vwrod

Would most wheel alignment shops be OK to do an alignment on my 68 beetle or would it be best to find a shop that has a lot of experience with VW?

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bumblebee73

is the car stock? if so any good shop can do it. i work for merchants tire in va. i suspension and alignment work for them and have done beetles, super beetles, busses and dunebuggys.

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vwrod

Yes it is stock. I wasn't sure if there is anything unique to the Beetle that would require special tools, etc. Thanks.

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68autobug

I would say, its better to take it to someone who knows how to set the beetle wheel alignment, including camber castor etc..

 

the Wheel alignment machines these days are very good...

so it depends really on the person doing the adjustment...

 

I had a wheel alignment done years ago on My beetle, and they based the wheel alignment on My steering wheel, which wasn't in the correct position as i had taken it off many times... trying to get the toe in correct...

so, the whole exercise was a waste of time...  and money...

 

but I've been told the machines are excellent today...

 

still depends on the human factor....

of who does the alignment correct..

 

cheers

 

Lee -- 68AutoBug -- Australia --

 

http://community.webshots.com/user/vw68autobug

 

Lee Noonan
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bumblebee73

no, no special tools needed. just someone that knows what there doing and with commen sence. the older balljoint beetles , the balljoint turns to adjust camber and caster. very easy , pending the ball joint turns ok. super beetles has an essentric at the inner part of the control arm, loosen the nut and turn the bolt one way for -camber and the other way for +camber.

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68autobug

 

Yes the balljoints have the camber adjuster on My 68 Beetle.

everything has been replaced so I presume i really need one

as the camber caster plus wheel toe in could be out...

 

but I would rather have someone who knows VWs do it...

so someone who has been doing wheel alignments for a number of years.. and has experience...

 

I've been told the machine will say what the wheel alignment is...

its just up to the person doing the adjustments to get it correct..

 

Lee -- 68AutoBug  --  Australia --

 

http://community.webshots.com/user/vw68autobug

 

Lee Noonan
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bumblebee73

you are correct.

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68autobug

 

Hi again,

I also know many VW owners do their own wheel alignments etc...

but I've tried using a spirit level and measuring the toe in etc..

and I'll keep trying...

if I don't succeed, then a wheel alignment it will be....

 

You can buy new camber/caster adjusters with the hole closer to the edge,

so You can get More adjustment...

and more Negative Camber - probably used for racing...

these new adjusters are very expensive in Australia ..

 

cheers

 

Lee Noonan - 68AutoBug - Australia -

 

http://community.webshots.com/user/vw68autobug

 

Lee Noonan
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68autobug

My first wheel alignment - done on a beetle in 1969..

in a small country town..

and they had a long square steel tubing with a fixed pointer on one end, and a moveable pointer on the other, that slide either way on the tube.. and was done up with a wing nut..

so the tire was marked with a bright yellow type of crayon...

Firstly at the front of the tires...

then the car was pushed so the mark on the tires was at the rear...

and measured again...

 

This was the wheel alignment [or tire toe in check].... in 1969..

 

I heard recently that a local has one of these early wheel alignment tools.... and bought back the above memories...

 

Lee - 68autobug - Australia -

 

http://community.webshots.com/user/vw68autobug

 

Lee Noonan
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68AutoBug - helping keep air cooled Volkswagens alive in Australia & around the World -

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MY72BUG
This past spring I installed neoprene bushing kits on MY72BUG.  The car had had extensive structural work during the renovations and although everything seemed roughly in good alignment I thought that I would spring for a proper alignment job.  I started by asking guys at our local antique car club who they would rely upon for this work.  There was general agreement that one shop in another local town stood out as the best bet.  I booked an appointment and they went to town on it.  The equipment is computerized with a data base which stores all of the parameters for cars going way back.  The tech essentially said that the equipment tells him what to do.  I made sure that all of the suspension components were in good shape going into the job.  They did their work, the owner came along to double check everything and all was well.  They welcomed me into the work area and explained every step as it went along.  As it turns out, the alignment was needed and it was obvious with the first highway trip on the way home.  The old wandering skating effect was gone.  The steering wheel no longer pointed horizontally but this was cured by repositioning the steering wheel, a simple procedure.  Moral of the story - a good modern shop can handle the job.  Ask around about a place with a good reputation and be sure that the suspension components are within wear parameters before you undertake the work.   Dan (MY72BUG) in Goderich

I'd rather have a partial bottle in front of me than a partial frontal lobotomy.
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68autobug

Hi Dan,

Yes, it sounds like You did the correct thing...

everything on My bug has been replaced since 1996 when I bought it.. it was road registered with no problems...

A VW trained Mechanic's Wife owned it, so naturally everything was in good order...

but I wanted to overhaul and replace everything, and thats what I did...

I now know that the ball joints only needed new boots...

and the tie rod ends too...

but I replaced everything, so it does drive like a new one..

I think the toe in is Ok etc...

 

but I'm now thinking I have the front lowered too low...

or...

I should install bump stops on the shocks..

