VW Blog

Aircooled VW blogs, builds and banter. Since lunchtime 2009

Members builds.


Mail Call

Funky green dog legs

Pretty much the last panel required.

(although we're replacing the drivers door with a better one)

Nose Job

Nose Job

Just a quick update. The shop has just taken delivery of the front panels for the bus. We decided to go for an all-in-one front sub-panel instead of separate panels as not only is it assembled on a jig and so should hopefully be nice and square, but it will also save a heap of time compared to assembling the individual panels on the bus.


Resto Progress June '21

Received an update on the bus's progress. It's really coming along now. The gaps on the cargo doors are spot on which when you consider how trashed the roof and that side of the bus was is a real feat. Cooper has really outdone himself.

Slamfest Part 2 (step-by-step)

Slamfest Part 2 (step-by-step)

In my lasts blog post Slamfest Part 1 me and the Jimp had stripped down a bay beam and prepped a design for some new side plates ready to cut them out on my CNC plasma. Cutting out the plates was a slow affair as the cutting speed for the 10mm steel plate had to be set at about 300mm per minute, any faster and the quality of the cut suffered. The design was based on a 5 degree castor with the shock tower location moved upwards and backwards to allow for use of the stock shock.



O/T Crank Pulley

Keeping with my vintage speed 356 inspired Okrasa engine build I bought a nice O/T crank pulley. These four hole items are found on early 356's.


356 Oil Filler / Breather

Another piece in the puzzle arrived today. Todays treasure is a 356 oil filler neck.


Fram Bypass Filter

For an authentic looking engine bay a Fram or Mann style bypass oil filter is a good nod to the original 356 engines and will definitely help give your engine bay that vintage Porsche look. Bypass filters are often dismissed as old hat and inferior to full flow style filters, but is that actually the case? 


Okrasa 1625cc

Been a bit flat out with work so no real time to do anything on the build but have been doing a bit of daydreaming whilst standing at the lathe. I've somehow convinced myself that I should put together my Okrasa engine for the Speedster.


Silencer End Pressings

After completing the collector for my DIY Sebring exhaust the next part that I need to tackle is making the silencers. I have already spent a bit of time doing some research to try and find some off-the-shelf items but due to the small size needed I could not find anything available that could be used without having to modify it. This means that the only option left is to make them myself.

Sebring Exhaust

Sebring Exhaust Part 3

Managed to scrounge a few minutes to finish off the collector for the Sebring exhaust tonight. I had ran out of gas when I was initially welding up the collector and so still had to join the two halves together. Today I managed to get a few minutes to finish them. I spent a little time tidying up the insides so that the two halves were symmetrical and then welded the two halves together to finish off the collector. I also trimmed down the uneven ends so that everything is ready for the next stage.

Karosserie Glaser Badge

Glaser Karosserie

Many 356 fans will know of the name Reuter, the coach builder responsible for the manufacture of the Porsche 356 from 1950 onwards, but many do not realise that initially Reuter did not have the capacity to build the convertible models so this task was awarded to Glaser, the renowned East German coach builder.

Missing Link?

The missing link

Some of you may know that I'm trying to make my car look like a 'missing-link' car, something that might have come between the Pre-A cabs and the Speedster. Whilst the Max Hoffman commissioned America Roadster (shown below) is the actual link between these cars, it has very different body lines to either the orignal convertibles or the Speedsters and to me seems very out of place in the family tree. There are actually a few cars out there that fit in with this genealogy much better than the America Roadster; Take a Pre-A cabriolet and fit a low style windscreen or aero shields instead of the original and you have a very convincing missing-link car, a car that fits in much better than the America Roadster.


Sebring Exhaust Part 1

A Sebring style exhaust is something that I have been planning for a long while. Whilst it's not the best style of header to use from a performance perspective, it does have that iconic Porsche racing style to it and so is the perfect choice for a period looking car.

Sebring Exhaust

Sebring Exhaust Part 2

If you read my previous post Sebring Exhaust Part 1 you would know that I have decided to build my own Sebring style exhaust. 

This evening I managed to get a little time to make a start on it.


Mail Call - Brake Discs

Got some more goodies today, my new front brake discs. These took a while to source as everyone has been out of stock since before Xmas.

Aluminium Badges

Aluminium Badges

Building an early replica has been a bit of a challenge in some areas. The Late 50's cars have a pretty good availability for trim and parts as most parts are now remanufactured. The early cars however have a number of differences from those late parts which means that in many cases, to be correct the late parts cannot be used. One such case is the Porsche scripts.


IRS Reassembled

Managed to spend some time on reassembling the rear suspension this past weekend. The paint I applied last weekend has not come out too bad, but the issue I had with the thinners reacting has left a bit of a mottled finish. But, as I’m now on a mission to get the car back on the road by September it’s just something that I will have to live with. Mind you, it’s really not too bad, and it is one of those things that will not really get scrutinized. (in reality it will not even get seen), or maybe I’m just trying to convince myself so. 

