To this point, the biggest job by far has been a complete overhaul of Nelly’s suspension and brake systems. Imagine essentially removing everything from the bottom/frame of the bus, re-doing or replacing it, then putting it all back together, and you get the idea of the scope of this project.
It was huge.
Why did we lower it and replace everything instead of just roll with the existing, stock setup? A few reasons. First, at stock height the Volkswagen Buses sit uncomfortably high for constantly stepping in and out of (which is what our photo booth patrons will be doing at events, nonstop). We wanted to make the experience with Nelly as fluid and easy as possible for everyone – including kids and our grandparents. Secondly, we needed to replace the long-term maintenance parts in order to do everything we could to ensure we have no breakdowns or snafus on the road – especially on the way to events (including replacing brakes, bearings, e brake cables, etc). Finally, for daily driving, the stability of a lowered bus would be better around turns and on the highway (if done correctly with the right parts, that is).
Plus, we just like the tastefully-lowered look. It’s rad!!
For the suspension upgrade, we went with a full Wagenswest Slam Bay special. Four inch narrowed front beam, 3.25″ boomerangs in back, 2.5″ drop spindles, shortened tie-rods…the works. For the brakes we replaced every part with the highest quality new (mostly German) units including the master cylinder, all wheel cylinders, hoses, shoes/pads, and everything in between – right down to the hardware kits. We also replaced the suspension bushings in the rear drop arms as well as the bearings on all four wheels.
I finished everything in appropriate flat black paint and coated the undercarriage of the bus in factory Waxoyl before bolting everything back on.
When it comes to the suspension and brakes…We. Are. In. Business. Woot!
I’ll spare you the rest of the gritty details; check out the pictures below and email me if you’ve got questions! Cheers!