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I was hoping I could trouble you gentleman for some feedback on a recent alignment job I had done.

Post-alignment, I'm experiencing a darty front end that's impossible to keep in a straight line. The shop is going to take another look, but I know they matched it up to a 1970 VW Sedan already, so if we're looking for different results, I probably need to request a different approach.

Looking at what I'm currently working with, does anyone have advice?


alignment

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It is “darting around” because it is following the crest of the lane or chasing bumps from “bump steer”.  It is doing that because they set it up as if it were a stock VW sedan.  Stock VW sedans sit much higher than our cars, which have all been lowered.  When you lower the car, you have to add a lot of caster to get the steering geometry back to “normal”.  Setting it to the specs for a 1970 VW sedan is fine except for just one thing:

They set your caster to 2.9° and 2.1° (L/R) and it should be set to somewhere in the range of 5° - 7° to eliminate the wandering and bump steer.

They probably won’t have the caster shims in stock to change your front end.  The shims are placed behind the bottom torsion tube in the front end.  I would suggest that you buy two (2) sets of shims AND a pair of longer mounting bolts, just in case you need them, and bring everything with you to the alignment place.

https://www.cbperformance.com/product-p/6215.htm

https://www.cbperformance.com/product-p/6222.htm

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

In addition to the above, this is what I received w/ my VS when I purchased it from the builder.   Hope this helps.

2013 built VS Speedster- Builder Alignment sheet, Hawaiian Garden, CA

- CAR base: 1972 pan, ball joint front, and rear short swing axle (not IRS.  Car modified by builder to short swing axle)

Front end Alignment;

16th” on both sides toe in

¼ degree negative camber



Rear end Alignment;

0 toe in

I also got this to help me out-  http://www.vw-resource.com/toe_in_adjustment.html
Last edited by Lfepardo

It is “darting around” because it is following the crest of the lane or chasing bumps from “bump steer”.  It is doing that because they set it up as if it were a stock VW sedan.  Stock VW sedans sit much higher than our cars, which have all been lowered.  When you lower the car, you have to add a lot of caster to get the steering geometry back to “normal”.  Setting it to the specs for a 1970 VW sedan is fine except for just one thing:

They set your caster to 2.9° and 2.1° (L/R) and it should be set to somewhere in the range of 5° - 7° to eliminate the wandering and bump steer.

They probably won’t have the caster shims in stock to change your front end.  The shims are placed behind the bottom torsion tube in the front end.  I would suggest that you buy two (2) sets of shims AND a pair of longer mounting bolts, just in case you need them, and bring everything with you to the alignment place.

https://www.cbperformance.com/product-p/6215.htm

https://www.cbperformance.com/product-p/6222.htm

That, right there is the ANSWER ^^^^^

Fully endorse Gordon's advice re caster shims. That's going to make all the difference.

But fwiw...

Camber adjustment with the stock eccentric is limited to about .6 degrees negative, more or less. To get a full 1 degree like Danny you'd need to buy an aftermarket eccentric—but you don't need to do that really. I have my MG set up with about the same camber specs as your guys did: about .3 degrees negative on both sides. I have the Spyder dialed out closer to a half degree. Both handle pretty well—the Spyder especially.

For really aggressive driving, and auto-cross, a bit more might be better, but for a street Speedster just a little negative camber is probably more fitting. Toe in as directed, 1/8, to 3/16 inch all-in in front. A little less in the rear.

Bumping the caster up to 5° - 7° will make a night and day difference in how your car handles.  
You’ll need at least 5° for it to be as effective as you want it, but since the shims are a set thickness at about 2° per shim you will use 1 or 2 shims to get you somewhere in that range.  Since you already have about 2° in there, then they should be able to get you to 6° pretty easily.  They’ll have to decide once the shims are in whether you’ll need the longer beam mounting bolts.  They’ll want at least 3/8” - 1/2” of bolt thread engagement once the shims are in and that’s why you want the longer bolts - “Just in case” planning!

I wouldn’t get too hung up on camber adjustment.  Unless you’re planning on taking your car on a track to really wring it out, the VW sedan spec for camber should be fine for normal driving.  If they had had trouble setting camber then, yes, there are different camber eccentrics available that allow more adjustment.  I have a pair of those, too, but I also used to get out on the track from time to time.  

All of us (except the Beck folks) adjust our caster with these shims.  Beck cars don’t, because the proper caster is built into the frame already (those clever Beck folks!) and the front suspension is a trifle different but the result is the same.

Last edited by Gordon Nichols
@IaM-Ray posted:

Writing your own manual begins with all speedster purchases for what you did

"All I did" is a very long list of things I spent money on for my Speedster over the 14-15 years I've owned it.  Flying my airplanes over the years, I always have kept log books for the engines and air frames so I made a Speedster logbook with everything ever done,   to the car and each cost as well as trips' with mileage, mpg and details of performance.  Fun to look over but don't add up all the costs!   I would imagine that such record keeping would go a long way towards getting top dollar for the sale of a car from a buyer. 

