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Post Info TOPIC: 1971 VW Beetle


LONDON, ONT

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1971 VW Beetle
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I know, I know. Most of you are thinking a VW Beetle doesn't belong on a hot rod forum. Bare with me, this one is a little different.

A couple years ago I traded a project car I had sitting around for a haggard 1971 VW Super Beetle. I spent the winter of 2016/2017 building it up in my buddy's garage and cruised around in it for the summer of 2017. Over the winter of 2017/2018 I put air ride on it and got it all ready for spring 2018. Well then I went to start it up for my first cruise in the spring and as it was warming up, it spun a crank bearing. Didn't even get a chance to try the air ride!

 

 

So after looking into rebuilding or buying another engine, I was texting my buddy. He says "I got a 355 sitting here, and I need some help LS swapping my S10. Help me with that and the engine is yours." How could I say no? My original plan was going to be, find an S10 chassis, shorten it, and hide the V8 in the bug body. I've always been a fan of the open wheel, open engine, Model A and T bucket style rods, so I decided to go that route with it instead. Those are getting harder to come by and are a little out of my price range. I had an engine and I had a body. I also managed to pick up a regular cab short box S10 chassis for dirt cheap as well. I also like the idea of finding a bunch of parts that don't go together and building a car out of them. Just wanted to do something differnet and I had the opportunity to.

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I got started on cutting the body back off the chassis (I thought it was a good idea to weld the body to the chassis the first time I built it) and cut away the bits I wasn't going to need anymore.

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Here I started laying out the the idea of how I was going to change the old fender well and make it more like a cowl.

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Next I jumped on working on the frame. I needed shorten the wheel base by just a bit. I was avoiding cutting the center of the frame to do so. I ordered up some jeep leaf springs. They were the same width as the S10 leaf spring, but shorter. This let me move the axle 3" forward. I mede a new shackle mount and cut off the old one.

Lining up the new leaf spring to see how much I needed to take off.

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Eyeing up the insert for the new shackle mount.

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Shackle mount and bushing insert all welded in.

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This is how much of the rear frame was removed.

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And here's the finished mount.

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Time to take the body off the beetle chassis and set it on the S10 chassis. Lined up pretty good for just setting it on.

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Now onto the fun stuff. The beetle had a heater channel that connects the body to the chassis and those were absent on mine when I got it. That's why I just chose to weld the body to the chassis. Also the floor pans in the beetle are part of the chassis so I had to build a floor structure for the body.

Started with some sills to get the a and b pillars back together.

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Next I had to taper the front in to follow the taper of the body for the cowl.

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Then I started framing out my cowl.

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Then I was onto laying out the floor structure. I laid out from the a pillar back and left the foot well section until I had the engine and trans in.

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Once I had the main structure laid our I got onto the new body mounts.

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With the body now mounted I added in some rails with welded in bolts for my seat mounts.

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Started making some rough templates for the sheet metal for my floor pans.

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I scored this 29 Chevy grill shell on kijiji for the front.

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Ordered a new Champion rad to keep everything cool.

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Started mocking up the grill shell to get an idea of placement.

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I ended up switching from power steering to manual steering so I could push the rad back as far as possible without having to make up a whole new steering setup. I welded in a new rad support and got the rad mounted.

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Since the rad was done I made some headlight mounts.

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Next I turned my attention to the "hood"/cowl. I wanted to hide all my wiring and battery in here so that I didn't need to do any wiring under the dash. I found these sweet locking hood pins to keep every thing locked up and secure.

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Then I welded in the bottom.

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Here is was checking to make sure everything cleared for a battery.

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After that was done I pulled it out and made some template for body sheet metal. I was finally getting to see how everything was going to look.

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With the templates made I got onto sheeting in the cowl sides.

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Next up was putting the engine and trans in. 

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With the engine and trans in, I could finish shaping the floor and make the firewall.

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After the firewall was in I got onto the floor pans. Did some bead rolls in the metal to stop it form oil canning and stiffen it up.

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With the floor in I got started on adding controls. 

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With all that done I got my first good look of it all coming together.

