Home > Learn > Suspension Installs > How To: PRObuilt Beam

PRObuilt Beam Install Tutorial
by Pete Skiba 12/25/23

Related: Curated Tool List | PDF Version | How to lower the back end of a Classic VW the Right Way | Ultimate Beam Installs

Our goal is to make the install a breeze. Please read the entire guide before unpacking the beam. Any time you see a 🔧 that tool is available on our Amazon tool page. If you have a tech question, you can text us here.

  1. Before the installation takes place, measure 🔧 the distance from the ground to your upper fender arch. Write those numbers down on a piece of paper for reference later.
  2. Loosen the lug nuts 1/4 turn before jacking the vehicle up.
  3. Jack 🔧 up the front of the vehicle and place stands 🔧 underneath the chassis.Or if you have a two post lift, that is an even better option. We recommend this one 🔧 if you don't have one.
  4. Remove the wheels and place under the chassis as a fail safe.
  5. Lift the front hood and remove the 4 gas tank bolts.
  6. If your vehicle is equipped with a vent line, you will need to remove that prior to removing your tank.
  7. Lift the tank high enough to pinch 🔧 the line to remove the tank.
  8. Remove the steering column shaft from the steering box, including the horn wire.
  9. You will have two bolts that fasten the body to the front beam. Early models will be outside the gas tank area, late models will be inside the gas tank area.
  10. The speedometer cable must be removed from the left side spindle. To do this, remove the cir clip from the dust cap. Then pull the cable from the back of the spindle to remove it from the spindle.
  11. If you purchased BAD Series Brakes at the same time as your PRObuilt Beam, skip these steps (-)
  12. To avoid from bleeding your brakes again, you will need to remove the brakes with out removing the brake lines and bleeders. Remove the dust caps, spindle nut or nuts and remove the drums. Once removed, remove the backing plates and set to the side.
  13. To make lowering the complete beam as easy as possible, you must remove the larger tie rod assembly. Several different ways of doing this. Our favorite at this time is to loosen the nuts on the tie rod nut and utilize an air hammer 🔧 to force the tie rod end shaft through the spindle with out damaging the threads or paint finish. Once loose, remove the nuts and the rod and set to the side.
  14. Spray the front beam bolts with WD40 🔧 or a rust penetrant to make removing them as easy as possible. While you let these soak, grab a beer or coffee and take a break.
  15. Break loose the bolts and place a jack 🔧 under the front beam assembly. Grab a buddy or the wife to help you with this next part. Once all the bolts are removed, balance the beam on the jack and have your side kick lower the beam.
  16. Relocate the old beam to the garage while you prep your new PRObuilt Beam.
  17. If you are using Airkewld’s PRObuilt installation kit with stainless steel beam bolts, apply anti seize on them and place near your vehicle.
  18. It is always recommend chasing 🔧 the threads with old or new hardware to ensure proper engagement. These bolts are threaded 12mm x 1.50.
  19. Unbox the new PRO Built Beam and unwrap the plastic wrap. It’s alright to smile, we had a hard time shipping this to you, it was that beautiful. Before unbolting the beam from the pallet, remove the long tie rod assembly and steering dampener off of the beam. Remember the steps above for proper removal. It should be loose and marked with a grey label.
  20. To keep the beam as nice as possible, place the entire area under your pride and joy with blankets, moving pads 🔧, card board, what ever you can find to allow you to slide the beam into place and avoid scratching your PRO Built Beam. Wrap the jack pad with a towel as well or you can use this jack pad 🔧. Place plastic grocery bags over the sides of the shock towers to avoid scuffs on the beam and the paint on your body.
  21. If you purchased the optional installation kit, you should have received the lower body mount rubbers. Apply a little grease 🔧 to them and place them on the body bungs on your front beam.
  22. With the help of your buddy or wife, lift the beam onto the jack and balance as they jack up the beam into place.
  23. It might take a little while to get it into place, be patient, it will be worth it. Once in place, tighten the bolts. Do not over tighten, I can tell you have some guns, go easy on her.
  24. If you purchased the optional installation kit, you should have received the upper body mount rubbers. Lube them up and place them in the factory locations.
  25. Re-install the body to beam bolts and tighten.
  26. Re-install the new tie rod assembly and tighten.
  27. Your steering box should be centered from the get go. But your steering might not be. So we recommend installing the coupler and centering the steering wheel. To do this, we recommend turning the steering wheel from left to right and count the revolutions. Then rotate have the amount of revolutions and center your steering wheel on the shaft.
  28. If you are using your stock brakes, reinstall your backing plates, drums and dust caps to factory specs.
  29. To install the speedo cable, apply some grease on the exterior cable and push through the spindle and install the factory cir clip.
  30. Stage 1 Applications Only (Adjustable/Non-Air Ride) - If you would like to dial in the ride height, we recommend lowering the vehicle onto the ground and preload the suspension. If you are happy with the height, proceed to the next step. If you would like to raise it up, you will need to loosen all the jam nuts and screw in the adjustment bolts (Bolts pointing towards the ground), upwards to lift the vehicle. Ball joint models, you will need to loosen the center grub screws during this adjustment process. To lower it, you will loosen the adjustment bolts in equal increments. Lower and preload and adjust as needed. *If you purchased the adjustable shocks, you will be able to fine tune the ride quality of the vehicle. We set them in the softest range but you can tighten them to get the desired ride quality.
  31. Stage 2 Applications Only (Air Ride) - Run the air lines inside the trunk area in a clean manor to make connections easily. If you also purchased the air management kit, follow those installation instructions.
  32. NOTE on both Stage 1 & 2 Applications - If you made adjustments at all in the above two steps, you will need to fine tune the alignment. We recommend taking the vehicle to a digital alignment rack for a FOUR WHEEL alignment, not a TWO WHEEL alignment, to make sure the tires last as long as possible and you get the finest user experience.
  33. Install your fuel line, gas tank and vent lines to factory specs.
  34. Close the hood, install the tires and lower the vehicle onto the ground. Compare the measurements you first took to ensure the measurements are similar left to right.
  35. If you haven’t yet, you should be grinning and your friends should be drooling.

