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Old April 2nd, 2009, 09:15 AM   #26
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Default Re: V8 Irish Volksrod

Update on the roof...

Here you can see the difference between the mock-up body height and the new body height.


Here you can see the BIG difference in size of the rear quarter windows! :twisted:


Rear Oval Window clip mocked up over normal window.


Firstly I removed most of the normal window


Then tacked the clip in position




Next I cut the roof skin from the mock-up Blue body and placed it over the new body, scribed a cutting line from the inside and cut the exact shape and welded it in. Worked out nicely and kept a nice curve.






View of the front windscreen. The section in the middle which is missing will be filled with a section from the Blue mock-up body.
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Old April 5th, 2009, 12:39 PM   #27
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Existing exhaust system as taken from the Lexus Ls400. So many boxes...no wonder it ran so quiet! Not any more!!! :lol:


Not 100% on the actual way I want the exhaust to run but for now I'm looking for a cheap option by using whats available from the existing car as much as possible. The engine at the moment has both headers attached and both CAT's attached. There is four Oxygen sensors on the exhaust system. Two before the CAT and two after so I'll use sections of the exhaust to take in the sensors.




Tucks under the chassis nicely and ground clearance is good!


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Old April 5th, 2009, 12:48 PM   #28
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Default Re: V8 Irish Volksrod

A few guys came over to the garage today so it was the perfect time to use the extra hands to trial fit the new body over the chassis.

Yesterday I had previously prepared the body by replacing some of the rusty sections of the cills and bottom of door jambs with new sections. Also cut the front clip off and removed all the internal sections that prevents the body from clearing the chassis.

Rear bulk head before removal


Rear bulk head removed


Rusty Section of door jamb


New sections added




Front Clip cut away




Body sitting nice!!! :twisted:














Here you can see the difference in the cill level at the base of the door compared to the chassis rail height which will be the finished floor level. I need to work out my out-rigger design to incorporate this difference!
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Old April 12th, 2009, 03:48 PM   #29
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Default Re: V8 Irish Volksrod

After a few hours and a little silly hiccup of forgetting to take the rag out of the intake plenum before starting the engine I finally got the engine to fire into life in the new chassis!

A few videos of the engine starting up!





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Old April 27th, 2009, 03:50 PM   #30
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Did a bit of work to the rear yesterday...

The original boot lid was firstly a little on the narrow side as the rear was now about 4/5 inches wider and secondly it stuck out like a tail too far past the wheel as seen from the side which I didn't particularly like or want.
What I wanted was a more curved rear end which kinda followed the same curve as the wheel and would tuck back under the body so to speak. My idea was to use sections of the original front bonnet, in particular the nose as it curves alot nicer than the rear lid. I also wanted to try keep the roof swage lines running into the boot lid too.

Original Boot Lid


Bonnet mocked up to show difference in width!






You can see in this picture the way the nose of the bonnet curves nicely with the wheel.










I used pieces of the original orange bodied roof skin to fill the large holes as they are already curved in both directions and were easy to work to get the double curve on the new boot lid. Also, the new boot lid will be flushed to the original body and will not actually open, so in effect the body will be one piece. :P The only thing beneath it is going to be the petrol tank and regular access to it is not going to be important!


A little more to do but happy with the way its coming out
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Old June 13th, 2009, 01:19 PM   #31
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New UPDATE!!!
After so many people asking, "Hows the Lexibug coming along?" I decided it was time I made some new progress!

I had been doing a little work over the last month but nothing constructive, more like destructive as I finally stripped all the remaining bits-n-bobs I wanted off the Lexus and brought it to the crushers to clear up some space.

I also designed some outriggers from the chassis to hold the Body on and this is what I went at yesterday.

Here's a quick design sketch I did for the outriggers. I wanted them to be light, strong, functional and if possible look a little less agricultural...even though they won't be seen, but hey....I'll know they're there!