  1774 Hits
Recent Comments
was it the thinners that reacted or was it too cold and the paint has blushed????and its under the car so unless you are never gon... Read More
Sunday, 26 June 2011 07:54
It was definitely the thinners - it completely separated out. The thinners just sat on top of the paint pigment, almost like it wa... Read More
Monday, 27 June 2011 04:43
hahaha so there will be 2 of us there wearing dresses then???? ... Read More
Monday, 27 June 2011 11:04

Front Beam Refitted

I’ve made some good progress on the Ghia the past couple of weeks. After assembling the IRS last weekend, I stripped and painted the front beam. The front beam was already partially stripped having been removed from the car some time ago. I had previously prepped and painted the steering box and had already removed the hub assemblies too.

  1972 Hits
Recent Comments
coming along nicely mate, soon be able to start on my splitty for me ... Read More
Sunday, 26 June 2011 07:49
Yes,, making some good progress. Very tempted to do some work on the bus as I keep having to walk past it,  but I must be str... Read More
Monday, 27 June 2011 04:40
one at a time mate
Monday, 27 June 2011 11:03

Engine Trial Fit

With the 50th anniversary event slowly creeping up, I’ve got a renewed enthusiasm for the Ghia and I’m managing to get quite a bit done. This weekend I set myself the task of getting the engine in the car as a trial fit so that I could look to fabricate some engine mounting brackets up. To make the job easier I decided to strip all unnecessary weight off of the engine both to make fitting it easier, and also to improve access around the engine bay. Removing the tin will also allow me to clean, prep and paint it in readiness for the new engine build.

  2078 Hits
Recent Comments
should be on the road by the end of the week the way you are going ... Read More
Tuesday, 28 June 2011 12:29
Mnnn would be nice, but atill a loooong way to go. Just ordered my engine case and some other goodies. Gotta love online shopping ... Read More
Wednesday, 29 June 2011 10:14
its great if you got money to spend  
Wednesday, 29 June 2011 13:42

Not every Ghia has a silver lining

It’s been a few weeks since I posted a progress update,  not because I’ve not done anything, but simply as I’ve been too busy to be able to to spare the time to blog about it. If you’ve been checking my photo stream you would have noticed that I did manage to upload some pictures of what I’ve been up to and you would have noticed that the build is ticking along nicely.


Rear Parcel Shelf Installation

As with assembling most things, whether an Ikea flat pack, or a classic car, the order in which things are put together is pretty important. This is especially true of the Type 34 interior.

Bit of Fun

Was stoked to get a text message today from MelleMel. In it was a photo of my new rego plates for the lowlight. See if you can spot the mistake...


46mm Nightmare

Decided to sort out the brakes today. I had already ordered new shoes, cylinders, hoses and master cylinder, and whilst waiting for the remaining engine parts to arrive thought that it would be a good idea to fix up the other things on the todo list.



Had a bit of a result this week, finally managed to source the remaining parts that I was looking for. If you've been reading the blog you would know from this post that I've been searching high and low for some bukhead tin for a 1600 lowlight. Well as luck would have it, a bloke called Gary replied to one of my wanted ads and said that he had most of the parts that I needed. After taking trip out to go though his stash of parts i walked away with a whole bunch of goodies. Not only did I get the bulkhead tin, but I also got a pair of air vents, a pair of seat trims, a grab handle and a nearside sill repair panel.


Bottom End

This weekend I managed to get a bit more done on the Lowlight. After rebuilding the heads last week I decided that I should really split the case and at least take a look at the bottom end to make sure that there were no gremlins in there. Whilst this will add a week or two to the build at least I will get a peice of mind until I get around to building a 2150 for it.


Narrowing IRS

To get the Ghia through the engineers inpection I need to address the issue of tyre to arch clearance. It had been noted by the engineer that I need to increase the clearance by approximately 10mm. There are a number of ways of acheiving this, most of which I have considered at some point, but all of which have some kind of compromise. My plan was to cut back the inner lip of the wheel arch and raise the suspension a little, but his was far from ideal. However, given the alternative - narrowing the IRS arms, it was the easy option.



Last night I spent half hour out in the garage going over the fasty engine that I have spare. I want to use the 1600 barrels and pistons (and maybe heads) on the 1300 bus engine that I have.

To determine the condition I did a compression test but his was not really conclusive as I could only turn the engine over by hand which didn't really give a suitable reading. Not deterred i decided to take the heads off and inspect them instead.



Great news. Just got back from Regency after registering the bus. Fortunately there was an old rego sticker still on the windscreen so I was able to fill out the rego form with the old details and get the bus registered. Now all I need to do is get the engine finished off and the brakes overhauled. I also ordered a personalised plate too. :D

  2264 Hits
  1 Comment
Recent comment in this post
A point worthy of mention is that the engine number on the bus is a non VW number. From my recent experience with the Ghia engine,... Read More
Monday, 02 July 2012 12:44

A stroke of luck

Been working pretty hard on getting the bus engine fixed up this weekend. After stripping the old fasty engine down and cleaning the barrels and heads ready for reconditioning, I decided that I would tear down the 1300 in readiness for it's new parts. I also wanted to get all of the tin off of the engine so that I could paint it.

  2338 Hits
Recent Comments
Buylkhead tin has arrived, just waiting on new clutch and distributor.
Monday, 02 July 2012 12:38
Wrong Bulkhead tin
Wednesday, 11 July 2012 19:16

s-low-ly does it.

