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Old May 4th, 2010, 04:25 PM   #1
SLOBugin69
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Default Midengine Bugs...

How many people are there working on midengine bugs right now?


My idea won't be on the road anytime soon. But, I am starting to plan... I have my motor and tranny. But am just starting to look into how to build the rear suspension and whether or not I should keep the stock front suspension.


My motor is going to be an EJ22T out of a '93 Subaru Legacy (turbo'd 2.2 liter) and my transmission is a 5-speed manual out of a similar year, front-wheel drive Subaru Legacy. The motor comes with about 160hp stock but can easily be built to make over 200hp. This is the block all of the WRX guys like. The transmission originaly came with a 140hp motor, I'd like to think it will last a reasonable amount of time.


So... The motor is currently still in the donor vehicle. The more I look at it and measure it, I'm really thinking that I might be able to use the front suspension out of the legacy as the rear suspension of my bug (with the steering modified to stay straight). Am I crazy? Does that sound like a bad idea? The overall track width and the width of the strut assemblies is a little bit to wide but with some flared fenders and maybe a small bulge for the struts (which I think could be made to look really cool) it seems like it would work. The good thing about using the front end as an assembly is that it would save me a bunch of time and money. No need to design and build a suspension, find/make axles that are the correct width, etc...


So how does that sould from a technical stand point. Should I build my own rear suspension or try to use the Subaru stuff? What types of suspension setups are other people running?


Thanks,
Ef
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Old May 4th, 2010, 04:36 PM   #2
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Default Re: Midengine Bugs...

Do you need some mid engine plans.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 04:58 PM   #3
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Default Re: Midengine Bugs...

I've thought of the same thing many years ago because we have been Subaru owners since 1984, all 4 wheel drive but 1. 2 Brats 1 legacy 1 stationwagon and a Impreza RS. But what stumped me was what to do about the tail shaft sticking out the back of the car, maybe a tall mount for a rear wing?
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Old May 4th, 2010, 06:42 PM   #4
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Default

great idea slobugin69!
It must be a great idea because i have thought the same thing!
There are several issues to consider. It will take some above average fabrication skliiz but IMHO it will be worth it.
here are some issues you must consider
1) If you choose to use the Suby front suspension, the strut towers will wind up somewhere in the package tray area. There is nowhere up there strong enough to support that kind of weight.
2) the suby subframe is designed to be supported from all four corners & there is nowhere strong enough in the rear apron area to mount the rear corners to.
3) to install the suby subframe& suspension along with the Suby engine& tranny you will have to cut out the rear torsion housing & whatever they call the rear "fork". This eleminates the only strong areas back there.
4) IMHO it is better If you choose to retain the stock VW rear suspension & fabricate "adaptor" drive axles that are ACVW outers mated to Suby inners.
It would be much simpler to fabricate brackets to mount the Suby drivetrain to the stock VW "fork"
5) The only tricky issue with this route is getting the CVs in the right place.
CVs are sensative to "plunge" If they move too far in & out as the suspension cycles they will be damaged & not last long
6) I would start by CAREFULLY measuring where the stock VW inner CVs are in relation to length& height on the chassis.
Then I would mock up the suby tranny so the suby output shafts wind up in the same place

on the other hand if you can figure out how to retain the Suby struts you will get to keep the disk brakes.
on the other hand you would have different lug paterns
on the other hand I know (on the earlier) Subys the parking brake was on the front disks so you would wind up with a killer parking brake.
on the other hand if you can keep the Suby struts you will not have to have custom drive axles made.
IMHO I think the best route would be to mount the suby spindles on the VW trailing arms this would be the best of both worlds.& reatain the best features of both vehicles & still be relatively easy to build

what about shift linkage??
Is the Suby a shaft or linkage or cables?
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Old May 4th, 2010, 06:54 PM   #5
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Default Re: Midengine Bugs...

Kinda related simply because it's a midengine...

