'70 Beetle Volks-Rod (lots of pix, long d/l!!)

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Freq2002
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Location: whidbey Island, WA

'70 Beetle Volks-Rod (lots of pix, long d/l!!)

Post by Freq2002 » Tue Feb 17, 2004 5:02 am

OK, I started with the string titled "The Black Bomber", but was wanting to share how the car got to it's current state. So I figured I'll just start another string & delete the old one.

So here we are. It started when I moved up to WA in '99. I had my '71 baja SB, but as it was built to play offroad & there's noplace to play around here, it sat more than anything.
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It killed me letting it sit there, this was my first long term car (13 years), so I traded bodies with a friend in '01 & started workin on a street-only project I'd been planning in some form or another for years.
Since I'd always wanted to do something radical, I was hanging out on VolksRod.com alot. Took alot of points from different cars (many from Roadster Cliffs HighboyVW), hashed em out & came up with a plan. A two seater Volksrod coupe, solid axle front end, no front fenders, chopped windshield, & no top at all.
A photochopped basic idea:
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I started out by lopping off the roof & then took the rear apron off in a manner that allows me to remove the rear apron & both rear fenders in one piece. REALY makes engine work/swaps a breeze.
Here's what I started with, a stripped out body, ready for the hard work to begin:
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I removed ALL of the wiring & manufactured a completely new wiring harness with additional circuts for planned accesories. I used hi-temp teflon sheathed aircraft wiring, the wire itself is the same guage as standard wire but the insulator is MUCH thinner alowing more wires in the same size bundle. I also used a nickel plated copper weave sheathing to cover the whole thing & grounded to the chassis to help with electrical noise filtering when I get to the stereo installation.
The fuse panel is a unit from Painless wiring, also going to be using thier turn signal unit that uses push button micro-switches & allows me to use a single dual-element bulb in the tail lights.
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Forward junction under dash:
http://photo.starblvd.net/Freq2002/1-3- ... 6D403340FD
Engine bay junction block:
http://photo.starblvd.net/Freq2002/1-3- ... 4C40334121
All the marker lights will be LED so heat & loading wont be an issue.
Head lights are stand alone chrome bullets with euro H4 lamps & marker bulbs inside the lense. I made a mounting bar that bolts onto the front spring mount & sets the lights out where I want them nice & solid.
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The new tail lights are early 40's Chevy, at first I didn't get too fancy with mounting them (can be seen in the engine pic) since the old fenders were junk, but I have new fenders & have welded all the holes closed & welded in buckets to french the lights. They look better frenched, but there's also the fact that at the angle they sit flush, the LED lights were hard to see in daylight, this will be much safer.
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The entire dash will be blackout digital. I cut out all of the internal sheetmetal & have a 1/16" thick piece of steel cut to fit & will be bolted in using stainless steel allen head bolts. Currently there's nothing on the panel at all, but I'm looking at a Nordskog unversal digital panel that will be entirely invisible when not on. Also looking at a stealth head unit for the stereo that will be frenched into the dash so as to fit flush. There are a few out there that look totaly blank but have a touch sensitve front, perfect for what I want, but we'll see. Plans change alot & I'm sure the dash will get redesigned a couple times before it's done.

I have my olllld stock 1600 motor in it now, it's my spare engine that has about 200K on it. Nothin special about it really, converted to 1-wire alternator, center mount Weber 40IDF, matched ported heads to intakes & a bit of porting on the heads. Runs a 009 dizzy with CB Performance Magna Spark HEI kit (love it, will never go back to points again). Not shown is the fact that i have just added a power pulley, & if I decide to, I'll be dropping in a new cam & some 1.25:1 rockers.
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The future powerplant? Well, depends on what comes my way really. I'd prefer a nice big Type I with a turbo & EFI, but I almost got a sweet deal on a 2.0L Type IV with an automatic tranny from a 411 wagon. Traded my old H-case from my 1835 for a TIV 2.0L case, but dont think i'll go that route.
Lets just say i'm gonna put my money & effort into the bodywork for now, & keep my eyes open for the rest.

I wanted good comfortable seats since my back is a wreck, so i started combing the yards lookin for something good. Finaly found these fully adjustable jobs out of a Mazda 626. I recovered them in black naugahyde & here ya go. Unbolted the Mazda mounts, did some creative welding with the stock VW seat frames to bolt them Mazda seats in, & voila'! 626 seats on the stock VW rails. :D
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OK, here's where the fun started. I ordered a 4-bar, spring-behind tube axle with early Ford spindles & a 70's GM disc brake kit from Speedway Motors (BTW, these guys are great, excellent customer service, Email or phone, you have a question or concern they WILL help).
$1200 & a iraite UPS man with a sore back later, I did a mockup, took measurements & comenced designing the spring mount. Helps when your dad knows people in aerospace shops, I sent him a CAD drawing of what i needed & he got the 3/8" steel parts CNC machined for free. A bit of cutting & welding later & here we have the rough beam/mount:
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Had to make something for the bars to mount to the body, so I welded up these little numbers out of some bar stock & 1" square tube stock. Had to cut notches for them to fit against the body, but they are very solid & used the edge of the pan to make for a nice solid mount. Not the sexiest things, but they are temporary as I want to make them run further back on the pan & make them out of solid stock:
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Here's the way the car looked as of Sept '03. The front fenderwell filler panels were still being worked out & were held on with Cleco clamps. Still havent sold on the filler idea, it's got upsides & downsides, yet another of the fluid factors in my plans. I love having no idea what I'm gonna do. :P
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Now, pushing enough fluid to pinch these big ol GM monsters is NOT gonna happen with the stock master cylender.
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So, what I did was hit up the guys in the German Look forum & came up with using a Porsche 944 M/C as it is a near direct bolt in. Just have to shorten the push rod about 1/2". Other issues with this are the reversal of the front/rear outlet ports & the absence of a place to put the brake switch, but I managed with a couple common parts.

