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beetle1303 October 21st 2011 08:12

Help Needed!!!long post unfortunately
Hi to all, i know its been a while since my last post...
So, here is my problem
1973 1303 super 3 bolt front suspension
when i first got my beetle 9 years ago, my mechanic at the time put kyb shocks and eibach springs and the front dropped 3-4cm. all worked like a charm, it was a bit hard going over bumps but sounded solid and it was. i was able to go no hand on the wheel accelerating, braking to any speed.
2 years ago i ended up with a broken right shock and changed to a pair of cofap cheap ones (stock) due to budget restraints.
a few months after drove over a ^&%^*% huge pot hole that i couldn't see but the last minute and broke the right front shock again.
Since then I drove the beetle for 200 kms roughly while building a new engine (teh one i had was dying fast).
In order to go back to my original setup I bought again a pair of kyb shocks and eibach springs (same as in the beggining/same part nos) and installed them.
while driving just around the block while going to have the wheels aligned and everything checked i had to drive over some road irregularities at low speed (about 10-15km/h) and the front right corner made the same irritating and fatiguing sound... the sound of a shot shock absorber bottoming hard and it does bottom out. the same sound is produced with or without a passenger only on the right side.Left side sounds solid with me driving (90kg)
the alignment shop tested and checked geometry and everything is ok.
got back to the shop and checked again the balljoint and they are ok same as the top mounts. also control arm bushings and sway bar bushings are ok.

Am I soooooooo unfortunate that one shock was defective and by coincidence put it on the right side or can it bee something else???
How can the unladen side bottom out while the loaded will not? my guess is a defective I right??
here are the part nos
kyb shocks 363012 (Excel-G)
eibach springs sorry need to check on car/they are the same as before

PS: i worked the shocks before installing them and their resistance felt the same

again sorry for the long post


Jadewombat October 21st 2011 10:58

Bump stops?? Go with heavy duty ones.

evilC October 21st 2011 11:09

Were the original KYBs short stroke units? Have you got the full size bump stops on? You shouldn't bottom out at all with bump stops in place. Some people unwisely shorten or remove them alogether to get more travel when lowered and that is wrong.

The other thing to check is the spring platforms for corrosion and the strut itself in case its bent. With a bent strut and the 1303 ones are weak then the damper will not have a concentric stroke and the seals will knock out quickly. The first time you damaged the strut could have damaged the casing.

What you really need is a Kubelwagen for Greek roads!

beetle1303 October 21st 2011 11:31

thanx for the quick replies guys..
EvilC i was actually looking forward for your reply...

about the bump not running them cos i cant acquire any atm.prob next week since shipping from outside eu is no go due to import tax...:(
I must admit that i was a bit impatient to drive the beetle with the new engine...
Assuming its a bump stop issue why then the left side with me driving will not bottom out? and the right will, laden or unladen??

Could a probably bent casing cause that much damage while driving literally around the block?
Or could this be caused by the adjustable shock tower brace?

When i fitted the new shocks in their casings fit was ok, they went in the same amount and i used the centering washers that came with the shocks.
and putting everything on the top part of the assembly in the same order
no rust present
ps: i cant recall about the first kybs but since i got them with the same part no i assume that they are the same as the previous ones...
thnx again:)

beetle1303 October 21st 2011 11:34

a kubel...a friend of mine has one and its great fun
actually i start preferring my bicycle even for the winter...u save a great amount of time and workout as well...:p:p

evilC October 26th 2011 07:59

Hi, i would like to see the actual installation but my first reaction is that without the bumpstops you are bottoming out the dampers and damaging the internals. The 1303 does have soft TBs and their movement needs to be catered for. Are you sure that the Left damper is not solid when you drive it?

You should be able to get some universal bumpstops that fit over the top of the damper rod that would then put the bump stop exactly where its needed. Those polyurethane bumpstops are available from various EU suppliers of motorsport bits. For example,


beetle1303 October 26th 2011 10:06

Clive, thnx for the link
sorry for being absent for a few days...I had a small cycling accident that resulted in a very sore knee...and couldn't walk for 2 days:angry:

Tomorrow i hope i will be good to go to the shop and measure the damper and spring length under normal load (half tank,spare wheel, etc) and under extra load, maybe a friend around 80kg sitting on the bonnet edge for each side to check for differences simulating turning and on the spare wheel to simulate braking

As for the left damper being solid, no. Both sides feel the same when u press the car down.

Im thinking of buying a full set bushes for the front to get rid of possible irregularities...


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