Whats the skinny on: Narrowed beams :)

Discussion in 'Modified Shizzle' started by Luis Navarro, May 27, 2015.

  1. Looking into these as I love the look, and after driving a bus fitted with one I was mightily impressed.
    Trouble is that there are so many on the market, and so much conflicting info on google that im not sure whats what.
    2" or 4"? king and link or balljoint? do they come ready to bolt up, or is there a small fortune in additional bits you have to buy to fit one? Anybody here have one fitted that knows a bit about them that can give advice actually based on experience? and not the TLB party line of 'keep it stock...lowered busses are carp....' etc lol
  2. Baysearcher

    Baysearcher [secret moderator]

    I don't think that's the party line on here at all?
    Having seen loads of members buses, there is a fair percentage of them far from stock.
    Personally I like the look of lowered but wouldn't want one myself. I think narrowed looks gash but that's just my opinion.
  3. The narrowed beams are more common on earlies than us lates, that said, there are one or two on here that run slightly narrowed beams.

    I think @rob.e has done a superb job with his westy and the French Slammer products he fitted :thumbsup:
  4. Thanks @MorkC68 :)

    I did a bunch of research before I did anything to mine. Money no object I’d have loved the red9 wishbone kit, but I couldn’t really justify that expense on a vehicle that only gets limited use.

    The vintage autohaus/French slammer products are good quality, but what really swung it for me was that they only offer a fully built bolt-on option. Ie they build up the beam fully including leaf springs, trailing arms, steering arms, dampers, spindles etc so it bolts straight on. Lots of the vendors that sell beams don’t do that – they sell just the beam, so you need to transfer over (and narrow) your torsion leaves, arms etc. and all the other stuff. You’d prob save a few quid if you put together your own setup but the problem is where do you go if it doesn’t work very well?

    I got to ride in a bus with this setup before I placed my order (Grahams early) which was very low and on super skinny tires, and tbh it still rode very well. Midland Earlybay also do an exchange price which brings the cost down a bit.

    Mine is only narrowed 8cm, so 4cm per side. If you consider though that the spindles add back approx. 10mm its really only 3cm per side narrower. Mine looks narrower than it is as I have 5” wide ET38 wheels on the front – if you had say, empi’s with ET20 then you’d have be only around 10mm “in” from the stock position. If you want more tuck then go for the 11” narrower option.

    I don’t consider my bus “finished” yet btw – I am still experimenting (funds allowing) with tyres/ wheel et’s and will try a rear anti-roll bar at some point, but as it stands, I’m happy with the setup both in terms of ride quality and stance, it sits level, lower than stock but still enough clearance to go in and out of camping fields and over speed bumps.

    by lotus-gt, on Flickr
    Paul zen and MorkC68 like this.
  5. Luis .... When it comes to a low and narrow late, you need to talk too @Grum ... :)
    Grum likes this.
  6. Keep it stock, lowered busses are carp. :D
  7. He's right, lowered buses are crap.......... so slam it.. and slam it hard...........
    Grum, Cov1987 and Luis Navarro like this.
  8. I recently drove a narrowed, lowered split and not only did it find bumps I never knew were there, but when it bounced over them, the wheel was right up my arse.
    Keen to try it, but desperately unimpressed by the reality.
  9. But in all honestly , if we wanted perfect driving machines we wouldnt be driving bays. At full height they are like sails waiting to be thrown across the road by passing lorries, cars and even push bikes that pass. Like anything lowered it will find ruts and imperfections, bit like a race car.....
    It's a look at the end of the day, looks the Marmite and people will want to be your friend ............. or you could be old and alone ....lol
    Luis Navarro likes this.
  10. Im used to the downsides of lowering.....regularly beached my mk1 caddy on speed bumps and my jetta isnt much more user friendly on housing estates lol
    Ive found a fair bit of info but still unsure what to start saving for.....most suppliers dont supply complete, ready to bolt on units but going by the price of beam alone options and my current project list between the bus and my jetta its gonna take a while to get the money together lol
  11. Well setup stock height bays don't do that, it's a misconception that lowering solves that, it's replacing worn out parts that fixes it.
  12. Doesnt fix the issue of basic aerodynamics though lol i've driven modern vans that wander with a good crosswind.....anything shaped like a high sided brick on 5J rims is never gonna be planted like a sports car.....at least if its low it'll look good while its heading towards the nearest ditch hahaha
    gman4175 and chrisgooner like this.
  13. You're never gonna to get sports car handling from a van.

    I'm all for lowering it for the looks but don't expect it to transform the handling of your van.
  14. I wasn't. In fairness, as old campers go it drives pretty well.....its already a fair bit lowered and believe me, after 20 years worth of tinkering with lowered vw golfs im under no illusions about the limitations and practicalities of lowering :) I just vastly prefer the look and presence of a lowered bus over a pseudo 4x4 one lol
    easy-does-it and Paul zen like this.
  15. Do it!
  16. My van will out handle a lot of cars... and then if you've not heard of it, you should look up the "Race Taxi" and I'm pretty sure @Ziiga 's van will stick to the road fairly well too!!

    Just saying like ;)
    rob.e likes this.
  17. Baysearcher

    Baysearcher [secret moderator]

    At least 2 of those bare practically no relation to original buses though....
  18. And your van has a subaru engine.... ;)

    But yes, you are right on that front... the race taxi, and Ziiga's are built on T25 chassis's :thumbsup:

    But that's just ingenuity and engineering skill :)
  19. Baysearcher

    Baysearcher [secret moderator]

    Yes it does.
    It certainly doesn't out handle many cars though...
    What have you done to yours to make it so good?

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