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My '56 oval LSR car.
Record holder in DLRA G/BGALT class. More
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  • So this is the VW powered bike that ran at Speedweek this year. It's listed on the DLRA site as being run by competitor number 1093, Brook Denning. At the moment there is no speed recorded in the results (on open record for this class). I can only assume that either Brook did not finish the...
    So this is the VW powered bike that ran at Speedweek this year. It's listed on the DLRA site as being run by competitor number 1093, Brook Denning. At the moment there is no speed recorded in the results (on open record for this class). I can only assume that either Brook did not finish the course or that the results have not been entered yet.
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  • Mick uploaded 83 photos in the album Build Pics
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  • Salt Rat Oval has been created

    Salt Rat Oval

    My '56 oval LSR car.
    Record holder in DLRA G/BGALT class.
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  •  
    Whilst velocity stacks were available from EPay, I did not fancy paying the extortionate amount that was being charged for them. Seems that like Porsche, once things have the 'Harley' name associated with them the price automatically becomes twice what it's actually worth.
    So after watching...

     
    Whilst velocity stacks were available from EPay, I did not fancy paying the extortionate amount that was being charged for them. Seems that like Porsche, once things have the 'Harley' name associated with them the price automatically becomes twice what it's actually worth.
    So after watching the Fabricator video - 'Sheet Metal Intake Manifold Entirely by Hand' I decided to have a go myself. First thing was to locate something suitable for use as a former to help shape the conical shape of the trumpet. Fortunately I was able to find a circular punch which had a tapered end. I the pressed this into a length of tube to create a nice tapered shape using the hydraulic press at work.
     

     
    The result was a tube with a nice taper in the end. Next up was creating the lip of the funnel. In the Fabricator article he simply used the edge of his bench, I was more fortunate as I had a tin-mans stake that had a very similar radius to what was needed. After a little careful hammering this is what I ended up with...
     

     
    Fitting it onto the carburetor was not a straightforward exercise as the mounting holes are very close to the opening of the inlet throat. To get over this I cut small slots into the side of the velocity stack so that the mounting bolts would have something to hold onto. I used this method of mounting rather then a flange as it was much simpler to implement.
    Here's the finished article all mounted up to the engine...
     

     
    As you can see the stack really sets off the engine.
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  •  
    So having gained a little newfound inspiration I've actually done a few things on the engine. The first thing I did was to finally bolt the throttle body on to the supercharger. Previously I had made an adaptor plate but had not drilled and tapped the mountings for it. This was a small job...

     
    So having gained a little newfound inspiration I've actually done a few things on the engine. The first thing I did was to finally bolt the throttle body on to the supercharger. Previously I had made an adaptor plate but had not drilled and tapped the mountings for it. This was a small job that didn't take too long to do and takes me one step closer to getting the induction side of the engine set up.
     

     
    I also ordered and picked up some drive pulleys for the crank and blower. These are heavy duty jobbies that run a 25mm belt. There's no chance of these slipping. The pulleys are supplied pilot drilled which means that they are un-machined and so you can modify then to fit your application so tonight a spent some time turning the small pulley to fit the supercharger.
     

     
    I also picked up a second set which I will install on the lowlight as a bit of an R&D experiment. This is the pre-cursor to setting up the EFI version of the supercharger kit that I sell. Once I am happy with everything I will look to get the new design drafted up and manufactured.
     

     
    At the moment I'm not 100% how I am going to do the crank pulley, a lot depends on the cooling setup that I end up with. My initial thoughts are to use a standard vee belt to drive the cooling and the toothed belt to drive the supercharger only. I've got a standard alloy style vee belt pulley on order so when it arrives I will look to machine the two pulley so that I can bolt them together to form one single pulley. I may even make a hub for these to fit on. Early days yet.
     

     
    The toothed crank pulley is slightly larger than the stock pulley, this was so that I could get the ratios that I needed without having to run the blower pulley too small. The good thing with using off of the shelf stuff is that I can buy the blower pulley in a variety of different sizes which means that I can easily dial the boost in once the engine is up and running.
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  •  
    One unsolved issue that I have been putting off for as long as I have had the box is the clutch release mechanism. On the Type 4 engine I had a custom 911 flywheel made up, this used the 911 clutch and release bearing. The 911 clutch is a pull style clutch which means that the release arm...

     
    One unsolved issue that I have been putting off for as long as I have had the box is the clutch release mechanism. On the Type 4 engine I had a custom 911 flywheel made up, this used the 911 clutch and release bearing. The 911 clutch is a pull style clutch which means that the release arm works in reverse to a normal clutch setup. This works fine with the VW cable release although you need to figure out how to hook the cable up to the release arm, not a massive issue.
    With the current power plant and the proposed 36er the clutch I am using is a traditional push style clutch which does not lend itself to the pull style operation of the 911 box. To overcome this I decided to fit a hydraulic release bearing. This is basically a release bearing that has a hydraulic cylinder integrated into it.
     

     
    The idea is that the entire unit slips over the bearing support tube replacing the standard bearing. Well that's what happens in your average US LS1 powered car which is what this unit was originally designed for. The tube on the left of this photo is the bearing tube from the 915 gearbox. Unfortunately this is a little too large for the bearing to fit over.
     


     
    Before I go any further, and by way of an explanation the two photos above show the cylinder retracted (top) and extended (bottom). The cylinder has about 1 inch of travel. more than enough for pretty much any clutch. It came supplied with a bunch of shims that allow you to dial in it's retracted position relative to the clutch plate, these fit over the clutch tube before the hydraulic bearing is installed to bring the bearing closer to the clutch plate.
    So the first stumbling block was the fact that the bearing unit did not fit over the 915 bearing tube. This was a relatively minor issue and easy enough to fix. I turned down some tubing to the correct diameter and then cut the 915 bearing tube back to the flange.
     

     
    I then pressed the two parts together to make a correctly sized bearing tube.
     

     
    With the bearing tube finished I could not offer up the complete assembly into the gearbox.
     

     
    The two connections are the hydraulic connection from the foot pedal cylinder and the bleed nipple. The bleed nipple needs to be run to the outside of the bellhousing to make bleeding the clutch possible with the engine installed.
     

     
    With the bearing test fitted it was time to offer up a clutch plate and try to figure out how much clearance I had and how much I needed
     

     
    Using a straight edge things look awfully close. in fact it does not look like there is enough room for the flywheel.
     

     
    The bearing sits in the center of the flywheel but the contact points are not in line with the end of the springs on the clutch unit, this means that the clutch will rub in the center of the bearing and not on the bearing itself which is a major problem.
     

