View Full Version : Spyder Bait

February 15th 2010, 23:53
I just realized I don't have a build thread for the street bug so I thought I'd put one in here since it's getting a little more attention.

This is Mojo aka. Spyder Bait, a 1973 Super Beetle Sports Bug, the day I brought him home



...and about a week later

I swapped in Maxx struts and added a coilover sleeve with 300# springs (too heavy) and 4 wheel disks in porsche pattern for a set of turbo twists.


I also installed H4 conversion headlights with 6000k HID, Westin 5.5" driving lights with 3000K HID, and a Kamei spoiler to complete the german look.


I briefly had a big motor installed, but the 2276 ate it's cam after 1000 miles so it's on the bench for a rebuild. Since the beetle is going back to daily driver duties he'll be getting a few upgrades in the coming weeks.

Rancho pro street freeway flier tranny
New, built by me 2276
Tranny strap kit
Urethane mounts
Kafer brace
New front 200# springs
QA1 Rear coilovers with 300# springs
7/8" front sway bar
Strut brace
Sticky tires, (haven't decided which ones)

February 16th 2010, 15:42
Cool ride. Sorry to hear about the lifter/cam failure.

February 16th 2010, 16:07
ya nice ride, ive seen it in boulder creek quite a bit

February 16th 2010, 22:55
Very cool! Love the AutoXing pics!

February 16th 2010, 23:31
ya nice ride, ive seen it in boulder creek quite a bit

That's because I live there :) living in the mountains means you get to drive them every day.

February 17th 2010, 06:03
what a difference a wheel (and lowered suspension) can do!! Nice car with useful mods..hope your engine will work soon

February 17th 2010, 13:41
That's because I live there :) living in the mountains means you get to drive them every day.

ya i used to have a 1303 that had the maxx struts and front and rear sway bars and that thing was a blast to drive over the hill in, and thats y i got another one

February 18th 2010, 02:00
What are you driving now? I've probably seen you around :)

February 18th 2010, 11:40
What caused the cam / a lobe to go flat? Were the lifters new? Did you use a cam lube? Too high of a spring rating? Improper break-in procedure for the cam? Oil not have enough ZDDP?

February 18th 2010, 14:11
I didn't build this motor, I bought it used but when I drained the oil it looked like regular motor oil. I'm guessing it was a combination of valve spring and wrong oil.

February 18th 2010, 14:53
i drive a grey 04 gti with a black grill, sorry to hijack thread, but nice car, would love to see it with the bigger motor in it, also where did u get those coilover sleeves?

February 23rd 2010, 15:30
The sleeves and springs I got from summit racing. I think all the part numbers are on the ultimate suspension thread.

Speaking of the big motor, I sent the spare case off for machining to bring the deck faces down. When I pre-assembled the motor to get deck height measurements I found the 3-4 side to be .020" taller so that will be evened out as well. Initial measurements add up to a .044" deck which will give me a 9.1:1 CR assuming a 59cc chamber. I'm going to measure those next to verify.

A couple of notes:

1. New-ish rings are sharp as @#$&! and I sliced my fingers open pretty good

2. Using a wire wheel to clean the piston tops makes the garage smell like burnt toast

March 8th 2010, 20:36
A few new additions to the bug this weekend in preperation for the new drive train.

The street bug has been lacking gauges for some time and I finally got around to correcting that. A set of new Z-series autometer gauges now in the dash, 3 3/4" mini monster tach, oil press, and oil temp.


I also moved a lighted switch for the electric fuel pump over with the other switches. From right to left, hazard, oil cooler fan override, fuel pump, HID driving lights.

While I was leaning on the seat with my hands under the dash something in the drivers seat gave way. I haven't pulled up the seat cover yet but it seems like a weld broke. For now I stole a seat out of the race car until the other seat is fixed. Though after a quick trip to the store the stock seat may never go back in.

I'm still waiting on an order from CB to build the motor, and I got word that the new tranny is shipping out today so it'll be here later this week. Might be able to put everything together next weekend!

March 20th 2010, 00:12
Finally got the rods I've been waiting 2 weeks for on tuesday, and thus began a long 2 days of motor build. Had to make a couple emergency runs for pushrods, rod bearings, and a fan belt but otherwise everything went fairly smooth.

Getting ready

new rancho pro-street freeway flier put together and ready to go in

mmm, straight cuts... that are surprisingly quiet, must be something with the CB gears.

and about this time it was 2am and I had forgotten all about the camera

The details:
CB aluminum case
DPR 78mm crank
Mahle 94mm forged pistons and cylinders
CB 5.5" race rods
CB #2246 cam, 260 dur. @ .050" .411 lift
CB straight cut cam gears
CB lightweight lifters
Scat chromoly push rods
Windage tray
Scat wedge port heads, 40mmx35.5mm
CB 1.3:1 forged rockers, measured out to 1.25:1 and .515" lift at the valve
30mm HD oil pump w/ filter
12 lb. lightened flywheel
KEP stage 1 pressure plate

The motor went together nice and easy. Had a bit of a scare when I tried to set the rocker geometry. The scat 1.4:1 rockers were uncomfortably close to coil bind and when I measured them out they were actually giving me a 1.32:1 ratio. I happened to have another set of CB 1.3 rockers laying around (I know right?) and I remember another builder saying they measured out with a smaller ratio. Sure enough, when I checked my set they measured out 1.25:1 which was good enough for .030" more breathing room at the valve spring.

