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Old December 12th, 2010, 12:43 PM   #1
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Default My Rod-o-awesome build
Re:: Its gonna take a lot to make her pretty   

This will be the most boring thread ever, I promise. It will be full of blackberry pictures and probably slow as all fuck progress.

But I secured a beetle at the shop I've been working at. Its pretty shitty, but its got all of what I need, and enough parts still on/in it that the shop owner is pretty much giving it to me.

I have about 320 days to finish this thing. Its time to go buy cut off wheels and welding wire.

This is about what I'm going for, but with a beam extension and a conventional beam and a few other differences:



Right now the plans are for a 2332 for power. and the body is getting chopped 3", b-pillar 9", a-pillar 7-8", and c-pillar to whatever matches up nicely and gets the rear window to where I want it.

Its a 70. It also has a sunroof, which is getting cut out and replaced with a rag top section. I need to replace the floor pans and part of the rear pass. body between the door and the fender area before I start chopping anything. All the parts are at the shop, just need to make time to clear up a lift and spend the night at the shop and knock it all out at once.

After the pans are in and the body repairs finished I'll do the body chop, then pull the body and clean up the chassis and do the rear susp/trans raise (4-5") and get the beam extension on (need to buy still). Then its time for the real fun part.

With any luck I'll have all the motor parts ordered soon-ish, the boss man is letting me order everything at cost, so that's fucking awesome. I'm hoping to snag a dual Weber 44 set-up he pulled off of someones bus, the carbs need to be rebuilt, so if I can get them cleaned up and rebuilt and working properly that could be a sweet score, and save me a shit ton of money. I also had an idea about running a single 4-barrel, but I feel that might be too American, and I'd also be tempted to turbo it then as well, and i really don't NEED that.

The beam extension is suppose to lower 2.5" and with drop spindles and tire size I think that might get me low enough in the front, the suspension and trans raise should get the ass end down good and low, and still keep the engine a safe distance off the ground without a lot of camber on the rear wheels (still need to figure out tires for the rear).

I'm going to try and cut down the stock seats and make them work, but that might be a bit of a stretch, if that doesn't work out then i'll figure something out.

Other than the motor, I'm trying to do this as cheaply as possible, without making too many sacrifices.

Oh, I'm thinking I should put some line-locks on it too. Just because.

Here is what I have done right now.



















excuse the pictures. My Blackberry doesn't make the best camera.

It looks close to this right now:





I started filling in the roof, Its coming along ok, I'm going to have to spend some time smashing it with hammers in order to get the curves to line up right. But I don't think it should be too bad.

With any luck I can get the roof done in the next week or two and then move on to figuring how much to raise the rear. Luckily the boss has a set of wheels with the same size tire as I'm planning on using so I can use those for figuring everything out. 32" vintage drag tires ended up being way too expensive, so I'm defaulting to a more readily available "highway sport" truck tire for the back.

I'm on the fence about the body chop. As of right now I'm planing on using stock seats chopped down, and bolted straight to the floor, and that only gives me about an inch of head room. Once I get the new floor pans in there I'm going to play around with seating arrangements and see how much head room I can reasonably get with the rag top closed. If I can manage to get 2" out of the body then I'll do it, right now I have it marked for 3", but I don't think I'll fit in it if I do that.

Last edited by MrChainsaw; February 24th, 2011 at 06:09 AM.
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Old December 12th, 2010, 01:44 PM   #2
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Default Re: My '70 Rod project

320 days and counting...good luck! You're off to a great start...so no slacking off(like me!) Keep us posted!
Aloha
p.s. the blackberry works fine!
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Old December 12th, 2010, 02:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: My '70 Rod project

Looking like an awesome project there.

Since you're on a tight budget it might help to calculate in some hidden costs - the stuff you don't really think about. With that much bodywork, it won't take long to run through $200 or more in welding wire, gas, sandpaper, body filler, rattle can primer, etc.

Have you considered moving the seats back and laying them back, too. This will get your legs extended better with dropped seats and will be the way to get the headroom you need. You might be ditching those stock seats ... you can pick up a couple inches without a cushion.
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Old December 12th, 2010, 02:38 PM   #4
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Looking like an awesome project there.