This weekend saw the kombi roof that I brought back from Mount Gambier go off to its new owner. Andrew, the guy that bought the roof, also had various kombi bits that I needed so he dropped them off at the same time. Andrew is a top bloke and was the person kind enough to loan me the trailer to pick the Kombi up on in the first place.


Taking Check

Managed to spend some time this weekend going through the lowlight and taking check of whats what. The bus was packed to the brim with parts and so it needed to be unloaded to see what parts were missing and what parts needed to be sourced. The bus was supplied with some nice extras such as a roo bar and a spare full width rock and roll seat including the rear matress and all of this needed to be taken out of the bus to be able get in and take a look


Type 3 EFI trigger wheel

If like me you have wondered how or where you can mount the trigger wheel for your EFI Type 3 engine, well ponder no longer, the answer is here :D

Bricks and Bucket Seats

Been meaning to post some pics up of the garage since it's near completion for some time now, so thought I might as well add a blog post to put down what has been going on.

  2077 Hits
Recent Comments
if you need space feel free to sned your splitty down here ... Read More
Tuesday, 04 January 2011 14:11
hahaha - no probs - just make sure you bring it back finished ... Read More
Tuesday, 04 January 2011 17:56

Rolling, rolling, rolling...

Rawhide references aside, this weekend broaches yet another milestone in the build. For the past 5 or so years the car has sat on axle stands whilst I tinkered about with different suspension setups, but now, after deciding to postpone my plans for the crazy suspension and fitting a stock (ish) IRS setup, it finally stands on it's own four wheels again.

  1855 Hits
Recent Comments
good work mate, i like the pit jack  
Monday, 15 August 2011 01:44
Yeah It turned out a bit bigger than I expected. Looked tiny in the photo but I recon it's good enough for a small armoured tank :... Read More
Monday, 15 August 2011 18:27

Wheels and Deals

The weekend I turned my attention to getting the rear brakes sorted out. The new backing plates and hub centres finally arrived from the states and so I could fit them up and check out clearances and offsets.

  4106 Hits
  1 Comment
Recent comment in this post
if you get the chance i think the halibrand style in a shallow dish with black detail would look amazing. i have been a fan of tho... Read More
Thursday, 04 August 2011 04:35

Type 34 IRS

Spent a bit of time yesterday stripping down the Type 3 IRS that I will be fitting into the Type 34. This came out of the fastback doner car I bought a few months back. The suspension is in pretty good shape with no rust, dings, modifications or bits missing.


Over the top?

I’ve been pretty busy the past few weeks, so much so that I haven’t even had a chance to blog about what I’ve managed to get done. I’ve really been getting a push on to get the car ready for the 50th anniversary celebrations that we are having in September, and so have been flat out at every opportunity.

  1739 Hits
Recent Comments
mate, i am so jelous, the amount of work, time and dedication you have given this job is massive, i wish i had your skills, patien... Read More
Sunday, 17 July 2011 04:45
Sunday, 17 July 2011 15:58

A momentous occasion

I finally finished off the engine mounts today. I decided to bolt them in rather than weld them in, mostly as I feel that it will be a lot stronger. To do this I fabricated a plate to fit on the inside of the engine bay tin. This helps spread the load out and reinforce the panel. It will also prevent the bolts from pulling through the metal.


Rear Suspension

Well, it's been a little time since I actually did some work on the Ghia, recovering the interior doesn't really count as it wasn't me doing the work. So spurned by an invitation to the Victoria day of the Volkswagen in November (Cheers Grey54) I've decided that I will try and get to the event - especially as I was also invited last year, and truth be told the Ghia is pretty much int he same state as it was back then.

  1763 Hits
Recent Comments
Welded the A-arm mounts back on today - they're about 2 1/2 inches further inwards than stock - an overall narrowing of some 5 inc... Read More
Thursday, 10 September 2009 18:18
Got the templates made up for the cross bracing out of the plastic tube. Will have to wait until next weekend to cut the steel one... Read More
Sunday, 13 September 2009 18:32

Steering me in

This weekend I turned my attention to getting the rest of the brakes installed. The pedal assembly needed to be fitted and the SACO hydraulic clutch kit installed. The SACO kit replaces the clutch cable with a hydraulic setup which includes a small master cylinder that locates inside of the 'transmission' tunnel, and a slave cylinder that mounts where the stock clutch cable normally mounts.


Caged Beast

Delivered the oval to Donegal Engineering today to have the cage made up, big thanks to Paul Penny and his brother for helping out, was good to hook up. Sorry I couldn't have stayed a bit longer, but had an appointment at upullit to get a throttle body.


Body back on pan

Made more good progress today, i fitted the new pan halves and got the body back on the pan. Somehow I managed to do this by myself - I guess it's a lot easier if you're not worried about scratching paint. I postponed fitting up the new front beam as I didn't have an adjustable 18-22mm reamer, which is necessary for reaming out the king pins to fit after they are pressed into position. I will try to source another beam as a doner and then outsource getting the king and link pins fitted as it will probably cost about the same as an adjustable reamer.


