Lifting a Super Beetle

Offroad VW based vehicles have problems/insights all their own. Not to mention the knowledge gained in VW durability.
rich2481
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Lifting a Super Beetle

Post by rich2481 »

Arizona people are weird.

but the plates on top of the strut bearing sound okay, I wonder what that will to to your camber though. Two to three inches is alot of travel.
Eriksport
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Lifting a Super Beetle

Post by Eriksport »

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by rich2481:
<B>Arizona people are weird.

but the plates on top of the strut bearing sound okay, I wonder what that will to to your camber though. Two to three inches is alot of travel.</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You have to realize, *some* neg. camber is good. Besides, if you run 74 and later style super beetle control arms/spindles, there are 2 bolts going front to back horizontally. If you run a crash bolt (or a cam bolt) you can manually adjust the camber, compensating for geometry issues.

Erik
Hot Wheels
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Lifting a Super Beetle

Post by Hot Wheels »

Yes a spacer will work. Look at dodge truck lift kits, they use a big plastic spacer to move the coil down with the rancho lift. I would consider lowering the front a arm pivot some as well to keep things in sync and make drivability best. Havent looked at a super in years but it should be doable.
GDRBO
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Lifting a Super Beetle

Post by GDRBO »

Rich; the spacer just gives you lift NOT 2-3 inches more travel, LIFT only! For more travel you will need to find a strut that fits AND has more travel. The stroke of the strut determines travel.
SuperBaja
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Lifting a Super Beetle

Post by SuperBaja »

Theo,
you arent the only one that has thought about that. wouldn't a 4WD Baja be awesome!?!

------------------
John
'71 (soon to be raised) Super and '68 (used to be Cal Look) Baja
Van Life Beetle
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Re: Lifting a Super Beetle

Post by Van Life Beetle »

I lifted my Super Beetle. I did the standard spline turn on the rear. On the front ground the welds off the spring cups, slid them about 1.5" further up, and re-welded them. I also added "rally springs" This gave me a net of about 2-2.5 inches of lift. I trimmed about an inch from the fenders to add more tire clearance. Other mods and upgrades include a skid plate, strut braces, welded bumper and bumper mounts with added d-rings for towing, race style bucket seats, removed the backseat and put in some custom upholstered wood panels with tie down loops so I can put a bunch of gear in the back. I've had it this way for a couple years and had no problems with the suspension. I'm not racing baja but I have had it off road a few times through some terrain that I wouldn't drive my AWD car through. The ground clearance on the beetle is actually pretty good and it rides and handles better than it did when I bought the car. The intent is for the car to be my "overland" vehicle for an overland / camper van gear company I started www.vanlifegearcompany.com. I kind of think of it as the tiny house version of an overland vehicle. Kind of silly but more fun because of it. I like showing that your car can be whatever you want it to be and you don't have to follow the rules of what everyone else does. That and when I bought it I knew nothing about beetles and didn't know that a super beetle "can't be lifted" so I just rolled with the punches. :lol:
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dustymojave
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Re: Lifting a Super Beetle

Post by dustymojave »

It was never that a Super Beetle "CAN'T" be lifted. The spindle shanks are stout and one CAN do all sorts of things. It's just that the McPherson Strut suspension is not nearly as strong offroad as a VW beam suspension. It's not that it can't work, it just doesn't work as well. So most VW offroaders would rather start with the system that works BETTER. And because the McPherson strut doesn't work as well offroad, nobody does aftermarket offroad stuff for it.

Your Bug looks cool and could be plenty of fun. Obviously it's for mild offroading. but that's cool. There are a LOT of people who build Baja Bugs and Class 11 style Bugs and tube frame buggies who NEVER get their car dusty, let alone use them hard offroad. Yours shows some offroad use. Good for you.
Richard
Lake LA, Mojave Desert, SoCal
Speed Kills! but then...So does OLD AGE!!
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Ol'fogasaurus
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Re: Lifting a Super Beetle

Post by Ol'fogasaurus »

Since I didn't know much about it I looked it up: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MacPherson_strut

For what it is worth.

Lee
H2OSB

Re: Lifting a Super Beetle

Post by H2OSB »

That guy (and girl) dust buggy on YouTube has proven a Super can be used for a baja. He's done some innovative things and drives it hard off road, including jumping. He made his own spindles to gain more lift.

I will say, Marc mentioned back in 2002, the most vulnerable part of the front suspension is the inner pivot point/inner mount for the control arms. I absolutely do not understand VWs thinking when this was designed. It hangs down, ripe to get smacked. I'm not an off road guy at all, but do run my Super lowered and worry it will get damaged. It would ten times more vulnerable off road. A stout skid plate would be vital.

