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Old June 7th, 2010, 09:00 AM   #1
radiotrib
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Default The J-Bug
Re:: Two Virgins and a Sawzall open thread   

I was chatting with someone from here recently and he told me that I ought to open a discussion thread on my project as well as maintaining the intro thread. I'm a bit hesitant, since my workmanship isn't very good, and there are so many other, really fine rods being built over there in the free world, but he insisted that the ways I am attempting to overcome our particular legislation problems in the Netherlands would be of interest ... so here I am ...

For those who don't know me ... my intro thread up to the current state of play is here ...

http://www.volksrods.com/forum/showthread.php?t=28022

The problem with Holland is that the rules are very precise, and very restrictive. The good thing about Holland is that the rules are very precisely defined and restrict the rule keepers as much as the car builders .. so the challenge is to build a 'real' volksrod within the letter of the law, and without compromising the look and feel that makes it a rod.

Problem 1 - Wheelbase cannot be extended
Problem 2 - chassis cannot be modified

Solution to 1 and 2 - shorten the body ...

And that's where I started. The nice men and women at the RDW (the vehicle regulatory body) have been very helpful and told me that what I plan to do is not going to even need an inspection as long as I don't change the wheelbase or the chassis/suspension/transaxle/engine arrangement, and I must keep the heater tubes exactly as they should be ... If I do that, the body can be whatever I like as long as it's not 'open topped' i.e. a cabrio.

So I chopped it, fastened the back of the roof to the C pillars, slid the lower B pillars back to meet the ones on the roof, and shifted the whole of the front back to mate up the A pillars ... upshot being that I get a 9 inch axle extension without using an extender ... downside is that I get a whole new set of metal mashing problems I can't find in many posts on the interweb ... but I'm about here with the body right now ...






and moving forward slowly every weekend.

BTW - I'm fat, 61 yrs old, I work on my own almost all the time, and I don't have a garage, just the corner of someone's boat/store shed with a minimum of workbench surfaces ... so things move forward quite slowly ...

see y'all soon
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Old June 7th, 2010, 10:16 AM   #2
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Default Re: The J-Bug

great work & you seem like a great guy!
I have been hesitant to post pics of my V-rod for the same reason.
I do exacting & perfect work for other people all day and I have run out of patience for that by the time I come home at the end of the day!
So my V-rod is a little rough
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Old June 7th, 2010, 12:05 PM   #3
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heh, your V-rod will be just as cool as the ones with extender.
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Old June 7th, 2010, 03:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: The J-Bug

Looks good so far. I'm pretty sure Tobias did his that way a good while back. Seems to be about the only way to go about it in your area.
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Old June 8th, 2010, 09:58 AM   #5
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Default Re: The J-Bug

Have been following your build for some time now and I'm really looking forward to see how it will turn out. Think being dutch and wanting to build a volksrod too has something to do with it too. So far it's looking great, especially your paintwork.

However, I never got that part in your intro pages about the heater tubes having to be the same lenght as original. That's really interesting. (kind of curious how the RDW explained that to you...) I'll look forward to see you get that sorted. Really cool you wont be needing an inspection too BTW.

Keep up the good work
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Old June 8th, 2010, 12:12 PM   #6
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Default Re: The J-Bug

Thanks for your support everyone ... I'll keep posting as things happen ... I got straight out of work today and back to the boatshed to do more block sanding ... I think I should have the roof in primer by the end of the weekend ...

Hey Excello ... If you want to know about my RDW communications, I posted a summary of them on the sister site at Volksrods UK .. here

http://z13.invisionfree.com/VolksRod...showtopic=4389

If you find out any more .. post it there so it's up for everyone. Pascal (dutchbeetle) has also done a lot of communicating with the RDW (but in Dutch) ans Quibus over on www.keversite.nl has a street-legal volksrod pickup with a lot of RDW info on his project thread. In fasct, the RDW don't want to stop you doing it ... they are really helpful and all they want to do is make sure you stay within the rules (or alternatively they'll let you pay them 2000 euro for a - possibly destructive - torsion test !!!)

Hey Rosti .. Post and be damned ... heheh ... it's a volksrod, and you're an engineer so it's gotta be better than you're letting on :)
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Old June 8th, 2010, 04:44 PM   #7
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Default Re: The J-Bug

Oh cool, I've seen your build on the UK forum but not the technical communication with the RDW. Thanx for the link.

I've read Quibus build a while back so I knew it could be done but always thought it was going to be a lot of work to get things within the rules. But then again Quidus made a cabrio pick-up... Anyway, always thought I was going to build a volksrod but in due time after figuring out every little detail with the RDW, but somehow that little sentence about the heather channels gave me a sort of eureca moment that it's not going to be that hard to build a Volksrod (!!!! the RDW part that is off course....!!!!)

