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Great color, great stance with those flared fenders and wider wheels, a nice interior, but I would certainly move the oil cooler out from the engine cool air inlet and relocate it into the driver’s wheel well and maybe get a different cooler with an integrated cooling fan.  Doing that will eliminate hot air from the cooler going into the cool air inlet for the engine.

OK, enough critiquing….   THAT is one pretty car and a great base for where-ever you want to take it.  

Welcome to the Madness!!

That’s great as soon as I get my hands on it in next week or so!  All recommendations accepted. The original build sheet did not have black seats…so I am already putting a list together on what needs to be done!
Gauges, not sold on the door mirrors, will figure out interior, the drum brakes at least front need to go disc is it worth doing all 4 wheels?? I see these are 4 lug wheels…should I replace with 5 lug? The wheels just don’t look like they sit in the wheel wells correct need better off set! The list grows!

Most definitely need to shop for a better wheel combo and off set.

in Houston Texas and with no Air this will most definitely be an afternoon driver!

Excited for the new project and already finding tones of info on site!

I had this brochure in my room growing up in middle school now I am 54 yo and after multiple Porsche, corvettes, mustangs and I currently run around in a 2023 Bronco Raptor and a 2022 Mercedes 4x4 Adventure wagon for work will be nice to go back to my first car type…it was 69 VW super beetle when I was 16yo….now a little more wiser and deeper pockets to build what I want!

" the drum brakes at least front need to go disc is it worth doing all 4 wheels"??

Most of us have disk front (71-73 Karmann Ghia) and drum rear and that seems adequate.  Want to do an occasional track day?  Then spring for the rear disks.

"I see these are 4 lug wheels…should I replace with 5 lug?"

It depends on what wheels you get and how wide they are.  I have 16" X 6" wide rims all around and used to run 7" wide on the rear.  I have 4X130 hubs and use 5X130 Porsche pattern 1-1/4" thick spacer/adapters from Pelican parts on all four wheels - Everything seems to fit well enough.  The adapters can be found for 5X130 Porsche bolt pattern or the more popular Chevy bolt pattern (which offers more wheel style options).

My car:


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Careful there, Kemosabé  

He has a flared Speedster so he has to get the wheels outboard 1" - 2" to line up with the wheel well spacing.  Either he has to run a LOT of outer wheel dish (up to 3"), or run 1"-ish adapter/spacers and 1" - 2" dish to get out there (1" spacer and 2" dish will fit with a 6" wide wheel).  Most rear disk set-ups will push the wheels out 1/2" or more, but that's just getting started on what you need for flared fenders.  You really have to start with the hubs and then find the combo of spacer and wheel dish that works.  Using a spacer on Wide Five wheels is a no-go - I have not seen any in my experience.  It's just too hard to do.

And @BigLael Speedster C, there are many hub spacers out there from cast 😡 to multiple thin rings to 6061 Billet versions.  Go with the Billet versions.  They are the strongest and will not show fracture cracks around the stud holes, even after moderate track use.  Avoid the cast versions from Asia at all costs - They are soft and junk.

Also, don't pay any attention to those who say that having that much outward wheel dish or running adapter/spacers is bad for the hub bearings.  I've been waiting for over 20 years for someone to show me a rear hub bearing that failed because the wheels were dished outward too far.  Nothing yet.

I have spoken


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Last edited by Gordon Nichols

@BigLael Speedster C wrote- "….drum brakes ….simple build so looking to upgrade and have a reliable weekender!"

How much wider/taller the rear tire/wheel combo is compared to the front and how hard you drive it will dictate how effective Beetle drums (at both ends) or even Karmann Ghia front discs/stock rear drums will be.  With the same size front and back (like a K.G), discs front/drums rear will be ok until really pushing it.  Even with bigger/wider rears, if you can look us in the eye and say that the car will NEVER be pushed harder than a Sunday afternoon toodle (in traffic) down to the beach (or wherever) with your honey to get ice cream, you COULD make the argument that front discs will be enough (although I and others will argue just barely).  Any jumping in and hooning/roaring around AT ALL- you're gonna need more stopping power in the rear as well.

I drove Beetles in my youth (early-mid '70's to mid '80's) and have direct experience with this in 2 different cars with smaller front and larger rear tires/wheels- a 14 second Cal Look Beetle and a Baja Bug.  Coming home in the baja bug in busy (mid- afternoon) 70 mph freeway traffic a kid busy picking (and eating- the idiot!) magic mushrooms on the side of the highway got up and just started walking across the road to be with his girlfriend (I have no idea how she made it that far without getting hit).  With stock Beetle brakes all around, 27" tires (7.00x 15's on 4½" rims) up front and 30x9.50/15 All Terrain TA's (on 6" rims) on the back, brakes disappeared at 35? 40? mph and if I hadn't veered to the left shoulder (and sailed by everybody, including the idiot kid!) we would have rear ended the car in front (which would have squished him).  I had already experienced brake fade like this in the Cal Look car and immediately knew the answer- type 3 rear brakes.  The drums and shoes are 3/4" bigger diameter, 1/4 or 3/8" wider and with a bigger wheel cylinder (the Type 3 is a significantly heavier beast) I then had much more balanced braking, never finding the limit of either car.  This was all before the multiple braking choices we have today- the only other relatively easy way (back then) to upgrade rear brakes was 914 disc$$$.

All it takes is coming over a hill or around a corner on a highway and finding a wreck/traffic jam right in front of you- please don't add to the pile up.

Oh- Welcome to the Madness (and here's hoping you're around for a while!)

Hope this helps.  Al

PS- what tire size(s) are on the car? (and that is a gorgeous Speedster, btw- although normally fat chicks aren't my thing...)  Do we get a side pic so we can see what wheels are on it now?

Another PS- I see you're debating wheel patterns- if you decide on 5x205mm I have an idea for some really bitchin' wheels- it wouldn't be cheap though... how come anything really (and I mean REALLY) cool is never cheap?

Last edited by ALB

TBH, there are a lot of things I’d do before brakes/wheels/tires. I’m not even a fan of red cars or black wheels, but I think it looks pretty, pretty good.

My biggest complaint when I saw the auction was the blackness of the interior. (Red/Black always screams Spanish brothel to me) I think I’d start with an aluminum steering wheel, chrome gauge bezels, and a nice charcoal grey square weave, or simply lighter coco mats. Who knows, maybe go crazy with some Pascha seat insets.

+That shroud like Ed said.  I’d go with a Cooled1 Thing replica kit with the Type IV oil cooler  like I have.  

Last edited by dlearl476

Looks good; I would ditch that fan housing pronto; get an OEM VW or the new Andrig's VW Aircooled Technology unit with dual fan. And as others have rightly said, you need to get that oil cooler out of the fresh air inlet behind the fan housing. It totally doesn't make sense to suck in hot air to try to cool a hot motor. It can be relocated over the transaxle or on rear wheel well where it can be most effective in shedding the heat.

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