Skip to main content

Reply to "My 1971 Karmann Ghia Project"

IaM-Ray posted:

Wow it is really looking nice with that full suspension set up.  Are there any reviews on how that suspension works and how it drives?  Nice stuff.

Rich Drewek posted:

Ray, good question. I have yet to find one all-encompassing article addressing your question. Maybe someone else knows more than I?


A fair bit of discussion comparing the Mendeola suspension to other aftermarket units on The Samba-

Unfortunately, it breaks down to a bit of a pissing contest at times. There are a couple of owners giving fairly glowing reviews, but they are buried in the middle of other threads, so-

What I've gathered- the Mendeola front suspension is light years ahead of the VW front beam/trailing arm arrangement, has more engineering, development and is more adjustable than any of the other A arm front suspensions out there. It also comes with an adjustable anti-sway bar, while not all the other units do. Kevin Zagar claims the Mendeola is also lighter than the VW (or any other front suspension) assembly. There were issues with spindle assemblies early on, but I believe Kevin has addressed those. I think it would be a great addition to the front of any Speedster (or VW for that matter).

The Mendeola rear suspension is really a modified irs (it still uses the same pivot points) and while it may better than a stock irs equipped car (I haven't driven one, so my opinions have been formed only after reading other people's observations, so take what I write with a grain of salt as well), I don't think it's the quantum leap in technology and design their front suspension is. That said, it has fantastic adjustability (something the stock irs is lacking), an integrated adjustable anti-sway bar (again, something the irs is lacking- I know there are aftermarket bars available, but none are adjustable), coil springs instead of torsion bars, more modern damping ability and uses wider wheels/tires without major modifications. This last point I consider a big plus- rear engine'd cars need more rear rubber on the road than the front! Just look at how Porsche has continually put wider (and wider) wheels/tires on the backs of their 911 based cars as the years have progressed. They're not just doin' it for looks (although you have to admit 305's on the back of any car would just look so totally bitchin'!)

Now, would a Speedster with a well prepped independent rear suspension handle as well as a Mendeola rear suspension'd Speedster with the same width tires and wheels? I'm guessing it would come close, but I'm also guessing the Mendeola equipped car might ride a little nicer, so take your pick...

Yoda out (for now, but back you know I will be!)