Spent several hours this weekend working on the sway bar mounts. About 90 percent done.
To review: I’ve got a stock 7/16-inch Beetle front sway bar I’m trying to make work on the Spyder. It almost fits on the top trailing arms using the stock bushings—but it hits the steel gusset plate mounting the beam to the frame tube.
I decided to bush it like a regular sway bar to the unused stock beam mounting plates (where you’d bolt the beam to a Beetle or Ghia if the beam wasn’t welded to the tubes). So I bought a pair of universal bushings from these guys.
A bit of fettling, some grade 5 bolts and nyloc nuts and a quarter inch spacer bar got them set up a bit better than this.
I slotted the ends of the bar and notched a couple of pieces of 3/16 plate to make the ends accept the standard kinds of donut bushings.
When I test fit this, the bar was now too long, placing the end link very near the upper ball joint. So I cut off about 3/4-inch of each end and re-did it.
Tacked them on and reinstalled the bar to see about attaching it to my trailing arm brackets…
Which led me to determine those brackets weren’t going to cut it.
Welded the bars up.*
And set about redoing the end brackets. I dug through my scrap bucket for another piece of the steel tubing I used to make the under bracket. Sliced it down the middle, welded two ears on each side and one more on each of the existing pieces, with the top ears being a bit bigger to allow them to bolt to the Heim joints.
And that’s where I left it. Needs a couple holes drilled for a final test fit and hopefully this does the trick. If so, I’ll weld the back sides, do a bit of clean-up, paint, and then final assembly until the road test.
*This precipitated an online discussion of what’s appropriate to weld on a sway bar. I know welding weakens a spring but, since we’re at the very ends, I think I can get away with this. I’m using a 110 flux core wire feed with no gas shielding and yeah, it’s good for up to 3/16th plate, which is what these end pieces are, and the bar itself is thinner than that at the welds because of the way I prepped it with the slots. So amateur newbie welder me thinks he’s got this engineered to a T. We’ll see how it holds up. . . .