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@dlearl476 posted:

International Auto Parts is a major aftermarket supplier, like Beck Arnley. A lot of AutoO'PepCheckerZone stores sell them. I think for consumables like brake pads/shoes, fuel filters, etc they're find. I wouldn't use them for engine/transmission, etc. parts.  IIRC, I've got parts from Jbugs and CIP that were in IAP boxes.

Ok. I noticed on Rockauto that some items said IAP and then in the description said TRW or KYB. In that case are they the actual name brand imported or distributed through IAP and then to places like Rockauto (or Jbugs in your case)?

+1 on NAPA another source of IAP/Beck Arnley/Bosch reman stuff. On the plus side, they often have parts in a warehouse 1day away (with no shipping charges) On the negative, they're generally a little more expensive than online retailers.

One I've found recently and have been giving a lot of business lately is Wolfgang International. They were the only place I found that had German drums in stock.

@TreyG posted:

Are braided stainless brake lines worth the money over stock rubber ones? All 4 of mine need to be replaced.

Yes. Be careful not to twist or kink them. And make sure they absolutely do not rub on anything, the braid is quite abrasive to paint and tires.

I absolutely love the brake feel on my Spyder with 4 wheel discs from Airkewld with braided lines.

I ordered my first little pile of parts! Some brake parts, clutch bowden tube, some seals....this means progress!

Question: I have seen a lot of threads on sway bars such as stock vs 3/4" for the front and yes vs no for having a rear. I have NONE right now. Before I spend the money on them, how would y'all proceed? My intention to start with is to just drive, no autocross or racing (yet).

A good "entry level" front sway bar is a 3/8" so-called "stock" bar for a '66 - '77 Beetle sedan with a beam front end.  Since the car is lowered from the stock height as a speedster, the 3/8" bar seems to work quite well for many people, giving improved cornering control while not making the ride too harsh.

If you have a swing arm rear suspension, this should be accompanied by a rear camber compensator (others on here can offer suggestions on which is best).  

If your car is an IRS rear, then you could consider a rear sway bar, not a camber compensator - that's for swingers.

The next step up would be to the 3/4" front sway bar.  It will be a bit harsher ride than the 3/8" but honestly, many people don't notice the difference in ride.  What will be different is that the car will corner flatter when pushed than with the 3/8" bar and that will be noticeable.  I've often thought that a 5/8" front bar would be ideal for a Speedster as the compromise between ride harshness and flat cornering, but I don't know if anyone offers one.

Full disclosure; I have an IRS car and started with just the front, Sway Away 3/4" bar and it flattened things out a lot in the hard corners.  Someone gave me a new sway-away rear 3/4" bar that wouldn't work on their swing arm car (you oldies might remember Andreas, who left MIT to go teach back home in Germany) and I installed that, too.  That made the car corner even flatter than before and I have never been able to break the rear tires loose on track days, even when I was specifically trying to see how far I could push it, both at Roebling Roads, SC and Thompson Raceway, CT.  Those rear tires were 225/40's which have been replaced with 205/50's but I have no track time on the new tires.  

I have zero experience with EMPI sway bars.  All I've ever had or installed for others were from Sway-Away which are great quality and (more importantly) they fit without fuss.

Let's see what others think.....

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

A good "entry level" front sway bar is a 3/8" so-called "stock" bar for a '66 - '77 Beetle sedan with a beam front end.  Since the car is lowered from the stock height as a speedster, the 3/8" bar seems to work quite well for many people, giving improved cornering control while not making the ride too harsh.

If you have a swing arm rear suspension, this should be accompanied by a rear camber compensator (others on here can offer suggestions on which is best).  

If your car is an IRS rear, then you could consider a rear sway bar, not a camber compensator - that's for swingers.

The next step up would be to the 3/4" front sway bar.  It will be a bit harsher ride than the 3/8" but honestly, many people don't notice the difference in ride.  What will be different is that the car will corner flatter when pushed than with the 3/8" bar and that will be noticeable.  I've often thought that a 5/8" front bar would be ideal for a Speedster as the compromise between ride harshness and flat cornering, but I don't know if anyone offers one.

Full disclosure; I have an IRS car and started with just the front, Sway Away 3/4" bar and it flattened things out a lot in the hard corners.  Someone gave me a new sway-away rear 3/4" bar that wouldn't work on their swing arm car (you oldies might remember Andreas, who left MIT to go teach back home in Germany) and I installed that, too.  That made the car corner even flatter than before and I have never been able to break the rear tires loose on track days, even when I was specifically trying to see how far I could push it, both at Roebling Roads, SC and Thompson Raceway, CT.  Those rear tires were 225/40's which have been replaced with 205/50's but I have no track time on the new tires.  

I have zero experience with EMPI sway bars.  All I've ever had or installed for others were from Sway-Away which are great quality and (more importantly) they fit without fuss.

Let's see what others think.....

WORD! I have the Bugpack (now owned by EMPI) version; I imagine it's all the same now and they fit perfectly with their stainless steel/red urethane clamps and bushings. I am not crazy about urethane but at this point is the only thing you can find for this application. Sway-Away is the premium version. With EMPI things are hit or miss; they carry some good parts and some crappy ones. I believe they changed hands sometime ago and their advertisements now say they are more focused on quality than before; which is a good thing.

