Sam and Nate get back to work mocking up 3x3 trailing arms. The car gets a new urethane pivot and spring plate bushings, but needs some clearancing for the new trailing arms.


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Watch as Sam and Nate get 3x3 trailing arms installed on this 1972 VW Baja Bug.

The next step in this 1972 VW Baja Bug build is getting new 3x3 (3 inch longer and 3 inch wider, per side) trailing arms mocked up. So after installing new urethane pivot and spring plate bushings and cycling the arms, the pair decided that some clearancing was in order. So out come the sawzall and a grinder to make room for the much larger trailing arms. Sure, there will be more work and clearancing needed to get the arms to cycle up to their full potential, but for now, the arms and the modified transmission will get them driving.

Video Transcript

Hi guys, I'm Sam and I'm Nate, and welcome to our garage.

We're going to continue on with the work we did in the back of the car prior to the Desert Dubs Third Annual Vintage Volkswagen Festival that happened on April 20th. We're going to show you all the work that we did getting the new 3x3 trailing arms in place. We didn't get any shocks; we still don't have any shocks on at this point, but we'll get there. We'll continue through all the work we did prior to getting to the show. So with that, we'll get to the work on the back of the car next.

Here are some big dog trailing arms—big dog—ow, there's a fender there we can do. IRS bushings, we grab a knife and cut all those things out of the packages, get a plastic hammer, and you can see that these are considerably larger diameter than the stock ones—yeah, way bigger, 28 mm.

How come these are red? Because they’re urethane.

Slap that one in there, push that one on that side; I don't need one on this side, I already got one. Take the trash with you. It only goes in one way—more trash, more trash.

Do you see these things? Nope.

Beat that guy in that side; it's already pretty much in. All right, good enough—at least the fun part, obviously, he going to be feeding those guys onto here. There we go, there we are, that's in there, and I guess this here...

The real fun part is getting the wheel fun part stuff replaced with urethane bushings—not that far on, no. Yeah, I don't think I'm getting that off.

Let's work on one side, and then once I get this one started, I'll go on that so you can get these bolts in over here. You give me a big pair of pliers, big pliers that work right.

So, what are these? Oh wait, these are for the arms, right? Yep, I'm start putting those in there.

I'm not so sure I'm a big fan—oh no, never mind, I got it. There we go, not really wanting to actually go in; got to hit it hard. But seem like, well, it's weird because when I just put a lot of force on it, it goes in; it just, when I hit it—oh gosh, it's like what's that all about? There you go, got it, got it.

Wait, so this is this arm, right? Yep.

All right, so we can do this side. Oh wait, well, aren't we supposed to put those things in first, or no? We're just going to cycle everything through. Yeah, oh yeah, to see how much we got. Yep, take that look at that giant arm; thing's massive. Huh, yeah, wow, oh yeah, huh.

All right, I'm grab me some of these bolts. Um, however, these are going to be probably small here at this point; actually, let's do that front pivot. Washers go on the outside, mm, like this inside the hole, inside on the outside edge. Drop the washers in across the top and put the bolt through the center of them. Pull the bolt out a little bit. There you go, okay, there we go. Boom, there we go. All right, you should be able to get it started by hand here. Huh, and then of course we have the custom tool. Huh, yes, it's kind of hard to start it by hand. Oh there we go.

I need all these bolts. You going to cut this off? Probably going to have here. All right, you got me the 19 big dog and 19 wrench. Uh, the big dog's right there; it's the battery. So right, that up all the way or yep, all right, look at that. Huh, yeah, uh, we got like no travel. Well, we're going to have to get rid of that or notch that down, get that guy taken care of. Yeah, cuz that is, we got a whole maybe three, 4 in of travel.

I can't decide on whether or not I want to cut this ledge off. Oh yeah, to get more down travel, or what? I mean, probably we should have actually measured. Yeah, we definitely need to go further, huh? Yeah, we need to drop this thing down like a half inch on that; that's not going to do it all; we need more lift out of that, way more.

All right, um, well I guess let's mark this thing so we can notch these spring plates. Well, shouldn't we just cut off the bottom because that takes out strength from the spring plate, but that is just a little yeah, but only we can whack more of the torsion housing out to the bottom section, but eventually it's going to stop over here on that, and we're only going to get a quarter inch which is actually a quarter inch, so we can start by doing that. Yeah, I'll take that out, and we'll take that out, and then we'll also take this out.

All right, more cutting and grinding, fun all right, so those guys off, and I guess I'm going to start knocking that stuff off with the sawzall while you doing that well on the other side or yeah oh yeah.

So, for the end of Sunday, April 7th, the day before the total eclipse of the sun, torsion housing cut here, cut here, cut here. We've got our 3x3 trailing arm mocked up, bolted in, transmission that was the big one that took most of the time today, getting this thing in place. It's actually, I have to go back and check that degrees; it's probably at this point a 7 or 8° as opposed to a 10°. We still need, of course, swap out our CV cups, and of course, we need to assemble all of our axles. I need to get the bearing seal kits here; I thought those bearing caps had them, apparently not. Then I can get all the stub axles in place with the bearings and get all that stuff packed and greased. Um, we're still going to end up probably notching this spring plate or notching this trailing arm rather because right now this ends up hitting that way up there. So, we'll notch this here and up, do the same thing on the other one as far as our down travel goes. It might be all right; we're going to wait until after the show before we do anything on that. Once we get the stub axles on, we can put on our rotors, we can mock up our brake caliper off the backside and get him mounted.

We'll see how that goes. Nathan, what do you think? I mean, it's almost there; it's just we still have a couple more things to, yeah, well there you can get a good shot of how that degree by cutting that back bracket how we got that angle on that mount ready to rock in the stock tunnel position without having to cut into the body still got plenty of room up top. We're getting there, dude, we're getting there.

All right, Nathan, we got a lot of work done today, mhm, yeah, transmission's in, mhm, 3x3 arms are mocked up, mhm, yeah, we got the torsion housing cut down a little bit. We still got a lot to do, though, yeah, still a lot to do. We still have six nights, six nights, 4 hours a piece, basically 24 hours; we got 24 hours left to work on it. We'll see what we can get done, but in the meantime, life's full of good people. If you can't find one, be one. Later, guys.

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