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Baja Forums -:- VW Volkswagen Bug, Baja, Bus, Sandrail and Thing -:- VW Volkswagen & Baja Bug General Discussion -:- Suspension, maybe shocks?
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Suspension, maybe shocks?
Bug, Baja, Thing and Buggies. Most every thing that will not fit any any other area. See list of other Forums for better topic placement...Volkswagen General Discussion
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Grizz
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Post Post subject: Suspension, maybe shocks?
Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:57 AM
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I bought a 72 Baja the other day and am sorting through some of the problems it has. The problem is kinda hard to describe. The only way to describe it is when going down the road mainly 35 mph and above it wants to wander, it feels like the wind is hitting the side of the car and blowing it around. It has coil over shocks all around, i'm thinking maybe the shocks are worn out? It does kinda bounce in the rear if I hit a lttle bump. It had an alignment about 6 months ago. This being my first bug I'm wondering if this is the way they handle. I allways assumed they handled pretty good. Now I'm waiting to be slammed into a gaurd rail anytime. Any ideas?
Thanks,
Kevin

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bajasam96
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Post Post subject: Re: Suspension, maybe shocks?
Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 02:41 AM
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First things first, check your steering linkage and coupler to make sure theyre tight and not worn out. Also be sure to check your steering box and see that its tightly clamped on the beam.

Now if all that checks out time for next step:
When you had your alignment done 6 months ago was it baja'd or has that been done since. what is your suspension setup? If the rear is lifted more than the front, you will be messing with your caster angle and it can wander like hell, but will turn better at parking lot speeds. On the freeway it can be a disaster though.


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Post Post subject: Re: Suspension, maybe shocks?
Posted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 03:41 AM
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I will check the steering linkage, box, and coupler tomorrow when it is light. It has been baja'd since alignment. The suspension set up is as follows.
3" front lift spendles
adjustable lift beam
all around coil overs
all around disc brake
It has 16" of clearance. When I asked about it he said that it still had alot
of adjustment to raise the front end. The car looks like it is sitting pretty level.
I can grab the rear bumber and lift and push the car up and down ALOT, but when I do the same thing to the front end it is pretty stiff.
Thanks for the reply and I will find out the linkage and all as soon as I can.

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Post Post subject: Re: Suspension, maybe shocks?
Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 05:47 AM
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Got underneath it today during lunch, cant see a thing because of the skid plate. I'm going to have to wait till this weekend so I can take the skid plate off and get a good look. One thing I did notice though was that one of the upper ball joints is split. I seem to remember the guy I bought it from saying that when Les Schwab did the alignment that they damaged one of the ball joints. They all look pretty new also.

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72BajaBen
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Post Post subject: Re: Suspension, maybe shocks?
Posted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 04:44 AM
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have you checked your ball joints? maybe they are worn out.

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Post Post subject: Re: Suspension, maybe shocks?
Posted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 01:25 AM
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All the ball joints look good except for one, it is split. I have not been able to get outside to take the skid plate off yet, cause of the rain. Could one bad ball joint cause it to wander?

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Post Post subject: Re: Suspension, maybe shocks?
Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 06:09 AM
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Ok, so I'm an idiot. Finally had a chance to check it out better and realized I'm missing the stabalizer bar. Called the guy I bought it from who did still have it. So hopefully it will cure my problem.

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Post Post subject: Re: Suspension, maybe shocks?
Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 07:35 AM
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you know that bounce in the rear that you mentioned when hitting bumps?

lower the air pressure in the rear tires a smidgen. like to 25psi.


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Post Post subject: Re: Suspension, maybe shocks?
Posted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 02:02 AM
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i dont have a stabilizer and it rides just fine


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Post Post subject: Re: Suspension, maybe shocks?
Posted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 08:34 AM
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air preusre is a big deal for a lite car like a baja. 20 -25 PSI in the back and 15 to 20 PSI in the front. Just look at the tire and make sure that it is sitting flat on the ground. If you have to much air in them it will ride like your on basket balls.

also the rear of your car should not bounce. You should be able to push it down a little and let it go and the car will stop moving up and down. Your not in a smooth ride Cady.

Last you might have lost the caster you need for the car to not wonder. If you let the steering wheel go and the car shoots to the left and/or right and it's real easy to turn then your caster is not set correctly and you have a real problem on your hands.

Just to make sure you caster is set right, back up straigt and the let go of the steering wheel. if the car shoots to the left are right your are good. If you keep going straight back then you have a major castor problem.

As for the steering stabalizer, I do not have one and it works just fine... Off road it would be nice as it helps you keep the steering wheel under controler over bumps and dips etc.


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Post Post subject: Re: Suspension, maybe shocks?
Posted: Sat Feb 03, 2007 03:47 AM
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So if I understand what you are saying, the stabalizer does not affect how much it wanders?

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AzBaja
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Post Post subject: Re: Suspension, maybe shocks?
Posted: Sat Feb 03, 2007 04:20 AM
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The is correct, Caster is like the front wheels on a shopping cart.

So if you have a wild wobbler up front the Sterring stablizer will control the wheel. but somthing else is wrong if you wheels wobble. if you have no caster or evan negative (Postive? not sure wich way at the moment) it like tring to push the shopping car back words with out the wheels flipping all the way around. That is why you do the back up test and if the wheels stay straight then you cster is wrong and you have a real big problem. Somthing is not set right and caster is one of the few things that is hard to fix on a vw.


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