correct your measurement.


Smiley :cool:




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posted on April 26th, 2011 at 09:02 PM



Hey Baghall, no worries mate I'm happy to read what you guys are posting simply because I am learning so much.

Any chance of getting a rough guide as to the cost of parts which have been mentioned to help me work out my cost for a baja plus 50%, always seem to have to add 50% to most things I do.
Parts such as IRS, Kombi gearbox, Disc brake conversion, and what a reco 1600 would be worth,I couldn't even try to guess because I have less than no idea, I probably don't need all of these things but every beetle is different they all need different things , oh and Smiley I know I may be a bad student or maybe just slow but are all auto bugs IRS even pre 70 models ?

This all will help because some cars seem cheap until you start piecing together everything you wish to add.
Thanks.
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posted on April 26th, 2011 at 09:24 PM



Quote:
Originally posted by Fueldup
Hey Baghall, no worries mate I'm happy to read what you guys are posting simply because I am learning so much.

Any chance of getting a rough guide as to the cost of parts which have been mentioned to help me work out my cost for a baja plus 50%, always seem to have to add 50% to most things I do.
Parts such as IRS, Kombi gearbox, Disc brake conversion, and what a reco 1600 would be worth,I couldn't even try to guess because I have less than no idea, I probably don't need all of these things but every beetle is different they all need different things , oh and Smiley I know I may be a bad student or maybe just slow but are all auto bugs IRS even pre 70 models ?

This all will help because some cars seem cheap until you start piecing together everything you wish to add.
Thanks.


All semi-autos were IRS from 1968 (this was the first year it was offered) onwards.

As for parts, I don't know.
IRS bits - Maybe a few hundred, plus you're want to replace all bushings and bearings. Pivot boxes are $135 from CVD. Plus you have to weld them on.
Kombi Box - Anywhere from $100 to $500. Plus you'll need a mounting kit.
Discs for a 4 stud and a 5 stud vary in prices, I think the last kit I priced for a wide 5 for mine was around $1300 from Vintage.
Engine can be anywhere from $300 up. Keep an eye on eBay.


Smiley :cool:




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posted on April 26th, 2011 at 09:58 PM



Thanks Smiley, I know thats a rough guide and prices will vary I thought prices may have been higher. I will slap on my 50% just to be on the safe side.

I am looking on ebay, I spotted a fibreglass baja kit the other day for around $500.
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posted on April 26th, 2011 at 10:00 PM



Quote:
Originally posted by Fueldup
Thanks Smiley, I know thats a rough guide and prices will vary I thought prices may have been higher. I will slap on my 50% just to be on the safe side.

I am looking on ebay, I spotted a fibreglass baja kit the other day for around $500.


That's a good price for a kit that's new or in very good nick.

Smiley :cool:




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posted on April 27th, 2011 at 10:40 PM
baja gearing


great info smily on gearbox ratios

ive got a ea 81 suby powerd baja with a 71 type 3 irs and running 28 inch rears. rpm is 2800 at 100 kmh its not to bad on the road, but at 3000 rpm it seems to be the sweet spot for it . the five rib kombi sounds like the box i need ,can they be fitted in the beetle arse end or can i modify the box ive got. im a bit in the dark when it comes to vw gearbox combinations
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