Steering,... My oh my, what a nighmare THIS has been. I'd like to say now that this is the single hardest thing to deal with so far. Since I moved the axle so far out I cannot use the stock VW box. I looked at Vega, Corvair, Bus, R&P's,... All were too much $$. then found a racing R&P, went to put it in & discovered the throw was WAY too narrow. As luck would have it a previous plan of using a Super Beetle box was workable & I made a mount for it, modified a steering rod to adapt to the Hiem joints in the new front axle & now have a workable steering system.

As the stock bug steering column doesn't use a lower support & U-joints I opted to use something different. Something stand alone with a clean tube since I didn't want any levers or switches on the column. My search came up with this unit from a Datsun 240Z. The upper mount was easy, but the lower, well it's still in work but wont be much of a problem. As an added nifty feature & to add a security device I have a Q/D removable steering wheel as well, it all comes together nicely.
Last edited by Freq2002 on Mon Jul 19, 2004 7:58 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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Freq2002
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Post by Freq2002 » Tue Feb 17, 2004 5:59 am

I'm not sure if the curent pix from Ofoto are going to work out, but I can see them on & off, will have to work until StarPhoto comes back up.

Currently, the car sits in the Auto Hobby shop here on base, just need to drop in the steering tie-rod & it's drivable. Have plans to do more welding & get the new fenders with the frenched tail lights installed. Will be rewiring the lights with weather connectors on each fender instead of the single 6-pin plug I have now.

Will post the rest of the pix as soon as I get the car home & can retake a couple of them.

gatorvws
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Post by gatorvws » Wed Feb 18, 2004 1:02 pm

Hey Freq,

Have you thought about rerouting your brake line to above the axle, it would give them a less chance of getting ripped off.

Other than it's looking good.

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Freq2002
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Location: whidbey Island, WA

Post by Freq2002 » Wed Feb 18, 2004 9:00 pm

Thanks.
All the brake lines are just temporarily mounted for now, not going to permanently affix them to the axle until I get everything laid out. There was concern about having to redo the lines & add in residual pressure valves if the 944 M/C wasn't quite enough, so I left everything loosly installed with zip-ties. Once I'm done it'll get a set of stainless line clamps.
I'll be pulling the loops by the kingpins up tighter than what they are now, but not real worried about snagging them on anything though. This thing has maybe 4" of clearance so I dont intend on driving anyplace where something could snag at the underside.
I dig all cars, whether old, new, hammered out of Japanese tin cans, American iron, or German steel.
Rides:
70 Volksrod "The Black Bomber"
73 Super "Oliver"
56 GMC 370 "Tater"
00' GMC Sierria
05' Harley FLHTCUI

Guest

If it had a fuel tank, I woulda dropped a match in it,...

Post by Guest » Sat Feb 21, 2004 3:50 am

Got the new tie rods on today, little too short, but nothin a grinder cant fix. Buuuuut, thats not the issue here.
In my haste to get this all done I developed a terminal case of cranial rectumitis (head up the butt disease for those that dont get it) & failed to realize something.

Now I was under the impression that the Super Beetle steering arms come from behind the wheel. It goes from the pitman arm to a cross rod riding on an idler arm, then the actual tie rods come from that & lead to the wheels. Super beetle box is perfect then! I needed a box with a forward facing pitman arm & rear side tie rods, sweet deal.

Here's the kicker: I turn the wheel left, pitman arm goes left.
If I hadn't had the crainial rectumitis, this would have raised a flag,... So here we go, drop in the new rods, everythings cool ok, try it now.
Turn left, arm goes left, wheels go right,... :!: :shock: :!:
Yep, I now have reverse steering. How flippin cool is that?

So anyway, the box came off a later model SB, not sure of the year tho, curved winsdhield, HUGE fugly tailights. So while I could swear that my '71 had rear side steering arms, maybe there were ones after '74 were forward arms,... Either way, I'm stuck unless there are reverse geared steering boxes for SB's out there.

Joy!

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Freq2002
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Post by Freq2002 » Mon Feb 23, 2004 3:29 pm

OK, have most of the pix updated, just forgot one I think.
Finished up the new wiring for the tail lights & installed them yesterday (Pic on 1st post), they came out well, but I was suprised at how much time I actualy spend making such small harnesses. I put in 3-pin weather connectors on each one, so that added some time, but all in all it took over 3 hours.
Ah well, nothin to rush at the moment, I need to go get it out of the shop soon since i haven't got the parts I need for the steering & it costs me more every day it sits there.
Put in a bid on a Vega box on Ebay, hoping I dont get sniped on this one. Not holding out much faith in that, but one can still hope.

