Lowering IRS Rear Help

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Lowering IRS Rear Help

Post by 57RTOval on Mon Nov 02, 2009 7:50 pm

Sunday was the day I decided to tackle lowering the rear of my 66 Beetle that's been converted to IRS. I had the CV joint disconnected and the spring plate disconnected from the axle assy. The car was up on jack stands and I pushed the axle assy down so the drum was on the floor. No matter what, I still can't use the spring plate tool to safely lower the spring plates because the axle assy is in the way of the nut/arms on the lower end of the spring plate tool. It looks like I need the car 3 or 4 feet in the air to get the axle far enough out of the way. Am I missing something?

Yeah, I should have taken a photo of the problem but I was too disgusted with the whole thing by then...
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Re: Lowering IRS Rear Help

Post by tarvw on Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:12 pm

If you have the double plate rear then just try to get the plates in front of the trailing arm.Then take a short piece of chain and loop it around the plate and hook both ends up to the shock mount section and put a bolt through the chain and that to hold it.Leave some slack in it and then take a hammer and hit the plate from the backside to pop it off the mount edge.I hope this makes since to you.Sometimes you may have to pry the plate while you hit it.The chain is just a safety to catch anything. 8)Hope this helps.
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Re: Lowering IRS Rear Help

Post by Cambur on Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:40 pm

i usually jack them up as high as i can get them on jack stands, i'll be home around 4pm tomarrow, if you would like, i can ride up and see whats going on...just give me a call
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Re: Lowering IRS Rear Help

Post by 57RTOval on Wed Nov 04, 2009 6:34 pm

Talking to a friend at work today, I came up with another idea. I'm going to buy another nut to use on the tool so those pesky arms won't be a problem. Hopefully, I can find one tomorrow on the way home and tinker on it again Friday. Would have done it today, but spent an extra HOUR in traffic on 575 coming home. That's two days in a row!
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Re: Lowering IRS Rear Help

Post by Bugman114 on Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:39 pm

do you have a pic of this spring plate tool? i have never used a tool for this. all i do is get the car on jackstands, unbolt the spring plate from the diagonal arms, remove the torsion bar end cap, then use a floor jack and lift up on the end of the springplate just enough to get it off the stop, then use a pry bar, to pull the spring plate out just a little, so when i let the jack down, the plate will go down past the stop. once its down, all the tension is released, and you are free to reset the splines as you please.

i've never heard of a tool to lower springplates. any pics or links to such a tool? to me it kinda sounds dangerous. cause there is a lot of tension in those torsion bars. usually when i'm trying to get the plates off a frame on the ground (just a frame with no body), you can't jack them up, like i said above, because the frame is too light, and if you lift up on the spring plate the whole chassis moves up, so i usually remove the plate, and use a pry bar, and let them spring down. the springplates aill actually dig themselves in the ground. that is a very dangerous thing to do, if still on a car, cause if any body part is in the way, it will most likely get broken badly, or even cut off, depending on what it is (fingers, toes, etc.). i only do that if i have a frame on the ground or something. once, i did that, and couldn't get the spring plate to come out of the ground. turns out, there was a root underground, and the springplate basically sliced right thru it, and got caught when i tried to lift it out. Shocked . now thats a lot of force Shocked Shocked
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Re: Lowering IRS Rear Help

Post by Cambur on Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:53 pm

yeah, Pete, the tool may just be getting in the way...like previously posted just jack up the spring plate itself enough to get the pressure off of the lip, use a crowbar (going in behind the spring plate) to pull the spring plate passed the edge of the lip, and let the spring plate down slowly with the jack, once the pressure is off you can wiggle it loose and adjust., i've done it several times, never used the tool, still have all my fingers aswell! Good Luck
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Re: Lowering IRS Rear Help

Post by fluxcap on Thu Nov 05, 2009 6:27 am

Not sure if you have seen these, but there is a series of 4 videos on youtube of a guy lowering a t3 rear. It's IRS so it would be exactly the same as you are doing. May have some good tips in there.

Here is the first video, you can get the other 3 from here also
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMxBolHOJR4

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Re: Lowering IRS Rear Help

Post by Bugman114 on Thu Nov 05, 2009 12:29 pm

OH, and make sure you move the same ammount of splines on the SAME side. what i mean is, the splines on the center of the torsion bar, and the outer ones, on the spring plate are different. SO, if you move one spline on the drivers side springplate side, and one spline on the passenger side inner splines, the car will be slightly lopsided. if you move a spline, make sure you do the same adjustment on the inner ONLY, or the outer ONLY. make sense? i think the guy explains it on the video link above. good luck.
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Re: Lowering IRS Rear Help

Post by 57RTOval on Thu Nov 05, 2009 12:54 pm

Thanks for all the input guys. I am familiar with the splines being a different count on the inner and outer ends. I re-indexed my 57 from scratch because the PO really messed it up. It leaned quite a bit. One side didn't even have enough preload to touch the spring plate stop.

Anyhow, when I mess with it tomorrow or Saturday, I'll get a pic of the tool in action (or inaction). And thanks for the link to the video!!!
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Re: Lowering IRS Rear Help

Post by 57RTOval on Fri Nov 06, 2009 4:18 pm

Good news, the 66 now sits level. Using a plain nut to drive the spring plate tool did the trick and it all came apart pretty well. I took a WAG and changed the unloaded angle of the spring plate from 16.5 degrees to 10.5 degrees. It now sits almost perfectly level in the back with the driver's side being 1/8 inch higher. That will probably even out once my weight is in the car. Thanks again for the suggestions everyone.

Here what the tool looks like that I was talking about. It has a cup that sits over the top of the body bolt and a bracket that hooks under the spring plate. You can see how the arms welded on the drive nut would hit the swing arm. I didn't have this problem when doing the 57 because of the different spring plate design.

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Re: Lowering IRS Rear Help

Post by bakertim2 on Sat Nov 07, 2009 4:05 pm

I have never used one of those tools, but it looks like it works pretty good. What I do, I raise the diagonal arm as high as it will go against the shock tower. then everything clears. However again, I don't remember ever lowerinrg one with the dual springplates.
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Re: Lowering IRS Rear Help

Post by vwovalchild on Sat Nov 07, 2009 10:28 pm

I have one of those and it worked great setting the rear of the 71 German Look. Nothing beats the right tool for the job!
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