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Thanks for the encouragement gang!

I adjusted the front end alignment and put in the shims. Now I can take it to get an alignment tomorrow.


With all the work I've done up front, she handles so much better. I can actually drive it without cringing!


I need to figure out how to get the carbs right. It was backfiring a bit today and loading up if I coasted a bit. I also found that if I let it idle in the garage, it will leave a nice black/grey soot circle on the garage floor. Sounds like its still rich.


Anyway - I'm pleased as hell that the front end is all back together and that it rides so much better. A lot less 'floaty' the the steering wheel and the ride is completely different. The alignment should make it just perfect.


Which disk brake kit works best with the drum skins?


Last edited by TRP


I wondered if anyone would notice that. I actually used Photoshop to manipulate the numbers. My street address is 2835.


Thanks, Carl for the kinds words. The rake is with the rear of the aluminum side spear at 9.5" above the ground and the front is 8.5. Before I 'fixed' the front end, the front of the spear was 7.0".


Can't wait to get the front end aligned.

Art - I bid on those hinges. I doubt I'll win them, but it's worth a shot.


Originally Posted by Rich Drewek:


Lookin' good, know what'll make that thing sing? Put your new badge on :-)



I'm waiting until I install the grill from SMC on the car before I install my SOC badge. My original CMC grill had odd bar spacing and I can't in stall the badge exactly where I want it without it bending the mounting hardware. Damn wonky CMC habachi grills!  I'd need to mount it to one side or the other and I'm all about semitry.

Thanks for the kind words.

Today I installed a new starter and cleaned/reundercoated the bottom of the pan.  I was going to install a rear sway bar but the shop didn't get it in.

Next up, I'm looking forward to installing the front (and possibly rear) disks.

Oh, I also ditched the ugly chrome oil filler and went with a 912 style. I had to paint it, but I think it looks better.

Last thing I did was replace the ugly red wire to the alternator (no pics of that).



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Originally Posted by Ron O, 1984/2010 IM, B.C. Canada:

Originally Posted by TRP:
Last thing I did was replace the ugly red wire to the alternator (no pics of that).


If I had a speedster with that coiled red wire it would be the FIRST thing I'd change.


This one is for you Ron!


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So now the "Ugly Betty" wire is gone. BTW what service did it perform? And is that corkscrew wire a  "VS signature"?


Let me know how the Sierra Madre grill works out.  Side note: At the university I grilled a mean Hibachi steak.


And finally how come your engine compartment  is sooooo clean?

The red wire was legacy "Al". It connects the starter to the alternator. I ran it through the appropriate lower front engine tin. Now it's out of sight.

The engine compartment is clean because I've been cleaning, tweaking, tuning, obsessing, and fawning all over it for the past 3 months.

Oh, that reminds me! I just turned 610 miles on the car today! Can't believe I've driven it so much already.

Sure is so much more enjoyable with the front suspension all rebuilt and corrected.

Maybe I'll put the new distributor in tomorrow!

Then it's on to the new Sierra Madre grill and my SOC badge!

Originally Posted by Frank C.:


I like the engine picture with the gunk and the oil.  Keeps everything from rusting underneath.  No better coating than a film of oil.  Mine is the same.


Oh, thanks for reminding me!  What's that bar that under the transmission? I have no idea what it's for. I wonder if it should come out.

I picked up the rear sway bar today. I will try to start the install this week.

I also ordered up the disk brake kit. That should be here Friday.

I was going to buy a tow bar and try to get it converted to be able to tow the car to the SLO event. We'll see if I get everything done in time.

Can I use the stock bug tow bar and just lengthen then 'arms' to reach under the speedy? I will also need to increase the 'reach' of the tongue to mate up to our Pilot.  What about the width of the arms? Do they need to be adjust at all?  I know Jim's bar will work on my car. I just need to recreate that bar.


(I did a search and found Jim's thread, just wasn't clear on the width adjustment.)




Ted - the standard EMPI VW tow bar is too wide for towing our Speedster. Basically, here are the mods I made to tow my VS;


1. Cut & narrowed standard VW tow bar width by 8 inches (to fit between front torsion braces).

2. Extended tow bar by 24" to allow more space between towing vehicle and Speedster.

3. Modified hitch with a 10" rise to allow for ride height of tow hitch and ease entry/exit angles on driveways.

4. Added cross-member brace to stiffen the tow bar and minimize flex. Not shown in pic is perpendicular brace welded forward of torsion bar attachments and at rear base of x-member.


Hopefully these pics will demonstrate these mods for you.


...Tow bar narrowed by 8" and extended by 24". Increased rise for hitch up 10"...



...fabricated tow lights on 36" aluminum stock tubing, and attach to my luggage rack...



...and run the wiring under the convertible top (or tonneau), up through the opening for the trunk hinges, and out the front of the trunk lid...



...I cannot see the VS behind us when towing so I fabricated antennae for that purpose. 



...another shot of modified height of tow hitch. I also use a 4" drop hitch) to compensate for height difference between the two vehicles.


Last edited by MusbJim


That's the exact info I needed. Thanks for putting it all in one place (again).  The riser is the only section where I have a question (or two). Are we extending the riser up 10" or up to 10", so that when the bar is on the ground, the ball socket hitch part is 10" off the ground?


