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Do the wide body speedsters fit wider tires? If so, do they generally corner better?  I don’t care as much for the look of the wide body, but I sure do like to turn.

 Do type IV engines fit in most of the replicas?  Is there any advantage to using a Type I engine instead of a Type IV?

 How do you know or speculate that a car was built by the manufacturer, ie.  Beck, Vintage, JPS, as opposed to bought as a kit and assembled in someone’s garage?  Or does it even matter?  Maybe some of the garage builders are better than the manufacturers?

 Did 356’s originally come with 4.5 inch wheels?

If a car has an additional frame added, is it obvious by looking at the bottom/floorpan?

 Do the replica coupes have any steel in the tops or fiberglass only?

 Where and when in Southern California is a good place to meet other replica owners?

 I have experience working on Vdubs 35 years ago, but no experience working on Subarus.  I still have my 36mm socket.  If you were me, which would you lean towards, and why?

 What is Carlisle?  An event or place, or both?

 Do some of the replicas not have heaters? And if not, why?

 How is the reputation of Beverly Hills Motor Cars?  They seen to have many 356’s for sale.  Has anybody seen the Beck Speedster at Corvette Mike's in Anaheim?

 What do you read to learn how to tune dual carbs?  Or video? Youtube?  I still have the thing-a-majig that sits on top the carb and has the ball in the clear tube, but I can not remember diddly about how to use it, nor do I remember how I learned in the first place.

 Where do you find the valve lash numbers for modified engines?  Are they always the same as factory?

 Why do some 356’s have the leather hold down straps on the front lid?  Looks only?  Or does the front lid have a reputation for releasing at an inopportune moment?  We used a bungie cord on our Type Is.

 It seems to me that drum skins would make the discs run hotter.  True or False?

 Which thread talks about pros and cons about different engine sizes?  The last time I worked on Vdubs, the largest reasonable engine size was 1835. Anything beyond that was guaranteed to blow up after 10,000 miles or 3 miles if driven a ¼ mile at a time.

 Who is YOUR favorite air cooled builder? Subaru builder?  I said favorite, cuz I understand how subjective the question is.

 Do you have any idea just how much one can learn by reading the forum posts?  It is mind boggling; literally.

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Do the wide body speedsters fit wider tires? If so, do they generally corner better?  I don’t care as much for the look of the wide body, but I sure do like to turn.

There are at least 3 bodies termed wide-body.  The FF/CMC is more a flared fender style Officially called the California model.  It had optional chrome and gold wider wheels but others will fit.  The VS came in a wide body and an ultra widebody.  The ultrawide had a Kardashian butt loo. They lay down more rubber so surely accelerate better.

 Do type IV engines fit in most of the replicas?  Is there any advantage to using a Type I engine instead of a Type IV?

Yes, a T4 will fit - even using the flat pancake cooling.  The back square 1.5" steel tubing may have to be cut and moved couple inches to ease installation.  Many convert to upright cooling but it adds $1k to build and usually eliminates the thermostat.  T1 parts are generally cheaper - at least up to 2100 cc.  A T4 can easily go to 2400 cc and 200hp. (You just need to use a bus flywheel and add a center T1 bearing to it.

 How do you know or speculate that a car was built by the manufacturer, ie.  Beck, Vintage, JPS, as opposed to bought as a kit and assembled in someone’s garage?  Or does it even matter?  Maybe some of the garage builders are better than the manufacturers?

VS and JPS (maybe a tube base is now an option) are VW pan based.  Beck is tubular custom chassis (as well as current IMs - since about '87?) .  VS, JPS, and Beck all sell "rollers" where customer adds finishing pieces.  Many CMCs were custom built by professions - but vastmajority were home build.

 Did 356’s originally come with 4.5 inch wheels?

Early 356 were 3.25x16" and later 4.5x15" wheels.

If a car has an additional frame added, is it obvious by looking at the bottom/floorpan?

Bestplace to look would be front and rear wheel wells.  I know of NO VW pan based Speedsters without the heavy steel sub-frame - it is used to hang doors and front hood.

 Do the replica coupes have any steel in the tops or fiberglass only?

My guess is all fiberglass.

 Where and when in Southern California is a good place to meet other replica owners?

 I have experience working on Vdubs 35 years ago, but no experience working on Subarus.  I still have my 36mm socket.  If you were me, which would you lean towards, and why?

Subaru if you don't want to adjust valves and change oil every 3k miles. Subbie if you want AC/heat and EFI. VW if you want air cooled sound.  

 What is Carlisle?  An event or place, or both?

Carlisle PA is home of Army War College and Carlisle fairgrounds where many car shows are held.  Pick a Mark and they have a weekend show for it.  Replica Speedsters showed up for the Foreign and Kit Car one - name has recently changed.

 Do some of the replicas not have heaters? And if not, why?

You can use the stock VW heater boxes but most have restricted diameter tubing for large displacement/HP engines.  Larger diameter heater boxes are available but costly.  Some go for gas heaters as used in old VW/Porsche - Stewart Warner and Ebersparcher.

 How is the reputation of Beverly Hills Motor Cars?  They seen to have many 356’s for sale.  Has anybody seen the Beck Speedster at Corvette Mike's in Anaheim?

BHM - overpriced and they don't have the cars advertised in stock.  Should they sell a car it remains listed for a coupleyears.

 What do you read to learn how to tune dual carbs?  Or video? Youtube?  I still have the thing-a-majig that sits on top the carb and has the ball in the clear tube, but I can not remember diddly about how to use it, nor do I remember how I learned in the first place.

Just pick Danny P's brains - cost is a few good IPA beers.

 Where do you find the valve lash numbers for modified engines?  Are they always the same as factory?

Steel push rodsrequire different setting from aluminum one.

 Why do some 356’s have the leather hold down straps on the front lid?  Looks only?  Or does the front lid have a reputation for releasing at an inopportune moment?  We used a bungie cord on our Type Is.

Just for looks - racing 356 used them as an extra precaution when racing.

 It seems to me that drum skins would make the discs run hotter.  True or False?a

True if used on exclusivelyracing car.

 Which thread talks about pros and cons about different engine sizes?  The last time I worked on Vdubs, the largest reasonable engine size was 1835. Anything beyond that was guaranteed to blow up after 10,000 miles or 3 miles if driven a ¼ mile at a time.

How fast can you afford to go?  A 1776, 1915 (with right innerds), or 2210 are popular sizes. 

 Who is YOUR favorite air cooled builder? Subaru builder?  I said favorite, cuz I understand how subjective the question is.

Pat Downs has a well earned AC reputation.  As did Jake Raby - but he seems to have migrated to Subaru engines.

 Do you have any idea just how much one can learn by reading the forum posts?  It is mind boggling; literally.

You can take the SOC PHDtest to earn a degree.  With $4 you get a grande coffee at StarBucks!

Do you have any idea just how much one can learn by reading the forum posts?  It is mind boggling; literally.

If you sign up as a premium member there are some areas of the website not available for those who opt for the free membership. Use the magnifying glass in the upper right corner, two boxes left of the blue avatar box. Enter your question and, yes, wade through all of the responses.

Robert M posted:

Do you have any idea just how much one can learn by reading the forum posts?  It is mind boggling; literally.

If you sign up as a premium member there are some areas of the website not available for those who opt for the free membership. Use the magnifying glass in the upper right corner, two boxes left of the blue avatar box. Enter your question and, yes, wade through all of the responses.

Done. Thanks.  And thanks to Michael and Wolfgang.

Todd:  Things have evolved for the better with engines in the past 30+ years, so that now a 2,110 can produce a legitimate 145 hp AND be reliable AND last for 100,000 miles.

That said, I'm retired and usually add 2000 - 3000 miles per year to my car, so it'll take a heck of a long time for me to get to that magical number.  In the meantime, I just enjoy having an engine that I can depend on that gives me twice the power of a stock, original '57 356, plus the benefit of front disk brakes.  All good, in my book.

Welcome to the forum!  Take your time, read through back threads (that search function mentioned is really powerful - I use it a lot) and take the winter to become "edumacated" on the cars and reach out to meet some of the SoCal contingent (there is a pretty large group of active members out there) to see their cars and go from there.

I, too, started working on VWs starting back in 1966 or so, building a dune buggy clone of Hal Haven's wooden buggy in 1967 and never looked back.  It's been a great hobby and THIS is a really decent website.

Welcome to the Madness!

Gordon - The Speedstah Guy from Massachusetts.

(Where just this Autumn, we've received over 18" of rain - Wish I could send some out to you guys and gals where you need it - We're saturated!)

More questions:

Why the Mobil winged Pegasus?

 From what I am reading, it appears that IM has put a flat 6 in some 356’s?

 It appears that some sellers, especially dealers, don’t know a lot about what they are selling.  Or they just don’t think it is important to list all the info they have.  Are the different manufacturers open to sharing info on cars they built?

 Does the back end tend to break out when cornering in a rear Subaru engine car?

 Do you think the coupes are stiffer than the Speedsters?  They are in steel cars, but I have no idea if fiberglass coupes are stiffer, (corner better), than Speedsters.

You can get a new IM with a complete 911 suspension and the Boxter 6.  As expected, quite costly though.  Pegasus is from vintage racing days. You really want an engine spec sheet when you purchase a car.  Too many buy used with no idea of engine size - hard to tell if 1600 or 1915 cc by looking.  Subaru engines aren't much heavier than AC plus you have a cooling radiator for extra weight up front so unless a 300 hp turbo Subaru I suspect handling is same.  I've not seen dreaded cowl shake on any Speedster - the steel subframe or tubular chassis makes it stiff.

Last edited by WOLFGANG

Here’s a good video of what goes into a custom, Porsche 6-cylinder Intermeccanica - Bob Carley’s gem of a car from up Canada way:

For your other questions, yes, some “dealers” don’t really know either what they have to sell or how to properly market it.  Sad but true, and caveat emptor.  If you inquire about cars (new or used) directly from Intermeccanica (Henry Reisner) Vintage Motorcars (Greg Leach) or Beck (Carey Hines) you will get complete and honest answers - those guys are all straight shooters and sometimes show up on here.

