'71 Super Beetle Autocross Build

For road racing, autocrossing, or just taking that curve in style. Oh yea, and stopping!
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ChadH
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Re: '71 Super Beetle Autocross Build

Post by ChadH » Mon Oct 31, 2016 10:13 am

I saw some of this early on in my build - It's what made me think to gut the spare tire well so I can reinforce the far front of the pan. Maybe heim joints will be a way I can get through a few bulkheads, and be able to get things tied together a little easier. It'll just be more $$$ for the hardware. With the heim joints, are you preloading the tie in points, or just using them facilitate assembly? I also noticed that you have the camber plate set up for additional caster. Are you getting enough camber from eccentrics on the bottom control arm, or did you do something else for additional camber?

Getting ties to the rear will be more difficult, since I'll need to have a metal bulkhead between the engine and cockpit. Are you going to install sheet metal back there, or is it not required for your car?

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FJCamper
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Re: '71 Super Beetle Autocross Build

Post by FJCamper » Mon Oct 31, 2016 2:25 pm

Hi Chad,

The South African Super Bug crew uses heim joints very intelligently. Since many contact points do not line up quite right, a good strong heim makes it easier to connect and adjust.

Heims are not common here stateside and not allowed or even mentioned by the rulebooks, so be careful not to excite a tech inspector. No heims in and around the cage proper.

FJC

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4agedub
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Re: '71 Super Beetle Autocross Build

Post by 4agedub » Tue Nov 01, 2016 2:36 am

The idea was not really to pre-load the front end, the braces will simply keep the shock towers upright.

I roughly measured the front end geometry this weekend. As it is right now we have
1,5' static camber (can probably go up to 4')
6' caster, adjustable from around 3' to over 10'

Now what this means is that when the LH front wheel is turned full lock right we gain around 5' negative camber and when the wheel is turned left is goes into around 3.5' positive camber. So in theory we can run very little static camber to aid braking and when cornering the caster will add enough camber to make the thing turn properly.
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ChadH
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Re: '71 Super Beetle Autocross Build

Post by ChadH » Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:27 am

I just ordered 1302 camber plates from SilverProject. They're in Poland, so it might be awhile before I see them.

https://silverproject.eu/en/shop/vw-2/c ... e-1971-73/

Looking at the pictures, I won't be able to re-orient the adjuster for added caster (camber only). I have the Topline offset sway bar bushings that should give me a little added caster. I think I might be able to add a little more by carefully grinding the shoulder on the swaybar to pull the front control arm even farther forward if needed.

Even though I'm still mostly dis-assembling the car, I'm getting a pretty good stockpile of goodies for when I eventually get to put it all back together.

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4agedub
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Re: '71 Super Beetle Autocross Build

Post by 4agedub » Wed Nov 02, 2016 12:58 am

I ordered mine specifically for caster, you wont be able to re-orient them. But I think you would be able to get enough caster by moving the sway bar forward or machining it. As for camber, there is not much you can do if you use the stock arms.
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Marc
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Re: '71 Super Beetle Autocross Build

Post by Marc » Wed Nov 02, 2016 1:12 am

To get more camber on "street-stock" Rabbits we use to replace the strut-to-spindle bolts with smaller-diameter, high-strength hardware, after making inserts to reduce the I.D. of the holes in the spindle attachment arms.

If there're no rules prohibiting it, I imagine you could achieve the same result on a Super, although I'd be leery of going any smaller on that hardware. But by modifying/extending the "wings" on the strut housings, the spindles could be tilted more in relation to them. Perhaps a little judicious grinding on the upper end of the spindle arm to let it move further inboard....

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Piledriver
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Re: '71 Super Beetle Autocross Build

Post by Piledriver » Wed Nov 02, 2016 2:43 am

I converted a set of early forged lateral arms to take Golf ball joints... to take late struts (Golf/944 struts/spindles) etc.
Made them a little longer while at it so the camber adjustment range was very nice.
Flipped them over to move the early sway bar down ~1" gets it out of the way of the tie rod if fully slammed.
super-to-944-front-arm-mod.JPG
The 3/16" plates were probably overkill, but they welded easier than the thinner stuff given the big forged arm.
Welding thin metal to a big beefy forging is much harder to get right.
The Synchrowave had no issues, bevelled/full penetration welds inside and out.
I broke a crowbar testing the welds. The arm/welds won.
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H2OSB
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Re: '71 Super Beetle Autocross Build

Post by H2OSB » Wed Nov 02, 2016 10:02 am

#×@=÷# Pile I want a pair of those arms!

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ChadH
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Re: '71 Super Beetle Autocross Build

Post by ChadH » Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:58 am

I'm impressed with Pyledriver's ball joint mod. I sure wouldn't trust my own welding skills to a highly loaded suspension part though. ;)

I'm still sticking with the 1302 bits, so juggling small bolts on the newer strut type won't work for me. I did order the camber plates, so I should be able to easily dial in camber. Heck, between camber plates and lower arm eccentrics, I'll have a tiny bit of adjustment on track width.

