Ideas for a germanlooker 411/2

Discuss with fans and owners of the most luxurious aircooled sedan/wagon that VW ever made, the VW 411/412. Official forum of Tom's Type 4 Corner.
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Ideas for a germanlooker 411/2

Post by sleepAIR » Tue Jun 02, 2015 9:38 am

I'm new to the 411/2 world, but not the aircooled one. Actually I have a recently built 1302GS with all the goodies (2.1 t4 with porsche cooling, KW front struts, complete 944 rear suspension, urethane bushings, tarox 6 pots in front and vented 944 in rears etc.) but I have always wanted something bigger and more comfortable. :arrow: just bought a 412 Variant. My aim is to build it into a real grand turismo I can drive in any weather or distance, even for longer trips.

This car has only 73k kms on it, but was in storage for 15+ years (partly outside), has no engine, the brakes are gone etc etc but the interior seems untouched .. If I start work on it, I would like to modernize it in the same time while keeping stock(ish) from outside. In my book this is GL is all about. But this time I have to keep in on a budget to make it roll ASAP, and no need for overkill/fancy solutions.

I have read most of the related topics here and found a lot of useful infos, but maybe it's better to open a new one instead of bringig back 10 old ones, hope you don't mind. The car is far away from me, so I'm not able to check or measure parts, but google is my friend.

For me a project starts with the brakes . I want to keep the stock MC, so the upgraded system should work fine with it. Like the idea of the BMW/Volvo route, too bad they are for solid rotors. Does anybody here have real life experiences with this swap? Is there any option to put vented rotors directly on the spindles? If so, maybe a Tarox caliper can be found. They work great on a bug with the stock MC, are compact and light (1,5kg each) which means less unsprung weight and fitment under 15" rims. But they cost $$$. As for the rear Walter's idea on the 944 swap seems more than enough / slightly overkill with solids on front. I read about somebody (Bill?) here putting golf rotors on the back, but the pictures are no more available. Any other ideas are well come.

I might be lucky with the suspension as I have access to the local KONI workshop. Google shows some Bilstein B6 struts specially for the 412, do you know if it's true? Regarding the springs everybody is talking about BMW/Volvo V70 ones, but which one exactly and how much do they lower/firmer the ride? My biggest fears are the bushings. I read some forum members tried to manufacture them, but don't know how it turned out, are they available for now?

Then comes the transmission. I have a Rancho 4 spd with longer 4th (0.89) in the bug and even with the torque of the T4 I feel the absence of a 5th gear every time I drive it (not on the motorway but in the twisties). Actually I have a 901 sideshifter in the garage, it seems similar in dimensions to the original unit and have the shaft on the bottom which is good. On the other hand these boxes are said to be sloppy and weak, especially in 1th. The 915/930 are out of the budget, so remains only the suby 5spd which is $$$ too. I guess the biggest problem with it the shaft is on the upper part..if going above the rear crossmember (good word here?) is there any space under the rear seats to join the original shift linkage? Do you know how func's bus tranny swap ended up?

The engine is something to decide before all the orhers. My goal is in the 140 hp ballpark. I admit I am a big beliver of the type4 engines since I put it in the bug, but can't find any infos about how efficient the pancake cooling is. Is it up to the job for a mild 2.0 t4? Costwise there is an other solution...I know it's a big no-no for the purists but the subaru swap is also very temptating..with an ej20 or ej25 in the back you have plenty of torque, heating and A/C as well...and in this case the suby tranny swap make sence too. Everything I did on the bug is reversible due to plug&play parts, but there is no way back if going watercooled. On the other hand it can give a whole new life to a car and can be put back on the road for long years. :roll:

Please feel free to share your ideas and experiences that can move forward this project. Thanks

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Re: Ideas for a germanlooker 411/2

Post by sleepAIR » Tue Jun 02, 2015 10:05 am

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Re: Ideas for a germanlooker 411/2

Post by Hulken » Tue Jun 02, 2015 5:31 pm

Hi, and welcome sleepAIR!

I hope I can share some of my experience - both from my car in real life and from what I have learned through www.