The rear end will break loose on any of these cars, aircooled or Subaru back there, if you’re running a swing arm rear suspension and push it too hard, just like the original 356’s.   It’s MUCH harder to break the rear loose with an IRS rear, especially if you have a widebody and can fit 225 or larger tires back there (I have not been able to break my IRS with 225’s loose and I’ve tried really hard). 

I don’t think any of us have enough experience with replica coupes to know if they are stiffer than Speedsters/Roadsters - They’re pretty new to us and not many of them around.  And then there are all of the possible differences in suspensions under each and so on.  Suffice to say that, with proper suspension upgrades and the right tires, either can be made to handle like a banshee, especially with an IRS rear.

Hope this helps......

 

Todd, it's natural to want to figure out what's desirable in one of these cars by researching online. And it's good to learn as much as possible about the various options before you start writing checks.

But at some point, you just have to get out and see - and possibly drive - the cars to understand what they're all about.

They're so different from any modern, mass-produced car (in good ways and bad) that it's hard to get a feel by just reading words. An hour or two at a Cars and Coffee, at a club event, or just having a beer with an owner, will tell you things that it's hard to read between the lines of online discussions.

Money may not buy happiness, but the more of it you spend, the more Speedster you get. Seeing the cars and driving them will show you the difference between what $30k buys and what $40k or $50k, or even $80k buys. And of course, if you're willing to do your own wrenching, you can save a ton of money by doing your own building or upgrades.

We all have our own comfort levels about what compromises we're willing to accept. So, you're really the only one who can decide which car is right for you.

As Gordon suggests, the search tool here is a great place to start. If nothing else, it will keep you entertained with just how far off subject most discussions drift. But sooner or later, you'll just need to touch some fiberglass to find the truth.

 

Last edited by Sacto Mitch
Sacto Mitch posted:

 

Todd, it's natural to want to figure out what's desirable in one of these cars by researching online. And it's good to learn as much as possible about the various options before you start writing checks.

But at some point, you just have to get out and see - and possibly drive - the cars to understand what they're all about.

They're so different from any modern, mass-produced car (in good ways and bad) that it's hard to get a feel by just reading words. An hour or two at a Cars and Coffee, at a club event, or just having a beer with an owner, will tell you things that it's hard to read between the lines of online discussions.

Money may not buy happiness, but the more of it you spend, the more Speedster you get. Seeing the cars and driving them will show you the difference between what $30k buys and what $40k or $50k, or even $80k buys. And of course, if you're willing to do your own wrenching, you can save a ton of money by doing your own building or upgrades.

We all have our own comfort levels about what compromises we're willing to accept. So, you're really the only one who can decide which car is right for you.

As Gordon suggests, the search tool here is a great place to start. If nothing else, it will keep you entertained with just how far off subject most discussions drift. But sooner or later, you'll just need to touch some fiberglass to find the truth.

 

38 years ago, I had a '59 356 A coupe.  I rode a bike and took the bus more often than I got to drive the car.  I had to sell it when my father got fed up with the car and pieces of it always in his garage.

Many have recommended buying a used Speedster initially - especially if you like to fiddle with cars as a hobby.  The low mileage new ones you see are from folks that had expectations that didn't match an antique vehicle.  Prices are lowest now and it could be a fun winter project.  I've seen a couple as low as $14.5k-$16k.  Here's one in Cal and it already has the Pegasus decals:

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/cl...etail.php?id=2223296

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WOLFGANG posted:

Many have recommended buying a used Speedster initially - especially if you like to fiddle with cars as a hobby.  The low mileage new ones you see are from folks that had expectations that didn't match an antique vehicle.  Prices are lowest now and it could be a fun winter project.  I've seen a couple as low as $14.5k-$16k.  Here's one in Cal and it already has the Pegasus decals:

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/cl...etail.php?id=2223296

Photo

I actually contacted the owner of that car.  The paint is not really my cup of tea.  I truly do not care for the brightness of the interior.  Single carburetor.  It has been a few decades since I have worked on a VW, but that looks like a 6 volt generator to me.6volt generator

And what is that red semi circular thing?  Fan casing?  Broken?  Does or did SMC strengthen their bodies with a steel frame?

All in all, needs new paint, new engine, new interior, maybe work on the transaxle, front end.  $16,000 for this sounds way more expensive than a $30,000 VS in good condition.  On the plus side, taking it all apart to paint it would be a good way to get familiar with it.  And I would not feel like I was wasting money by changing/upgrading anything on it.  What do you think?

I just had a visual; my wife seeing the car for the first time and saying how cute it is, and the next day walking into the garage and seeing it all in pieces.

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I'll bet that CMC still has the original Gel coat finish and was never painted.  All FF/CMC (that I'm aware) of came in finished gelcoat finish saving builder from having to immediately paint vehicle.  Some gel coat colors like black were extra cost. If so the stickers can come off and the gel coat wet sanded and buffer up.  I doubt it would ever compare to a profession $4k+ prep/paint job but the gel coat is durable for a driver.  New interior is about $2500 and could be changed to beige to match the top.

Last edited by WOLFGANG

No-hubcap look is preferred by some owners. Looks more like a period race car or a car that might be or might have been raced.

A lot of this hobby is sort of pantomiming what we lived (or imagined we could have lived) as 20-year-old hooligans way back in the day—to sip from the chalice of greatness. At least it is for me. There's a reason this is called "The Mitty."

Todd M posted:

I see photos of many cars with hubcaps, just the bare stock wheel.  Is there a general reason for that?  Like they get stolen?

Most, and that's my option, people with 4 lug beetle wheels of any design will run with hubcaps because 4 lug rims don't look as cool without hubcaps. Wide 5'ers want the world to see those sexy Wide 5's with long black studs so they run around the city naked, for everyone to see. The rest, they puts Fuchs on their cars and strut around in a completely different way.

I honestly don't know of any kits or builds in the past that did not have the body sub-frame installed.  It's what holds the body erect and together.  If you didn't have a sub-frame under there you would have body-to-pan alignment problems, panel movement and surface cracks all over the place.  After all, the "pan" is exactly that - a flat, shaped surface to mount the very bottom of the body to.  there is nothing on the pan that sticks up to mount and support the upper body parts like the cowls, doors and fenders.

I know Wolfgang has posted photos of a separate CMC sub-frame and if it was sold as an "option" it had to have been in the early 1980's.  Later than that and they all came integrated into the body by fiberglassing them both together.

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

The photos of the CMC subframe are from cars that have burned (most likely). The subframe is what the door hinges mount to as well as the front hood hinges.  I know some CMC came with the subframe not riveted/bonded to the fiberglass body - but they did get the subframe.  My kit was called a deluxe - and that included the subframe attached as well as the doors hung (but not the door handles).  You can separately buy the subframe and fiberglass body from Rusty Tubs but suspect that is because they sell mostly replacement panels and don't specialize in single entire kits.

For a car that had operational doors, the VW pan would be far too flexible.  Open both doors and like an old rusty OEM 356 Cab, it would fold in half!  Dune buggies on 14" shortened VW pans don't seem to have subframes but then they don't seem to have doors either.

 

Todd M posted:

I just read this in an ad:

Chrome 5 1/2" x 15" front and 7" x 15" rear chrome wheels and covers.

Is it standard for the various replicas that the rear wheel wells can fit 7" wide wheels, and a corresponding width increase in tires?

I've had a pair of original later 15x6" Fuchs widened 1" to the inside (so they're like the original 911R 7" wheels, as opposed to a regular 7" Fuchs which has the extra width on the outside) and with 205's it looks like they'll fit with type 1 brakes, irs trailing arms, and my home made spring plates. I will be using type 3 rear brakes (adds 5/8" width per side) so will have to narrow the trailing arms 1/2-5/8" to make it all work. I think a regular 7" Fuchs (with 205's) would fit on a swingaxle car, provided it had the earlier shorter (to1966) axles/tubes with type 1 brakes. There's also the axles and tubes from the even earlier (to 1960) cars: I don't know their lengths, but I suspect it's the same or very close to the '61-'66 assemblies. IIrc there's about an 1 3/4" (per side) difference between the earliest and latest swingaxles, with '67 being somewhere in the middle. If you'd like to know the specific lengths, ask and I'll look them up later.

Whether those 7's you saw in the ad will fit a particular car will depend on their offset/backspacing. With 3 different swingaxle lengths (and irs being the same track as the 1968 and newer axles and tubes), most (if not all) disc brakes adding 1/2-5/8" (per side) to the mix and wheels having different offsets/backspacing, you can see why there's no simple answer. The Fuchs wheel chart- look at the difference between the 2 7x15's, and there's even 2 different 8x16's as well-

Fuchs wheel chart

I haven't seen it in years, but there is (or used to be) an older IM Speedster in Vancouver with 8" alloys and 225's on the back, and the car didn't look flared. The guy did it with the pie cut method. This is a real coupe, but you can see the principle-            before-                                                                                                                                                     356 coupe widening rear fenders

and after-

356 coupe widening rear fenders after

 

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Last edited by ALB

So that's a real unibody 356.  The 2 side longitudinal heat channels look to be worse off than the pan/  It looks to be wire bushed - if you were to soda blast it there would be far less to work with.  Check with Tullio (Ashcreek)  - he is doing one now in his shop in CT.  It is time-consuming and tedious with thousands of spot welds to drill out.  Replacement metal is readily available.  Trouble is once you start the project grows. I'm sure he can give idea of parts cost and time invested.

@ASHCREEK

https://www.speedsterowners.co...d-have-left-it-alone

Just need these bits - and lots of sweat equity!

Image result for porsche 356 floor pan

Last edited by WOLFGANG

@WOLFGANG said- "So that's a real unibody 356.  The 2 side longitudinal heat channels look to be worse off than the pan..."

You are right, Greg; that car needs a little work! Wonder what that will cost... (but then, that's what you get for needing a "real" 356!)

