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Those familiar with Frank's history would recall that when I bought him, he had a stoved in rear right quarter. The previous owner had had a side on collision with another car and pushed the whole quarter in on itself. We had repaired the panel and replaced the crossbar that is bolted to the beam. However Frank always had a slightly wonky right rear wheel; it looked like it had about 2 degrees camber.

So, when we wrecked the 1980 B1 facelift, we removed the rear beam from that car and had it sandblasted and powder coated. There's a great powder coating company in Bayswater who run a shift every weeknight that does signal red; the bright red used on fire extinguishers. They have a long standing contract for doing extinguishers and other emergency gear, so you can have stuff coated in the same red really quickly. I thought why not, he's all red anyway!

VW B1 facelift Dasher rear beam

The old set up. We had replaced his shocks and replaced the brakes from a Nissan Pulsar with VW Mk3 discs. Above the shock is a slightly polished section; I think that happened when going around tight right hand corners as the car behaved differently going right than left. The tyre was rubbing the body.

VW B1 facelift Dasher rear beam

New brake lines shaped to fit the beam.

VW B1 facelift Dasher rear beam

The old rear springs. They needed a good clean and sanding.

VW B1 facelift Dasher rear beam

The crossbeam we had replaced some time ago. The damaged one was like a banana. This came from a '77 Passat.

VW B1 facelift Dasher rear beam

The damaged beam, complete with red overspray.

VW B1 facelift Dasher rear beam

In order to replace the beam you need to remove the springs.

VW B1 facelift Dasher rear beam

The new beam next to the old. It looked brand new once the powder coaters had worked their magic! Tracked down the rubber bushings on Ebay Italy. They are a real pain to locate. Then you need to press them in horizontal with the fitting holes in the beam. There are small slots in the bushings to align it with. It's critical you get this right, as well as how you remount the beam as that causes the tension to make the suspension work correctly. The whole operation is laid out in the Bentley's manual.

VW B1 facelift Dasher rear beam

Loosely bolt the beam back in at first. You need to get it to be horizontal to the car before fully fitting it.

VW B1 facelift Dasher rear beam

Meanwhile, the springs got a coat of red (of course) and the crossbeam got a coat of matt black. I should have had it powdercoated but forgot.

VW B1 facelift Dasher rear beam

I dug out the springs from the B1 we wrecked, to check them. And found them to be longer and thinner. Curious, I wonder if they're an upgrade. The car ran at the same height as Frank.

VW B1 facelift Dasher rear beam

Reassembled.

VW B1 facelift Dasher rear beam

VW B1 facelift Dasher rear beam

You can see it when driving behind the car; it is low enough to be seen by other motorists.

VW B1 facelift Dasher rear beam

Finally straight.

 

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