So I have a 1966 VW Beetle I bought back in 94, this was going to be my last one, see I have had about 20+ VW's since I bought my 1st VW Bug when I was 15
it will be 30 years sometime in November of 2011
. Here is a picture of that VW a few months after I bought it, I had done a lot of work to it by this time, repaired a lot of rusty panels and all, and that's me next to it at 16
I kind of lost count as to how many VW's I have had. I would drive them till they couldn't be driven anymore, then strip them and junk them. If I would have had a place to store them I would have kept every last one of them. Anyhow here is the 66 in 94 about a month before I crashed it.
Had to fix the starter, it was cold and a bit of snow, I only wish I had a better picture of it
I crashed it on a snowy night going home from work, I went to make a right turn when i pushed on the brake pedal and it went to the floor, I tried to make the turn but went straight and by the time I got my hand on the E-brake handle, it was to late, I had used a utility pole to stop me. I wasn't going very fast, maybe 25 mph at most, but I did enough damage to it that it never drove the same again. One thing led to another and I never did get the VW fixed so it just sat, it sat from 95 until 07 before I got interested in doing something with it. Otherwise the only way I was gonna get rid of it was to let it rust away to nothing, and it rusted a lot over the 12 years it sat.
One spring Friday evening in 2007 my oldest son told me he was going to go to the race track so he could race his Honda Accord, thought it was kinda funny, anyway my wife and I both went down to watch him. Ya see we would on occasional go race one of our cars back in the mid 80's. Well this trip brought back memories from way back then, and after seeing some of the faster older muscle cars make a few runs down the track I was hooked again. Now I knew what my plans were with the Bug.
I had kept the engine from my 74 Cutlass which was the one we raced back then it had a 455 cubic inch engine, and behind that was a 400 turbo automatic with a shift kit in it, it ran that big Oldsmobile down the track in the low 12's, my wife would drive that thing to run high 11's. I think her best time was an 11.80.
Well the plan was to stick that engine and transmission into the front of the VW, something I had always wanted to do.So next thing to do is cut all the sheet metal off the front of the car, most of it was bent so bad it needed to come off and be fixed and modified so I could stick a V8 up front. Well after setting the engine onto the front suspension it had the springs bottom out onto the frame, so instead of replace the springs i just used another engine I had laying around, it happened to be out of an 81 Mustang. The guy I bought it from had done a lot of work to it so he could race it, it had a 302 cubic inch with a C4 transmision behind it and it was anything but slow, I had found some time slips from the race track under the seats showing 1/4 mile times in the low 12's. My wife drove that car everyday until they started what was called the "E-check" it was just to make sure the engines weren't modified and that you had all the emission control stuff still on the car. I still think it was a way for the state to get money, anyhow we had to park it in 99
I started off by cutting the entire front body section off from the front of the doors forward, then i braced the door openings by welding in some angle iron i had, that was to keep the door openings in the right spot so when i cut the door sills/rocker panels out the door openings wouldnt get out of alignment, then i removed the doors and this is how it looked, the rear tires are just sitting there and you can see the 1-1/2 by 3 inch tube I welded in for the door sills/rocker panels, i also welded some 2 inch square tube from the door sills going up the front of the door pillars, next is the front suspension and the frame rails.
Here is is resting on a 92 S10 pickup truck frame with the 455 resting in it, and like I said it was just to much weight for the springs, so I used the smaller Ford engine. I had planned to modify the truck frame to fit under the VW, but after many days of measuring andlooking it over i decided the best thing to do was to cut the front suspension off right at where the front door pillars are and building my own rear frame out of 2 by 4 inch tube, so thats exactly what i did
Here is the rear most frame section tac welded together, the next picture you can see the rest of the frame rails tac welded onto this section, then before I finish welding it I needed to check everything for squareness and make sure the rails that attach to the front are parallel, then I need to attach this to the front suspension and get it on nice and square, that way i dont have a car going down the road looking like its driving a bit sideways.
Below it is just sitting as if it was together, no frame or suspension under it, just wheels placed where they go & an engine placed where it will go.
