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Readers Rides Post pics, specs and build-up stories of your vehicles - or even your garages here. Also interesting stuff about your 'daily drivers' etc. or interesting cars you have seen on your travels, even motors-based TV shows you can recommend. Please, no 'For Sale' or 'Want To Buy' ads, plugs for your 'business', links to 'for sale' ads or Ebay links to your (or your mate's) auction (use the VZi 'Classifieds' section) - this also includes thinly veiled 'What's My Car Worth?' threads and "Who Can Sell Me A . . ." posts.

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Old 28-10-2008, 11:03 PM   #21
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My final day on the rat before I have to go back to work.
Managed to rob two good trackrods off the old beam, very handy. I wonder if the ones I wrecked yesterday were cheap ones as these look much better quality and are marked 'GERMAN' on the rubbers. Always a good sign.



View with the tank removed, and the non - split trackrod ends fitted. Took all of 5 minutes in daylight. Still not happy with the angle the inner one sits at to the steering knuckle (correct term?) as it does pinch the rubber and will probably wear it out quickly with regular use.



Knuckle? What the trackrod end bolts into - removed from spare beam. I reckon the way forward is to ream out the hole I'm pointing to and fit a bump stop bush (like on the hub) so I can fit the whole rod upsidedown. Will have to order some, SSP sell them I think. Managed to drop the adjusters on the front beam down to the same level as on the old beam too. Whats weird is that the car doesn't look as low to me as it should. Maybe it will resettle once the car has been driven - ha ha.

Since I'm changing the fluid in the braking system I thought I'd address the manky looking blue flexi hoses that join the reservoir to the master cylinder. Dunno about anyone else but these look like they perish with time and let moisture into the fluid. Silicone fuel hose does exactly the same job and there was some of it just asking to be robbed from my cosmo (the red car next to the beetle). Strange to think, that a rotary engined Japanese muscle car - that cost some wealthy businessman the equivalent of 45k in 1992, would provide for a car built 40 years ago and worth a tenner. But there you go. And Japan did side with the Nazis so they deserve it.





All the pipework fitted. Still not got my engine in. My next week off work is at the end of November, but I want the rat done. Hmmm. There's always Sundays I guess....
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Old 28-10-2008, 11:41 PM   #22
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Keep up the good work there.
Do`nt suppose your mate would let me have reg of his Granada BAY858Y, would look great on my bay window camper
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Old 29-10-2008, 11:08 AM   #23
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You know, it does say it the workshop manual to fit the gaitor with the seam facing the back of the car - well spotted! I just figured it was better to have the join as far away from the oil as possible. I did the last one like this a few years back and it still hasn't let go.
I want to keep the paint as it is, but it's my girls car......
ok, if it was a concious decision, no probs, (I would still go with the manual personally!) ahh, the paint does look kinda funky, but I understand!
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Old 30-10-2008, 01:14 AM   #24
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crikey bud your raping this car. If you carry on like this its guna be done and you will be bored of it

good work and carry on


This is what a raped bug looks like. I know, cos it was me that did the raping. It's a shame actually, because whoever owned this unfortunate bug must have lost a lot of money when it burned. Almost every part of it was recently refurbished or replaced, even had a metal factory sunroof....
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Old 30-10-2008, 01:21 AM   #25
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Keep up the good work there.
Do`nt suppose your mate would let me have reg of his Granada BAY858Y, would look great on my bay window camper
I'll ask him when I see him in the morning. Knowing banger racers it prob won't be cheap tho. Some bloke he knows raced a Rolls Royce a few years ago and caused outrage within a Rolls owners club by all accounts. One of them offered him 1000 for the grill and emblem while the car sat in the pits, so he smashed the flying lady with a club hammer. Banger racers are an odd bunch. Good welders tho.
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Old 30-10-2008, 11:18 PM   #26
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Keep up the good work there.
Do`nt suppose your mate would let me have reg of his Granada BAY858Y, would look great on my bay window camper
I asked Steve today, the car isn't currently MOT'd but not a problem as he intends to keep it for himself. Make him an offer and it could be yours.
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Old 31-10-2008, 12:54 AM   #27
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Knuckle? What the trackrod end bolts into - removed from spare beam. I reckon the way forward is to ream out the hole I'm pointing to and fit a bump stop bush (like on the hub) so I can fit the whole rod upsidedown.
Don't do it. The idea of flipping the ends is because when a beam is lowered on adjusters, it puts the steering knuckle on the spindles higher relative to the pitman arm. Flipping the ends helps to restore the geometry of the track rods to horizontal and thus preventing bump steer. Flipping the other end too would put it back to square one and may even cause the long rod to hit the centre tunnel on upward travel of the suspension.

