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566 Posts
jdesigns said:
Check out O-Bars I have one awaiting install. Everyone that has put one in has just loved it! They are also reasonably cheap for such a great product.
I second that. I can't speak from personal experience but from what I have read they are the best bang for the buck. I hope to get one in the near future. As for shifting, I just installed a dieselgeek short shifter and it's true what they say about removing the slop in the shifts. Once you get it adjusted correctly it's a great mod.
 

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Premium Member
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98 Posts
Improvement to handeling....

I had the Eibach pro-line spring and damper set installed and run 225-50/16 tires and all that improved handeling by a great deal. I am 1.5"'s lower in front and 1.3 "'s lower in the rear. As far as shifting is concerned, the VW cable shift system is never as tight as other type designs. This cable shift mechanism can be adjusted and much of the slack can be removed with this adjustment. See your VW service for adjustment or be very brave and follow the Bentley manuals procedure for your year and model. The O-Bar that available for a NB is just a larger roll bar added on to the axle with 4 drilled holes for attachement hardware. The key for better handeling is to lower the center of gravity and too stiffen up the rebound rates of the springs with the Eibach set-up and of course the new dampers that are matched to the new rebound rates. If the rear axle is too stiff or resistant to adequate roll, (which is what the O-Bar does) it can cause the rear axle to have less grip by not allowing the rear tires to change the available small amount of camber..You remember the pictures of older style golfs and jettas cornering with the inside rear wheel up in the air???Our NB type rear axles are designed to eliminate this by allowing the inside wheel to adapt its camber so more of the tire is able to contact the road. It is also true for the outter wheels too. Good Luck, JK
 

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Premium Member
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98 Posts
MY1STNB said:
seriously what is an O-bar,whats it look like, and how does it function
The bar that is applicable to the NB is a tubular cross link addition that is bolted directly to the rear twist/torsion bar axle. It is supposed to decrease the amount your car leans in the rear. This addition is only as rigid as the connection to the axle and the size and length of the tubular "bar". I question the need to increase the rear axle's anti-roll capacity with this type of addition. First of all, I question the real improvement. The stock roll bar is designed to allow the rear suspension to move as the body leans using the geometry changes that were designed into that axle. If the rear end cannot lean a bit and is too stiff, the tires will loose side way traction quicker than when the stock set-up is used. The expectation is that cornering speeds will increase with this. This is not all correct. The only change will be less body roll which is not always an improvement to handeling. Increasing your tire width when running stock 16" alloy wheels to a 225-50/16 tires along with a lowered and slightly stiffer spring and damper set ( Eibach Pro-line spring and damper set) will help more than anything...JK
 

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Performance Freak
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137 Posts
The first mod I would do is a Rear Sway bar. This will eliminate much of the lean.

The O-bar is similar to the Shine racing swaybar (which is superior by the way) in that it bolts into the rear torsion beam axle to stiffen it. However, you have to drill 8 holes in a very tough steel beam, so for some that is no big deal, for others something to avoid.

I love my Neuspeed rear swaybar since it attaches without any drilling and made a very noticable difference when I put it on with stock suspension. (It was my first suspension mod)

A great upgrade if you don't want to be lowered but still want great handling and a great ride is Neuspeed sofsport springs.
They have the same rate as the regular Sport springs but only lower @.5"
I have these on my car with KYB AGX adjustable shocks/struts and the ride quality is better than stock, and the handling is outstanding. I also have Neuspeed F&R swaybars which keep the car very flat in cornering.

I also had Eibach pro-kits but without a stiff enough shock (such as pro-dampers or Bilsteins) you will bottom the front often over big bumps, so just keep that in mind if you go with Eibach springs. Get shocks/struts that will work with them. My KYB AGX shocks were not stiff enough to prevent the bottoming.
 

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I am McLovin
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1,823 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
ok new question, what is the bets bang for the buck, i dont need like recing applications cuz i aint racing, this is just i want a better feeling drive, where i can feel more,and have it less sloppy, something cheap, but has some quality behind it, any ideas
 

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Bourgeoisie
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309 Posts
Still the same answer: O-bar. It's $100, and as explained above it stiffens up the rear and gives you better handling. It's a quality piece of hardware and simple to install (provided you've got the drill and the strong bits for it, that is).

