Build Advice from Airkewld

…from an email dated 7/17/17.

Thanks for the email Jim, the renderings, and the information. It will allow me to understand your vision and give you the best recommendations I can.

So, if you are building this for show use, anything can be done because expectations are about fit, finish and accomplishing your vision. Love the photoshops, it looks incredible. I need to be the devil’s advocate though. 19’s on a late model ghia, that is going to be tough. You really only have 7″ total width to play with, so finding a wheel that fits exactly, before paint is key to the entire equation. Air Ride and high performance are polar opposites. High performance applications need stability, firmness, less sway and body roll. Air Ride is plush, soft, floats like a butterfly, etc. But if you are building a show car, totally bitchin’! In my opinion, you will need to go one route or the other if you have expectations of one or the other, as having both is not an option.

My opinion, 4″ Narrowed PRObuilt Beam with air ride, front and rear disc brakes in a porsche bolt pattern and a mild 1914cc and below engine. This is one route. The other route, 4″ Narrowed PRObuilt beam with adjustable shocks, big BAD Series Brakes, adjustable shocks in the rear and the big 220 horse engine. Both are cool in their distinctive looks but function completely different.

What do you think?

Airkewld LLC
Pete Skiba – Founder & COO

In retrospect, 220 ponies really would be over-kill for a 95% show Ghia. Realistically, am I going to spend 100’s of hours getting the body perfect to hit the road and beat the snot out of it? I’m guessing that 1914 would produce what, 110 – 120HP? Still a drivable VW. Probably save a couple grand on the engine build as well. I’ll need that, as I’m really stuck on the 19’s and I’m certain I’ll have to get them custom made.

Here’s what they suggested…

Air Ride Beam

Brake onto Ball Joints

Rear Air Ride Kit

Air Management Kit

Disc Brake Kit

EDIT NOTE FROM 2/27/2020

Perhaps consider this. A custom made Avant Garde F230, 17×7 and a 205/50 17 tire. Per Pete Skiba, an 7 inch wheel with a backspace of 5.125 to 5.5 inches will work with their Probuild 4″ narrowed beams. You will need to check with AG to see what offsets they can do on this wheel.

The Cal~look Stance – Never going out of style!

This 55 Oval, AKA the Pimento Memento, looks incredible with its Cal~look Stance. To achieve this look, we started with a #PRObuilt Stage 1 Ultimate Beam complete with BAD Series Brakes in 5/205 installed along with Wilwood calipers up front and adjustable shocks front and rear. Compliment that with 15×5 BRMs up front with 135sr15 Firestone’s and 15×6.5 BRMs in the rear with Wide Oval Bias Ply Firestones in the rear.

Want something like this on your ride? Simply hit REPLY and let us know what year and model VW you have and we will send you a quote free.

So I did hit reply and received it from Air Kewld.  This is the kit they suggested for the Ghia.

Classic VW Complete Front/Rear Disc Brake Conversion – 4060 – Wilwood 2 Piston Black Caliper – Standard eBrake Caliper – 5x205mm 14mm Studs Early VW * – Include the installation kit
Quantity 1
Billet Adjustable Lowered IRS Shock – 2608
Quantity 2
Install Brakes onto Ball Joint PRObuilt Beam
Quantity 1
Stage 1 PRObuilt Adjustable Beam Complete – 2200 – Yes Please – Adjustable Billet Shocks
Quantity 1
Subtotal: $5,290.00

Torque Specifications for VW type 1 – 3

Part ………….ft-lb …….size (dia x pitch)



