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  • What do the PRO's recommend to Air Ride my Classic VW?

    Complete Listings of Recommended Classic Volkswagen Air Ride Kits by year and model | Airkewld

    Over 20+ years developing Air Ride Kits for the Classic Volkswagen should give you confidence that the product offerings the PRO's provide will do what we say they will. Below you will find recommended kits by year and model. As you click each year, it will add the recommended kits to your cart for the perfect air ride kit for you. If it doesn't, we don't offer one. - by Pete Skiba - PRO since 2002 | Airkewld.com | Updated on 8/12/23

    Type 1 Standard Beetle - 1949 | 1950 | 1951 | 1952 | 1953 | 1954 | 1955 | 1956 | 1957 | 1958 | 1959 | 1960 | 1961 | 1962 | 1963 | 1964 | 1965 | 1966 | 1967 | 1968 | 1969 | 1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974 | 1975 | 1976 | 1977

    Karmann Ghia - 1957 | 1958 | 1959 | 1960 | 1961 | 1962 | 1963 | 1964 | 1965 | 1966 | 1967 | 1968 | 1969 | 1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974

    Super Beetle - 1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974 | 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979

    Type 181 Thing - 1973 | 1974

    Type 2 Split Bus - 1955 | 1956 | 1957 | 1958 | 1959 | 1960 | 1961 | 1962 | 1963 | 1964 | 1965 | 1966 | 1967

    Type 2 Bay Bus - 1968 | 1969 | 1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974 | 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979

    Type 2 Brazilian Bus - 1968 | 1969 | 1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974 | 1975

    Type 3 - 1961 | 1962 | 1963 | 1964 | 1965 | 1966 | 1967 | 1968 | 1969 | 1970 | 1971 | 1972

    Related: Complete Air Ride Kit install guides | Complete Build of a 1962 Chassis on Air Ride | The Oldest Karmann Ghia on Air Ride from Airkewld

  • What is a Narrowed Beam and why do I need it?

    The Classic Volkswagen front suspension consists of a beam assembly that houses internal torsion slats that give the vehicle its suspension. Under a stock format, this works great for an original vehicle. It would have a classic look and a nostalgic feel. But that is the limit.

    A standard upgrade to a Classic Volkswagen would be a disc brake upgrade. I get it; you get it; we all get it. We want to be safer....and we should. But to create that safety, the caliper and rotor combo need to grow in size to accomplish the feat of slowing a vehicle that wants to go faster than it really should. This upgrade adds width to the vehicle's track, making the drive-train under the vehicle wider. Depending on the vendor you use and the bolt pattern or lug pattern you use, you can change the width that can and will increase the width of your front suspension. Anywhere from zero to 1 1/2 inches or 38mm of track increase can be had with the upgrade.

    Another standard upgrade is the addition of a dropped spindle. All drop spindles for the Beetle and Ghia add 3/4" (19mm) in total track or 3/8" (9.5mm) on each side.

    More and more enthusiasts are also
  • Can I bolt a Link Pin beam on a Ball Joint car or vice versa?

    Question : Can I bolt a Link Pin beam on a Ball Joint car or vice versa?
    Quick answer, No. The spread between the upper tube and the lower tubes are different so the beam can not nest from one type to the other.

    The only way to do it right, should you have a reason you want to swap it would be to change out the who front half of the chassis head, also known as the Napoleon Hat Frame Head. Welding and experience is required and I would rank this modification as high as it can go, 10 out of 10. Iffy and maybe will not cut it with this modification.

  • What do I need to Air Ride an early Type 2 VW Bus

    This article was created to give you, the #AirkewldArmy, the information needed to make a GREAT decision for YOU and YOUR Classic Volkswagen build. Let's get into the details of this question.

    I want to Air Ride my Classic Type 2 Volkswagen. What products and or kits do I need to do the job?

