Note: Installing spring plates is a very dangerous task and should never be attempted by an amateur or without using the proper installation tools. If you are not a competent mechanic - DO NOT ATTEMPT TO INSTALL!!!
A special shout out for one of my good customers, Frank Casares. His car is featured in the May issue of Hot VWs 2013 in the center. His bug is the yellow one. His car is fitted with our 2.5" drop plates. When Frank approached me he was in a bit of a dilemma. His car had a deep oil sump and with the power of his engine his sump would scrape the ground every time he throttled it hard. In addition he had taken the advice of others and purchased adjustable spring plates and the thickest torsion bars that were available (30 mm), and yet his problem was not resolved. Sump would still scrape upon heavy throttle.
So Frank approached me with his dilemma asking me, "how can I stop my car from scraping upon acceleration?"
I told frank that, for starters, he did not need so stiff of torsion bars. The problem was that he was riding with a relaxed suspension - a suspension without the proper preload - and that he should install our racing drop plates with a less stiff torsion bar. The whole thing seemed counter intuitive for sure.
Here's why my solution worked: Drop plates actually restore torsion to your system. In English that means that drop plates do not sit relaxed like re-indexed factory plates do. You see our drop plates are required to be loaded. Therefore they are automatically stiff before the car touches the ground. To put in a stiff torsion bar to correct a bad solution (re-indexing stock plates) is still a bad solution. When it was said and done Frank could not believe the difference my racing drop plates made. Frank called me and said that he could not make his sump scrape not matter how much he throttled it. Night and day difference! But there was one hidden benefit, which Frank did not expect; his car was faster. You see Atomwerk drop plates are calculated for zero toe in. Toe in is the effect of the rear wheels mutually steering into the vehicle. Since our plates killed the toe in and his wheels pointed straight, his car was able to "hook up" and now launch straight. No more "fish tail" effect!
So in summary, drop plates alone restore the torsion in your system - that's is to say that they stiffen the rear up, which is what thicker torsion bars attempt to do. However, if thicker torsion bars are used in conjunction with Atomwerk drop plates then the stiffness is even greater. My recommendation for lowered VWs with power? Use racing drop plates and slightly stiffer torsion bars and you'll have no issues and your VW will be at the top of the food chain.
Congratulations to John Layzell and his son Brett Layzell right who finished one of the most challenging endurance races on our Racing Raise Plates, "From Peking to Paris"! The span of the race is 7,610 miles across the grueling desert. Many cars could not even finish the race because of its difficulty. During the race all kinds of suspension components were damaged on “Little Red”, such as torsion bars and high performance shocks - but not our plates. Go John and Brett!!!
The following is John’s testimony:
“In February 2012 I made a decision to fulfill a life long ambition of competing in the Peking to Paris Rally (P2P). 8,000 miles in 33 days, much of it completely off road, or on very poorly maintained roads. I had one year to find a suitable vehicle and to properly prepare it. Having read previous P2P reports of breakdowns involving fractured radiator mounts, fans through the radiators, seized water pumps and split hoses miles from any water supply, I decided a VW Beetle was the ideal vehicle likely to complete the event. Reinforcement throughout was essential, with particular attention needed to the suspension, and adequate ground clearance. We achieve this by fitting 205/75/15 tires on 15" x 5.5" wheels for a diameter of 27:11", compare to the original 25.4"
The front suspension was raised about 2.5" by fitting Type 181 "Thing" spindles and control arms, and the same results was achieved at the rear by installing Atomwerk raised spring plates. Bilstein shocks were fitted front and rear to complement.
With all the harsh off-road pounding we did suffer loosened shock absorbers three times and the rear torsion bars twisted and had to be re-indexed twice.
The Atomwerk raised rear spring plates performed faultlessly throughout the grueling event and we look forward to pairing them with upgraded torsion bars before the next adventure.”
2443cc Turbo Ghia
Be sure to check out the November 2013 issue of Hot VWs. In this issue you will find a second appearance of Jason Smith’s bad-ass 1963 Karmann Ghia. Simply put, everything about this car is way over-built and way cool! Jason’s car is sporting our Racing Adjustable Drop Plates. We had to make him a custom set because his transaxle was raised to compensate for the camber. Anytime that the transaxle is raised in a swingaxle suspension, special length Drop Plates must be made so that the car does not have toe out. Jason is actually the reason that we came out with this special design. Since the Ghia uses such enormous wheels the regular adjustable plates would simply not work because the adjuster interferes with the tires. This caused us to think more seriously about the design. We decided to change the location of the adjuster so that it could be adjusted from inside the wheel. By doing this the design also became stronger. Then we added a lock to it so that it would be able to handle the near 800 horsepower of his engine! Special thanks to Jason for the shout out!
This is our special section where we honor our good customers who bring something unique to the table using our products. Check out these stories as each of our customers has a special story to tell. If you would like to be added to this section, please submit high resolution pictures along with your story to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congratulations to Darrell Vittone, who competed in the 36 hp challenge at the Mojave Mile on 4/11/2015 utilizing our Introductory IRS Twin Drop Plates, Bronze Bushing Retainers, and No-Camber Lowered Trailing Arms! The previous record was 109 mph, but Darrell blew it out of the park setting a new record of 141.8 mph!!! Those who have been there know that the Mojave Mile is no picnic, having a rough surface with thousands of tar filled cracks covering the entire mile. At speeds in excess of 140 mph Mr. Vittone was very thankful that he chose the proper spring plates, which were designed specifically for his Ghia's low stance. Also the addition of the rear bronze bushing retainer helped him put his car's power to the road at those high speeds.
Darrell is legendary for knowing no limits, as he played a major role in bringing performance to the air-cooled VW throughout his lifetime. It would seem as though he is just getting started as he plans to secure another world record on the Bonneville Salt Flats in 2015! We wish him the best of luck and look forward to witnessing this. Go Darrell!!!
Special congratulations to Larry Arrieta for his Appearance in the September issue of Hot VWs Magazine! Larry was able to install his own Racing Adjustable Drop Plates despite that he is not a mechanic.