     
    Here's a shot of the master cylinder too
     

     
     
    At this stage it looks like I still need to gain an extra 1/2" or so. Tomorrow I will strip down the release bearing and see if there is a way that I can shorten it
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  •  
     

    When using a 911 style clutch assembly the installation of the cable and release mechanism is pretty simple. The release arm is located at the bottom of the box instead of at the top like on a VW, and apart from making an adaptor to hook the cable to the arm, the clutch cable lines right...

     
     

    When using a 911 style clutch assembly the installation of the cable and release mechanism is pretty simple. The release arm is located at the bottom of the box instead of at the top like on a VW, and apart from making an adaptor to hook the cable to the arm, the clutch cable lines right up and the install is pretty simple.
    However, the 915 gearbox release operation is pretty much the exact opposite to what you normally find on a VW box. The 915 style arm pulls the release bearing away from the engine to disengage it instead of pushing it. This means that to get the arm to work in the opposite direction you need to do some small modifications.

     
    What you basically need to do is swap the release arm around about 270 degrees on the shaft so that you pull it from the opposite side of the engine. This will then push the release arm instead of pulling it. To make this work you need to both modify the release shaft as well as make up a mounting for the clutch bowden tube.
     


     
    After removing the release arm, pivot shaft and release fork you will need to machine a groove in the pivot shaft to allow the release fork to be mounted upside down. After you have done this reassemble the shaft along with the release arm and release fork. 
     


     
    You will need to wire the stock style VW release bearing onto the release fork as it will not safely clip into position. Make sure you go around a couple of times but don't forget to leave enough slack for the bearing to pivot back and forth. I Also had to mod the input shaft tube to accept the smaller VW release bearing. Even though it was a nice tight press fit I welded this into place to prevent it from moving.
     

     
    Next up is the bracket for the bowden tube. I simply welded some scrap bits of steel together until I had made something that held the cable in position as required.
    The last part was the release arm itself. To join the cable to the release arm I made up a simple tube through which the clutch cable would pass. This tube was fixed to the release arm via a stud which passes through the bearings on the end where the Omega spring goes which is no longer needed with the clutch in this configuration.
     

     

     
    Finally everything was installed on the car.
     

     
    A point to note was that I had already previously extended the clutch pedal release arm (the bit that the clutch cable hooks on to.) I did this so that the VW setup would work with the 915 clutch and box.
    So with everything in place the only thing really left to do is put it all together and try it...
     
     
     
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  •  
    I originally got the idea of the fence panels from a guitar I own - a DonMo rust bucket - a resonator guitar made from recycled fence panels. Truly a thing of beauty - especially if you are into rat look cars and playing the blues.
     
    As you can see the rear includes the original branding...

     
    I originally got the idea of the fence panels from a guitar I own - a DonMo rust bucket - a resonator guitar made from recycled fence panels. Truly a thing of beauty - especially if you are into rat look cars and playing the blues.
     
    As you can see the rear includes the original branding mark found on the corrugated panels. I have heaps of these and thought that they would look great in my Aussie rat rod oval. but alas time is against me so for the time being they will be aluminium.
    Making the door panels was a simple case of cutting out a rectangle with rounded corners and then adding a bead with the bead roller. The rears were a little more complex as they were curved but this was made easy with the template that 'Rusty Ovali' brought round. He also made a good job of rolling the panels too.

     

     
     
    After fitting the door panels and rear kick panels I turned my attention to the rear seat area. This area had been cut out to allow the cage to be made - it allows the bode to be removed from the pan over the cage. It also gives great access to the gearbox. I decided to make this out of 1.5mm sheet as this is called for by the DLRA rules. I made it in three sections with the centre part removable so that I could still access the gearbox / starter / fan fairly easily. You can also see the beginnings of the fire system being mounted up too...
     

     
     
    Whilst I was working with aluminium I decided to knock up a couple of other items too, namely some headlight covers - this both gets rid of the glass and also is a requirement for  the Altered Coupe class in which I have entered. I made these by putting some shape into a a flat blank and then bead rolling a step around the edge to allow it to fit in the original position like the glass sense did.
     

     
     
     

     
     

     
     
     
    Back when I originally started building the car there were not requirements for a HANS system or head restraints other than a head rest. With the changes in safety that have happened over the past few years there is now a requirement for head restraints. Having already bought a low back seat with the intention of using a head rest mounted to the cage I had to go back to the drawing board and come up with an alternative. I didn't really want to replace the seat, but a new high back Kirkby with the optional shoulder and head restraints would definitely be the go if I was buying a new seat - or maybe even a full restraint seat.
    Inspired by the new Kirkey full restraint seats I set about adding a suitable head restraint to the existing low back. I started off with some 5mm x 100mm aluminium flat bar and bent it up into a similar shape as the Kirkey unit - fortunately all of the measurements for the Kirkey unit are available online as a fitting guide. I then added some additional support in the form of some aluminium angle that I had in the spares pile. I TIG'd this on (my aluminium welding skills need lots of honing).

     
     
     

     
     
     
     
     
     
     

     
     
    I then set about mounting it all up. I had already decided to mimic the way that the kirkey full restraint seats mount the head rests as this left a nice clear area for the harness plus it allowed me to mount the restraint directly to the seat back. Here's the end result. I still need to get some flush bolts and SFI padding to finish it off but it works really well.
     

     
     
    Other tribulations include having a custom flywheel and clutch disc made up to allow me to marry up the 1950's VW 36hp engine to the 1980's 911 gearbox, and even though this should allow me to get the power to the wheels (once I have drive shafts that is) I still need to engineer a way to release the clutch. 911 gearboxes are an anomoly in the automotive world, not only does the starter ring gear bolt to the flywheel but instead of pushing the thrust bearing into the clutch to release it - it pulls the bearing (which is attached to the clutch pressure plate) away from the clutch - it's basically backwards.
    This means that the usually way to get everything to marry up is to use the complete 911 clutch setup which is what I did on the original big block engine when I built it by having a custom flywheel made up. This time I decided to move away from the 911 setup as it is  massively heavy - especially for a little engine like this one so the only option was to use a stage 1 200mm VW pressure plate on a custom flywheel (with a 12 volt starter ring gear instead of 6 volt) married to a 200mm clutch disc with the VW centre swapped out for a Porsche centre. This is a good setup for this engine but leaves me with the issue of operating the clutch, there is simply no way to retrofit a normal style clutch fork.
    My current thinking is to use a hydraulic style release bearing, these are like an oversize release bearing that you can hook up to a hydraulic master cylinder, they simply sit on the input shaft tube and expand to push the clutch fingers. Next pay I will order one and figure out how to change my existing cable pedal to a hydraulic one.
     