Since you're on a tight budget it might help to calculate in some hidden costs - the stuff you don't really think about. With that much bodywork, it won't take long to run through $200 or more in welding wire, gas, sandpaper, body filler, rattle can primer, etc.

Have you considered moving the seats back and laying them back, too. This will get your legs extended better with dropped seats and will be the way to get the headroom you need. You might be ditching those stock seats ... you can pick up a couple inches without a cushion.
Luckily I have a Harbor Freight right down the road from the shop, and welding wire and grinder wheels are pretty cheap there, although I have already gone through about 30 bucks of each so far.

I'm also not calculating A LOT of small parts. The shop I'm doing all of this at has so much random shit laying around that I probably won't have to spend a dime on switches or gauges or anything like that.

The plan for the seats as of now is to take the stock highback seats, cut the mounts off, so the bottoms look more like Ghia seats, and bolt those straight to the floor. And then cut th backs off, taking out the head support and replacing it with a straight bar and welding the backs to the bottoms, at whatever angle makes me fit in the car (6').

I'm kinda doing this mostly to have fun, and since I finished my motorcycle, I wanted to do something bigger and a bit more complicated than just shaving the engine bay on my rabbit. That and I've wanted an aircooled for a while, but I'm never happy with just having something. I have to have something and take it apart and change a bunch of stuff on it before I feel like I own it.
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Old December 14th, 2010, 08:04 AM   #5
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Default Re: My '70 Rod project

Paid for the beam extension last night, and with any luck I might have a motors worth of stuff headed my way by the end of the week. Then I just have to convince my boss that its a good idea to let me steal a whole bay at the shop for a couple days so I can get the floor pans done and some of the smaller body work.
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Old December 14th, 2010, 12:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: My '70 Rod project

nice chop!! lol
going to be fun at traffic lights
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Old December 14th, 2010, 09:03 PM   #7
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nice chop!! lol
going to be fun at traffic lights
Yeah, I sat in it AFTER I welded the top back on. I'm not going to be able to see anything within 10 feet of the front of the car, on the ground. I'll have to open the rag top in order to see traffic lights.
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Old February 20th, 2011, 09:50 AM   #8
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Got tail lights:



And here is pretty much whats been done in the last couple of weeks.











Did some more work the last couple of days. I think the pictures pretty much explain it all:









and a mock up. Of course it will have ground clearance, and bigger rear wheels (these are 26" diameter, mine will be 29")



and a test fit:



and what I got for spending most of the afternoon welding:



I went a little bit in a different direction with raising the rear suspension/trans/motor/bullshit. Its not the way I've seen it done a couple of times before, but it seemed to make sense, and once its braced as much as it's going to be I don't think it will be any less safe than any of the other alternatives, not that this car is even going to be anywhere near safe in the first place. I'll just drive it slow till it proves itself. It will also make the inside look like more of a space ship once I get the tunnel finished off with some smooth sheet metal pieces to cover everything.

Drop spindles are on their way, everything to freshen up the suspension and the brakes will be ordered on Monday and hopefully installed by the end of the week. Then I just need to dig some heater channels out of the shop storage and get those on, and cut 2" out of the body and then it'll look like a car again. I guess I need to order tires soon too...
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Old February 20th, 2011, 06:38 PM   #9
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Default Re: My '70 Rod project

sweet trans lift. just curious as to which vin you're going to use? hahaha
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Old February 21st, 2011, 06:31 AM   #10
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sweet trans lift. just curious as to which vin you're going to use? hahaha
Well... the one on the bottom is completely covered up now...and we actually HAVE a title for the one on top... So I think I'm going to go with that one
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Old March 8th, 2011, 05:50 AM   #11
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Default Re: My '70 Rod project

Front end is together, and the whole chassis rolls now!!

front brakes are together, just waiting on adapters for the rear so I can get tires for the back and rebuild the brakes back there and get all the lines run.

Need to find a passenger side heater channel to seal up too, driver side is done. I'm probably about 5 hours of work from putting the body on. Soooo excited.





Test fitted the wrong master cylinder whe I put in the supports, oopsie.