I bought new ones but have never put them on...

so the front suspension can probably go up too far and thats when the tires are rubbing on the front fenders...

it only happens when turning and hitting a rough piece of road at the same time...

the front never goes up and hits the shocks , well its a long way up...  but I think I'll add the bump stops and see what happens...

I suppose two inches of movement on the shocks will be OK...  and the rubber bumpers may stop My tire rubbing problem...

 

cheers

 

Lee - 68AutoBug -- Australia --

 

http://community.webshots.com/user/vw68autobug

 

Lee Noonan
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68AutoBug - helping keep air cooled Volkswagens alive in Australia & around the World -

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MY72BUG
Hi Lee.  I checked out the pictures of your machine and that is a right fine ride.  The lowered look is a totally cool appearance but up here in the Great White North you would be putting your vehicle if not your life on the line hitting the county roads with anything that close to tierra firma.  Frost heaves, raised sewer lids and parking lot ramps would reach out and touch you sooner or later unless a big hairy raccoon met on the road at night first.  Two inches of clearance borders on the suicidal for a suspension up here.  If you can manage it, you're a far braver soul than me.  How about an air-shock system - the best of both worlds?  Has anyone ever seen this in a bug?  One guy here in town has a Toyota pick-up that he can literally lay on the ground but when it's time to move the creature he can lift her up to avoid the worst that Huron county has to offer.  One more thing, someone seems to have installed your steering wheel on the wrong side of the car ! ;-)   Dan ( snow started already) in Goderich
I'd rather have a partial bottle in front of me than a partial frontal lobotomy.
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68autobug

Hi Dan,

Snow sounds nice....  than our 95+F at the moment...

but its going to drop to around 46F tonight...

so Our main problem is the Big differences in Temperature..

once We get used to the heat... its OK... !!

then it stays hot day and night... reverse of your weather..

thanks for the comments about My beetle..

 

I did see a type 3 notchback at a VW show with air bag suspension, and it was sitting on the ground...

a lot of work to do that as all the original suspension was taken out...

I am very careful where I go in My beetle Dan, so I am on the lookout for anything that could hit it... front on...

but I have seen many Beetles , road registered, at VW shows over here with the front very close to the ground...

some have the rear close to the ground too...

Most of them couldn't go into a parking lot, for fear of speed bumps and driveways etc... 

actually, they couldn't turn the steering wheel much at all..

as the tire would touch the headlamp bucket or edge of the fender....

 

Maybe Dan, if its left the same as it came from the factory.. there wouldn't be any problems....

 

cheers

 

Lee - 68AutoBug - Australia -

 

http://community.webshots.com/user/vw68autobug

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lee Noonan
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68AutoBug - helping keep air cooled Volkswagens alive in Australia & around the World -

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MY72BUG
OK Lee; just one more thing and I'll stop buggin' ya.  I did see a Kiwi ' 56 bug at a Volks show up here with the steering on the right.  This freaked me out such that I forgot to check out some other critical stuff.  Your shifter is of course to your left and you get to stir the gears a la gauche !  Some tricky stuff that BUT - how does your pedal cluster work?  I never thought of looking at the New Zealand Beetle to see how this is done.  Do you still have the gas next to the tunnel and then the brake and then the clutch or what's the score?  I could learn to shift left but  a total mirror image changeover would see this old Canuck totally befuddled.  I had to hand it to one Aussie restorer.  On his web site he showed the conversion of an American left hand drive to right hand.  The final results were flawless - complicated route to take but it was a means to an end.  The implication was that it would have been illegal to keep it left hand drive.  True ( ? )  Right hand drive is occasionally seen here on old Pommy cars - it does tend to scare the daylights out of you to see a car coming at you with nobody in the driver's seat !   Dan
I'd rather have a partial bottle in front of me than a partial frontal lobotomy.
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68autobug

Hi Dan,

LH drive cars have to be over 30 years old otherwise thay have to be changed over to RHD.

A RHD beetle owner in Alaska said he had a lot of trouble going thru the gears with his Left hand...

but its second nature to Us now...

I'll show you a pic of a RHD Beetle pedal assembly...

I shipped one to the US last month for a fellow who wanted to change over to RHD...

The pedal assy is much stronger than the LHD one...

as the shaft goes from the LH side of the tunnel, same throttle cable still used.. thru to over near the RH side heater channel... the accelerator is positioned there..

so we still use the Right foot to accelerate... etc..

When looking at LH drive pedal assemblies in VW manuals

it seems to me that the RH drive ones were made first as they are so well made... but that is incorrect of course..

the late pedals were made from welded steel where the early ones were made from cast metal...

Years ago any LHD vehicle had to have Large signs on the front and rear to tell everyone they were LHD...

but they aren't required any more...

so now & then I also see a driverless car... .. 

 

cheers

 

Lee - 68autobug - Australia -

 

http://community.webshots.com/user/vw68autobug

 

 

Lee Noonan
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68AutoBug - helping keep air cooled Volkswagens alive in Australia & around the World -

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