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Old November 28th, 2009, 01:19 PM   #51
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Default Re: V8 Irish Volksrod

I've redesigned my original bomber seat idea to something more like a normal bomber seat. Much more basic looking than previously and will hopefully be easier to get in & out of! Saw something similar somewhere else and made my own preferred alterations and came up with this.

This is it laid out flat to see if you can visualise its appearance!
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Old November 28th, 2009, 01:21 PM   #52
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With the design decided I then set about cutting out my shapes from 2mm aluminium. Each seat consist of four parts as shown previously.

2mm Aluminium sheet being cut


With the parts cut out I then proceeded to fold









In this photo I had to make do with folding the rest of the seat on the table due to the limitations of the press.
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Old November 28th, 2009, 01:23 PM   #53
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Starting to look like a seat now.


These two flat pieces will be inserted into the side of the seat to stiffen up the seat.


Here you can see I am test fitting the side inserts to make sure the holes on the outside skin match with the holes in the inserts. When drawing the templates in CAD, i forgot to allow for the tickness of the metal and hence I needed to do a bit of shaving to make it sit right.


Both side inserts fitting ok for now. Will do a bit more tidying up after the riveting.


Next piece is going to be used to at the base of the spine to stiffen up the whole seat in general. You can see I've finally found a place to put the project name onto the car. ;)


A couple of folds...


And in she pops like a glove....


The plan is to put foam on the base and back of the seat while leaving the "Lexibug" writing exposed to be seen.


Two seats ready to be drilled and solid riveted together
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Old December 5th, 2009, 04:53 PM   #54
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Not, much done this week apart from what I've done this evening which was to start drilling all the holes in the bomber seats for the rivets. Its a slow process but coming together nicely.

Started by getting a bit of flat bar and drilling holes every 30mm to act as a template for my spacing.


The solid rivets have a 4mm shaft thickness so I drilled the holes 4mm to match because after doing a few test rivets i found the 4mm hole was easier to work with and gave a good tight sandwich of the two panels.










At the moment the seat panels are just bolted in a few locations and I made sure all the rivets fit tightly. I still need to hammer them flat.


After doing this I started to strip down a Ford Granada Electric front seat to its bare frame






My plan was to cut down the base to its flattest position possible and mount my bomber seat to it. This will make my bomber seat fully electrical forward, backwards, tilt & raise etc. My problem now is that the finished seat base level is a little high in the car due to the rear axle mounting points which protrude up threw the floor. I'll have to rethink my next move on this! :roll:
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Old December 6th, 2009, 05:48 AM   #55
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Had to move the Lexibug out of the garage this morning to get another car out, so while the sun was shining (a rare thing these days!) I took one or two snaps!

You can begin to see the difference in height compared to the '67 white standard beetle.






Also, stuck on a standard bug bonnet. You can't really see from the photo but the bonnet is still not fully closed and is hitting the engine. You can also kind of tell how much short in length it is to what it should be to work. This front end decision is driving me crazy!


I think I'll end running with just the engine and rad., no grille, sides, bonnet if I don't make my mind up quickly! :lol:
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Old March 21st, 2010, 05:23 PM   #56
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I REALLY have been slacking on this project.

So, during the week I decided to ease myself back into it and said I'd start with something easy, like fix and finish of the rear boot lid. The curve was just not perfect and was annoying me to look at. So I cut the base off and started re-shaping some more cut-off sections from a bonnet swage. What should of been a 20-30min job turned into a 3.5hr cursing and swearing match until I finally got something which I was happy with!

Also, before Christmas I managed to get my hands on a set of early NOS Rear Oval Beetle tail lamps to match the oval window I put in. Today, whilst making a list of jobs to do to get this thing moving again I mocked up the lamps in different positions to see what looked best.

Here's the lamps


The lamps are going to held on out-riggers from the body due to not running any wheel arches, so I cut some 2mm plate to mount the lamp & housing to.


