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Straight Axle Conversion / Drop Spindles
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Author:  CPO_05 [ Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Straight Axle Conversion / Drop Spindles

Apologize for being MIA for the past few months but life has been busy and the bus has been garaged due to transmission.

I just dropped the trans and going to do a strait axle conversion with a freeway flyer. Currently looking at a kit from Wolfgang International or Bus Boys. I know I will have to drop the front as well, looking at getting some 3.5" drop spindles to do that.

For those that have done this conversion, I was curious if I could get some advice on items I would need/what you used and things I need to look out for while doing this. I am not trying to re-invent the wheel, so I would love to hear your experiences.

My goal is to be done in time for Blackstar as I was bumbed I missed it last year (in Japan). Thanks for the help!

Author:  Slayer [ Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Straight Axle Conversion / Drop Spindles

Nice to have you back, you have been missed, at least I have missed you.
Hope you will be able to go to Black Star, we will have room for you.
Please keep in touch as to if you will be able to make it!
BTY, I know nothing about the issues you are dealing with, I do know about stock.
I will be happy to help if needed, just let me know or PM me!

Again, good to see you here, I was wondering where you have been!

Author:  pyrOman [ Mon May 01, 2017 5:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Straight Axle Conversion / Drop Spindles

As I've BTDT I can say this much:

Freeway flyer with reduction boxes works very well, but with straight axles not so much. The gearing will be very heavy! In any either case you'll need a more powerful engine than stock if you want to keep with traffic, specially if loaded with camping gear and family plus going up a grade.

I had a FF with redux boxes and ran an 1835 for a long time. Worked well even pulling the trailer. Going IRS I used numerous transaxles until I went all the way and had the German guy build a transaxle for me. After asking me what I had and how I used it, he recommended a stock geared Bug transaxle. It's damn near perfect! However, tire size is vital in order to make it reasonably drivable. The TALL tires I was running with the redux made the bus run 95mph for the engine to be "happy", so I had to get smaller tires.

I'm sure you are aware of the "clearance" issues of changing a flat on lowered buses! That is also why most of them run much smaller tires than stock. Doing that will pretty much force you to run similar small tires up front, which will give you erroneous speed readings. I mention this because you would not want to "hold the busavan back" because you think you are going way too fast when the rest are just cruising.

Hope that helps out some. :cool:

Author:  Turbo_g [ Mon May 01, 2017 11:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Straight Axle Conversion / Drop Spindles

FF and redux boxes, perfect combo in my opinion. Run 65-70 and still climb when need to. I run a 1776 with ff and redux, works fine for me.

Author:  der58SC [ Mon May 01, 2017 3:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Straight Axle Conversion / Drop Spindles

head over to steeringboxscrapers.net. You are talking to a stock height crew here.

I did a swap with someone that wanted to go back to stock for the rear. Then I sent out for the spindles to be flipped. I run a stock beam with no adjusters on it. 165/45/15 up front on flipped spindles.

The rear is a stock trans with long axles so no need to hack the torsion housing. Thing brakes for tire clearance.

Author:  CPO_05 [ Mon May 01, 2017 3:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Straight Axle Conversion / Drop Spindles

Interesting.... you guys gave me something to think about. I didn't realize you can run redux's with a FF.

I am still running my 2054, so there is plenty of power there. However, I have had ongoing issues with my boxes leaking gear oil at both wheels. I keep replacing seals and after a month of driving they would start leaking again. When I would take the tire off the axle nut would be loose, even though I tightened them down like you are supposed to, and the seat where the drum touches the seal looks ground down. Now I have horrible noises coming out of both of them, so I figured since I had to rebuild, would just eliminate them.

Author:  Slayer [ Mon May 01, 2017 7:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Straight Axle Conversion / Drop Spindles

My camper is happy, running a 1915, not radical, RGB's, no FF, higher tires!
all gears are happy!

Author:  pyrOman [ Tue May 02, 2017 5:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Straight Axle Conversion / Drop Spindles

CPO_05 wrote:
Interesting.... you guys gave me something to think about. I didn't realize you can run redux's with a FF.

I am still running my 2054, so there is plenty of power there. However, I have had ongoing issues with my boxes leaking gear oil at both wheels. I keep replacing seals and after a month of driving they would start leaking again. When I would take the tire off the axle nut would be loose, even though I tightened them down like you are supposed to, and the seat where the drum touches the seal looks ground down. Now I have horrible noises coming out of both of them, so I figured since I had to rebuild, would just eliminate them.


