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Author Topic: Narrowing the BUS Rear Torsion Housing - How to  (Read 9419 times)
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Koolaid
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« on: June 08, 2008, 12:07:50 PM »

I keep getting asked about this so, here it is.

The point of narrowing your Torsion Bar housing on a Split Window Bus is to be able to install a Bug transmission with-out changing out the axles or modifying the axle tubes. AND so that you can run the short Bug axles!

Before I started taking pictures, I removed the Stock transmission and all of the components in the torsion housing. Here's what your left with.








« Last Edit: January 15, 2012, 04:55:13 PM by Koolaid » Report to moderator   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2008, 12:11:20 PM »

Start by marking a straight line on the bottom of your housing. This is a reference point for when you go to weld it back up.





My line is a little sloppy.
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« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2008, 12:14:27 PM »

Next, your gonna cut off the housing. I used some tape as a guideline for my cut. Make your cut about 1.5"-2" from the frame rail. I use a reciprocating saw.









« Last Edit: July 18, 2008, 09:57:11 PM by KOOLAID » Report to moderator   Logged

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« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2008, 12:17:57 PM »

Here's the piece. It needs some work before its ready to go back in.



When VW welded these up originally, they used an insert to keep it straight. We need to expose the insert.



I use a bench-mounted wire wheel to clean off the dirt and rust. Here's what it looks like. Each one of these large spot welds needs to be drilled out. I counted 6 total, but I've seen more on other buses.



This is real easy to do in a drill press with an adjustable vise. I use a 3/4" drill bit because thats what I have lying around. It's a little big, but it affords me some room for error.







Here's what your's should look like. All of the welds drilled out completely.


« Last Edit: July 18, 2008, 09:58:12 PM by KOOLAID » Report to moderator   Logged

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« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2008, 12:36:26 PM »

Next step is to cut a groove all the way around the housing to remove the excess material. Again, I use tape as a guide for my cut.  1.25"  is how much we're cutting off. The norm is 1.5", but I like to have more meat on the torsion bars and .25" doesn't hurt anything. If you have access to a Large Lathe, I'd use that to make this cut.







DO NOT cut all the way through. The cut needs to penetrate the first tube only, not the insert.



You know you've done the job right when you can remove the remaining outter tube section.








« Last Edit: August 12, 2009, 02:39:07 PM by KOOLAID » Report to moderator   Logged

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« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2008, 12:41:01 PM »

Now your ready to put the housing back in and weld it up. Make sure to remove any paint or rust where you are welding. Be smart about your welding, you can't afford to do a sloppy job here.



Line up your reference line. Hopefully its still there.



Now hammer that sucker in there. Its a pressed fit.





Now weld it up!



« Last Edit: August 21, 2009, 09:55:50 AM by KOOLAID » Report to moderator   Logged

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« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2008, 12:46:01 PM »

Lastly, you need to trim you torsion bars. I use a band saw. It makes a clean cut, but it ruins the blade. I'll have to buy a new blade at the end of cutting the 2 torsion bars, if it lasts that long. Cut about 5/8" off each end. I ALWAYS cut the inside splines first, and then put the torsion bar back into the housing with the bushing and spring plate to measure for the outter spline cut. You want to remove as little material as possible.



Final assembly. Make sure to grease up your bushings. I like to throw some paint on my exposed weld to keep the rust off.



I've added some more pictures below to show the cut torsion bar installed.


* CIMG2774.JPG (118.17 KB, 640x480 - viewed 2271 times.)

* CIMG2775.JPG (139.85 KB, 640x480 - viewed 2270 times.)
« Last Edit: December 22, 2008, 11:11:30 AM by KOOLAID » Report to moderator   Logged

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« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2008, 05:09:39 PM »

Seems so intense, but you make it look so easy.
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« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2008, 10:11:16 PM »

Seems so intense, but you make it look so easy.

like butter! ...hmmmm butter. I need a spoon.
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« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2008, 10:32:54 PM »

Thanks!  I was wondering about that.
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« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2008, 03:36:49 PM »

Great info now I need a Bus!
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« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2012, 09:51:04 AM »

Koolaid,

Cant beleive i found this guide great job its exactly what i need, am i to be concerned about removing material from either end of my torsion bars?

i have recentley removed my bug a arms from my bug to replace them with the alloy 944 ones

im keen to utilise my old bug arms as i have all the porsche rear disc etc to fit onto my newly aquired bus all the way from beverley hills to the uk

And to see it step by step is great and better than adding spacers to cv joints or spacers to the springplate from the a arm

also im sure its going to give better clearance for wheeks at the back?, do you have any other pictures you could add regarding the rest of the modification required to enable the fitting of the bug bits

Any way thanks
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« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2012, 03:22:50 PM »

I assume you're talking about IRS arms.

A Bug torsion housing is 3" narrower than a  bus housing.

I would narrow the rear of your bus 1.5" per side instead of 1.25" per side like shown above.

I would like to note that when you narrow 1.5" per side, the surface of the torsion housing and the sheet metal in the wheel tub should line up almost exactly. You should be able to put a ruler across an touch at all 3 points, they should be linear.



I don't have any photos of the inner mounts, but I like the clamp on style, instead of weld on. This allows for greater alignment adjustments.

Like these from Wagenswest.
http://www.wagenswest.com/partstore/index.php/root-category/bolt-in-type-one-irs-kit-for-your-pre-67-bus.html

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« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2012, 03:31:30 PM »

... am i to be concerned about removing material from either end of my torsion bars?

I have never worried about it, done this modification many times. But as with anything, you assume any and all risks.

Its tricky when trimming the extra material off of the ends of the torsion bars. Please use a band saw and not a grinder. Use a band saw and go slow.  This will make a cleaner cut and will not create extra heat during the cutting process.

When measuring the torsion bars for trimming, measure 20 times, and cut 4 times. The middle of the torsion housing that locks the torsion bars, allows the torsion bar to float from side-to-side. There is no stopper. So I suggest you cut 1/2" off of the insides of the torsion bars, and then install them both to get your final measurements, making sure they are centered in the middle. You may have to cut more off of the insides. I would rather make several smaller cut, then to make one large cut and over do it.
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