Connecting rod nut -24 -m 9×1

Connecting rod capscrew -32 -m 9×1

Crankcase nut -14 -m8

Crankcase nut -25 -m 12×1.5

Cylinder head nut -8 -mm 18 m 8

Cylinder head nut -10- mm 23 m 10

Rockershaft nut -18 -m 8

Heat Exchanger at head -14- m 8

Muffler Clamp bolts -7 -m 6

Intake manifold nut -14 -m 8

Preheat-flange bolt -7 -m 6

Oil Pump nut -14 -m 8

Oil Pump nut -9 -m 6

Oil Drain plug -25- m 14×1.5

Oil Strainer nut -5 -m 6

Oil cooler nut -5 -m 6

Oil filler gland nut- 40

Flywheel Gland nut -235 -m 28×1.5

Clutch bolt -18 -m 8×1.5

Sparkplug -25 m -14×1.25

Engine to trans nut -22 -m 10

Crossmember bolt -18 -m 8

Crossmember bolt -29 -m 10

Generator pulley nut -43 -m 12×1.5

Fan nut -43 -m 12×1.5

Crankshaft pulley nut -32 -m 20×1.5

Crossmember to body -18 -m 8

Fan/Crankshaft pulley -94-108 -m 20×1.5


Front Axle and Steering

Front Beam to pan bolts -36

Body to beam bolts -14

Shock to beam sideplate -14-m 10

Shock to beam sideplate -25- m 12

Shock to lower torsion arm -25

Steering damper to front beam bolt -32

Steering damper to tie rod -18

Tie rod to castle nut -18

Tie rod nut -18

Clamp for tie rod bolt -11

Lock nut for torsion set screw -36

Wheel bearing clamp screw -10

Steering ball joint to knuckle -51

Steering box to front beam -22

Steering coupler to worm shaft -18

Pitman arm to shaft bolt -51

Locknut for pitman arm adj screw -18

Lock nut for worm spindle adj screw -42

Steering box housing cover bolt -18

Canceling ring to steering wheel -3.5

Steering wheel nut -36

Steering column to dash bolts -7

Column switch to attach plate -7

Column switch clamp to housing -7

Steering coupling flange to disc -11

Column to couple flange bolt -11


Manual Transaxle

Drive pinion round nut ball bearing -87

Drive pinion round nut roller bearing -144

Pionion retainer nut -36

Pinion nut -43

Drive shaft nut -43

Reverse lever guide bolt -14

Selector fork bolt -18

Gearshift housing nuts -11

Ring gear bolts – 43

Final drive cover nuts -22

Axle tube retainer nuts -14

Rear wheel bearing retainer nut -43

Oil drain plug -14

Oil filler plug -14

Rear axle shaft nut -217

Transaxle to frame bolt -166


Master cylinder

Stop screw in housing bolt -7

Residual pressure valve to housing -14

Brake light switch -14

Master cylinder to to frame bolts -18

Brake line to master cylinder -18


Front Brakes

Splash sheild to steering knuckle bolts -7

Wheel cylinder to backing plate -18

Caliper housing screw (disc brake) -18

Backing plate bolt -36

Caliper mounting bolts (disc brake) -29

Bleeder valve -9

Clamp nut screws -9

Hose to wheel cylinder/caliper -14


Rear Brakes

Wheel cylinder to backing plate- 22

Bearing housing bolts -43

Brake drum to axle bolt -253

Lug nut 14mm -94

Lug nut 12mm -72


Pedal assembly

Pedal bracket to frame -32

Pedal stop to frame bolts -18

Rear Disc Brake Conversion

Hi Jim,

I do have rear disc brake kits with emergency brake available for 1973 Ghia models, that is part number 22-2871.
I have added that listing to our E-store and you can find it here.

Please let me know what questions you might have or if you would like to place an order.
Thank you Paul


EMPI 22-2871 REAR DISC BRAKE KIT 4/130 W/ E-BRAKE, IRS 73-79

# EMPI 22-2870
EMPI 22-2871 REAR DISC BRAKE KIT 4/130 W/ E-BRAKE, IRS 73-79


Volkswagen rear disc brake conversion kit with emergency handbrake. Replace those old brake drums with new disc brakes!

For Beetles, Ghia’s, Buggys, and Sandrails. Fits Type 1 IRS 1973-1979

Kit includes:

    • 2 rear calipers with pads
    • 2 new rear caliper brackets
    • 2 rear brake discs – 4 lug
    • 2 emergency brake cables
    • All gaskets, seals, and hardware needed for installation
    • Standard 4-lug 4×130 bolt pattern – fits stock application wheels!
    • Wheel Studs are not included

These are for e-brakes!

Price: $349.00