Jay Salser does it again, folks. Many many ’67 Beetle owners around the world appreciate the fruits of your labor. – ES
At some point, I accumulated some Z-Bar (Equalizer Spring) Components. I decided to sort these and at least learn their Names and Part Numbers. There’s not much future in calling parts—“the thing-a-ma-jig”. You get the picture.
I know that a lot of 1967 Owners won’t be excited by all of this, but there are some who enjoy knowing about the “minutia” of their cars. For those—I decided to post the information which I have accumulated. Thanks to David Brown, I have been able to acquire those VW Part Numbers which I could not find on my own. And, Neva Salser whipped out her Digital and snapped a multitude of photos from which to choose some for this exercise.
Note: The Z-Bar continued into the 1968 Production Year for 1968 Beetles so that the Z-Bar is not a one-year-only part.
In Europe, the Z-Bar took a different configuration. Also, somewhere in there, the replacement for the Z-Bar with which we are familiar was superceded by the one in the photo below.
But, first, a bit of explanation about the Z-Bar. Some confusion reigns over the purposes of the Z-Bar. Let’s see what VW says about the Z-Bar Function.
From Bentley’s Official Service Manual (’66-’69—Blue Manual)
Transmission and Rear Axle, Page 70, Section 11, Equalizer Springs:
“The purpose of the equalizer is to produce an additional progressive spring action to assist the torsion bars when under load. Because the operating levers slant in opposite directions, the action of the equalizer spring does not affect body roll, and the front axle assembly is there-by enabled to absorb more roll to give better cornering of the vehicle.”
Thinking of this definition–of interest to me were the differences between the two Levers (right and left). The Left Lever (driver’s side) has a casting mark “L”. The Right Lever has no such casting mark.
The two Levers are distinctive as to configuration. This, at a casual glance, may go unnoticed. However, when the two Levers are placed side by side, the difference becomes immediately apparent.
It also is important as to the direction each Lever fits onto the Cross Rod (also called the Main Stem). I have included two photos of a Lever—showing the side which faces the center of the car and the side which faces the outside of the car. I examined more than one Z-Bar to assess this installation factor.
As well, the Left Lever is fitted onto the end of the Cross Rod which is marked with the VW Logo. Again, I checked to verify this. The pointed Grub Screw (Set Screw) positions, coupled with the different physical characteristics between the two Levers, cause the installed angle of the Levers to differ. This gives the Z-Bar its compensating property. Sort of an “anti-twisting” property.
The Grub Screw (Set Screw) is marked KAMAX with the hardness factor 8.8. The Grub Screw is accompanied by a 13mm Hex Nut with no markings. The Nut serves to lock the Grub Screw once the Grub Screw has been screwed through the Lever and into the conical recess in the Cross Rod. The Grub Screw has an Allen Head which requires a 6mm wrench.
The Cross Rod (Main Stem) is fitted with a cylindrical Rubber Bumper, positioned approximately at mid point on the Cross Rod. The purpose of this Bumper is to cushion any contact which the Cross Rod might make with the underside of the car. The Bumper is approximately 4 ctms long by 6mm wall thickness with an outside diameter of approximately 23mm and an inner diameter of approximately 14mm. Given the nature of this split Bumper, the OD and ID can vary when installed (opens more or closes more). Unfortunately, this Rubber Bumper no longer is being produced.
The Cross Rod is approximately 38-6/8ths inches in length and 12mm in diameter.
Missing, also, from refurbishing kits, are the Rubber Caps (113-501-549) and the Hard Rubber Washers (113-501-849)
Maybe someone will step up to the plate to reproduce these items which are integral to the condition and operation of the Z-Bar.
The following are additional photos of Z-Bar parts.
Z-Bar Components With Part Numbers:
- 1. Levers—(casting letters/numerals not relevant)
- —- Left—Marked L for Left (Driver’s Side)—113-501-845
- —- Right—Unmarked for Right (Passenger’s Side)—113-501-846
- 2. Lever Grub Screws (X2)—Use 6mm Allen Wrench—KAMAX, 8.8 Hardness, 8mm x 1.0—N-014-727-1
- 3. Lever Set Screw Lock Nuts (X2)—13mm X 8mm x 1.0—N-011-152-1
- 4. Lower Rubber Operating Rod Bumper (X2)—VW Logo-113-501-737 (by HS)
- 5. Lower and Upper Operating Rod Threads (X4)—8mm x 1.25
- 4. Lower Operating Rod Steel Washer (X2)—ID-8.8mm—OD-29-30mm—361-501-575
- 5. Upper and Lower Operating Rod Self-Locking Nuts (X4)—14mm X 8mm x 1.25 X—113-415-431
- 6. Lower Rubber Guides (X2)—(grommets for #s 8-9)–113-501-753
- 7. Operating Rod Rubber Caps (X2)—(Weather Resistant Caps)–113-501-549
- 8. Axle Tube Guide/Support (1)—right—(mounting cup)—113-501-840
- 9. Axle Tube Guide/Support (1)—left—(mounting cup)—113-501-839
- (Bolts (X4) and Lock Washers (X4)—(for mounting cups #s 8-9)—Bolts are 38mm instead of 35mm—N-010-138-1/Washers for same are N-012-012-2/Nuts for same are
- 10. Lever Damping Bushings (X4)—113-501-835
- 11. Upper Short Plastic Guide Tube/Sleeve on Operating Rod (X2)—113-501-832
- 12. Lower Long Plastic Guide Tube/Sleeve on Operating Rod (X2)—113-501-831
- 13.Cross Rod-(called the Main Stem)—113-501-819—Part # deleted as of Oct., 1969 (approximately 38-6/8ths inches in length)
- 14. Cross Rod Center Rubber Bumper—113-501-815
- 15. Steel Outer End Caps-Right or Left (X2)—113-501-811
- 16. Steel Inner Caps-Right or Left (X2)—(with hole in the end for Cross Rod)—113-501-809
- 17. Conical Bushings for Cross Rod (X2)—113-501-813
- 18. Operating Rod Top Plate (X2)—113-501-825
- 19. Rods (Torsion Bars)—113-501-805
- 20. Left-Driver’s Operating Rod—(long upper section)
- 21. Right-Passenger’s Operating Rod—(short upper section)
- 22. Hard Rubber Washer (called Washer–between Lever and the Inner Cross Rod Bushing Cover)—113-501-849