@Todd M- aircooled Beetle convertibles, while using the same pan as sedans, have extra longitudinal bracing on the bottom of the body as well as extra bracing throughout the car to keep them from flexing.

"I was probably mistaken, but somehow I thought that there were some replicas produced that did not have frames and the doors would open or close when lifted by a jack."

I'm pretty sure all Speedster replicas have some sort of steel sub-frame (as I think someone already mentioned). I have an early Intermeccanica (one of Frank Reisner's 600 or so that he and his partner built in Los Angeles in the late '70's before moving to Vancouver) and the sub-frame is glassed to the body. Some CMC cars (and maybe others) do have what some on here call "butt sag" and need additional bracing to the rear of the frame so the doors keep opening properly (and the car from flexing), but all IM's (and Beck's, I believe) have it already welded in. Al

Todd:  The restoration of 356 cars has a cult following and that cult usually (but not always) has very deep pockets.  A friend of mine bought a pre-A coupe semi-basket case that I would have walked away from (and my metal-working skills are pretty good).  He was a neuro-surgeon and really, really, really wanted this car.  He had it transported to Meister Restorations in New Hampshire and there, after almost a three-year process, took delivery of his restored dream.  Meister did a superb job - the car absolutely looks brand new, inside and out and is a gorgeous Bali Blue.  He bought the car for around $60K and dumped another $120K into it (all he'll own up to) and still figures he came out ahead.  He also drove it to the Porsche East Coast Holiday this year (in Georgia? I think)  -  Had 150 pounds of spare parts with him (he's still building his mechanic skills after retiring from Veterinary Medicine) and never used even one.

Given all that, I would still expect the car to return to Meister every other year (if not sooner) for touch-up work as it is still a metal car and will still rust, somewhere, starting with the Battery box.

If you get the floor and sill metal and do the work yourself, I would expect the cost to be several thousand, at most, assuming you can remove the spot welds (there is a special hole saw for this) and weld in the new panels yourself.  Be aware that you'll probably end up buying $200 - $500 worth of tools to do the job, but you get to keep those as an investment.  The new panels won't be spot-welded as the originals were (lowering its' future resale value) but it will be strong and last, especially if you weld all along the panel perimeters.  Remember that as you begin to remove the obviously rotted metal in there now, you will assuredly find even more rotted stuff lurking behind the obvious stuff - It just goes on and on.

If you take it to some place like Meister Restorations in New Hampshire (and there are others around the US), plan on a 1 - 2 year queue and then another year for the work to be done and somewhere in the vicinity of $20K - $30K unless they find more things to fix while they're in there.

Todd M posted:

Does anybody know enough about metal replacement to be able to guess how much it would cost to fix this pan?

I was probably mistaken, but somehow I thought that there were some replicas produced that did not have frames and the doors would open or close when lifted by a jack.

 

Todd. Did you mean would NOT open or close in your post above?

The old Vintage Speedsters website used to mention the "jack test" when advertising the fact that their body's had an integrated box steel frame.  The test suggested that jacking up a Vintage Speedster under one wheel would not cause their body to flex like it would on some other Speedsters. I don't know if that was just advertising hyperbole or if there really were Speedsters that didn't have an integrated frame. The jack test comments are no longer on the new Vintage Speedsters website, but I have seen it mentioned very recently in an eBay sale.

Is that possibly what you saw? 

Last edited by Troy Sloan
Troy Sloan posted:
Todd M posted:

Does anybody know enough about metal replacement to be able to guess how much it would cost to fix this pan?

I was probably mistaken, but somehow I thought that there were some replicas produced that did not have frames and the doors would open or close when lifted by a jack.

 

Todd. Did you mean would NOT open or close in your post above?

The old Vintage Speedsters website used to mention the "jack test" when advertising the fact that their body's had an integrated box steel frame.  The test suggested that jacking up a Vintage Speedster under one wheel would not cause their body to flex like it would on some other Speedsters. I don't know if that was just advertising hyperbole or if there really were Speedsters that didn't have an integrated frame. The jack test comments are no longer on the new Vintage Speedsters website, but I have seen it mentioned very recently in an eBay sale.

Is that possibly what you saw? 

Yes, "Not" is what I meant.

Rust work is never ending IMO, you just start and revisit forever unless you start a new.  There are all sorts of new parts vendors now for 356 but if you haven't got the skill to do the work you could be going down the road sideways.   

Early 2000, I sided against getting a 356 coupe and doing a total restoration.  I wanted to drive the thing and not bow down to it.  

I am happy that I chose and IM, but as you all know the crazyness is that your never really finished  

Todd:  That whole thing about "pan flex" was and is a myth.  I proved it as a myth a few years ago by jacking up my pan-based CMC and then took photos of the door gap on the passenger side.  Unfortunately, I stored those photos on Photobucket that has since become a useless photo server, so I'll reproduce the thread here:  

I have a 1969 VW pan-based CMC, with the body sub-frame integral to the body (glassed in, in other words).

I can jack it up under the middle of the door, both wheels on that side off the ground, and the door opens and closes normally, as it always does. I also cannot see a difference in the door seams when sitting level or jacked up.  In the following photos, if there is a pan-flex problem, the door gap should be wider at the top than at the bottom.
Here is a photo with the car sitting on all four wheels, no jack under it.  The door gap looks a little weird (like a syne wave) because of the shadow cast by the camera flash, but it is a consistent 3/16" top to bottom:
DSC02596
Then I placed a floor jack under the door's mid-point and jacked it up.  The door gap looks a little more even in this photo......
gapnjack
And, just to show I wasn't cheating:
wheels up
It was jacked up until both passenger-side wheels were well off the ground and I shot another photo of the door gap - look at the two photos for comparison and see the jack in place at the bottom of this photo:
jacked gap
So that's it.  My pan based car is solid....and will probably stay that way. I suspect a lot of pan-based cars on here are about the same.  That whole thing about "if you jack up a pan-based car the doors won't operate properly" is just a bunch of Hooowie".

What I HAVE noticed is that many tube-frame Speedsters seem to have a bit more leg or hip room in the cockpit, and that's a good thing.
 
Gordon    "Puttin' my pictures where my mouth is"
And Todd:  If you want to see true, no BS "Masters of Metal", follow my local friend, Wray Schelin, on Facebook or visit the ProShapers website    http://www.proshaper.com
Wray's "students" abilities will take your breath away.
 

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Last edited by Gordon Nichols
Todd M posted:
Panhandle Bob posted:

Todd:

I"m good to a point, welding and suspension work are past that point. I keep threatening to be the oldest guy in a beginning welding class, but business is keeping me from it, or at least that is my excuse.

Do you ever watch the custom car building shows?  They are artists with metal.

At this point I would be life doing a poor job of imitating art. I guess that's why I have so much admiration of guys who can fabricate, like MangoSmoothie.

 

I'm guessing the old 'jack test' boasting began way back in the earliest days of Speedster replicas when back yard privateers were trying to build their own by slapping a fiberglass body on a shortened pan, with maybe some uprights to support the front and back, and calling it 'done'. Some of them must have tried to get away with not adding a steel perimeter frame.

It looks like the shops that became successful businesses and went on to make cars in volume quickly realized that wouldn't work.

 

1. Wasn't the "jack test" just a standard thing you'd do when buying a used Beetle? Seems to me any boasting about a Speedster passing the jack test would be related to the proposition that "this here old Beetle pan may be cut & welded but it's solid enough to pass the test you do with an unmolested original donor car."

2. Spyders should handle better than swing axle Speedsters because the weight is better distributed and the torsion arms are longer. A well set up IRS Speedster should be able to out-handle a Spyder because IRS is all that. I am currently unaware of any skid pad results or other data to back this claim up, however.

3. Yes it is technically possible to use the Subie transaxle in a Spyder (without flipping the R&P) but it will be a fettle because the chassis crossmember that mounts the rear of the tranny is not set up for the Suburu rig so you'll have to rebuild that, and also the Subie is an independent suspension system so you'll have to either convert it to a swing axle type or engineer an IRS system into your Spyder chassis. It's all quite doable (and has been done, I believe) but not a task for the beginner.

4. Yes, Subie transaxles can be used in a Speedster (if you flip the R&P which is spendy and tricky) but also you'll be modding the guts of the car a lil to make it all fit. 

5. The fetish for a 5 (or more) speed is very strong for some reason and it's really quite silly, on a dollar-per-grins basis, unless you're the type who just has to run 10/10ths all the time & so are equipped with a high-strung engine with a little teeny tiny powerband way up the der stratosphere. Basically any good street engine (and especially any Subie) will be "on cam" at least from 3500 to 6000 and it really isn't hard or expensive to build a VW box that will handle the torque you're making, land that engine in its sweet spot between gears, be able to hold a hill at the stop light and cruise at 70mph+ without deafening you. With a Subie 5 speed you're adding weight and complexity galore and spending cubic dineros to do it & in the end, yeah, sure, it really is "better" but you better really really want it.

6. +1 on plug welding. It gives sad-sack duffers like me a little "cup" to spin the wire into and that makes all the difference in getting both good penetration and smooth(ish) beads. 

Last edited by edsnova
edsnova posted:

 

4. Yes, Subie transaxles can be used in a Speedster (if you flip the R&P which is spendy and tricky) but also you'll be modding the guts of the car a lil to make it all fit. 

5. The fetish for a 5 (or more) speed is very strong for some reason and it's really quite silly, on a dollar-per-grins basis, unless you're the type who just has to run 10/10ths all the time & so are equipped with a high-strung engine with a little teeny tiny powerband way up the der stratosphere. Basically any good street engine (and especially any Subie) will be "on cam" at least from 3500 to 6000 and it really isn't hard or expensive to build a VW box that will handle the torque you're making, land that engine in its sweet spot between gears, be able to hold a hill at the stop light and cruise at 70mph+ without deafening you. With a Subie 5 speed you're adding weight and complexity galore and spending cubic dineros to do it & in the end, yeah, sure, it really is "better" but you better really really want it.

