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Old May 16th, 2012, 05:35 PM   #1
71vdub
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Default Budget Rotary Beetle Build

Hey guys, got my hands on a decent beetle project for $100. HAS A TITLE . Its a 71 Super Sunroof. It needs a new key though, lost the old one. hasn't moved from where i dragged it out of since 1987, and the 4 wheels were all locked up (nothing a winch couldn't break free!). Anyway, I got it home, cleaned it up, washed it, and did some temporary "detailing" . Anyway, just pulled the motor out today and have a confirmed $450 coming my way, so I am in the market for an RX7 rotary adapter from Kennedy Engineering. I have a friend with a couple RX7's that I am getting. One is rusty and has no title but runs, and that motor is going in the beetle. So, ultimately, I'll have $550 invested in it total with the motor mounted. Then I figure another $300 for radiator tubing and lines and oil lines, plus misc. stuff that I'll need/want. So, for under a grand I could have a running, driving, titled, RX7 beetle. Enough of the jibber-jabber, heres some pics!























And mucho thanks to my slightly irregular friend Conner for his help in lifting/pulling the motor:


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Old May 16th, 2012, 05:42 PM   #2
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Default Re: Budget Rotary Beetle Build

if you run a jeep cherokee radiator in the back package tray area it just fits. The radiator hoses are in a relatively good location as well. The rotary is a finiky bitch in a bug. I solved all the issues with mine but blew the motor before i had to much road time. I did do alot of donuts in the yard before it went capute. Run a heat shield between the car and header or it will vapor lock
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Old May 16th, 2012, 05:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: Budget Rotary Beetle Build

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if you run a jeep cherokee radiator in the back package tray area it just fits. The radiator hoses are in a relatively good location as well. The rotary is a finiky bitch in a bug. I solved all the issues with mine but blew the motor before i had to much road time. I did do alot of donuts in the yard before it went capute. Run a heat shield between the car and header or it will vapor lock
Thanks for the tips. If I need advice Its nice to know theres someone here who went through the same thing. What year Cherokee radiator works? Do you still have your flywheel and adapter from yours? If so, are you looking to sell them?
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Old May 16th, 2012, 05:57 PM   #4
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Default Re: Budget Rotary Beetle Build

Put some money into brakes,
pay attention to the hoses and hard lines.
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Old May 16th, 2012, 06:02 PM   #5
71vdub
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Default Re: Budget Rotary Beetle Build

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Put some money into brakes,
pay attention to the hoses and hard lines.
Will do. I need the brakes done anyways, they werent working when parked 20 years ago, had a leak then...
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Old May 16th, 2012, 06:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: Budget Rotary Beetle Build

Might as well replace everything.

And take a look inside the fuel tank.
The tank and line might be corroded as well.
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Old May 16th, 2012, 06:10 PM   #7
71vdub
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Default Re: Budget Rotary Beetle Build

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Might as well replace everything.

And take a look inside the fuel tank.
The tank and line might be corroded as well.
The rubber lines are crap, they crumble in my hands. its getting new fuel lines at the least. the tank is coming out tomorrow and its getting a good look over
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Old May 16th, 2012, 06:32 PM   #8
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Default Re: Budget Rotary Beetle Build

I have a 12a rotary in mine and love it. It is the fastest vw beetle I ever owned and my last beetle had a 1835 with dual carbs.
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Old May 16th, 2012, 06:38 PM   #9
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I have a 12a rotary in mine and love it. It is the fastest vw beetle I ever owned and my last beetle had a 1835 with dual carbs.
Nice! Mind if i pick your brain for a minute? How hard was the swap, generally speaking? How did you get the engine in, cut the apron or go in from under? What did you have to do for the exhaust? Where do you have your radiator mounted? and oil cooler?
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Old May 17th, 2012, 03:32 AM   #10
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Default Re: Budget Rotary Beetle Build

OK let's inventory what you have to work with
1) SBW/title-no motor
2) two RX-7s - running & no title
3) kids
4) a place to build it
IF YOU ALSO HAVE
5) sawz-all
6) flux core MIG

let me suggest you put the SB body on the "best" RX-7

Let's walk through this.....
The SB & RX are both rear wheel drive and strut front suspension W/ R&P steering
Both are uni-body construction
IMHO
unbolt the SB body,
get a bunch of sawz-all blades and
Start cutting pieceses off of the RX-7 untill the SB body settles down on top of it.
the rest is easy
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Old May 17th, 2012, 03:56 AM   #11
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[ATTACH]Attachment 32939[/ATTACH]
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Old May 17th, 2012, 05:20 AM   #12
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Default Re: Budget Rotary Beetle Build

I did not think NC cars got so rusty, is that a northern car?

Also on your money estimates, double what you think and it will be closer to reality. Still $2000 would be cheap fun.
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Old May 17th, 2012, 05:37 AM   #13
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Default Re: Budget Rotary Beetle Build

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Originally Posted by 71vdub View Post
Nice! Mind if i pick your brain for a minute? How hard was the swap, generally speaking? How did you get the engine in, cut the apron or go in from under? What did you have to do for the exhaust? Where do you have your radiator mounted? and oil cooler?
Mine is a litle different as the engine is up front and the radiator is in the back.



