EvaResto Premium -'65 Early Front Air Kit install Guide
Thank you for purchasing an EvaResto air suspension kit. This guide should tell you everything you need to know about fitting and operating your kit, but if you have any questions or are unsure of anything, feel free to contact us and we’ll assist as soon as possible!
This kit is designed as an easy to fit, well performing and highly practical air ride system for Link Pin style front suspension on - 1965 T1 cars. It is an ’independent’ kit and will replace the torsion bars completely.
Care must be taken out at every point to ensure the kit is installed correctly. Once it is in place, no ‘servicing’ of parts is required, but it is recommended that you check on the system periodically to make sure everything remains in top order.
Installation is simple with the use of this guide, however we do recommend installation by qualified technicians familiar with Air Suspension systems and Aircooled Vehicles!
Please note: This kit is designed for use with independent management types (4-way), and will perform it’s best if used as so. 2-way systems will operate it, however wont allow for the best performance
+ ride levelling available.
Our kits are comprehensive and come with everything you need for proper installation.
We Recommend you take some time, familiarise yourself with the components and make sure you have everything present before you start the install.
Parts supplied (as standard):
- 1x Air Ride axle Beam assembly
- 2x FreeRoll Rods (pre-fitted)
- 2x Airsleeve shocks
- 1x Pair of Track Rods + Locking nuts
- 1x Early style Steering Extender Kit with fixings
- 4x Beam grease seals
- 2x Sided Lower Shock Mount relocators
- 2x 1/8” NPT to 1/4“ PTC Air Fittings
- 1x Complete Fastener kit
- Steering Box Clamp/Lock Stop kit
Where possible, fixings are pre-installed in their specific components. Eg - shock relocator assemblies are pre-built with their allocated fixings - however some fixings are supplied loose.
- 2x M10 Nyloc nuts
- 2x M10 Nyloc washers
- Left & Right hand threaded Lock/Jam nuts for track rods
- 4x M12 Washers
Get yourself and the car ready for the job.
Ensure vehicle is safely lifted and supported, using safe and correctly graded equipment. Wheels off, tools at the ready.
Note: Your kit may differ slightly in visual
design to the kit depicted in this fitting guide.
Your original suspension system must be almost entirely removed for the new kit to be installed. Don’t worry though, there’s no cutting or fab work needed,
and the full kit is only bolt-on. Parts that will need removing entirely are:
- Brakes and spindle assembly in full
- Trailing arms
- Steering Track Rods + Ends
- Steering damper
- Steering Box + Clamp + Pitman Arm
- Beam assembly in full
You don't need to remove your fuel tank on Pre '59 models, however it is recommended for proper access when fitting and setting up the front suspension. Later cars will require the Fuel tank to be removed and set aside.
All re-used parts should be inspected for wear, ensuring they are serviceable and clean & free of debris. The bearing surfaces of the trailing arms must be clean, smooth and free of damage.
With all of your existing setup removed, you should be left with something like this:
(excuse the late model picture shown)
Now for the install guide...
Installing the new beam.
Install the new axle assembly as per original style. Use your original rubbers (if they are serviceable, if not, replace!) for between the body and the beam. Refit using the original bolts and washers, and torque up to factory specs. The Shock towers will fit close to the inner wing on 4" narrowed size, but should not contact the body anywhere.
Installing the trailing arms and grease seals
The grease seals supplied are an OE fit part and also fit our custom axles. The seals simply sandwich between the trailing arms and the beam end plate.
slide each grease seal down the shaft of the trailing arm, grease the bearing surfaces well and slide them into the tubes of the beam. You may need some persuasion with a plastic mallet to drive them fully home.
The new grease seals are a tight fit, and hold the trailing arms back from their correct position. These will need to be 'squeezed' down. The way we recommend doing this is by use of a G Clamp like pictured below:
Use this to pull the trailing arm fully home, and ensure the V-groove in the Freeroll rod is perfectly centred in the grub screw hole - Like pictured below:
The perfect alignment shown here is of absolute importance and must not be neglected!
With the groove aligned perfectly and held with the G clamp, the torsion bar grub screws can be re-fitted and tightened down to factory spec. The clamp can then be removed.
Repeat this for the 3 other trailing arms, then move on to the next step.
Fitting the Lower Shock mount relocators.
These are a special fully bolt-on design and come pre-assembled to show fastener & spacer locations. They fit to the lower trailing arms, and consist of 3x main parts, large tube spacers and smaller tube spacers.