I got some help and we managed to swap in the motor last night. Couldn't do the cam break in until today and it sounds very mean. I had a little bit of popping so I know the carbs are a little lean so I'll sort that all out tomorrow. The motor is dry as a bone except a leak from the snout of the case, and the race car had a leak in the same area, grrr. The last problem I found while cleaning up tonight. I found the wing nut for the clutch cable on the tool cart, which means it's not in the car. Looks like I'll be back under the car tomorrow, but I still can't wait to drive it.

March 20th 2010, 22:33
"Do not leave parts or tools on the cart" haha love that ironic sticker!
Glad to hear everythings going well..good luck on the rest and be great to see that thing movin like it should!

March 21st 2010, 11:43
Looking really good. Where did you get the headlights and do they work well with the stock wiring ?


March 21st 2010, 14:20
I saw that sticker on the cart and I couldn't help but get a pic of the tranny up there.

The light housings I got off ebay and they are h4 conversion housings. Look for the autopal h4 housings because they give a very clean cut off line.

Break in update:
The motor is very strong and gets to 60 in a hurry. I'm only revving to 5000 until the first oil change but there's more in it. I found myself doing 80 in short order with the freeway flier without realizing it.

There's a few problems so far:
-reverse gear is non-existent, if I pull on the stick hard enough i can get teeth to grind but no engagement. I tried multiple shifters and adjustments but it's no good. Going to call Rancho on monday.

-One of the idle circuits is plugged, car runs on 3 cylinders until I get on the mains or hammer the throttle. I will probably pull all the idle jets and clean them.

-There's an oil leak near the pulley on the crank that is leaking pretty bad. It's not the oil pump and I think it's coming from the crank even with the sand seal.

March 22nd 2010, 08:37
Great to see it is back up and running. Having to pull a transaxle back out would suck. Sounds like the shift fork needs adjustment. Pull you idle jets and adjustment screws and blow some carb cleaner thru the passage and jet. Do you have a breather box/vent hoses to vent the case?

March 22nd 2010, 14:16
I pulled the carb on the 1-2 side and cleaned it out and one of the idle jets was plugged. Got it back together and damn it's fast. I nearly rear ended a ferrari F430 cornering at speed. I'm sure he didn't expect to have a beetle barreling down on him out of nowhere either. Unfortunately when I turned arround the problem came back and I suspect its the idle jets again. I might have to do this a few time before its completely cleared out.

I do have a breather tower on the motor but right now its venting to atmosphere. Eventually it will be plumbed to the carbs on each side.

One thing I've never done was open up a tranny. How hard is it to adjust the shift fork for proper engagement? I'm guessing it'll have to come back out to do the adjustment as well.

March 22nd 2010, 14:56
Adjusting a shift fork is done in the build up case (holes are cut in the case to get to the guts). I would see if Rancho can do this for you.
This time to clean your idle jet/passage, pull the jet and the mix adjustment screw, then shoot some carb cleaner thru the passage and blow it out with compressed air. Maybe have a look in the bowls to make sure you don't have any trash in there.

March 22nd 2010, 20:12
Called Rancho today about the transmission woes and talked to Mike. He said that by the sound of it, the shift fork is fine but the tranny was assembled with the wrong reverse gear. Rancho is a stand up company and they are sending out an advance replacement transmission under warranty. It sucks that I'll have to pull everything again but at least it's being taken care of.

March 22nd 2010, 22:24
Yes it sux to have to pull it. But at least they are going to do you right.

March 23rd 2010, 20:31
Cleaned the 1-2 carb the proper way, completely pulled it apart, blew out all the passages, cleaned all the jets again, and cleaned a small amount of rust and corrosion I found. Got it all back together, in the car and took it out for a spin. Runs great, very strong from 3k-5.5k, and scoots to 60 so fast. Oil temps hover around 200-210 with the fan going, after the 10 mile 2000' climb to the summit. On the short side, the summit climb is half that distance but still 2000' and in 3rd gear temps were 190-200.

Now to fix the heavy oil leak at the crank snout. This thing is pissing oil past a sand seal even with vents on the case, and I'm not sure how to fix this. The race engine does the same thing, so whatever it is both engines have it. There are no leaks otherwise anywhere on the engine.

Here's a quickie start up video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nj07EaMPPn0

March 23rd 2010, 20:50
sounds nice and strong ;)

take some video well ripping through the mtn.


