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VW Beetle Cabrio Rear Suspension & Axles

Types of VW Beetle Cabrio Rear Suspension

There are two different kinds of rear suspension fitted to the Beetle: the standard ‘swing axle’ assembly, that uses rigid axles, and the ‘IRS’ type – fitted only to certain models. Below is a brief breakdown of the different types of Volkswagen Beetle suspension:

Swing Axle – used on most standard models

The swing axle assembly consists of a pair of rigid axles that pivot from the gearbox. These were used from the very earliest cars right up until the end of Mexican production in 2003. If your axles only have rubber boots on the ends of the axles that join the gearbox (and not at the hub ends), then you have a swing axle model.

Independent Rear Suspension (IRS) – used on 1302/03 & Semi-Auto

IRS is a more advanced type of Volkswagen Beetle suspension that features CV (constant velocity) joints both next to the gearbox and also at the hub end of the axles. These were only used on some later models, including 1302 / 1303 (Superbeetle) and Semi-Automatic cars. If your axles have rubber boots on both ends of axles (next to the gearbox and at the hubs), then you have an IRS model.

Of course VW Heritage stock an extensive range of parts for both types of VW Beetle rear suspension, including axle and CV boots, hub seal kits and bump stops. Plus a great selection of performance and styling parts, including adjustable springplates and uprated shocks. And remember, if you have a query about your VW Beetle suspension – or if you can’t find the part you require – just click on the ‘live chat’ button or call our sales team on 01273 444 000 at any time during UK business hours.

History Of The VW Beetle

In 1962 VW introduced heat exchangers for the first time, this allowed passengers and drivers to make use of fresh heated air, directed around the cabin, as opposed to the previous system of warmed air which had been flowed over the cylinder heads.

Hydraulic brakes replaced the cable operated system of previous models, and a new cleanable vinyl headliner had been installed, replacing the previous woollen version. The Wolfsburg logo that had appeared on previous models was dropped and replaced with the now familiar VW logo.

The vinyl “rag-top” sunroof was now dropped on 1963 export models, and replaced with a steel sliding roof, however the rag-top was still available on standard models. A new number plate light was added, the front indicators were also increased in size. Inside, VW dropped the horn-ring from the steering wheel, and thumb buttons were now employed for the task.

By this time VW had becomes Germany’s biggest company, taking 42.4% of domestic market car sales, and producing over a million cars in 1963, with daily production off the now automated production line reaching 5,229. A total of 685,769 cars had been exported making VW the worlds largest vehicle exporter.

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