May 2010 issue of hot VWs has a 4 page article about Vert that Paul Newman had custom built to look as stock as possible.. but under a special cover where the backseat would be was hidden a Ford 351 V8 mated to a Z F 5 speed transmission..
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Old May 4th, 2010, 07:01 PM   #6
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Default Re: Midengine Bugs...

I wanna see the build thread on that one!!
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Old May 4th, 2010, 09:21 PM   #7
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Default Re: Midengine Bugs...

SEMA 2009

5 of 6 pics...
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File Type: jpg newmanbug1.jpg (141.3 KB, 57 views)
File Type: jpg newmanbug2.jpg (151.3 KB, 57 views)
File Type: jpg newmanbug3.jpg (119.5 KB, 41 views)
File Type: jpg newmanbug4.jpg (66.7 KB, 41 views)
File Type: jpg newmanbug5.jpg (132.7 KB, 31 views)
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Old May 4th, 2010, 09:21 PM   #8
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Default Re: Midengine Bugs...

And the last one.

This car was BEAUTIFUL.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 05:34 AM   #9
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Default Re: Midengine Bugs...

Newman's car is pretty cool, but ZF transaxles are expensive and hard to find. Especially since the kit car guys like them for mid-engine V-8 builds.

As to the orig question, I think you will need to build some type of fabricated frame to use the Subaru front suspension complete. Along with some body mods for the struts. You can probably get shorter struts and not interfere in the package tray area as much. Using a fabricated frame, you can easily build a support bridge for the top of the struts.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 06:43 AM   #10
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Default Re: Midengine Bugs...

Here are some pictures of a Kelmark V8 VW chassis made in the 80's, if I recall right. This will give you an idea how to do a tube frame for a rear / mid engine V8 bug. Looks fairly simple. It uses a corvair tranny and the stock front beam suspension.










Here's a video of a bug using one of those chassis.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6idPptbf97o


Also, check out this build.

http://www.volksrods.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12145


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Old May 5th, 2010, 07:15 AM   #11
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Default Re: Midengine Bugs...

A little bit of this, a little bit of this, and a whole bunch of this and you'll be doin this,piece of cake.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 08:08 AM   #12
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Default Re: Midengine Bugs...

Some additional info...

I was planning on buying a tube frame from a guy on the Samba. The frame would basically be everything in front of the torsion assembly (so i wouldn't use the torsion stuff at all). I would also get a full cage which would protect me as well as give me something to "hold" up the back of the subaru clip. This would also involve cutting out most of the rear package shelf area.


And to answer other questions.....

Midengine plans would definately be interesting. What do you have?

I haven't specificaly checked but I think the distance from the centerline of the axles to the end of the tranny is about 24 inches and there is at least that much "bug" behind the axle centerline. So I will be crossing my fingers untill I get a chance to measure that

The problem with using the torsion parts is the motor needs to sit where the torsion bar goes. So it may still be doable (with coil type springs mounted somewhere else) but may be more trouble than its worth...

As for the shifter, the subaru is tail shifted with a rod. I figure I would have to come up with a custom cable shifter of some sort as I need to change directions and go around the motor.

I saw PJLOval's thread and it is definately helpful as it is basically what I want to do. Hopefully he will chime in with some thoughts/tips.

Shorter struts! Definately interested, would those be from a different car or shortened (custom). I guess I could just use some lowering springs that would help a little bit.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 08:15 AM   #13
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Default Re: Midengine Bugs...

There are also these plans.

http://www.rorty-design.com/content/beetle.htm

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Old May 5th, 2010, 08:40 AM   #14
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Default Re: Midengine Bugs...

