Buy your VW Beetle front suspension parts here
Like the rear suspension, the Volkswagen Beetle torsion bar suspension is one of the most rugged, effective and enduring suspension systems ever developed. It is so good the basic design of Volkswagen Beetle front suspension is still used in some of the most demanding motorsport environments on earth, and of course is still underneath millions of air-cooled Volkswagens worldwide. Later 1302 and 1303 Beetles use the more common MacPherson strut suspension, and naturally VW Heritage has all the VW Beetle suspension parts in stock to keep both types of classic Volkswagen Beetle front suspension in perfect working order, as well as a huge range of air-cooled Beetle parts to upgrade and modify your Beetle’s front suspension. To browse or buy the parts you need just follow the links above, or read on for further information on the different types of VW Beetle suspension.
Types of VW Beetle front suspension
There are actually three different kinds of Volkswagen Beetle front suspension – two earlier types that use an outwardly similar looking torsion bar beam, and the third – fitted only to 1302 / 1303 models – that uses a more modern ‘strut’ assembly instead. Here’s how the three types differ:
VW Beetle King and link pin beam – used up until August 1965
This is the earlier type of torsion bar front suspension where a beam consists of a pair of hollow axle tubes, each housing a stack of flat metal bars to which the trailing arms are attached. These are the Beetle torsion bars in this system. Four individual VW Beetle trailing arms then support the stub axles by means of ‘king and link pin’ assemblies. The VW Beetle king pin sits vertically, the link pins horizontally. Benefits are longevity and a greater degree of movement. Have a look under the front of your car – if your shock absorber ‘towers’ (the vertical legs at the ends of the axle tubes) are straight, you have a king and link pin model. Additionally your VW Beetle front shock absorbers will have a loop at both ends.
VW Beetle Balljoint front beam - used from September 1965 onwards (not 1302 / 1303)
This later type of Volkswagen torsion bar suspension also comprises a pair of axle tubes housing torsion bars to which the trailing arms are attached. But on these models a pair of VW Beetle balljoints support the stub axle at either end. Benefits are less maintenance and a smoother ride. Again, look under your car, if your shock absorber ‘towers’ (the vertical legs at the ends of the axle tubes) are angled outwards at the top, you have a balljoint model; your ball joint Beetle front shock absorbers have a loop at the bottom, but a strut at the top, which is fitted with a rubber beetle top mount.
MacPherson strut – used on 1302 and 1303 (Super Beetles) only
There is no main beam. Instead, each stub axle is connected directly to an independent ‘strut’ with a coil spring around it (more like a modern coilover shock) and balanced by control arms that mount to the chassis. If your spare wheel is mounted flat (horizontally) under your bonnet, you have a MacPherson strut model.
VW Heritage stock an extensive range of air cooled Beetle parts for all three types of VW Beetle front suspension, including complete Beetle front beams – both stock width and VW Beetle narrowed front beams, together with Avis-style and Sway-A-Way beam adjusters and a wide range of Volkswagen Beetle shock absorbers, reconditioned Beetle trailing arms, and more. Of course, we also hold stock of the Beetle balljoints, king and link pins, bearings, stub axles – both stock height and VW Beetle dropped spindles – and even complete replacement Beetle MacPherson struts. On top of all this we have a great selection of performance and styling parts, including lowered and performance Beetle shocks from KYB and GAZ, adjustable struts, Beetle long-travel balljoints, urethane bushes, caster shims, anti-roll bars and 1302 / 1303 adjustable lowering struts.
Buy your Beetle rear suspension parts here
The air-cooled Volkswagen Beetle suspension is legendary for its longevity and ability to stand up to whatever you can throw at it. That’s why VW Beetle suspension parts are still to this day used on off road race cars across the world. However, as with every other mechanical part on a Volkswagen Beetle, time, high mileage and a lack of maintenance can mean parts need changing or replacing. That’s why VW Heritage stock a wide range of parts for all types of classic air-cooled Beetle suspension, from Beetle axle boots to Volkswagen Beetle shock absorbers, ‘z’-bars and VW Beetle performance anti-roll bars. To browse or buy the parts you need just follow the links below, or read on for further information on the different types of VW Beetle suspension.
Types of VW Beetle rear suspension
In all models of Beetle there are just two different kinds of rear suspension: ‘VW Beetle swing axle suspension’ and ‘IRS’ (independent rear suspension). In reality, both systems are independent suspension, but the IRS system found on certain later models uses Beetle CV joints and works in a slightly different fashion. Below is a brief explanation of the two different types of Volkswagen Beetle suspension.
Beetle Swing Axle – used on most standard models
The VW Beetle swing axle assembly consists of a pair of short, rigid axles that pivot from their inner (gearbox) ends only and are located at the outer ends by solid Beetle rear spring plates, which have a splined end that connects to the torsion bars. This type of Volkswagen Beetle suspension was used from the very earliest cars right up until the end of Mexican Beetle production in 2003. The quickest way to see if your car has this style of classic Beetle rear suspension is to look under the rear of your car. If there are rubber boots only on the inner ends of the axles that join the gearbox, you have a swing axle model.
VW Beetle Independent Rear Suspension (IRS) – used on 1302 / 03 and semi-automatic
IRS is a more advanced type of rear suspension that features VW Beetle CV joints at both ends of the axles, which allow the rear wheels to move vertically up and down rather than in an arc. They still use Beetle spring plates and torsion bars but offer improved ride quality and cornering ability. Only used on some later models, including 1302 / 1303 (Super beetle) and semi-automatic Beetles. Again, look underneath and if your axles have rubber boots on both ends (next to the gearbox and at the hubs), you have an IRS model.
VW Beetle suspension parts
Naturally, VW Heritage stock an extensive range of parts for both types of VW Beetle rear suspension, including Beetle axle gaiters and Volkswagen Beetle CV boots, Beetle hub seal kits and bump stops. Plus we have a great selection of performance and styling parts, amongst them VW Beetle adjustable spring plates, rubber and urethane suspension bushes, heavy duty Beetle axles, classic Beetle KYB shock absorbers, and GAZ bolt-in VW Beetle coilovers for the ultimate in fine tuning.
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