LIFTING A KOMBI
When you have a kombi and you wish to pretend it is a 4wd the first thing you need to do is get it up off the ground and get some real rubber under it. The above picture was taken of a kombi I once owned. It has some 33 x 125.5 x 15 BFG Mud terrains tyres on the rear and 235 x 75 x 15 all terrains on the front. These tyres fitted with no rubbing at all.
The rear was simply cut out to allow clearance and teh torsion bars were turned to lift it. This is the easiest way to get her up in the air. Then bigger tyre do the rest. To get the gearing back down you then use a 1600 kombi gearbox to get it near standar. The standard 2L kombi engine happily turns the wheels.
The front ... well there is more options there. From what I can tell there is 3 ways to lift the front. 1st way is to simply add adjusters or coil overs . This will let you get a 215x75 x 15 tyre under it and clear. With a 33" on the rear though it will not be high enough. It is ,however the easiest way and quick and cheap.
The 2nd way is to use plates to drop the front beam. This is done by welding some 10mm plate to the front beam and basically relocating the bolt holes to be above th ecurrent one by whatever distance you want. Then bolt it up. The brake will need to be modified as the control arm from the pedal to the booster needs to get a dog lefg in it to sit below the cross member on anything over 2" lift. Th esteerning also needs to change.
The last way , and way in which the above kombi was lifted is by boxing out the chassis and relocating the beam same as with the plates but in a more covert way. I recommend 3mm plate for this as the factory is 2.1 this ensures it is strong enough.
Although I didn't lift this kombi I did have to re-drill and sleeve the mounts as they were crooked and caused the kombi to crab and scrub tyres. After doing my research I have decided that this is the most effective way of lifting the front end without loosing ride quality any suspension travel. and the easiest way to keep it looking legal.
The basic theory behind it is by increasing the distance between the body and the front beam you give the front on the vehicle a good lift. This allows you to run larger tyres which means you can increase the distance from the beam to the ground. By lifting the front this way you maintain your front trailing arms factory angles. This means that the shock transfer will remain standard and you will maintain your factory ride.
|This vehicle has been lifted by about 4". As you can see from the picture the chassis above the beam has been boxed out and the bolts now bolt onto new metal which is 4" from the original holes.|
|Here I have modified the image to show the chassis rail extensions clearly. As you can see it gives quite a bit of lift.|
|If you look closely at this picture you will see the drag link. If you look above it you will see where it use to go through the chassis. Now it is dog legged and goes below.|
|In these pictures you can see the original front end on the left. You can see the difference if you look at the holes in the original chassis.|
** NB **
If you are not a competant welder then I suggest you do not try this. When I got this kombi it had been done neatly but turned out to be done without too much time spent on getting is straight. Lifteing a front end in this way can be very dangerous if it fails. Get someone who can weld properly, not someone who thinks the difference between a good and a bad weld is 5 min with a grinder.......
If you want any more info on lifting a kombi please feel free to e-mail me at brad @ offroadvw.net and I will try and help you out. It is not that hard to do and can be done in a weekend with a few mates and and some common sense. The ride quality of the kombi was still fine after lifting, it had increased body roll but it was far from unsafe. In QLD though is is illegal to go higher than 50 mm or 2" regardless of how you do it. This is the law. Anyway who tells you different is telling fibs.