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  #1  
Old January 22nd 2013, 18:24
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Jeans Beetle Circuit Racer

It's a little while since I've been on here, but I thought it might be of interest to show my current project. But first, a little history...

Some may recall my injected WBX GT Beetle which has been my main toy for the last 10 years, slowly evolving from a "Street Sleeper" to something less subtle...





Well, there's been another toy tucked away slowly waiting its time - my Jeans Beetle. Purchased by me in 1986 when I was an eager young 16year old (To save you the mental arithmetic, I'm 43...). I am the second owner. It's first rebuild was done in 1992, and by '94 it was running a 1679cc unit with Engle120, 9.5 compression, and K-jet injection.





I took it off the road in '95 for "a few small jobs", and by '98 it was looking like this:



So, 3 house moves, a wife, 2 children, the WBX Bug, and 16 years later, i was beginning to wonder whether to scrap it. But it's my first car - the one that got me in to all this! So I just couldn't...

Then I had a go in this round Castle Coombe...



And then began THE PLAN...

So here goes with the build thread :-)
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  #2  
Old January 22nd 2013, 18:50
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So, having owned the car for 27 years, and being the right age for a mid-life crisis, I decided it was time to thrash it round the track. I've never been turned on by straight-line stuff - corners are far more interesting to me. I have some previous history with track racing having been involved as crew in the UK's "Beetle Cup" in '93 & '94. The Beetle Cup died some time in the late '90s I think, and there's been nothing similar since then. However in the last few years the "Beetle Challenge" has been trying to resurrect the spirit of the series, with slightly relaxed rules. It was Simon Sergides's Orange Bug I had a go in around Castle Coombe - 2165cc, IRS, Quaife - it got me hooked. Sadly the recession bit and the Beetle Challenge is struggling to get decent numbers on the grids, but the regs are there. So I have decided to build to the regs, and enter in maybe the MSV Trackday Trophy and mix it up with Golf Gti's & Porsche 944's.

So, first step was to haul the car out of long-term storage and tear it down completely.



Once it was a bare shell it was sent off to the bodyshop:





A promising start, but sadly it was not to continue... Basically i was not happy with the work being done, and after a few months hauled it out of there :-( Cue 8 months of depression before I found someone else to pick up on it. There's obviously a big gap between above and below, but this is how the shell is today:











Last few mods to the shell to do, and then next week should be in paint!
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  #3  
Old January 22nd 2013, 21:54
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nice. im liking where this is going already! just a question.....why dont you just use your other beetle as a track car? just asking is all. i love the WBX in your other car as thats what i have in my car as well. i love the WBX motors. keep the updates coming.
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Old January 23rd 2013, 06:18
70Turbobug 70Turbobug is offline
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Great story! Hmmmmmm wonder what those holes in the firewall are for? Turbo and intercooler?.....
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  #5  
Old January 23rd 2013, 07:33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cookvw View Post
just a question.....why dont you just use your other beetle as a track car?
Good question, and one i had considered myself. There are a couple of reasons:

1) I needed to do something with this car otherwise it would end up being scrapped, and after 27years i have too much attachment to it to do that (sad i know...)

2) Build regulations for a race series - The Beetle Challenge regs are for T1 aircooled, Carburettor/distributor, all Steel body. With fuel injection & mapped ignition of the WBX engine, plus Fibreglass wings it falls well outside those regs. Looking around at other series such as the MSV Trackday Trophy, Engine mods are allowed but engine swaps seem excluded. Also again many series preclude fibreglass panels.

3) The WBX Bug has evolved its own pathway as a road car, and i like driving it on the road. To change it into a race car would compromise the ability to use it on the road - things like an approved roll cage would require my very nice interior to bite the dust, while changing shocks, tyres etc would all make it even harsher on the road. I also have a part-built Turbo WBX and Porsche 915 gearbox which i want to use, which would also add further complication to finding a race series that will allow it. I can still use it on informal track-days without a cage.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 70Turbobug View Post
Great story! Hmmmmmm wonder what those holes in the firewall are for? Turbo and intercooler?.....
Sadly no turbo/intercoolers allowed - Beetle Challenge regs state "non-turbo", MSV Trackday Trophy rules state "if turbo fitted then must be correct type for engine" so ruled out there as well. Other series seem to have similar restrictions. :-( Still, i'm targetting somewhere around 180bhp so it won't be short of power. The holes in the bulkhead are for cold air ducting straight to the back of the fan (from NACA duct in right rear window) and to oil cooler under boot floor (from NACA duct in left rear window). There is still another hole to be drilled in the boot floor for the oil cooler air-feed.
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Old January 23rd 2013, 12:21
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Looking smart, thanks for letting us follow the build!

Jason
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  #7  
Old January 23rd 2013, 14:40
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Very cool car and story! I'l definately be keeping an eye on this one!
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  #8  
Old January 23rd 2013, 15:12
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Glad to see another track car coming together, lots of detail too. I'd be wincing in my helmet every time I heard a rock hit the front of the bug while on track after all that body work! My paint was more or less ruined after a couple of events but it's still pretty from 20 feet.
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  #9  
Old January 23rd 2013, 15:50
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...I will be closely watching this build. Already stoked on it.