     

     
     
     
    I also had some tyres fitted to the rims and managed to find some V rated (150mph) in suitable sizes. This is way over what the current engine is capable of powering the car at so will do very nicely indeed. The front are Nangkang 145R65/15s a popular size for use as front runners by street cars and the rears are run of the mill 195R65/15's - a tad wider than I would have liked but as none of the narrower tyres are available in a V rating they had to do.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

     
     
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  • The initial fittings that I made up to fit the moon disks worked really well so I simply replicated them until I had enough for three fittings for each wheel which is the minimum requirements in DLRA rules. The brackets are the standard Dzuz fastner brackets bent 25mm from the end. They are...

    The initial fittings that I made up to fit the moon disks worked really well so I simply replicated them until I had enough for three fittings for each wheel which is the minimum requirements in DLRA rules. The brackets are the standard Dzuz fastner brackets bent 25mm from the end. They are bent so that the angle matches the angle of the moon disk.
    The moon disks themselves are drilled 25mm in from the existing fixing hole. This is easy enough to mark with a ruler - simply line up the hole with the centre of the disk by placing the ruler through the centre of the pattern on the disk.
     
     
     
    I used a stepped cutter to cut the holes for the Dzus fastners. If you have more time / patience you can also make a die to form a countersunk hole and fit the dzus screw directly into the moon disk. This gives a much neater and smoother finish. Details of this method of fitting can be found elsewhere on the web.
     
     
     
    With the Dzus fastners riiveted to the disk the next part is to temporarily attach the brackets. This is done by holding the bracket and clip and temporarily clipping them in place. Once all three are done you can then oiffer the moon disk to the wheel.
    One thing to take note of is the posiotion of the air valve fitting in the rim. If you are not careful you can easily position one of the mounting brackets over the air valve location which will result in not being able to pump up your tyres. I positioned the disk so that the valve was half way between two of the dzus fastners. I also stamped the disk so I could easily identify the corrrect orientation. I stamped each rim and each disk with a number so that I could also identify which disk came from which wheel.
     

     
    When you fit the disk, make sure that the brackets are a good fit, taking the time initially to get them to fit properly at the start is definitely worthwhile. I found it easiest to turn the wheel upside down so that it rested on the disk. Once you are happy with them mark the position of the brackets with a texta and take the disk off.
    Next remove the paint from the locations you have marked. Once done refit the disk and flip the wheel over so that it sits on the disk. I opted to tack my brackets on with the wheel in this position whilst relying on the metal disks contact with my welding bench to provide an earth. If you are a bit more precious with your disks and do not want to get burn marks on them you might want to figure something else out.
     

     
    Once tacked up remove the disk and fully weld the brackets in place. I TIG welded mine but you can use whatever is suitable. Once welded sand back and give a coat of paint / blast & powdercoat / etc and then repeat for the other three wheels.
     

     
    With the wheels finished I moved on to the window mountings. I welded up the frames that I prepared the other day and made up additional frames for the front windscreen and front drivers door. The drivers door needed the quarterlight and original glass window removing so these were removed. 
     

     

     
    Once I had made up the additional frames I welded them together and shot some matt black paint over them. Next up is to make some templates and cut the polycarbonate sheeting out for the windows.
     

     
     
     
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  • In my last post you may recall that the crank arrived from DPR along with the custom flywheel. This week the rods arrived from AA-performance which means that one I manage to source some bearings and cut the case for the larger barrels I can commence with some trial assembly.
     

     
    The rods...

    In my last post you may recall that the crank arrived from DPR along with the custom flywheel. This week the rods arrived from AA-performance which means that one I manage to source some bearings and cut the case for the larger barrels I can commence with some trial assembly.
     

     
    The rods are fiarly heavy at some 530 odd grams and whilst there's plenty of material that could be removed to make them lighter I will only balance them at this stage.  Ultimately the engine will not be massively high revving so the weight reduction would be of limited benefit. The rods were only available in one length which is a little dissapointing as I would have much preferred a longer rod to reduce piston velocity. But again I can live with this as the engine will not be high revving. Wrist pin is 20mm to match the 40HP big bore pistons and whilst I will hopefully end up with some custom forged J&Es there is every chance that funds / time may dictate that I have to run with them so retaining the 20mm pin diameter seemed to be the sensible option.
    Along with the new rods I received some guage pods, these will allow me to mount the remaining oil temp, oil pressure and the all important boost guage up next to the tacho. I still need to fabricate some kind of bracket to mount these but that is a minor detail and can wait until I need a quick fill in task to carry out.
     

     
    Whilst I've not really got stuck into any major tasks since last week I have managed to get a lot of small things polished off. For example running the emergency shut off cable through the dash...
     

     
    ...and making up a boss for the $10 steering sheel that I bought from Gumtree
     

     
    I started with a nice quick release steering wheel boss and some 5mm aluminium
     

     
    And cut out a circular boss that allowed me to mount the wheel to to the boss.
     

     
    I then cut down the steering column
     

     
    And welded the splined portion of the quick release hub to the end of the shaft
     

     
    Having a removable steering wheel is a massive advantage when trying to climb out of and into the car with a roill cage, it makes life so much easier.
    You may recall that I had planned to fix my moon discs with 6 bolts. Having now got some welding gas I decided to tackle this job so that I could go and get the tyres fitted. I carefully marked out the location of the nuts on the rim and set about welding them into postion. Well after about 20 minutes and more than a few melted nuts I decided that perhaps it wasn't the easiest or quickest option and that my original intention of using Dzus fastners was the way to go...
     

     
    After some careful measurment I bent up one of the mounting plates that I bought specifically for this purpose. and drilled out one of the moon discs to accpet the Dzus faster. I opted to fit the Dzus fastner along with the mounting plate. Others remove the acrual screw part fo the fastner and press a recess into the moon disc so that the screw sits flush. Call it lazyness or trying to be time-smart, I decided that this was too much work.
     

     
    The bracket sits at the correct angle to be welded to the inside of the rim like this...
     

     
    I can just about get my TIG torch in through the hole in the rim to tack them in position.
     

     
    The finished article (apart from some rivets of course).
    Whilst in this frame of mind I decided to tackle the bonnet and decklid fixings. The DLRA rules state that bonnets and boots have to be held closed by at least one safety pin. To acheive this I decided to simply remove the existing bonnet and decklid handles and fit in thier place these all-in-one safety catches.
     

     
    The pin simply bolts to the valence using two nuts. The bonnet is the same. These safety clips retain the clip should it come undone.
    Other goodies to arrive include the 3" harness and the NACA cooling ducts. I also picked up the Lexan / Polycarbonate sheeting that I will be making up the windows from Menzels here in SA.
     

