VW Blog

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IRS Reassembled


Managed to spend some time on reassembling the rear suspension this past weekend. The paint I applied last weekend has not come out too bad, but the issue I had with the thinners reacting has left a bit of a mottled finish. But, as I’m now on a mission to get the car back on the road by September it’s just something that I will have to live with. Mind you, it’s really not too bad, and it is one of those things that will not really get scrutinized. (in reality it will not even get seen), or maybe I’m just trying to convince myself so. 


I had a bit of fun removing the bushes from the other suspension, and ended up having to get creative with the vice and some different size sockets to push the centre of the bushes out on the Porsche arms so that I could reuse them on the new IRS. The bushes are urethane and will help to stiffen up the handling a little. In addition to urethane pivot bushes, I have also installed urethane spring plate bushings too.

Fitting the IRS arms and spring plates back on was relatively straightforward, apart from painting over the marks that I had made as a reference for the torsion bars (oops).  This was no biggie, it just meant taking a little longer to make sure that the torsion bars were aligned the same on both sides. I also turned the spring plates to lower the car a little, hopefully I’ve remembered the correct settings as it’s been quite a few years since I’ve done this. If not I guess it will mean taking it all apart again.


I also chopped down the bump stops. This is a necessity with lowered cars to maintain the correct suspension travel and prevent the suspension from ‘bottoming out’. I will try and source some proper lowered (shorter) stops, but for the mean time, doing it the old fashioned way will be fine. It’s worth noting that in some countries (such as the UK) legislation states that these must be in place and functional.

One thing that I am still waiting on is the info from MBT regarding the rear brake conversion. I managed to get a reply from them only to find out that I had asked the wrong question. Somehow in my translation of their German catalog I’d managed to ask them for the details on a front brake kit instead.

Unfortunately MBT seem to take an absolute age to answer any emails (the last enquiry took nearly a month), and it worries me that if I did place an order, it would take equally as  long to process. I did take a look into alternative systems, but none offer the disc / caliper combination that I want. One thing that I have yet to check is the possibility of fitting the standard 944 backing plate onto the VW IRS arm, they look to be very similar, but without one to compare I’m not sure. This is an unfortunate situation as a whole bunch of research and development is exactly the kind of thing that I wanted to avoid. If it proves too hard, I will simply fit stock drums for the time being and look at this again later.

As well as putting the IRS back together, I also took the old suspension out of the Ghia. This was the remnants of a custom suspension that I was developing, and for reasons of time decided to put on hold. I’ve noticed that there are a couple of areas behind the rear beam that must have got missed when the pan was painted, no doubt due to the suspension being in the way. I also removed the heater control boxes as they were in the way of the custom suspension. I will prep and paint these areas before fitting the new IRS in place.

All in all quite a productive day, but with only 14 Sundays left until September, I’ve really got my work cut out to get this finished in time for the 50th anniversary.

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