Chenowth frame repair help

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jdub63
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Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:04 pm
Location: Azle Tx

Chenowth frame repair help

Post by jdub63 » Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:56 pm

As I try to recover this Chenowth frame, my first attack is on the front end. At some point one of the previous owners welded in some scrap metal to attach their front beam. Can anyone provide a template /drawing of the correct radius and angles for the front. Pictures show the current condition :shock:

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Ol'fogasaurus
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Re: Chenowth frame repair help

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:54 pm

What are you going to use the rail for? It might make a difference in what you want to do.

I went out and did a rough measurement on a BJ beam and a K&L beam.

K&L beam has a ~ (roughly) 52mm/2" tube with an inside distance between tubes of 2 5/8"

The BJ beam has the same dia. tube but the space between the tubes is 3 3/4".

Again, this is a rough set of dimensions.

the layback of the beam is ~6° but that can vary depending on use and design. On the sand for instance it might be laid back a bit more than it might need for in the trails in the toolies or rocky areas.

I'm trying to find a couple of pictures that might help but since Photobucket has our pictures hostage and wants too much to let them go I have to do some searching through my computer.

Ol'fogasaurus
Posts: 13269
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 1:17 am
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Re: Chenowth frame repair help

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:20 pm

I posted this the other day but the pictures I wanted to show you are not in here but these are some ideas of options ways of doing surprising things. I did find the pictures but I have to edit them down so I will post them either later tonight or in the AM.

The rail you have had a lower tube ending with a standard, two-piece mounting clamp that should be able to be purchased at most any WV supply house. For example (I happen to have an EMPI catalogue and on page 201 and that page number will be needed if you look at EMPI on line) EMPI p/n 3161 is a 8 piece (includes hardware) Bulk Raw Axle Beam Clamp.

The upper tube did bend down like yours has the stub for but it will probably have to be replaced. Somewhere I have a picture that Dustymohave provided years ago assuming, I can find it, that shows tube splicing. the pictures I will post tonight will be of an alternate way of maybe saving you a lot of work with maybe being the operative word here.

What kind of rear suspension do you have or are planning on installing?

For dual purpose use the BJ beam could be used with some mods but it does have limited suspension travel with the BJs themselves being the culprits'. The K&L beam allows, with modifications, considerable more travel potential.
Lee

My opinion is worth slightly less than what you paid for it.

Ol'fogasaurus
Posts: 13269
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 1:17 am
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Re: Chenowth frame repair help

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:13 am

sleeved[1].jpg
front beam 1.JPG
front beam 2.JPG
The two bottom pictures show an optional way of doing the front end that I have seen done before.

Notice that this setup has a mid-beam steering that is also electric power steering. I am seeing more and more of the conversions to power steering lately.

Notice also that the curved replacement piece has enough room for the drag links to travel in at both full hang and at full compression at full left and right hand turns. With stock steering you would also have to accommodate the steering's drag link's travel. On the more standard old-tyme rail suspensions the tie-rods often hit the upper tube on compression and especially when the steering is being turned so you often would see the tie-rods in-cased pipe to keep from bending them. The more I think of it the better I like what has been done here... just not traditional looking.

This K&L beam also has longer travel as you can tell by the tall shock mount towers. The shock tower kits are sold at most VW sites and run at over $100 the last time I looked. They are also for several different length of shocks. Most of them have compression stops built in but you might need to have straps for full hang or there are other ways to build the stops also.

There are also ways to tune the front suspension so the ride is softer and will follow the terrain better than with completely stock suspension. The IFS like the URL in the last post showed is getting more common to see

Anyway, an idea to think about.

If you go into the off-road section Leather has listed a lot of "builds" (I think that is the name of the file they are in. If not it is something like that) and you might find a lot of good information there.
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jdub63
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:04 pm
Location: Azle Tx

Re: Chenowth frame repair help

Post by jdub63 » Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:59 am

Thanks for all the information. I'm leaning towards the K&L beam, but I would like the ability to remove and replace as necessary, i.e. mounting clamps. The pictures posted provide a unique approach, I'll have to noodle on that one.

The frame is currently setup for IRS rear, but the torsion tube may need replacement. I'll know once I strip it down.

Ol'fogasaurus
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Re: Chenowth frame repair help

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:26 pm

To be able to run both is going to be interesting mainly because of the different spacing between the two beams and the clamps probably interfering with each other. Over all, the K&L is a more adaptable to different uses but does have the spindle bung weakness that is less of a problem than in the BJ beam.

You can get "combo" spindles which had a larger "bung" which I think, but not sure, is the same as the BJ bung. Lately I have been seeing other options but I don't know much about them. I also think I saw the bung upgrade alone now being offered.