Coils
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Post by Coils » Tue Feb 24, 2004 3:49 am

Freq, You said you used H4 Euro headlights with the marker bulbs in the lens. Are these the ones that when you have the marker lighs on and not the headlights they have a soft yellow ( if amber bulb is used ) glow to them? If they are where did you get them? And will they work in a 7" headlight bucket, like on a Buggy? Thanks

And by the way, Looks Good so far.

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Freq2002
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Post by Freq2002 » Tue Feb 24, 2004 4:21 am

I cant remeber the brand or anything, but yes, they have a small marker light inside the lower lense, so whatever color bulb you use will be visible when the headlights are off.
They are a direct fit conversion for any 7" round headlamp housing. I got them from Bow-Wow import parts in Seattle WA for about $19-20 each. If you look up thier website & Email them, maybe they could help you out with finding some.

Coils
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Post by Coils » Wed Feb 25, 2004 12:04 am

Thanks Freq, found there web site.

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Freq2002
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Post by Freq2002 » Fri Mar 05, 2004 1:29 pm

Allrightey then! I really hate lame a$$ bidders on Ebay that dont have the nuts to bid against you like regular humans,...
Got sniped on 3 Vega boxes & two reversed Corvair boxes before I found a close ratio box from a '68 Mustang that should work nicely. Even better, I should just have to drill holes in the plate I made for the SB box & be peachy.
This is all assuming of course that it will even work correctly,... :p
Part should be in today, but of course I have to work all weekend & next week so wont be getting to do much with it past some mock up & measurements. Need to order a steering rod with a Ford ball joint on one end & a Heim on the other, luckily Speedway sells that very item.
Would be nice if the U-joint from the SB box mated right up, or was at least close enough to work well, buuuuut I'm not that lucky. Should know this evening either way & can start making plans. Will post pics when i get it in.

Joy!
I dig all cars, whether old, new, hammered out of Japanese tin cans, American iron, or German steel.
Rides:
70 Volksrod "The Black Bomber"
73 Super "Oliver"
56 GMC 370 "Tater"
00' GMC Sierria
05' Harley FLHTCUI

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Freq2002
Posts: 812
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2002 3:01 am
Location: whidbey Island, WA

The Bomber is rollin again!

Post by Freq2002 » Mon Apr 26, 2004 1:29 am

FINALLY!!! Dang, it's been since August! lol
Yeap, it's on the road again. Took some doin but it's done! Well, this part anyway. got the Mustang steering box worked out & the new tie rod put in. Altho since there were some issues with the measurements, I elected to go long just in case. Cut to proper length, & oh yeah,... Threads are too shallow now. So I had to buy a 5/8"x18 reverse thread tap, a mere $61 & you too can have one. :p

Anyway, here's the end result with the steering link I had to fab & the U-joint from Sweet Mfg.
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Here's a shot from our drive to the beach today, thats the poor woman that said yes to the minister about taking this sorry bum to be your husband,... We're trying therapy, but she seems to actualy like me. Poor thing, just smile & nod alot. ;)
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Been working on the dash & wiring, have a ways to go yet but I bought a set of Nordskog digital guages with blackout faces & black trim rings. The speedo is sweet, has run top speed, 0-60 time, & 1/4 mile time recall modes. Looks good so far, will post pix when I have them working.

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Freq2002
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Post by Freq2002 » Sun Jun 06, 2004 11:55 pm

Got the face for my console built up & mounted the guages & stereo. Was trying to put a sliding face on the stereo opening, but needs more work.
Still need to get the measurements done up for the side covers, but it's solidly mounted now. Need to get the wiring worked out & install the speed sensor yet, but at least it's coming along.
Can see the dash is still a bit rough, gotta weld the vent holes closed in the dash. I was gonna weld up the hood vent as well but have since figgure out it gets HOT inside the car in the sun, so I'm gonna run closeable vents to the footwell from the hood vent. Amazing when things come together like that. :D
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aircooledtechguy
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Post by aircooledtechguy » Thu Jun 10, 2004 9:13 pm

Hey, the next time you are out by the Swinomish Casino in your car, please swing by ProVolks (in the Quantum business park on Padillia Heights RD) so we can check out your ride. It's looking good!!

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Freq2002
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Post by Freq2002 » Fri Jun 11, 2004 3:32 am

nate@nateswaterart wrote:Hey, the next time you are out by the Swinomish Casino in your car, please swing by ProVolks (in the Quantum business park on Padillia Heights RD) so we can check out your ride. It's looking good!!
I'll do that, I think the last time I dropped by with it was before I put the axle in up front & I was gettin estimates from that body shop across the road. Quite a bit of difference since then.
It's down for engine rebuild at the moment, but should have it drivable again in a couple weeks.

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James2
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Post by James2 » Sat Jun 12, 2004 5:35 am

cool :)

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