     

     
    It really has been just like Christmas around here
    One thing that I have been avid waiting for are my heads. The heads are based on a current reproduction of vintage Okrasa tuning twin port heads available in the '50s. I opted to have the heads modified by Brothers engineering in California. The work I've engaged them to do is fit larger stainless valves and bronze guides do a nice port and polish job and machine the heads for twin plugs. They are also opening them up for the larger barrels that I am fitting.
    I decided on going with twin plugs after seeing an original pair of twin plug Okrasa heads that a friend had. These had originally been fitted to an aero engine where dual ignition systems are required. I also have another friend that runs a Stan Pobjoy 1915cc engine in his splitscreen single cab. Stan Pobjob engines are also twin spark and have a great reputation - interestingly Stan learned his trade building aero engines.
    In a supercharged engine the extra spark plug helps promote an even burn and can help reduce the possibility of detonation by starting two flame fronts - a massive benefit in an old tech engine like this. Ultimately I would have loved to run supersquish pistons or even direct injection and controlled detonation that way but both of these solutions are currently out of the reach of my budget. However I've not ruled than out as an improvement down the track.
     

     
    Combustion chamber showing relocated plug and second plug at bottom of chamber.
     

     
    The second plugs are located to the bottom of the heads and are just accessible between the push rod tubes
     

     
    A shot of the top of the eads showing the improved spark plug location for the primary plugs
     

     
    The machining required for the dual plugs - not a job for the faint hearted.
     
    The heads still have a bit of work to do to finish them. I was really hoping to have them completed and here prior to Christmas so that I could assemble the engine over the Christmas break but it doesn't look like that is going to happen which is a bit of a shame. Hopefully they are not too far away.
    Last night I started to take a look at the firewall where it clashes with the scattershield and decided that the best option is simply to remove the entire firewall. Ultimately this will allow for much better access to the engine and gearbox and seeing as I have to make up a cover for this area regardless of what steel remains the logical option. Tonight I will see if I can get the wheels finished and ready for rubber.
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  •  

     


     
    Along with the new crank I also ordered a 36hp flywheel with a 200mm clutch and a 12volt ring gear. This allows me to use an aftermarket performance clutch and be able to fit it to the 915 gearbox with no issues. I also got DPR to supply me with a stage 1 Kennedy pressure plate...

     

     


     
    Along with the new crank I also ordered a 36hp flywheel with a 200mm clutch and a 12volt ring gear. This allows me to use an aftermarket performance clutch and be able to fit it to the 915 gearbox with no issues. I also got DPR to supply me with a stage 1 Kennedy pressure plate and solid clutch disc so that they could balance everything together. I cannot recommend DPR enough, they were a pleasure to deal with.
    Feeling inspired I managed to get some more small jobs out of the way this weekend. I made a start on beating the dents in the guards out. Whilst the car is relatively rust free it's obviously had a bit of abuse at some point in its life - maybe as a paddock basher as there are a fair few knocks and dents in the lower nose and lower edges of the fenders. Fortunately the damage is not too severe and I was able to straighten them up pretty good. There's still some cracks to weld up but I will tackle these when i finally fit the guards to ensure I weld them up straight. I trial fitted them to the car, it was good to see it looking like a car once again.
     

     
    The front tyre clearance is a little worrying. Even with the 2" narrowed beam the tyre scrubs the guard. I'm hoping that I can remedy this with some smaller and lower profile front tyres - the 175s that are on there are obviously too big but even so it looks like it will still be a tight squeeze with 145s on there. I've managed to find a local source for nankang front-runner drag tyres at a very reasonable price. These are a 145/65R15 and are speed rated to 150mph (V rating) which is perfect. They also have 175/80R15 which would make a reasonable rear although I'm still waiting to hear what larger sizes they stock.
    As the tyres are an important part of the car I decided to dig out the wheels I bought for it. I purchased a set of mangels a few years back - 2 x 4.5 J / 15s and 4 x 5.5 J / 15s. The idea being that I could run a few different tyre heights on the rear if required. I opted for brand new mangels as all new wheels are now required to have safety beads and safety beads are requirement for DLRA races. I also bought a set of moon discs at the time so decided to get these ready to fit up.
    Moon discs cannot be fitted using the traditional method of drilling a hole through the rim and fixing them with self tapping screws, instead they need to be fitted with either 3 dzus fastners or six machine screws around the circumference. Originally I planned to use dzus fastners but decided to change my mind and use 6 machine screws instead. This required drilling some extra mounting holes in the moon discs as they are only supplied with 3 holes. Unfortunately I had run out of gas so could not weld the nuts to the rim to fit them.
     

     
    With the wheels as far as I could get them I moved on to the engine. Having already received some engine goodies I decided to start trial fitting the engine together. The first thing I wanted to tackle was the cam and cam gear. I had already had a conversation about using a 50 horse cam gear so knew that this was possible but was also aware that there was some kind of modification required to make this setup work. When I bought the stash of 36hp parts I was lucky enough to get a pretty much perfect stock cam in with the haul. This had been very carefully stored greased up and sealed in plastic bags, the end result being that it's probably better than a NOS one as it has no signs of wear and the added bonus of not being covered in over 50 years worth of shelf snot. The cam gear I opted for was a straight cut version with offset washer to allow me to dial it in properly - assuming that I can get a set of cam specs of course. After offering the cam up to the cam gear it was plain to see that the gear needed clearancing. An easy issue to solve when you have access to a lathe.
     

     
    After taking a quick skim off of the inside edge of the cam gear the cam fitted perfectly so I decided to trial fit it into the case.
     

     
    I wanted to check clearance for the cam gear bolts and also to make sure that the cam both engaged with the oil pump and did not foul it. Everything fitted perfectly.
     

     
    With the cam fitted I decided to close up the case and check it for binding and rotation. 36hp engine are odd in that the cam runs directly in the case without bearings - a novel but concerning way to do things, fortunately the case measures perfect and things were just as they should be.
     

     
    I also test fitted the gilmer setup and could not resist another peek at how the supercharger would fit up. I've already drafted up the brackets for the blower but have not yet cut them out.  With the engine at a point where I really need rods / heads / bearings to rock up I decided to move on to other things.
    Next up was the rear decklid, unfortunately it had one busted hinge, I managed to fix this up using a hinge of of a doner deck lid I bought a while back. I drifted the hinge pins out and replaced them with R-clips to allow me to remove the decklid easily when tuning. I also could not resist fitting this...
     

     
    After a trial fitting of the fuel cell up I turned my attention to the interior. I made up a bracket to hang the tacho from the rear mirror mount and also put together the engine control panel
     



     
    The engine control panel is simple stuff - a few switches and a pushbutton that I bought from the local electronics store along with a fuseboard - its all that's needed - a circuit for the fuel pump and one for the ignition, A light for oil pressure and a light for the generator. I'm also going to add in a buzzer for the oil pressure too.
    With that done I turned my attention to the seat and did a quick temporary trial fit using tek-screws. I'm pretty happy with the seat position but still need to factor in the head restraints that are required. I will probably end up going with a new Kirkey seat that has these integrated. At one stage I was planing on welding 'ears' into the cage but looking at the seat location this is not going to be as easy as I first thought due to the cage design.
     