This is the final position I've decided to go with. I think it looks ok.


You can see in this photo that the bottom swage line of the boot lid has a nicer curve than previously.




I still need to make the outrigger which will probably be made from simple round tube bent to shape and the wiring fed through the middle to hide it.
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Old March 21st, 2010, 05:25 PM   #57
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Chassis wise I don't have alot left to do, so for the moment I will try get all the little bits of bracketry that needs finishing and welding done so I can take the body off strip it all down and weld the thing fully, powdercoat it and try get a finished rolling chassis. Then I'll go back to the Body as that still needs ALOT of work...especially now that i've decided to go ahead and do the electric rear quarter windows. :roll:

So, I went at the steering again. This time the steering rack. As the lexus already had power steering it was a no brainer to try keep it. Saves me messing with altering the belts if I removed the pump.


I've opted to mount the rack behind the front cross-member and in effect steering the wheel from the rear. To do this I swapped the ford front hubs from left to right and vice versa. This makes the steering arm appear to the rear. The problem with doing this is that the Lexus Power Steering Rack is just too bulky and has a pritty big head preventing me from even mocking it up! :roll:


So, I pulled out a manual rack I had lying around from an old Renault 5 GT Turbo and it sat in nicely between the Z'd chassis rail and the lower A-Arm. Took a few measurements and then headed off to the breakers yard to find myself a power steering rack that was small enough to fit and had the head projecting in the right direction.

I came back with a Renault Kangoo Power Steering Rack. I was looking for a Clio or small Toyota type rack but the Kangoo looked like it would work.


I mocked the steering rack in place and it fit pritty good.


The only problem was that the pipework on the head was situated on the wrong side and was hitting the chassis rail and preventing me from centreing the rack on the cross-member.


Put the rack on the bench and started stripping the pipework and head




Its actually very easy to change the entry/exit direction of the pipework as the head is symmetrically mounted so twisting it 180degrees is not a problem. One of the reasons why I choose this rack. Here you can see the head is just starting to split from the rack.


Now, I didn't have to extract it completely as a couple of mm was sufficient to enable a 180degree twist but for photographic reasons I pulled it out.


Twisted it 180 degress...
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Old March 21st, 2010, 05:27 PM   #58
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Put it all back together and then mocked it up again. Here you can see that the pipework no longer has the connection points on the same side. I also twisted the steering rack mounting blocks 180degrees too.


Overall view with the existing pipework bent and re-installed. I will use new pipework when I come to re-build the chassis but for the moment this will do for testing.


Here you can see the mounting blocks which have been turned 180 degrees. Now i have to think about how I will mount the rack to the cross-member using these blocks.


A view from the opposite side of the rack where my steering shaft will connect.
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Old March 21st, 2010, 05:29 PM   #59
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After looking at the second last photo above for a few minutes I decided the easiest thing to do was to design a new mounting bracket which incorporated the aluminium block functions just bolt the other half moon clamp to it. This would result in there only being two parts rather than 3.

Here's the brackets I came up with.


This is a rough idea where they will be welded to the front cross-member


Here you can see the original mounting on the right when used in the Renault Kango and my new method on the left for the lexibug.


Drilled the necessary holes in the bracket and mounted them to the rack to check the fitment. Nice and tight!




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Old March 21st, 2010, 05:31 PM   #60
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Measured a few times then tacked welded the mounts in place and fitted the rack. All looks good with decent clearance for the steering shaft and JUST enough clearance where the tie-rods pass under and over the lower A-Arms and Z'd chassis rail! Phew!!!

The important thing about choosing any rack whether Power Steering or Manual is to try and make sure the length of the rack when centred matches as closely as possible the distance between each lower A-Arm mount. Also positioning the rack at the same level as the lower A-arm is important as this will dramatically reduce the level of Bump Steer.






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Old May 18th, 2010, 04:14 PM   #61
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Did a bit more on the steering rack, in particular the tie-rod/tie-rod end joining to the hub.