Last edited by Jack Crosby

I never wanted to tally up all that I spent.  Often, it's best not to know, right?  Especially during the 90's when spending wasn't an issue, but I wrote a very detailed service manual specific to my car that is a hyper-linked WORD document that is currently 138Mega-Bytes and growing.  Whenever someone posts something that you don't want to forget that applies to my car, too, I grab it and add it to my manual (like the bearing part number for my alternator!).  

The hyper-links are cool:  Bring up the table of contents and click on the category you want and it takes you there, then click on the topic and it takes you there.  It's structured just like the Bentley's VW Service Manual for 1970 but is specific to my car with sources and part numbers for just about everything.

We had a three-day snow storm back 7 or 8 years ago and I started this as a way to pass the time and then it snowballed (wicked good pun, there).  It's been handy for me and others on here needing info (especially because I can't remember 9-digit part numbers that well anymore!).  Just plug in the USB drive and there it is!

If anyone wants to see an example, let me know and I'll post the ToC and one section.

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

@IaM-Ray

Gordon's Service Manual is attached, Table of Contents and Section 7 - The Electrical System

Just remember that most of my electrical system is either unique (new, custom wiring) or a re-used VW donor harness so wire colors WILL NOT be the same as any other Speedster builders (but at least they're documented and I can look up a lot of them in the VW service manual).  I also used North American Computer wire color rules (you use what you grow up with, I guess) rather than the German Automotive color conventions for new stuff I added so you might see grounds in both black and brown.  

The hyper links in section 7 seem to work OK when I downloaded and tried them, so try clicking on something in the section 7 contents section and it should take you there.  It took a few tries to get the links working (I used the "bookmark" feature in WORD) and I always have to re-learn how to do it whenever I add something to a section (Thank you, Microsquash, for making it involved) so maybe next time I can write down how to do that, too!

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Last edited by Gordon Nichols

356's came with +5° caster from the factory and are much more stable at higher speeds.  If you NEVER (NOT EVEN FOR A MOMENT) drive your car above posted highway speeds then one could argue that increasing caster above VW's spec (about +3°?) isn't needed, but even 1 short blast down a straight road (hey, I'm just going to see what it will do) can go wrong.  Many years ago I decided to see how fast my Cal Look bug would go down this long hill.  Not having even stock caster (when I lowered it I knew nothing about caster) the car was 'a little darty', even at only 55-60 mph.  The car got hit by a side wind coming down this hill at 105? 110? mph and was pushed into the opposing lane before I could react.  I was very lucky that day- no traffic coming at me and no barrier in between lanes to hit.  After cleaning off the seat I vowed never to do that again!  I learned about caster shortly after and it's amazing what a couple extra degrees will do.

VW drag racers, before figuring out all this, struggled with keeping their cars from ending up on their roofs when it was windy at the far end of the track.  Once guys realized what was going on and started building more caster into their cars the sport became MUCH safer.

I hope this helps.  Al

VWs go plenty fast:

