Monday, April 03, 2006

Wheely bad news...


















Well, when one's research is based on surfing hobbyist web sites and electronic hearsay, errors are prone to pop up. After fitting one side of the chassis with the 1986 Porsche 944 Turbo rear trailing arm, I finally got a chance to test-fit the body and check clearances. As they (used to) say: 'Close, but no cigar!'. That's right, the aluminum arms were too wide.

The stock vw arms, if you recall, fit the wheel easily inside the fender, but rubbed against the shock tower. It looks like the aluminum arms are out of contention, to be recycled into somebody's beetle project (since those guys can just bolt on wide fenders from any number of suppliers). The options left for consideration both involve going back to the VW trailing arm (which is identical to the early 944/924 steel trailing arms, btw). First, I'll see if I can just use spacers to push the wheel out far enough to clear the shock tower without hitting the fender. Minor trimming of the shock tower wouldn't be a big deal. Next step would be to completely shave the bump stop, and replace it with a custom-fabricated version.. In small recompense, if I have to resort to the custom bumpstop option, there will actually be room to mount the ever-badder 16x7" phone dial rims on the rear, and bodyman Tracy just happened to have recently come across a pair of unscuffed sixteens. I took them home to strip off the funky old repaint, while Tracy continues to try and come to an agreement with the stubbornly thick Danish rust repair panels...
Here is the fifteen, then the sixteen inch wheel on a stock VW trailing arm. Both show a little extra camber/stick out too far because they're resting against the suspension's bump stop on the shock tower, but once that is reworked, we think things will fall into place..

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