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Old March 8th, 2011, 06:02 AM   #12
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Wholy sh*t.. look at the size of the NUMBERS on that tape measure!!
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Old March 8th, 2011, 06:03 AM   #13
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PS, Looks like a fairly nice caddy pick-up in the background...!
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Old March 8th, 2011, 02:04 PM   #14
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The caddy isn't too bad, its a work truck for sure though, not pretty, but diesel, and running. haha.

got this done up today.



Maybe by the end of the week I'll have the center channel done too.
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Old March 10th, 2011, 05:35 AM   #15
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Default Re: My '70 Rod project

Like the way your doing your rear suspension, kinda what I had in mind for mine next winter

I gave up driving a Caddy so I could drive a Bug again



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Old March 10th, 2011, 04:53 PM   #16
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Like the way your doing your rear suspension, kinda what I had in mind for mine next winter

I gave up driving a Caddy so I could drive a Bug again



a caddy is one of the few watercooled vws worth owning that I havn't owned yet. Now that I have a single cab though, if i hold on to it for any extended period of time, I probably won't ever think of getting a caddy.

right now i'm waiting on some funds (and to find some 4 to wide-5 adapters *cough anyone cough*) so i can get the rear tires on, finish the brakes, and get the body on. I have like 3 hours of fab/welding to do to finish up the rear raise, and i still need to finalize what I'm doing with the tunnel, but give me a couple hours with a grinder and the welder and I'll figure that out.

Just stuck between "make money" and "make rod" right now.
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Old March 11th, 2011, 12:11 PM   #17
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Default Re: My '70 Rod project

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What welder and wire are you using and how do you have it set? Is it amp hungry maybe? I ask because it looks like you may not be getting enough penetration. There is a lot of weld build up which is OK if you made two passes, but if you didn't it might be just laying on the surface. And even it was a two-pass weld, it should be laying flatter than that. You want your bead to sink in and lay nice and even. You know, "row of nickels". Since you're welding critical suspension support pieces you may want to get an experienced buddy or a pro to give it a look. Hard to tell from photos and maybe it's all fine, but just sayin'. I suspect you built in the diagonal framework because you aren't real confident in the strength of your welds. This is an area where you want it to be right.

Also have to tell you that with that piece missing out of the diagonal the remaining framework probably won't accomplish anything. Not trying to be a prick, just hate to see this thing disassemble on you at 70 mph.
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Old March 11th, 2011, 07:24 PM   #18
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What welder and wire are you using and how do you have it set? Is it amp hungry maybe? I ask because it looks like you may not be getting enough penetration. There is a lot of weld build up which is OK if you made two passes, but if you didn't it might be just laying on the surface. And even it was a two-pass weld, it should be laying flatter than that. You want your bead to sink in and lay nice and even. You know, "row of nickels". Since you're welding critical suspension support pieces you may want to get an experienced buddy or a pro to give it a look. Hard to tell from photos and maybe it's all fine, but just sayin'. I suspect you built in the diagonal framework because you aren't real confident in the strength of your welds. This is an area where you want it to be right.

Also have to tell you that with that piece missing out of the diagonal the remaining framework probably won't accomplish anything. Not trying to be a prick, just hate to see this thing disassemble on you at 70 mph.
The supports are more for looks than actual funtion.

The first weld actually has good penetration and the whole roll of nickles thing. I went over it side to side like that after wards to kind of smooth it out and put some more metal on there because originally I was thinking of sanding it down and smoothing it out.

I'm using a Lincoln MIG with argon/co2 and copper wire. Its not the best, and it can be a little touchy, but if everything is cleaned up good it usually performs pretty decent. I welded the strut mounts for my rabbit on with it, and those have held together since July seeing daily abuse on the shitty richmond roads and a couple road trips.

My welding isn't the prettiest, but so far, I've never had any reason to doubt it.

And thanks for the concern, seriously.
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Old March 11th, 2011, 07:27 PM   #19
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Oh yeah, did some more work today. Mostly just aesthetics, waiting to put it on a lift to finish the supports for the rear and box everything in back there from underneath.







little mock up of the shifter rod


and a p-shop of what I'm thinking about doing with the tunnel:

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Old March 12th, 2011, 09:24 AM   #20
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if everything is cleaned up good it usually performs pretty decent.

