Home THE TRIALS CAR Back End by Grant Campbell

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Back End



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The Back End on my car was one of the things that took a bit of getting right. Close inspection shows that I've used Kombi reduction gears, called in the trade 'Droppers'. My first car was essentially all Kombi, and the whole concept arose, not because I knew anything about 'torque reaction', but because I owned a 'real' Kombi and I knew how good the traction was on that car. In fact, I used to practice getting stuck in the mud before I knew anything about trials. At least the trials 'legitimised' this foolish practice.

Torque reaction is the key, and the droppers promote quite violent torque reaction which attempts to lift the car, in turn pushing the tyres down hard on the ground and thus increasing traction. This is actually a momentary thing but it lasts until the limit of travel is reached, quite often long enough to get the best of a section. Letting the car squat by applying the fiddle brakes, then using the throttle to make the car jump is a great technique to master.

A side benefit of the droppers is the 4" extra ground clearance.

Standard Kombi back-ends that use reduction gears are all 'swing-axle' types. Mine is fully independent ala later model Kombis, but with the droppers attached. I use this system, rather than a more adjustable set-up with say, transverse links, radius arms & struts, because there are less links to buy, and the layout is more robust when it comes to driving over things that might snag the underneath of the car. I remove plenty of weight from the original dropper. The original axle (to the gearbox) is cut off and a flange from a normal IRS VW is pressed & welded onto the remaining stub.

Green arrow - Reduction Gear (box) or 'Dropper' Pink arrow 90/10 shocker. Purple = Spring plate. Yellow = Flange from 1968 & later Kombis fit onto remaining spline on the droppers. I cut about 2" off, then drill & tap 16mm bolt hole in the end.