Having recovered from the new year festivities, I decided to sober up with a bit more work on the build. First I cleaned up the front beam only to uncover some bodged repairs and filler !, so spent the rest of the day cutting out the old metal and fabricating repairs from metal left over from the tunnel section I removed. In the end I ended up fabrication just about the whole bottom end of the pillar section, but once painted with seam sealer it looks quite good. next I spent the next day cleaning up the gearbox having first completely dismantled the axle tubes and removed the drive shafts ands ended up getting gearbox oil all over the garage floor..
Still both the gearbox and front beam look okay painted up ready for re-assembly.
Did some more work on the front beam, ^ replaced the bottom needle bearing trashed because of water increase past the bodge repairs mentioned earlier. Then replaced all the grease seals and cleaned up the Sway-A-Way height adjusters. Replaced all the grease nipples and then finally re-fitted the beam to the chassis. I was then able to re-fit the steering box, (after more de-greasing and cleaning). Next job was to re-fit the gearbox with the new mountings, only took 30 min's or so and job done. I have ordered all the parts to re-fit the torsion arms, tie rods, and completely replace the front shoes with Disks, hopefully everything will have arrived in time for next weekend.
Parts arrived during the week, Front Disk Conversion, Rear Shock absorbers, Tie Rod/Track Rod end set, various nuts and bolts for assembling the Adjustable rear Swing Arm, spring plates, along with Urethane bushes. First Job was to figure out how the front Disk conversion goes together, it is apparently just a straight conversion. I can see why this should be a straight conversation, because looking up the part numbers it appears all the parts are as originally supplied / fitted to the 1500 T1 beetle.
Assembly went well apart from the fact you have to 'drift' in the outer bearing housing both inside and outer, luckily I has a socket just the right size to use as a drift. Picture below is only assembled 'loosely' as I need to set up the camber yet, and wanted to make sure everything fitted.
I have used Sway-A-Way adjusters in the front beam, this give me and adjustable height capability, I have set the height to 'normal' for the beetle by allowed for all the movement to be down, as the Speedster body will be lighter than the beetle so will sit to high.
The adjusters highlighted in the picture on the left allow the torsion leaves to rotate in the beam, thus allowing the trailing arms and disk to move up and down raising or lowering the height.
I also fitted adjustable rear spring plates which again allow me to raise or lower the rear, and as before I have set all the adjustment to allow for downward movement,just by unscrewing the M10 set screw.
Looking a bit move like a Chassis now, also trial fitted the tie rods and steering damper.
More parts arrived, so managed to get on a bit further with the chassis re-furb. Fitted the rear drive shafts, axle tubes, rear wheel bearings, rear shock absorbers, rear Brake back plates, front shock absorbers, gear lever, gear rod coupling and finally the rear swing axle rubber boots.
Next weekend I hope to fit the new rear shoes and drums, clutch cable and handbrakes cables, I will then have a rolling chassis, (with some old wheels I have for now).
This weekend I decided to make up all the brake pipes, both flexible and copper , then fit the master cylinder plus the handbrake cables and clutch cable, then see about fitting the pedals. The Pedals were a pain to fit as I could net figure out how the pedal cluster went together, until I found a picture in the Haynes manual and realised there was a part missing!, a quick rummage around in the spares box and I found the missing part. The original master cylinder cleaned up quite well so I thought I would save £90 but re-using it.
The brake pipes were simple enough to make, thanks to my Christmas present, a Clarke brake pipe flaring tool, (thank's Tim). I used new flexible pipes front and rear, then fitted the handbrake cable. Decided to fit the clutch cable next, Hmmm in the haynes manual it says "reach inside the tunnel and feed the cable though the conduit, then grab the end eye with two fingers and tread over the clutch pedal hook. Yeah right.. if you have hands about the size of a six year old with 6" long fingers !! it was a right pain and I came up with a couple of swear words I hadn't heard of before.
All the cable are too long at the moment due to shortening the chassis, so I have bought a cable shortening kit, which basically is a set of new ends you clamp on with grub screws after cutting the cable to length.