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  #1  
Old June 19th 2008, 10:58
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Thumbs up 1973 V8 Super Beetle Front Engine Conversion - 283 SBC

I'm not sure if this is the correct place to post this, but here it goes.

Hi from Houston Texas! Here's my V8 front engine conversion I've been working on since October of last year (07). It's a 73 Super on a 94 S10 chassis that has been shortened. The engine I'm putting in is a 283 bored over .030, it has 12.5:1 pop up pistons, forged pistons / rods / crank, mild cam, gm votec heads which will bring the compression down to about 11:1 cr, summit stage I vortec intake, 600 cfm edelbrock carb, and it'll all be back by a th350 w/ a 2500 stall converter.

Here's some pictures of my build.








88 Vette wheels (16" x 8.5") to go on the bug! I'll clean these up and refinish them.




Some body work.








Sold the chassis.




Cutting out the trunk area for the V8




My first vision of the finished bug, photoshoped.

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  #2  
Old June 19th 2008, 11:03
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The donor S10 chassis.






Cutting the frame up. Removed some from the front, rear, and about 24" inches from between the wheels. You can see the vette wheels on. I used 2" aluminum spacers.




Ready to be welded.




Frame welded together.




Body sitting on frame for the first time.




Body cut so it'll drop down on the frame. The bottom of the body is flush with the bottom of the S10 frame.

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  #3  
Old June 19th 2008, 11:08
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Body mounts weld.




New home for the gas tank.




Here's how the body will sit after setting the body on it's mounts.




Widening the rear fenders.

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  #4  
Old June 19th 2008, 11:12
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Fenders widened, but much work left to do.






Shackle mounts weld in.




New parts for the 283. Vortec intake and heads.



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  #5  
Old June 19th 2008, 11:15
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Finishing up body work so I can paint the chassis and body at the same time.








Change the direction I want to go as far as color. I'm wanting to go with a blue like this to stay true to the original blue and grey color schemes.

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  #6  
Old June 19th 2008, 18:56
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You've put in a lot of work and it looks good, that will be a fun car to drive on a drag strip. The power-to-weight ratio will be insanely fast and it's gonna scoot.

However, and not to denigrate your work but the S10 chassis isn't going to perform too good in the corners. That chassis, with it's rear leaf springs and short angled front A-arms was designed to haul a heavy payload. The car/truck will be very very fast in the straights but will take corners like a Sherman tank.

There may be performance kits out there to improve the handling of that chassis, I believe that truck was on Chevrolet's racing circuit at one time.

In my opinion, and that's all it is just an opinion, you would have been much happier with the overall performance and handling if you'd have put that V8 into a Porsche 944.
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  #7  
Old June 20th 2008, 08:09
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supe just said exactly what i was thinking

impressive work on it so far tho
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  #8  
Old June 20th 2008, 14:15
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I'll bet you it will be seriously reliable though, so that's good!!! Kinda sorry to see what looked to be a pretty straight body cut up, but I could be worse, coulda been an Oval!

Jason
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  #9  
Old June 20th 2008, 17:30
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Thanks for the compliments guys.

I agree 100% about the handling, no doubt. The S10 will handle poorly in turns and will be fast going straight. That suits me though, or where I live cause we don't have turns and canyons. We have flat plains and long stretches of freeway / hwys / streets. Everyone pretty much races straight 1/4 mile runs whether on street or track. The only kinda turns we see are those at the circle dirt track.

The body was in OK shape. There's rust issues in the quarter panels in the vent area. and the body has had some wreck repair fixed with body filler (previous / original owner). The car had been sitting up since 01 and was on it's way to becoming scrap. There's been a few times when I wish I would've keep it original, upgraded brakes, the engine and put some nice wheels on it, but when I look at what's taking place it put a smile on my face. (I'm poet and didn't know it).

It will be reliable cause it'll be mostly stock, and all GM parts. Minus the body of coarse.

For my next bug project I'll go with a 1303 (73) and do upgrades instead of a conversion. This site will be a big inspiration and is!
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  #10  
Old June 20th 2008, 22:14
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Hi

That is going to be fun to drive, if handling is not a big deal for you that's your call, but there is lots of things that can be done later on, Jag IRS rear end and A arm front suspension.

