How to Adjust Torsion Bars on a VW Beetle

Written by daniel sutherland
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How to Adjust Torsion Bars on a VW Beetle
Adjust the torsion bars on your VW to keep it driving straight. (yellow car image by JoLin from

Volkswagen Beetles were produced with torsion bar suspension in the first-generation models. Since then, suspension has been replaced by coil-spring and strut type suspension. While many modern mechanics might be unfamiliar with torsion bars, the bars do allow for a degree of adjustment not present in many coil springs. By removing the wheel and a few suspension components, you can gain access enough to the suspension to adjust the torsion bars.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Basic mechanic's toolset
  • Jack
  • Jackstands
  • New bushings

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  1. 1

    Raise the vehicle and support it on jack stands. Remove the tires. Remove the bottom-out pad over the torsion bar.

  2. 2

    Remove the bumper. Remove all four bolts from the spring plate.

  3. 3

    Mark the spring plate and torsion bar with "clock hand" style marks--one long and one short on the torsion bar, and two corresponding dots on the spring plate.

  4. 4

    Slide the spring plate from the end of the torsion bar. Rotate it to adjust the suspension. To raise the chassis, rotate the spring plate down. To lower it, rotate the spring plate up. Replace the bushing in the spring plate.

  5. 5

    Slide the spring plate back over the torsion bar and bolt it to the lower control arm. You may have to jack up the spring plate to get it back in place.

  6. 6

    Reinstall the wheel and tire, and lower the vehicle from the jack stands.

Tips and warnings

  • The torsion bars carry the entire weight of the vehicle. Exercise care when working with torsion bars under tension.

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