-Dave
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  #10  
Old January 23rd 2013, 19:54
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Ta for the good vibes guys. Dave - if mine turns out half as good as yours I'll be pleased - I've been following your build thread with interest. My cousin is a Paramedic in Vancouver - next time I pay her a visit i'm blanking out a day to come and see your car for real :-)

So, the build... All this body prep is no good without some motorvation, so the plan & rationale behind the engine is to start from a new-ish Mag case to keep the weight down out back. That means in reality best to keep it 90.5 bore to keep as much strength in the case as possible. A used CB 78mm crank makes it 2007cc. In order to get the max out of it then we need it to rev to 8500rpm (yikes!) so Mahle Forged pistons & CB 5.4" H-beam rods needed to link them. I think the cam settled on was an FK87, but can't be sure at the mo.

Case and crank may be used, but i did score a good deal on some new CB CNC 044's which are great as a starting point but are being worked on further, particularly to up the CR to 10.5.



Having built a few circuit engines before, and also watching some other circuit racers have oil pressure issues, I set my heart on a decent Dry Sump system. I had a friend badger Rick at Bugpack for ages to get one of their pumps, but it never showed - something about them only being made in batches and then some bloke in Vancouver wanted one for a rally bug... Anyway I gave up on that idea, then out of the blue this popped up on The Samba:



A used but excellent condition ARPM 2-stage pump and for a few hundred bucks is was flying its way across the Atlantic :-) Then a Pace Products tank came up on eBay for less than £100... The tank fits perfectly in the spare wheel well, slid down next to the battery. That way I have as much weight up front as possible.

Carbs is currently my next target - at present I have a set of 44IDF's I bought about 10 years back and have never used. Ideally I'd like some 48 DRLA's, but until they come up on eBay for peanuts then I'll have to stick with the 44's.

Gearbox-wise a friend is building me an IRS box as a Christmas present. He's 68 and has been building VW & Porsche boxes for 40 years, so I trust his skills. He also donated the (again used) welded 1.04 4th gear. With a 4.375 R&P it will make good use of the 8000rpm of the engine.



So, hopefully with that little lot i'll have some "oomph" out back :-)
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Old January 23rd 2013, 21:07
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moog View Post


A promising start, but sadly it was not to continue... Basically i was not happy with the work being done, and after a few months hauled it out of there :-( Cue 8 months of depression before I found someone else to pick up on it.
Yeah, my '66 bus spent a long, painful year and a half in the bodyshop and he still didn't quite finish some of the loose parts. I found in that last nine months that things would actually get done each week if I showed up unannounced to put the fear of Jesus into him.

Looking good though.
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Old January 24th 2013, 16:33
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Cool build! Love the green GT bug a lot too!
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  #13  
Old January 24th 2013, 19:01
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Awesome so far, even if I did steal your oil-pump . You may want to consider an Accusump with the oil tank mounted so far forward. Mine is mounted low enough that oil-pressure takes 2-3 full seconds to build after the engine has started. With the Accusump, I can pressurize the system before starting and there is no oil light.

Would love to meet you in Vancouver, can also provide you with some activity options if you wanted to head to Whistler.

-Dave
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  #14  
Old January 25th 2013, 04:51
al_kaholik al_kaholik is offline
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Subscribed. Looking forward to this build thread
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  #15  
Old January 28th 2013, 17:38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by owdlvr View Post
You may want to consider an Accusump with the oil tank mounted so far forward. Mine is mounted low enough that oil-pressure takes 2-3 full seconds to build after the engine has started. With the Accusump, I can pressurize the system before starting and there is no oil light.
-Dave
I have to say I'm not fully sold on the idea of an Accusump. I completely understand their benefits when it comes to sudden oil loss on a wet-sump system such as under heavy cornering or braking for example when the oil surges away from the pickup pipe, however this shouldn't be an issue with a dry sump. This then leaves it solely as a pre-lube system for startup, and while this gives clear benefits, the added complexity of the valves and joints makes me wonder if it is worth it - all those joints and valves are restrictions and potential leak points. On my WBX I have the oil cooler right at the front and used to have issues with leaks at joints at various points in the hoses - nothing major, just wetness, but enough to annoy. In the end I made 2 hoses that go all the way from engine to cooler and solved all those problems. Of course this is the first time I have used a dry-sump system so don't know how long the pressure will take to build up - if it is too long then I can always retrofit one.

Am getting excited now at the prospect of the shell finally being in paint. In all my 27 years of Bug ownership I have never paid anyone to work on my car - on the GT the only time anyone else touched it was when I needed a lift with the shell. I did everything from paint to engine mapping and interior trim and wiring. Now though I have less time due to two small daughters, which is why I decided to outsource the shell prep - you would be right in assuming that I am a nervous and demanding customer, and all credit to Sam at VWorks for his patience with me and my text messages at odd hours pointing out another miniscule bracket I've seen that offends me and needs removing, or another hole that needs welding or a rivnut fitting before paint. He has great patience!

So, before I sign off for tonight, i had a rummage in the garage to see what brake options i could find...



Now I just have to work out how to fit them inside a set of these...



Regs state a maximum of a 6x15" wheel, so will be fun getting big calipers & discs inside them
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(o\ /o) '73 GT Beetle with 2.1 WBX (owned since 1990)
(o\ /o) '74 Jeans Beetle (owned since 1986)
(o\ /o) '67 Zenith Blue Beetle (needs lots of work..)
'02 Passat Sport Diseasel Estate ("Das Boot")
'05 Seat Leon FR, chipped (Mrs Moog's toy really...)
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