View Full Version : Dont panic build thread?

June 1st 2009, 19:18
Hey guys, Im a long time lerker here at Germanlook, and I have a 71 super that I bought when I was 18. I'm 24 now and I drove the bugger once before I tore it down. I did tons of researching and probing in this forum and others to figure out what parts work, without posting stupid questions! haha.

Anyways, Im going to come back to this with more recent photo's and specs.
Unfortunatly I didnt take photo's before I started working, and very few inbetween but Im going to make an effort to document it a bit more.
The car was purchased in Hamilton, I think I'm the third owner, but I could be wrong. I got it in candy red paint with huge blisters and generally run down for 800$...
So far, I'v done most of the sheet metal work, a pan, heater channel on the passanger side, quarter bottoms, inner fenders, strut towers so on so forth.
That was just the beginning though.. haha I'll post the photos I have.






June 1st 2009, 19:38
Looks like it's going to be a Nice Build....
where is that car now Still in Hamilton?? would love to come by and See it :D

keep Posting Pics and Specs


June 1st 2009, 21:03
Hey, great start! It's always good to see another one underway!

What do you have in mind for a motor?

June 2nd 2009, 05:10
Great start (I can only see the first piccy) keep the others coming.

June 2nd 2009, 14:01
Looks like you are well on tour way to a great ride. Keep the updates coming.

June 2nd 2009, 15:52
Looks like you're pretty far along already, can't wait to see more progress! Looks like you got a good setup on the front suspension, what are you doing for the rear? Got any goals for the finished project?

June 2nd 2009, 23:02
Hey guys, thanks for the feedback,
For starters, I live in Burlington, so the car didn't have to go far :)

The motor is up in the air at the moment. Im going to run the original 1600 for a while, since I have high asperations for the final motor.
But don't fear! I'm going to be building the engine bay with interchanging motors in mind.

The whole pan is redone, and I put braces in the channel where the body bolts go from front to back with 1" square tube. The seat mounts on the floor I cut off and replaced with a frame that connects the bracing on the sides of the pan to the tunnel. I mounted a rhd mk2 golf rack I got from the UK in place of the old steering box. The car has a 91' passat column which fits great. For the rear, I blasted and painted everything, got a swaybar and new torsion bars. The torsion bars are swingaxle sized though. I am using original arms with the 944 hub assembly, I'd really like some aluminum peices.

As for the final product, Im not to sure where I'd like to start. I am going to keep it with germanlook styling in mind, but the main theme would probably be road/race.
I want to keep it stripped down, but somewhat livable. Lots of carbon peices, a rollbar, two seats and a stereo.

I'll get some photos this weekend when I have the time!

Again, thanks!


June 3rd 2009, 02:26
Awesome, another local build.

Keep the updates coming. :thumbup:


June 3rd 2009, 05:31
Welcome aboard and keep up the good work!

June 3rd 2009, 17:48
I took some photos today, so I'll post up a few :)

Heres two peices Im hoping to use in the final product, a bmw m5 front bumper to chop up, and two OE saab turbos, the garret type.

Here you can see how far I am with the bodywork. Just primer :)

Heres the trunk, thanks to lanner for making cool parts!

Heres the 'bay. You can never have too much room.

June 3rd 2009, 17:49
Roll bar shot.

This is my idea of a wicked dashboard. Ignore the unfinished carbon inserts that collected a bit to much dust in the resin...

The new firewall and rear rollbar mounts, welded through to the pan mounts.

This is the rear portion of the bracing.

From the back, you can see the removable rear apron I spent about 40 hours on so far. The vents are from another engine cover, and the exhaust holes got a bit chopped up too :)

June 3rd 2009, 20:13
Sweet build man..


June 3rd 2009, 20:31
What is the make of the rear sway bar?


June 4th 2009, 04:18
NICE! Great work.

June 4th 2009, 07:10
Very neat build! What rack are you using, have you checked the bump steer?