It would be good if you can keep it a bit stealth as well apart from pumped fenders, but as in no huge air scoops etc.

It surprising how much room there is in the front.

Steve
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  #11  
Old June 23rd 2008, 09:27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve C View Post
Hi

That is going to be fun to drive, if handling is not a big deal for you that's your call, but there is lots of things that can be done later on, Jag IRS rear end and A arm front suspension.

It would be good if you can keep it a bit stealth as well apart from pumped fenders, but as in no huge air scoops etc.

It surprising how much room there is in the front.

Steve
Eventually I'll do some of those upgrades down the road. I think corvettes have a nice IRS too. There's all kinds of ways to go really.

I do plan on keeping it stealthy. I don't even want cutouts in the hood. So either the louvers on the front clip have to be enough, or I'm putting the radiator in the back. Either way I'll have some sort of scoop / air dam to draw air through the radiator.

I can't wait to get the engine in to see just how much room there is to play with.
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  #12  
Old July 1st 2008, 11:06
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These past couple of weeks I've been doing nothing but body work. I'm trying to finish the body work so it'll be ready for paint and I can move onto painting the chassis soon afterwards.

Now I know the correct way to fix rust on a car is to cut away the rusted metal and to weld in new metal but....

a) I would have to hack up another classic vw to get the metal I need cause the whole rear quarters of the body need to be replaced.

b) They make replacement panels but they are expensive. Once the rust becomes obvious under the paint I'll just fix the whole thing. This will hold me over for 3-5 years until I can afford to do that kind of panel replacement.

c) I don't want to take the risk of setting my car and garage on fire because of the factory foam installed right where the rust in an issue.

d) My goal is to get this on the road before the end of the year so I don't want to get hung up on replacing panels just yet.

Now that I've got that out of the way here are some pics of some body work.


Got the first coat of primer on the body.




I've smoothed out the imperfections in the center of the door. There were a couple more spots on the edges.




If you recall from previous pictures there were some rust holes on the bottom section of the body behind the crescent moon vent. That's been taken car of. I've finished the drivers side rust holes but here's a pic of some layering of body filler smoothing out the holes.




Same for the passenger's side.




Here's a pic of the end results. Holes are gone. There's some small pin holes that need to be taken care of but for the most part it's repaired until rust comes back 5 years down the road.




I'm just about done smoothing out all the little dings and rust repairs. Next I'm going to finish up the fenders and then I'll gradually sand and layer primer working my way from about 120 on down to 600+ grit. The last couple layers I'll work in some wet sanding. Then she should be ready for primer, base coat, and clear.

How much do you guys think I could expect to pay for primer, base and clear all from the same manufacturer? Honda Vivd Blue Pearl, paint code B-520P. I'm not looking for the highest grade paint, but something that'll last 5 years. My Uncle is going to spray my car so I'm looking into the cost of just of the paint. Enough to cover the outside, inside doors / jams, and possibly under both lids.
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  #13  
Old July 7th 2008, 10:30
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Got the chance to do some more body work. Started finishing off the front end and most of one fender. I shaved the turn signals by tacking in some metal under the holes and then smoothed them out with body filler. There's still some little burs here and there but it's getting there.







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  #14  
Old July 10th 2008, 17:28
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What do you guys think about this color scheme?



Silver, shaved bumper, lights and trunk handles. Paint my rims black and add a red lip like so.




I thinking about going this direction cause my motor will be about 85% all black with red accents here and there. Yesterday I ordered almost everything to finish up my motor minus push rods cause I have to check their length.

Here's the breather and timing cover I ordered. I basically ordered all the individual pieces minus the valve covers cause I need center bolt.


I'm going to buy some stock vortec valve covers. I might even run a red stripes down those raised lines?


Got a set of red ACCEL spark plug wires.


Ordered a black HEI distributor.....etc.


I've got mainly black with accents of red so I'm trying to carry that outside and inside the car. I'm thinking about getting these seats.


Some red belts, 5 point.


And I plan to do the interior / carpet in a dark grey. For the dash I'll paint that wood grain stripe red.


These exhaust tips.
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  #15  
Old July 10th 2008, 17:29
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And last but not least I'll plan to get on of those 4 in 1 tachs to replace the speedo in my dash.


Who needs a speedo any who? I'm just concerned about people seeing my tail lights after a race.
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