Trouble Shooting

  • I have some play in my steering box, how do I fix this? Check all your joints in the steering shaft, there are 6 possibilities where play can be had. With help from a friend, have your friend rock the steering wheel left to right to engage any play in the steering box. Inspect all parts of the steering system. Column parts, tie rod ends, spindles, steering box to beam, pitman arm etc, determine that all parts are properly installed and to spec. 95% of the play after installation are in the steering column connections. The two tee’s and c-clamp connections are almost never tightened enough for the serrations on the male tee and steering box to bite into the female tee and steering column. If you still have play, there is an adjustment bolt on the top of the box. Before you loosen the jam nut, call or text us. You should never have to adjust this until the steering box is broken in. If everything checks out above, incrementally tighten the screw while the steering wheels is being rocked left to right until all the play is gone. Then tighten the nut.
  • My ride is firmer then my original beam was. How can I make it softer? We offer two different shock applications. Sport and adjustable. If you are saying that the ride is firmer with the sport shocks, that is the smoothest you are going to get. Pump the suspension full of grease through the four grease zerks and allow the vehicle to break in. If you have adjustable shocks, turn the adjusters right to left and test on each click to ensure the feel you are after.
  • On my Stage 1 Beam, my adjusters are really close to the ground and I know I will drag them off, how can we solve this? Once you have fine tuned your ride height, we recommend the measure the amount of thread showing on the bottom of the adjuster bracket. Take a cut off wheel and trim that amount off the end that touches the slider, not the Allen side, then re-install. This should make the bolt flush with the jam nut at the same right height. You can watch a film on this here.
  • My car is slammed and from the looks of it, I only have about 2” of shock shaft showing, did I get the wrong size shocks on my PRO Built Beam? No. Your vehicle will move up 1.5” and 1.5” down in normal travel with bumps and pot holes.