Here you can see that when the Renault Kango steering rack is centred left to right, the tie-rod/tie-rod end is not long enough to reach the hub when its in a straight line position.


Firstly i removed the Kango Tie-rod as it does not match the granada hub. Then I added a extender to the end of the tie-rod. This gives me approximately a 2inch extension.


Then I fit a new Tie-rod end to match the granada hub.


Length is now perfect with a little adjustment available either side to correct toe-in/toe-out.


Currently trying to figure out the best route and fixing method for the steering shaft.
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Old May 18th, 2010, 04:20 PM   #62
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I've been on the look out for some nice BIG headlamps for some time now and finally got something I think will make the front of the bug a little different!

A nice pair of old 12" Lucas P100L headlights which you would find on a 1930/40's Rolls Royce. They have been converted at some time and now house a pair of 7" sealed beam units.

SCORE...








Just a quick mock-up to see what position they look best in.


They be mounted lower down and closer together but this is the only position they would sit without falling over so I could take a photo!!!
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Old May 18th, 2010, 04:22 PM   #63
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Also did some more work on the Steering Shaft.

First, after doing a little mock up and taking measurements I connected a piece of 25mm tube to the existing UJ coming off the Lexus Steering wheel assembly


Then I connected an old UJ I had lying around to the end of the piece of shaft that came with the Kangoo Steering rack. The reason I used this one was because its angles of travel are very wide which ment if I had to turn the shaft more than 30 degrees (normal UJ max bend) then I wouldn't get a kind of notching effect when turning the wheel caused by the UJ maxing out.


Took the two pieces back off the car and joined them. At the moment it is one solid shaft with no breaks. I'll be cutting the longer tube later to make a split joint which will pass through a bearing support.


Test fitted the shaft back in place to check for clearances and all seems good.


Because there is more than 2 UJ's in the shaft I need to support at least one length of tube. I'm going to support the longer piece by running it through a roller bearing inserted inside a bracket extending from the chassis rail.
First thing was to press fit the bearing inside a piece of metal so it could be welded inside the bracket I will have to make. The pic below shows a piece of tubing running through the inside the roller bearing and the roller bearing press fitted inside a piece of metal (the outer ring)
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Old May 18th, 2010, 04:24 PM   #64
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Next I had to make a joiner piece that would slide into each side of the cut longer piece of shaft. This joiner will also house the roller bearing too.

First I started with a piece of 120mm long 30mm dia solid bar


A bit of turning down of the lathe


And this is what I've got after 2hrs work.


Here you can see that the roller bearing fits snugly over the center of the joiner and can only slide one way on/off.


This is a rough idea of where the joiner is going to be located in the shaft


After double checking a few times on the chassis I decided on the best point which would clear the exhaust manifold when installed. Then I cut a section of the shaft out.


Pressed fitted the joiner in place and everything fitted nicely. I still need to drill each side of the joiner and tap the holes so I can pin both shafts.


I installed the shaft back in place. The bearing mounting bracket was an earlier trial design and I used this just to make sure everything lined up. I will be making a new mounting bracket to replace this. I would of like to place the support bearing closer to the middle UJ for a stronger, less flexible solution but I had too much clearance issues. On the plus side, i'm using power steering so the amount of leverage on the steering wheel is not going to be excessive! ;)


After I pin the shafts to the joiner and finish the bracket I'll be moving onto the petrol tank.
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Old May 22nd, 2010, 06:22 PM   #65
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This evening I decided to lift the Body off the chassis. This was the first time the body was to be lifted since I welded in the floors so I was a little worried as to weather she would come off at all!!!

My initial efforts were not good, she seemed tightly stuck, but after a few tugs here and there I managed to free it up and she lifted a few inches. Happy that the chassis and body would part, I enlisted some help and off she came.

This was the first time I've seen the chassis like this as most of the stuff like, firewall, tunnel, outriggers etc. were all added to the chassis while the body was sitting in place. To say I am happy with the shape and look would be an understatement!