     
    I also managed to get some other stuff knocked off of the list, I fitted the external battery cut off, trial fitted a 36hp engine so that I could make sure that everything fitted under the decklid (it does ) straightened the decklid out, re-fitted the front hood and did a fair bit of pondering - like how to fit lexan windows and whether or not to cut out the rear firewall.
    Tonight I went down toe BOC and got a new bottle of argon so will get the wheels welded up to mount the moon discs some time this week. If my expenses come through I will also go out and buy the tyres so that I can get the wheels fitted on which means that this coming weekend I should look to get the brakes fitted. Currently the drums are temporarily fitted to allow me to roll the car around I need to re-fit the backing plates and the new shoes and cylinders and hook up the flexi-hoses. I also placed some more orders and should have a harness and some gauge pods arriving soon so that I can finish off the interior electricals. Things are ticking along nicely, lets see if I can get it done in time for my deadline of February.
     
     
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  • The build has changed a bit since the initial plans with the stroke being increased to 72mm and the bore now at 83.5 which gives just over 1600cc. This is good in one respect as it is a capacity that is familiar to me with the Joe Blow kits - it gives me a bit of confidence that I know I can...

    The build has changed a bit since the initial plans with the stroke being increased to 72mm and the bore now at 83.5 which gives just over 1600cc. This is good in one respect as it is a capacity that is familiar to me with the Joe Blow kits - it gives me a bit of confidence that I know I can get the setup to perform pretty well. The only drawback is that it pushes me up into the next engine size category in the DLRA class system - at the lower capacity end of that class too. This will make getting a DLRA class record a lot harder but not altogether impossible.
     

     
    At the moment I'm waiting for my crank and heads to arrive, once I have these I will set about getting some forged pistons made up. I have some Mahle pistons that were supplied with the 40hp big bore 83.5 barrels but I want to run forged pistons as I'm planning on some higher than normal boost. Unfortunately until the heads get here I don't know what cc they are so cannot calculate the CR. I also want to trial assemble the engine with the Mahle pistons so that I can check out the skirt clearance from the crank.
     

     
    The heads I'm using are Wolfsburg West Okrasa copies. These are being put together by Brothers and will feature 35mm x 32mm stainless valves, uprated springs and a nice port job. I'm also having the heads drilled for a second spark plug - this is to assist with potential detonation issues at the higher boost.
    The crank is a DPR welded and offset ground unit made from a 36hp core. I would have loved to have used the new AA Chromoly 914 72mm crank but it's just too expensive for this build. Cam is stock 36hp. I have a very nice low k's cam that I will use long with a set of 1.4:1 speedwell ratio rockers, I also indulged in a pair of speedwell rocker covers as well.
    I've managed to source most of the parts for the build including most of the EFI system, including the ECU (megasquirt) twin wasted spark coil packs, injectors and manifolds
     

     
    Twin ford style coil packs. I need to make a small modification to the megasquirt to be able to run these directly from the ECU - a pretty easy mod to do. I will also upgrade the MAP sensor to a 2 or 3 bar unit. The stock 1 bar unit supplied with the megasquirt will not be big enough.
     

     
    Cleaned and matched Bosch injectors - these are 20cc units which should be good for up to 160hp - way higher than I will achieve.
     

     
    I also indulged myself and bought a decent boring head so that I can clearance the case for the larger barrels. The 40 horse 'big bore' barrels require the case to be opened up to fit. I also experimented with 50 horse 85.5mm barrels, which can be made to fit but do not leave very much material to hold the head studs.
     

     
    The inlet manifolds that I will be using are stock 50 horse items. The stock inlet ports are very similar in size and location to the Okrasa ports - in fact it's pretty easy to see where VW might have got the idea for the twin port. I'm hoping that with the port job on the heads there will be only minimal blending to carry out.
    Along with the crank I have also ordered a 36hp flywheel with 200mm clutch and 12 volt ring gear along with a stage 1 Kennedy clutch and apart from the aforementioned pistons the only other item I need to source is a 1 1/2" merged header. I already have a 1 5/8" header but thinking that this is maybe a little too large. Again I will wait for the heads to arrive and find out what size ports they have before ordering another.
    Next steps are to get the body reassembled and finshed off whilst I wait for the engine parts to arrive. I've still got to bolt the body to the pan and refit the wings. I also need to sort out the windows and make up some interior panels. Lots to do and only a few months to do it in.
     
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  •  

     
    It obviously goes without saying that the engine will be blown and feature one of my kits. Ironically I have yet to put together a kit for a 36 horse and so this will allow me to develop the necessary changes to fit the blower onto the smaller 36 horse engine. Other plans at this stage...

     

     
    It obviously goes without saying that the engine will be blown and feature one of my kits. Ironically I have yet to put together a kit for a 36 horse and so this will allow me to develop the necessary changes to fit the blower onto the smaller 36 horse engine. Other plans at this stage are very similar to the 1600. I actually want to see if I can match the capacity - 69.5 stroke by 83 bore will give me somewhere approaching 1600cc. Exceeding this capacity requires a expensive 356 72mm crank which I simply don't want to stretch to in this build. I also will continue down the EFI path using the megasquirt and throttle body I bought for the 1600. The general goal will be the same - high boost - so EFI for ignition retard under boost will be a necessity.
    My initial thoughts were to use 40 horse P&Cs and even maybe 50 horse heads. Whilst it's possible to use 40 horse P&Cs (necessary to get 83mm) the cylinder spacing on the 1600 heads is simply too far apart to be used. I considered cutting them and making them into split heads but it's probably a little too much work. This leaves me with no other option than to go with Wolfsburg West Okrassa heads (Denzil are simply too rare/expensive). This is the only viable way I can get a twin port head which is an absolute must for EFI.

     
    In the hoard of parts were three cases. One has been machined, full flowed and is ready to assemble, one has been cleaned, checked and is ready to machine and the last one has suffered a bit of corrosion and so is going to be my test case which I will use to experiment on. The machined case even came complete with a high flow oil pump, so there's one less thing I need to worry about. 
    Taking a look at the 36 horse engine it's quite a bit different from the later 40 and 50 horse units. The push rods are altogether different as they are attached to the lifters which are in turn held in alignment with the case. These can be swapped out for 356 units which are more like the later 40/50 horse parts and use a separate push rod - a necessity really as the all-in-one 36hp style look like they will flex a little given the change in push rod geometry. The crank pulley looks like it will fit but has a different offset from the 36HP version, not a massive problem as I will make these to suit. At this stage I don't have heads but will be looking to use ratio lifters which means either purchasing the speedwell versions or doing some machining work and retrofitting 50 horse versions.