Maintenance

  • Every time you change your oil, grease all your zerks.
  • Check your bolts from time to time. It’s better to check than assume.
  • Check your alignment every 5000 miles.
  • Check your lugs often.

We WANT your old beam core! And we will pay you for them ASAP. But we don’t need the entire beam. We need the arms, spindles, hardware, steering box assembly, with pitman arm and clamp. If we can get those parts put into a Home Depot bucket with a lid of a sturdy box, we will give you $150 for it or you can donate it to the Cores for Heroes Program and we will send FedEx to come pick it up from you. It takes your participation to keep this going for others who also want a PRObuilt Beam from the PRO’s at Airkewld. Call or text us today at 1-623-518-3537 and FedEx will be there the next business day to pick it up.

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Stage 1 PRObuilt Adjustable Ball Joint Beam Complete - 2200 Stage 1 PRObuilt Adjustable Ball Joint Beam Complete - 2200

The BEST way to adjust a Classic Volkswagen Type 1 with ball joint front suspension (1966 through 1977), up or down, is by installing a Complete PRObuilt Beam. When the PRO's say complete, they mean complete. You will not need anything in addition to this assembly.

The Stage 1 PRObuilt Beam is built on the Ultimate Beam platform. It's made in stock width and up to four inches narrower than OEM to allow for wider wheels, drop spindles, and disc brakes, that add track width.

The complete beam comes as you see it, spindle to spindle, with an entire PRObuilt steering system installed and ready to bolt in and go. For a full list of details included with the beam assembly, visit the Complete Details section here.

Made in the USA | Product updated 4/30/24 by Pete

Typical time to install - 2 1/2 Hours | Install PDF Link | Install Video | Tools Needed

More Information
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Register here for the Airkewld Army Price

List Price $3,499.99
Airkewld Army Price $3,099.99 per Assembly
Savings: $400.00

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Stage 1 PRObuilt Adjustable Link Pin Beam Complete - 2201 Stage 1 PRObuilt Adjustable Link Pin Beam Complete - 2201

The BEST way to adjust a Classic Volkswagen Type 1 with link pin front suspension (1949 through 1965), up or down, is by installing a Complete PRObuilt Beam. When the PRO's say complete, they mean complete. You will not need anything in addition to this assembly.

The Stage 1 PRObuilt Beam is built on the Ultimate Beam platform. It's made in stock width and up to four inches narrower than OEM to allow for wider wheels, drop spindles, and disc brakes, that add track width.

The complete beam comes as you see it, spindle to spindle, with an entire PRObuilt steering system installed and ready to bolt in and go. For a full list of details included with the beam assembly, visit the Complete Details section here. This beam replaces the factory beam part number 113401021A.

Made in the USA | Product updated 1/9/24 by Pete

Typical time to install - 2 1/2 Hours | Install PDF Link | Install Video | Tools Needed

More Information
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Register here for the Airkewld Army Price

List Price $3,499.99
Airkewld Army Price $3,099.99 per Assembly
Savings: $400.00

(11)
Stage 2 PRObuilt Air Ride Link Pin Beam Complete - 2202 Stage 2 PRObuilt Air Ride Link Pin Beam Complete - 2202

The BEST way to Air Ride a Classic Volkswagen Type 1 with link pin front suspension (1949 through 1965), is by installing a Stage 2 PRObuilt Beam. When the PRO's say complete, they mean complete. You will not need anything in addition to this assembly.

List Price $3,699.99
Airkewld Army Price $3,399.99 per Assembly
Savings: $300.00
Stage 2 PRObuilt Air Ride Ball Joint Beam Complete - 2203 Stage 2 PRObuilt Air Ride Ball Joint Beam Complete - 2203

The BEST way to add Air Ride to a Classic Volkswagen Type 1 with ball joint front suspension (1966 through 1977), is by installing a Stage 2 PRObuilt Beam. When the PRO's say complete, they mean complete. You will not need anything in addition to this assembly.