All the pieces I need Plasma cut and ready for jigsawing together!


First outrigger tacked welded together


Soon after, I had 6 outriggers assembled.


Just to get an idea of how they looked on the chassis rails I clamped one in position.


Another view...
[/url]
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Old June 19th, 2009, 03:36 PM   #32
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Started work on the front section of the chassis rails which when done will protrude out past the grille.

Plasma cut pieces of 6mm plate


40mm tube mounted in vice


42mm flat bar being shaped around mounted tube




6mm plate and flat bar welded together to form chassis rail ends caps


Position to be mounted on chassis


Need to finish off the second one and I will permanently weld in place
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Old June 29th, 2009, 06:52 AM   #33
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Got a little done yesterday...

Started to finally mount the body outriggers in place and try get the body sitting on the chassis properly without blocks of wood holding it up! :D

First I started by cutting away the bottom door cills / heater channels


You can see where the outrigger wll sit


Outriggers tack welded in position and the body sitting on the chassis


As luck would have it, The splayed main chassis rails followed the same taper in the beetle body so I didn't have to alter the outriggers at all!!! 8)


Better view of set-up


I have 6 outriggers in total, but for now only 4 are positioned. I still need to sort my bulkhead position before installing the last 2 outriggers.
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Old June 29th, 2009, 06:54 AM   #34
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Some general views of the body and how it sits! 8)

Rear wheel and body lines just how I wanted them, pritty happy with this look! :twisted:




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Old July 11th, 2009, 06:35 PM   #35
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Not much of an update but here goes! ;)

For the moment I'm trying to continue with the body work as much as possible as there is lots of tedious little jobs on it that take so much time!

I've managed to get one door mounted. I got 2 VERY good doors from the guy I bought the orange body off and one needed 2 hinges. These I stole from the doors of the old blue shell I have. They were a pain to take off as they are welded to the door by someone in the past!

Anyway, after hours of fettling I managed to hang the drivers door!




If you didn't already guess then I'll tell you now that my plan is to lose the 'B' pillar completely on both the body and the door. With the rear quarter window now shortened by 10inches the 'B' pillar would look too big and ugly so thats why its going. I also like the look of a frameless door! ;)




Once again the old blue doors came in as donors and will certainly come into use again before this project is finished! :D




Outside door skin finished...need to work on the inside skin next.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 06:38 PM   #36
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With the drivers door mounted and opening and closing properly (does need a little adjustment to get the gaps better but good enough for now), I went at the body outrigger which will be mounted in-line with the firewall.

Here you can see that I need to cut away a little bit of metal before the outrigger will fit into place.


Outrigger in place ready to be fixed


Outrigger fixed in place. You may notice that I cut away one side of the lateral bracing on the mount. This is because the firewall will mount flush against this outrigger.


Here you can see the 3 body outriggers on the drivers side.


Tools put away...floor swept...and off to bed!!!
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 04:43 PM   #37
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Its been nearly a month so I thought I better update this build diary a litte...and a little is what I have been doing!!! :lol:

I've spent alot of hours in the garage with not much progress to show because all the jobs are time consuming detail jobs like measuring 100 times to make sure the body is straight on the chassis so I can get the floor in. Spent ages hanging the passenger door and still needs some work!

I have also spent ages measuring the layout of the pedals, steering wheel and seating position. I want to make the car as comfortable to drive as possible. Also, because I'm using the Lexus steering column which is VERY heavy with all its electrics attached I have been working out my brackets for how i'm going to secure it so its solid!

I've designed a pair of Bomber seats which I'll fabricate from aluminium sheet. These will then be mounted to a pair of stripped down granada seats making them fully electrical and HEATED!!! :P

At this stage I'm also having to decide about where I'm going to place all the ancilliary items like fuel tank, battery, wiring, ECU's, clocks etc. It all takes time but I think I'm more or less sorted with how i'm going to install everything so photo updates from now should be more interesting!