     
     
    Of course I had to do the obligatory blower test fit to find out how I will fit it. Interestingly, without the distributor to get in the way there is a perfect space to the left side of the generator. Given that I also do not have to worry about carburettor orientation I have opted to fit the blower in a horizontal configuration with the throttle body sitting directly on top. Not exactly very vintage speed looking, but then I'm aiming to make much more power than a Pepco or Judson powered engine
     
     

     
     
    Of course it is still early days for this build, I have a lot of parts to collect and a lot of things to learn about the 36HP engine. I also need to read up on some machining practices for machining the case and heads. Designing and making the mounting hardware for the blower will be a relatively straightforward task, the only issue here is what material to use.
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  • Finally managed to get back out in the garage this weekend. It's the first time since April that I've managed to get anything done on the Oval. Having not made speedweek in March, the bug has just sat there waiting for me to make some time to get back into the swing of things. So with next March...
    Finally managed to get back out in the garage this weekend. It's the first time since April that I've managed to get anything done on the Oval. Having not made speedweek in March, the bug has just sat there waiting for me to make some time to get back into the swing of things. So with next March slowly creeping up, I decided that it was long overdue.
    Most of the weekend was spent clearing the back yard, this is in readiness for the concreting to be done on the garage extension - with the garage base in I can finally clad it and get some undercover space to work on the bug. 
    Clearing the yard was fun - as this involved removing a tree - a perfect excuse to hire a chainsaw and wreak destruction - lol. With the tree 'pruned', all that was left was to pull it out of the ground with the Landrover. This is the third tree that the little Landy has pulled out - just lash up the tow rope to the front bumper, stick it in low range and then work the tree out of the ground. The key is to leave a long bit of trunk when you prune it so that you can get some leverage. Works a treat. And I cannot imagine that you could do the same with any modern 'softroader' it would likely just pull the front end off.
    So - final scores - Tree 0 - Landy 1
    With all of the fun over and done with, I managed to get a spare half hour to POR15 the rear brake backing plates on the oval. This should hopefully mean that I can reassemble the brakes next week and get the chassis rolling again. So not a massive amount of work - but at least a start.
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  • Well, at the beginning of this week I decided to throw in the towel with the oval build and admit defeat. Whilst it would still have been possible to get the car running and to the lake, I would have been missing out on any shakedown time that I had planned. Unfortunately, a few delays, have...
    Well, at the beginning of this week I decided to throw in the towel with the oval build and admit defeat. Whilst it would still have been possible to get the car running and to the lake, I would have been missing out on any shakedown time that I had planned. Unfortunately, a few delays, have meant that timing has slipped, and the time I had set aside for running in and teething troubles simply dissapeared.
    So I decided that I had given it my best shot. I did not want to run the risk of blowing an engine, or worse, just because I had rushed at the 11th hour. Bit gutted to say the least, as this has now been my main focus for months, but not to worry - I now have plenty of time to make sure it's 110% for 2011. At the moment, I'm having a bit of a siesta and concentrating on getting some $$$'s earned (anyone need a website?) but will have a look at the VW events calendar and see what is coming up in the near future - Having just missed out on Portland last weekend, I now fancy hitting some drags.
    I will be taking the Oval to the club show at the end of March, so if you fancy having a look, make sure you tag along.
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  • 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)....
    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
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  • 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.
    ...
    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.
    Also bought all of the stuff to build my wiring loom with - nice
    aircraft kill switches and pushbuttons. Even got some stuff to make up
    a DIY dyno controller box for the DTA EFI unit I am running.
    Here's the competed RHS braces. Still need to add flatbar underneath to tie it to the pan.
    Also welded up the IRS pivots
    And started on the scattershield.
    Day off tomorrow - got to go drink beer- it's Australia day!!
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  • Joe Blow Ad
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  • 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...
    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 :)Picked up all of the stuff to make up the headers with - lots of 90 degree mandrel bends, a 4 into 1 collector, flanges etc, and a nice bit of 6mm x 100mm flat bar to make up the turbo mounting flange from. The header will be a 1 1/2" system into a 2 3/4" collector up to the turbo. The exit from the turbo is 3". I will make this up myself as it's simply the quickest way to do it. I've also been down to see the bug a couple of times to work out a few issues with cage design and also drop off the seat. The rear floor has now been cut out of the body to allow the cage to be permanently welded to the floor pan and frame horns whilst still allowing the body to be removed. This means that I now have a lot of room in the rear of the car to put the turbo as I can box this in afterwards with a new firewall. Another great bonus is that I can also fit an intecooler in an ice bucket inside the car - well it would be a bonus except that there is no ice van this year as they're all at the Clipsal :(The cage now has the main hoop made up with the cross brace in place, and the brackets welded on for the cage to join up to the frame horns. All of a sudden, its starting to look like race car.The front beam is being made up and (fingers crossed) I've also managed to source a set of wheels with safety beads. Unfortunately the slackers at CB performance still haven't dispatched my order, which I'm a bit pi$$ed off about - especially as the extortionate super fast shipping is costing as much as my order is. Not so super fast now is it. Hopefully this isn't going to hold me up.Got some more pics, but as usual, haven't had time to upload them yet, will post them when I do.
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  • 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.
    Managed to pick up a suitable throttle...

