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beetlepowerpt December 8th 2009 19:32

Killer suspension setup for road and track
Hi guys!

I have a 1302 Super which has McP's with 2" lowered springs over stock inserts :D and the rear is stock shocks over IRS... so I really need improvements:lmao:

I feel that the front is rock stiff and NOT confortable:cool: and the rear rolls more than I would like on track.

I have severall questions:

Do you feel that if I swap the front inserts for lowered gas ones and keep the lowered springs I would get rather confortable but still sporty stiffness behaviour?
Or should I change the front Struts for adjustable ones like Kersher coilovers with Koni Reds?
Is the use of a strut top brace a good add-on too?

I'm planning lowering the rear 2" and putting together a Kafer Cup style trapeze bar, with urethane trans bushings HD support and braces.
Would I benefict if I go for a sway bar at the rear too?
What shocks should I go for?Koni Yellows or some type of coilovers?

I'm aiming primarly for trackdays use but would like to have enough confort to ride along on weekends :D without loosing the sporty cornering feel.
I'm looking here for the best moderate Price VS Quality solution!
Please fire at will :)


Humble December 8th 2009 23:18

Assuming you've already replaced all tie rod ends with new, new or rebuilt steering box, new strut bearings, stainless steel braided brake lines and four wheel discs here's what I'd suggest:

For the front I'd start with topline maxx extreme struts, koni adjustable rabbit strut inserts, bump steer kit, and 175-200 pound 10" qa1 springs with 10 lb tender springs. Then add a strut brace and bigger 7/8" front sway bar with caster fix. For the rear grab QA1 single adjustable coil over shocks with 350-400 pound 8" springs, kafer cup brace, 1/2" rear sway bar, transmission strap kit (I prefer the empi one), urethane tranny mounts, and all urethane suspension bushings.

Relocate your battery to the front spare tire well and that will help with weight balance. With a full interior your car will be 1950 lbs. +/- 40lbs. with 58-59% over the back wheels. Once everything is dialed in it should ride like an e46 M3, supple but not soft, firm but not harsh.
HAL-DR4855B qa1 rear coilover x2 $339.90
HAL-10-175 qa1 front springs x2 $75.76
HAL-8-300 qa1 rear springs x2 $75.76
HAL-T114W qa1 spring perch wrenches $16.95
87-0308C Sway Bar, front, 71-73 (lowered) front 7/8" $89.95
87-0314A Sway Bar, rear, all IRS, stock or lowered, each $84.95
87-0910AX MaXX Extreme, 71-73 Super, without shocks $364.95
87-0920 Flip-It Bump steer kit, 71-to-73 $14.95
87-0302 Stress bar, All supers 79.95
SSG0006 complete urethane bushing kit (everything) $119.95
CFM0007 padded transmission strap kit $59.95
DRC0006 Torque bar (kafer cup brace) $299.95
GEN-GC1160 genesis technology 2.5" helper spring guide x2 79.90
HYP-HS250 hyperco 2.5" helper spring x2 59.90

So far it comes out to 1762.77 plus shipping. The only item not in that price is the koni adjustable rabbit struts and I'm still looking for a good source for those. I'm still perfecting it but that's what I've put together so far.

johnnyvee December 8th 2009 23:38

wow what a list, my new cheat list :D

judgie December 9th 2009 05:28

my set up on my 03 race car is rnj motorsport front coil overs with kyb golf inserts and 135lb 10" springs, bump steer kit,19mm anti roll bar, poly bushes and rose joints on the tca to chassis mount[ lets you adjust the camber very quickly] strut brace.
rear has 944 tosion bars and the 944 14mm roll bar with kyb shocks. frame horns are tied into the cage and i use a solid bellhouseing strap with poly bushed mid mount and a stock rubber nose cone mount.
biggest improvment you will get is a proper 4 wheel alignment by somone who knows how to set up a 02/03.
i run about 80mm lower on the front and 75mm on the rear, still has the slight nose high stance, stock toe settings on the front with -2.5* camber and a stock castor. on the rear i have -1.5* camber with 1.5* toe out. this makes the car quite twitchy but does make it turn in very well. you will have to have a play with settings depending on what wheels tyres you are useing, big wide tyres and lots of camber toe are not good bedfellows!
cheers rob

STIDUB December 9th 2009 14:53

vote one, sticky this thread NOW!

Steve C December 9th 2009 18:47


A friend who campaigns a 312 RWHP 1303 sports sedan uses toe in on the rear, he feels it helps him bring it back if the tail gets out.

I think the cheapest and best upgrade that you can do to any IRS VW is to fit 23.5 rear torsion bars from a Type 3 wagon or 944.

I'm not keen on using coil overs on the rear because of the load put on the rear shock mount.


The 312 RWHP 1303, he did quicker times than the new Skyline on slicks

Humble December 10th 2009 00:48

I only approve of rear coil overs if a cup brace is also used, and I highly recommend coil overs for any car that sees more than 6 track days a year or several different tracks.