Here's what I'm doing with my battery:

4mm plate shaped to clear gearbox and provide fixing point for my new Battery Box.




New Battery box cut from 4mm plate and pieced together. The box will also double as fixing points for my bonnet hinges.


Battery Box bolted in place so in the event of having to remove the engine all I need to do is unbolt the box and lift it out of the way.




Battery sitting in battery box.
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 04:44 PM   #38
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Here you can see my two doors are fixed and opening.





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Old August 23rd, 2009, 04:45 PM   #39
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The first rough idea for my Bomber Seat shape!



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Old August 23rd, 2009, 04:47 PM   #40
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I thought it was a good a time as any to start working on the door frames!

Cut marks shown on the donor door.


When the roof is chopped the 'A' pillar becomes smaller in length but the distance from the 'A' pillar to the 'B' pillar along the drip rail becomes longer because of the sloping 'A' pillar! Here you can see I need to remove about 4inches from the 'A' pillar section and in the following photos you will see that the door frame needs to be lengthened along the roof line.


Approximately 4inches removed from the 'A' pillar section of the door frame


In order to weld the door frame to the roof I cut away the internal rib as shown in the photo in order to be able to get the welder tip inside. I didn't want to put any weld marks on the outside or the inside to keep the clean lines.


Internal section removed


Next I turned over the frame and drilled lost of 5mm holes along the length with will touch the body so I can spot weld the frame to the roof.


View from the underside before installing


Frame spot welded in place...now just need to carry on an fill the gaps either side with the same process! I'll work out closing the glass channel at a later stage!
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 04:48 PM   #41
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Next I had a look at how I was gonna seal the gap between the door window and the rear quarter window. I'm on the look out for a particular rubber but I think the biggest size will not be good enough to fill the gap so I thought if I have to have a 'B' pillar then the SMALLER the better! I took the chrome frame from the small quarter light window of the passenger door, reversed it, cut it to size and mocked it up against the body.

The chrome trim has a 'U' channel on one side and a single flange on the other which will allow the glass on the door to butt up against it making the seal but will also allow the door to open without having to wind down the window slightly.


It actually fits quite snuggly and probably wont be see when its painted black like the window rubber!


With door open there isn't much of a kick out from the door reveal which was what I was worried about.
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 04:50 PM   #42
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Welded in a little bit more of the door frame and that was it...lost all remaining energy! :D


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Old September 21st, 2009, 05:53 PM   #43
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Got distracted recently with the little matter of getting married, but...i'm back to whats important...CAR BUILDING! :lol:

Made a start back into the Lexibug today and managed to sort out Steering wheel and pedal locations.

My intention was to use as much of the Lexus Ls400 as possible and that included the electric tilt and slide steering wheel, pedals and master cyclinder. In the big lexus all these parts look quite small but when you try to fit them in a Bug you really see the size and weight of each part. :roll:

The Lexus Steering Wheel and column containing all the motors to tilt and slide the steering wheel. Also has stalks for lights, indicators, wipers AND cruise control buttons!


This is the brake pedal, booster servo and master cyclinder from the lexus.


My original plan was to dump the booster and just have the pedal and master cyclinder


like this...


But now i'm just going to keep the Master Cyclinder and make my own pedal which will be floor mounted rather than top mounted like the lexus pedal. A couple of reasons for this, 1) there just isn't enough space, 2) the master cyclinder will be ridiculously high on the outside of the bulkhead which i didn't like.

So...I started by drawing up plans of how to mount all this heavy stuff securely so it won't flex or vibrate. Once I had a rough idea the bits were plasma cut.


The first main part was to create a sturdy bulk head with the necessary holes cut out which will accept the steering column bracket and pedal locations.



Steering column fixing bracket assembled


and bolted in place.


