Type 3 Ultimate Beam Install
by Pete Skiba 7/21/23
Related: Curated Tool List | PDF Version
Our goal is to make the install a breeze. Please read the entire guide. 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.
- Loosen the lug nuts 1/4 turn before jacking the vehicle up.
- Jack 🔧 up the front of the car and place stands 🔧 underneath the chassis.
- Remove the wheels and place them under the chassis as a fail-safe.
- If you are reusing your factory disc brakes, remove the two caliper bolts on each side and place the calipers to the side, out of the way.
- Remove the gas tank from the vehicle by taking the four bolts and clamps that hold the tank to the body. Remove the fill lines and vents as well. While lifting the front part of the tank, use a set of vise grips to pinch the fuel line and loosen the hose clamp. Then remove the line and then the tank.
- Remove the bolts holding the steering shaft to the rubber donut along the ground wire.
- On the driver's side dust cap, you will see a small e-clip holding the speedo cable to the dust cap. Remove and save. Push the cable inboard and pull the cable away from the beam.
- Remove the tie rods from the vehicle. This can be done by removing the pitman arm and the outer two ends or removing the ends from the spindles and pitman arms. We have used an air hammer with great success.
- The next step is a two-person required job. With one person manning the jack, place it under the beam. The second person will remove the six bolts adhering the beam to the chassis and the two bolts to the body. Remove the front clamps while supporting the beam to stay in its current place. Gently rock the beam to free it up while maintaining a firm grip on the beam. Once loose, lower it down and slide it out of the way.
- You must remove the steering box to use it on the new beam. Clean, paint, and grease the parts as necessary.
- On the side of the chassis, a pinch seam must be trimmed 1.5” backward. Using a cut-off wheel, Sawzall, or metal band saw can also do the job. Be careful with the fuel line and ensure the sparks will not get near it. Once trimmed, clean and paint to prevent rust.
- You will not use the rubber beam insulators to the chassis. Slide the new beam into place, centering it on the chassis with the center bolts only. Once the supplied bolts are in, slide the upper bolt to the chassis and into the beam, keeping the four bolts loose. Then install the body mount rubbers with the new hardware. Tighten the six bolts evenly to center the beam onto the body and chassis.
- You will notice that the lower bolts are no longer needed. Remove the lower legs by utilizing your cut-off wheel to create ground clearance with your new beam installed. Once removed and cleaned, touch up the area with some paint to prevent rusting.
- Install your steering box and clamp it to the beam. Install the steering column onto the steering box with the factory hardware and the ground wire.
- Rotate the steering wheel until the pitman arm faces the vehicle's rear. You will feel a tighter high spot when it is in the correct position.
- Your new beam came with new tie rods but not ends. If your ends are worn out, this would be the time to replace them. If not, loosen the jam nuts, remove the tie rod ends from the old tie rods, and install them in the new ones. Make sure you have even amounts of thread on each side for proper adjustments. Install the tie rods onto the pitman arm loosely.
- Your beam came with new torsion bars, which should have been installed already. If you did not purchase a complete kit, you would need a set of 66-75 Beetle/Ghia Control arms, including the eccentrics, grub screws, and hardened washers. Lube up the arms and slide them in. If they are hard to slide in, check the bearing surfaces to ensure that the worn portions are smoothed out with Emory cloth. Smooth until the arms go in smoothly. If your kit came with them, you should not need to do the smoothing. Just lube and install. You will need to reuse your factory grub screws and jam nuts.
- You are recommended to use drop spindles to get the most drop out of the system. If you have factory disc brakes, you will need 69-75 Dropped Disc Spindles. You will need to lube the shaft holes into which the ball joint shaft will slide. The eccentric will go in the top for adjustment of camber. Utilize the factory-hardened washers and lock nuts. If you purchased a kit from us, these parts should be included in the kit and can be assembled to factory 66-75 Beetle/Ghia Specs.
- Onto the shocks, you must drill some holes for the shock shaft to protrude through the body. Some models require larger holes than others. If you are not able to install the shock bushings and lock nuts, you will need to open up the spot to be able to do that front inside the trunk. Install the upper shock mount first, then the lower.
- Remove the rotors from the old beam if the vehicle is equipped with discs. This usually requires the proper Allen wrench and a crescent to remove the spindle nut. Remove the rotor and inspect. This is a great time to replace rotors, bearings, and seals if you see fit. Clean, inspect, replace, and paint as you see fit.
- Now install the rotors onto your spindles and tighten them to factory specs. Install the due caps and the speedo cable along with the saved circlip.
- Install the calipers onto the rotors and tighten them to factory specs.
- Install the tie rods into the spindles and leave them loose. Ensure your spindles are facing forward, and adjust the tie rods to fit. Once installed, tighten the four tie rod ends. Install the steering dampener at this time.
- Install the front wheels and torque the lugs to the proper specs.
- Before lowering the vehicle, adjust the adjusters in the center of the beam to the highest setting. Each adjustment bolt facing downwards will be in. You will need to have all jam nuts loos to accomplish this task.
- Lower the vehicle down onto the tires.
- Preload the suspension by pushing down on the vehicle to put the car under a load. If you like the height, it is time to do a poor man's alignment. If it is not, install a jam under the beam in any location and unscrew the adjuster bolts evenly on top and bottom. Lower the jack and preload again. Repeat until the desired height is achieved. Once this is done, tighten all the jam nuts and align. Once you dial your ride height, measure how much of the threads are showing on the bottom adjustment bolt, from the face of the jam nut to the end of the adjustment bolt. Remove the bolt and cut that amount off the end that does NOT have the Allen hole. Taper the end smoothly, apply some anti-seize or grease to the adjustment bolt and screw it back in to flush with the nut. This will give you even more ground clearance. We recommend getting the vehicle professionally aligned to have proper ride and steering quality.
- Install the fuel line, tank, and gas tank bolts. Install the fuel fill and vent lines and lower the hood.
- We recommend going around the block once or twice to ensure everything is correct. Recheck the bolts every 3000 miles to ensure nothing has come loose.
- Make an appointment with your local alignment shop and enjoy the ride.
- *Poor Mans Alignment - This can be done by measuring in front of the tires on a matching groove on the tires. Then measuring the same groove on the rear of the front tires. Getting them to match will give you basic alignment. * You will need to cut and drill to install this beam * Always understand, Airkewld is there for you from start to finish, do not hesitate to call, email, or text with questions. If you decide to pick up a hammer, call before you make contact. You will not ever need a hammer for one of our installations.