June 4th 2009, 11:47
When I bought my super it had a Golf rack in almost the same position The previous owner took it of the road as it was lethal to drive horrible bumpsteer. I am slowly replacing the rack with one from an early Passat which in turn is almost identical to the rack from a late 1303.
I also lowered the frame head in the rack position to approximate that of the late 1303I really love the work that you have put in so far especially that rear apron

June 4th 2009, 17:39
Thanks for bringing the bumpsteer issue up. I havn't tried driving with the rack since I havn't gotten far enough to put an engine in the with rack in place. I'm not exactly sure how to measure bumpsteer, and I know the wheels accually turn farther then the normal steering set up. I have come to grips with the fact that I may need to modify the setup before I'm done, but any suggestions would be welcome.

June 4th 2009, 20:18
Since I've become more and more knowledgable about suspension systems (I still have LOTS to learn) it has become more and more surprising when people just start bolting stuff together. The geometry of a suspension system is sooo complex, if it was easy every Chevy would handle like an M3! So, just because it might look cool or be different doesn't necessarily translate into any performance improvements, in fact in the suspension department it often leads to a failure, as I can attest.


June 4th 2009, 22:34

If what I read is true, I could probably modify the rack to work. Im not really to afraid to do some more hacking to get it right.
But then again, you take the cake here, as your car is a source of insperation for me, and the idea to fit the rack was a spur of the moment ordeal.

June 5th 2009, 05:26
I see that you have standard track control arms that must use the standard inner pivot positions. The general princples behind getting zero bumpsteer is for the rack track rod to describe the same arc as the suspension so that the axle does not need to pivot as it goes through the suspension movement - if it does then that is bump steer. With a simple geometry like the 1302/1303 super if the pivot for the trackrod is at the same distance from the axle as the track control arm AND it is parallel to the track control arm in the mid turn position then I would expect minimal (if any) bumpsteer.
The rack you are using has the pivots well outboard of the inner suspension pivot so that the track control arm and the trackrod will describe different arcs thus pulling the outer steering arm in as you pass the static pisition on both bump and droop.
The best VW racks are the Polo and early Passat that have central style pivots for the trackrod that make it very adaptable for different inner pivot positions.
The other thing to be aware of when locating a rack is the effect of the fore and aft position of the rack on the ackermann steering. You ought to be aware that the inner front wheel describes a tighter radius than the outer wheel in a turn (ackermann steering). This is effected by the position of the rack and the steering arm angle at the axle end. IIRC moving the rack forward of the parallel position locates the instantaneous centre forward of the rear axle and behind the parallel position puts that centre behind the axle. For true ackermann steering the instantaneous centre should be in the centre of the rear axle. I realise that most circuit racing designers are not overly bothered about ackermann steering and the current trend in F1 is for parallel steering but it ought to be recognised that circuit racing demands small steering angles and front end scrub can be desireable to put heat into lightly loaded front tyres. That is not the case for a road car or one that is used for autotesting/autosolo/slalom.


June 6th 2009, 15:44
Hmmm looks like I should have done some more researching first!
Thanks for your knowledge EvilC!

What if I where to fab up new lower control arms with inner pivot points closer to the racks pivot points? I have always thought I would like to make the lower arm into an A arm. Would the shorter arms bung up with the struts positioning?

I am an autobody apprentice at the moment, but I always end up doing the mechanical stuff around the shop too. I have also worked in the restoration business for a few years. I'v poked around quite a few vehicles of all sorts (pre ww1 all the way till now) so I think I have some good info up in my head, I just havnt done all the theory and research to fully understand suspention setups.

June 6th 2009, 18:17
that dash looks incredible
cant wait to see the finished product

June 8th 2009, 07:53
Hmmm looks like I should have done some more researching first!
Thanks for your knowledge EvilC!

What if I where to fab up new lower control arms with inner pivot points closer to the racks pivot points? I have always thought I would like to make the lower arm into an A arm. Would the shorter arms bung up with the struts positioning?


The bugs inner pivot point is an advantage so don't screw it by matching the rack. Its the rack thats wrong not the bugs suspension. Having such long TCAs (Track Control Arms) means that the potential for unwanted camber change at the wheel end is reduced so any suspension modification should enhance that provision.

June 10th 2009, 22:43

After assembling the rear brakes, I found I still have play with the hub. Any ideas?

Also, the front pads are touching the rotors at all times...
I wonder if I got a mixed matched bunch of parts shipped to me when I purchased the lot.