So who ever told you to make an open discusion about your car...good idea. It made my go and find yet another project car and start some email communication with the RDW again.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 03:55 AM   #8
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Default Re: The J-Bug

@excello - Great stuff ... If you need help - photos, stories, gotchas, problems, just let me know ... There are a couple of pickups currently being built in the Netherlands too (doing it the Quibus way) so in a year or so there might even be enough Keverods to invade Budel ... BWAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA .... But seriously .... Cruising with a couple of other rods is really something for me to look forward to when its done :)

I'm in Den Haag. If you ever get this far south you can always drop me an SMSje and we can hook up (phone number is in a PM), then you can come over and check out the build .... I sugest you get the information together as I did, and write a nice friendly letter to the RDW. There's no substitute for having evidence in in writing when the nosy man in a red, blue and white stops you on the snelweg and starts asking difficult questions :)

... but ain't you got enough on your plate with that subaru EJ20 turbo powered VW 1302 ????????

For my US roding brother'n'sisters .. this is Budel ... YouTube- VW Beetle Meeting Holland budel !!!!!!!!!! ... YouTube- BEAUTIFUL BUDEL 2008-OVERZICHT ... there are lots of other examples on the web.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 01:01 PM   #9
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Default Re: The J-Bug

I still get a buzz out of seeing the vid of my third brake lights flashing on and off in the fan shroud :) ... I've improved on the final finish since that video was shot too - the front of the shroud is a lot flatter/cleaner and the lights are much less obvious when they're off .. but

YouTube- Volksrod Third Brake Light
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Old June 10th, 2010, 11:42 AM   #10
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Default Re: The J-Bug

looks realy good and like the way around your M.O.T... with the 9 inch section out of the side are you going to relocate the pedal assembly and shifter? would that be considered a chassis mod?
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Old June 10th, 2010, 12:54 PM   #11
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Default Re: The J-Bug

Well moving the pedals will involve installing a whole new pedal box with hydraulics .. so no structural changes there, and I may just make a long, curved shifter like one of the old Hurst slick-Shifts and leave it exactly where it is right now :)

Got sick of dolloping on bondo and then scraping it off again so I officially declared the roof 'not getting any better' and hit it with hi-build ... wet sanding at the weekend I think ... need to get rid of all the embalmed mosquitos :)


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Old June 12th, 2010, 12:52 PM   #12
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Default Re: The J-Bug

MY ADAPERS ARE FINISHED !!!



Thanks to Mester-D from the UK Volksrodding Scene I now have a custom built, complete set of aluminium Porsche 5x130mm => 30's Ford 5x5.5 inch adapters to mount my Ford wire wheels on the Porsche pattern brake disks. The wheel to adapter connection uses the standard bug bolts, so to protect the aluminium Paul made steel inserts for the threaded holes ... and he even machined the other 20 nuts out of bar stock ... You don't get that with a cheap chinese import :)



All the adapters are hub-centric for the porsche hubs, and the rears are also flanged to support the Model A wheel centers. (Fronts don't need that coz they're British, Model Y Ford 17 inch x 3.5 wires)



If you're in Europe, and you want a set or a pair of special, or odd-sized or just top quality, craftsman-made wheel adapters, Paul is a great source.. Let me know and I'll put you in touch.
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Old June 13th, 2010, 10:58 AM   #13
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Default Re: The J-Bug

Just dobbing on bondo and scraping it off again this week. Oh .. and I closed the petrol filler hole in the front ... so just out of interest and so I can still post a photo .. here's the workplace ...

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Old June 17th, 2010, 01:57 PM   #14
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Default Re: The J-Bug

Those adapters look really good, and not that expensive from what I get from the keversite. But do you have a picture of the wheels? Curious how they look like. And what kind of discs are you going to use for the front, porsche 944 ones or beetle discs with 5x130.

BTW, picked up a victim for my volksrod project yesterday
So next is sending some e-mails to the RDW.
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Old June 17th, 2010, 03:02 PM   #15
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Congrats on getting the victim ... erm ... target vehicle ... You can always come over to Boskoop if you want to poke around any time. Just let me know enough in advance ...

Rear brakes are porsche 944 disks and the fronts are standard beetle disks with 5x130. Thew wheels look like the ones on this rod ...



but the rears are being banded out to 8 1/2 inches so they'll be a bit fatter than the ones on Dale's rod, that's why the braking is being biased toward the rear .. 4 1/2 inch motor cycle tyres on the front aren't gonna be all that grippy but the fatties on the back should help when I have to sling out the anchor.
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Old June 17th, 2010, 04:34 PM   #16
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Default Re: The J-Bug

Hey you guys in the Netherlands are really gettin' it dialed in!! I for 1 am very impressed with your work and the shows and cars over there. Currently we are building my RPU (roaster Pick-up) at my friend bugdust's shop and he is one fantastic metal worker. I am no welder but been into vw's since I was a teenager. We're having a garage thrash next weekend at Bugdust's shop and several members from here are coming to help us get my car closer to completion. My other car, the li'l bitch is the donor for the motor, brake parts, seats, mirrors, and some other items I'll need. Plus I have a parts stash that I've spent a few hundred good ol' American dollars on, and soon this one will be on the road. You can see what we're up to at the thread "Zim's RPU", and pics of my li'l bitch in my pic album, Zim's ride.....a new beginning. Just wanted to to tell you I like your stuff and hope to see more of it on here. Laterzzzzzzz.
Zim
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Old June 30th, 2010, 10:24 AM   #17
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Default Re: The J-Bug

Thanks Zim ... That RPU is real nice ...

