1303s ongoing GL project

You know, de-chromed, big Porsche rims, Brembos, etc.,... German Look rules!
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xellex
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1303s ongoing GL project

Post by xellex » Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:39 pm

Hi guys, a few of you know my car from GL.net, but nevertheless, I think it's time to start a project build thread here too. Can't eaven remember since I've been lurking these forums, w/o posting anything, and maybe that was a bit selfish. So here goes:

I love the bugs ever since I was a kid, and I always wanted one, but I only bought mine in may 2007, for my 25'th birthday.
That's what it looked back then:
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And then I started changing stuff on it... First easier things, like the taillights, and headlights.
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With the new headlights, I got a HID kit, which I used for a while, but that projector/beam wasnt the best combination, so in the end I changed them again.
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The first year passed quickly, and I enjoyed my bug, taking it everywhere, touring my country. And in may 2008, again for my birthday, I went to the Hannover "Maikaefertreffen" in Germany, and after that to Wolfsburg. Alot of pics in that album, it's worth taking a look!
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xellex
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Re: 1303s ongoing GL project

Post by xellex » Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:59 pm

A couple more pics from tha Hannover album, eaventho not aircooled:
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I came back home, with only a Hirschmann antenna for my bug, due to lack of funds, but verry happy, and fresh with ideas.
Then we started the vw meeting season in Romania. There are only a couple of aircooled meetings and only a few cars, but it's a nice comunity anyway.
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At the swapmeet in Timisoara, I found a pair of Opel Manta (Englemann) original side-mirrors, perfect for my GL project,so I couldnt resist.
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Then I found a Porsche guy, who had a late 944, and was trying to convert the late dash to his early pre1986 944. He was selling everything off that car, so I went there and bought the seats. They need re-upholstering, but they are nice. And I got rid of the opel corsa awful seats in my bug.
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xellex
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Re: 1303s ongoing GL project

Post by xellex » Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:13 pm

After I got the seats, I started thinking it doesnt happen too often here in Romania to find a donor-car Porsche 944, so I went back there and bought everything I needed of it. The nice part is that it was the late, wide-body model, exactly what I wanted.
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After that I started working intensely to fit all the goodies. I was working on the bug every free minute I had, and reading up on the forums late at night.
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In the end I managed to inspect, clean and test-fit everything. The rear was easier, and more of a bolt-on affair. This is how wide it got after the conversion:
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xellex
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Re: 1303s ongoing GL project

Post by xellex » Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:31 pm

The front was harder to fit, not quite bolt-on. There was alot of little things that had to be done, and also big things like new struts, etc.
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After I test fitted everything, I started ordering different parts, and while waiting for them to arrive, I reconditioned the Phone Dials I bought:
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Then I bought some 205 tires, for the rear, and in the meantime I sourced some 944 drive axles, necesary for the conversion.
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And because the ordered parts were taking alot of time to show up, I cleaned, and re-painted different old pieces, that I was re-using:
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xellex
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Re: 1303s ongoing GL project

Post by xellex » Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:55 pm

Then the parts started showing up, like the urethane bushings, which were a perfect fit.
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Then I refurbished the front suspension, installed the Vdub Engineering handbrake kit, installed the 944 master cylinder, made 2 brackets for the rear porsche sway bar, and installed it.
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Installed the drive axles, installed the Kerscher adapting ball-joints, drilled a hole through the spindle for the speedometer cable.
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Mounted a quick-shift kit, and the urethane coupler, than I tried if I could fit the porsche 944 rack and pinion steering box. That wasnt such a good idea. Changed all the brake lines, installed a 3rd brake light.
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Re: 1303s ongoing GL project

Post by xellex » Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:13 pm

I wanted a late model Superbeetle Rack and Pinion steering box, but everything I found was expensive, so after some more forums reading, I decided to go another route: an Audi 100 C4 rack&pinion, which is almost the same unit as the superbeetle one, with the possibility of power steering too. It was a bit risky, because I didn't know if everything will fit, I had to make some custom brackets, but in the end all was good.
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And after a long time, the new front suspension finally came, and was ready to install. I also installed a flip-it kit. The Tie-rods and ends are Audi 100.
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And in april 2009, after almost an year since I last drove the bug, it was back on all it's 4 wheels, but closer to the ground :P Still not drivable yet.
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Re: 1303s ongoing GL project

Post by xellex » Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:32 pm

In may 2009 I went to Hanover again, and this time I had some cash with me, just in case I found some nice deal that I couldnt resist. Big album, lots of pics again!
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I came back from the aircooled meeting with some nice parts for my bug, like the 1303 key-chain, original front 4cm widened Kerscher fenders, a front bumper with holes for the turning lamps, a pair of black turning lamps for that, running boards which my car never had before since I bought it, and also shortly after that, I installed an electrical power steering pump. To my shame, I didnt run the cables to it, and start it, not eaven today.
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Re: 1303s ongoing GL project

