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Discussion Starter #1
alright. i apologize in advance.

i know this topic is scattered all over the forum. im hoping we can centralize all the threads concerning this topic here.

i want to do a lift on the beetle. i live in alaska. and would prefer to drive the car as much as possible. many roads are unpaved and have rocks scattered about them. ive had a close call on the oil pan already. i will be adding a skid plate. but id rather not skid.


im looking for feedback on any processes that provide a lift.

i want to be able to drive on most roads without worrying about skidding. i also want to be able to put decent amount of weight in the trunk, and possible add a hitch to tow a 4 wheeler or small boat. however i dont want to completely give up on a semi smooth ride.

ive heard of the metal nerd spacers, and using jetta wagon or beetle convertable springs to provide a lift. just looking for the best and most affordable options, and also the compromises on handling and ride quality. any and all input and suggestions is appreciated. (just dont sugggest to but a truck, haha)

and if you can, suggest where to get those things from...

thanks all
 

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Springs sag over time, just get the Metalnerd 2" kit and be done with it. Wagon springs are probably going to be too stiff for you. You can also upsize the tires some, I run tires that are about 26.3" overall.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
excellent. any suggestion on new shocks and struts?

the suspension is getting tired thats on it....should i replace the sagging springs? how bout recommendation on shocks....and strust.

also...how easy is the rear suspension to work on. something i can accomplish myself? ive heard its not nearly as complicated as the front end? what other parts can or should be replace. ill probably do the rear end asap. and the front by the end of summer.

thanks again
 

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I designed my own lift kit. Went 3" with is about the max you can go without getting into some serious mods. Stuffed some 235/75/15 allterrains in there with minor rubbing issues. Still have some more things to do but so far I'm very pleased with the outcome.
 

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235/75-r15 = 28.9".

You say "minor rubbing":
- did you maintain the same wheel offset?
- are you using wheel spacers?
- will minor fender trimming make the rub go away?

Thanks.
 

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Rubs on the inner fender plastic when I turn sharp. It can be trimmed or removed. Used 38+ offset with 15 front and 20 rear spacers. Tires are basicaly flush with the fenders. I also have to install a limiter strap on the right side front. The drive shaft will rub if you come off the ground!
 

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I looked at alot of diffent ideas and came up with my own version. I'm still have some things I might change to make it even better. No pictures at this time.
 

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NB Baja Kit

Here's my info ... I bought this vehicle about two months ago with the sole intention of lifting it ... been researching it off/on for the past month or so.

My goals:
1) fire roads up to level 2 with minimal difficulty;
2) maintain daily driver status;
3) nothing custom, e.g., one off shocks/springs;
4) minor plastic/sheet metal trimming is acceptable.

I was keeping this info tight to my chest but honestly, just don't have the time to build a marketable kit, which I'm sure some entrepreneur will very soon ... here's my list, comment positive or negative to refine and improve the "NB Baja Kit":


Lift:
Metalnerd
Custom Accessories - Lift Kit for VW Beetles, Golf, Jetta, Passat - VW Engine Tools from Metalnerd

Springs:
front: VR6 Jetta Wagon, 2 white, 2 blue
rear: Jetta Wagon, 1 white, 4 brown
http://www.idparts.com/

Shocks/Struts:
Bilstein HD for A4
http://www.idparts.com

Wheels:
Bassett D-Hole light weight wheels (not DOT)
15x7, 5x100, centric, 2" (50.8mm) backspacing
Bassett Racing Wheel - IMCA, NASCAR, Late Model, Modified, FWD, 4x4, steel racing wheels

Wheel Spacers:
20mm, front and rear
Eibach Springs : Performance suspension | lowering springs | suspensions | springs | dampers | stabilizers | shocks | sway bars | anti-roll bars | wheel spacer | coil over | engine valves

Tires:
BFG Mud T/A KM2 (NB wheel well size = 29.5")
option 1: 215/75 R15, 27.9" overall diameter, 1.6" leftover
option 2: 235/75 R15, 29.1" overall diameter, .4" leftover

Lift summary:
Lift Kit: +2"
Springs: +1.5"
Shocks/Struts: +.5
Tires: +1.5" (option 1)
Total Gain: 5.5"

Cost Summary (2011 Retail Pricing):
Lift Kit: $ 200
Springs: $ 468
Shocks/Struts: $ 680
Spacers: $ 300
Wheels: $ 311
Tires: $ 556
Total Cost: $2,515 + tax, shipping, misc.

Wish Additional:
Limited Slip, Wavetrac or Peloquin, about $900

I welcome comment, criticism, refinement --and money--to get this bug off the ground. :)

Carl
 

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Here's my info ... I bought this vehicle about two months ago with the sole intention of lifting it ... been researching it off/on for the past month or so.

My goals:
1) fire roads up to level 2 with minimal difficulty;
2) maintain daily driver status;
3) nothing custom, e.g., one off shocks/springs;
4) minor plastic/sheet metal trimming is acceptable.

