Took a picture of Speedy to determine what needs to be done as a 73 rebuilt trans is going in hopefully next week. Notice the left carb being higher that the right--dual 40 dells. When the car came into my possession there were filter canisters but they were never mounted--just open trumpets. Maybe now I know why--the hood will not go on with the what I believe is bent horns. The sheets metal over the heads with plug markings shows the left side about 1/2 inch higher than the 2x2 framing--left to right. PO passed a few years before I found my garage find so no info passed forward.

What would you do--in 500 words or less--PLEASE. I am online teaching Science to 127 8th graders due to C19 so I am so eye/brain dead with reading online.

My guess is to find an alignment shop with a guy that has been around long enough to have vintage VW experience. I do know of a British restore shop near me. Yes--I have wrenched all my life but getting this square again and not having a life is outside my reach. I am in Akron, Ohio

Ok--reach my 125 words--talk to me wise men.


Original Post

The frame horns tend to rust from inside out - plus they get twisted from larger engine torque.  Once engine is out (and trans since its being replaced with a new one), I'd tap the horns to see if they are rusted through or just bent (suspect combo of both).  I've not seen new OEM style horns available - just aftermarket one (as shown in photo). Might be able to straighten and weld on steel plating if just bent and add a Kafer bar for support.

Image result for vw bug frame horn replacementImage result for vw bug kafer bar

Here's a VW rear portion I bought in VA Beach for the trans and chassis id/title - it had a badly rusted thru frame horn. (Ha, other side was ok from engine oil leak)


Images (1)
Last edited by WOLFGANG

With the trans out I check frame horns by wrapping a piece of an old white Tee shirt around along screwdriver stuff that into the large bolt hole in frame horn and tap on the horn in different place,  remove rag and see what you have. A cheap cell phone bore scope will do the job too.

Placed a 4 ft level across back of car--body sits level. Left side top of filter is 2 cm up of the rt filter. The front trans mount was bad and did the sneaky pull trans back and put a new one in last fall.--thought that may had made a difference-NOT. Running 1835 so not overly a street beast and PO was I was told more of a cruiser than road racer. When I checked the horns last fall and few times before I was surprised how clean it and the pan is. Light sanding and coated with 2 coats of rusteloum brushed on-- i do not think it is rusted out but certainly will be double checked.

So time to pull it all apart and start over-thanks guys.

You can bend the frame horns spiritedly driving a Beetle with a stock 1500- Gene Berg documented this personally some 45 or 50 years ago. What you think of as a 'lowly' 1835 is at least 50% more powerful than a bone stock 1500 and we have no support in the rear of our cars for the simple engine support or 'traction' bar the early VW hotrodders invented (which must be cinched up close to ½" to be effective) so to keep everything straight better measures must be employed. A GB643 mid mount and a kafer bar will do the job properly and you can even use the links on the kafer bar to pull up that side of the frame horn (just make sure at least the trans cradle is bolted in to keep things aligned).

If the frame horns are just bent and not actually rotted this is what I would to- just sayin'...  Al

PS- Even with this I'm under half of the 500 word limit, Heritage (sorry- I forget your first name- you guys really need to add them to your screen names) and this solution really deserves something- I have no use for a gold star, Teach, so a beer will do should we ever meet. Your welcome

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