 

I got curious and looked up the transaxle weight; 89 lbs. for the VW and 150 lbs. for the Subaru.  60 lbs. for more gear?  I would say, "Heck Ya!"  But the cost?  Low mileage Subaru 5 speed 2 WD used; $1300 not including the reverse ring and pinion, SubaruGears rebuilt $4,000 including the reverse ring and pinion.  The reverse ring and pinion cost a grand if you wanna install them yourself.  VW 4 speed rebuilt by Rancho Transmission; $775.  On the plus side, the 5 speed is a straight bolt on to a Subaru match engine, so you save on the adapter plate.  Also, I am fairly sure that the Subaru ECU is expecting sensor info from the transaxle, so the Subaru 5 speed would be a cleaner install.  Is it worth it?

I saw a wide body at Vintage the other day that had the Subaru 5 speed.  The body mod was not extensive, and it was handled well, so well that the modification looked like it belonged there.  My guess is that the body mod for a 6 speed would be about 4 inches longer and from what I could tell, it would not be a problem, but according to SubaruGears, they don't make a reverse ring and pinion for a 6 speed Subaru. 

 

"...Wasn't the "jack test" just a standard thing you'd do when buying a used Beetle?..."

Maybe. But, like Troy, I remember reading defensive references to it in lots of online Speedster ads:

"Unlike those pan-based death traps our competitors are offering, here at Sporty Motors, our cars have reinforced frames and are rock solid."

They never mentioned just where those competitors' cars came from, but they couldn't say that on the internet if it weren't true, right?

This was mostly when I first started looking for a Speedster, around six years ago. Today, not so much. I think the competitor's cars also suffered from the heartbreak of psoriasis.

 

"...The fetish for a 5 (or more) speed is very strong for some reason..."

It's funny how the wide gaps in standard VW gearing bug the crap out of some people, but not others. I was one of the ones who noticed it the first time I drove a Speedster. Of course, my first engine made about 12 hp, so maybe that's why I noticed so much. The more torque you've got, the less it matters. I'd guess with a modern, computer-controlled Subie motor, four speeds would suffice.

Me, I just don't like the sound of a VW Type 1 motor revving over 4000 rpm for very long. It's fun for a while, but sometimes I just want to poodle through the neighborhood or pull away from a stoplight without raising a fuss.

With a VW type 1 motor, the most common five-speed conversion gearing keeps the same first, second, and top gears as the four-speed. The extra gear gets squeezed between third and fourth, and third gets lowered a bit, too. So the 2-3, 3-4, and 4-5 shifts are all much tighter than 2-3 and 3-4 were on the four-speed.

You don't have to rev nearly as high before shifting when running up through the gears. If you do take it to 4000 (or more) though, the car jumps out way better than with the wide-spaced ratios. And climbing a hill on the freeway, if some guy cuts in front of you, you're not afraid to downshift. You've now got a lower gear that won't send the tach needle off the end of the scale.

 

Last edited by Sacto Mitch

Any of us who have built pan-based speedsters know that there is almost no stiffness to the VW pan, especially along the outside edge.  

OK, make that none.  The pan is truly flimsy - you can make it flex with your hand.

DSC00362

In order to get any structural integrity in the speedster, some sort of tube frame was absolutely necessary, so CMC (and others) used a 2" X 3" box frame member (3/16" wall or thicker) along each side.  That's what you see in Wolfgang's photo of a naked frame.  Everyone also used that side box tube as a (and I use this term unwillingly) "Heat" conduit, just like VW did, and we know how effective THAT is.  In later years (after 1970) VW seems to have listened to the plaintive cries of people in colder climates and actually double-walled that heat tube along the side and it improved heat somewhat - especially in warmer climates - and that actually improved side-stiffness in the newly introduced USA Crash-Dummy tests (so we now know it wasn't to give us any more heat, right?)

All that the kit designers did was mimic what Volkswagen did - When you place a VW sedan/convertible/Karman Ghia body onto the VW pan, it adds much stiffness to the assembly by way of the heater tubes running along the side of the body (carrying that tepid air from the anaemic heater boxes forward, to pretend to warm your foot).  Those tubes are approx. 3" in diameter and heavy walled, that's where Beetles got their structural integrity and that's what is copied in Speedsters with the sub-frame.

The good news was/is that it took a lot to rust out those structural/heater side tubes as they were tucked waaay up under the sills and running boards and on top of the pan - road salt almost never found its way up there.  The passenger side rotted out first (it's closer to the slush on the side of the road), but it might take 20+ years to do so, even in Michigan, the road salt capital of the World, so the Beetle had to be in really rough shape to fail a "jack test" with the jack under the center/side of the car or under the door's rear seam.  If the heat tubes were really rotted out I suppose it might fail a "jack test" but I've never seen it.  I bought my '57 sedan in 1967 (paid $25 bucks for it) and while it had a few dents and surface rust, it was easily salvageable and I drove it for four years, two as a sedan and then 2 more as a dune buggy.  Pearl has a 1969 pan that I bought in 1995.  All four fenders of the Beetle were bashed (she lived in Boston) but the body and heat tubes were all fine, although the floor panels were hit-and-miss and were totally replaced before I shortened the pan.

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Last edited by Gordon Nichols

VW 4 speed rebuilt by Rancho Transmission; $775. 

You'd want more than a rebuilt stock VW transmission with a 165-230 hp Subaru engine.  You'd at least want to change gear ratios and the R&P so at least double the $775. 

infamous SAS does as Jethro points out and puts the engine amidship with trans behind it, just like it was in the donor. They even use the Subaru suspension with ABS, disk brakes and the tight 100mm x 4  bolt wheel pattern.  Plus you get a real trunk. Please don't send SAS a deposit though!

SubaruGears does have a kit for the  6 speed split case (TY751/TY756) - price appears to be the same as for the 5 speed.

Last edited by WOLFGANG

With the VW engine at cruising you need to run at 3000rpm essentially

With the subie you can run at 2100rpm heck I just drove a new Jetta and it did 1250ish at 70mph 6.5L per 100 km

the 5 sp subie can be changed to get down to about 2700 rpm at 70mph

by changing the pinion to 3:91

and dropping the fifth gear

if not you cruise at 31-3200rpm at 70 mph 

 

Your right Gordon, I forgot that when I quoted that rpm that my R&P was 3:44    

@Todd M I do think you should at least try a car that has the subie tranny to see if you like the ratios.   What essentially happens is once you get a subie engine the tranny is the noisiest piece in the car.  At 3000rpm or above you can't hear anything but the engine and maybe a whine from the VW tranny depending on your setup.  Then you drop in a subie engine and you become more sensitive to the OTHER noises.  

Todd M posted:

I got curious and looked up the transaxle weight; 89 lbs. for the VW and 150 lbs. for the Subaru.  60 lbs. for more gear?  I would say, "Heck Ya!"  But the cost?  Low mileage Subaru 5 speed 2 WD used; $1300 not including the reverse ring and pinion, SubaruGears rebuilt $4,000 including the reverse ring and pinion.  The reverse ring and pinion cost a grand if you wanna install them yourself.  VW 4 speed rebuilt by Rancho Transmission; $775.  On the plus side, the 5 speed is a straight bolt on to a Subaru match engine, so you save on the adapter plate.  Also, I am fairly sure that the Subaru ECU is expecting sensor info from the transaxle, so the Subaru 5 speed would be a cleaner install.  Is it worth it?

I saw a wide body at Vintage the other day that had the Subaru 5 speed.  The body mod was not extensive, and it was handled well, so well that the modification looked like it belonged there.  My guess is that the body mod for a 6 speed would be about 4 inches longer and from what I could tell, it would not be a problem, but according to SubaruGears, they don't make a reverse ring and pinion for a 6 speed Subaru. 

Todd, the subie tranny is cut down in size to fit into a vw.   Is that taken into account in your weight estimate or is that the weight of a standard tranny?

WOLFGANG posted:

There also is the Gene Berg VW 5 speed conversion.  But by the time you get the right gearing for a Subaru engine and the adapter you could have used paid for the converted rotation Subaru trans for same $.

Image result for gene berg 5 speed

The Gene Berg setup is great for an all VW setup.  I think you could use a subie so long as the VW engine is over 2L and your tranny will turn the engine at the 3000 safe rpm for engine longevity at cruising.

But for a full subie you can have the VSS, the stock ECU used and take advantage of all the electronics,  DBWire not to mention the potential to add cruise control which is driven by the ECU.

So it is just another approach.  Then there is Bob: IM6

WOLFGANG posted:

VW 4 speed rebuilt by Rancho Transmission; $775. 

You'd want more than a rebuilt stock VW transmission with a 165-230 hp Subaru engine.  You'd at least want to change gear ratios and the R&P so at least double the $775. 

infamous SAS does as Jethro points out and puts the engine amidship with trans behind it, just like it was in the donor. They even use the Subaru suspension with ABS, disk brakes and the tight 100mm x 4  bolt wheel pattern.  Plus you get a real trunk. Please don't send SAS a deposit though!

SubaruGears does have a kit for the  6 speed split case (TY751/TY756) - price appears to be the same as for the 5 speed.

I assume, maybe incorrectly, that the transaxles built by Rancho can handle Subaru torque.

Has anybody actually seen SAS's mid engine speedster?  I am very curious to know how much modification they had to do to the body and frame.

Yeah. I saw the conflicting pages on the 6 speed.

 

IaM-Ray posted:
Todd M posted:

I got curious and looked up the transaxle weight; 89 lbs. for the VW and 150 lbs. for the Subaru.  60 lbs. for more gear?  I would say, "Heck Ya!"  But the cost?  Low mileage Subaru 5 speed 2 WD used; $1300 not including the reverse ring and pinion, SubaruGears rebuilt $4,000 including the reverse ring and pinion.  The reverse ring and pinion cost a grand if you wanna install them yourself.  VW 4 speed rebuilt by Rancho Transmission; $775.  On the plus side, the 5 speed is a straight bolt on to a Subaru match engine, so you save on the adapter plate.  Also, I am fairly sure that the Subaru ECU is expecting sensor info from the transaxle, so the Subaru 5 speed would be a cleaner install.  Is it worth it?

