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I bolt a 2-1/2" x 5" x1/8" steel plate, one end to the rear seat floor bolt then drill the other end of the plate to accept the seat belt bolt.

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   Belt hole                            Seat floor bolt

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Last edited by Alan Merklin

Thanks guys!

Off topic a little. Since brakes are the first pile of parts I’m working on buying, i have been researching wheels, lug patterns, tire size availability etc before I buy discs and drums. I found an old CMC ad that says front tire size should be 205/55R15 and rear should be 235/60R15, all wrapped on those oh-so-hip 15” gold wheels.

Tire availability seems very limited in 15” these days, and the aftermarket wheels for a VW 4x130 pattern are also fairly limited (you know, in case I want to get rid of the gold rims!).

I was looking at ordering the discs and drums in the dual 5x4.5/5x4.75 pattern. I researched this and those 2 patterns were used by the Big Three, plus Honda, Mitsubishi, Acura and several others. That means ALOT of choices of wheels.

From what I read I see lots of guys have the 16” Porsche rims, and there are lots of tire choices in 16”, no mater what rim I choose.

Thoughts?

I'm running VW 4X130(?) hubs all around because I built my car without benefit of this forum's experience.

The Chevy bolt pattern will offer you far more wheel choices than, say, the Porsche 5 X 130 pattern, which is only used by Porsche and the Audi Q-series SUV.  Great if you want to run Fuchs or Porsche rims, but that's about it.

I, too, have a flared Speedster so you can run some pretty wide rims.  You also have to either get them dished waaaay out there, OR run some spacers to get the wheels to where you want them in the wheel wells.

So to that end, I once ran 16" X 6" front rims with 205/16 tires and at the rear I had 7" X 16" rims with 225/16 tires.  I have 1-1/4" Billet adapter/spacers that take me from the 4 X 130 bolt pattern to the 5 X 130 Porsche pattern.  All of my rims are original Fuchs 5-spoke.  Those big boots on the rear made my IRS car handle like a Banshee and I loved them - They looked really awesome from the rear, too.

Eventually, I outgrew wanting to track the car (and my reflexes aren't what they once were) so I traded the 7" rims for another pair of 6" and now run 205/16" all around.  It handles almost as well, but not quite, the tires fill the wheel wells nicely and the adapter/spacers still seem right (although I might have gone to 1-1/2" on the front).

I've never had a problem finding tire choices for my 16" wheels.

Gordon, that is very useful information.

Eric, pressing in studs resolves a question I had. The description on SoCals website for the drums suggested you had to buy their stud kit (which they don't have on their website anymore) for the dual pattern drums (AC Industries brand), yet the front disc conversion (also AC Industries brand) with the dual pattern said nothing about the stud kit. I like the idea of having the machinist bore out and press in studs, much easier than wrangling the VW lugs.

@TreyG posted:

Gordon, that is very useful information.

Eric, pressing in studs resolves a question I had. The description on SoCals website for the drums suggested you had to buy their stud kit (which they don't have on their website anymore) for the dual pattern drums (AC Industries brand), yet the front disc conversion (also AC Industries brand) with the dual pattern said nothing about the stud kit. I like the idea of having the machinist bore out and press in studs, much easier than wrangling the VW lugs.

If you get a machinist to bore and press in the studs, bake sure they bore lands in the  webs so the studs bear evenly on the entire shoulder.IMG_20191019_142011301IMG_20191019_142038062IMG_20191019_175559157

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I got my Bentley Manual today, as suggested a few posts ago by Danny P. I have flipped through it some, much better than the Haynes manual.

So, back to the topic of backing plate removal, remember we are talking IRS here. Bentley shows how, looks simple. I will have to order the seals to put it back together.

I hate to ask, maybe opening a can of worms, but should I go through the procedure to press out the stub axle and replace that seal in there on the transmission side of the diagonal arm (see pic)?

I want to do this project right, and while it is apart now is the time. BUT, I don’t want to waste effort on something if it isn’t necessary (i tend to do that some, just ask my wife!).

Thoughts, opinions, wisdom?E6EE892C-21BF-4DB4-A67E-96CE1FCEA0B8

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@Impala posted:

As you well said now that it’s apart if it were me I would clean and inspect the bearings and repack or replace, along with any seals. God knows their condition and if they were ever serviced.

Is there a reliable way to check the bearing condition? I read a how to article on the interweb last night and it suggested that in most cases the bearings themselves will be fine, as they were very well engineered. It said to grab the axle and see if it will wiggle and click, indicating bad bearings. Also spinning the wheel should make a smooth, whirring sound when good, or a crunchy, rattling when bad.

You guys have a way to check the bearings besides these suggestions?

@TreyG posted:

Is there a reliable way to check the bearing condition? I read a how to article on the interweb last night and it suggested that in most cases the bearings themselves will be fine, as they were very well engineered. It said to grab the axle and see if it will wiggle and click, indicating bad bearings. Also spinning the wheel should make a smooth, whirring sound when good, or a crunchy, rattling when bad.