IRS Fitted

Progress was good today, managed to get the IRS finished, all that is required is the final welding and a little patching where I've relocated teh handbrake cable to the lower half of the pan. I will leave the final welding until after I have had a chance to get the car back on it's wheels with the engine in place so that I can check the wheel alignment out - this will need to be done with a little weight in the car.


915 box fitted

Fitted the 915 box in today, it sits pretty good. Had to cut out old front gearbox mount to get enough clearance. Still got to make up mountings but will fab some custom ones to fit. I've also cut the pan for the shift linkage, everything seems to line up better than expected. It is a bit of a tight squeeze in between the frame horns, but it all fits. There is only one place that really needs a bit of clearancing as it is a little close to the case, but not really a massive issue as the box shouldn't be moving around too much. I am very tempted to hard mount the engine and box in, as this will certainly be easier, but not 100% at the moment.


Oval body off pan

The past few weeks haven't seen much progress with the oval, most of this time has been spent waiting for parts, but a little more about that later. We have also been pretty busy trying to get the ezine out before christmas, this is nearing completion and should be out any time soon. Keep a look out for an announcement in your inbox.


Stripped Naked

So I finished stripping the oval today, the doors didn't want to come off, half of the bolts came out with a little persuasion from the rattle gun, but the rest had to be drilled out. the keeper plates will have to be cleaned up and re-tapped before refitting. Fortunately, door hinge screws seem to be something I have an excess of.

  2649 Hits
Recent Comments
sounds like things went well. i'm assuming that the lack of rust is a nice change after uk cars. if you were doing a resto i'd sa... Read More
Thursday, 19 November 2009 05:01
Yeah, the ball joint setup is arguably better, and storing the pan makes sense if it get's restored at a later date - I'm thinking... Read More
Thursday, 19 November 2009 10:10
if worst comes to the worst, by the time you cut out the pan halves and unbolt everything you could hang a pan from the rafters. t... Read More
Thursday, 19 November 2009 17:22

Project Oval Stripout

Just a quick post to say that the strip down of the oval is now underway. The shell has been mostly stripped out, with only two wings (fenders) and the doors left to remove before the body can be lifted from the pan.


A new project begins

This may seem strange to some, but after being into VW's for over 20 years, I've just bought my first Beetle. The car in question is a 1956 oval windowed bug that I've bought to build as a budget racer. The idea is to put together a car for Speedweek 2010 and the rest of the year use it for drag racing.


Life is full of surprises...

I found out a funny thing today - my old silver '69 Ghia was originally an electric sunroof version that was painted cobalt blue with a black roof. The current owner fond out this info by sending off for it's birth certificate. This is pretty astonishing news - as had I known this - I probably would never had sold it. '69 Type 34's are pretty rare - sunroof models even rarer!


Picked up the interior for the Ghia today

Went and picked up the interior for the Ghia today. Gotta admit, I'm well pleased with the job they have done.

  1412 Hits
Recent Comments
Forgot to mention... The guys who did the re-trimming are Winners Trim (Winners Products) here in Adelaide. They are located in t... Read More
Thursday, 23 July 2009 19:50
they are beautiful. you must be very happy. this car is going to be something special when it is finished.
Friday, 24 July 2009 13:10
Cheers. It's been a (very) long time in the making. Hopefully the wait will be worthwhile ... Read More
Friday, 24 July 2009 18:29


Feel a bit lost without the car to work on, so have been a bit slack. Have spent the time doing a spot of research on ye olde interwobble, trying to track down some cheap gauges. Found some flea bay specials for a very reasonable price - oil pressure, oil temp, boost pressure and a 5" tacho for not very much dollahs. They're el-cheapo snide Autometer clones, but will do the job for time being, which is likely to be one weeks use at speed week - assuming the car lasts a week that is :)

Pre-loved leather interior Pre-loved leather interior


Rollin, rollin, rollin...

I had a bit of a brainwave. I've pretty much decided that the car is going to be finished in a faux-patina and hopefully emulating an original survivor speedster / race car / outlaw. I may paint it properly later, but for the time being it's going to be the quickest way to get it presentable(ish) and on the road.



OK, fresh back from the scrutineering meeting yesterday, decided to get cracking. Went out and sourced some steel for the scatter-shield, and the RHS braces that were discussed, and also some sheet metal for fabricating up the new bulkheads and patching a few bits of tin worm here and there.

  2020 Hits
Recent Comments
Things look like there coming along. Will this come to the states for speedweek or any events on the slatflats? Rick... Read More
Tuesday, 26 January 2010 09:26
I would love to take it to the states for speedweek, and probably will at some point, but at this stage I'm not sure if it will be... Read More
Tuesday, 26 January 2010 14:44
Scatter shield is now pretty much finished, will add a new blog post later.
Sunday, 07 February 2010 17:42

Paint Your Wagon

Not updated the blog for a week or so, but that doesn't mean that I've been idle, just too busy to be able to get my thoughts translated into the electronic ether.

Last weekend I spent some time getting the doors prepped ready for painting. The front doors both needed painting, both having been partially prepped. The passenger door was already mostly done with only a few minor blemishes requiring attention but the drivers door needed a fair amount of work. The drivers door has at some time been badly dented and could ideally do with a new door skin, but in a bid to get the bus on the road I decided to see if I could make it a little straighter then it was.


