So I heard a rumor that the strut inserts for a late VW super beetle(74-80) could be used to improve the travel of the front EA suspension.I am dealing with EA82 front suspension,but I'd imagine the same technique could be used with EA81 suspension.My front struts were blown so I thought I would give it a try.
Here is a side by side comparison of the struts as I got them.
A FWD EA82 strut is on the left and the VW strut insert is on the right.
I originally thought that I would remove the "strut" from the subaru strut assembly and insert the VW strut insert and Bob's your uncle.So I cut open the EA82 strut and found this.
Much to my dismay I found that the VW strut insert was about 2 mm too large to fit into the Subaru strut housing.NOTE: after this point I don't have pics detailing every step of the way,so just bear with me.Once I get time to make the other side I will post up some pics detailing every step of the way.
Anyway I cut off the strut mount and spring perch from the ea82 strut body.The VW strut insert is alittle bigger than 1.5" while the OD of the subaru strut is about 1.75.So I got some 1.75" exhaust tubing and cut it along the seam weld to make a sleeve to mount the perch and mount to.
Then I drilled a 1/8" hole near the top of the VW strut insert to relieve the pressure from welding.The VW strut insert is made out of some thin metal, so extreme care will need to be taken when welding the sleeve to the strut insert.The best I could do was just a series of spot welds.This is the is the make or break it part of the whole operation.If you burn through and deform the wall of the strut-its ruined,If you burn/melt the seals its also ruined,If your welds don't seal you guessed it ruined.It is also worth noting that you want the valve of the strut to be as far away from where your welding.The valve is at the bottom of the strut rod.Luckily for me when the smoke cleared my welds were air tight, and I didn't destroy the seals. As for that 1/8" hole it is an excellent place to put a schrader valve to refill the strut.I wasn't able to get a spec for the amount of oil to use but the strut is to filled with 30 PSI of nitrogen.
Here is the finished product.I added 10 oz of 15W motorcycle fork oil and 30 psi of nitrogen and its very firm.
Once again I apologize for the lack of intermediate steps,give me a day or so and I will have those for you.These struts have 7.8" of travel compared to FWD EA82 struts that have 6.125",4wd EA82 strut are about 5.75" just for reference. This works because even in stock form the struts have the nitrogen in solution with the oil.If this was a high end strut that the nitrogen is separate from the oil it wouldn't work.
Edited by Uberoo, 24 April 2013 - 09:50 PM.