You guys have a way to check the bearings besides these suggestions?

Other than what you mentioned above, not really.  If the axle spins without any movement or noise they're good to go.  If you disassemble then look at the bearings for any wear/scoring.

And yeah, the Bentley is the manual to have.  I've always found Clymer's assumes you know a fair bit already and is quite often a little short on explanation.  The Idiot book is great for de-mystifying things and making you more comfortable with attempting procedures but (I think) assumes you have the appropriate Bentley beside you as well.

Last edited by ALB

Thanks guys. I found a YouTube video showing the process of removing the axle all the way to replacing the bearings. It doesn't look as difficult as I thought it might be. I will disassemble and check everything and repack bearings, replace seals.

It didn't look like there were any races to replace, like in a wheel bearing. Is that correct?

Yeah, it's a big sealed bearing that presses in.  Fafnir, Sachs, AST, GRW are all good.

Over the years, I've replaced rear axle seals and bearings on a few VW sedans, Dune Buggies and one on my Speedster.  ALL of them were on the passenger side.  I believe it's because that side is closer to the side-of-the-road slush and salt in the winter which takes a bigger toll on everything on that side of the car.

And just like you, Trey, I figured "What the heck" and did the driver's side on my Speedster, too.  The second one went much quicker!

Trey,

I'm like you, I tend to over do things at times.  It took almost four years, but I built my Speedster with everything new or refurbished down to the last bolt and wire, except for one part.  I used a transaxle that came with the unassembled pile of parts that I purchased.  The PO told me that he had gotten it in a trade and that it was a rebuilt unit.  It had nice black paint and the remnants of a tag and I assumed it was in good condition.  It was not.  The one part that I took at face value is the only failure that I have had in my car.  It has popped out of 3rd gear when I let off the gas ever since day one and now whines like crazy in 1st and 2nd.

I guess the moral of this story is to leave no stone unturned.  Now is the best opportunity to make sure that every last part is right.  Besides, on a VW platform, almost everything is pretty easy!  Looking good!

James

Last edited by James

I replaced wheel bearings and seals on my Speedster when I changed the rotors to 5-stud Chevy and eliminated the adapter/spacers the PO installed. The IRS rears were easy as pie. The hardest part is putting the proper torque on the axle nut. I couldn't use my torque multiplier because of the non-stock axle bolts, so I had to make up a long brace to hold the hub steady against the floor and use my 3/4" drive torque wrench. The Idiot book recommends a 30,000 mile re-pack interval, so I've got a few years before I have to re-lube. 

I did mine quite a few years ago and don't remember it all perfectly, but it was when I was making up sets of hex bar carb linkage upgrade kits with heim bearings.  When I stopped at a local bearing place I mentioned having to get new axle bearings and was told that if I brought one in they could match it.  I took one to them and they cross-referenced it and said I could replace it with a different roller bearing that was sealed, same OD,  ID and thickness.  That's what I got.  I can't remember the manufacturer from back then.

Replacing the regular, grease packed kind isn't all that difficult on an IRS rear.  You have the option of either removing the diagonal arm or leaving it in place - It's easier to remove it and press the bearing out/in using a press.  Just remember to peen the tabs out releasing the diagonal arm mounting bolt so you can screw it out to remove the arm, then peen them back when done to lock the bolt in place.  To grease the bearing, either smear it in there with your fingers or use a large BBQ meat marinator syringe packed with grease and just shoot it in there.  Check your Bentley's manual for the type of grease to use.

@Impala posted:

I remember the diagonal arms pivot on some sort of rubber bushings, right? Can those bushings be checked and replaced while you are at it?

@TreyG posted:

I’ll take a look at the diagonal arms and the Bentley manual to see. If there’s bushings in there I will replace them!

Yes, the bushings wear and usually need to be replaced in an older car, especially if the car has been driven spiritedly (or if you're building a Speedster and are planning to).

I found cip1 has a set of the rubber bushings for the diagonal arms on sale for $45. I’ll scoop them up before the sale ends.

For the rear axle bearings, Gordon mentioned several brands above. How do y’all feel about AC Industries for the bearings? SoCal has a kit for what appears to be a good price that includes all the bearings, seals, etc.

I needed to free up some space to get my wife’s car back in the garage. I did some dumpster diving on one of my construction sites (I’m not too proud!) and came up with some 2” pipe. I made a cart to put the body on till I’m ready for that part. I made it just tall enough to get my pan under, on its dollies, with the engine installed.0482C12E-5653-485F-9EB8-3E36533DA0E2FBB8BA94-10B5-452E-9CB9-7344C385739CEB25C0D7-98EF-444C-8D9D-FEFEFD3069889CC9AC4E-D5BB-4654-855F-EABA129396D06B15F2C0-F2D0-4420-A5ED-B42F8A0F046F

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