Beck 550 Front Wheel Rubbing Issues

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Beck 550 Front Wheel Rubbing Issues

Postby 550Jeff » Thu May 30, 2019 6:14 pm

Hello! New forum member here hoping you knowledgeable folks can help me iron out some kinks on my recently finished beck 550 build.

The most significant issue I have run into thus far is that there is excessive rubbing of the front tires on the wheel wells. The wheels rub harshly under even slight wheel adjustments. A majority of the tire contact is made on the portion of the wheel well towards the rear of the car, however it also rubs in the front of the well and on the top of the arch closer to the body as well.

I decided that the issue is the front ride height after confirming that my tire sizes are indeed correct for this vehicle (Michelin XZX 165sr15). My vehicle is equipped with what I believe to be a VW type 1 "ball joint" torsion bar style front suspension with adjusters.

In attempts to raise the front height I jacked the front of the car, removed the struts from the towers, and removed the locking nuts on each of the beam adjusters. I assumed that the arms would fall and that I could simply tighten he adjuster nuts in the new location, this was not the case. The arms did fall and the adjusters did move but not nearly as much as I expected. I put some downward force on the arms and ended up tightening the adjusters two to four notches from their prior position. The ride height changed slightly but not enough to correct the rubbing.

I am pretty confident I am following the proper procedure to raise the ride height of the spyder, but I am not getting the results I need. If anyone has any recommendations or suggestions for alternate ways to raise the ride height or solve my problem please PLEASE let me know. I have contacted multiple avenues and received many different opinions, none of which have solved my issues. Let me know if any additional information or pictures would be helpful and I would be happy to supply. Thank you all in advance for what I hope is the solution to my problem!

-Jeff
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Re: Beck 550 Front Wheel Rubbing Issues

Postby Larry Jowdy » Fri May 31, 2019 8:26 am

Have you checked the backspacing on the front wheels? The center of the wheel may be too far inward thus causing the tire to sit further out towards the fender. If this is the case, you may be able to buy wheels with the proper backspacing or, find a wheel company and the can cut out the center are re-weld it where you need it to be to solve the rubbing.

Also, take a photo or 2 of the front end of your car so we can see what you're dealing with.

ps You did get the info I sent regarding torsion bars and adjuster in the email when you signed up?
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Re: Beck 550 Front Wheel Rubbing Issues

Postby Carlos G » Fri May 31, 2019 8:55 am

Knowing which wheels your using would also help.
Our Spyders usually use the 4.5" wide x 15" wheels up front and 5.5" out back.
The originals were 3.5".

I had the rubbing issue in the front during cornering, especially the right side. I bought the Vintage 190s and the rubbing only occurs during really hard cornering on the front right only. I live in the mountains with plenty of back country twisty roads.
The Vintage 190s have a different offset that puts the tire farther inboard. Personally, I prefer the look of my steel wheels over the aluminum, but the aluminum is 12lbs lighter each and the front offset lets me tear up the roads more.
Your tires might also be a touch taller than what is usually used. I also love the look of a taller tire with a smooth sidewall like those Michelins. I had them on my 914. The taller tire does look more period.
I wish tire manufactures would bring back those vintage sizes but with modern rubber. I'm running 185s on my front 4.5" wheels. I don't like the poochy look, but there aren't many options for us. A 175 would probably be perfect.
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Re: Beck 550 Front Wheel Rubbing Issues

Postby RVosari » Fri May 31, 2019 12:26 pm

Jeff,
I had a similar experience but fortunately I did the adjustment on a wheel alignment machine.
The unit has a movable hydraulic- buck which I placed under the adjuster and forced the movement that I wanted (much like a porta-power).

Generally you want about 2 ½- 3 fingers between the fender and the tire in the front…

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Re: Beck 550 Front Wheel Rubbing Issues

Postby 550Jeff » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:22 am

Sorry for getting back to you all so late

I am running steel wide 5’s on Porsche drum brakes. Just measured quickly with a tape measure and got a measurement of 5” with 4.5” of backspacing. Was difficult to measure precisely with the tools I had and not knowing the wheel specs off hand. These measurements could be bogus.

Interesting suggestion taking it to an alignment machine, I will see if I can look around for a reputable shop that works with Volkswagen front ends. I am currently at or less than 1 finger of spacing between fender.

I have been chasing the proper size tire for a while now. Although the Michelin’s I have on there currently are almost the perfect size, pirelli appears to make a cn36 style tire in the proper size that would fit the car. The pirellis are 1mm smaller in dimeter than the current Michelin’s so I’m not expecting that to solve the problem but I will certainly be picking up a set of those once the suspension is dialed.

I am posting off of my phone here, will attempt to add pictures once I can get to a computer and read the guidelines for posting pics (iPhone saying that image attached is invalid)
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Re: Beck 550 Front Wheel Rubbing Issues

Postby DannyP » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:48 pm

Jeff, the images have to be really small to post here. Sometimes I get them small enough(150kb), but they still won't post.

It sounds like you're a bit too low on ride height. Also, I run 1.5 degrees of negative camber, which helps turn-in and also keeps the tire away from the fender edge.
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Re: Beck 550 Front Wheel Rubbing Issues

Postby 550Jeff » Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:40 pm

Adjuster pic
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Re: Beck 550 Front Wheel Rubbing Issues

Postby 550Jeff » Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:41 pm

Drum
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Re: Beck 550 Front Wheel Rubbing Issues

Postby 550Jeff » Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:42 pm

Rub
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Re: Beck 550 Front Wheel Rubbing Issues

Postby 550Jeff » Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:46 pm

Best pic of front wheel fitment. Wheels are off car otherwise I’d take a side on.
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Re: Beck 550 Front Wheel Rubbing Issues

Postby 550Jeff » Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:49 pm

Spindles
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Re: Beck 550 Front Wheel Rubbing Issues

Postby DannyP » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:20 pm

The first thing I'd do is raise the ride height a bit. Next I'd get aftermarket camber adjusters which allow more range of camber adjustment. They're pretty inexpensive, and you'll need a front end alignment. As an added bonus, if you don't go crazy on negative camber, the spindles will end up tilted rearward which might give you your tire clearance AND will give you better high-speed stability because you'll have more caster in the front end. These cars need that anyway. So win-win for you, car will handle better and no more rub.

I don't know what VW experience you have, but that hex-shaped nut thing above the upper spindle part and below the ball joint rubber is what I'm talking about.

https://www2.cip1.com/ProductDetails.as ... 12-6612-10
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Re: Beck 550 Front Wheel Rubbing Issues

Postby RBP » Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:32 am

From your picture it looks like you have both locks (adjusters) loose! For things to work right you need to preload the torsion springs. With the wheels off the ground, disconnect the torsion arms from ball joints (at wheel carrier) then preload the spring by locking one of the adjusters (usually the bottom one) then, using a block a wood (I use a 2x4 6' long) to push the ball joint in place then tighten it up (easy with 2 guys). Once thats done you have to adjust the other lock for 1.5" to 2" of ride height (top of tire to lip of wheel well). Without out the preload you can't get adjustment to clear properly.

If you have loosened your adjusters and they didn't snap back from spring load then someone loosened them and lost the preload.
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Re: Beck 550 Front Wheel Rubbing Issues

Postby DannyP » Sun Jun 09, 2019 4:37 pm

One thing to keep in mind is the lower the adjuster is the lower the ride height: it's opposite.

If the adjuster is all the way rotated UP, the car will be at maximum height.
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