From what I know, I am using early 944 spindles/hubs etc. The rear assembly is from the same car. The axles are the original vw ones.

Steve C
June 11th 2009, 03:52

You can get up & down play from flogged out trailing arms.


June 11th 2009, 07:55
The front pads in the standard 944 single pot caliper do touch the discs at all times. Its probably because the non-return spring that is on one side only exerting a sideways force on the sliding piston body giving a twisting action that means one part of the pads is in constant contact. This eventually manifests itself in the tapered wear on the pads (equal but opposite on the two pads). Its not a great design IMO but I suppose it was cheap! There is nothing to worry about but I have purposely left the pads out for the time being so as to be able to push the car around with ease and no drag. I doubt whether there is any noticeable effect on performance. One point that concerns me though is that the pads mould themselves to the disc thickness. As the discs wear down the pad shape changes. That's OK until you come to change just the pads or the disc - the shapes are then unmatched and you will be braking on the edge of the pads until they have corrected themselves. The solution is to change pads and discs always at the same time.


June 13th 2009, 19:21
What I ment was at the end of the shaft where the rotor and the hub sits for the rear, I can move the hub/rotor in and out on the shaft, even if the nut is tight on the end. Im kind of worried about this, and Im wondering if anyone else has had this problem. Can I put washers in? That would be nice...

Thanks for this info on the fronts Clive, good peice of mind.

Have a good day fellas, its really nice out here in southern ontario.

June 14th 2009, 11:18
Very nice build! It shows your a bodywork guy professionally, very nicely done rear apron.
The cage is very close to the pillars, which I can appreciate very much as well!
Hope it stays aircooled...:rolleyes:

Steve C
June 14th 2009, 19:01

With your in & out play, are you using stock bug trailing arms? Is the caliper mounting bracket thicker than the stock backing plate?


June 15th 2009, 05:24
What I ment was at the end of the shaft where the rotor and the hub sits for the rear, I can move the hub/rotor in and out on the shaft, even if the nut is tight on the end. Im kind of worried about this, and Im wondering if anyone else has had this problem. Can I put washers in? That would be nice...

Thanks for this info on the fronts Clive, good peice of mind.

Have a good day fellas, its really nice out here in southern ontario.


Moving the hub and rotor inn and out is endfloat and should be almost zero on the rear. That endfoat is free play within the bearings between the balls and the races given that everythng else is correct. You should be only able to measure that endfloat with a dial gauge and not be able to 'feel' it at all.
If you are using the 944 stub axles are you sure about the compatability with the trailing arms. IIRC the bug bearing is significantly shorter than the 944 one, which is a double ball and race thing, so the 944 stub axle may be too long for the bug bearing. Please don't quote me on that as I haven't carried out an extensive comparison check but that would be my first port of call to check all the fitted sizes to make sure they are compatible.


June 15th 2009, 21:51
When I assembled the lot, I used bug bearings and the bug stub axles. Im gunna tear it all down and do some measuring.

Steve C
June 15th 2009, 23:46

I wonder if you left the oil seal runner out, it fits up against the flange end.


August 10th 2009, 16:39
I did some tear down the other night.
I'm not missing any peices, but the play is still there. We've come to the conclusion that the bug bearings are narrower then the porsche ones (I think, can someone back this up?) So I need to eather get a spacer or get the 944 bearings and press them into the hubs.

When it came down to it, the spindle was comming to far in on the axle shaft by about 2.3mm, so the rotor was hitting the backing plate.

Here I have two photos to help.



Has anyones else had this issue?

August 19th 2009, 07:25
well it hard to tell in your pic if its the alum arm or the steel ones. If its the steel arms there is no difference in the bearing Porsche uses the vw part number 113-501-283 same as irs bugs if you have the alum arms then its a different bearing altogether 999-053-020-01.


Steve C
August 19th 2009, 09:22

All the part numbers for bearings, spacers and seals are all VW numbers.

I wonder why they have different thickness bearing lock rings?


August 19th 2009, 12:26

here the page out of the 944 manual looks like thats how the set up the axle end play. hope this helps

August 19th 2009, 18:02
I have steel arms on my car fyi.
Thanks kombi that certainly clears things up a bit!