Low Light


Just picked up another project, a 1970 lowlight bus courtesy of @Matt here on Vdubber. I actually bought this several months back but only just got around to picking it up this past weekend. After a bit of a road trip to Mount Gambier and a couple of days with the very hostiptable Tully Family, we towed the bus back to Adelaide to it's new home.

We also brought back a complete roof clip section from another bay for another local Vdubber (splitmeister from AVD). This was strapped to the top of the bus and made the load very top heavy, which made for some 'interesting' driving.


There's been a burnley


Took a few days off in the week to get some more stuff done on the lowlight. My target for this week was to get the brakes finished off, get the gearbox in and paint the front doors. As I had already done most of the brakes there was only the front nearside left to do and change out the rear flexi hoses and shocks.When I removed the front nearside drum I was met by a bit of a surprise, the brakes were missing. There had been a Burnley.

It'll be all white in the end

It'll be all white in the end

Last weekend was a bit of a milestone in the build with the bus's first trip around the block. One thing that was instantly apparent from the maiden voyage was that the accelerator linkage was absolutely cactus. The second thing that was also readily apparent, and was made a lot worse by the first thing was that PICT34's and 009's do not play nice together. The bus had the infamous flat spot, which made you want to stamp down on the loud button to get things moving. This worked (to a degree) but ended up with the worn throttle sticking in the down (flat out) position. All in all it made for interesting driving.

Electrickery and other such magick

With the ReVolks trip looming and the interior in the bus it' time to get things finished off and start packing for the road trip. Everything at floor level is pretty much done, carpet is in, rock and roll seat is in, rear cargo area is carpeted, in fact the only things that havent been done are up in the roof.

Interior in

The bus has been pretty good over the past week or so, it starts up on the button and apart from a little bit of a flat spot when cold is running pretty good. I readjusted the choke by aligning the (rather small) mark on the choke element housing with the mark on the carburettor, this has made a massive difference but there is still a bit of hesitation when pulling away. This disappears when warm so I'm guessing that I've still got a little tweaking to do.

68 & 70 Type 3 Notchbacks

68 & 70 Type 3 Notchbacks

G'day everyone,

My family and I recently purchased two Type 3 Notchbacks, a 1968 and a 1970. They arrived by truck on the 4th of December.

A nip and tuck and a bit of a nose job

A nip and tuck and a bit of a nose job

With the long Easter weekend I managed to get a few extra hours in on the bus. Having already cut off the front panel and one dogleg, and made up an A-Pillar repair I decided to carry on with the front end and take a look at the dented front panel.

The front nose, like pretty much every other panel on the bus has suffered a bit of abuse and has taken a bit of a pounding. Not only is there current crash damage, but there are also some previous repairs that have rusted out and need to be repaired.

DIY Sheet Metal Clamps

DIY Sheet Metal Clamps

It's been absolutely ages since I did anything for my VW's. I've been pretty busy developing the supercharger kits but have done nothing on any of my resto projects.

Inspired by the Peter Tommasini sheet metal forming course held in the Adelaide Hills that I recently attended I decided that it was long overdue to do something towards making progress on one of the projects. One thing that I have been doing since the course was sourcing some more tools. I've mostly already got everything that I need but am missing a good blocking hammer and a few other odds and ends. One thing that I have been meaning to make for a long time is some of these butt welding clamps.

1970 Notch (Lowered)

G'day everyone,

We finished lowering our '70 type 3 Notch yesterday. The front has been lowered 2 splines and the rear has been lowered 1 spline.

Rusty's 1970 Notch (Road Worthy'd)

It has been a great learning journey working on our 1970 Type 3 Notchback. We now have it Road Worthy ready for my dad and I to cruise around in, and also ready for when I get my Learners.

Nicks 57 bottomless money pit

Nicks 57 bottomless money pit

Hi all,as some of you know, I've been flat out doing a 57 panel patina monster for the last 18 months so I figure its time to share the highs and lows.So here goes..

The bus is a 1957 Dove Blue panel that was advertised on DSK in July 2011.It looked good,the usual rust,but for me it ticked the major box,ORIGINAL PAINT!! Turns out that the guy who was selling it had bought it from the first owner,he'd done nothing with it except drag it home so I like to think I'm the second owner or at least the second driver.

Narrowing IRS - Part 2

Narrowing IRS - Part 2

If you've been following the build of the Ghia you may recall that I previously blogged about narrowing the IRS arms to help fix a tyre clearance issue that I have with the Ghia. Well having sourced another set of IRS A-arms some time back, this weekend I finally set about getting started.

ReVolks Roadtrip

ReVolks Roadtrip

It'd been a good many years since I've camped in a bus so I'd really been looking forward to ReVolks. For the non-Aussies here ReVolks is a VW show held in Geelong in Victoria - Some 700k's away from where we are in Adelaide. The mad rush to get the lowlight finished in such a short period of time was mostly so that we could take a bit of a holiday and take in the ReVolks show at the same time.

