Whether you’re getting ready for autocross, off-road adventures, or simply want a more engaging and precise tool behind the wheel, you should start by updating your automobile suspension. Here are the top 3 car suspension modifications for your vehicle:
1. Narrowed and Adjustable Front Axle
Except for the Super Beetle and Type 25, all Aircooled Volkswagens have a torsion bar front suspension arrangement. These can be readily adjusted to allow for height modification. Weld in beam adjusters are located in the centre of both the upper and lower torsion tubes and maybe moved up and down to change the ride height because the torsion leaves travel through them.
If you prefer the look of tucked wheels, a narrower beam is the way to go. A narrower front axle has had an equal amount of material taken from the upper and lower torsion tubes, then welded back together.
Aside from the ostensible visual advantages of narrowing your front axle, it can also aid in the readjustment of your geometry after installing wider wheels, a brake disc conversion kit, or dropped spindles. We recommend acquiring a ready-made narrower front axle or commissioning the work on your axle by a trusted expert workshop if you don’t have experience with a welder.
2. Dropped Spindles
Let’s begin with the fundamentals; on Aircooled VWs, spindles can be located on either end of the front axle. They are usually married to the axle by torsion arms and ball joints/king and link pins and connect to the wheels through brake drums/discs and wheel bearings. They are also connected to the lower section of the front shock absorber.
Typically, dropped spindles work by elevating the hub mounting portion of a normal spindle a few inches higher in the wheel arch. This elevates the wheel’s centre point while simultaneously lowering the vehicle. Importantly, it retains the same suspension shock mountings, allowing you to use them with stock shocks while maintaining a reasonable amount of travel for maximum comfort.
A word of caution: lowered spindles broaden your car’s track, which is why they’re so popular when used with a narrowed front beam to avoid wheel-to-arch contact. Several car builders have used a similar notion to lift the rear hubs and brakes higher up in the arch with specially constructed drop plates for owners of early water-cooled VWs. If you’re going to go down this road, make sure you choose a competent expert because you don’t want something like this to go wrong. If you are looking for car springs then have a look at Apex springs.
3. Performance Anti Roll Bar
Body roll can hinder lap times or confidence while negotiating corners at high speeds, especially for driving enthusiasts. In this case, we’ll assume there are already mounting points and hardware in place, and your car has them fitted both front and rear because it’s unlikely you’ll choose a vehicle without ARBs (anti-roll bars) for your more vigorous driving.
The front anti-roll bar is usually installed beneath the body and spans the width of the vehicle, connecting both sides of the suspension. This bar twists as you corner your car, providing some resistance to the natural lean that happens. Things can be made even better by installing a Performance Anti Roll Bar, which is constructed of thicker material and reduces body roll even more.
When it comes to designing a vehicle that the buyer can live with every day or at least on the way to the track or car show, installing performance suspension components can be a deal with the devil. With these three modifications, we can guarantee that you will get more than you ever expected!