I saw a wide body at Vintage the other day that had the Subaru 5 speed.  The body mod was not extensive, and it was handled well, so well that the modification looked like it belonged there.  My guess is that the body mod for a 6 speed would be about 4 inches longer and from what I could tell, it would not be a problem, but according to SubaruGears, they don't make a reverse ring and pinion for a 6 speed Subaru. 

Todd, the subie tranny is cut down in size to fit into a vw.   Is that taken into account in your weight estimate or is that the weight of a standard tranny?

Cut down to size to fit in a VW?  Other than taking off a few inches when converting a 4 WD to a 2 WD, how in the world would anybody cut down the size of a transaxle?  The reverse R&P for a Subaru 5 speed from SubaruGears is for a 2 WD transmission, and I have no idea if it fits a 4 WD which is longer.  The 150 lbs. is for a 2 WD Subaru transaxle.

Nolan had a silver gray SAS Speedster mid-engine with automatic transmission and Hoss had a red SAS with standard manual transmission.  Both were regulars at Carlisle.  You won't be using a VW pan so a custom chassis is definitely required.  Hence the use of the rest of the Subarus drive train. The rear emergency seat area disappears but the engine is low so still room on top of the engine cover if needed (just not for people).

For reference here is link to infamous SAS site - lots of details on chassis and Subaru features:

http://specialtyauto.com/

 

Last edited by WOLFGANG
WOLFGANG posted:

Nolan had a silver gray SAS Speedster mid-engine with automatic transmission and Hoss had a red SAS with standard manual transmission.  Both were regulars at Carlisle.  You won't be using a VW pan so a custom chassis is definitely required.  Hence the use of the rest of the Subarus drive train. The rear emergency seat area disappears but the engine is low so still room on top of the engine cover if needed (just not for people)

I will have to look up Nolan and Haas here to see if they report on how they like their mid-engine.  If I was to have a car built, rather than buying a used one, my preference would be mid engine, but I don't think I would take a chance on a deposit to any manufacturer with a reputation for not delivering.

Todd M posted:
edsnova posted:

 

4. Yes, Subie transaxles can be used in a Speedster (if you flip the R&P which is spendy and tricky) but also you'll be modding the guts of the car a lil to make it all fit. 

5. The fetish for a 5 (or more) speed is very strong for some reason and it's really quite silly, on a dollar-per-grins basis, unless you're the type who just has to run 10/10ths all the time & so are equipped with a high-strung engine with a little teeny tiny powerband way up the der stratosphere. Basically any good street engine (and especially any Subie) will be "on cam" at least from 3500 to 6000 and it really isn't hard or expensive to build a VW box that will handle the torque you're making, land that engine in its sweet spot between gears, be able to hold a hill at the stop light and cruise at 70mph+ without deafening you. With a Subie 5 speed you're adding weight and complexity galore and spending cubic dineros to do it & in the end, yeah, sure, it really is "better" but you better really really want it.

 

I got curious and looked up the transaxle weight; 89 lbs. for the VW and 150 lbs. for the Subaru.  60 lbs. for more gear?  I would say, "Heck Ya!"  But the cost?  Low mileage Subaru 5 speed 2 WD used; $1300 not including the reverse ring and pinion, SubaruGears rebuilt $4,000 including the reverse ring and pinion.  The reverse ring and pinion cost a grand if you wanna install them yourself.  VW 4 speed rebuilt by Rancho Transmission; $775.  On the plus side, the 5 speed is a straight bolt on to a Subaru match engine, so you save on the adapter plate.  Also, I am fairly sure that the Subaru ECU is expecting sensor info from the transaxle, so the Subaru 5 speed would be a cleaner install.  Is it worth it?

I saw a wide body at Vintage the other day that had the Subaru 5 speed.  The body mod was not extensive, and it was handled well, so well that the modification looked like it belonged there.  My guess is that the body mod for a 6 speed would be about 4 inches longer and from what I could tell, it would not be a problem, but according to SubaruGears, they don't make a reverse ring and pinion for a 6 speed Subaru. 

No way a stock or built IRS VW Bug trans weighs 89 pounds. Mine was maybe 65-70. A Swing axle with the axles and hubs attached might be 90.

You get it built with stock late-model Bug gear ratios and a 3.44 R&P, with the heavy duty side cover, Super Diff and a few other hop-up details. They call it a "Pro Street" build and it's good for 180-200 horses, which is what you'll get with a NA Subaru. If you're not doing competitive hill climbs or drag racing every weekend it'll hold up just fine. The box should cost $1,100—certainly no more than $1,600—all done and waranteed. 

It's way less money than trying to get a Subaru setup in there.

With a 25.4-inch diameter tire/wheel combo, these ratios put you at 60 mph in second gear, 100 mph in third and up to 140 in fourth at 6000 rpm. At 70 mph you're turning 3000 rpm, which isn't much more than final drive in most modern 4 cylinder cars (my wife's 2010 Corolla spins 2800 at 70, for example). 

In a car like the Speedster, which is barely half what a modern Subaru weighs, you're never in the wrong gear even with even the weakest stock EJ22. 20 mph in 4th? Yeah, so? You wanna go faster up this hill but don't wanna put down your latte and shift? Just press down on the gas pedal. It's almost boring.

The adaptor kit from KEP is $500-ish. It works, and there's no issue with the ECM not getting the signal from the trans—although the stock ECM does want to see a vehicle speed sensor signal, so you end up having to make one of those if you're using a Subaru computer. 

The bad news with the KEP is you get a heavy flywheel. Not good for racing but if you're racing then you're not building it this way anyway. 

Again: A 5-speed is absolutely better, from the point of view of coolness and bragging rights and gear choices and less rpm drop between gears and whatnot. But there is no scenario in which one is necessary, especially with an NA Subaru engine with its wide, flat torque plateau from like 2500 through 5500 rpm. 

If your engine makes 125 ft-lbs torque at 3000 and 126 at 4000 and 124.5 at 5000 (which it does*), then gearing up to hit 4000 instead of 3600 rpm in your 3rd to 4th upshift saves you exactly nothing in terms of acceleration. 

*

@edsnova

"But there is no scenario in which one is necessary"

Yup.

And if I get another car, I doubt if necessary will enter into my decision making process.  If I am honest, another car is the opposite of necessary, it is actually madness.  I am telling myself this, more than I am telling you, so I know exactly what I am getting into.  So, how much madness do I want, and how much madness can I afford?

And, I truly appreciate all the info.  It is magnificent.

Todd M posted:
WOLFGANG posted:

Nolan had a silver gray SAS Speedster mid-engine with automatic transmission and Hoss had a red SAS with standard manual transmission.  Both were regulars at Carlisle.  You won't be using a VW pan so a custom chassis is definitely required.  Hence the use of the rest of the Subarus drive train. The rear emergency seat area disappears but the engine is low so still room on top of the engine cover if needed (just not for people)

I will have to look up Nolan and Haas here to see if they report on how they like their mid-engine.  If I was to have a car built, rather than buying a used one, my preference would be mid engine, but I don't think I would take a chance on a deposit to any manufacturer with a reputation for not delivering.

I bought my SAS cabriolet from its second owner.  I absolutely love it.  Special Edition has been working on a mid-engine design.

My car has pretty much everything the donor Legacy had, including its suspension.  

"In a car like the Speedster, which is barely half what a modern Subaru weighs, you're never in the wrong gear even with even the weakest stock EJ22. 20 mph in 4th? Yeah, so? You wanna go faster up this hill but don't wanna put down your latte and shift? Just press down on the gas pedal. It's almost boring."

Lol  .... Ed, you can start in any gear except maybe in 5th...

Todd M posted:

@edsnova

"But there is no scenario in which one is necessary"

Yup.

And if I get another car, I doubt if necessary will enter into my decision making process.  If I am honest, another car is the opposite of necessary, it is actually madness.  I am telling myself this, more than I am telling you, so I know exactly what I am getting into.  So, how much madness do I want, and how much madness can I afford?

And, I truly appreciate all the info.  It is magnificent.

You know, @Todd M--  this post shows me that you are so far ahead of where I was when I came to this, that perhaps you don't need a ton of advice. But since I seem to feel that everybody is entitled to my opinion, I'm going to disseminate it anyhow.

I'm kinda' slow, but I almost always (wrongly) think I know more than conventional wisdom. As a result, I do things two (or three... or four) times before just arriving back where I was told to go to start with. If insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, then I should probably be in a rubber room.

I used to advocate for cute little engines, "because they more accurately replicate the powerband of an original", or some such nonsense. I've had two 1176s, two 2110s, a 2332, and two 2276 built by Serrano, AJ Sims, Chico Performance, Art Thraen, and Blackline Racing. I've had about that many permutations of transaxle as well.

I'm not a builder, or a reseller-- this is just a hobby for me, and I've worked my way up the food-chain because I enjoy working in the garage. It's been a very expensive way to learn a couple of things-- primary among them is the wisdom in listening to the guys who have been in this for a long time, and laying aside my own (non-applicable) experience in some other venue.

What I can say with 100% conviction is that  no matter what you decide to do, more is more.

More power and more gears IS more fun. And more money. In this hobby, there are no shortcuts. You might not always get what you pay for, but you'll always pay for what you get. Always.

Spending more with a reputable vendor always means getting more. But but after a certain point, the additional money spent starts to buy less and less of the "more" that brings enjoyment. The secret to being smart about this (and I would inject here that I've been a poor example) is knowing where the point of diminishing return is. Some times less is "more".

Guys are going to give conflicting advice regarding where the point of diminishing return is, but here's my take:

The engine and transaxle need to be paired to work together. Dollars buy horsepower, and they buy gears. Up to a certain point, the money is best spent on the horsepower. But once that point is reached, the money is better spent on gears. If a guy has $5,000 to spend, it's best spent on a better engine. If he's got $10,000 to pump into making his car better, the second $5,000 is best spent on the transaxle. I've had a $10,000 Type 1, and I'd have rather had a $5,000 engine and a 5-speed.