I was keeping this info tight to my chest but honestly, just don't have the time to build a marketable kit, which I'm sure some entrepreneur will very soon ... here's my list, comment positive or negative to refine and improve the "NB Baja Kit":


Lift:
Metalnerd
Custom Accessories - Lift Kit for VW Beetles, Golf, Jetta, Passat - VW Engine Tools from Metalnerd

Springs:
front: VR6 Jetta Wagon, 2 white, 2 blue
rear: Jetta Wagon, 1 white, 4 brown
http://www.idparts.com/

Shocks/Struts:
Bilstein HD for A4
http://www.idparts.com

Wheels:
Bassett D-Hole light weight wheels (not DOT)
15x7, 5x100, centric, 2" (50.8mm) backspacing
Bassett Racing Wheel - IMCA, NASCAR, Late Model, Modified, FWD, 4x4, steel racing wheels

Wheel Spacers:
20mm, front and rear
Eibach Springs : Performance suspension | lowering springs | suspensions | springs | dampers | stabilizers | shocks | sway bars | anti-roll bars | wheel spacer | coil over | engine valves

Tires:
BFG Mud T/A KM2 (NB wheel well size = 29.5")
option 1: 215/75 R15, 27.9" overall diameter, 1.6" leftover
option 2: 235/75 R15, 29.1" overall diameter, .4" leftover

Lift summary:
Lift Kit: +2"
Springs: +1.5"
Shocks/Struts: +.5
Tires: +1.5" (option 1)
Total Gain: 5.5"

Cost Summary (2011 Retail Pricing):
Lift Kit: $ 200
Springs: $ 468
Shocks/Struts: $ 680
Spacers: $ 300
Wheels: $ 311
Tires: $ 556
Total Cost: $2,515 + tax, shipping, misc.

Wish Additional:
Limited Slip, Wavetrac or Peloquin, about $900

I welcome comment, criticism, refinement --and money--to get this bug off the ground. :)

Carl
For starters, Bilstein HD struts will not work with the Metalnerd spacers since those struts have a bigger diameter shaft.

You are also overly ambitious with the tire size, that 1.8T is not going to be happy trying to turn those tires with stock gearing. The sheer weight of them is also going to do wacky things with the handling, and it is going to severely shorten the life of your ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings and suspension bushings. I would keep them to 26.3"-26.5" diameter. General Grabber AT2's come in 205/70/15, which won't generate too much difference in gearing and won't have the weight penalty. They will also be a much better tire on pavement than those MT's.

One more thing, those heavy duty wagon springs are going to set the a$$-end WAY higher than the front and its going to look goofy. NB's are pretty light in back, and you are going to get more lift than you will up front.
 

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I'm running 29's with a 2.0 and it handles them fine. Granted it accelerates slower but all around performance isn't to bad. As far as the wagon spring height you lift the rear 2" and the front 3". I'm still using the stock springs in the front so it's softer than the rear. Any ideas on stiffening there would be appreciated. All in all it rides and drives close to stock. There is of course more body roll which is the nature of the beast. As far as being hard on parts I'm sure it is, only time will tell how hard. I'ts still a work in progress so I will learn as I go.
 

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Bilstein HD struts will not work with the Metalnerd spacers since those struts have a bigger diameter shaft.
Wave Chaser: Do you have a different recommendation? Do you know if the Metalnerd spacers can be honed out? Searching here, because I've read conflicting information, some say "will work", others, "won't".

You are also overly ambitious with the tire size...
Wave Chaser: Not so sure, consider the following:
~ stock wheels, about 22#
~ stock tires, about 22# (205/55 R16)

~ suggested Bassett wheels, about 16#
~ suggested 215/75 R15, about 34#
~ option 2, 235/75 R15, about 40#

Yes, 6# difference, yes, I understand centrifugal force and rotational weight, but I can't imagine 6# is going to markedly degrade the life of my suspension; 12# difference for option 2, you might have a point. Oh, T/A vs M/T, I accept the trade off. :)

...those heavy duty wagon springs are going to set the a$$-end WAY higher than the front...
Wave Chaser: You might have a point ... but if so, can't I just choose to remove the spacer from the rear (-2") and balance fore/aft? I agree, the "tilted look" would look ridiculous.

Carl
 

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What I am saying is lift the front than lift the rear to the same height. I lifted the front, put on the stock wheels and tires than simply measured the front and back height at the fender lip. In my case the rear was 2" lower so I built the rear spacers at 2".
 

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Hi Carl,

I've just read with interest your advice on how to lift a VW Beetle and wondered if you could get in touch with me please.

Driven to Extremes is a small charitable organisation here in the UK that helps military veterans suffering from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) by taking them on challenging vehicle adventures to aid their recovery.

As you may know, following World War 2 and the destruction of the Volkswagen factory in Germany, it was a British Army Officer and his men that are credited with restarting Beetle production and the subsequent rebirth of the company.

To celebrate the 75th anniversary of this event next year, we are planning to lead a team of veterans on a Beetle Rally across the Sahara Desert following the original Dakar Rally route - please see a short film of a similar event we ran last year...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1_w-d7YPvI

As this is a budget event and with our limited funds, I’d be very keen to hear from you if you could possibly give us advice on the cheapest way to raise the suspension on the Beetles and high how they can go before running into problems with the driveshaft angles.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards

Mac

Founder & Director
Driven to Extremes CIC
 

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Can you tell me if my car is already lifted? I just inherited a 2000 beetle and it originally came from Chicago, I live in Atlanta. I heard up north lifting was common due to snow etc. It has stock 16" wheels etc but the gap between the wheels and fenders is ridiculous. Been wanting to add the 18" to help fill in the gap besides looking and handling better. First pix is a borrowed pix off this site of a car supposedly lifted 2" but looks identical to mine. The last three pix is the front spacing with four fingers, rear spacing with all five fingers and a shot from a distance showing how little the tires look on it. If so, was going to put the 18 x 8 VW/Audi wheels on it.
 

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