1978 VW "Champagne Edition" Karmann Convertible

G'day everyone,


My dad and I spotted a VW bug mostly covered over on a trailer coming home from Melbourne today. The guys who were towing the bug stopped for fuel so we stopped and I had a look and had a chat to the owner. He told me it was a 1978 VW "Champagne Edition" Karmann Cabrio. It was a very, very tidy car. Here is a pic I took of the bug...

Gretl the 1303s Part 1

I figured I best bring the Vdubber community up to speed with my current build.


A couple of months ago I came into the possession of Gretl. She was to be a ground up restoration and at the time of purchase, I race car on the weekends. Since then I have changed my mind.


A little update on Gretl

So, my pan halves rocked up the other day, I was over the moon. I spent a couple of hours outside so that was great. Was cleaning up the tunnel a bit more and then I got a little carried away on the body.

  2546 Hits
Recent Comments
Hey Seb, hows the new project?
Sunday, 06 July 2014 23:18
Hey Mick, new project is going okay.i cleared the defect and have been driving it around quite a bit. Got the front disc brake s... Read More
Monday, 07 July 2014 08:24
Cool, good news! Guess if there was anyone who could clear a defect it would be you Looking forward to some pics Seb. About time... Read More
Monday, 07 July 2014 21:17
DIY Cab Floors

DIY Cab Floors

With the cab floor on the '55 looking like it needs replacing I decided to see if I could avoid having to buy a full repair panel by using the floor from a front cut that I have stored for my 15 window project. I have the front cut to provide a dashboard and chassis member to convert the 15 to right hand drive but for some reason the cab floor is nearly perfect. Not what you would really expect on a bus that ended up getting chopped up. Unfortunately whoever chopped the floor section out did not really do a very good job, not only did they gas axe an inch off of the floor on every side, but they also managed to cut straight through the chassis member that I need for the RHD conversion. Phah.

So I decided to dig the floor section out from the back of the 15 and take a look.



Managed to get out and do a bit more work on the bus today, decided to carry on sorting out the lower nose inner panel. The panel that I acquired unfortunately turned out to be for a left hand drive bus, which meant that to get it to fit I needed to swap over the mounting brackets. The reason for this is that the two chassis rails that it attaches to are not identical and so have slightly different profiles, this means that the mounting brackets are also slightly different.


CNC Plasma table finished

CNC Plasma table finished

This weekend I decided to finish off the plasma table so that I can get cracking on the supercharger kits. The plasma has been pretty much finished for the past few weeks but has been on hold waiting for some smaller nozzles. The previous tests that I carried out resulted in a lot of dross and a larger then normal kerf which I put down to the 60amp nozzle that I had fitted. I ordered some 40 amp nozzles which arrived late last week.

Slamfest Part 1

Slamfest Part 1

Made a start on building a narrowed beam tonight. Plan is to build two beams - one for my bus and one for The Jimps.

  3077 Hits
Recent Comments
Hey Mick,sideplates look good.How many degrees caster did you build in? Or is it adjustable on the bay beams? I'm not too familiar... Read More
Tuesday, 30 September 2014 17:41
There's about 10mm setback which is probably about 5 degrees. There was no distortion in the bearing seats but did get a little bu... Read More
Tuesday, 30 September 2014 20:05
DIY A pillar repairs

DIY A pillar repairs

Spent some time today making up the repair panels for the bottom of the passenger side A pillar. Fortunately there was enough of the original left for me to take some measurements from. The repair panels are in three sections - two sections form the a pillar itself and another makes the bracket that attaches to the inner lower nose panel.

SCCA Badge

SCCSA Grille Badge

It seems to be a tradition amongst replica 356 owners to have a period grille badge. Not being a fan of fake Outlaw 356 or Cliche'd Nurburgring badges I've been on the lookout for something more suitable.


Mail Call

It's been an exciting week for deliveries. Got another parcel today. Can you guess what it is?

Pre-A Light

Mail call

Received some more goodies in the post.

Early style rear lights and a red lense for my shine down light so that I can use it is a third brake light

Door Capping

Door Capping - Part Deux

After a successful trial making a steel door garnish, I decided to have a go at making the complete thing.

Door Capping

Door Capping

I've long wanted to make some original style steel door cappings for my speedster. Whilst repros can be purchased they seem to be almost as expensive as my car. Karmann Konnection in the UK have some listed at AU$1k for the pair. Far too rich for my taste.

So I decided to make a small test and build a prototype to see if I could figure out the best techniques for making them. 


Carrera style fuel tank - Part 1

Just a quick update. Not much has been happening on the project as I've been tied up with work. But I did manage to grab a quick 5 minutes today to make a start on the fuel tank...

IMG_0176 Side Screens

Mail Call

Picked up these pre-loved side screens from thesamba. Big thanks to Patrick Brown for the heads up on these. Loving the aged look of these. Very reasonably priced too.

I believe that these might be a period aftermarket accessory. I've seen a couple of sets fitted to original cars. They are formed from aluminium extrusions and welded together and generally nicely finished. 


DIY Pre-A Handbrake - Part 2

In this episode I assemble the parts and drink some coffee.

Well, that's more-or-less what happened...


My DIY Pre-A handbrake

Got the handbrake parts back from the water jet cutters today. They need a bit of revision but look like they will work (always a win for a prototype). 