Further, there's a point where spending more on a Type 1 stops being the best way to get "more". Once a guy starts creeping up past 150 hp, the money is probably better spent on a Type 4. A $10,000 Type 4 is a lot more enjoyable (to me) than a $10,000 Type 1.

Either way, a $10,000 engine is definitely "more", but it's more work and not twice as nice as a $5000 engine. A $5,000 transaxle is twice as nice as a $2,500 transaxle.

Obviously the calculus changes with a Subaru engine, and I'm not the guy there. You'd need to talk to Henry or Carey or Greg to determine if you are that guy. Soliciting the advice of guys here is just going to bring out our own biases.  

Last edited by Stan Galat

@Stan Galat

"What I can say with 100% conviction is that  no matter what you decide to do, more is more.

More power and more gears IS more fun. And more money. In this hobby, there are no shortcuts. You might not always get what you pay for, but you'll always pay for what you get. Always."

Uh-huh.  Yup.

"Soliciting the advice of guys here is just going to bring out our own biases."

For me, bias is as valuable as fact.

 

 

 

@Todd M,

OK. Here's my bias:

Get an IRS car with good brakes. Start with good bones.

If you're an air-cooled guy, the point of diminishing return on an engine is a nicely built 2110 with W120 (or equivalent) cam, a good header, and 40 Dellortos or Webers.

The transaxle is more tricky. The highwater mark for a 4-speed with a 2110 is a pro-street level transaxle with stock 1-3 gears and a .93 fourth with a 3.44 R/P. It's not a 5-speed, but it's nice.

If you want to take it further, I'd get a big Type 4 and a 5-speed.

Your mileage may vary. 

Last edited by Stan Galat

I found with 2110cc and 3:44 in 4th gear I seemed to be always looking for 5th.  Then of course I would come to realize ... no Ray you can't get a 5th as it gives you the same as a 4th that you already have but more fun rowing... So in an A/C I kept my car as is even though I was trying to quiet things down.

I built a new IM full Subie, that too has some compromises as all of them do.  You get more fun rowing with 5 gears but my 5th is running 3200 at 70mph... I thought I would get it quieter, certainly not with the top down but no it did not happen.... Maybe one day I will try 3.91 R&P and a lowered 5th to get to 2700rpm but that is as low as it goes in that setup as well.  

You cannot get to 2200rpm at 70mph even if the car can start pretty much in 4th anytime...

I guess it makes up for not having a CVT    Maybe a skidoo CVT is all you really need  ....  just kidding.

Todd M posted:

@Jethro

You said the suspension is from the donor Legacy.  Including the front suspension?  AWD or 2 WD?

Actually, the front suspension is from an Impreza, the rear is from a Legacy GT.  The drive train is regular Legacy.

It is not AWD.  He does away with the rear drive shaft and trans-axle.   Basically uses the front trans-axle from the donor to use as the rear trans-axle in the build.

Not on an SAS as the grille is not cut out (only for looks).  On an air cooled Speedster - there is an inner rain shield in the engine lid that directs rainwater to the back of engine away from electrics and supposedly carbs.  Many add rain hats to their dual carbs - available from Beck SE.  Others remove the rain shield and have no protection.  It is not the car of choice to drive in a rainstorm.

Image result for porsche speedster replica engine trunk lid

Last edited by WOLFGANG

Yes it would, but if it were mine I would either run a small-ish turbo and mated injectors, OR a regular sized turbo with a boost limiter.  These are small cars and even the slightly heavier coupe doesn't weigh much.  The only speedster I've driven with a turbo (it had the WRX engine) was a lot to handle when you got your foot in it.  It certainly wouldn't be fun on slicker roads.

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

Fitting the turbo is the easy part.  Shedding the excess heat load is the tough part.  In addition, NA Subi engines are not efficient platforms to accept a turbo.  I disagree slightly with Gordon's analysis above regarding high HP and no fun on slicker roads.  To me, high HP is always fun, but the driver needs to learn when to lighten up on the go pedal.  As with all performance cars, conditions dictate fun vs. danger.  Getting close to the edge has its own attractions, eh?

I want to share what happens in my mind when I inquire about a car for sale, am informed that the car has sold, but the seller, (a well known manufacturer/builder), can build one for me, and then leaves the the ad up.  It immediately makes me think that I can not trust that seller/manufacturer/builder to build me a car, even if he was my first choice before the bait and switch experience.

What a shame.  Instead of generating sales, he has lost a potential sale.

It can hang pretty low in a Speedster. If you keep the suspension a little higher than is typical—say an inch up, which is close to where a stock VW suspension would be—then the stock pan is fine. David Stroud ran a stock pan in his car and (he'll correct me if I'm wrong) it did not scrape.

If you're at "normal" SOC-er ride height (which is technically about an inch or an inch and a half below what the factory VW spec would be) then the Subie pan is riding a bit low—3.5 or 4 inches from the pavement, probably—and will occasionally buy it on a speed bump or driveway ramp.

Small Car makes this heavy-duty aftermarket pan that saves about two inches over the stock unit. I have one on Bridget and never regretted the purchase. Bridget is set on the low side and the pan's about 5 inches from the ground; never scraped.

Todd M posted:

@Gordon Nichols "It certainly wouldn't be fun on slicker roads."

I must have a deviant sense of fun.

@David Stroud IM Roadster D "If I did a Soob again I'd put a small blower on it."

As @Stan Galat says, "More is more."  Is there any such thing as too much torque?

Safety Jim posted:

Too much torque breaks bolts, strips threads or skins knuckles!  lol! ;-) 

I heard a guy once say that too much torque breaks a car in half. Until then, you're good...

There isn't anything that can't be answered by one of the posted FF/CMC build manuals posted here or folks here (DRClock provides his phone number even).  If you buy one of the odd listed bodies on SAMBA or from MX - you might have some fitment issues.  If you get a roller - you just add mechanicals (trans/suspension/engine). 

WOLFGANG posted:

There isn't anything that can't be answered by one of the posted FF/CMC build manuals posted here or folks here (DRClock provides his phone number even).  If you buy one of the odd listed bodies on SAMBA or from MX - you might have some fitment issues.  If you get a roller - you just add mechanicals (trans/suspension/engine). 

There are BUILD MANUALS?!??!  SERIOUSLY?  Where?  I will try the search.  Thanks.

WOLFGANG posted:

There isn't anything that can't be answered by one of the posted FF/CMC build manuals posted here or folks here (DRClock provides his phone number even).  If you buy one of the odd listed bodies on SAMBA or from MX - you might have some fitment issues.  If you get a roller - you just add mechanicals (trans/suspension/engine). 

@WOLFGANG

I found the FiberFab manual.  And while searching, it appears that CMC and FiberFab are similar?  CMC bought FiberFab?  Any other build manuals out there?  What can I say?  I'm greedy.

I need some opinions.  As far as I can tell, the cost to build a replica yourself is fairly close to the cost to have JPS or Vintage do it for you.  What is your experience?

OMgosh!  I am not going to sleep tonight.

Todd:  I ordered a Fibre-Fab kit back in the 80's and it was shipped to me from the CMC plant in Florida. Fibre-fab built a few cars in Buffalo where I live, (but not the Speedsters) and I thought I could save the shipping costs by picking it up.  However, I did get down to Miami and visit the incredibly huge CMC plant.  Yes, the cars are the same as far as I know. Since you are a supporting member you have access to the manuals.  I hope this helps.  

FiberFab was a huge producers of a huge range of kit cars in '70's using MG/TR/AH/VW chassis.  They started in 1964 in Calif.  In '79 they were hq'd in Minneapolis, MN and were sold to their competitor CMC in 1983.  Check out their history below and the huge # of really nice looking (but difficult to build replicas) at:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiberfab

I particularly like that he shot his wife Jamaica for cheating and ended up in jail! The Jamaican was one of his swoopiest kits!  Build manuals are still available for most of their cars.  I've always like the very low Avenger GT (Fort GT40 take off) and the 3 wheel Scarab. 

Image result for fiberfab scarabRelated image

Cost the same between building own and VS/JPS?  I'm guessing a new base VS/JPS is $30k.  Build time is remarkably short too.  The original CMC kit was $8k in 1989 plus shipping and without donor VW T1.  I've seen used one from $2k (not recently) to $12k needing work.  So if you can do work you could refurb for under $20k and you'd know what parts were used and that it was constructed well.  If you aren't mechanical - cheaper to go with a finished car. HA, plus you can build at your own pace and as your budget allows.

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Last edited by WOLFGANG

In California, are 'smog exempt' cars exempt from even having to show up at the smog testing facility?  Or do they still have to get a smog certificate from a state authorized smog test facility?  For those of you who don't live in California, the above may seem like a no brainer, "Smog exempt means exempt from smog testing", but if you live in California you know that making sense has nothing to do with California's environmental or pollution laws.

The reason I am asking is because if you put a JDM Subaru engine in a car, and you have to get it smog tested, it may not pass based on a physical inspection that shows the engine number is not entered into Big Brother's database and can therefore not be passed.vehicles-air-pollution

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'Smog exempt' means never having to say you're sorry.

Every car that needs to be smogged (a newish Toyota, for example) is flagged on its registration renewal form every other renewal period and you can't renew the registration until you take the car to a smog check shop and pass the test. The smog shop has a computer that communicates directly with DMV and notifies the state whether or not your car passed.

But a 1969 VW, for example, never gets that notice that a smog check needs to be done when its registration is up for renewal. If you happen to have a goofy-shaped fiberglass body riding around on your 1969 VW chassis, the state doesn't know that and keeps sending you registration renewals that don't require a smog check.

You get the same smog exemption if you register your car in the 'Special Construction' program. The car is never subjected to a smog test.

If you have a pan-based car that's registered as a VW, you can put a JDM Suby motor in, or a Briggs and Stratton motor in, or a 1948 Tucker helicopter engine in and DMV will never come calling.