Then you have the inherent weakness of the BJs with the lower BJs problem of pulling apart on hard compression hits. The "Thing" (type 181) somewhat fixed this but are expensive assuming you can find the hard to find parts (the spindles themselves and the alignment spacers which are really hard to find).

I ride in the sand so what I am seeing being done is probably going to be somewhat different than with other offload venues might require so... for what it is worth.
Lee

My opinion is worth slightly less than what you paid for it.

Ol'fogasaurus
Posts: 13269
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 1:17 am
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Re: Chenowth frame repair help

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:43 pm

abHgzMdb[1].jpg
TBzSBd4b[1].jpg
I enlarged and tried to clean up your picture to see what the setup you have now. I wonder if the cost of a soda blast might be a good start to see just what you have to work with. I have a friend who has a small soda blast unit with which we did some parts that were too big for my blast cabinet. Slow and tedious but not as much as all the hand work with a 4 1/2 inch grinder with a knotted wire wheel on it might be. Probably not quite as messy either and the surrounding area had some cleanup to do.

Your idea of making the mount into a double beam capable mount looks maybe possible with the way the mount is now but not knowing where and how you will be using the rail still leaves a few questions. You would have to change/build the mount to the proper angle which currently looks pretty straight up.

What is the vertical spacer made from? It almost looks to be a thick chunk of metal honeycomb.
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jdub63
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Re: Chenowth frame repair help

Post by jdub63 » Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:09 pm

Lee, thanks again for the inputs. I didn't mean I would be interchanging the link pin front with a ball joint front. What I meant to say was between a stock link pin beam and a "warrior" link pin beam. Sorry about the pictures, I'm a victim of the Photobucket ransom and I'm trying to learn different host, I couldn't get a full size picture to upload. I'll defiantly be blasting the frame down to bare metal. I hope to leave the bottom clamp in place and just continue the radius of the upper tube to a clamping point. Basically, getting rid of the piece of plate steel that the current upper clamp is attached.

I'm planning on running this on dirt trails in south / west Texas and around the neighborhood / gravel roads...

Ol'fogasaurus
Posts: 13269
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 1:17 am
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Re: Chenowth frame repair help

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:40 pm

Yeah, the Photobucket Ransom... got me too. What I do is to make a copy of a photo then edit the copy for quality and size on my computers(s) then use the "attachments" here add them to the post. That is pretty much what I did with your pictures but it being so small the enlarging quickly lost a lot of detail. Learning the "attachments" bit here has been fun too but once you get things figured out it is OK to use. The big drawback being now there may be an increase in storage here (thanks Doc!).

It is good to know how your rail is going to be used: "I'm planning on running this on dirt trails in south / west Texas and around the neighborhood / gravel roads..." as it does make a difference in giving advice. Sand and/or dirt: while similar they do have some big differences and needs.

Ol'fogasaurus
Posts: 13269
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 1:17 am
Location: Just north of Seattle

Re: Chenowth frame repair help

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:13 pm

"... stock link pin beam and a "warrior" link pin beam..."

You should do OK with either front beam with the warrior front beam being mostly already designed for you (http://chircoestore.com/wordpress/?page_id=383 https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewt ... p?t=465469). For off-road, assuming narrow trails, would you want a wider beam or stock width. If trails are really open then you could go for everything... check your wallet first :roll: :lol: .

The stock beam can be modified with aftermarket shock towers for additional spindle height change, adjusters, et al. 8" or 10" shock towers are available to match the IRS potential of 10" of travel. I was told years ago that the front travel when compared to rear axle travel should be in the 60% to 90% range front to rear. I think it is a good figure but some guys exceed that and seem to be OK with it.

I am not sure the cost difference between the Warrior beam and modifying the stock beam.

Shocks are definitely going to make a difference as well as proper "springing" (leaves) of the beams.
Lee

My opinion is worth slightly less than what you paid for it.

Ol'fogasaurus
Posts: 13269
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 1:17 am
Location: Just north of Seattle

Re: Chenowth frame repair help

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:56 pm

How is the rebuild coming; any directional decisions yet?

Looking back at your pictures, if you have a stock beam laying around to use as a tool I would mount the stock steering on it and the full suspension minus spring leaves and see just how much room you have between the two vertical posts for the steering linkage to travel in at full compression, full hang and at full right and left steering at the two extremes. Like I said before, the stock tubing setup in the front isn't always the best even for stock components much less longer travel and wider beams.

Decisions, decisions and your just getting started! 20+ years on my black buggy and I am still not there.

Lee

Ol'fogasaurus
Posts: 13269
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2006 1:17 am
Location: Just north of Seattle

Re: Chenowth frame repair help

Post by Ol'fogasaurus » Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:19 pm

I forgot to ask: any idea of what the wheel base is assuming that stock pieces were used?

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