    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.
    Managed to pick up a suitable throttle from a Ford - wouldn't know what type it was but it had a 3.9 EFI 6 cylinder. The I/D is about 70mm and it comes complete with a TPS and MAP sensor (probably no good for my EFI - lol)
    So, with the car out of the way, my attention needs to switch to making up the headers. I basically need to get the engine running and then take it to an engine dyno to get the EFI map sorted. This means - headers + induction + wiring + cooling + oil system need to be sorted.
    Part of the induction system should be arriving this week, along with the oil cooler, and the cooling system. I still need to source some parts for cooling system, as well as wheels and other bits and bobs, so will try to go have a bit of a shopping trip next week.
    I will make the headers up from mandrel bends - the system is 1 1/2" so just need to get a selection of bends and flanges and get busy with the welder.
    Another thing I need to tackle whilst the car is out of the picture is an off road welding trolley - damn gravel driveways are a right PITA.
    :lol:
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  • First 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...
    First 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.Next stage is to finish the welding off on the pan - mostly the rear of the new pan halves and the IRS brackets, and run the fuel and oil lines through the tunnel, before giving the pan a quick paint. Then I need to figure out the gearbox / engine mountings and fix up the gearbox selector shaft. I have got a repro hurst shifter from the states, but I need to modify the gate to allow selection of 5th gear. There's also a scatter shield to fabricate too.My shipment of goodies finally arrived from CB performance, so I now have the plenums for the turbo induction, as well as lots of other stuff. I also received my el cheapo tacho and guages from ebay too. I just need to fabricate up a tee piece to join the throttle body to the plenums and the induction is sorted. For the present I will run without an intercooler, and see what happens.I've been deliving in to the EFI system and figuring out what i need to get it all running. All I'm missing are some injectors and a MAP sensor, which i will sort out next week. I confirmed that the two lambda sensors I have are both good to use, and that the water temp sender will work fine as an oil temp sender instead. I have drafted up teh wiring diagram and just need to go buy the wire and switches to make up the loom. not a big job, but one that needs to be  done right.Also sourced a better steering wheel as the one I had was cracked around the centre boss, and another boot (engine) lid so that I can cut a hole in it to allow the Porsche 911 fan setup to be used. I decided that this was the simplest, cheapest and quickest solution. It might not look quite right but at this stage I need to save every little bit of time that I can. I'm aiming at cuting a hole in it so that the fan doesn't foul it, and then adding an air scoop for additional cooling and induction to cover the hole. Fortunately the class that I am running in allows bonnect scoops, and spoilers. I didn't really want to fit a spoiler, as I wanted to leave the car relatively stock, bodywise, but I may have an issue with high speed stability, so at the moment I am a little undecided about this. I might make up one up, but not fit it so that I can trial it out whilst we are there.This week i aim at getting the pan completely finished off, including all running gear - suspension, brakes, steering, gearbox mounted and engine installed. This only really amounts to assembly as i have purchased all new components. I would like to be in a position where I can start fabricating the headers at the end of the week. If I can achieve this, then I should be on track to firing up the engine the following week. My big job for Monday is to get the drive shafts underway, as these are probably the last item to have outsourced.As Stevie Miller said... "Time keeps on ticking"
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  • 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...
    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.
    With the body in place the next thing was to get the engine trial
    fitted to make sure that there was enough clearance for everything, and
    to take measurements for the header system, but with the engine in
    place, several things became apparent.
    The engine sits about 2 inches further back than normal - this
    means that the rear valance will need to be clearanced - not too big an
    issue, and one that I was expecting.
    The second problem was that the injector bosses I had welded into
    the inlet manifolds foul the engine bay bodywork - but this too can be
    addressed with a grinder and a little imagination. I also had to remove
    the rocker covers to slide the engine in position, but the car was not
    on ramps and so this should not normally be an issue.
    The rocker covers also foul the rear bodywork and so more tin will
    need to be removed to allow the rocker boxes to be fitted / removed
    with the engine in position, I will look into using stock steel covers
    instead of the finned aluminium ones I currently have to see if this
    gains me a bit more clearance.
    By far the worst issue was that the Porsche cooling setup that I currently have prevents the engine lid from being closed. One solution would be to run deck lid standoffs, but this can be seen
    as 'streamlining' or trying to improve the aerodynamics. I could add a
    bulge to the lid, but that's also not something that I really want to
    do to a perfectly good W deck lid. My only solution is to use something like a Cali cooling setup - this
    uses a Type 1 fan housing, mated to Type 4 cooling tin, not too hard a
    job to fabricate, but a bit of an issue for the generator stand as
    there is nowhere for it to bolt to on my engine. Sharpbuilt, here in
    Australia offer a complete upright VW style cooling solution for the
    Type 4 engine, but the generator stand bolts to the stock Type 4
    breather tower - my breather tower has been machined off to allow the
    fan to be mounted directly to the engine so that it sits lower, not an
    insurmountable issue, but additional work I wasn't bargaining for.
    Here's one I made earlier...
    The problems don't end there either, the turbo is also proving to
    be a bit of an issue to locate, the ideal position is behind the rear
    valence - which is perfect for a Garret T03 or similar, but not so for
    the RayJay unit I have - it's huge in comparison. This means that
    ideally I need to fabricate the headers with the engine in the car as
    the clearances are simply too tight. I also considered cutting out the
    rear luggage area and installing it there with a cover made up to house
    it.
    Lots to think about. Lots of new issues to address. But at least the pan is now ready to go off to get the cage made.
     
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  • 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...
    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.
    Yesterday I made up a temporary support for the gearbox, which has allowed me to turn the pan right way up and retain the gearbox in the correct position, this will allow me to fit the engine and check out clearances and take measurements for the header system.
    I also started to fit the narrowed front beam up, and will get this finished tomorrow.
    First job tomorrow is to get the pan halves welded in place and then get the body back on the pan. Then I can trial fit the engine and make sure that everything fits. I will need to clearance the rear luggage area in the pan so that it clears the gearbox nosecone as the 915 box is a bit bigger, i will trim this back and box it in with some new steel.Overall I'm pretty pleased with progress, and confident that the body and pan should be rolling again tomorrow - ready for it's journey to get the cage made up.
    As usual there's more pics in my gallery at - http://www.vdubber.com/photo/gallery_tag/vdubber oval beetle salt racer
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  • 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...
    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.Also started the IRS
    conversion by clearancing the frame ready for the pivot housings to be welded in. These need some clearancing to fit the rear torsion bar tubes, which considering that they are laser cut is a poor show. If I had known that they would be so poor quality I would have fabbed some myself, especially as now I have to waste time putting them right. The IRS arms are fitted tot he pan and the brakes and hubs stripped off to allow the earlier style drums to be fitted - this way the original bolt pattern can be retained.
    I really need to finish off IRS conversion and 915 mounts tomorrow so that I can
    flip the pan and get the body back on - then I can trial fit the engine
    to see if it fits. This will allow me to take LOTS of measurements so
    that I can fab headers up without body and pan whilst it is off having tha cage made. I might make a temporary frame to
    hold rear valence and rear wings in position relative to the engine to
    make life easier
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  • 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...
    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.Back to the latest... After going to take a look at the IRS pan I was offered and deciding that it wasn't really much better condition than the oval pan I already had, the decision was made to rebuild the original pan. At $2k i expected the IRS pan to be pretty much concourse, which it wasn't, and whilst the whole thing was supposedly rebuilt, it would have still required stripping back to a bare pan to paint it - just not really a cost effective excercise.
    So i decided that I would convert the Oval pan to IRS and fit a dropped and narrowed King & Linkpin beam - retaining the original suspension should i decide to restore it in the distant future. I also made the decision that I would retain drum brakes and renew everything, this was partially cost related, but also related to the useage that the oval will see - there's no repeated braking, so drums should be fine.After phoning around to see who had the parts in stock, so that I could get them sooner, I placed an order with Classicveedub, who had everything on the shelf. But after waiting nearly three weeks just to receive the payment details, even prompting him with repeated phone calls and emails, and still getting no response, I cancelled my order and placed it locally with Interparts (ex intervolks). This is the last time i deal with Classicveedub, He is simply too slack for my liking, and I DON'T reccommend him. Now this may seem like I am simply having a bit of a whinge, and I'm sure that some will be offended that I have named and shamed, but if it saves someone else the grief, then it's worthwhile.
    So, after losing two weeks, the schedule is now even tighter. I already have the pan halves, and the rest of the stuff should be arriving early next week. The body is now off of the pan, and I have stripped the suspension off ready for the IRS and narrowed beam. The pan halves have been cut off and the new ones offered up for fit. The fit wasn't too bad, the rear section needs dressing in about 5mm, but that is it. The front floor section where the pedals are needs to be drilled for the pedal cluster, and i will transfer the captive nuts from the old pan, just to be correct. The pans also came with the correct style seat rails and battery holder, which was another bonus, as some don't.I sourced a set of IRS arms, spring plates and torsion bars from a contact I made at the Volksfest show the other weekend, these need a little cleanup, as they appear to be covered in underseal. These will be fitted with the 6 volt backing plates to allow the 5 stud drums to be fitted. Evidently this all fits onto the IRS stub axle, although i will need to turn a spacer to sit under the axle nut as the splined shaft is slightly longer to accommodate the wider drums normally fitted to later cars. The braking system will also be upgraded to use a dual circuit master cylinder, and all hard and flexibles lines will be renewed too.The next job, before I weld the pan halves on is to get the Porsche 915 gearbox fitted, this will be easier with the pan stripped as i need to turn it over a few times. It will also require the body to be lifted back in position as well, as I need to check the clearance between the engine and the rear valence. The 915 box effectively pushes the engine back about 25mm, which means that the clearance at the rear will become either very tight, or will clash. At this stage i am considering cutting the rear valence and fitting it with Dzus, fastners, this is probably a very good idea, both for ease of maintenance, and ease of engine fitting, plus it will allow me to cut the valence for clearance.I also paid a visit to the local race equipment shop to checkout race suit packages and fire suppression systems, whilst I was there i picked up a remote battery cutout and some bonnet pins, as well as a sticker set. (Shutoff location stickers are a mandatory requirement).
    The oval is booked in to have a cage made in the new year, but with this supposedly going to take a month I'm now getting worried that it simply isn't enough time. So at the moment I am on the lookout for a second hand cage. Fingers Crossed.For more images, check my gallery at  http://www.vdubber.com/photo/gallery/all/T-34
    There's also a vid of us lifting off the pan -  http://www.vdubber.com/video/gallery/body-off
     