Of course, that's how it is today. But no man's life, liberty, happiness, or JDM Subaru motor is safe while the legislature is in session.

 

 

 

 

Last edited by Sacto Mitch

@MangoSmoothie.ca 

"my setup is torsion and air.  torsion is set at the lowest.  lock pins on front and rear removed, so if air pops, it just goes to lowest (drivable) setting.  much safer than those that lay frame."

Could you please explain the above to me?  By 'torsion' is set at the lowest, are you saying that you have an adjustable torsion beam VW suspension and it is adjusted to it's lowest setting?  And I am clueless on the lock pins removed.  Is 'lay frame' when the frame of a bagged car is in contact with the ground?  And why did you narrow the beam?  I see narrowed torsion beams for sale, but I don't know why they are narrowed.  Is a side effect of a narrowed beam the ability to install wider tires?  Are 'Avis adjusters' the adjustment mechanisms on the beams?

Thanks in advance.

Todd M posted:

@MangoSmoothie.ca 

"my setup is torsion and air.  torsion is set at the lowest.  lock pins on front and rear removed, so if air pops, it just goes to lowest (drivable) setting.  much safer than those that lay frame."

Could you please explain the above to me?  By 'torsion' is set at the lowest, are you saying that you have an adjustable torsion beam VW suspension and it is adjusted to it's lowest setting?  And I am clueless on the lock pins removed.  Is 'lay frame' when the frame of a bagged car is in contact with the ground?  And why did you narrow the beam?  I see narrowed torsion beams for sale, but I don't know why they are narrowed.  Is a side effect of a narrowed beam the ability to install wider tires?  Are 'Avis adjusters' the adjustment mechanisms on the beams?

Thanks in advance.

i have an adjustable from beam with the centre pins still in place, but the lock nuts removed.  it's 3.5" narrowed - to allow larger tires/rims to tuck, plus i like that look. my beam had avis style.  there are other styles, but functionally all do the same thing.

lay frame: yes.  metal on the ground.  quite dangerous to have this IMO.,

The upper shock mount doesn't need to be moved- the wheel/tire can only come in as far as the spring plate. What may need trimming (depending how close the wheel/tire sits) is the upper suspension stop beside the shock mount. It may need to be cut back slightly.

My computer doesn't have the program to open your file, Todd, so I don't know what's there. Al

ALB posted:

The upper shock mount doesn't need to be moved- the wheel/tire can only come in as far as the spring plate. What may need trimming (depending how close the wheel/tire sits) is the upper suspension stop beside the shock mount. It may need to be cut back slightly.

My computer doesn't have the program to open your file, Todd, so I don't know what's there. Al

It is a photo of a Subaru axle.  I just like pictures.

WOLFGANG posted:

Does VS no longer make the ultrawide Speedster?  It isn't mentioned on their web site.  I know they favor swing axle rear - but they would do IRS.  Looks like they used 8" wide rear faux Fuch-look rims.  I can't see wanting to go larger than 8" wide rim.

widewheel

Between the wide body and the stock, my wife chose the stock, so I gotta makem' fit within the stock body.

WOLFGANG posted:

Does VS no longer make the ultrawide Speedster?  It isn't mentioned on their web site.  I know they favor swing axle rear - but they would do IRS.  Looks like they used 8" wide rear faux Fuch-look rims.  I can't see wanting to go larger than 8" wide rim.

widewheel

I don't believe there were any Super Widebody Speedsters built by anyone in 2018.  Vintage, in Arizona, had a body for one earlier in the year, but the order was canceled and they didn't even start the build.  They ended up offering the unfinished body for sale on eBay.

 

Actually Wolfgang, there is an in between version, that you are calling the "VS wide body" (not the Super Widebody), being built by Greg Leach in California right now. He is putting a Subi motor in it and I think it's been discussed on here before.

I'm sure the bodies are still available, but based on the fact that Vintage Arizona sold the body they had instead of just keeping it on the shelf, I wonder if there is some reason they don't plan to build any? Pure speculation on my part however.

I'm pretty sure Greg would build one if someone was interested   Again, speculation on my part.

Here's a picture of the one Greg was building when I was down there in October.  Again, this is not a Super Widebody, it is the in between VS flared version. 

20181209_135020

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Last edited by Troy Sloan

chassisnumber1

It seems all well and good if you buy/build a replica based on a VW pan with a VW VIN in California, because I think you can register it as a (whatever year) VW specially constructed vehicle, SPCNS, and get a smog exempt status based on the year of the pan.  But, what if you build a replica without a VW pan and associated VIN?  It appears that you register it as a SPCNS, but the year it is registered is the year you have completed the build and filled out the DMV paperwork in.  Which means that it is not smog exempt and instead is subject to the smog requirements of that year.  There are now a couple of builders that are not using a VW pan or any existing car pan, and instead using their own manufactured frame.  Has anybody bought one of these?  In California?  And if so, how did you get it to pass smog?  You sure as heck are not going to be able to pass 2018 California smog requirements with a air cooled engine.  Can you even pass 2018 requirements with a rebuilt Subaru engine?

 

Todd,

You are confused as to legal registration of replicas in California.  You cannot legally register a replica as a 19-- VW, since the vehicle no longer resembles the donor car.  The only legal means of registration in CA is to use the SPCN process, which allows you to register the car as the year it represents by body style: 56, 57, etc.  Then the car is smog-exempt for now and future registration .  There are lots of threads on this site that explain the process.  You can also find out additional info by Googling: CA SPCN registration or some variation.

Jim Kelly posted:

Todd,

You are confused as to legal registration of replicas in California.  You cannot legally register a replica as a 19-- VW, since the vehicle no longer resembles the donor car.  The only legal means of registration in CA is to use the SPCN process, which allows you to register the car as the year it represents by body style: 56, 57, etc.  Then the car is smog-exempt for now and future registration .  There are lots of threads on this site that explain the process.  You can also find out additional info by Googling: CA SPCN registration or some variation.

@Jim Kelly

I usually am confused.  I googled away, but I got confused anywhooz.

So, the procedure is to get it registered as a 57 Speedster SPCNS?

Why are so many replicas registered as VW with the year being the year of the pan?

Last edited by Todd M

The procedure is to use SPCN to register replicas in CA.  The actual registration will title the car as 2018 SPCN or whatever year it is registered.  The registration documents will specify year and make of the car that the replica resembles, i.e., 1957 Porsche Speedster.

For many years, replica owners have used the VW VIN as proof to DMV that the car is actually a 19-- VW, since the manufacturers in CA registered them that way for many years.  It's cheap, easy, and unlikely to be discovered, but, nonetheless, illegal.  See California Vehicle Code Sec. 580.

The SPCN process is a way for California replica owners to legalize their registration.  BTW, the California AG's Office is fully aware of the current state of replica registration, so they're not learning anything from this post.  After all, that's why the enacted the SPCN process, at the behest of SEMA.  Many other states, with SEMA's help,  have also enacted legislation to enable replica, hot rod, and street rod owners to register legally.

Last edited by Jim Kelly

Why are so many replicas registered as VW with the year being the year of the pan?

Used to be you could register them that way in Calif --- and pay sales tax on a rapted out VW bug.  Calif got on to that trick and has worked to get their more than fair share of your $$$.  You can still register as a VW in many other states and get away with it.  At least until a car savvy trooper pulls you over or you are in a car accident - then the "Orange 2 door VW T1 Sedan" kicks you in the butt.  It still seems that titled as a VW is better for reducing resale issues in most states and overseas sales.  Some states will title it as a 1957 Porsche Speedster which can make resale costly as some states will look that up and say "Oh, your car has a Blue Book value of $125k and the tax will be $9999!"  Virginia even has an annual real property tax of 4.5% of value so that could add up real fast!

Doesn't CA still only issue 500 SPCN registrations per year?

Last edited by WOLFGANG

 

Jim Kelly posted:

 

...For many years, replica owners have used the VW VIN as proof to DMV that the car is actually a 19-- VW, since the manufacturers in CA registered them that way for many years. ...

 

And there's the meat of it.

Most of us with a VS or JPS just accepted it as a fait accompli that our cars were registered as VW's . (Wow, I told my eighth grade English teacher I'd never use the term 'fait accompli' for the rest of my life, and here, just 57 years later, I'm proven wrong.)

The registration as a VW was already done for us when we bought our cars from the builder. We could have then gone through the SPCN process to make our cars legal, but... well, maybe next year. In the meantime, as long as I send my registration check off to the state every year, for some reason, they don't seem to mind.

Technically, as far as DMV is concerned, I didn't buy a new 2013 Vintage Speedster from VS, I bought a used VW. Kirk was not a new car manufacturer. To be one, his cars would have had to pass all current regs for new cars - smog, crash worthiness, etc. And a new VS would have weighed about 4000 pounds, made about six hp, and cost about $100,000.

 

Wolfgang,

You seem to be saying that it was legal in the past to register a replica in California as the VW from which the pan/VIN # was taken.  That's incorrect.  CVC Sec. 580 is the statute on point, stating that a SPCN vehicle no longer resembles the donor car, and it was enacted in 1983.  Thus, registering a replica as the donor vehicle which it no longer resembles has been illegal for the last 35 years.  Perhaps I miscontrued your post.

My research indicates the 500 SPCN registrations/year has been more than enough for the last few years.

@Jim Kelly

"The procedure is to use SPCN to register replicas in CA"

When I first read the above, I thought it said, "The procedure is to use SPCN to register Alpacas in CA."  I had to make sure I was on the correct website.

@WOLFGANG

"Doesn't CA still only issue 500 SPCN registrations per year?"

I don't know this as fact, but I read that during the last economic downturn, the DMV no longer limited the number of SPCNS registrations to 500 per year, and that policy continues.

