Bay Handling

Just about took a dive off friarton bridge on Friday (very windy!) so was wondering if anyone has any tips on making driving a Bay bus a bit less like sailing one!

It’s a tin top which I thought would be better in the wind but it’s still a bit scary at times.

A fully loaded camper is better, but in strong winds there is only so much you can do, you just need to steer a lot!

it only take a wee bit of wind to send the bay all over the shop. even lowered they are not the best driving in any wind go slow and take care . scary and fun.

A coupla years ago, a wee drive of a mate’s good stock condition Bay Camper on a windy day had me seriously worried! It wanted to change lanes so much, I thought the steering was falling apart!
My Split Camper handles side winds a lot better for sure - despite sharing similar steering linkages. Subtle lowering, and fitting of wider wheels & lower profile tyres have obviously done a lot to improve things. But, there was a time, still with unlowered king & link front suspension and a worn out steering idler link pin, rolling on stock 14" 5J steel wheels with half worn cheapo commercial van tyres that handling was less than inspiring, but not as bad as that Bay!
My first attempt to improve handling would be to check the steering idler pin! Any looseness here is amplified throughout the steering so it really needs to be play-free. Doing it can be a pain, as the bushes usually need to be accurately reamed to the pin diameter after they’ve been pressed into the idler mount.
If your idler link is still in good condition, try larger wheels with lower profile tyres or even just a new set of quality tyres appropriate for the weight of your van. They might not need to be ‘commercial’ duty, but will need to be more reinforced than regular car tyres.

lower it!!! wagonworks is coming up end o this month £300 fully lowered :slight_smile:

I concur, lowered bus (by wagonwork!!! ) handles better, fit better shocks and it definately improves. Also make sure your pop top, if you have one, is securely fastened. I did’nt and it made for an extremely unpleasant crossing of the Forth Bridge. Original shocks on my were well goosed and did not realise how bad they had become until I removed them.

Much thanks for the advice. New wheels and lowering might make it on to ‘the list’. Might just need to slow down a bit in the mean time.

OK - but before you commit to new wheels & tyres and a lowering job (all highly appealing in their own right I admit!) are all your ball-joint linkages in good order and is there any play in #9 in diagram below?
Sorry to ask the bleedin’ obvious, but it’s better to fix those points first than all the cool stuff as you’re gonna have to make sure they’re good enough for the next MoT anyway right? :wink:

My experience of bay handling has never really included a van at standard ride height though I can say I noticed a huge difference when I replaced the dampers and anti-roll bar bushes on my van. At much the same time I went from nasty, old tyres to bigger Continentals (on non-original wheels) and the whole package effectively made the van far ‘easier’ to drive in windy conditions. I never got round to changing the bushes Seamonsta mentions as mine were not so bad as to attract the MoT man’s attention but no doubt that would help too.
I doubt you can eradicate the problem as, with beetles to an extent, it’s inherent in the design of the steering and suspension. I suspect going over the basics like bushes, dampers and steering joints along with a steering box adjustment, if due, would work wonders in reducing it and making anticipation and response to sidewinds easier.
Not so sure that lowering in itself would really address the problem but lowering the centre of gravity probably helps.


Agree with most replies-especially “seamonsta”

Shocks may appear to be Ok but can be U/S but one of most important with all VW handling is tyre pressures. Kombis 30lb in front and 40-45lb in rear depending on load

Hi guys…

All good sound advice as most of our vans are around 30yrs old and all have there little quirks that need attention???

I,ve drivin the type 2 vw from brand new and the best thing you can do on windy days is carry some spare underware???

The old trick of a bag of sand or concrete slab in the front boot worked well for the Beatles and some overweight mates in the front of your bus does help??? But I don’t think there is a cure??? Although I’ll be doing my best to find one as I getting pissed of sailing in my 76 Bay…

Any body fitted the heavy duty or rear anti roll bars to there bus??? Do they stop your bus handling like a Citreon 2CV???

:think :think

Friarton Bridge is a dog, cross it in the righthand lane no matter what you are driving. There is only a piddly crash rail between you and a 200 foot drop. Its only time before an HGV makes the News.