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How to Modify Volkswagen Beetle Chassis, Suspension & Brakes for High Performance


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Table of Contents

A(c) James Hale & Veloce Publishing Introduction & acknowledgements 7 Introduction 7 Acknowledgements 10 Workshop procedures, safety, and tools 11 Workshop procedures and safety 11 Tools 12 Chapter 1 Chassis, suspension & brake design 14 The chassis 14 Steering gear 17 Brakes 17 Suspension 18 Front suspension 18 Rear suspension 19 Later versions 21 Chapter 2 Front suspension & brakes 23 King and linkpin front suspension 23 Disc brake conversions for king and linkpin suspension 24 King and linkpin suspension and brake maintenance 26 Lowering or raising king and linkpin front suspension 28 The steering gearbox 31 Torsion-bars 31 Track-rods 33 Custom and Speed Parts disc brake system 35 Porsche 356 brake parts 36 Renewing brake shoes, wheel cylinders and bearings 38 Ball-joint front suspension 39 Ball-joint maintenance 40 Dismantling ball-joint suspension and overhauling brakes 41 Front shock absorbers 42 Fitting disc brakes 43 Renovating calipers 46 Aftermarket calipers 47 Calipers from other vehicles 47 Porsche components 48 Using five-bolt drums 50 Raising or lowering ball-joint front suspension 51 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3 Rear suspension & brakes 55 Swing-axle suspension 55 Improving handling with swing-axle suspension 56 Adjustable spring-plates 60 Urethane bushes 61 Solid mounts 63 Rear brakes 64 Replacing brake shoes 67 Fitting rear disc brakes 68 Oil seals 69 Fitting calipers and discs 70 Axle gaiters 71 Transmission oil 72 Independent Rear Suspension 72 Replacing CV joints 74 Standard units 74 Uprated units 75 Fitting Porsche stub-axles to Beetle A-arms 75 Fitting Porsche 944 rear disc brakes 76 Removing the Porsche rear suspension and brakes 77 The handbrake 79 Porsche brakes 79 Anti-roll (anti-sway) bars 80 Tyre clearance 81 Obtaining parts 81 Chapter 4 The chassis 83 Removing the VW Beetle bodyshell 84 1302/03 Beetles 85 Shortening the floorpan 86 Cutting the chassis 90 Welding the chassis 92 Modifying the shortened chassis 92 Cables 93 Swing-axle to IRS conversion 94 Frame-Head Swap 96 Beetle cables and pedal assemblies 97 Accelerator cables 97 Handbrake cables 97 Heater cables 97 Clutch cable and pedal assembly 98 Hydraulic clutches 99 Gearshifters and locking shifters 100 The 'Quickshift' kit 100 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Gearshift locks 101 Conclusion 102 Appendix 1 Suppliers 104 UK & EU Suppliers 104 US Suppliers 105 Appendix 2 Chassis numbers & transmission codes 107 VW Beetle Chassis Numbers 1940 - 1968 108 VW Beetle Chassis Numbers 1969 - 1986 109 Transmission codes 110 Glossary of terms 111 Index 126 A(c) James Hale & Veloce Publishing

About the Author

James Hale is the world's leading authority on dune buggies, and has written five books covering the buggy scene worldwide. His first book was the Dune Buggy Handbook, published by Veloce, and remains the definitive guide to these unorthodox fun cars. He has also regularly produced freelance features for motoring magazines, and has written technical books on modifying the VW Beetle and VW Bus suspension, brakes and chassis for high performance. The first edition of the Bus suspension book was first published in 2003, and has been completely revised and updated for this 2nd edition.

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