Also, for the brake fluid reservoir, make sure you're alternative hose is suitable for brake fluid as I don't think normal stuff is. That's why the correct is blue (I believe).
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Old 31-10-2008, 01:51 AM   #28
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. Flipping the other end too would put it back to square one and may even cause the long rod to hit the centre tunnel on upward travel of the suspension.

Also, for the brake fluid reservoir, make sure you're alternative hose is suitable for brake fluid as I don't think normal stuff is. That's why the correct is blue (I believe).
Is it better to have a shorter lifespan on the rubber gaiter then? I'd probably feel better about it if I'd actually seen another bug with the track rod ends set up like this but don't know anyone with a lowered bug,and know jack about modifications. As it was I was only going to fit the bump steer bush to the end of the knuckle that holds the O/S rod, the N/S sits too low already and would foul on the chassis.

Pretty sure that fuel hose is ok, so long as it's silicone and not the rubber stuff. I already replaced the 2 flexis that join to the master cylinder with it some years ago and never had a problem so far. Thanks for the concern tho.....
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Old 01-11-2008, 01:56 PM   #29
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Just joined VZi this week and gotta get a blog up about the work I've been doing to my ladys' 68 rat. First - lets show you how it used to look, 2-3 years ago.......



Had a day out beetling around some nice spots in Essex - its not all Romford and bags of chips you know. This is North Fambridge.



And this was taken outside a village mechanics workshop that had been empty for maybe 5 years? Its a housing estate now....







Why you should never buy a car from a photo - especially if it's black and white



We'd had the car for around 2 years at this point - '68 build chassis on '69 plates, 1500 stock (maybe) twinport engine. she rang me one day to say that the really shitty looking matt black beetle she kept seeing at work was for sale and could we look at it? The previous owner lived in Hackney, London and told us a story that related to how each of the many dents on the car had happened, and we were sold. 300. The paint was bad even then (out of spraycans), and it was rolling on red stock steel rims not the empi 8s - but under someones poor idea of how to rat up a beetle was a real good solid car that had been in use daily for what looked like donkeys years from the taxdisks.

We used it, loved it, I repaired it when it needed it.

Then about 2 years ago some numpty crashed into the back of me while I was sat still at a roundabout. Back end was repaired, engine came out, and then the car sat on our drive. Til now.



Apologies to anyone who maybe viewed these pics on mech tech forum - I'd just started playing around with the site and kinda didn't know what I was doing.
Don't know why the quality of this photo is so bad - think maybe I shuddered as I took it? This is last sunday at 9am. Car hasn't been touched for 2 years until the previous weekend when I got my tools out finally and got my beetle head back on. I'd replaced the front beam for a much better one the sunday before (balljoint rubbers had perished) and discovered fairly extensive rot in the spare wheel carrier and tips of the front inner wings, plus along the bottoms of both front inner wings. Really not bad for a car that had sat uncovered on a gravel drive for 2 years.



20 minutes later. Front - gone. My girlfriend was asleep in bed at this point so imagine her surprise when she awoke at 11am to find this photo text waiting on her phone. Ok, she knew what I was doing with her car, but maybe not the full extent eh?



Luckily though, we had already reached this stage by 11am, so I could text her back immediately and sooth her worried brow. Textually. Or something. This all went on in my friends workshop - if you're wondering he banger races Mk2 Granadas. But I guess banger racers aren't all bad.....
Don`t fancy doing this job to my bug do you? If you`re up for it PM me, I`m in your neck of the woods.
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Old 04-11-2008, 10:11 PM   #30
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Was a lazy boy last week, didn't get much further than having a re-shuffle in my garage so I could get to the engine. Damn this cold wet weather, if only I had room in the garage so I could work inside! Unfortunately my '71 is in the way and she's not allowed out. Possibly forever. Did manage to sort out some heat exchanger return springs tho, which were stopping my progress with the engine. Sunday beckons again.....
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