The biggest difficulty for me with sanding is that the paper loads up, and it gets expensive to waste paper before it is worn out.  On the various car building tv shows, it seems like they start sanding the skim coat before it hardens so that it is easier and faster to sand, which should make their paper load up quickly.  But, you never see them switching out paper every 30 seconds, so is their paper loading up and they just go through a lot of sandpaper, or do they know something I don't about how to keep their paper from loading up?62700773-worker-is-sanding-filler-with-air-sander-in-auto-body-shop

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If the filler is not fully cured/hardened, then yes, the slight additional heat from the sanding pad will cause it to stick to the sandpaper.  Once it is fully hardened, then, personally, I would use a wet paper and run a trickle of water down over the area being sanded and just go at it - the paper should not clog up.  If it does, just use a Scotch Brite pad with plenty of water on the pad to remove (some of) the buildup.

If you think those guys on the Reality TV car shows are sanding (with sandpaper) less-than-cured filler, I would really doubt that.  They may just have more experience using that particular brand in their climate and know how to mix, apply and finish it.

The only time I've been successful working with not-fully-cured bondo is when, as Al mentioned, I'm starting off with a bondo rasp (looks like a cheese grater) but that just meant that I put on way too much bondo in the first place - something I do pretty regularly.  Just like when doing plastering in my house - two pounds of plaster/spackle on and then sand 1.9 pounds off (and get plaster dust all over the house, followed by the Wrath of the Wife).  "Way too much" filler is anything over 1/8" thick unless I'm using the filler to re-create a compound curve in a small space.  Otherwise, stick to the max thickness of 1/8".  

That's all too late for you, now, and I don't know how much catalyst you used, or the air temp and relative humidity you were working in, (all important) so if none of that is known you'll just have to slog through it.  Try the wet-sand paper and see if that helps, or just go through lots of dry paper til you get things smooth.

Good luck.  gn

http://www.how-to-build-hotrods.com/filler.html

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

f:0&vxp=mtr" target="_blank">https://www.ebay.com/itm/1957-...k:2f:0&vxp=mtr

Anybody wanna give me some guesses on how much it would cost to finish this?

I don't know what questions to ask to find out how much more work it needs.  Can anybody input on what they see is done and what still needs to be done?  The owner says quite a bit, but I don't know how to verify any of it.  It's kind of a long way to go just to have a look.  Any of you more knowledgeable wrenchers wanna give me some beta on what to look for?

Went back to the Ebay listing and sent the owner some questions.  Here they are?

Hi,

Your description says hand laid epoxy. Is the epoxy different than the two part used with fiberglass?  Is your base fabric fiberglass?

How old is the EJ25?  Is it a EJ255?  253?  Do you have documentation showing how many miles are on the engine?  Is it JDM?  USdm?  Do you know what it came out of?

How many miles on the transaxle?  Or was it just recently rebuilt?

“Comes with all the glass.”  I don’t see it in the photo, so I am just checking?

Was it painted black?  Or is the epoxy black?

Did you build the chassis yourself?

What did the rack and pinion come out of?

What did the steering column come out of?

Thanks,

Todd Miller

ntoddmiller1@cox.net

nine four 9 three five 1 five two 4 zero

Do you intend to finish this yourself or have some or all of it done by a shop or a shade tree mechanic? I'd figure that out first. Make a list of what you can do, then think about it again.

Ask Dr. Clock for a review of what the project needs. Listen to him and the guys who can lay claim to having built a car, not just to have prettied one up by adding some headlight grills, hood straps and a luggage rack.

Discount the rest of us who are only qualified to provide opinions on aesthetics, myself included.

Good luck!!

Todd M posted:

f:0&vxp=mtr" target="_blank">https://www.ebay.com/itm/1957-...k:2f:0&vxp=mtr

Anybody wanna give me some guesses on how much it would cost to finish this?

I don't know what questions to ask to find out how much more work it needs.  Can anybody input on what they see is done and what still needs to be done?  The owner says quite a bit, but I don't know how to verify any of it.  It's kind of a long way to go just to have a look.  Any of you more knowledgeable wrenchers wanna give me some beta on what to look for?

Did you notice how low the sump is in the one photo?  Maybe it is just the angle, but that looks positively dangerous.

 Does the sump on a Subaru installation require changing for clearance?

Bob: IM S6 posted:
just the angle, but that looks positively dangerous.

 Does the sump on a Subaru installation require changing for clearance?

For some reason with my Soob conversion the stock sump left me with plenty of clearance. It was a 1967 pan based project though and most Soob conversions now are done on modern tube frame chassis so maybe the trannys are mounted lower in those necessitating a thinner pan? Not sure. I had a pretty much stock stance on my rear suspension too where most prefer the lower look so maybe that came into it too. 

That exhaust setup shown in the pics looks familiar though and if it is what I think it is, you'll be left with about 1 1/2" of ground clearance just because of it. 

Last edited by David Stroud IM Roadster D

I am not sure if it is an absolute requirement but I know that IM installs the tranny and engine perfectly horizontal it helps to minimize the angle of the cv joints.  If you adjust the suspension as well to be any lower, it is much safer to have the pan be lower profile.   I am sure Carey or Henry could provide us with more detailed info.

In any case if you look at this picture from my build you can see that with the small car sump, remembering that this also has a subie tranny that the engine is not at risk of damage.

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Panhandle Bob posted:

Do you intend to finish this yourself or have some or all of it done by a shop or a shade tree mechanic? I'd figure that out first. Make a list of what you can do, then think about it again.

Ask Dr. Clock for a review of what the project needs. Listen to him and the guys who can lay claim to having built a car, not just to have prettied one up by adding some headlight grills, hood straps and a luggage rack.

Discount the rest of us who are only qualified to provide opinions on aesthetics, myself included.

Good luck!!

Finish it myself.  The list of what I can do is evolving.  The photo is of the staircase I am building of which I had no idea how to build until I started.stairs copy

Is Dr. Clock and alias for Alan?   And thank you for your opinion, whether you have ever built a car or not.

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Marty Grzynkowicz posted:

Yes, small car makes low profile sumps.  I'm sure here are other makers too.  

https://smallcar.com/vanagon/s...luminum-oil-pan.html

 

Yeah, I saw that too.  I think in the next round of questions I asked him how far it was from the bottom of the sump to the ground.  I imagine one can get shallower sumps, and I know that a dry sump is available, but the dry sump system is way expensive.  $369 isn't bad.

Last edited by Todd M

Alan Merklin is Dr. Clock and he can say with some authority what you're in for. 

That car looks like a viable project with a lot (if not all) of the right stuff. But your questions are good: where's the transaxle from, and what's really in it? (The one I got with the Spyder advertised as a 3.88 R&P turned out to be a 4.12) Provenance of the engine and electronics. You can drop a few grand on a Subie build even after getting an engine—and you absolutely should if you haven't inspected the heads, timing belts, water pump, oil separator and bearings personally. 

Interior work costs. DiY mostly won't cut it.

My main question on this one though: a stainless steel chassis? Really? Knowing the little I do about how stainless behaves under oscillation stress, I'm not sure that's absolutely as good as it might first sound.

Btw: Nice work on that curving stair case. That's a real big job for a beginner, and no picnic for an old pro either.

Last edited by edsnova

A few years back I was offered the opportunity to purchase a couple of these , I believe there was a total of around 12 ?  coupes produced that had custom chassis for electric drive train, from what I could asssume with info supplied it would be a labor intensive feat in reconfiguring the chassis for conventional drive train  even for me with ample resources ... machine & body shop friends,  that's all I know about them.

TV car shows are edited .  Buy yourself a decent face mask with changeable filters and ventilate the work area or like me you'll have a permanent hacking cough daily .  Same goes  using a rattle can of paint / primer A DA sander on a large repair area will play hell with trying to get it even, a hand or air powered long board sander  is the right tool. Paper loading up is caused by filler that has not had the right ratio of hardener hence to soft. For initial shaping start with dry 80 or 120 grit and then go wet with work 220  / 320 grit for final sand.  Rubbing the old paper against a new piece will quickly clear the filler from the used paper.  If you are going to have a shop do the final work, you might as well just take it to the shop as it stands or you may very well pay extra to have them remove what you have done in favor of their own work and materials.

 

I believe there was 12 of these couples that have custom chassis for electric drive train

Last edited by Alan Merklin

Says body is by Beck - has a Beck MCO.  I too questioned the stainless steel chassis.  I've snapped a lot of stainless steel bolts - they just aren't as strong as steel and why would you go to that expense?  Also says engine comes with the title of donor car - so it's not JDM.  Beck says they get the title for the donor engine vehicle too. With the exception of one photo it looks like it is finished paint - so maybe it just got beat up in the shop. 

I can see the interior being quite costly on a coupe.

Beck does not and never has just sold bodies.  Their frames - 3" DOM (not stainless) steel -and bodies are bonded together during assembly.  Mine was nowhere near the first, being #184, but they had kept a relatively low profile until then.  I think mine was sort of a public announcement of their presence in the market, and they have grown every year.  They have also instituted significant improvements almost every year as well.  I'd be suspicious of any car who's seller said it had a Beck body, but implied that the frame came from elsewhere - simply not true.

Todd M posted:

The biggest difficulty for me with sanding is that the paper loads up, and it gets expensive to waste paper before it is worn out.  On the various car building tv shows, it seems like they start sanding the skim coat before it hardens so that it is easier and faster to sand, which should make their paper load up quickly.  But, you never see them switching out paper every 30 seconds, so is their paper loading up and they just go through a lot of sandpaper, or do they know something I don't about how to keep their paper from loading up?

Todd,

The best advice I can give is that not all sanding papers are the same.  You get what you pay for!  It took me too many years (including building a Speedster from just a pan and body) to learn that the expensive paper is worth the money.  The Harbor Freight stuff is cheaper, but does not come close to the performance of quality name brand paper.  I use Norton Gold PSA paper and discs for blocking and finishing.  If you hit it with compressed air occasionally it will cut a long time and not load up.  There are other options for particular applications.  Go to a local auto paint supply store and ask, they won't mind selling you expensive stuff!  

You may already know this, but it's one of those things that I should have learned 40 years ago.  Projects would have been much less work!  

James

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