Ummmm...




I really dig your project and I can see you're a really ambitious guy, just saying you might want to slow down a bit and be sure critical components do get the proper prep and welding.

It looks like you're not getting enough amps or you have way too fast wire speed. It's not much of an issue (other than making it a lot harder to weld) on bodywork, but with suspension components it matters a lot.

OK,I'll shut up now.
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Old March 12th, 2011, 01:49 PM   #21
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Ummmm...




I really dig your project and I can see you're a really ambitious guy, just saying you might want to slow down a bit and be sure critical components do get the proper prep and welding.

It looks like you're not getting enough amps or you have way too fast wire speed. It's not much of an issue (other than making it a lot harder to weld) on bodywork, but with suspension components it matters a lot.

OK,I'll shut up now.
No, its cool man, I'd rather have someone say something than not. I cleaned where I welded with a wire wheel down to bare shiny metal, the flat parts of the bulkhead I welded from the bottom first. I also cleaned those areas up with a wire wheel before I welded them, the weld from the bottom got good penetration, I put a bead on the top just to fill it all out, and just because I can't see how a little extra metal would hurt. I didn't take pictures of every step, but I SWEAR I did do it. No one wants to keep this thing from falling apart more than I do.

That particular piece has a bead that seemed the two pieces together and then another, much wider bead, on top of it, the wider bead has a lot of metal in it, it took me a while to do because of the heat of each stitch. Its not there because the first bead sucked, its there because I wanted to fill the area so I could grind it smooth using only the metal that is there, and also because its a critical suspension point and I figured a little extra weld would be a little extra security.

Amps are up (D out of A-D), wire speed is fairly low (3-5), cleaning the hell out of where I ground (and keeping the ground as close to the welding area as possible). I'm making sure the bead seats down in the metal well, the beads I can see from both sides have been going all the way through.. I've cleaned up all the welds with a wire wheel before painting over them, and some of them i've ground down smooth. Haven't had any critical beads with air pockets or cracks or anything in them, and none of them have separated from the metal.

We can keep going all day if you want, I really don't mind, I'm not going to get offended. I'm by no means a welder by profession nor do I have a vast amount of experience welding. I could probably use a few lessons to be honest, everything I've learned about MIG welding has been pretty much self taught. I learned to TIG aluminum a few years back, but haven't done it since.

Maybe I just really have no clue what I'm doing, I was under the impression I wasn't fucking up. But maybe I am.
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Old March 12th, 2011, 02:17 PM   #22
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So far so good! The work at the back end looks hell for stout. You going to leave the rear side windows tapering to a point? I like the look.
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Old March 12th, 2011, 05:28 PM   #23
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So far so good! The work at the back end looks hell for stout. You going to leave the rear side windows tapering to a point? I like the look.
I also think that quarter window looks way cool that way.

Sounds like you're doing a good job on everything, I was just tossing a yellow flag. Suspension stuff is life and death stuff.

Carry on. I'm enjoying watching this come together.
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Old March 12th, 2011, 06:43 PM   #24
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I also think that quarter window looks way cool that way.

Sounds like you're doing a good job on everything, I was just tossing a yellow flag. Suspension stuff is life and death stuff.

Carry on. I'm enjoying watching this come together.
Thanks man, I hear ya, no hard feelings.

The rear window will get rounded out in the back a little. I still have to cut the rear fender well out of the body, which won't happen till I have the actual rear wheels/tires on the chassis, and the body on. But it shouldn't change in shape much.
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Old March 18th, 2011, 03:41 PM   #25
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I did all of this garbage in the last week or so.. Its pretty self explanatory. Feel free to make up your own captions if you must.

Yes, I did use the grinder trick on the tires. They are 235/75 15s that I got from the junkyard, they are temps till it is done, they are within .5" of the tire diameter that I will be running so they will allow me to get the body on and cut to where it needs to be so everything fits in final form. I just need 4 lug to wide 5 adapters to put them on. (hint)

The shift rod will be painted with some sort of brassish metallic paint and the area where its exposed will be covered with some perforated sheet metal that looks like a heat shield from a gun.

























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