Nearly every day, I drive a different Bugeye through the same turns, over the same bumps and down the same roads (not while wearing a helmet, but you get the idea). Thus I am able to compare and contrast, and determine what repairs might be needed before any one of our cars heads to a new home. We want them all to be just right.
One of the chronic challenges we face is inside rear wheel rubbing on aggressive turns. It’s common for me to buzz through the local left/right combo and hear the sound of tire rub on one side or the other.
This won’t do.
We have thin wheel spacers available in our catalog, this is one weapon to keep the tires from hitting the body, especially when larger than stock tires are fit. We have also found that new brake drums sometimes grind against the back plates, so this is another issue we have had to address in the past by grinding the edge of the drum.
But the number one recurring issue that we see is shown above… the entire differential assembly is often off-center in the back of the car. Note the drive shaft is slightly to the right of center at the trailing edge of the tunnel. This tells us the entire housing has moved off-center. Don’t do this to your Bugeye Sprite… instead, make sure your rear axle is centered.
To fix this, we loosen up the entire assembly, leaf springs and all, and center the diff. You can also often see that one rear tire is more flush with the rear fender than the other. Not all bodywork is straight and symmetrical, but this is a clue that your axle assembly might not be centered in the body of the car.
You can see in the picture below a rear axle that wasn’t centered when we got the car, but it is now. Even with an additional stabilizer bar, this car did not have a centered rear axle. I suspected something was amiss when I noticed the car handled just a bit differently on right and left turns.
When you fix it, your car will handle better, and your rear wheels just might not rub.