You must be like the master of findin shit on the internet. I saw this somewhere else and was tryin to find it. How the hell do you do that so fast??!!
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Old May 5th, 2010, 09:54 AM   #15
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Default Re: Midengine Bugs...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mock1racer View Post
You must be like the master of findin shit on the internet. I saw this somewhere else and was tryin to find it. How the hell do you do that so fast??!!
I remember where a lot of this stuff is on the web.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 02:15 PM   #16
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Default Re: Midengine Bugs...

i have those plans right there.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 02:29 PM   #17
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Default Re: Midengine Bugs...

I think the Subaru setup would be a great way to do one of these builds. I think the easiest way to do it would be to build a cradle to house the engine, trany and rear suspension and tie it all together using a roll cage. You might even be able to use the struts and most of the front suspension. It's been done before by a guy on germanlook.com (board moved) goes by Volkdent. He used a transverse setup but the suspension would be similar. I looked at the Subaru transaxle and it's not much different in length than what I have and if I can get a V8 back there you can get the Subaru. I have my chassis in AutoCad so let me know if you need anything.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 03:55 PM   #18
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Default Re: Midengine Bugs...

i saw a guy on some thread that did a mid engine notch back with the struts from the donor car, i don't remember where i saw it, just do some searching for mid engine notchback
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Old May 5th, 2010, 05:08 PM   #19
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Default Re: Midengine Bugs...

vr6 notchback on here did the mid engine notch.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 07:45 PM   #20
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Default Re: Midengine Bugs...

Here's what I did frame wise before I put the notchback body on, I use two Passat subframes one front one rear I also used the firewall and front strut mounts from the Passat as well as half of the floor. You might run into clearance issues with the struts if you go that way with a Beetle the way the back tapers
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Old May 5th, 2010, 08:14 PM   #21
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Default Re: Midengine Bugs...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rostigbug View Post
I wanna see the build thread on that one!!
Thanks a million CDSCowboy for posting that! I have been a fan of Paul Newman for years (and years)
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Old May 6th, 2010, 11:22 AM   #22
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Default Re: Midengine Bugs...

Quote:
Originally Posted by VR6notchback View Post
Here's what I did frame wise before I put the notchback body on, I use two Passat subframes one front one rear I also used the firewall and front strut mounts from the Passat as well as half of the floor. You might run into clearance issues with the struts if you go that way with a Beetle the way the back tapers
Wow, this is the first time I've seen your project. I just went through your intro/project thread. Very nice solid build.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 12:19 PM   #23
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Default Re: Midengine Bugs...

i've got a pile of crap mid engine notchback... stock trans with flopped ring/pinion. love the way it handles in the twisties!
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Old May 6th, 2010, 04:48 PM   #24
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Default Re: Midengine Bugs...

VR6Notchback, I like your build! So it looks like you used the whole subframe and front suspension (stock width). Are notchbacks wider than bugs up at the top of the fender? What did you do about the steering in the back of the car, to keep the wheels from moving back and forth?


This is the chassis I was thinking to use as a start. I can always cut off the front of it later if I decide to re-design my front suspension. http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=920820


The Rorty design looks like it would be a good way to go as well.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 07:29 PM   #25
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Default Re: Midengine Bugs...

With the Type III the front fenders it covers the strut mounts, barely, they are taller and a bit wider at top. If I were to do a Type 1 I'd go with the torsion bar front end. The Passat VR6 track is about 5 inches wider than either the T1 or T3, front and rear, a non VR6 sub frame is about 2 inches narrower and probably would have fit under the fenders without flares. But I had the "plus" subframe so that's what I used. As far as the rear subframe and the steering, I disassembled one of the steering racks so it was just the bare rack no housing, just the shaft, then slipped a piece of steel tubing over it and welded the tube to the rack, then I made mounts so it bolted up the the factory rack mounts on the subframe, I welded in some braces as well, hate to have the rear of the car coming around when I'm not expecting it.

As far as front suspension, there is an A-Arm front suspension available now from Mendola I think that pretty much bolts up to the stock frame head so if the torsion didn't work out you could still upgrade later. Hot VWs had an article a while back.
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