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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

A couple of years ago I said I was going to make an aluminium bodied Hebmuller. Well, I changed my mind! For the last year or so I have been planning my new project.

I'm making a car based on a beetle chassis with a handmade aluminium body in the style of a 1950's race car.

Now, I have decided that for this to be the car I want, I need to modify the chassis. That means a BIVA test. So I have been digesting the regulations adapting my plans to suit. This car will be built to pass the BIVA test.

If you are not aware of this BIVA stuff, have a look on the government website. You can download the regs and print them out. Be warned though, it's 308 pages long!

Anyway, back to the build. My vision is a car taking inspiration from the likes of Jaguar xkss, cooper Bobtail, 356 zagato, ferarri 250p . Sort of curvaceous, low, open top sexy kind of thing.

I've got a mid 60's chassis with a ball joint front end. This will be modified with irs rear end and wider floors. I'm not going to shorten it though. On top of this will be a tubular frame supporting an aluminium body.
I'll have doors but no windscreen, just a low "fly screen" and no roof.

Now, I don't want it to look like a porsche replica, hence the non-shortened chassis. Also it's going to be water cooled. The reason for this is that I don't want it to sound like a beetle and I like the front of a car to have a grill.

There is an massive amount to be thought about with a build like this. Its caused me many sleepless afternoons!

I have done a drawing and a plastercine scale model of what I want. I going to hold back on showing these yet as I'm sure they will change.

So that's the thread started. I'll update as and when. As a taste here's a picture of what I've started with!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The first job, obviously, is to make the chassis rot free and sound. The floor halves were shot and almost completely rotted away. The frame head was also goosed.
I set the chassis up on a jig table and was releaved to find that although many areas were rotten, it was straight and square. A good base then. I don't need the floors as I'll be making my own, but the frame head needed swapping.
I found a "bargain" frame head on eBay. Aparently it had been bought "in error" and was now being sold on. When it arrived it looked great. Feeling pleased with my bargain I put it on my workbench and tried to fit a beam to it.

Two of the thread inserts had been fitted at such an angle the I couldn't get a bolt in them! Grrr
So I used a hole cutter to drill out the weld, re-angled them and welded them up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I did make one addition inside the new frame head before I welded it in though.....

A low "dam" was fitted across the bottom. Remember this because in a year or so it will come in handy.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Obviously I want this car to handle as well as I can get it. This makes the conversion to double jointed irs rear end a must.
I purchased a job lot of the swing arms, drive shafts, brakes and weld in brackets. Also included was a jig to ensure I welded the brackets in the right place.
As it turned out, the jig only really gets them roughly right. Much measuring and fine adjustment was needed before I was happy. I'm very glad I only tacked them in to start with!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My plan had been to use the 5 stud slotted wheels for that "vintage look". Machine 7 do a rear drum that fits the irs axle with the 5 stud pattern. However, the regs state that the front brakes must be self-adjusting. That means I need disks up front. I can't afford 5 stud disks but I do have a beetle disc front beam in the garage. So, for now at least, I'm using four stud wheels.
 

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Looking forward to seeing this take shape. My initial feeling is that this...

This car will be built to pass the BIVA test.
will impact seriously on this...
My vision is a car taking inspiration from the likes of Jaguar xkss, cooper Bobtail, 356 zagato, ferarri 250p . Sort of curvaceous, low, open top sexy kind of thing.
...but after two years' thinking about it you've clearly done your homework :D Watching with interest
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So that's the basis of the chassis, irs rear, disc front beam. The gearbox is "DC" code type 3 one for a little longer gearing. I swapped over the nose cone so it fitted the original mounts. I managed to get one with a reverse switch as that's required under the regs
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Looking forward to seeing this take shape. My initial feeling is that this...

will impact seriously on this...

...but after two years' thinking about it you've clearly done your homework :D Watching with interest
The regs are strict on sharp edges. No external seams, outward punched louvers that kind of thing. Body shape is less important. There needs to be a "crumple zone" ahead of the front wheels. The steering column needed some thought too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
And yes, I've been researching the regs for ages now. In fact it's driven me a bit mad! I can't help looking at current custom cars and think "oh that won't pass, look at the state of that!" Etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The one area that has caused more sleepless afternoons than any has been the engine choice. At first I figured that there was no rush, I can decide at the end. However that is not the case as I need to build in the rear engine mounts and I also need to ensure the bodywork won't foul the engine.
So my choices:
It must me a flat four (flat 6 is nice but too heavy )

Subaru
Alfasud/33
Vw Waterboxer

Subaru was discounted because it's too modern for the look I'm after.

For about one year I was convinced I wanted an alfa. High revving, sweet sounding over 100 bhp from stock. So I bought one. It was a 1.7 with twin carbs. Problem was it was in Devon and I'm in Telford. The moment I won it on eBay the conversation with my good lady went like this:
"How do you fancy me whisking you off for a couple of days somewhere, Devon maybe?"
"Oo that would be nice"
"Great it'll be so romantic..."

I mentioned popping over to pick up an engine as we passed Taunton services.......
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
As it turned out the engine had been stripped of some of the parts. I found another ( 1.5 this time) in a pheasant rearing barn about 5 miles from my house. I got the engine and a gearbox for £20.

I got the engine running and started looking at the gearbox. I figured that if I could flip the diff over inside I could use it in my chassis. 5 speed, correct ratios for the alfa engine, sounds perfect.
I took the sump off the gearbox and realised that the diff could be flipped with a little work. I'd loose the speedo drive but that didn't matter. What did matter was that the sump was full of teeth and 4 broken sycro rings! This box had had a hard life.
When I looked into it, I discovered that the alfa box is quite weak. Most racing Alfas use vw boxes.
So I scrubbed that idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The more I thought about it, the more I started being drawn back to vw power. Not having to use an adaptor plate made the build feel more "proper" and not bodged. I know the use of adaptor plates is fine (Remember my tdi engine conversion beetle?) but I felt it wasn't right in this build.
A quick chat with my friend Mario at MV Engineering confirmed it. A 1.9 wbx would be perfect. Enough power for my light weight special and, being aluminium, a damn sight lighter than the cast iron alfa.
Mario has lent me a case and heads so I can mock up the rear mounts.

I feel happier now it's all vw :)
 

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Sounds like a great project for your skills.

Excellent engine choice:lol:
You will find the stock 1.9 a bit lacking in performance at 85hp but it's perfectly suited to a turbo upgrade in the future.
Just adding a set of twin carbs with 1.25 rockers and T1 style exhaust really improves performance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Sounds like a great project for your skills.

Excellent engine choice:lol:
You will find the stock 1.9 a bit lacking in performance at 85hp but it's perfectly suited to a turbo upgrade in the future.
Just adding a set of twin carbs with 1.25 rockers and T1 style exhaust really improves performance.
I have a set of 36's and a set of 40's to choose from. Remember that the car is going to be very light, so massive power would upset the cars ballence. But, yes, more power options are one of the reasons I like this engine option.
 
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