VW Beetle Ghia & type 3 68 or earlier – lowering the rear

  1. This is what you will be looking at with the car jacked up, wheels removed, shocks disconnected, and axles disconnected. To disconnect the axle from the spring plate first remove the e-brake cables from the e-brake handle, this will allow the axles to move back far enough so that the spring plate can be adjusted. After you have disconnected the e-brake remove the 3 large bolts holding the axle to the sping plate.


  1. Next take off the torsion bar covers that are attached to the torsion housing with 4 bolts. Mark the orginal position of the spring plate to torsion bar adjustment. You can use a marker, chisle, or scribe. I also like to put an arrow pointing up so that I can tell which way the torsion bars were installed in the torsion housing.


  1. Now pry the sping plate off of the torsion bar. Try not to pull the torsion bar out of the inner splines. Torsion bars have two different size splines to allow for fine tuning of ride height, example- If raise the inner splines one notch, and lower the outer splines 1 notch you will have raised the spring plate half of a degree. Because of this adjustment it is important to make sure you have both inner and outter splines the same on each side, or your car will not be level. This is why I mark the torsion bars and spring plates, so that I can be sure on how they came apart. Also note that it is important to keep the torsion bars on the sides that they were originally installed in.


  1. With the spring plates removed you can see the splines.


  1. These are the measurements I made to cut these spring plates. I am only going to lower the back two splines, so I do not have to cut very big notches in the spring plates. The shape of the notch will vary on the year, make, and amount of drop you want.


  1. Here is the notch cut out. I used a die griner with a cut-off wheel to cut my spring plates, but you can use whatever tools you have at your disposal. As you can see I took enough out so that the spring plate would go all of the way to the bump stop on the shock tower. If you plan to go any more than 2 splines you may have to trim the shock tower and bump stop.


  1. When assembling suspention use plenty of greese on everything to prevent squeaks, and wear.


  1. Install the spring plate back on to the torsion bar. I re-splined this one about 2 outer notches.


  1. This step is showing a inclometer to check the spring plate angle. You will need to use one of these if you took your torsion bars out completely, or lost your original spline adjustment. To avoid this step be careful when you disassemble the spring plates and torsion bars.


  1. Now that the the spring plates are re-splined reassemble the torsion bar covers, axles on to the spring plates, e-brakes, shocks, ect. In my opinion 2 outer splines should be the maximum amount of lowering to prevent premature transaxle failure, and exesive tire wear. To go lower a transaxle raise is a must.

Procedure & images courtesy of Derrick ([email protected]).

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