Type E Adjustable Spring Plate Install Instructions

These instructions are the same for beetle, and bus, and both IRS and swing axle.

You will need a floor jack, jack stands, and common tools to do this install.  A factory service manual or Bentley book might also come in handy.  A spring plate removal tool makes it very easy, but it can be done without if care is taken. 

You will need to paint or powdercoat the parts before you start.

After getting the car up on jack stands on a hard level surface, take the wheels off, and the rear shocks off. 

Next pull the brake drums off, remove the rear park brake cables, and the brake backing plates, and hang them off to the side. 

Next remove the 3 bolts holding the swing axle to the spring plate. 

It works good to pull the axle back a bit and set it on another jack stand.

Next pull the 4 bolt cap off.

On pre-1960 cars, and the later IRS cars with the longer splines, you will need to pull the 2 lower fender bolts, and the running board bolt. This will let you tweak the fender out just far enough to get the plates off with the longer torsion bar.  The fender will flex enough to not do any harm, or damage.  This is not an issue on the ‘60-68 cars.

Use a spring plate install tool, or another technique to lower the spring plate off the lower stop.  They are under quite a bit of pressure so use care, and don't just force them off.  There are youtube videos on this as well. 

Carefully wiggle the spring plate off of the torsion bar splines.  It usually works good with a prybar on top and bottom, going back and forth.  Some times they will be rusted on. It is OK if you need to pull the entire torsion bar out.  It will be easy to set up again later. 

Clean any paint or powder from the inside of the sleeve, and grease the tubes where they slip together.  Make sure to use the included anti-seize compound on the adjuster bolt. 

Assemble the two pieces together and slip them over the splines on the torsion bar.  The stock spring plate angle is close to 18 degrees,  If you set it up at 18 degrees, the car will be lowered 2" PLUS the adjustment range in the adjuster bolt, which is about 1" up or down.  If you want it even lower, you will need to mount the splined portion onto the torsion bar rotated UP, or COUNTER CLOCK WISE.  One notch should be plenty.

Use your spring plate removal tool, or other technique to lift the main spring plate up onto the lower stop.  Loosening the adjuster bolt all the way will help make it easier. 

Now bolt the 4 bolt spring plate cap back in place with the spacer under the cap.  The included longer bolts will help pull it all together. 

Sometimes it also helps to pinch it together with some vice-grips.

Bolt the swing axle back in place.  I usually mount it in the center of the adjustment slots.  Those slots will be used to adjust the rear-toe-in once its on the ground and been driven some.  Screw the adjuster bolt in to it's midway point now.

Re-install the brakes, shocks, and double check all bolts are properly torqued. 

Bolt the wheels back on, and take it for a test drive. 

To adjust the ride height, you will need to lift the back of the car to take the weight off the adjuster bolts.  To raise the car, screw the adjuster bolt IN.  To lower it, UNSCREW the bolt.  When you are done, you need to tighten the jam nut.  These plates also work well to level the car side to side.  It doesn't matter if the adjuster screws are screwed in different distances side to side, as long as the car is sitting level from the back.

If you run out of adjuster bolt thread, you will need to pull it apart, and re-index the splined piece on the torsion bar, and re-adjust the screw.  For most guys, the stock 18 degree spring plate setting will be great. 

After you have driven the car a bit, you will need to check the rear toe-in/out.  It should be close, but to adjust it, loosen the 3 axle bolts, and slide the axle front or rear. 

That is it.  Thank you for your purchase, and enjoy your Type E adjustable spring plates!