I don't feel like I'm making much progress at the moment ... but little bit by little bit ... I'm plodding along ...

patching up is so fiddly and time consuming ... Took me hours just to do this bit ...

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Old July 4th, 2010, 09:12 AM   #18
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I bin a stitchin'



... and I got my disk brakes too




Onward and upward :) .......
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Old July 4th, 2010, 06:07 PM   #19
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can I get a good side shot of your beast? been waiting to see how it came out
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Old July 4th, 2010, 11:56 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VDubBubba View Post
can I get a good side shot of your beast? been waiting to see how it came out
I'm afraid the one at the top of this thread is the best I've got right now ...

It still has to be channeled by 60mm at the B pillar and 70mm at the A pillar yet ... and I have never mounted the body on the chassis since I got it all on a trailer.

If you want to see more build detail ... I've put a link to my intro thread in my signature
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Old July 8th, 2010, 12:15 PM   #21
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Default Re: The J-Bug

Squeezed in a couple of hours after work today ... another baby step closer ...



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Old July 12th, 2010, 02:03 AM   #22
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Started preparing to channel the bug this weekend .. bit of a SNAFU but OK in the end ...

This is an odd one because I can't do it the way most people do ... by removing the heater boxes, because if I want to keep within the law, I either have to replace them with equivalent box section or keep them intact so that all my mods are restricted to the body itself. To do that I have to lower the body over the existing heater boxes .... in fact, I actually do have to do a sort of VW equivalent of traditional hot rod channeling.

I decided to drop the body 70mm at the A pillars and 60mm at the B pillars to give it a subtle but noticeable rake. I started on the passenger side this week. Here's the A pillar with the bit removed ...



The A pillar is pretty strong and has a thick plate inside, so dropping that down won't worry me unduly. I think it can support the load (well that's how it did it before I cut it !!) ... but ...
the B pillar is fairly flimsy inside and relies more on the flanges which are welded to the heater box. I also wanted to keep the side quarter panel intact and bring it down to hide the heater channel on the outside, so a bit of creative cutting was required, and a nice stiff brace to support it ...



but then .... SNAFU !!! I welded the brace in place, but fitted it so that the bottom of the brace was lined up with the lower part of the cut-out instead of the higher bit ... see ...



... and of course, by the time I realized that, the whole thing was solid metal and there was no way I could undo what I'd done. So instead I cut the whole lot out and shifted it up 15mm and added an extra bit of support to fit the step in the heater channel ...



So ... onward and upward .. one baby step at a time ...
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Old July 16th, 2010, 03:34 AM   #23
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I just couldn't resist showing this off ... mester-D (Paul of Custom Billet Co. in the UK) has just completed a special commission for Mörkrieger Tuning ... It's the hand machined, idler wheel for the serpentine belt system on my engine. It's only small, but it means a lot to me ... a Mörkrieger engine all of my own ... coming soon !!

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Old July 28th, 2010, 02:35 AM   #24
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GONE !!



2 more serious cuts and a bit of trimming and the 3 inch channel job is ready for the remount on Sunday !!!

Bit of drama though ... I had the whole back end supported on a couple of roof jacks while I separated the cross-member. They aren't too stable, and as I removed the saw horse from underneath the back the body wobbled a bit ... I nipped around the back to put it asuare again and I must have lifted a little .. next thing I know the roof jacks had fallen away and I was left standing ... alone ... supporting the back end of the body in a half-press ... too far away from the main house to be heard by the 65 yr old lady who lives there .... erm ... OOPS ...

Fortunately I never remove the safety supports until the others are in place ... so I managed to kick the saw horse back under and lower the body down again .. but hey ... MEMO TO SELF ... Next time, stick the roof jacks to the body with duct tape to stop them wandering off alone ....
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Old August 2nd, 2010, 02:25 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VDubBubba View Post
can I get a good side shot of your beast? been waiting to see how it came out
It's Sunday ... It's August 1st ... and with a hand from four Dutch Beetle Peeple I made my deadline ... Yesss .. The J-Bug on the chassis for the first time.

The day wasn't without its problems .. getting B-quality replacement panels to match up to the old shell involved making quite a few on-the-fly final fine adjustments with the angle grinder, a lot of cussing, a silent prayer and a big hammer ... the back end went up and down more than Clinton's ass on a Whitehouse intern ... I lost count ... and there are still finer adjustments yet to be made ... but I can do that at my leisure now the big job is done ...

And here it is - the first time this body has sat on a chassis for 7 years and 3 owners ... I used one of my paint test hoods to fill the hole. I have a long nose for the real thing ...



You can see I have a bit of fabrication work to match the front wheel well to the heater tubes now the body has been moved back so far. Got a hole to fill, and the shapes to mate up, then pieces to make to join it all together smoothly.

But I think I've nailed the proportions ... It's just how I wanted it to look ...





I'm overwhelmed with emotion .. it was a hell of a day ...
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