March 27th 2010, 03:21
So I called Rancho late on monday, around 4:30 and the replacement tranny showed up at noon on thursday. How's that for speedy service?

I started the process of swapping the tranny out today. Got the motor out, bad tranny out, and the new tranny in before I ran out of light. Should get everything back in tomorrow morning. I'm going to change the oil, re-torque the heads, and check the valves while I'm at it.

March 27th 2010, 04:41
Sounds really nice and starts great!
So they trust you to send back the faulty tranny after you removed it? :rolleyes: Good service 4sure from Rancho.

Weird thing on the pulley sealing issue on both engines. Curieus to know what that was in the end.

March 27th 2010, 13:23
I've got 150-ish miles on the new motor and I noticed the oil leak has gotten smaller as I drive it. I haven't been nice during the break-in and floor it or engine brake where ever I can. If the leak stops on the street motor I know its a good indicator for the race motor, that's the hope anyways.

March 28th 2010, 14:06
So I got the tranny swapped out and the motor back in over the last couple days. While the motor was out I took the pulley off and found the source of the leak. I hadn't used enough spacers on the sand seal pulley and it "kissed" the seal spinning it in the housing. It's a press in seal, so I pulled it back out, cleaned it back up, and bonded the seal in place with a thin coating of hondabond. I added a couple more spacers to the crank, put the seal back in and buttoned it all up again.

I discovered the hard way that the big HP1 filter doesn't have enough room to come off with the exhaust in place, so I changed it for a smaller filter. While I was at it I checked and the valve clearances, and re-torqued the heads. I checked the spark plugs since they were easy to reach and the mix looks spot on if not a hair rich.

We took it out for a spirited drive yesterday, and I gave it the beans whenever I could and no oil leaks that I could see. So now I'm going to double check the seal on the race car and I'll probably find a similar situation.

April 2nd 2010, 16:26
Well if it's not one thing it's another. New motor and tranny are too much fun, dangerously fun, but now the odometer in the speedo gave up the ghost. Apparently it didn't like the quick runs to 90mph so now it doesn't move at all or 10x too fast while the speedo reads just fine.

I also got a chance to refit the new front springs and dropped the overly stiff 300lb/in. for a pair of 200lb/in. Now it feels a lot more stable in the corners and rides a bit smoother in front, however mid corner bumps or aggressively driven banked corners put the tire up into the fender now. I still need to get adjustable front struts but they are being bumped for a set of front tires and an alignment.

April 2nd 2010, 17:06
Sounds like you are well on your way.
Need videos

April 2nd 2010, 17:29
I also got a chance to refit the new front springs and dropped the overly stiff 300lb/in. for a pair of 200lb/in. Now it feels a lot more stable in the corners and rides a bit smoother in front, however mid corner bumps or aggressively driven banked corners put the tire up into the fender now.

Thats interesting as I rather like my 300 lbs springs and don't find them too stiff. Maybe its because I have a little bit more weight on the front axle?

Good to hear your engine works so well now!

April 3rd 2010, 00:27
Wally, do you know your front corner weights? How much stuff do you have up there? What rear springs/torsion bars are you running?

April 3rd 2010, 05:49
Wally, do you know your front corner weights? How much stuff do you have up there? What rear springs/torsion bars are you running?

Not by heart, but 2 years ago it was about 42% at the front, but now with the heavier G50 tranny its probably more like 38-40%.
Total weight with cage is probably around 985-1000 kg in street/track trim with about half a tank of gas, so its about 400 kg front side or 200 kg/450lbs per front wheel side.

I have the DS oil tank up there, oil cooler, fuel pump and filter, hydraulic clutch reservoir, the battery, waterinjection tank, thicker sway bar of course, some bars in the front subframe and some to hold the DS tank in its place and a bar between spring towers welded in.
Plus the usual 4 ltr reserve tank and some spare tools.
All in all, it adds up I suppose and that was the whole idea too ;)

In the back I now run 25.5mm torsion bars only with a Whiteline 24mm swaybar.

April 14th 2010, 14:18
Been working on the bug more, working the kinks out of it. I kept having problems with the idle jets and it was getting worse and worse. I finally realized the jets had collapsed after being tightened too much. A new set of idle jets solved most of the problems I was having. I also adjusted the linkage so I'm getting full throttle now (not 2/3rd's like before) and the motor just races to redline from about 3k. I'm on my 3rd oil change, a little over 1700 miles on break in, and I'll be switching over to brad penn 20-50 now. While I was at it I picked up oil to do the race car too.