Start with the mid-part, and slide it over the exposed grub screws like so:
Then, assemble the inner part like this, with the bolts, washers and 2x of the smaller spacers.
Slide 3x M12 washers over the factory shock mountings, then fit the inner part of the relocator into the mid-piece like shown,:
Then fit 2x of the larger tube spacers like shown:
And then the outer part of the relocator. This might be a slightly awkward fit, requiring the bolts to be pushed back in to allow it to locate properly. A plastic mallet may be needed to push the bolts all the way through and out the side of the outer piece.
With this in place, fit the M12 washers and Nyloc nuts
Now tighten these down fully, and fit the Grub Screw locking nut loosely.
Then move to the factory shock mounting. Fit one tube spacer, M10 washer and M10 Nyloc nut like pictured. Tighten this down fully
Then moving back to the grub screw locking nut, tighten this down fully
Ensure all of the fixings on these are fully tightened down.
Repeat these steps for the other side.
The Lower Relocator brackets are now installed!
Fitting the air fittings into the Air Shocks.
The Air fittings used are 1/8” npt to 1/4”
ptc (push to connect) 90deg fittings and require a good thread sealant for a fully air-tight seal. Use Loctite 565 or PTFE tape sparingly, and install the fitting into the port on the bag. Tapered type fittings (like shown) do not require fully tightening home. Finger tight + one full turn is recommended.
Fitting the Air Sleeve Shocks
The Shocks supplied with the kit are a straight fit to the custom Air Ride Beam. Offer them up to the beam and fit them with the supplied M12x60 bolts and washers on either side of the bushing, like in this picture here. The M12x60 Bolts and washers may be pre-fitted into the beam if you're having trouble locating them.
And at the bottom, these need to be mounted into the relocators with the M12 Bolts, M12 washers, M12 Nyloc nuts and 4x spacers between the locator and the shock eyelet. 2x Spacers need to be used either side for these Air Shocks, and it's a good idea to grease up the edges of the urethane bushing where it's sandwiched between the spacers to allow for smooth operation.
Spacer and fixings orientation shown below:
Image shows correct installation of shock absorber
Now tighten all the shock fittings down fully. Positioning of these doesn't matter as the Bushings allow for complete travel with no hang-ups.
Refit the spindles, brakes and hub assembly in full. Re-install the spacing shims and grease/dust seals correctly after measuring arm offset (exactly as per original vw guidelines) and re-fit your original, or new drop spindle assembly in place. Drop spindles are required here for full drop and best operation.
Re-fitting the steering box and steering gear. The Steering box must be re-fitted and allowed to line up with the steering column as closely as possible. Ensure the rubber disc coupler between the steering box and steering column is running true when rotated and not stressed in any directions (this is why alignment is so important).
Your kit comes supplied with a replacement uprated steering box clamp, with an integral steering lock stop. You should have an install guide for this. If not, see here for install details!
Once the 'box is refitted, the Steering extender can be fitted. The steering extender bolts to the underside of the pitman arm, and allows the track rods to be moved backwards out of the way of the shocks. Ensure the tapered holes are towards the back of the car, ready for the track rod ends to be refitted.
(excuse the late model example used - the principle is the same however)
Bolt the steering extender in position and tighten down fully.
Please note, the steering extender supplied here requires later (1968-) style inner track rod ends to be fitted, with 19mm nuts. Early style with 17mm nuts are too small and will not fit correctly.
Next, assemble your track rods with your existing or new ends, and fit them to the pitman arm. Wind the ends all the way in for now, as adjustment can be made later. The ends of the Rods with the locking/jam nuts are the inside ends (bolted to pitman arm).
The Short rod is a specific shape to fully clear the Drivers-Side air shock on full lock both directions. This must be set in position so that the curve of the rod gives maximum clearance to the air shock. Example shown below:
Fit these now into the spindles, and tighten the nuts down fully.
Refit your (optional, but recommended) steering damper using the standard eye in the track rod end, and the mount on the beam.
Greasing the beam. Using a grease gun, pack each corner of the beam with grease through the Nipples. The beam features an OE-style grease cavity, and will take around the same amount of grease as a stock unit. Use a good-quality LM2 grease and pump it in until the resistance increases in your grease gun (it gets harder to pump). Stop immediately if the grease gets harder to pump - the job is done!
Wipe off any excess and move on to the next step.