If I were building a Baja, which I would use a Super (because I like Supers), I would redesign the inner mount up higher so the frame head would be the lower point, and I would make it a dual mount so I could utilize an A arm of some kind to eliminate the sway bar.

H2OSB
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supa74
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Re: Lifting a Super Beetle

Post by supa74 »

Dustbuggy helped me with my 74 super but i opted a different route somewhat, in the meantime, i did like the guy above, i cut spring cups n rewelded but think i went 2.5 on mine and rear torisons maxed out, ill be reworking the front with solid bracing between struts down to the frame like dustbuggy did, also used rally lifted springs and different inserts in struts. Also ordered new lower arms n welded thick metal on all sides and redid my front tie rod tubes to much bigger and better metal. Will eventually add skid plate.
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Ol'fogasaurus
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Re: Lifting a Super Beetle

Post by Ol'fogasaurus »

I've never looked at or dinked with a Super Beatle pan or front end before so I did a search and this is some of the info I found:

https://www.bing.com/search?q=super%20b ... cc=0&ghpl=

Depending on what you are going to use it for it is one thing; but if it is for looks only you might be able build a body lift depending on how much lift you want to have. Getting more serious on the bouncing around then you have to go to another level. Again, I don't know much (if anything) about the interesting question(s) you asked.
7-28-2010 007 (2).JPG
This is a homemade bug body lift using 1 1/2" X 3" rectangular tubing. The material thickness is dependent on use mostly.
black buggy pan build 002 copy.jpg
I did the bends by Kerfing the tube with the seam of the tube on the inside of the tube. It would be stronger to have the lift bent to shape using a tubing bender that could handle rectangular tube.

By looking at the URL, it looks like you are also going to have to add some supporting of the front suspension and also the rear suspension. the body does support the pan up to a point and that point can be hard to find also.

Lee
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H2OSB
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Re: Lifting a Super Beetle

Post by H2OSB »

A body lift on a Super would be a bit trickier than a Standard because the front suspension position is integral to the location relative to the body. If you raised the body 2 inches, you would need a 2 inch spacer between the top of the strut and the body to be at STOCK ride height. I can think of several ways to raise the ride height of a Super, but body lift is probably not the best way unless, say, longer struts could be sourced.

H2OSB
I'm not a vegetarian because I love animals, I'm a vegetarian because I hate plants. :wink:
Ol'fogasaurus
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Re: Lifting a Super Beetle

Post by Ol'fogasaurus »

"By looking at the URL, it looks like you are also going to have to add some supporting of the front suspension and also the rear suspension. the body does support the pan up to a point and that point can be hard to find also."

What you are saying H20SB is why the above sentence was added (there are even a couple of my pix somehow got in there too)

If you look at the pix in the URL there are a lot of pix of the front suspension pix (in the pix area dedicated to the front suspension) with two of them especially showing the area of the arms (top [bare/no paint] and underside [nice paint job]) that shows the thinness of the a-arms mounting that does not look great to handle torsional use of the stock suspension.

Could it be strengthened up... maybe but I would suspect that the fuel tank (et al) might be in the way and the area for the A-arm ("hang") travel also might be a problem.

Again, I have never looked at this model of the VW so the pix were what I was going on.

Lee

I forgot to add that I am not too sure just how much the body is supporting the mounting of the front suspension (the rear also) especially if the front of the body has been modified by things like "bobbing" it.

Lee
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dustymojave
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Re: Lifting a Super Beetle

Post by dustymojave »

Please don't take this as Gospel or sensationalism.

But I've heard through my race team (and Ashlynn of DustBuggy raced with Rulo Solano in his 5/1600 Baja Bug earlier this year, taking my son's seat) that Ashlynn and Spencer were in a terrible car crash. Last I heard Ashlynn was seriously injured and in the hospital and that Spencer did not make it. Seem like a cool young couple and I was thinking of connecting with them to do some offroading together with their Baja and mine. I think it happened a couple of months ago now.
Richard
Lake LA, Mojave Desert, SoCal
Speed Kills! but then...So does OLD AGE!!
Tech Inspection: SCCA / SCORE / HDRA / ARVRA / A.R.T.S. OffRoad Race Tech - MDR, MORE, Glen Helen BajaCup
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H2OSB
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Re: Lifting a Super Beetle

Post by H2OSB »

Sadly, this is true. It appears Ashlynn, ultimately, was the only one to survive the wreck. They were hit in their Suburban by a BMW in which the driver lost control, overcorrected and hit them. Ashlynn was severely injured but is recovering.

Sad.
H2OSB
I'm not a vegetarian because I love animals, I'm a vegetarian because I hate plants. :wink:
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