A complete listing of todays 36hp Challenge records as of September 8, 2021............
36hp VW Challenge
BIG BLOCK, W/C & 36 hp
TOP SPEED RECORDS
ENGINE CLASSIFICATION
Small Block(SB)……………..36hp & 25hp
Big Block(BB)………………..40hp, 1300, 1500, 1600
Super Block(SB)…………….T4/T2/914…1700, 1800, 2000
Also includes all Autocraft and other non-stock style race case engines
Water Cooled…………..All - Gas and Diesel
3, 4, 5, 6, 8,10, 12, 16 Cylinder Engines
Top Speed by Category - Current as of Sept 18, 2019
FASTEST VW (all competitors)
2018 Davidson Adler 277.007mph Streamliner 4921cc V10 BV
FASTEST 4 CYLINDER VW Sedan (water cooled)
2017 Dewey Potter 236.062mph 00 Passat 2000cc I4 BV
FASTEST 4 CYLINDER VW (air cooled-Super Block)
1985 Jared Collier 189.786mph Frameworks 2800cc F4 BV
FASTEST 36hp RACER
2018 Darrell Vittone 166.1 69 Ghia 1568cc MM
"1" Club NA36
Fastest Stock Body BUG/SUPER BEETLE(without Aero)
1997 Dean Lowry 133.862mph 73 Super 2332cc EM
Fastest BUG/SUPER BEETLE(with Aero)
1988 Hans Dahlbach 174.705mph 55 Bug __?__cc
Fastest KARMANN GHIA
2017 Dan Lawson/Fischer 180.1mph 66 Ghia 2786cc MM
Fastest TYPE 2
2013 Stephen Muller 117.878mph 57 Kombi 2700cc AU
Fastest TYPE 3
2019 Cliff Witham 139.039mph 69 Fastback2332cc BV
BIG BLOCK/SUPER BLOCK
JBBB
2016 Mick Percy 109.469mph 56 Bug 1585cc AU
SW
SSSBB Bug
2014 Jan Atkinson 119.752mph 72 Super 2332cc BV
SSS1600BB Bug
2011 Karl Barnett 107.777mph 65 Bug 1585cc BV
DSSBB Bug
2012 Geoff Hart/Mocnik146.886mph 64 Bug 2443cc BV
TS1600BB Bug
2020 Jack Weigand 104.585mph 72 Super 1585cc ME
SC1600BB Bug
2016 Mick Percy 109.469mph 56 Bug 1585cc AU
SW
SCBB Bug
2014 Justin McAllister 140.890 70 Bug 2332cc BV
BB BAJA BUG
2009 Cody Johnson 100.509mph 61 Bug 2180cc BV
BB VOLKSROD
2011 Richard Luna 119.207mph 67 Bug 2275cc
DSSSB Ghia
2017 Dan Lawson/Fischer 180.1mph 66 Ghia 2786cc MM
DSSBB Ghia
2018 Chris Mursick 170.762MPH 66 Ghia 2387cc MM
SSSBB Ghia
2017 Jack Weigand 116.788mph 68 Ghia 2332cc BV
Grannis/Atkinson
SS1600BB Ghia
2011 Craig Wilson 79.405mph 67 Ghia 1585cc BV
SCBB Ghia
1987 Larry Monreal 167.480moh 68 Ghia 1875cc BV
Bob Godfrey
DSSSBB TYPE 2
2012 Jason Lang 109.786mph 63 Kombi 2332cc BV
SCBB TYPE 2
2009 Derek Campbell 94.891mph _?_ Bus ____cc BV
Turbo
DSSSB TYPE 2
2013 Stephen Muller 117.878mph 57 Kombi 2700cc AU
DSSBB TYPE 3
2014 Jonathon Findlay 75.8mph(gps) 70 Fastback2180cc AU
DSSSB TYPE 3
2016 Nate Morse 119.068mph 67 Squareback2316cc BV
Porsche 914 Super Block
NASB Type 3
2019 Cliff Witham 139.139mph 69 Fastback 2332cc BV
Turbo Drag Car
TYPE 4
OPEN-No Record
BB BUGGY
2012 Brad Humenny 121.253mph 62 Buggy 2332cc BV
SB BUGGY
2018 Brad Humenny 130.545mph 62 Buggy 2332cc BV
BB SANDRAIL
1977 Mark Gryzbyk 152.780mph Grizzly 1999cc BV
BB KIT CAR/CUSTOM VW
1971 Ken Lowry 160.470mph 60 Amante 1968cc BV
SPECIAL CONSTRUCTION
ELECTRIC (Battery Powered)
OPEN-No Record
STEAM
OPEN-No Record
TRIKE
OPEN-No Record
MOTORCYCLE
2017 __?__ __?__ Low Slung _?_ _?_ __?__ccLake Gairdner AU
SB LAKESTER/FORMULA VEE
1985 Jared Collier 189.786cc Frameworks 2800cc BV
BB STREAMLINER
1990 Skip Moore 161.780mph Streamliner 1776c EM
TWO CYLINDER VW
BUG
2018 Cliff Witham 113.879 65 Bug 975cc BV
GHIA
2019 Chris Mursick
UNLTD
2018 Dick Beith 80.246 68 Bugliner 750cc BV
Supercharged
36HP CHALLENGE (25hp & 36hp – Small Block)
FASTEST 36hp RACER
2018 Darrell Vittone 166.1 69 Ghia 1568cc MM
"1" Club NA36
STREAMLINER36
STREAMLINER 36hp
2021 Chris Mursick _?_ Streamliner 1602cc BV
Berrys Blowers
SS36 (STONE STOCK)
SS36BUG
2013 Bryan Houston 88.4mph 65 Bug 1192cc MM
SS36GHIA
2014 Dick Simon 85.8mph 56 Ghia 1192cc MM
SS36BUS
2014 Todd Penn 57.745mph 63 Single Cab1192cc BV