Feeling left out and suffering from a bit of peer pressure I started looking into this today. Looks like the SwayAway 3/4" bar is one if the cheapest out there but it doesn't come with hardware (although afaik, this could be a cached webpage from 10 years ago).

https://swayaway.com/product/v...ll-joint-front-ends/

I found references to a SwayAway camber compensator, too, but found no evidence of it in their website. I guess I'll gave to use the EMPI one.

Based on how my Spider handles now, and all the reports of sway bars, camber compensators and Vredestein Sportracs, I can't even imagine how it's going to handle next summer.

Last edited by dlearl476


The next step up would be to the 3/4" front sway bar.  It will be a bit harsher ride than the 3/8" but honestly, many people don't notice the difference in ride.  What will be different is that the car will corner flatter when pushed than with the 3/8" bar and that will be noticeable.  I've often thought that a 5/8" front bar would be ideal for a Speedster as the compromise between ride harshness and flat cornering, but I don't know if anyone offers one.



Correct, Gordon. In the 70s and I'm guessing the early 80s you could get a 5/8" front bar. For me, the stock bar wasn't quite enough. I bought a 3/4", but it hit my frame longitudinal members. It will be even worse for a Beck, as they use a 3" main tube rather than the Vintage 2".

The 3/4" hit, the car cornered FLAT, but it understeered(Spyder, swing axle, no camber compensator).

So I made my own 5/8"(actually 16mm) from an old 911 front bar.

It has been said(not by me, but can't remember who) that a 5/8" front bar is the best compromise for "hot" street use.

Dave, all you need to do is buy some clamps, and to remove your frame tubes in front of the beam....

Last edited by DannyP
@dlearl476 posted:

Feeling left out and suffering from a bit of peer pressure I started looking into this today. Looks like the SwayAway 3/4" bar is one if the cheapest out there but it doesn't come with hardware (although afaik, this could be a cached webpage from 10 years ago).

https://swayaway.com/product/v...ll-joint-front-ends/

I found references to a SwayAway camber compensator, too, but found no evidence of it in their website. I guess I'll gave to use the EMPI one.

Based on how my Spider handles now, and all the reports of sway bars, camber compensators and Vredestein Sportracs, I can't even imagine how it's going to handle next summer.

Stop thinking cheap- it'll bite you in the @ss in the end.  Think quality and value.  Guys here have complained about the Empi cc being poorly made- look at the units from CB Perf. and Aircooled.net.  Al

I actually owned one of those super beetle conversion kits from CMC.  It was based on 1/4” or 3/8” steel plate and heavy!  I didn’t need it (it came as part of an unstarted build I bought ) so I sold it to a guy in Florida who wanted to use it on his kit.  

And yes, that is the only one I’ve ever seen in the wild.

It figures I have a rarity, my projects seem to go that way. I considered cutting it off there and welding on a regular frame head, but that goes against my goal of having this car on the road before my kids grow up!

I think I’ll go with that sway away bar on the front and after I get it on the road and see how it handles with my driving, then maybe add the rear sway bar later.

The EMPI sway bar is fine. It will work as well as you could expect with this type of bar. The red neoprene bushings will last about 16k miles.

The best solution is a frame mounted bar that is anchored in a couple of places along the straight section. The bar itself does not move, but twist. I built one of these for my Spyder. Dannyp also built one. We both used 5/8" - 4130 steel bar.

Drawings available.

What in the world is AFAIK?

Last edited by Jim Gilbert - Madison, Mississippi

Thanks Jim! That is a nice looking fabrication. I might give that a try. My Dad is a hobby machinist and this would be a great way to get him involved in the project since he doesn’t live close enough to just come by and turn a wrench.

Plus it seems this could be made to work with less interference and modification to my CMC bumper supports (I just read up on the sway bars hitting the bottom tube on those bumper supports).

The EMPI sway bar is fine. It will work as well as you could expect with this type of bar. The red neoprene bushings will last about 16k miles.

The best solution is a frame mounted bar that is anchored in a couple of places along the straight section. The bar itself does not move, but twist. I built one of these for my Spyder. Dannyp also built one. We both used 5/8" - 4130 steel bar.

Drawings available.

What in the world is AFAIK?

I was really surprised when I watched a couple of install videos. I'd always assumed that the large bushings mounted to the beam and the smaller ones to the trailing arms. I've never seen a sway bar that just attached to the suspension L&R.

I imagine anchoring it to the beam would stiffen it a bit, but that's easily compensated for by using a smaller diameter bar.

Last edited by dlearl476

I’m really committed to the Madness now. First load of parts delivered! Small bits of stuff as funds allow, and some of it my girls are wrapping up for Christmas presents (They all wanted to get Dad some Porsche parts, but I believe it is self serving from their standpoint, they want it finished so we can ride in it!).

Anyway, this will give me some things to do as I save up for the next round of parts. 6D00B8A8-49DB-48B6-A273-5B50E6E33A32

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