Couple of reasons for lifting the body:
1) So I can work on mounting the propshaft centre mount.
2) So I can mount and connect the gearstick and selector rod.
3) So I can see the car in a different light as it has been a long time looking the same and not noticing the changes. The body removed shows me how far I've come and gives me the urge to push on!

The body itself is now much more rigid because the floor has been intergrated into it. I can even open the doors without the body flexing which is great.

















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Old September 17th, 2011, 04:22 PM   #66
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Well....been a while since I've found a day to play in the garage but managed to squeeze some hours in today working on mounting the Gear Shifter to the tunnel and also finishing off the propshaft installation.

Here's the shifter as taken from the Lexus.


Here's where its going to be mounted in the tunnel.


Cut out a piece of 2mm sheet


Put a 90 degree bend in one end the height of the tunnel box section


Fits to tunnel nicely and will seal the base of the shifter from water/dirt.


Drilled 4 locating holes to match the Shifter and then welded some nuts to the underside of the plate so I can easily withdraw the shifter from inside the car if needs be.


Bolted the shifter down to the mount


Once I have the Propshaft properly mounted I will then work on extending the gear selector rod to the new Shifter location.
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Old September 17th, 2011, 04:23 PM   #67
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The Lexus propshaft comes in two pieces with the slider in the first section. Both shafts were way too long so they were shortened. I also cut off the flange at the diff end and welded on a Granada/Sierra end yoke to match my diff. Overall the shaft was shortened about 2ft.


When I was building the chassis in the early days and mounting the diff and engine, I made sure that both the centreline running through the diff and engine was at the same angle but at different heights vertically. Its not good practice to run the propshafts in a perfect straight line.

So in mounting the Centre Bearing bracket to the chassis all I needed was a small packer to bring it to its ideal height. I cut 2 pieces of 10mm bar approx. 50mm long


Drilled an 11mm hole right through, then widened the hole on the underneath just deep enough to flush fit an M10 bolt. I welded the bolt in place and grinded down to a flat surface.


Welded the 10mm bar section to the chassis rail and then bolted up the centre bearing bracket. Both ends of the propshaft bolted to the diff and gearbox.
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Old September 17th, 2011, 04:24 PM   #68
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A LITTLE update... :lol:

Still busy with work and other little projects so haven't found a lot of time to move this project on much. :roll:

Most of the work I'm doing is not actual work on the car and more like working out issues on paper/cad were everything is going to be mounted and run, what brackets will be welded and what will be bolted.

I did get my hands dirty for a few minutes and decided to finish of the gear selector rod. It was driving me crazy for ages as the forward/backward throw was just too much causing the selector rod to either hit the tunnel of the chassis when in park or the gearbox output shaft rubber mount when in 1st gear! I didn't want to mess with the actual set-up of the Gear-Stick because it is a real pain to work out the ratio of the throw so the gearbox selection matches with the gearshifter position.

In the end I used a bit of flat bar which worked out ok. Tight...but ok!

Existing Lexus Ls400 gear selector rod


Extended selector rod


Installed and shifting ok




More as and when it happens... :lol:
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Old September 17th, 2011, 04:26 PM   #69
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The GRILLE saga continues...but I think I'm getting closer to a shape and style that will work in all angles.

I always had it in the back of mind that a Ford Pop grille might be a better shape than the Model 'B' grille to match with the curvy body of the Beetle but up until the other day I could not get my hands on one. Well, thanks to a friend he brought over his Pop grille and bonnet so we could mock it up.

It actually works quite well and should be easy enough to modify, ie widen and lengthen a fraction. But unfortunately I need to source the parts first before doing any cuts as these bits need to go back on his car! :) We have a Grille sourced which will be collected soon, so just a bonnet to find.

I think the sloping grille, the side vents, the swage on the bonnet, and the curve of the lower part of the sides all work well with the Beetle body.


How it stands today!

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