First blush, material is too thick, also main body is a bit too substantial (may change this to aluminium). The entire assembly looks a bit cumbersome, but then the originals are a bit like that too. The trigger was actually supposed to be thinner gauge than the rest of the parts as it needs to be pressed into shape., unfortunately it's not going to be easy to bend into shape without a bit of heat. (oops) I stuffed up and forgot to spec that on the drawing. (D'oh!). 

Of course these things rarely work out perfect first go around so no real biggie. I think that it will work fine as it is, but is probably just a bit TOO big. Really need to get it made up and on the car to check that the functionality is going to work out okay, but from what I've seen so far, I'm not expecting any major issues.


Making my steering column fit.

The great thing about non-standard parts is that somehow you need to make them fit. 

You will recall in previous posts that I've been chipping away at making the steering wheel fit. First making it fit the column, then making the column support, then making a nice fancy horn push and now the ultimate culmination of the steering wheel saga making the steering column fit the car.


Steering column bush

Not too much progress to report. Although I did make a steering column bush for the hybrid steering column setup I'm building.
I'm not 100% sold on the black nylon, however the white was simply too white and new looking. I figured black would look a little more like bakelite.
Now all I need to do is cut and shut the crash can and hook the column up


Wiring Loom

Had a spare 5 mins today so decided to take a look at the wiring loom on the Speedster project to try and figure out what I have and what's needed. I wasn't really sure what came with the car except that there was a carrier bag with what looked like a wiring loom in it.

Horn Push Horn Push

Horn Push Finished

I finally got around to finishing off my horn push project.

  1065 Hits
  1 Comment
Recent comment in this post
Apologies from the crappy photos It's hard to take a decent picture of the horn push as no matter how you light it and what camer... Read More
Saturday, 29 February 2020 11:37
3 Spoked Steering Wheel 3 Spoked Steering Wheel

Horn Push Badge

A while back I bought this awesome three spoked steering wheel from Ned Faux. It's much like a barndoor or early split bug wheel but not actually a VW item so unfortunately doesn't fit a VW steering column. But as I'd been looking for a barndoor or country buggy steering wheel for a while and figured that it was too good a price to turn down, so somehow I would make it fit. Plus it has an awesome patina to it, which will look just right in the speedster.


800W electric heater

Bought one of these heater units for the demisters. It's pretty compact and chucks out a fair bit of heat. Probably enough to keep the cabin warm on cold days. Was pretty cheap too. Perfect if you need to have working demisters like here in Aus.

DIY Speedster Steering Column Clamp DIY Speedster Steering Column Clamp

DIY Speedster Steering Column Clamp

Haven't done anything on the speedster for a while so was happy to grab a few hours today. I decided to take a look at the steering column with a view of getting the new column installed and mounted up. There's a few jobs to do before I can swap out the late column that's currently fitted. I managed to source an early beetle outer column tube from a mate but needed to figure out how to get it to work with what I had and how I wanted it to look following my overall plan of trying to make it look like an early car. Ideally I would love to swap the dash for a pre-A dash but my plan is simply to use as many early styling cues as I can whilst still working with what I have

Seat upholstery

Seat upholstery

Whilst we were making the pop top we did take the time to make up some patterns for the front seats and cut out the material but that was as far as we got. Having not done any form of upholstery before trying to figure out the best way of doing things was pretty hard. Google is pretty good, but even after finding some good videos online there were some details that they just glossed over. In the end the covers just got left and no more was done.

Supercharging the Lowlight Part 1

Supercharging the Lowlight Part 1

One thing that really struck home on our recent interstate jaunt to ReVolks was how damn slow the bus is. I have often joked that when I toured around Europe (also in a 1600 bay window) you would have to go flat out down the hills just to be able make it up the next one. Well somehow the reality of driving a 1600 bus over very long distances  had managed to become little more than anecdotal humour. This is a bit of a shame, as had I remembered how painfully slow driving a1600 bus was I might have opted to build something a little larger. After all, as our cousins in the good ole yew ess of aye say... 'there's no substitute for cubic capacity', or is there? Faced with the reality of having to build another bigger engine I opted to take the easy way out. Forced induction!

Fuel Starvation Issues

Fuel Starvation Issues

Since building the engine and adding the supercharger the lowlight has been pretty reliable. There were some initial gremlins to overcome such as the vastly underpowered generator, but since swapping it out for an alternator things have been fine. Fine that is until the other day.

We had just stopped off at Hungry Jacks (or Burger King as us Poms call it) to grab some well deserved mango smoothies after a day out at the beach, the bus did not want to fire straight up, which I put down to the very hot weather but I managed to get it started and drove off back to home. We managed to get about 200 yards down the road when the bus just stopped.

DIY Safari Frames

DIY Safari Frames

There's a bit of a rust issue with the tailgate on the lowlight which is also causing a bit of a leak and water to get into the bus. The rust is on the bottom of the window under the window rubber so to repair it the rear glass will need to come out. Whilst pondering the best way to fix it I had a great idea - why not replace the rear window with an opening 'safari' window. This way I could make the repair to the rust at my leisure rather than having to get it done in a hurry.