    What year & model of Classic Type 2 Volkswagen do these fit?
    1955-1967 Type 2 Bus, Standard Kombi, Single Cab, Double Cab, Panel, Deluxe, all models.

    Will this kit fit on narrowed beam?
    No, it must be an OEM beam.

    Will this kit fit with a stock reduction gear box (RGB) transaxle?

  • UN-assembled versus PRObuilt Drop Spindles

    This article was created to give you, the #AirkewldArmy, the information needed to make a GREAT decision for YOU and YOUR Classic Volkswagen build. Let's get into the details of this question.

    UN-assembled versus PRObuilt Drop Spindles

    UN-assembled drop spindles - Link
    PRObuilt Drop Spindles - Link


    What year & model of Classic Volkswagen do these fit?
    1949-1965 Beetle & Karmann Ghia

    Do these also fit the Porsche 356 A & B?
    They do indeed. Some models require a new inner wheel bearing and seal.

  • Top 5 Components for a Quality Ride

    What Are The TOP 5 Things That Contribute To A Quality Riding VW Front Suspension?

    I read yesterday that quality is subjective. The PRO's opinion of quality is X and your opinion of quality is Y. We all think differently, something one of my best friends in life made me aware of awhile ago.

    The PRO's have come up with a baseline of 5 components that contribute to a quality riding front suspension. Quality is the key word because most of us that have been in the industry awhile understand that what we did in the past, wasn't necessarily quality, but it got the job done in an aesthetic way.

    Let's begin.

    1. Shocks - Who would have thought that shocks have something to do with a quality of ride. But it is PARAMOUNT! Just because a shock comes in a collapsed length or extended length to fit the application, does not mean it is the right shock for the job. This has been the main reason...
  • Identifying the condition of your Beetle/Ghia Suspension

    Let’s take the necessary steps to ensure the base you are working with is solid and straight.

    • Check the tire pressure in all your tires to ensure there is 22 psi in them.
    • Make sure you have matching tire sizes on the front and matching in the rear.
    • Make sure you are on a level flat surface. Measure from the ground to the upper arch of each fender and write those measurements down.
    • Measure the distance from your tire or wheel to the outer portion of your fender edge.
    • Measure the gap, the distance from the top of your tire up to the fender edge.

    On an original Beetle, the distance from the fender edge to the top of a 165r15 tire would be about 7”. If the measurement you have is less than that, the vehicle has relaxed, lost tension in the front torsion bars or it has been altered in some fashion.

    If you jack up your VW by the front axle beam, you will notice the body moving up and the wheels are staying put. As you continue jacking it up, the gap between the tire and the fender will grow. Once you see the tires almost come off the ground….. that is just about stock height. From the factory, in our interpretation, when “loading the suspension”, the car will drop about 1.5” or 38mm. If you notice the vehicle dipping more than that, the vehicle is lowered the additional amount you measured.

  • How to lower your VW Bus the right way

    We all dream of having a type 2 VW bus. Whether it is one with all the windows or a camper the wife and the kids strapped in and cruising down the road. Sounds good right? You would think. I did some asking around and came up with some pretty surprising information. Most people listen to companies and friends on what they think they should do with their bus and fork down the cash to make that happen. After they are done it ends up in the classifieds. Why? Most people look at things as a cosmetic and how cool it looks when you step out of the vehicle and turn to take a peak. Although it looks cool the outcome is not what the owner wanted. The type 2 bus rode terrible and the wife did not want to cruise it anymore. Because of certain products that were installed on the bus, the beers in the ice chest got all shook up on the drive to the beach. You see where this is going right? There are two variations of a lowered bus.
    • Daily Driver Status
    • Slammed
    Daily Driver Status (DDS) This is the most common of the variations. 3.5" dropped spindles up front and either a straight axle conversion or an IRS conversion in the rear which drops the rear end about 4". Update your wheels and tires to get better drivability/looks and there you have it. Install some new shocks that are not KYB's and you're done. The ride is like stock because you really did not change anything that had to do with your torsions (in theory). Why is this most common?