SSS36 (SUPER STOCK SINGLE)
SSS36BUG
2010 Justin McAllister 99.370mph 74 Bug 1621cc BV
SSS36GHIA
2015 Dick Simon 116.000mph 67 Ghia 1192cc MM
"1" Club
SSS36BUS
2018 Todd Penn/Thuillier68.11mph 63 Single Cab1578cc BV
DSS36 (DUAL CARBURETOR)
DSS36BUG
2018 Bruce Cook 124.4mph 67 Bug 1699cc AR
Whitey Worsham 36hp Dual Weber
"1"Club
DSS36GHIA
2015 Darrell Vittone 141.80 69 Ghia 1798cc MM
"1" Club
DSS36BUS
2012 Ronnie Feitelson 86.664mph 60 SingleCab1482cc BV
K36 (VINTAGE SUPERCHARGED)
K36BUG
2017 Jerry Avis 116.309mph 70 Bug 1192cc BV
"1" Club
K36GHIA
2016 Dick Simon 124.2mph 67 Ghia 1699cc MM
"1" Club
K36BUS
Open - no record
NA36 (NEW AGE-1966 and newer TURBOCHARGERS/SUPERCHARGERS)
JB36
Open – No Record
NA36BUG
2011 Tom Bruch 126.236mph 66 Bug 1378cc BV
"1" Club
NA36GHIA
2018 Darrell Vittone 166.1mph 69 Ghia 1568cc MM
"1" Club
NA36BUS
Open - no record
36hp LAKESTER/FV
SSSLAKESTER-FV
2015 Manu Thuillier 85.8124 58 FV 1400cc OH
Bonneville For Sick Kids Jeff Denham Heads
3 Times Around The World
DSSLAKESTER36
2018 Blake Wolf 103.867mph _?_ FV 1602cc OH
DSS36 Engine
Unltd 36 LAKESTER
1963 Dick Beith 129.68mph _?_ FV 1299cc BV
Belly Tank Pepco Supercharger
36hp BUGGY
DSSBUGGY36 2014 Tom Newport 100.223 _?_ Buggy 1585cc BV "1" Club
WW36 (WOLFSBURG WEST – special Bonneville competition category) WW36 Bug 2016 Rob Dodero 80.625mph 57 Bug 1300cc BV
WW36 Ghia
2017 Tom Newport 90.725mph 69 Ghia 1285cc BV
WW36 Bus
2018 Todd Penn/Thuillier76.765mph 63 SC 1192cc BV
WATER COOLED GAS(4 cyl)
BEETLE/NEW BEETLE
2016 Preston Lerner/VWOA 205.122mph 14 BeetleGSR2000cc BV
RABBIT/GOLF/PICK UP/JETTA
2018 Scott Goetz/VWOA 210.691mph 19 Jetta 2000cc BV
SCIRROCO/CORRADO
2011 Rene Berger 145.96mph ?_ Corrado 2000cc DE
PASSAT/DASHER/CC
2017 Dewey Potter 236.062mph 00 Passat 2000cc BV
VANAGON/EUROVAN/5
OPEN-No Record
LAKESTER/FORMULA VEE
2007 Dan Chilson 212.610mph Frameworks 2153cc BV
WATER COOLED GAS(6 CYL)
GOLF/JETTA/RABBIT/PICK-UP
2010 Jeremy Freedman 208.100mph 97 Golf 2981cc VR6 TX
WATER COOLED DIESEL
PRODUCTION
2006 Maurice O’Reilly 165.906 01 Jetta TDi 2000cc NZ
2009 Connie Hogue 132.445mph 00 Nu Beetle2000cc 4 TX
2019 Keith Pedersen 152.089mph 80 Pick-Up 1986cc 4 BV
2006 Frank Deinbacher 124.300mph ?_ T5 MH __?__cc DE
STREAMLINER
2018 Davidson Adler 277.007mph Double Eagle4921cc V10BV
1980 Keke Rosberg 224.990mph Volkswagen 2400cc 5 IT
2016 Reg Cook 219.043mph Volkswagen 2000cc 4 BV
HYBRID(VW Engine or Body or Production VW Hyb.)
2012 Carlos Lago 187.147mph 13 Jetta 1400cc 4 BV
2009 Jim Bradshaw 165.714mph 70 Ghia 1497cc 4 BV
2009 Jacob Staub 97.740mph 00 Honda 1200cc 3 BV


https://m.facebook.com/groups/36hpvw.challenge/

I don’t doubt Al’s top end, really.   I was just pushing his leg.  🤣

The real problem of driving a Beetle that fast is not that they become front end light.   They’re still usually kind-a sorta stable(-ish) around 100mph ( I type from experience, here).

The real problem is the severe brake fade from those under-sized drum brakes.  Jump on the brakes at 100 and it will take you way over a quarter mile to stop and at the end it’ll seem like you have almost no brakes at all.  (Again, experience was my teacher).

@dlearl476 posted:

I wanna meet the guy who did 152.780 in a sand rail.

Anyone wanna give it a shot the kit car record is “only” 160 and it’s stood since ‘71.
B4038AE0-F608-4AA1-8B9A-BA4B91D8D187

My Coupe gets about 50 mph per 2000 rpm in 5th, so I need 6111.2 rpm to equal the record.  I will be on a race track in October.  Hmmm...  I wonder how long the straightaway is.

Does it count if I don't have any VW parts in the car? 

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