I'm with Steve on the rear toe in. All 4 serious autox/hillclimb bugs I've come across all ran 1-1.5* toe in on the rear and 0-1.5* toe out in front. Toe in on the rear wheels helps keep the rear in check coming out of corners, and I believe it keeps the rear a little more controllable when trail braking as well.

beetlepowerpt December 10th 2009 16:09

Hello guys thanks for the lessons :)

I forgot some data.
I'm not up in chaging the rear torsion bars because I have the fenders welded to the body...unless I reck the paintjob :(
All front bushings are already poly, tie rod ends are new, stock steering box, stock steering damper, front 6pot Tarox calipers with vented discs and steel braided lines.
I'm sorting out some homemade rear solid disc kit with Golf Mk4 calipers but still on the paper :)

HUMBLE what a wish list maybe I'll ask Santa for some of these :) lol
The problem is how to get most of it here in Europe, I do know some of the sites you advised but taxes and transportation takes it to prohibitive costs.
But I'll try to manage some of the items here over CSP, SSP, Kersher and others...each thing step by step or my wife will kill me :) :) :)

Judgie Steve and Humble if think you might touched the right spot over there....although we can upgrade at various levels I understand that a good setup of suspension/steering settings is the key on how the car behaves and handle.
The problem here in Portugal is that almost every shop I go they only hook up the car to the machine call for stock settings and just adjust the camber and toe.
"Caster what's that dude?!?!" and "The rear end of beetles doesn't allow for any settings dude!!" is the most heard sentences from this guys!
Maybe I'll look for an old guy with enough pacience to do it old style and go for a complete afternoon with it :)

Judgie for the tyre matter...aherr I'm not close..I'm running 17" with 215/45 and 235/45 at the rear :)

Weel I'm learning a lot with you guys...just keep giving your idead and experiences.

Humble December 10th 2009 18:43

Portugal, my kind of weather out there :) My list is okay in north america but you can make some better substitutions since you're in europe. MBT, CSP, spax, kersher, and LA performance are a few worth looking up.

Since you can't take the torsion bars out a coilover setup will be the only way to stiffen up the rear but you would need to use a much lighter spring.

For the alignment you do want to use the computer/laser alignment rack but try to find one that caters to race/track cars. I guarantee they will know how to use it but it might cost a bit more.

Just tell the wife its the car or another woman and I think she'll make the right choice. ;)

Steve C December 10th 2009 19:25


The shop I use for my alignments still have all the old brass alignment gear, they very proud of it and know how to use it, they spent 1.5 hours on my daily 1303 a few months ago just on the front end.

If you keen you can make you own gear to check alignments.


STIDUB December 10th 2009 22:39

just a quick query from a beam bug friend, can you get adjustable front sway bars for supers?

i dont see how, looking at the way a rear one is adjustable, the only thing they could possibly change is caster from looking at it...

evilC December 11th 2009 09:10

I think Judgies setting are a good starting point. 175-200lb/in front srings are way too heavy and 100-130lb would be my preference depending on the state of the track. Inserts IMO ought to be Bilstein. Camber 1 1/2- 2 1/2 deg neg with as much caster as can be dialled in (5-9deg would be very good) At the rear I would go for 23.5 torsion bars with some 100lb/inch coilovers with 25lb/in helpers and bilsteins again. The coil overs on the rear with Bilsteins again would be desirable to adjust to suit different tracks all with a 14+mm AR bar.
As regards the adjustability of the front AR bar, it would be very difficult to adjust it with the current layout. I intend adding a compression strut on mine to adjust caster and anti-dive that will then allow the AR bar to be detached from caster duty and allow adjustability on the standard bar with moveable clamps. (I don't like holes for adjustment) A blade type adjuster would be better if I could find one.
To get the best out of the suspension you need control. A 5 bar Kafer cup brace on the rear is useful as is a strut brace with triangulation down onto the front of the frame head.
Leave the battery where it is as it is at the CofG and therefore does not affect the Polar Moment of Inertia. Putting it in front places a moderate advantage in static load but is of negligable advantage in the dynamic load situation but importantly adds a significant increase to the PM of I because the 20lbs or so of battery is placed as far away as you could get thus giving a huge moment (its almost equivalent to 1/2 the engine weight).


jmd December 11th 2009 16:15

69' chassis setup
So what are the thoughts on the following for a 69' Beam Based IRS Chassis setup? Bilstein Front and Rear (B46-0620-H0 / B46-0034-H0 ), 23.5 MM 944 Rear Torsion, 944T Rear Arms, Full 5pt Custom KaferBrace, 22mm Over the Top Front Adjustable Swaybar, 19mm adjustable rear Swaybar (polyeuro bushings throughout the entire chassis) Full Rollcage with 4 pot brembos front and rear with balance bar... What am I missing, what do I need to know?

Also how about not using "adjustable" same size swaybars? Are adjustables really all they are cracked up to be?

spannermanager February 6th 2010 16:50

jmd, at risk of going a bit off topic, if this is for a nova kit car as your avatar suggests, you may need to book a dental appointment! i built one for a customer 'to a budget' shall we say, so it never got the final detail sorting it may have got with a cooperative owner, the tight wad! but anyways, it was a HARD ride. with stock 22mm rear bars and shocks, and stock beam front with the o/e arb on it, it handled o.k in pre delivery road testing, but it was SO hard a ride. what will a nova weigh? 580/600 kg. ish? your call really, i know IRS doesnt like to be too stiff, for reasons anyone who's raced one will know about, but be prepared to soften it off, at least at the rear, the arb's you quote are huge for a low kit car, it wont have a roll problem, again, suck it and see, we dont know your intended usage. adjustable arb's?, not for me, they're either on as tested, or i disconnect it if neccasary, or i change it to a smaller one for differing track conditions, time permitting. if this is not a nova, disregard all i've said and have fun anyway....

judgie February 7th 2010 10:59

i run the rear toe out on my car as most of the stuff i do is low speed, under 80mph and it helps with the turn in. i like a unstable car that i can unstick the rear at will, makes it a bit hairy at high speeds keeping it in a stright line but we dont have many long strights anyway.
will have to relearn everthing this year as i have a lsd going in so going to have to learn how it works with that now as well as changing to 17" wheels with a narrower tyre.

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