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  • 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...
    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.With everything off of the car I had a good nose around and was pleased to see that the shell is a solid as expected, with the only rust present in the rear footwells - probably from sitting in water from the missing rear window.The front valence, hood and offside wing have sufferend from a shunt at some point in the distant past, the wheel well panel needs to be replaced, and ideally the outer panel does too, but i will have a go at beating it out before resorting to a complete new clip. The rear valence has suffered a similar fate although not as bad, my guess is that someone levered the body up over the engine with a bit of 2x4" when it was removed.Next plans are to roll the pan out, replace the pan halves, and fit the IRS. Then the front beam can be swapped out. I got a price from classic vee dub for a 2" narrowed beam with adjusters fitted, 2" dropped link pin spindles and a wide 5 disc brake kit at $1200 - not too bad in my books. The beam needs to be fitted up with the trailing arms and springs from the existing beam, and the tie rods need to be shortened + there's all of the small items like new seals to consider, but at least it will provide a good solid front end. They also offer a rear disc conversion for IRS in wide 5 pattern too at $770. Whilst this is all relatively cheap - it all ends up adding up, so I might buy the end plates and adjusters and cut and shut the beam myself, it's not a big job and will probably save $400-500. The front brake kit with dropped spindles is $700 on it's own.I was offered a rebuilt late IRS pan - which is tempting, but seems a little sacrilegeous as it feels like cheating - it does however save some dollah's. and I will consider this as an option (please feel free to talk me out of this / encourage me to do this).So - next stage is to go buy some more axle stands as the four I have are holding the Ghia up, and get the body off of the pan. Also need to decide on what i want to do with the pan / brakes / suspsnsion etc then go and either buy the late pan or buy the stuff to fix this one.I need to source a boot hinge as the offside one had broken off of the hood and unfortunately isnt with the car - so if anyone can help me out - shoot me a message.
    There's some more images in the gallery that I've uploaded. - you can view them here -  http://www.vdubber.com/photo/gallery_tag/vdubber
     
     
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  • 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.So far everything has been pretty easy with only two of the fender bolts...
    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.So far everything has been pretty easy with only two of the fender bolts snapping off, The doors are proving to be pretty difficult to get off as the bolts are refusing to budge. Hopefully a night of soaking in release agent and some brute force with the impact driver will fix that.Inspection of the shell and pan has shown that the rear valence and rear of the rear wings look like they have been used to level the body into the air - probably to remove the engine - hence they are a little bent up. My guess is that the car was taken off of the road due to excessive wear in the front link pins - which would have been a wobbly ride at least - lol.The lower front (valence) section ideally needs to be replaced, the wheel well is pretty badly perforated - mostly from the front end smash that the car has been in - the initial smash and then the straightening out has fatigued the metal causing it to tear, the valence itself is also too badly dented to warrant repair, it's simply more cost effective (and quicker) to replace it, and time is one thing that I do not have the luxury af as I have a tight deadline.I've taken quite a few pics and some video, which i will post up once I've got the body off of the pan, but until then I've decide to keep out of the office, and in the yard working. I will oder that pan halves and front repair panel today, and enquire about prices for a narrowed + dropped disc brake front end - I can save a huge bunch of time by simply swapping the beam over complete for one that is already built. But this depends on $$$$$'
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  • 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...
    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.I had originally intended to use the Type 4 engine in the Ghia for a year or two and then build a rail / drag car and campaign it in the VWDRC in the UK, but sice moving to Adelaide, there are no local drags, and the nearest strip (in Portland) is only 1/8th mile. The trip to Speedweek earlier this year planted the seed for building something to take to the salt. I had originally thought of a volks rod - chopped and sectioned like the 'death' rod, but the oval turned up on AussieVeeDubbers, and I was inspired. The car was in Caboolture just north of Brisbane, I bought it, unseen (well apart from some photos), and arranged to have it shipped to Adelaide. It arrived last week, and is now in the driveway awaiting transofrmation into a race car. I've spoken to a cage builder and will hopefully get it into his shop in a few weeks time to get the cage made up, this leaves a few weeks to split the pan and fix up any rust issues. The patina will stay, as it is this which mostly attracted me to the car in the first place, but I will give it a clear coat to prevent it from getting any worse. I need to speak to someone who's done this before to find out what / how they did it.The first item to fix up is to fit some moon discs - these are on order and will arive next Tuesday, once these are fitted I can get the wheels powder coated and get the rubber sorted out.I will keep you posted of the progress.
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