Now that the right front springs are in, a friend hooked me up with a free front end alignment on a new laser rack. We discovered that the front end has been tweaked a little bit so the smallest about of camber on the passenger side was -1.3*. The front toe was also way out from being lowered which killed my tires rather quickly. So the new specs are:

0* toe
-1.5* camber
1* caster

0* toe
-1* camber

Since the tires were cording out it was time for a new set, but unfortunately Kumho stopped making the Ecsta MX in my size. In fact the number of good cheap tires in 205/40 17 has gone down significantly. So I stepped up to the next size 215/40 17 and got a set of Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec. Everything was fine in the rear but the front fenders needed a bit of massaging. It's a little rough and track rat/drifter looking now but the fenders needed a respray any way. Now I think I know the secret origin of the euro flared fender look, elbow grease and pliers.



With the motor at 100%, alignment done, new sticky tires and enough clearance for full suspension movement, it's just an animal on the mountain roads. As soon as I can afford a new camera mount I'll get some new in car video up :)

April 14th 2010, 16:00
Nice update report!

As an alternative wrt a video camera: I just bought a new ultra small (spy) cam in the shape of a key holder/remote car alarm device. $ 9,-- and a $12,-- SD cart and it works like a charm!
You can just duct tape those things on your car :rolleyes:

April 14th 2010, 18:19
I saw the video you put up and it's pretty clear for a little camera. Where did you find it?

April 15th 2010, 12:29
Op evil bay; look for 'spy camera' ;)

Like this one:

June 7th 2010, 21:41
I think I'll start tossing my race videos under the build to keep them all in one place. I took the street bug autoxing again on a perfect day. There was a light turnout since there were 3 other competing events so we finished up pretty early. I'm happy to have some external footage finally and it's nice to hear the mean exhaust note on the outside.

I really need to stiffen the rear of the car some more. Every time I touch the throttle it'll push if I'm not pointed straight, even if I slowly roll on to it.

Internal shot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vD7HtdAy3rg

External shot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYzywFqh_Rw

JK Fab
June 8th 2010, 00:08
Well I will admit I like what you did with the front fenders. Can you post up some more pics of the fenders now that they are modified?

October 3rd 2010, 19:34
Haven't put an update up here in a bit...

Unfortunately I only have bad news. About 6 weeks ago I was coming home and there was a bit of construction work going on where they had several plates over the road. Well one of the plates came up as I was driving over it and it collected my exhaust. It killed the muffler and damn near tore the header off the car. The street bug is stock height in the rear so it wasn't like i was scraping down the road either. I didn't get a pic of it but the pipe going into the muffler is nearly folded 90 degrees.




I contacted the water district who was responsible for the construction and I have to file a claim. I've ordered a new exhaust which sure be here next week and once the car is up and going I can double check that nothing else is broken. :P

December 13th 2010, 13:15
How did the claim go?

December 13th 2010, 14:26
Not sure, it's lost in bureaucracy at the moment. I'll be lucky to see anything by tax season :P I did get a new sidewinder exhaust on though and it's much quieter. I love the added ground clearance too, well worth the upgrade.

Unfortunately I have to sell this bug to pay for vet bills. I put it up in the for sale section and need to get it sold asap. :(

February 18th 2014, 14:26
On January 8th 2011 I sold Mojo to a nice german fellow who wanted to do everything I planned to do and turn him into a GSR. I was unemployed at the time and needed the money so I was just happy the bug was going to a good home. Fast forward 3 years and a month later and I bought him back when the opportunity presented itself. I've known too many people who lament about the one that got away and I was in the same boat. So when I saw the ad on thesamba.com I recognized my car immediately and made the effort to get it back.

Drove 6 hours through hellish fog and rain in order to get him home

Interior is better than it was before, seats were re-upholstered with a black tweed like material that is as close to the original as you can get.


Also got the original sport rims back but he had them stripped and powder coated, very nice!

Mojo and Lucy together again

Unfortunately there was no motor when I bought him back, but I just happened to have a race motor sitting on a stand in the garage, how serendipitous! I started tearing down the motor to check for wear and raise the CR for street duty.



So now I'm the 3rd and 5th owner of this sports bug and I'll be tossing up some more updates soon. I really want to have him back together and on the road before the show season starts in April but I'd also like to get some body work done.

February 18th 2014, 15:46

February 18th 2014, 16:39

Those seats look fantastic with the black tweed.


February 20th 2014, 14:20
Cool bug!

February 21st 2014, 00:12
I'm excited about this.

February 21st 2014, 01:54
Hi, what's a good daily driver compression ratio. I've read no more than 8, but I read were you set yours at 9. How much of a daily driver is yours? What about getting stuck in traffic.

February 21st 2014, 15:20
The old motor that used to live in this bug was at 9.6:1 and did great in traffic. I had an external oil cooler with a thermostatic fan switch and I never had an issue with oil temps. You do need to pay attention to your cooling setup, super b welded fan, good sealing tin, and proper airflow do wonders to keep things cool IF they are setup correctly. The race motor is getting reworked for 9.3:1 CR which will live on premium so I can get more aggressive with timing. I wouldn't call this motor "daily friendly" since it likes to rev and has a big cam, but it could certainly be driven daily without issue. I'll try and get a full build detail with the next update.

