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  1. #1
    Official RnS Addict Roadrunna's Avatar
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    Not your average bug ...

    Right then. Figured it was about time I put some details up of my build in here.

    This thread starts back in June 2008. Progress is slow 'cos it was a big learning curve for me and cash was tight through being out of work so bear with me

    To start with, here's my inspiration. Loved this car when it came out and was nearly welling up when I heard it had been smashed up




    Here's the story anyway.

    It started off with my buying some plans from the states. I bought the steel for the chassis back in december ('07) and finally got around to cutting it early 2008 with the help of Fbiiburton & his work

    Then it sat around for ages as I had nothing to build it on.

    Had a bit of time so got to work on the table for building the bugs new chassis.

    I made the tabletop out of 2 sheets of 12mm ply with some studding sandwiched between them. Not enough room for a proper jig or to sort out a level floor.

    First off, there's not much room in here




    Here's some of the studding.




    I planned on laying a few ribs on the ply and then putting some crossmembers between them




    Here's the end result. The studding is fixed to one sheet of ply at the mo, just got to check it's all good and then bond/screw the other sheet of ply on top.




    Table all painted and started marking up.




    Stupidly didn't take many progress pics so this was how it all ended up. I marked out the chassis rail on the table and made a load of holding blocks to keep the steel in place.

    Set it all out & measured to make sure it was true & flat etc. Tacked the one partial rail and then built the other one using the same jig blocks (essentially built the second rail upside down as the two sides are symmetrical and then flipped it over)

    Then I put some blocks between the rails just to make sure they were parallel. That's as far as I got cos I got called up about some work

    The garage isn't long enough for a full size table so I could only build it onto an 8' sheet. The plan is to build from just in front of the rear frame to the front end and then shuffle the chassis forward to put the rear end on afterwards.








    Made a quick jig for the front part of the frame so both sides would come out the same.






    Just a close-up of one of the welds after i'd seamed it.




    Laying the front sections on ready to tack into place.






    And some general shots of the rails so far with some of the joins seamed up.








    A couple of the flitch plates (kindly provided by Gavb from Volkstorque) which will be seamed up to strengthen some of the stress joints.






    Rear section of the frame partially welded up now






    Thought i'd give the rail a trial fit against the bug.




    Accidentally set fire to part of the garage as well Opened the door to let some of the fumes from welding out & noticed and orange glow from under the bench. D'oh !

    Put it out & all's ok though. Flames were only about a foot high.

    Word of warning to all. Make sure you've got a fire extinguisher or a plan should you find the place on fire. That & give it at least half an hour after welding before you turn the lights off and head to bed.

    Decided to change the layout of the chassis a bit as well.

    I wanted to narrow the back end a bit to get some huge wheels & tyres under stock rear arches.

    The plan is to remove this piece that kicks the rails outwards




    And then join & flitch the two peices to give me a straight rail front to back like on this one I found on the net.




    That should result in the frame being 25 5/8" wide (to the outer edges) and some stupidly big rear tyres giving me the look i'm after




    End of part 1
    Meep Meep.
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  3. #2
    Official RnS Addict Roadrunna's Avatar
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    Here we go then. Had a bit of a break looking after Sal since she jumped down the stairs and did her ankle in.

    I finished off welding the rear suspension uprights & put them in place to mount the crossmembers.






    Tacked the rear crossmember into place




    Seaming up some of the welds on the middle of the 3 crossmembers




    Just a look at some of the welds






    Tada !!! It's a masterpiece
    All the crossmembers tacked in. Seaming them up after the previous one has cooled down (Jeez it's boring )




    And a trial fit against the car just to see what it looks like






    Hmmm,

    The wood is showing the line from the edge of the wheel arch.
    Think I might end up narrowing it some more
    Will see how it goes later on





    Meep Meep.
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  4. #3
    Official RnS Addict Roadrunna's Avatar
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    Did a bit more.

    Seamed up all the rear frame section.

    Aligned one of the chassis rails and tacked into place.