  • How to lower your VW Beetle/Ghia the right way

    So you probably just finished reading our article on "Identifying the condition of your Beetle/Ghia suspension" If not, check it out here. You have determined that you want to lower your Beetle/Ghia. Let's review some products we provide to get you lowered correctly. We must identify if you are building a cruiser or a performer.
    Cruiser - Small engine application, not built for speed, low and slow baby.
    Performer - Larger engine application, built for performance, nice and tight, power to the ground.

    Front Suspension

    * PRObuilt Adjusters - Drop you anywhere your shocks and tires will allow for. By themselves, no more than 4" drop to obtain an optimal ride. Welders are needed to install these.
    * Lowered Shocks - These shocks do not drop the vehicle. They give you the ride quality you are after. Bolt-on.
    * Ultimate Narrowed and Adjustable Axle Beam - Built-in adjusters in the beam give you 7.5" of adjustability. Available in various narrowed widths to allow larger wheels, disc brakes, or track adders. Bolt-on.
    * Drop Spindles - Drop you 2.5" from where you are currently.

  • How to LOWER a VW rear end correctly

    We are going to be writing a HUGE update to this article shortly.

    To be accurate, it is a 1960 chassis with a 1968 transmission, 1962 spring plates and type-3 drum brakes, but far as i know all the 60's bugs are very much the same as far as this is concerned. The wheel of a swing axle doesn't travel anywhere near straight up and down, but rather travels in an arc. Therefore actual ride height measurements are difficult, and also they change with the size and offset of the tire. SO, I found it is easiest to just measure the travel and ride height in degrees of camber. The angle can be measured at the axle tube or the brake drum or the wheel, they are all connected together so it doesn't matter. Zero degrees camber or perhaps up to 2 positive camber is usually considered the "stock" ride height. With the torsion bar removed, but all else assembled, I measured the travel.

    Extended: 8 degrees down
    shock length 16.5"
    When rubber bump stop comes into action: 5 deg up

    When the spring plate hits the hard stop:9 degrees up
    shock length 10.5"

    I have always wondered how much the UP travel can be increased. So, I then put on these "complimentary" special spring plates that go around the hard bump stop. This is all the way up, note the "hard stop" is still nowhere near hitting the spring plate.

    This allowed it to travel up another 2 degrees, however it seems that this is all the travel the transmission allows, at this point the internal joint runs out of travel. I jacked it up a bit more but the engine started twisting.

  • VW Axle Indentification

    Information. Data. Assumption. Ordering twice.

    This video is full of information that make understanding what your VW has as far as axles in the rear. Why does this matter? You need to know this information. If you don’t, your wheels you just ordered won’t fit. Your brand new tires will rub. Your disc brake kit you just ordered will need to be returned. You will need to educate yourself before investing money in your VW build.

    Today, we talk about axle lengths. What was stock on US Spec Type 1 Beetles, the lengths etc.

    1949-65 Beetle normally has short axle, short spline configurations.
    1966-67 Beetle normally has long axle, short spline configurations.
    1968 Beetle normally has long axle, long spline configurations.

    Short Axle, Short Spline configurations has a total axle length of ( 26 5/8 Inches) and the spline length is ( 2 Inches)( 53 mm).
    Long Axle, Short Spline configurations has a total axle length of ( 27 7/8 Inches) and the spline length is ( 2 Inches)( 53 mm).
    Long Axle, Long Spline configurations has a total axle length of ( 28 3/8 Inches) and the spline length is ( 2 5/8 Inches)( 68 mm).

    Short Axle bearing housings have a total length of ( 3 7/16 Inches)( 87 mm).
    Long Axle bearing housing have a total length of ( 4 5/8 Inches)( 117 mm).

    Being able to measure these items, will identify what you have and will educate yourself on what brake kits you need to purchase, what wheels will fit...

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