February 21st 2014, 16:10
Hi,I have a 2110 that I plan to turbo. I also have a 2332 that I would be interested in maybe 89 octane. If thou don't mind sharing specs, wonderful.

February 23rd 2014, 23:03
I was hoping to have the motor in the car this weekend but delayed parts prevented that. The new motor is all set though with a few finishing touches...

Rebuilding the motor didn't take very long... because I forgot to take pics :P With the heads and barrels off wear was minimal. There was minor evidence the heads had lifted at one point, 31psi will probably do that. Other than that, rockers looked good, no excessive wear on the lash caps, push rods were still round, and so too were the barrels. Before tearing everything down though I measured the lift at each valve and compared it to my build notes. The results were .002"-.003" of wear across the board, not too shabby.

I started putting some new parts on, which was in an earlier pic, a new ultra wide glide sump to replace the thin line sump, and a fancy jaycee o-ringed drain plate.

The front of the case got a new 30mm oil pump with full flow cover, new stock size billet sand seal pulley with new seal, and AN -8 fittings for oil feed and return.

This is what .015" deck looks like

Something I said I would do when I had the motor apart was to grind the corners down on the fuel rails so the injectors would sit off to the side. That way the don't get pinched between the manifolds and the shroud. I also swapped out the 750cc injectors for 375cc units, no need for big fuel without a turbo.

Here's the motor back together and ready to go. Manifolds and TBs are just set in place since they need to come off before the motor goes in the car.

Final build specs on the motor:
2176cc, 9:1 CR

CB 1157 Alu race case, +3.5mm deck, german pickup tube
CB 2668 Super Race Crank, 78.4mm, chevy journal
CB 2666 Super Race Rods, chevy rod journal, 5.7"
Mahle Forged 94mm pistons, with coated skirts, 94mm stroker (extended) barrels
Coated main bearings, and Clevite rod bearings, anti friction coated
Cima/Mahle 94mm rings, Total seal 2nd ring
CB 1223 Cylinder Head Studs, 10mm Chromoly
Eagle Racing K-8 cam, Adv. Duration 308*, Dur. @ .050" 256*, Lift w/ 1.3 rockers .491"
CB 1849 Camshaft Bearings, anti friction Coated
CB 1537 28mm Ultralight Lifters
CB 1399 Straight Cut Cam Gears
CB 1421 044 CNC Mini Wedge Port (42 x 37.5) 94 Bore, K800 springs, chromoly retainers, 65cc, .015" deck
CB 1575 Forged 1.3:1 Rocker Arms
CB 1629 Chromoly Dual Tapered Push Rods
CB 1515 Push Rod Tubes, JayCee Silver Bullet
CB 1702d Valve Covers - C Channel
CB 7366 Big Beef Manifolds with Fuel Injector Ports, IDF, port matched to mini wedge
CB 7356 48mm Throttle Bodies
Precision Injection 36# (375cc) injectors
CB 2017 Black 7'' Billet Crankshaft Pulley with Steel Hub for Sand Seal
CB 2050 Stainless Steel Broached Crank Pulley Bolt
CB 1862 Maxi 30 Full Flow Oil Pump with Black Anodized Billet Cover,3/8'' outlet
CB 1706 4 Qt. Ultra Wide Glide Sump
CB 3200 JayCee Mag-X Magnetic Sump Plate, Black
DTM Type 1 cooling shroud
Compu-Fire Dual Cool 90 Amp Alternator
CB 2182 200 MPH Alternator/Generator Clamp
Killer B welded late model fan
Type 4 oil cooler

February 24th 2014, 04:18
:whistles: Can you please install that right into my 1303?

March 12th 2014, 01:14
Weather and time finally lined up and I was able to work on the GSR a bit today. Even thought he's in pretty good shape I want him to look sharp all around. To that end I started the tear down today, so he can go off to body and paint later this week.

Interior was the first to come out and that gave me a chance to catch a few things, good and bad. The seats were all re-upholstered which I knew but the sliders and pads were all replaced as well which is nice. The vapor barrier on the passenger door was toast and as a result the new door panel had some minor water damage and mold, but the drivers side was fine. The rear interior quarter panels might be original or very old, but still in great shape. The carpet is in pretty sorry shape and will probably be replaced, but the plastics/handles are mostly new.




Bumpers and exterior trim were next. The bumpers were freshly powder coated and they are in great shape. The fenders I think are original, and the hardware has never been out. On the drivers rear fender one of the bolts snapped in half and another had the captive square nut spin loose so both of those will need to be fixed :P



That's it for now, hopefully some more progress tomorrow...

March 24th 2014, 18:32
Quick update:

The bug has been almost entirely stripped down and sent off for body and paint. I wish I had the time (and experience) to do it myself but I have 3 projects on my plate at the moment. On the plus side the body shop will be documenting everything and I'll put some of the photos up when I pickup the bug for final assembly.

Current eta is 2nd week of april...

