Craig McKenzie's 1967 Karmann Ghia Convertible

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Front Suspension

Having lowered my Splitty many years ago and feeling very pleased with the results, I didn't waste any time lowering the front of the Ghia. I haven't changed the rear suspension on the Ghia, nor will I, for two reasons: 1; the rear appears to have sunk a little over the years and I'm generally happy with the appearance as it is, 2; the driveway to my house has a nasty incline from from road and I know that if the car sits any lower at the back, it's bye bye exhaust pipe.

In March 2002, I set about replacing the front suspension beam with an adjustable one, from Big Boyz' Toys in Lakeside, Thurrock Essex. This gave the car it's desired looks, but an awful ride (which I did expect to a certain degree).

In August 2002 I decided (with the Help of Mason Hogg of the Karmann Ghia Centre) to try a set of CSP Lowered Spindles (2 1/4" lower than stock) and at the same time wind up the beam adjusters to stock height, at least that was the plan! It appeared that my adjustable beam would not return to normal height. Apparently lowered beams start at about a 2" drop, which can then only be lowered further. Also, the CSP Lowered Spindles set the track about 1/2" wider each side than normal. The combination of these factors meant that the tyres fouled the wheel arches (remember I have Porsche Fuches wheels with 185/55/R15 tyres) and the anti-roll bar was merely 1" off the floor - not very practical. Looked bloody good though!

The ride quality was definitely better, but the rumble from the tyres on tight corners was a little upsetting! The answer? - ditch the adjustable beam and replace with a stock one again, retaining the lowered spindles.

In March 2003, with everything in bits again, I decided to check every last component of the steering and front suspension. This included, changing the inner tie-rod ends, replacing the steering damper, replacing the shocks for SPAX adjustables, replacing split track rod boots etc., replacing both brake hoses, replacing speedo cable and replacing the anti-roll bar bushes with EMPI ones All supped by Machine 7. See my Modification Log for details.

Does this story have a happy ending? Can't tell you at this time of writing (it's 28th March 2003). I'll update this page when everything is done.



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