Type 1 – Type 3 Beam Installation Guide & FAQ’s
Type 3 T1-T3 Conversion Beams
Installation Guide and FAQ’s
How to fit a Type 1 – Type 3 Conversion Beam
Removal, and what you need!
So to install your Titan Engineering / Limebug beam you first need to remove the entire front axle from your Type 3. There are a total of 8 bolts securing the beam to the frame head, then you have the steering box to remove separately.
Once removed you need to find a post-1966 (Ball Joint) Type 1 (Beetle or Karmann Ghia) Front Axle, the more complete the better. Now, this guide is assuming you have purchased a beam only not an EX-Series fully assembled, if you have a fully assembled beam, fast forward down this guide to Installation.
Now it is worth noting you CAN re-use your original Type 3 disks, and in some cases Drums also. The only hiccup we have found is some Type 3 calipers have an additional casting on them the may need to be ground off in order to fit to T1 Spindles.
Now you have your beam and the brakes are ready, you are best using a set of Dropped 2.5″ spindles, after all, this procedure is in the aid of getting the wheels in and rolling low.
Next, you need a complete set of the original Ball Joint Trailing arms and associated fixings, now build the Type 3 conversion beam using all the Type 1 components from the beam outwards. The steering box you do not have to change, you can use the Type 3 one or a new Type 1, it does not matter. For the Pitman arm it is best to use a type 1 style, this will help with the geometry with the Type 1 spindles, track rods etc.
In order to install your beam you have a couple of options that are built into the beam unique to Titan Engineering / Limebug beams.
You can either:
- Completely remove the rubber mounts altogether this includes the inner and outer metal carrier sections and the rubber mounts, and straight solid mount the beam to the frame head.
- You can utilize the rubber mounts between the frame head and the beam. you may have to remove a couple of the nodules sticking out, this can be done with a Stanley knife pretty easily. By using the original mount between the beam and frame head the wheel spacing re-centres to being perfectly in the middle of the arch giving a much cleaner look, as well as this the steering box can run at the correct angle and you will retain some of the Type 3 “softness” to its feel of the front end.
First point of call is to hold the beam up and assess how much to trim off the lowermost mount, this is the number one reason for type 3’s grinding along the floor at seemingly not very low heights. These two lowest sections need trimming flush and a cap welding over. We do supply a bolt on Skidplate which if you cannot weld will assist in covering the area which is removed, these also act as a perishable item that can be replaced.
Now you have decided which way to go the process is very simple, use the original square cap washer and M10 Bolt to secure your beam in the hole between the two main beam tubes. (The square cap will probably have to be inverted to make the bolt spacing correct. This is fine, if you do not have the cap, get in touch and we can advise how else to do this.
Next, you can secure the Upper bolt, again an M10 is supplied, a pre-threaded hole is already welded to your beam which allows simple installation of this element.
Finally insert the rubber doughnut above the top of the beam upright and secure the vertical bolt which goes straight up into the chassis.
Now it is just a case of re-attaching the steering box, tracking up the front end and you are good to go.
Why fit a Type 1 – Type 3 Beam over a standard Type 3 Beam
Probably the most common question we hear. The main factors as to why this is done are outlined below:
- Type 3’s use different style spindles and torsion bars, currently there are no type 3 dropped spindles produced which means ride quality is compromised when lowering as well as the limit of the ride height
- Type 3’s beams sit far lower than the base of the chassis, this causes a fouling issue early on, by using a Type 1 beam the torsion tubes are closer together meaning the beam can sit higher up and give you that flat bottom that is needed to make a low car usable.
- Type 3 front beams use a different type of torsion bar, very similar to the rear of nearly all Aircooled models, despite this at a glance being an easier better way of lowering, the issues start when you need to narrow in order to be able to steer the wheels within the arch bowls. You cannot chop down a Type 3 torsion bar and hence the Type 1 beam becomes essential.
- Type 1 beams are considerably more available and cost dramatically less than Type 3 parts, this makes it the perfect substitute due to the shared Aircooled VW DNA.
- Why Ball Joint and not Link Pin, or both. Again it is down to cost, and tech. The ball joint beams are the best-fit match for the cups on the type 3 beam on the frame head, second off they cost at least typically half the price of a link pin front end core, and thirdly ball joint beams allow adjustable caster and camber, which is incredibly useful for getting a really great drive, especially when running large diameter and width tyres.
Anything else I should know?
The only other thing I would say is essential is the removal of the bolt in wheel well. A very simple removal (3 Bolts) and we offer a straight replacement bolt in unit to go in its place. You can make this yourself should you not wish to buy from us.
I hope this helps you install your new Type 3 – Type 1 conversion beam on your Notchback, Fastback, Squareback, Razor Edge, T3 / T34 model, and remember we are always only an email or phone call away.