FWIW, I went with IRS instead of straight axles and actually ended up about an inch HIGHER than stock! :grin:

A conversion of any kind is going to cost $$$. So, I suggest for you to at the very least consider it. The IRS is adjustable and then adjusters on the beam may be an option. That way you can be lower but not slammed. You can dial it in to your liking. :-k

Author:  pyrOman [ Tue May 02, 2017 5:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Straight Axle Conversion / Drop Spindles

Or maybe THIS!!! :-P

Image

Author:  der58SC [ Tue May 02, 2017 7:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Straight Axle Conversion / Drop Spindles

pyrOman wrote:
CPO_05 wrote:
Interesting.... you guys gave me something to think about. I didn't realize you can run redux's with a FF.

I am still running my 2054, so there is plenty of power there. However, I have had ongoing issues with my boxes leaking gear oil at both wheels. I keep replacing seals and after a month of driving they would start leaking again. When I would take the tire off the axle nut would be loose, even though I tightened them down like you are supposed to, and the seat where the drum touches the seal looks ground down. Now I have horrible noises coming out of both of them, so I figured since I had to rebuild, would just eliminate them.


FWIW, I went with IRS instead of straight axles and actually ended up about an inch HIGHER than stock! :grin:

A conversion of any kind is going to cost $$$. So, I suggest for you to at the very least consider it. The IRS is adjustable and then adjusters on the beam may be an option. That way you can be lower but not slammed. You can dial it in to your liking. :-k



I have a set of trailing arms from a Thing that I would like to eventually install on my bus. I need to get the brackets and spring plates along with the trans. I like the IRS idea since there is no camber issues

Author:  pyrOman [ Tue May 02, 2017 10:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Straight Axle Conversion / Drop Spindles

While at my height the CV joints are running pretty much at their extreme angle, when lowered there should not be any issues. I run type 1 inner CVs with type 2 outters. :cool:

Also, if you are really considering IRS, do review my thread on it. It requires some cutting or bolt on bought adapters for the swing arms but you'll need to cut/drill your bus's spring plates!!! :-s

Author:  CPO_05 [ Tue May 02, 2017 12:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Straight Axle Conversion / Drop Spindles

I like the idea of the IRS, just not set-up/ready to do the amount of modifications it requires. It looks like you had to cut and weld all sorts of pieces to make it work. I looked at some kits online, which are around $500, and most say you need a complete rear end of an IRS bug, among other things (http://www.bus-boys.com/fact3.htm).

The SA conversion is mainly swapping parts out for Type 3 parts, most of which I can order online. The other aspect of the SA conversion I like is the 3.5" drop (yes, I like the look of dropped buses). I don't want to "slam" it, just want it a little lower.

I have not made my decision yet, still doing the research. I know I will at least get the FF done, so I am pulling the tranny now to get it to the shop (Transworks in El Cajon) for rebuild.

Author:  OB Bus [ Tue May 02, 2017 2:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Straight Axle Conversion / Drop Spindles

Not trying to rain on your parade but Bus-Boys is out of business and the shop site has been abandoned.
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewt ... 8&start=40

The web site is up and the phone numbers ring...but no one answers.
(Comment about lowered buses deleted.)
Back in the background.....

Author:  CPO_05 [ Tue May 02, 2017 2:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Straight Axle Conversion / Drop Spindles

Thanks for the info. The other vendors I am looking at are Wolfgang International and Vintage Warehouse. Was pricing out between the three, guess it is only two now.

Author:  OB Bus [ Wed May 03, 2017 10:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Straight Axle Conversion / Drop Spindles

Just as long as you avoid vintagevwtheshop in El Cajon. Horrible reviews on The Samba. Ev Barnes refuses to ban them for reasons unknown. I guess he has a soft spots for thieves.

Back in the ether.

Author:  CPO_05 [ Wed May 03, 2017 11:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Straight Axle Conversion / Drop Spindles

I almost did buy from them since they were so close and would have saved me a couple hundred on shipping, then started seeing the reviews. Big NOPE!

Author:  der58SC [ Wed May 03, 2017 1:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Straight Axle Conversion / Drop Spindles

So where are you going to have the trans done?

Author:  pyrOman [ Wed May 03, 2017 2:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Straight Axle Conversion / Drop Spindles

der58SC wrote:
So where are you going to have the trans done?


CPO_05 wrote:
I am pulling the tranny now to get it to the shop (Transworks in El Cajon) for rebuild.


:-s

Author:  der58SC [ Thu May 04, 2017 6:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Straight Axle Conversion / Drop Spindles

pyrOman wrote:
der58SC wrote:
So where are you going to have the trans done?


CPO_05 wrote:
I am pulling the tranny now to get it to the shop (Transworks in El Cajon) for rebuild.


:-s



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