On my car I use the 4 pot Volvo 240 calipers together with vented rotors from BMW E34 5-series. ... 3793;image - ... 3345;image

I'm using front lowering springs from a BMW E30 3-series, 6-sylinder engine. In the rear I'm quite shure we are talking about Volvo V70 springs. A friend of mine have made two sets of bushings for our cars, but they are not yet road-tested. ... 0136;image

Here are some pictures of my rolling project;
If going for Germanlook, why not look to Porsche? ... 9000;image

Here is my car, or at least how I would like it to look when finnished! ... 2562;image

I like to look at a BIG tachometer, so I shoped for some 914 stuff. ... 1322;image

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Re: Ideas for a germanlooker 411/2

Post by Jadewombat » Thu Jun 04, 2015 5:24 pm

Take a look at the 612 RS also here:


and with more recent updates here: ... 12-rs.html

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Re: Ideas for a germanlooker 411/2

Post by sleepAIR » Fri Jun 05, 2015 3:30 am

Hulken wrote:Hi, and welcome sleepAIR!
Hi and thanks for the input, Hulken!

Now that is a very cool looking car you are working on :!: something I was talking about, congrats 8)

Have you got further pictures of them? What modificatons they required to go on the spindle?
What rear brakes an MC is in your plans?

Cheers for the infos!

Why is it better to use the 6 cyl (ie. front heavy) springs instead of the 4cyl? Are they different in dimensions so the 4 cyl wont fit? I drove a few superbeetles with Golf/Rabbit struts and they felt harsh and bumpy as expected in case of transplanting struts from a front heavy car.

The bushings look cool, are they one offs or can be bought through you? I guess these are the ones from the 612 guy, too bad both of your cars are still in the build..can't wait to see them rolling. (That is an awesome project, I'm keeping my eyes on it from the beginning)
Hulken wrote:why not look to Porsche?
Porsche parts are $$$ and I really want to keep the trunk capacity of the Variant (with the radiator in front it would losse just about the 1/3 of the front trunk). I know what the 2056 T4 costed me so I can imagine a Porsche project + no A/C & no spare parts are available (or hardly) if needed. The suby is modern, lightweight and fairly cheap compared to any aircooled engine. In extra you can find EJs everywhere and the aftermarket support is enormous, ECUs, turbos, can build whatever you want if you need more power. For me the hot ticket would be the EZ30(R) 6 cyl, but they are rare and just very few know them well. A stock(ish) 2.0 T4 with the 901 or an EJ with the suby 5 spd are the two ways I can see now.
Hulken wrote:I like to look at a BIG tachometer, so I shoped for some 914 stuff.
Than you would feel home in my bug :lol:

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Re: Ideas for a germanlooker 411/2

Post by dawie » Sat Jun 06, 2015 3:45 am

Sleepair wrote: "can't find any infos about how efficient the pancake cooling is."

The standard type 4 cooling system is a good improvement on the type 1 system.

As per VW's specs as published by Haynes and various other publications:

Best type 1 fan- (71 onwards wide fan)- 600 liter per second at 4000 rpms.

Type 4- 800 liter per second at 4600 rpms, and 710 liter per second at only 3600 rpms.

Porsche 911 fans were designed for a very different volume to pressure ratio, so their official published flow figures does not apply when these are used in a 4 cylinder application.

Having cold air ducted directly into the fan's intake (411/412), is an improvement compared to a bus application, where a little bit of hot air still passes through the foam seal.

Type 4 engine runs cool in a 411/412 car, even in very hot climates while towing a caravan.

If you really want more cooling, use the "Vanagon" style shroud which has different partitioning/ not feeding heat exchangers. Then use electric fan to feed heat exchangers.

If you want aircon, Type 4 engine was designed to accept a compressor in pancake application.

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Re: Ideas for a germanlooker 411/2

Post by sleepAIR » Sun Jun 07, 2015 4:26 pm

dawie wrote: If you want aircon, Type 4 engine was designed to accept a compressor in pancake application.
Great infos thank you! I thought it is less effective than an upright setup. How rare are these compressors nowadays?

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