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First time I've ran into this, I bought a run and drive dune buggy project that has a 1956 swing axle chassis.  After I stripped every part off the chassis I found a couple of 1/8" bubbles on the underside of a frame horn. I used a body hammer to " sound" that area and soon had Swiss cheese on both of the lower side of the frame horns. To inspect the damage I cut a 1 x 12" opening finding 1" deep piles of rust.............  The upper frame horn sections and the rest of the chassis are solid. Point being I would suggest that anyone looking at a Speedster donor chassis to carefully inspect the lower side of the frame horns (hammer in hand). I'll repair / renew by cutting out the rest of the lower frame horns then tacking 11gauge steel applying torch heat rolling it over as I tack it in place then go back and run a solid bead.



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Last edited by Alan Merklin
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Years ago I purchased this rear VW hunk from Virginia Beach - got title/VIN and a '74 3.88 transaxle.  I knew it was bad and got great deal.  Driver's horn was completely twisted off - the other side was saved by a very leaky valve cover gasket. Wish I had saved the trailing arms to have them narrowed (admit to being a hoarder). 

10 may 2010 038

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@Alan Merklin wrote: "it requires you to build a temp jig in order to be spot on with the horizontal and lateral measurements as they have to be factory exact. "

I totally agree with being fastidious and lining things up, but I wonder, after 50 years or so of however the've been treated, how close to "true" the original pan frame horns are.  I'll bet they're all over the place from years of fatigue and abuse.  A guy in town with an old Bug found that it was a little off on one side at the rear so we heated and moved the frame horn and then quenched it to bring it back.  I kinda had the feeling that the end of the horn was used as a jack point for the whole rear more than once.

Just an observation.

I recall a guy who had a Beetle with the motor tilted to the left, ( running in a sand pit) he had tied to correct a bent frame horn by torch heating it with the engine still in and made it worse with a floor jack because he didn't understand the characteristics of annealing and tempering steel...metallurgy.  I pulled the engine and trans reheated the frame horn and with a huge C clamp and 6' pipe realigned it then let it cool properly to return the hardness. Stuffed the engine back in and somehow it was straight on the first try.

Last edited by Alan Merklin

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