August 19th 2009, 21:47

I have a sorta related questions... Does VW make the equivalent of PET files for the superbeetle? With the exploded diagrams and part numbers? If so how do I go about purchasing or acquiring..

Thanks and sorry to barge in on the thread.

August 19th 2009, 22:46
yes they do its called ETKA and its a dealer program and can not be purchased . and it comes with a special hardlock you plug into your pc to make it work. There are some crack versions running around.Not sure how well they work.

but there is a program by etos the you can buy. here is a link http://www.epcatalogs.com/ETOS0307.html the problem is most of the part number for the older car say NLA but the pics are still there.

Steve C
August 20th 2009, 09:49

That shimming with circlip is interesting, I wonder if VW did the same thing.

I had ETKA running on my computer when I was running Windows 98, I haven't bee able to get it running with XP. It worked fine.

Try this site for exploded views http://www.oldbeetle.com/pcat/epc.html


August 29th 2009, 17:18
Thread hijack at its finest :)

I found these on Kijiji the other day and I started to make a pants-tent.

http://img1.classistatic.com/cps/kj/090721/969r4/6890469_20.jpeg (http://toronto.kijiji.ca/c-cars-vehicles-car-parts-tires-set-of-4-3-piece-porsche-bbs-rims-for-930-turbo-W0QQAdIdZ143694740)

If I had the money.. Shoot, if I had the money the car would have been done 4 years ago! haha.

June 25th 2010, 13:27
Hey I have a little update!
The peice I needed has been sorted, and I bled my brakes yesterday. The wiring is comming along slowly, but I'll toss up some flicks soon!

January 24th 2013, 15:30
Hey all, Its been some time since I'v logged in here and contributed!
I haven't been working on my beetle as much as I like but I got a few things done since I'v last been on here.

January 24th 2013, 22:33
Looking good!


January 25th 2013, 03:53
Cool build, I would have never seen it if you hadn't updated it.
I know it is a bit off topic but I would like to know more about the Passat steering column.
Does this add anything to your bug like tilting the wheel or is it just looks?

January 25th 2013, 18:54
To get the passat column to work I had to cut off the tilt parts and weld on the bracket from the original column. I did it to get all the functions on the passat column to work instead of the dash buttons. The wiring was a huge learning curve but it all works now. As a side note, the columns shaft is the same length and spline as the beetle column. Now I need to find a nice OE leather steering wheel.

December 24th 2013, 18:12
Hey everyone.
Its been a while, I still work on my beetle but I am tight on funds and time.
I have done some new things though!

Merry Christmas!

Steve C
December 24th 2013, 23:56
Holey door handles, good work

December 25th 2013, 00:29

Hi, how have you secured the seats. I have some close to yours from a 528 BMW.

December 26th 2013, 23:43
Hey, I used monte carlo/malibu/lumina front drivers seat sliders (they have a simple tilt mechanism) that I fit to the seats, then I made a brace/support for the seats. It wasn't a simple swap, I made a brace for the outside of the floor pan, then attached rails for the seats from the tunnel to the floor pan brace.

December 27th 2013, 00:23
Due you have any pic? When I drove my 1303,I just had the seats in unsecured, however the seats were very firm and comfortable. I started taking the passenger side apart for template. I'd like to install this set in my 1302, after having them upholstered. If I remember correctly the sliders came with the seats

December 27th 2013, 00:31

Hi, hate to say it, but what about possible wind noise/extra:o

December 28th 2013, 20:42
Hey, I did some tests and I'm pretty sure that there wont be any wind noise from the handles. I don't care too much if there is, as the car will be noisy anyways.

As for the seat brace on the pan, you can kinda see what I'v done here.


Nothing from the old system is left on my car.

The plate you can see in the picture is welded to the brace which runs in the channel where the body mounts. The body now mounts through the brace. I beleave I have seen products offered which are similar but I did mine almost 8 years ago when I was doing the pan.

December 29th 2013, 03:07
I took a flick of the seat set up while I was out in the garage tonight. This might help.
For reference, I have the seats mounted about 4.5" above the floor, with the sliders above that point. I still have tons of head room.