List Price $3,699.99
Airkewld Army Price $3,399.99 per Assembly
Savings: $300.00

(4)
Stage 1 PRObuilt Raised Adjustable Ball Joint Beam Complete - 2204 Stage 1 PRObuilt Raised Adjustable Ball Joint Beam Complete - 2204

The BEST way to LIFT, (3.5" Higher), a Classic Volkswagen Type 1 with ball joint front suspension (1966 through 1977), is by installing a Complete Raised PRObuilt Beam. When the PRO's say complete, they mean complete. You will not need anything in addition to this assembly.

The Stage 1 Raised PRObuilt Beam is built on the Ultimate Beam platform and is stock width.

The complete beam comes as you see it, spindle to spindle, with an entire PRObuilt steering system installed and ready to bolt in and go. For a full list of details included with the beam assembly, visit the Complete Details section here.

Made in the USA | Product updated 1/9/24 by Pete)

Typical time to install - 2 1/2 Hours | Install PDF Link | Install Video | Tools Needed

More Information

Null

Register here for the Airkewld Army Price

List Price $3,999.99
Airkewld Army Price $3,499.99 per Assembly
Savings: $500.00
Stage 1 PRObuilt Adjustable Shockless Ball Joint Beam Complete - 2208 Stage 1 PRObuilt Adjustable Shockless Ball Joint Beam Complete - 2208

The BEST way to adjust a Classic Volkswagen Type 1 with ball joint front suspension (1966 through 1977) is by installing a Complete PRObuilt Beam. When the PRO's say complete, they mean complete. You will not need anything in addition to this assembly.

The Stage 1 Shockless PRObuilt Beam is built on the Ultimate Beam platform. It's made six inches narrower than OEM for that low look and to allow for wider wheels, drop spindles, and disc brakes that add track width.

The complete beam comes as you see it, spindle to spindle, with an entire PRObuilt steering system installed and ready to bolt in and go. For a full list of details included with the beam assembly, visit the Complete Details section here.

Contrary to belief, the shockless beam can ride amazingly when using Airkewld's Delrin bushings. One tip, though, is if the vehicle is adjusted down, the ride will be rough, lift it an inch, and the ride improves.

Made in the USA | Product updated 4/30/24 by Pete

Typical time to install - 2 1/2 Hours | Install PDF Link | Install Video | Tools Needed

More Information
Null

Register here for the Airkewld Army Price

List Price $3,299.99
Airkewld Army Price $2,899.99 per Assembly
Savings: $400.00

(2)
Stage 1 PRObuilt Adjustable Shockless Link Pin Beam Complete - 2209 Stage 1 PRObuilt Adjustable Shockless Link Pin Beam Complete - 2209

The BEST way to adjust a Classic Volkswagen Type 1 with link pin front suspension (1949 through 1965), is by installing a Complete PRObuilt Beam. When the PRO's say complete, they mean complete. You will not need anything in addition to this assembly.

The Stage 1 Shockless PRObuilt Beam is built on the Ultimate Beam platform. It's made six inches narrower than OEM for that low look and to allow for wider wheels, drop spindles, and disc brakes, that add track width.

The complete beam comes as you see it, spindle to spindle, with an entire PRObuilt steering system installed and ready to bolt in and go. For a full list of details included with the beam assembly, visit the Complete Details section here. This beam replaces the factory beam part number 113401021A.

Contrary to belief, the shockless beam can ride amazingly when using Airkewld's Delrin bushings. One tip, though, is if the vehicle is adjusted down, the ride will be rough, lift it an inch, and the ride improves.

Made in the USA | Product updated 4/30/24 by Pete

Typical time to install - 2 1/2 Hours | Install PDF Link | Install Video | Tools Needed

More Information
Null

Register here for the Airkewld Army Price

List Price $3,299.99
Airkewld Army Price $2,899.99 per Assembly
Savings: $400.00

(1)
   
 


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