Master Cyclinder bolted in place


You can see here that one of the holes for mounting the master cyclinder was slightly off! :lol: How i did that i'll never know! :lol: :lol:


Steering Column bolted in place. It looks high, but thats because I disconnected it from the car in its off position. When powered up it will tilt down and slide towards the driver automatically.


View from the engine compartment


A rough overall view.


Overall the set-up is good but there is a little spring in the steering column so I'm going to put some lateral bracing from the new steering column bracket to the centre tunnel, so that should solve the problem nicely.

Tomorrow, i'll start fitting the pedals.
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Old October 1st, 2009, 05:35 AM   #44
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Here's my brake pedal...

Attaching the first leg to the pivot bar


The 2 legs of the pedal attached to the pivot bar


This is the foot rest on the LS400 brake pedal. Simply cut and reweld on the end of my new pedal.


Pedal fully assembled


Bolt in place to check travel and clearances.


I just have to shorten the push rod now and that another thing done. ;)
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Old October 3rd, 2009, 02:46 PM   #45
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And my Throttle Pedal...

As taken from the Lexus


Throttle cable coming from the engine


Fixed to the bulkhead


The bulkhead on the lexus was thicker at the point where the pivot point studs passed threw so I cut them to suit my 5mm bulkhead


Here you can see with the throttle pedal in place the studs now come flush with the bulkhead


Throttle pedal bolted in place and cable connected up. All works perfect. 8)


Another view with the steering column support bracket and brake pedal back in place.


I still need to reshape the throttle lever and make a footrest, but that'll be done another day!
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Old October 30th, 2009, 02:00 PM   #46
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Took the Lexibug out for it first spin today...

At the garage door and waiting to go!


Well not exactly a spin under its own steam!
Loaded onto trailer!


Sitting next to my (well, my wife's) new '67 Beetle!


Arriving undercover at Top Secret location where I will be making the floor all day tomorrow...fingers crossed!
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Old October 31st, 2009, 06:34 PM   #47
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Well...today was a LONG day but made some good progress on the floor. Hopefully tomorrow it will be finished and I can move onto other things.

Car unloaded and waiting to have its floor installed...



Here's how it currently looked on the inside upon arrival. View of the rear


and a view of the front section.


Firstly, I spent a bit of time deciding which way I was going to cut all the panels. How many sections without making it a nightmare of a puzzle. After I knew what way I was gonna go, I measured and drew up my templates in CAD, sent it to the CNC Plasma to cut 1.6mm sheets.


My first template of the machine was the rear section. I decided to start with the hardest piece first so it would only get easier from then on! ;)


Template goes into press...


A couple of folds...


Hey presto, its a reasonably good fit first time. Only a bit of trimming around the wheels arches to makes it ready for welding.
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Old October 31st, 2009, 06:35 PM   #48
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Second template off the plasma was the main centre tunnel.


Back in to the press...


Fold, fold and fold...


Test fit requires no alterations so I tacked that in place.


Next up was the first splayed section of the tunnel


All folded ready for fitting


Here you can see its starting to come together nicely. :D


And from a different angle.
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Old October 31st, 2009, 06:37 PM   #49
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Finally the last piece of the tunnel closiest to the dash.


All folded...


And fitted in place


Its a pritty big tunnel at the head but I'm gonna use some of the space under neath to sink in some of the wiring ECU's, plus the lexus clocks will come down to meet the tunnel.


Last piece for today was the passenger side floor. Here's the template from the plasma. You gotta love this machine, makes life so much easier!


Fits nicely once again


I got the door reveal into the same panel which worked out a treat. Delighted with the finish.


And an inside shot.


Tomorrow I'll work on the drivers side, the bulk-head and the two upstands in the floor where the rear axle mounts are.
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 08:25 AM   #50
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On the way home from the Engineering shop...thanks again to Joe for giving me free run of his workshop over the weekend. I think if I had of done it at home then it would of taken twice as long and not come out as nice! ;)















Next step is to see if it comes off the chassis in one
piece! :lol: :lol: :lol:
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