    I think i'm gonna need a bigger garage

    It's amazing how you don't realise what mess there is when you're working. It's only when you stop and look from a distance (which is hard in my garage ) that you see the state of the place

    Anyway, gave the table a bit of a tidy. Checked I hadn't set fire to anything else & called it a night.



    Should have all the chassis framework finished within a couple of days (lol the joys of hindsight )
    Meep Meep.
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  6. #4
    Official RnS Addict Roadrunna's Avatar
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    Here we go, a little bit more work done.

    Had to move the chassis out of the garage so I could turn it round and work on the other side. Thought i'd give it a quick display against the car at the same time.

    looking good








    Back in the garage after a quick loooooong tidy up. Turned it round and tacked on the other side front rail. Put a couple of temporary crossmembers in to make sure it all stayed parallel.





    And that's where it's at now. Further down the line i'm going to be narrowing the rear end about another 7 1/2 inches, raising the height or the rear end frame and fitting the dropped crossmember
    Meep Meep.
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  7. #5
    Official RnS Addict Roadrunna's Avatar
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    Did a spot more welding tonight


    Put the front crossmember in.




    Then came the 'bumper brackets'
    Should provide a little support in the event of a front end smash
    Oh, and give me somewhere to mount the rad




    Finishing off a few of the hard to get to welds & the frame is pretty much done now.





    Just gotta wait to get all the suspension stuff now. Might be able to make a start on trimming the body to fit & mounting the outriggers etc.
    Meep Meep.
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  8. #6
    Official RnS Addict Roadrunna's Avatar
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    Waiting for a shipping quote to get these bits from the States now



    Then I can get a front end on it
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  9. #7
    Official RnS Addict Roadrunna's Avatar
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    Changed my mind from the rear end setup that i'd put on the chassis and decided to go for a 'proper' kit

    Bought this Chassis Engineering kit.

    Should have the parts for this through in the next few day (bar the rear axle)

    • Mandrel bent 2” X 3” frame rails, .083” or .120”
    • Four-link kit
    • 4130 chrome moly rod ends
    • Quick release drive shaft loop
    • Bolt-On diagonal link
    • Upper shock cross member
    • Adjustable lower shock mounts
    • Strange Engineering aluminum coil overs with springs



    Comes as a kit so i've got to weld it all up etc. but it gives me the extra height I need on the rear end and I can narrow it to suit. Take all the guesswork out of making the 4-link setup as well seeing as it's the first time i've ever messed with one
    Meep Meep.
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  10. #8
    Official RnS Addict Roadrunna's Avatar
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    Hopefully it looks like i've got a new set of legs for the beetle



    Oh ....



    ....and some new 'shoes' to go on

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  11. #9
    Official RnS Addict Roadrunna's Avatar
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    Here we go then. Time for an update.

    It's been quiet of late, mainly because i've been trying to sort out some parts.

    Just got off the phone to a guy in the states from UPS and just had an email through from the guy with the parts

    Welcome to my new rear axle

    This years model is a whole 9 inches scantily clad in Willwood vented rear disk brakes. Complete with integrated cable handbrake system ...



    Despite the delicate apearance she's a hefty momma with her 29" x 18" Mickey Thompson 'shoes'



    In this photo you can clearly see her inner lips



    Tucked up in a close foursome you'll find the front attributes



    And these are just the front Willwood disk brakes






    It's all being crated up as we speak

    On top of that, I phoned JW Rod Garage in the states this morning and they've told me that all the front end suspension (complete with 2" dropped Mustang spindles and shortened RHD steering rack) has been sent out and should be here in a week.

    I picked up the rear 4-bar linkage kit & frame rails from Hauser Race Cars last week so i've nearly got all the bits to make the rolling chassis and start fitting the shell


    Anyone got a Huuuuuuuuge garage I can borrow
    Meep Meep.
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  12. #10
    Official RnS Addict Roadrunna's Avatar
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    Got sent these pics this evening

















    C'mon baby
    Meep Meep.
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