DIY Safari Frames Part 2

DIY Safari Frames Part 2

If you follow my blog or have read my previous article DIY Safari frames you're probably aware that I have been trying to roll a curve in aluminium extrusion so that I can make up my own rear safari window for the Lowlight. 

Last week the fruits of my labor ended up splitting the aluminium but after doing some pondering this week I realised that the extruded profile was not being supported correctly. The dies that I had made left the edge of the aluminium un-supported which resulted in the profile splitting.

And so it begins...

And so it begins...

Those of you who know me will also know that I sell supercharger kits under the moniker 'Joe Blow'. A while back I decided that to promote the kits I would put together a logo'd rat panel van - with nice Joe Blow powered motor. Orignally I was after a lowlight panel but somehow ended up with a '55 panel instead. So today I decided to start work on eliminating the tin worm. I recently cleared a load of projects from my schedule and so figuring the bus wasn't going to fix itself I decided to get stuck in.

DIY Cyclops light

DIY Cyclops light

Been getting a bit distracted by cyclops lights recently. Not that the bus is anywhere near ready for trinkets, still plenty of metalwork to do before its time to add jewellery. So completely sidetracked I decided to scratch that particular itch and have a go at making a cyclops light myself. My reasoning was that it would be good metal shaping practice, plus I had kinda figured out how to make it in my head and wanted to see if I could actually do it.

Cage Finished

http://www.vdubber.com/media/images/sharingImages/544.jpgFirst off, if you haven't noticed, we finally released the first issue of Vdubber magazine, thanks for all of your kind words, and support, it looks like it's a success. A big thanks to all of the contributers and also Melle Mel for typesetting the whole mag.

I picked up the oval this week as the cage has now been finished off. We lifted the body off today, and I stripped the front beam off and trial fited the new narrowed beam up. I had to keep the car rolling as i am going to a scrutineers meeting tomorrow and need to be able to get the car on and off of a trailer, so I temporarily fitted the new drums up too, but all of this will need to come off to be able to finish the pan.

  1481 Hits
Recent Comments
looking good Mick is this strictly race or are you thinking of streeting it cheers
Monday, 25 January 2010 03:30
Strictly race, they won't allow roll cages in road cars here in SA without a lot of engineering B/S. Small possibility that I coul... Read More
Monday, 25 January 2010 03:34
looks good, you must have a very understanding partner matt... Read More
Friday, 29 January 2010 13:05

The reassembly continues


Haven't had a chance to post much lately, been pretty busy either working or getting the oval back together. Progress has been marred a little by real work, which has taken me out of Adelaide, this has meant that work on the oval comes to a complete standstill (there is only me unfortuantely). Looking at the countdown time on my widgets, it's telling me 21 days to go, not a lot of time, but still lots to do. Since getting the pan back from the cage builder, I've been busy getting the suspension and steering back together, and also getting the scatter shield made up.

The scatter shield has probably been the biggest headache of all - not only does it have to be custom made, but i also had to figure out how to mount the 915 gearbox in as well - double trouble. I started off making a simple hoop out of flat bar which I was going to mount  to a beefed up trans support, but this didn't look strong enough. Then, whilst helping the father in law with his Triumph Bonneville I spotted a prime mover brake drum, that he said he had used as a brazier - perfect size, but unfortunately cast iron and not suitable. He called me back a few days later to say that he had found a rolled steel extension that was made for the top of the brazier - he dropped it over and work started on scatter shield mark 2.

The scatter shield needs to be 6mm thick steel, and whilst there are not any actual reccomendations in the DLRA rules, general consensus within the drag racing fraternity is that it should extend 1 1/2" forwards and back of the flywheel. For the V8 guys this is easy - just go to your local speed shop and order a replacement bell housing for your trans - job done. Unfortunately, the Porsche (or VW) box is all one piece and so this simply isnt an option.

The rolled steel I got from the father in law (cheers Chris) was a litttle too big in diameter, so I had to cut a section out and then use ratchet straps to close up the gap before re-welding it. it's not the prettiest of jobs, but without a set of rollers, it's a hard thing to fabricate.

With the scattershield done, and the pan painted with a generous coating of gloss enamel underneath and matt enamel on top, with some POR 15 on the exposed front and rear frames , the refit has started. the front and rear suspension are now back on, and the brakes are next on the list - everything is new, so hopefully it's a case of reassemble rather than rebuild.

The gearbox is officially in. The shift rod has been shortened and gears have been selected - I modded a repro hurst shifter to work with the 5 speed box, had to bend it a little to prevent my knuckles grazing the roll cage, and ideally would like to add spring gates to it, but I will leave this as a last on the list job, as currently I can select gears.

The schedule is now really out of whack, but 3 weeks is still time enough if I knuckle down - it takes about 2 weeks to reassemble a car including trim and this doesnt have anything inside at all. Need to get the body back on to clearance for the engine, and also see if the extra 25mm I managed to push the gearbox further forwards will now allow the stock deck lid to close. If not I managed to source a cheap semi-w to cut a hole in for the Porsche fan.

Off to get the brake shoes relined tomorrow, then I can get the pan rolling again.

Fingers crossed.....

There's heaps more pics in the gallery - just search for the tag vdubber - http://www.vdubber.com/photo/gallery_tag/vdubber/50/1