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I scored a nice set of Centerlines and some big back tires and they really gave the car the look I wanted.

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I added some hood support rods and made some custom piston tail lights.

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I also got on cleaning up some of the body work.

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Next up was wiring. Hours of wiring....hahah it really wasn't that bad. This car doesn't have too much going on.

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Next up was exhaust. My buddy had a whole trailer full of pipes that he scored and a couple Flowmaster mufflers.

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After that i got it all plummed. Used this aluminum water bottle for a Catch can.

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I grabbed a cheap little fuel cell to get me rolling but it needed a home. I put it back where the engine used to be. Down the road I will get a bigger fuel cell but at least this one got me driving.

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And here's how it sits now. Still lots of finish details to work on. But at least I'm getting to cruise in it now!

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-- Edited by ratbeard86 on Monday 9th of September 2019 03:49:43 PM

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ONTARIO

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Hey Ratbeard, ask DJD to help you out posting pics because I'm dying to see this thing. As I mentioned in another post I'm not a purist, "different" is cool to me so.....let's see it!

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LONDON, ONT

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Hey Iwannagofast,
Sorry about that. I think I got it fixed up. let me know if that work now.

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ONTARIO

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Not yet brother.........mebbe it's my compute though, any of you other guys able to see the pics?

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LONDON, ONT

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That’s weird. It’s working on both my computer and my phone.

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ONTARIO

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.....help...?

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LONDON, ONT

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Can you see the the attachment on this one?



Attachments
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St THOMAS, ONT

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Pics come through for me A ok. Really like that. Different is good.

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TRENTON, ONT & SOUTH CAROLINA

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Awsome project

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MILTON, ONT

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Wow Great project

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ONTARIO

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Yesser, I can see that one.....MORE MORE !! very cool

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MARKHAM, ONT

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Looks like a fun project.

And ya, I can see the pics also.

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ONTARIO

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I'm a gonna shoot this computer right in the head...........

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LONDON, ONT

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Iwannagofast wrote:

I'm a gonna shoot this computer right in the head...........


 If you're still having trouble, I have everything posted on my car club FB page https://www.facebook.com/pg/wrencheadscarclub/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1386506284730626 Might be easier than re uploading all the images.



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PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY, ONT

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Some seem to get the pictures and others not. I get them. The pictures file size may be too large and could be rejected by your service provider. Quite a common problem. Ratbeard, what size are the pictures?

Warren

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LONDON, ONT

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wuga wrote:

Some seem to get the pictures and others not. I get them. The pictures file size may be too large and could be rejected by your service provider. Quite a common problem. Ratbeard, what size are the pictures?

Warren


 They are set at 960 x 720.



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ONTARIO

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That link worked, pretty creative work!
Thanks Wuga



-- Edited by Iwannagofast on Wednesday 11th of September 2019 07:46:47 AM

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PORT HOPE, ONT

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Wow , very cool . I enjoyed the build pics,nice work. Ed

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LONDON, ONT

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Thanks everyone! Pretty happy with the outcome. And it’s a blast to rip around in. From here I just need to get on body and paint. Finish up the interior, and start slapping on some nicer parts. Control arms, rear ended, etc.

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CLINTON, ONT

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That is awesome!   where do you get the energy ?    I got tired just scrolling down .      I built a 355 sbc Sunbird conv once .   wore me out lol .  that was 2001 . 

 

Great Job . 



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LONDON, ONT

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427CARL wrote:

That is awesome!   where do you get the energy ?    I got tired just scrolling down .      I built a 355 sbc Sunbird conv once .   wore me out lol .  that was 2001 . 

 

Great Job . 


 Thanks Carl! Just something I have fun doing. In the past year me and my buddies did 2 LS swaps into S10s, did an air ride Blazer with a 283, and built most of an S10 on air ride. That one is still in the works. Need to make a box for it, re-wire, and do an interior.

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We still got lots of work to do on these, but we got them running and driving.



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LONDON, ONT

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Beauty day for cruising yesterday. Grabbed a couple cool shots while we were out.

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