Oh, and I assume the 10" riser is predicated really on the height of the tow vehicle and the amount of 'drop' to the hitch on said vehicle? The end 'goal' is to have a flat (level) ball receiver when towing the speedster. Don't want it too put too much of angle on the ball hitch, etc.


Did you start with the EMPI bar and just make these mods? or did you start from scratch?


I wonder if the muffler shop in town would be willing to make these mods without too much grief? I really need to learn to weld, it would make my life a whole lot easier.


I'll add this to the list of 'to do' items before SLO.  I still need to book a room! (ha!)  Alexis (My lovely bride) said 'sounds like fun, so long as we can go wine tasting.'  I will have to make that happen or I"ll be in trouble.


Thanks again for the info,



Last edited by TRP

Great mods Jim! Very purpose built for your needs.

And great work on the car, Ted. The dual activity weekend will be a winner for both of you! I'm sure it will be easy to convince a few people to duck out for a drive and a little wine tasting; a good reason to go for a drive it I've ever heard one.    Al

Ted-meister, Ted-O-Rama, Tedenheimer, Tedinsky...


I bought an Empi tow bar from the local VW shop, cost was $75. Used this as the base for my modified tow bar.


The 10" rise I mentioned is the application I used to mate the lowered Speedster to my Range Rover. As you mentioned, use the riser dimension that best suits your tow vehicle. 


I will post a pic of the tow set-up tomorrow and label with dimensions!


Show your wife this attached video of last year's West Coast Cruise to allay her Jonesing for a wine tour. Be sure to adjust video quality to 720HD by clicking on the 'gear' icon when video starts playing. 



Last edited by MusbJim

Jim, love your tow bar! I made one from 2 bars, a regular Bug bar and a Super Beetle bar(which is narrower to start and the right width for my Vintage Spyder). Mine got lengthened about 18-24 inches also and got lowered about 1.5" to clear the bodywork.


Ted, get the bar made up first, then hold it level to get your hitch height, then buy a riser or drop piece for your receiver(I use an 1.25" receiver, Class I, this is all I need) to get the correct height.


I ended up running a trailer wiring extension through the car permanently, and use the car's taillights when towing. Back plugs into tail when needed, front is coiled up and comes out the hood to plug into tow vehicle. I know I should put a "car in tow" sign on but I always forget. Besides, it's registered and insured so.....

Last night I didn't find the time to work on installing the rear sway bar. I was side tracked by a different project:


This is how it arrived. Complete, from Canada even had the oil filter and oil still inside. ^^^


About an hour or so later ^^^


High temp primer ^^^


High temp paint, also resistant to chemicals. Should hold up okay. I ordered the 'Fram' decals for it, even though it's actually a H Filter unit.  The H Filter decals are boooooooring. It's just going to be decoration.


It seemed like a quick and fun little project. I got all the parts at a good price and it's complete... so why not?


I'm not sure when I'll mount 'er up.




Originally Posted by ALB:


Ted- I can only see your first pic.

Doh! I think I know why. Let my try it this way...



From top to bottom...

  • The previous post is how 'it' arrived.
  • Then I cleaned it up and stripped the paint. The unit was originally that silver-ish gold color.
  • After it was cleaned up I decreased it and primed it.
  • Finished it up with a sort of stock 'two tone' job.
  • I picked up a bracket and strap for $25.00. Those are all cleaned up and ready to go as well.


Sorry for the photo flub,



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Last edited by TRP
Another weekend, another project or two...

This weekend it was a rear sway bar and front disks. All items went on sight issue. The kit had the wrong inner wheel bearings. I used my originals, they were German and in great shape.

Three bucks came out to see what I was up to.

Thanks for letting me share my progress.



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  • image:19306: a few bucks came out to see what the racket was...
Last edited by TRP

The tires are just run of the mill Perelli 185/60's. Square set up (all the same size). They work well for the kind of driving I do. No complaints.


The brakes work great so far. The pads are a little louder than what I'm used to. I'd like to source some better ones. I used a vacuum system to suck all the old brake fluid out of the system. Complete flush also allowed me to get all the air out of the lines. Everything is pretty solid. I was going to replace the rear rubber lines with new stainless ones, but I figured I would wait until I decide what I'm going to do about the rear drums. I may upgrade to rear disks. I can't decide. If I do that, I think I have to upgrade the master cyl as well. I'm not really in the mood to make that commitment yet.


Next weekend I think I'll tackle the distributor and possibly the Sierra Madre engine grill. I started some work on that this weekend. The paint on the rain tray under the CMC grill was peeling really badly. So I remove the CMC grill and went in there with some sandpaper and a sharp paint scraper.  Most of the paint just flaked off. I will get in there and clean the area up and re-shoot the area while the grill is off.


OH! I wanted to ask - what's the best way to shorten / adjust the rod that is attached to the inside door handle? My passenger side handle doesn't work because the rod is too long. I need to shorten it. Right now it has a silly z bend in it to try and shorten it. Ideally I'd replace the rod with one that is the correct size. Anyone know where I can get a new inner door actuator rod?





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