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VW Transporter

Let's start with the front axle (picture 1). The top picture is the view of the front axle seen from the rear, and the bottom one is looking at it from above. In the top picture, one can clearly see the two transverse tubes, one above the other, the upper tube is partly cut-open on the left. It shows one of four spring-packets, each packet is a little less than half as long as the tube itself. They are connected in the middle to the respective tube, and on the outside ends, to a supporting lever.

In the view from above (lower picture), the left- and right hand upper supporting brackets can be seen. There are four all together and their pivots are all connected to the spring-packets. If the springs are compressed, the spring bearings, which are statically bolted in the middle, are twisted, this provides a certain amount of spring travel, which compared with the predecessor (the T1), has been clearly increased.

By the way, between the two supporting brackets on each side (picture 1 at the top), the rubber limiters are installed, they limit the amount of spring-rebound for the upper brackets and the amount of spring-compression for the lower brackets. At that time, the ball-heads at the end of the supporting levers were very modern. They made the maintanance-free, simultaneous spring compression and steering of the front wheels possible. The two lower supporting levers are joined by a stabilizer, which is especially important on the front axle of a rear-engined vehicle.

Although also similar to the Beetle, the steering, in contrast to the above mentioned, works with two equally long tie-rods. Whereas the Beetle has almost a steering transmission, the T2 has a steering-arm which gets it's steering commands from the steering transmission right up front and a further rod with ball-heads. This is because, the space in front of the front axle is needed for leg-room and it's front end leads to the pretty upright steering column. All this is not shown in our picture, only the steering damper, which apparently was necessary in the beetle, can be seen.

The rear axle, wth gearbox, final drive and bell housing shown in picture 2, is more exciting because greater changes were made. The wheels were guided by, at the time quite modern, trailing arms. The disappearance of the old floating axle was mourned by no-one. The torsion bar springs in the transverse lying axle-tube remained, indeed, as opposed to the front axle, a one-piece component and not one made up of several leaf-springs. The stipulation for this axle-construction were the homo kinetic (double-) universal joints with a long term grease filling and rubber seals. It can be nicely seen, how the torque from the gearbox in front of the center of the rear axle is transferred to the crown wheel in the inside lying differential. Unfortunately, what cannot be seen, is that from the engine, behind the center of the rear axle, a shaft goes through the axle drive to the gearbox, if this was not the case, then the whole thing would not function. 04/12               Top of page               Index
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Translator: Don Leslie - Email:

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