Here it is attached to the front, everything nice and square, next is gonna be the tough part, the rear axle im stil unsure of how I plan to do it, I have looked and studied lots of rear suspension setups. I finally decided on a 4 link of my own design using what I have available then using coil over shocks.
Here is the start of the floor pan, and like I said before I plan on using anything I have to built this car, I had a few S10 Blazers, my son drove one of them until he bought his own car, then i started driving it until i had an accident in it and totaled it, long story but i will make it short, a utility pole jumped out in front of me one after noon while i was driving my youngest son home from school, those poles are like hitting a brick wall. Anyhow i used a lot of sheet metal off the Blazer after cutting it up and scrapping most of it, I used the roof section as the floor in my VW, it worked out nice, it was just the right length, i also used the hood from another Blazer as the rear deck behind the front seats, this is going to be a 2 seater so no need for a rear seat
Below you can see the hood I used to fill in the rear deck behind the front seats, as I said it is from an S10 Blazer as well, I had 3 of them I used as parts to get the one I crashed going
Here you can see I have the Ford engine in it, I fabricated the engine mounts and cross member for the transmission and it is bolted down tight
I plan to stuff the radiator in the back where the engine once was, I also hope I have enough room to mount the gas tank back there as well, I have a few electric fans to mount on either side of the radiator to keep it cool, I may only need one fan because with the length of the hoses and tubing I will be running from the front to rear to connect the engine and radiator it should cool it off enough, only time shall tell.
Here I have the hood and front fenders mounted on, I'm definitely gonna need to do some modifying up here due to the frame rails on the truck front end, they need to be cut shorter and made to clear the sheet metal
Here the radiator is mounted, I have a gas tank on the front side of the radiator, I may need to build a custom tank that wont fit so close to the radiator, but, I suppose I will just wait and see how hot it runs once I get it running, which is still a long way off
Next is the pedal assembly, I had to fabricate that from scratch, i didn't have the room to mount it on the firewall so i made it to mount under the floor board behind the pedals, i tried one way and had to redo it because I needed it to be strong enough to stand the pressure needed when pushing the pedal down, i didnt want anything to give way as i already had the brakes go out on this car once, I don't want this to happen again
I also added a clutch pedal to the assembly because one day I plan on mounting a manual transmission in the car, the main reason for this is because when driving an automatic i tend to get sleepy and i dont want to have my eye lids get heavy while driving, i have learned that by driving a manual shift car it keeps me awake for a much longer time.
The next thing I needed to do is to fabricate the firewall, I started to cut some cardboard templates to see how im gonna do it when I decided the best thing to do is move the dash back about 6 inches to make room for headers and mount the steering column. I started by cutting the dash out and then cutting some 1/4 inch rods to 6 inches long and welding them to where the dash originally was, then I welded the dash back on to the rods so it sits back 6 inches from where it originally was
After cutting & welding I was able to get some sheet metal welded in to fill in the gaps, it's gonna take some time to get it just right, I also used the sheet metal from the Mustang the engine came out of as the material used to fill in the gaps, the main "top" piece is the front part of the Mustang hood with the Horse emblem in the center of the dash, I also have a Chevy "Bow Tie" to put on the ca5r some where since the front & rear suspension are all Chevy parts
So now I need to fill in the gap, for the top section I plan on using the sheet metal off the hood of the Mustang I took the engine out of, i used the front most section of it so that the hood emblem will be in the middle of the dash. I figured it is powered my a Mustang motor so i may as well have a Mustang horse emblem on the dash. It is tough to see but if you look real good you can make out a raised round section just behind the black vent in the center of the dash.
I have cover the sides and most of the bottom of the dash since these pictures were taken.
I have come to a stopping point on the car, I ran out of welding wire, so it may be spring or summer of 2010 before I can get back to work on it.
I'll hafta change that to Spring of 2015 now
I took a few pictures after I pushed it out of the garage, I moved it so I could get my VolksRod inside to weld floor pans in it as well as get an engine pieced together