Post by xellex » Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:48 pm

The aircooled meeting in Timisoara, Romania was coming up, and I was eager to drive my bug once again, so I sourced a pair of widened rear fenders, eaventho it's not the model I prefer. I would like them without that lip.
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Got them fitted, spray-painted them :P and got on the road the day after that :D It was a nice meeting, but it didnt stop raining al the week-end. At the swap-meet I found a nice original 1303 GSR (gelb schwartze renner) sports leather steering wheel, and again, I couldnt resist.
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After I came back from that meeting, I bought a couple of intakes and the linkage/filters for the 36idf webers that I already had. Got them on in a few days. It took a long time because it was the first time I did something like that. The quality of the linkage sucks big, but it works for now.
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Re: 1303s ongoing GL project

Post by xellex » Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:06 pm

Then I went to a few more aircooled meetings, and I enjoyed the beetle all summer. I visited some amazing places in our country.
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After some long nights of driving, a few friends of mine convinced me those HID headlights were disturbing the incoming traffic, so I took both the headlights off, which were poor quality, and the HID system. I then made 2 custom headlights, with the original metal Hella beetle projector, the glasses from a pair of custom FK golf 1 headlights, and a new HID kit, this time Bi-Xenon, and with a projector.
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And that's what they look like complete:
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Then I found a Porsche Riechert horisontal cooling system on E-bay, and again I couldnt resist. It's for the type4 engine that I'm preparing, but about that later on.
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Re: 1303s ongoing GL project

Post by xellex » Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:49 pm

After a while, I discovered the romanian Koni official reseller, so I ordered a pair of adjustable Koni rear shock absorbers.
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In september there was the last aircooled meeting in Romania this year, in the village aour country is famous for, Count Dracula's village. It was named Bran Beetle Meeting, ant it was fun.
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And a few days ago, I found something I really wanted for a long time now, ever since before I had my bug. A set of 17'' Porsche Cup3 (turbo twist) wheels. Bought them, and installed them on the bug, with 215/45/17 in the rear, and 205/40/17 in front.
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Re: 1303s ongoing GL project

Post by xellex » Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:58 pm

And that brings us up to date. It's been a couple of fun years, and the beetle was everything I expected, and much more. It's a great passion, a great thing to tinker on, I've discovered an awesome community, full of diverse people, and fun.
I have alot of plans for my bug, and the only limit is my budget. Right now I'm trying to convert a type4 engine with the riechert cooling system, dual webers, edis4 ignition,and other goodies for use in the back of my bug, but it's gonna take a while.
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Re: 1303s ongoing GL project

Post by Jadewombat » Sat Jan 23, 2010 11:05 pm

Great thread!

Be careful some gypsy doesn't steal that 1303.

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Re: 1303s ongoing GL project

Post by Arnoud » Fri Jan 29, 2010 4:07 pm

The gypsy's around here don't have the right taste to steal a beetle :lol: They crawl around in Mercedes and BMW's and tow caravans :roll:

Great car btw.

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Re: 1303s ongoing GL project

Post by ngobet » Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:04 am

Very nice project.

Are you using the 944 spindles? I guess so, as you bought the ball-joints from Kerscher. I'm currently about to do the same modifications on my 1303s and I have a few questions: Did you measure the upper and lower diameter of the new tie rod? Did you have some camber problems using 944 spindles? What is the interest of using the 944 master cylinder?

Thanks for your feedback, we don't see so often such a completed project.

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Re: 1303s ongoing GL project

Post by xellex » Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:33 am

Ngobet,
Yes, I am using the 944 late spindles, but I won't recommend it, as it limits your choice of struts because of the different bolt pattern, and also because you will have to drill a hole through it for the speedo cable. It's much easier to use the early (pre 86) 944 spindles.
I don't know what you mean by the upper/lower diameter of the tie rod, but I will measure it if you can explain :P
I have no noticeable camber problems, but these custom struts have the adjustable upper bolt, just like the original Porsche struts, which gives you a bit of adjustability, and also, I have the topline camber adjuster bolts/bushings.
I wanted to use the 944 MC because it was in much better shape than my old one. From what I've read, it's best used in combination with the bigger porsche callipers, and the best MC for the NA 944 callipers would be the original super beetle one.
You can find all the info you need on these forums, and also on the germanlook.net forums which are back online for a while now, but you probably already know that :P
Arnoud wrote:The gypsy's around here don't have the right taste to steal a beetle :lol: They crawl around in Mercedes and BMW's and tow caravans :roll:

Great car btw.
Haha, you're so right!!!

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