Monday, May 27, 2013

Ellie and I installed the narrowed beam in Ed.

I set off to install the new narrowed adjustable beam in Ed today and almost got it all finished. I spent most of the morning installing the torsion springs and then looking for the lower bolt and adjuster. I was going nuts because I knew the adjuster had come apart when I bought the beam and I couldn't find it. I was given a new adjuster so I could just throw on the parts I needed. The only problem was that the new adjuster had a smaller bolt and the teeth on the adjuster didn't match up with the plate that was welded onto the beam. That meant that I HAD to find the parts that were originally on the beam. I searched my garage, the bug, my truck and everywhere else I thought it might be. I finally found the parts mixed in with the torsion springs that I had put in bags because they were greasy. AARRGG. I get so frustrated when I can't find stuff in my garage. It makes me want to get more organized. OK, back to the beam. Here are the 2 beams I am working with. The one on the right is the new beam and the one on the left is the beam I am replacing. The new one is narrowed 2 inches and it has adjusters installed in it so I can lower the bug more.

 The new beam has Avis adjusters installed in it. I have never used these adjusters so I will let you know what I think of them at a later day. I have always used sway a way adjusters in the past and have been pretty happy with them. The Avis adjusters are definitely easier to install then the sway a way but they both will require welding. Here are the Avis adjusters.
 I had to remove the steering box and swap it over to the new beam. It is fairly self explanatory.
 The torsion springs are installed. I like to grease each spring individually and then install them one by one. I fought the lower ones a little bit but I managed to get them installed without much aggravation.
Ellie woke up from her nap and came out to help me install the beam in the car. She ran the jack for awhile and helped me read the manual. You can see her excitement here.
 I was reading the manual getting some torques and Ellie decided she needed her own manual. She ran to her room and brought out her "manual". It had princesses but it worked for her.
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It's hard to see much difference in the 2 beams from this picture but there is.
 I had a heck of a time installing it. Ed was hit in the front at some time and that didn't help. The shock tower is pretty much riding on the side of the body of the bug here. When the front end was hit it bowed out the sides of the body and it made it harder to fit the beam. I am glad I didn't get a beam that was narrowed more then 2 inches. I had to customize the sides to get the beam to fit. A little massaging and it fit in.
 Here the beam is installed and now I am starting to put on the torsion arms. This picture doesn't do it justice but the beam is right next to the body. Hopefully the 2 inches will allow me to lower the bug and not have any issues with the tires rubbing.
 Getting there. This is where I ended the day. The tie rods are installed and the steering box is adjusted. I need to adjust the tie rods. I can get the alignment pretty close with my string method but I will get it aligned professionally to get everything dialed in. I also need to install the shocks, and wheels, then put it on the ground and fine tune the adjusters. I am expecting it to be pretty low. Lower then it ever has been. Hopefully I won't have to lower the back end to even it out. Ha Ha.
Everything is mocked up under the gas tank ready to get adjusted. Hopefully this week Ed will be back on the ground. I already miss driving it.
I am starting to get backed up again in the shop. I have Dixie's van struts, a Subaru in my driveway that needs wheel bearings and an inner tie rod replaced, a Honda CRX that needs a complete front end rebuilt and a weed whacker that needs it's carb rebuilt. Whew, never much down time to get organized. Check back to see if anything gets done.

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