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Old May 17th, 2012, 07:31 AM   #14
71vdub
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Default Re: Budget Rotary Beetle Build

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Originally Posted by rostigbug View Post
OK let's inventory what you have to work with
1) SBW/title-no motor
2) two RX-7s - running & no title
3) kids
4) a place to build it
IF YOU ALSO HAVE
5) sawz-all
6) flux core MIG

let me suggest you put the SB body on the "best" RX-7

Let's walk through this.....
The SB & RX are both rear wheel drive and strut front suspension W/ R&P steering
Both are uni-body construction
IMHO
unbolt the SB body,
get a bunch of sawz-all blades and
Start cutting pieceses off of the RX-7 untill the SB body settles down on top of it.
the rest is easy
Really think thats easier/cheaper? I mean, they sell a kit to bolt the motor straight up. But I see your point. Is there a thread on how this is done? and Also, the kids are me and my friend Conner. I have the glasses and hat, I'm 17. My friend Conner is the one wearing the hood as a hat. I'll be doing the work, Conner will be helping. I have 10 years of mechanical experience already

Last edited by 71vdub; May 17th, 2012 at 08:42 AM.
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Old May 17th, 2012, 08:58 AM   #15
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Default Re: Budget Rotary Beetle Build

To know if a bug body will fit the RX, measure the wheel base center to center and width.
I would think it easier to do engine swap and mods.

Good luck with it. Nice to see someone so young doing something like this.
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My attraction to volksrods is that these are bottom-feeders where things are still real ... people scraping together parts, doing their own work and often on a tight budget. Real hot rodding is still alive here.
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Old May 17th, 2012, 09:45 AM   #16
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Default Re: Budget Rotary Beetle Build

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But I see your point. Is there a thread on how this is done?


Wheelbase is close, RX7 is 900 mm wider,
on the tread width.

Plus, the rocker boxes (structural) are significantly
wider that the Type 1.


My guess, is it has never been done.
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Old May 17th, 2012, 10:20 AM   #17
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Default Re: Budget Rotary Beetle Build

Volks-Swap rotary Conversion

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Old May 17th, 2012, 11:16 AM   #18
71vdub
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Default Re: Budget Rotary Beetle Build

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To know if a bug body will fit the RX, measure the wheel base center to center and width.
I would think it easier to do engine swap and mods.

Good luck with it. Nice to see someone so young doing something like this.
Honestly I'm just gonna pull the motor and buy the kit, then mount it. Hardest part will be running exhaust properly. I'm thinking of routing it under the car and forward, and out right under the doors like a muscle car, or right out behind the front wheels. And thanks, Mechanics is my hobby and passion.
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Old May 17th, 2012, 11:26 AM   #19
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Default Re: Budget Rotary Beetle Build

Quote:
Originally Posted by 71vdub
Mechanics is my hobby and passion.
GOOD! cuz you will find out, vws need a mechanic all the time , and not just for the motor either
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My attraction to volksrods is that these are bottom-feeders where things are still real ... people scraping together parts, doing their own work and often on a tight budget. Real hot rodding is still alive here.
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Old May 17th, 2012, 11:32 AM   #20
71vdub
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Default Re: Budget Rotary Beetle Build

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GOOD! cuz you will find out, vws need a mechanic all the time , and not just for the motor either
Tell me about it . I have a lot of work to do on this beetle. Needs the battery bay replaced (battery falling through the floor) but the rest of the pans are solid. Also needs breaks done, gas tank cleaned and lines replaced, the throttle is stuck solid, and there is no key, so a locked steering column. But, I have the lock code so I'll be getting a key. Do you happen to know a good place that can make me a key from the code?
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Old May 17th, 2012, 11:41 AM   #21
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Default Re: Budget Rotary Beetle Build

Check with a GOOD locksmith. Not just a place that makes/copies keys. I've had to get special keys for my bay.
Had a key ordered in and made for my bug, it's now inside the door til I get around to replacing it

But they should be able to order in the correct key and be able to make one. But they may ask you to take the tumbler out so they can do it.
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Quote:
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My attraction to volksrods is that these are bottom-feeders where things are still real ... people scraping together parts, doing their own work and often on a tight budget. Real hot rodding is still alive here.
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Old May 17th, 2012, 11:43 AM   #22
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Default Re: Budget Rotary Beetle Build

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GOOD! cuz you will find out, vws need a mechanic all the time , and not just for the motor either
No shit! I cant drive mine 2 days in a row without something going wrong.
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Old May 17th, 2012, 11:46 AM   #23
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Default Re: Budget Rotary Beetle Build

Maybe should read the thread 'embarrassing things that happened to you, while driving'

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Quote:
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My attraction to volksrods is that these are bottom-feeders where things are still real ... people scraping together parts, doing their own work and often on a tight budget. Real hot rodding is still alive here.
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Old May 17th, 2012, 01:27 PM   #24
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Default Re: Budget Rotary Beetle Build

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No shit! I cant drive mine 2 days in a row without something going wrong.
Could be worse. Your engine could fallout while youare driving.... I'm sure that never happened to ANYONE in here before....
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Old May 17th, 2012, 01:44 PM   #25
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Default Re: Budget Rotary Beetle Build

HEHEEHE very true. Yeah I cant think of any one that has happened to....? hehe.
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