Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Back To Work

Back to work on my 1974 VW Thing.

Several years ago I lifted the car to run larger tires and wheels.   The car really looked nice with the white spoke wheels and mud grip tires.  Problem is that it rode like crap.  The CV joints were clicking and howling.  Every time I hit a bump it was like a solid hit to the body.  I was going to tear the poor car apart.

To raise the car I used a technique in the rear called indexing the torque rod. The Torque Rod is actually a spring that supports the rear of the car.  It has splines on each end.  By adjusting the torque rod arm up or down on the splines you can raise or lower the rear of the car.  The diagram shows an older model style but the principle is the same.



 I turned the springs down two splines.  This raised the car about 3 inches in the rear.  Now I have chosen to reverse the procedure.

SAFETY NOTICE


Please be aware this job is dangerous.  The Torque Rods are under tension and if suddenly released they could cause great injury or death.  Do not attempt this job if you are in any doubt as how to do it safely.  I am only showing you how I did the work.  Working on automobiles is dangerous please be careful.


All work was performed on a level concrete slab for extra safety.
Front wheels were chocked.
First I jacked up the car to place it on jack stands.
A jack stand on each side supports the rear of the car.

Tire and wheel removed.
Bolts removed from torque rod arm.

I made a tool to compress and contain the spring tension.
With the tool applied it let me twist the torque rod by pressing against the torque rod arm.
The torque rod arm is resting on a stop.  To release the tension a chisel is driven in behind the arm to push it out and off the stop.  
The arrow is pointing at the arm stop.
It is important to measure the angle of the arm before taking the rod out or attempting to make any adjustments.  If the arm slips or moves unexpectedly and you need to start over you will need to know the original angle where you started.

Using an APP on my cell phone I measured the angle of the arm before and after adjusting.

Once the arm is pushed off the stop then the bolts can be removed from the cover.  The torque arm is carefully slid out of the spline socket and turned in the correct direction.  In my case I turned the arm up (clockwise) two splines to return the car to normal ride height.
I used the tool on the arm again to pull it back above the stop and then replaced and tightened all of the bolts.  On some cars you may have to remove the axles and the trailing arms to make this adjustment.
Thanks for reading this, if you have any questions or comments please post them below.