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Re: '71 Super Beetle Autocross Build

Post by H2OSB » Wed Nov 02, 2016 6:38 pm

The advantage of Pile's LCAs is they allow the use of a Golf ball joint (15mm) or a 944 ball joint (17mm). I have 944 spindles on my car and had to buy Kerscher ball joints from Germany to mount them. It cost me a little over $150 dollars and about one and a half months to get them to me in California. Even though the $150 is a bit much for a pair of ball joints the bigger concern is the time required to get them. If I had need to replace them for any reason, my car could be out of action for quite a while. If I were able to use 944 ball joints, I could walk into just about any auto parts place and walk out with a replacement for under $25.

Additionally, Pile used the early forged arms flipped upside down. Aside from the fact the early arms are far more robust than the later pressed and welded arms, the flipped arms moves the location of the sway bar entry into the control arm, giving more space betwixt the tie rod and the sway bar, thus avoiding hitting on a lowered car. I do believe Pile's LCAs need a sway bar from the later suspension to avoid binding as the suspension articulates.

One issue with using 944 spindles on a 1303 is getting enough functional camber. On my car, I have the extra eccentric camber bolts for the inner end of the LCAs as well as a pair of factory VW "crash" bolts per side. Even with all of this available movement, I'm only able to get zero degrees camber. I want to be able to get about 2.5 degrees negative camber for autocrossing. I'm going to have my 944 spindles modified to the same specs as stock 1303 spindles to get the desired camber I'm after, however, with Pile's LCAs the bolt holes for the ball joints could be slotted like Golf control arms to allow for camber adjustment.

ANYway...back to the previously scheduled programming.
johnL (aka H2OSB)
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Piledriver
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Re: '71 Super Beetle Autocross Build

Post by Piledriver » Wed Nov 02, 2016 7:37 pm

Note the Golf/early 944 arms that normally hold those ball joints are made from not particularly thick stamped sheet metal, maybe 22 ga.
The only strength issue is likely to be too much...

The 1302 arms are a really freaking stout hunks of steel.
The downside of the forged arms is if you slide into a curb or such, the frame head will get a hard shot...

The late sheetmetal LCAs will fold up and protect the frame/mounts to a great extent, which could be good or bad depending on what you hit and how fast you are still moving...

I made them a little longer than the "late" bars would be, so with strut/spindle camber adjustment @center, it had -2 degrees camber built in @ desired ride height.

I didn't see any binding with the EMPI or Bugpack 7/8"(IIRC) early sway bar, but the ball joint mount angle etc were set up/verified allowing full travel before final welds.
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ChadH
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Re: '71 Super Beetle Autocross Build

Post by ChadH » Wed Nov 02, 2016 9:09 pm

H2OSB wrote: ANYway...back to the previously scheduled programming.
Ha - no problem. I love this thread, even if I don't use everything from it. It all goes into the deeper knowledge of VWness and suspension mojo in my brain. This is what keeps me awake at my boring job 8)

Piledriver wrote:...
I wasn't at all questioning your skills, more like marveling at them. One of these days, when a big bag of money falls from the sky, I'll get a nice TIG welder and see if I can step up my game. Untill then, I'll need to live with my sketchy MIG booger welds, and lots of grinding to hide my mistakes. :D

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ChadH
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Re: '71 Super Beetle Autocross Build

Post by ChadH » Mon Nov 07, 2016 11:01 am

Not much progress from the last two weekends, other than cleaning up more nuts -n- bolts. Last weekend was an autocross. I'm on the course design/setup crew, so the whole weekend was shot. Then we had both the washing machine and dishwasher fail. I spent all this weekend doing appliance installs. :(

Maybe - just maybe, I'll get some tubes and start on the cage this weekend. I still have some bodywork, but need to switch gears onto something more motivating.

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Jadewombat
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Re: '71 Super Beetle Autocross Build

Post by Jadewombat » Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:47 pm

I had a welder (this was years ago before I had my own machine) do almost exactly what Pile had. They worked really good, but the guy just sort of lobbed them off then welded those two sandwich plates to hold the Golf ball joint. When I started getting serious about putting the bug together the camber was waaay too positive. He had cut too much off so the center of the old ball joint was not where it was supposed to be with the new one.

I had to buy some cheap camber plates off the ebays to fix the problem. Just make sure you set up a jig or get some good measurements before cutting.

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Piledriver
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Re: '71 Super Beetle Autocross Build

Post by Piledriver » Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:35 am

I had the advantage of dead chassis to mock everything up/verify dimensions/angles etc with/weld on.
Eyeballing it would be pretty hard.

I have grown to be a fan of the Mk3/4+ style shock mount setup with the hard urethane rubber mounts.
Much better design, the factory rubber bits would probably work OK on a super, they squish like crazy on a mk4, but its a 3K+ pound boat, with most of the weight up front.
.
Need to hit a junkyard with a couple spotweld cutters and a drill and score some to see if they can be fit.
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