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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 :)
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.
Nick Bentley's Badass Rat Oval
Nick Bentleys 56 rat oval is a regular part of the South Australian scene and can often be spotted at events and meets. Sporting perfect patina, a big Type 4 power plant, all round disc brakes and a close ratio box not only does it look badass, it's lots of fun to drive too. Here's a bit more about the man and the rat straight from the horses mouth...
The past week has been pretty busy, I've had to re-enter a massive amount of info to catch up with my book keeping which was all on the laptop that was stolen, and this still isn't going to be finished in time to submit my BAS. Yes I know I should be entering receipts and reconciling bank balances and not typing a blog, as I have about an hour left in which to submit it, but to tell you the truth, I've simply had enough - it can wait - my brain was hurting.
It's amazing how much data you accumulate / use on a day to day basis, this is probably far in excess of normaility for me as I generate pages and pages of code for both my work and stuff like Vdubber. Some of this stuff I have now recovered / re-entered, but some I have simply decided to do without - a bit like a spring clean. Unfortunately, my accounts did not fall into this category.
I've spent a bit of time over the past week or so updating the site code to fix up some bugs and annoying aspects, and have also paid someone to install some modifications - this is a first for me - as i usually loathe to pay someone for anything that I can easily do myself, but time is precious and so it seemed like the most cost effective way to do it, plus a little investment in the website is a good thing.
The biggest news this week is that the oval is now in it's new home. It arrived yesterday after a weeks journey from Caboolture, just north of Brisbane, down to Adelaide where it's now waiting to be turned into a salt flat racer.
The first jobs on the agenda are to sort out some kind of clear coat to fix the paint from rusting thorugh any more - The Adelaide weather can be a little wet at times, and the nice sub burned and faded paint would soon turn into a furry mess. The patina will be staying!! I also need to sort out a beam adjuster and some moon discs before i will be sending it out to get the roll cage welded in
Next is to assess the state of the floor pan - the battery tray looked to be a little rusty although not too bad, I need to find out what panel work (if any) will be required to make the car safe, this will also determine if I need to split the pan. My original idea was to split the pan, restore the chassis but leave the body the same, but I might have a change of heart and just fix it up as it is. The idea with this car is that it is supposed to be a budget racer, plus I don't relly need yet another another money pit in which to pour cash.
So the initial objective is to get it prepped, whout going overboard.
Pics to follow....