March 29th 2014, 13:42

Hope you can share the name of the shop doing the paint/body, and the results you are getting?

Having lived in Santa Cruz for a long time now,
Am really anxious to get current feed-back on some of the local shops.

My other car will be going in somewhere hopefully soon, but my past/current experiences fill me with dread.

PM me?

June 3rd 2014, 00:52
Big update time! But first an answer and a story...

Clatter, The shop I went to is called Prosport Auto Body at Stevens Creek and Bascom Ave. in San Jose. Jewel is an awesome old car guy from the south and has done tons of VWs. He did an awesome job on my car and I've already sent a few people his way. He does have a waiting list and about a 2 month back log if you can wait.

And now a story...

I dropped the bug off at Jewel's shop at the end of march hoping to have it back in a couple weeks with the goal of having the bug fully restored and finished for Bugorama Memorial Day weekend. After 4 weeks I finally get to pick up the bug, now towards the end of April, and take it over to Bugformance, where the headliner and rubber will be installed. They sit on it for a week with a mad rush of cars that need work also trying to make Bugorama, but once they unwrap the fenders they find that 3 of them have deep scratches or chips in the paint. :( So I call Jewel and since he wrapped them up he takes responsibility and offered to respray them for free. Another couple weeks go by and the deadline looms large. A week until the show now, fenders are back at the shop and the whole car is on hold waiting for the headliner to be installed. It's the Wednesday before the show and I have no illusions about finishing the bug in time, but I'm looking forward to a nice holiday weekend working on the GSR.

After a stressful day at work, I drive my Excursion and race trailer down to pick up the bug, get everything paid for, go out to move the tow rig, and the Excursion wont start. I do some troubleshooting with fuses/relays and it looks like the fuel pump died right there in the parking lot. Damnit. I call for a tow truck as I watch the shop close up with the GSR still inside and wait. The first truck that comes out can't drive me home because it'll put him over 40 hours and he can't have OT. Whatever. He calls a second truck and after another 30 minute wait I finally have a way home. We put the Excursion on the flatbed, and he tells me that towing the trailer home will be $250. That's cheaper than a new trailer and I don't want to leave mine behind with the good chance it would get stolen, so he hitches it up.

We get on our way and as soon as we leave the parking lot, the dip at the parking lot entrance causes the trailer to jump off the hitch and slam into the back of the tow truck. The trailer jack is messed up, the equipment box on the tongue is smashed in, and we are blocking most of a busy road during rush hour. While the tow truck driver, Jose, scrapes my trailer off the road, my phone starts blowing up with emails about databases going down, and various failures I can do nothing but watch because my laptop bag is in the Excursion. Once we get rolling again Jose and I chat about what a ****ty day I'm having, and hopefully my luck turns around. After nearly getting wrecked twice on the way home by inattentive drivers, we finally make it to my house in the mountains and park the trailer. Were in the middle of unloading the Excursion and my asshole neighbor starts causing a scene. He races to the edge of his driveway in his car with his brights on, and revs his engine like he's got somewhere to go. We have a history with this guy so I know he's just being a dick, and he does this whenever we block the road (moving trailers) or use the easement that leads to one of his driveways (he has more than one) to turn trucks around. Jose gets flustered by the guy's actions and moves out of the way for the neighbor (who parks in front of his garage with the car idling and won't acknowledge our presence). Unfortunately, the Excursion was in neutral but still on the winch, so it didn't roll off the back of the tow truck, but instead slammed into the steel light bar folding front of the hood on the Excursion nicely. Fantastic. I can't even get mad, this bizarre series of events is just unbelievable. We unload the Excursion, roll it into the driveway and I call it a night with a bottle of La Fin Du Monde, very appropriate. The tow company will cover the damages so it's just a waste of my time to get the estimates done, but now I get to spend the holiday weekend replacing the in-tank fuel pump on the Excursion instead of the bug.

Yeah, the jack is bent and that lid doesn't close any more...

...and the Excursion needs a nose job.

btw, Jose has been a tow truck driver for over 15 years and never had an accident. He had 2 in one day... in a brand new low truck, it still had paper tags. I know they were both preventable accidents but I just feel bad for the guy getting collateral bad juju by proximity.

June 3rd 2014, 01:03
Day-am! That IS a sh*tty day.

June 3rd 2014, 12:18
That's a terrible day. I hope you get to work on the bug soon.

June 3rd 2014, 13:53
That day is so bad, it's pretty comical. Sorry, I laughed.


June 4th 2014, 01:37
Now for the good parts :)

I did finally get the bug home on May 27th, and after the last trip with the Excursion this time felt like an eternity. I grabbed a pic that evening after we unloaded the trailer.

That's not even in the sun and the Saturn Yellow still pops. Here's a couple more shots, fresh paint, new headliner, and some of the interior that was installed at Bugformance.



I've been chipping away at all the (seemingly) little jobs, but they take longer when you're cautious around fresh paint and new carpet. Paint the things that need paint, and glue the things that need glue, but nothing else!