After that you're talking springs and dampers, and for springs you're already at $150+ and dampers at $300+, or coilovers at $700+.
 

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Tinkerer Monkey
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72 Posts
B&M Shifter will improve that rower of yours. A bitch to install but so worth it.

25PSi
 

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Keep It Real
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1,746 Posts
There are many things that you can do here but you want to keep balance in mind for all speeds and conditions, there really aren't many single mod's that will accomplish all of these areas and especially not cheaply.

The following are some ideas to consider:

Polyurethane suspension bushings, perf. suspension system, perf. front & rear anti-sway bars like H&R, light weight larger diameter wheel and lower profile tires, VF Engineering engine mounts etc.
 

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Registered
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5,793 Posts
Sway bars like the O-bar are great at limiting the side to side motion without increasing ride harshness.

I agree with John Koch there for the most part; and I can't quite explain it; but I guess the rear CAN stand to be a bit more stiffer. Also, the change in handling even when not pushing it to those tire-lifting limits, is a vast improvement. I know it's faster to keep traction on all 4 wheels, well should be. It's also a little fun when the rear steps out a little bid due to just a little too little traction.

Doing just a rear sway bar is 'more fun'; but doing front and rear should TECHNICALLY make you faster. I didn't notice a big change in side-to-side roll when I added a front aftermarket sway bar. I'd already had the rear on and it made a huge difference. I was using autotech lightweight sway bars though.

Another thing that'll help you out is getting some lighter wheels. You've probably heard the terms rotational mass, and unsprung weight. The wheels are both. Has that byproduct of making a large visual impact on the car too. Since there's 4 wheels, just a few pounds adds up real quick. :)

For being not-intersted in racing, I'd say those 2 changes would set you up pretty nice. If you want to go a step further, look for a shock/spring combo that lowers you about an inch. With the small amount of drop you'll still have plenty of suspension travel and won't have to have real stiff springs; so you'll retain alot of comfort. Sitting in the bug you KNOW that thing's got some serious headroom... bringing that top down an inch like this will make a noticable improvement. The slightly stiffer springs will also make an obvious +.

I really wouldn't go further than that. Not for what it sounds like you're going for. Autotech sells a shortshifter for your bug for 'bout $40. Cheaper than the B&M, and easier to install; but doesn't make as big of a difference. Another cheap change you can make is to shorten the shift lever. Short throw shifters, and shortening the lever will both make you put more 'umph' into shifting, but will reduce the distance and maybe give you some of that feel you're looking for.
I also saw that the connectors for our cables are really kinda soft... You COULD fill in the corners w/epoxy to really tighten up the action, but that'll bring more (probably barely any) vibrations into the shift knob as well. Check diesel geek installation instructions to see how to remove it and maybe you'll see what I'm talkin' about: http://www.dieselgeek.com/images/unloaded.jpg But these holes are what I'm talkin' about, I believe OURs look slightly different than that picture.
 

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Buggin Out
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67 Posts
Honestly I would say springs and shocks. If you dont go for very aggressive springs you wont change the ride height all that much but you will have the advantage of having slightly stiffer springs with more responsive shocks and in that you will have a greater feel on the road. After springs (150+) and shocks (150+) and install (100+) you are looking at about $400+ but it will take care of the "granny mobile" feeling you have. I know exactly what you are talking about because I notice the exact same thing with mine, I am just waiting till I have money for wheels too because I am looking for about a 1.5-2" drop and in that new wheels need to be added because I am a styling whore and baby needs some pretty shoes! haha.

They also make a great point when they say changing your wheels. Even a 1 pound lighter wheel gives you FOUR less pounds at your corners since there are four wheels. So going considerably lighter gives you four times the advantage. Wheels <> Street racer. For those of you who have gone far enough in math you can figure out hat wheels DO NOT equal street racer. They are simply a great way to change the style of your car as well as pick up a couple performance features as well.

When I lowered my last car and put some shocks and some new tires on her it was virtually impossible to break her tail free and her body was stiff enough to give me the comfort i wanted while also giving me a better feel for the road. It also helped a lot with bridge transitions on the highway. My old car gripped the highway like a whore when i went over bridge transitions on the highway...my beetle right now feels like it is going to take off and fly whenever i hit a bridge transition so I am highly anticipating my shocks and springs because I know they will get rid of that.

Food for thought.
 
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