Next, fit your air lines from your management to your air shocks. Ensure that at all times the air line is free from chafing, stretching, road debris and the road wheel. Failure to do so can easily end up with a broken line/breakdown. Make sure the line is clean and cleanly cut (using the line cutter supplied with your management kit) and push it firmly into the air line connector.
Use the small holes on the beam (near top mount and on upright gusset) to tie the line out of the way if your line goes forwards out of the beam, and if going backwards (like i typically do with the management fitted in the rear of the car), tie the line to the inner wing with P-clips or similar. Again make sure the road wheel cannot contact this at any time!
Set-up. Re-fit your wheels and pre-inflate the shocks to around 40psi. lower the car off of the supports and ensure you’re clear of any obstructions underneath the car. Roll the car back and forwards slightly to allow things to settle.
By eye, adjust the track rods so that both wheels face as straight as possible. They do not need to be 'locked' in position just yet.
Now let the suspension down fully, allowing the bags to completely deflate and the car to reach maximum drop. There should be no hang-ups, and the car should sit level side-to-side and of course, look great.
Lift the car to a height you'll be happy to drive at 90% of the time. For me, this usually 75% between the lowest and highest point in the suspension travel.
With the suspension set at this height, the alignment can be taken out. If you have tracking gauges, great! Otherwise, set it as close as you can to dead ahead by eye, and take the car to a specialist at first opportunity.
Remember to always set the road wheels dead ahead position when the pitman arm is in dead central position, and visually parallel to the steering column. This is of vital importance, and is the only way the steering box will work as intended!
Set the tracking, and then 'lock off' the track rods fully using the lock/jam nuts and the 13mm clamp nuts/bolts.
The steering wheel will most likely need to be re-centred once you're finished.
Full clearance check & tank refit.
The Air sleeve section of the shock absorber must be free of all and any moving or static components. Inflate the shocks to 50psi and check for clearance around the full circumference of the air sleeve. In rare cases, the air sleeve may be too close to the body of the car (inner wing). The solution here is to either space outwards (maximum 2x m12 extra washers permitted here) or tweak the inner wing section with a soft mallet. Do not reach for the hammer! The inner wing area that can come into contact with the air sleeve is flexible, and will be easy to move in a few Millimetres with light work from a plastic mallet.
Air sleeve clearance only needs to be fully checked once, and will ensure a proper lifetime for your kit!
Now let the suspension fully down again, ensuring everything is clear of the body and there are no hang-ups or clearance issues.
Re-fit the fuel tank. If the tank isn't allowed to sit flat, and is hanging up on one of the track rods when the car is fully dropped, it must be raised to accommodate for this. Only some cars require a fuel tank lift, most don't.
If a raise is needed - most people knock up a simple square timber frame and extended bolts for this, allowing for around a 1" raise. We do offer a bolt-in raise frame option though for those wanting to keep things looking super tidy.
Refit the tank and fuel lines, ensuring the fuel line will not come into contact with any suspension parts under any circumstances.
Selecting a good ride height. With the setup installed and wheel alignment taken out, it's time to start operating the kit normally.
The Eva Premium front kit is designed to be driven low, high, and everything in-between. A good starting point would be around 40-45psi in each bag. This should give around 3-4” of lift, great ride quality and ground clearance. You may need up to 5psi difference side-to-side to offset the weight of a single driver and no passengers in order to maintain a level ride height, but this depends mainly on driver weight!
The kit should start to lift at around 30psi and can be driven low. But as a general rule with all air suspension systems, you should not operate the kit in the upper or lower 10% of it’s limits, as this can cause damage to the chassis of your car, and the shock absorbers. Get a feel for the kit, and
experiment with different pressures and ride heights, to find what suits your driving style best.
EvaResto Zenith Air Shocks are rated to Maximum 60 PSI
Now it’s time to rack up some miles on your newly-bagged vw. We recommend after the first 10, and then 50 miles or so to check over a few things, make sure nothing looks off, or has come loose. Once you’ve completed this period, standard service intervals apply, and your kit won’t need any special treatment, replacement parts or extra servicing for a good many years and thousands of miles.
We always recommend keeping an eye on the underside of your 55+ year old classic car, but that’s just common sense ;).
Thank you very much for choosing an EvaResto suspension kit! We hope you’re totally happy with your purchase, and of course, would love to see/hear how you got on with everything so drop us a line if you feel like it!