gwseymour
Greetings!

I just purchased a '68 beetle with that has a lowered front end.  I bought the car because the aftermarket axle beam had two ratcheting type "adjusters" that appeared to have plenty of adjustment to bring the car back up to original height.  The closest axle beam I can find that has similar adjusters is the Empi.

The problem is that even with all the adjusting hardware completely removed, the wheels won't drop when the car is raised on a jack. I've removed the shocks and aftermarket sway bar.  Even under the pressure of coil over shocks installed the axle remains in postition when the car is raised.

The toothed adjusters certainly appear by their design that when they are loosened or removed that the axle should swing down.  I have pic if anyone can help.


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olspeed
If it's been on the car for some time there is a chance that it is rusted in place. (or really stiff old grease) Get you a good ball peen hammer and give the tube a few wacks in the area around the adjuster (don't dent the tube though)and see if that helps.
Olspeed 
66 Ghia 76 std Beetle
It's not a car it's a VolksWagon
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gwseymour

Thanks for the reply.  The unit seems fairly new.  Also, If I remove the locking nuts and the notched plate, the bolt that remains (and whatever it's threaded into) seems to have some very stiff springy movement back and forth in the slotted hole in the beam. That would indicate that it's not rusted.  It's as if there is something else holding everything in place.  I guess from your response, the unit is supposed to be adjustable in the way I'm doing it, so I'm at a loss.

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olspeed
The idea behind the adjusters and the front suspension in general is as follows. In each tube there is a set of multileaf torsion bars (6 to 8 per tube if I remember right) In the middle of the beam they are held in place by a steel bushing with a set screw and lock nut assembly. On the trailing arms on each side there is another set screw and lock nut assembly to hold the leafs in place there. On the stock beam that center set screw holds the torsion leafs in place in a steel bushing that was inserted at the factory at the correct ride height as determined by VW. The adjustable front beam (like the one you describe on your car) allows you to loosen the lock nut when the car is up on a jack and move the position of the bushing either up on the beam(raise the front end) or down on the beam.(lower the front end) One thing on these newer adjustable beams that are sold. They DON'T LIKE rough roads. Instead of the steel bushing that holds the leafs in place they use aluminum. On the roads we have up here in AK that type of beam will not hold up to everyday driving, as the set screws will start to pull threads from the aluminum bushing.(my Ghia lasted about one year with this type of front end) For a daily driver (unless you have nothing but smooth paved roads) I would suggest a stock beam that you then cut and re-weld the center section or better yet lowered spindles. From the sound of things the center adjusters are still working but you have something else not letting it move back to stock ride height. You are more than likely going to have to pull the trailing arms from the beam and find out just what is the problem. You will need to pop the ball joints from the spindle, loosen the lock nuts and set screws at the trailing arms and then pull them off. Look to see if someone hasn't pulled a few of the leafs out to get an even lower ride height as this will no doubt have caused wear in the center bushing if it's aluminum.
Olspeed
66 Ghia 76 std Beetle
It's not a car it's a VolksWagon
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gwseymour

Thank you very much. What you described is what I thought I was dealing with, but I wasn't sure (hope that makes sense).  It's not too low, so I think I'l just live with it until I can find (or afford) a stock front end. The rest of the car is very close to original except for some issues with the exhaust, wiring, and engine tins, so I guess I'll focus on that. I don't really get why everyone feels the need to lower these cars.  I've never met a surfer who was smarter than a German engineer (jk).  Thanks again for taking the time to respond.

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wrench971

i have a similar problem with a 64 beetle with same frt suspension...but the r\f is about an inch and a half lower than the l\f....all plates are good ....adjusters seem free....it was on a flatbed truck to transport to canada and was strapped down ....

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