New door panels w/o map pockets. Notice the nice refreshed black detail on the door sill, also all the rubber on the bug is new.

Rear quarter panels, grab handles, battery are in and the sub just chillin in the rear luggage tray.

Simple things like new sun visors make me happy, but it forces me to up my game. Cant have old and busted clips, or chipped/scratched trim pieces when everything else is so mint. I keep making trips to get new fiddly bits just so I know its right.

Here's a "before" shot of the engine bay. I had cleaned and degreased it but it just looked okay. Not good enough. I debated getting new tar board like the factory but there's still ugliness behind those panels. I taped everything off and very carefully sprayed new undercoating and the results are worth all the stress. Unfortunately, the car is so bright it's hard to get a good shot of the dark engine bay. BTW, I used 3m high build undercoat, great stuff, one can for the engine bay.


June 4th 2014, 02:07
But wait, there's more!

Up on jack stands because I'm swapping the disks out soon, but before that I couldn't wait any longer and had to do the trim. The trim, wipers, headlight rings, and turn signal covers were all looking a little ragged so they all got sanded and hit with a fresh coat of satin black paint. Once on the bug it makes a nice but subtle difference.


The trunk area also got a respray so it's shiny new as well. The freshly powder coated sports rim barely fits thanks to the width of the 205/50r15 Dunlop Direzza ZII. Sidenote, those headlights are hella h4 conversion glass straight from Germany thanks to Uwe.

More interior work now, rear seat back is in to test fit stereo equipment. Might as well install that while I'm here.
A short list for the stereo:
Pioneer DEH X9600BHS head unit
Infinity Kappa 62.9i fronts
Infinity Kappa 693.9i rears
Pioneer TS-W2502D4 10" sub
JBL GTO504 280w amp for front/rear
JBL GTO501 770w amp for sub

Rough position of the sub and amps. 6x9 go in the rear shelf over the amps.

Chasing ghosts of wiring past, a few of them mine.

Wiring front to rear for speakers and amps done, and front speakers/kick panels/and carpets in. This took way longer than I thought, being extra careful around new carpets.

That's how far I've come as of the weekend, trying to chip away at little jobs every day after work. Going to try and get the trans out and put the old race trans in this week. Should be a great match for the smaller diameter wheel combo.

June 4th 2014, 02:33
"I keep making trips to get new fiddly bits..."

Those of us not living in California envy you for comments like that. :P That paint is fantastic! The car is going to look incredible when finished. What's the final wheel choice going to be?


June 4th 2014, 04:30
I agree with Dave, the car looks outstanding!

June 4th 2014, 18:39
terrific car, I have almost finished a Sports Bug replica...well... I painted my '74 Saturn Yellow :)

June 4th 2014, 22:08
Going with the Lemmertz sports rims that were stripped and freshly powder coated. They look great and should hold up very well now. The disks are dual drilled for 4x100 and 4x130 so I have options, but I think I want to stick with a vintage look.


June 4th 2014, 22:43
Where's the huge thumbs up icon?? Proper wheel choice, I approve. ;-)


June 5th 2014, 14:56
Looks great!

June 6th 2014, 08:35
Looking very sanitary.

June 7th 2014, 14:23
i love it! so glad you got this car back. keep up the good work man. my drums are also dual drilled as well with the 4x100/ 4x130. i love the wheels. i love to find me a set of the sport wheels in 5.5.

June 11th 2014, 18:47
Looks sensational

June 20th 2014, 10:53
Car looks great.

Thanks for sharing the tip on the paint shop.

Three cars can get a guy spread too thin,
(I can speak for that)
But you seem to be able to give them all the love they deserve.
props to you for all of your dedication!

This one does look like fun to drive the hill...

September 9th 2014, 00:35
Progress on the car has been slow because work has been crazy. You'll find out why tomorrow at 10am PST ;)

I did have time to try and fit the old race motor... which was about way too wide to get into the engine bay. The only way to get the motor in was to remove valve covers and rockers. Yes the rockers had to come off, that's how wide that motor was. So it came back out and came apart to rebuild it on a stock deck height block with a few more goodies.

Out with the old, and in with the new, the disassembled parts from the race motor

new block, first test assembly with bearings in

coated clevite bearings for the rods again

cam, crank and rods ready to go, bigger cam this time, because why not?! I like building monsters so I used the CB 2300 dyno winning cam for this build, Adv. Duration 317, Dur. @ .050'' 273, Lift w/1.25:1 .537''

Short block together, pulley subject to change, CB 30mm full flow pump installed

Took just about as much out of the heads as I could, chambers down to 49cc, high compression? try 11:1 for this build, if you think that's high, remember the race motor saw 25-30psi with 9.6:1 CR.

Rings and pistons going together, gapped the top rings to .018" and the total seal 2nd rings to /020". I openned my wallet a little wider and sprung for weisco forged pistons which are much lighter than the mahle. Final deck height is .031" and everything clears just fine.

Finally final build specs on the motor:
2176cc, 11:1 CR

CB 1157 Alu race case, std deck, german pickup tube
CB 2668 Super Race Crank, 78.4mm, chevy journal
CB 2666 Super Race Rods, chevy rod journal, 5.5"
Weisco Forged 94mm pistons, 94mm Mahle barrels
Coated main bearings, and Clevite rod bearings, anti friction coated
Weisco 94mm rings, Total seal 2nd ring
CB 1223 Cylinder Head Studs, 10mm Chromoly
Eagle Racing CB 2300 cam, Adv. Duration 317, Dur. @ .050'' 273, Lift w/1.25:1 .537''
CB 1849 Camshaft Bearings, anti friction Coated
CB 1537 28mm Ultralight Lifters
CB 1399 Straight Cut Cam Gears
CB 1421 044 CNC Mini Wedge Port (42 x 37.5) 94 Bore, K800 springs, chromoly retainers, 49cc, .031" deck
CB 1575 Forged 1.3:1 Rocker Arms
CB 1629 Chromoly Dual Tapered Push Rods
CB 1515 Push Rod Tubes, JayCee Silver Bullet
CB 1702d Valve Covers - C Channel
CB 7366 Big Beef Manifolds with Fuel Injector Ports, IDF, port matched to mini wedge
CB 7356 48mm Throttle Bodies
Precision Injection 36# (375cc) injectors
CB 2017 Black 7'' Billet Crankshaft Pulley with Steel Hub for Sand Seal
CB 2050 Stainless Steel Broached Crank Pulley Bolt
CB 1862 Maxi 30 Full Flow Oil Pump with Black Anodized Billet Cover,3/8'' outlet
CB 1706 4 Qt. Ultra Wide Glide Sump
CB 3200 JayCee Mag-X Magnetic Sump Plate, Black
DTM Type 1 cooling shroud
Compu-Fire Dual Cool 90 Amp Alternator
CB 2182 200 MPH Alternator/Generator Clamp
Killer B welded late model fan
Type 4 oil cooler

I'm hoping the exhaust shows up tomorrow, that will be in the next update :)

September 9th 2014, 06:15
Nice build again!
but why did you keep the long 5,7" rods if you wanted a less wide engine?

September 9th 2014, 08:54
"O"man, I must be in trouble:shocked: my type IV is 2.9, with 6 inch rods. "O" boy:o

September 9th 2014, 10:23
Wally: Good eye! Actually the rods are also new, cb 5.5" race rods. Corrected now :)

Effvee: just chop the the sides of the engine bay, and you'll have all the room in the world!

September 9th 2014, 22:17
Effvee: just chop the the sides of the engine bay, and you'll have all the room in the world![/QUOTE]

Ok, now I can sleep. From what I understand,heads/intake like Remmele and engine plus allows for the adaptation of a 3 liter into super beetle, can anyone confirm this. Question, why did you not go the way of modding your body also?

September 9th 2014, 23:32
If it wasn't a GSR/Sports i would cut it up in a heartbeat (I'm not counting the racecar, even though she's a GSR/Sports too, shh!). I put a lot of money into the restoration of the GSR to be my dream pro-tourer, classic, super mountain slayer, I just couldn't cut the body even for the expensive race motor.

September 10th 2014, 22:57
If it wasn't a GSR/Sports i would cut it up in a heartbeat (I'm not counting the racecar, even though she's a GSR/Sports too, shh!). I put a lot of money into the restoration of the GSR to be my dream pro-tourer, classic, super mountain slayer, I just couldn't cut the body even for the expensive race motor.

Understood, please forgive my ignorance; what constitutes a GSR/sport?

September 11th 2014, 00:56
the GSR or gelb schwartzer renner was a special edition super beetle in '73. In Germany it was saturn yellow or marathon blue metallic with a matte black hood and decklid, all black trim etc (until the lines ran out) with special recaro seats and sports steering wheel. They didn't think the color combo would sell as well in the states so the US got single color cars, the Sports Bug Edition, with optional dealer installed sport stripes down the belt line. These colors were only ever available on the bug in 1973 on the sports bug, and they were the only models to ever get the recaro seats. It's estimated that ~2000 were made for Europe and ~4000-5000 were made for the US.

In Germany there was an outrage over the little hellian, rabble rouser beetle. In Europe the cars came with a list of up-fitters/shops that would upgrade the motor which flew in the face of the gas crisis at the time. So much so, that there was talk in the German Parliament about issuing penalties to VW for encouraging gas-wasting driving habits with a sporty beetle. The US on the other hand mostly yawned, and the Sports Bug was over looked for the last gasp muscle cars of the day. It's estimated that there are probably less than 500 GSR's left in the world in working order.

The more you know ,~"'`'*

September 11th 2014, 08:49
Thank you, didn't know that.