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Lucky 13

Flyer615

New member
A little bit more progress today. Got the side skirts removed along with the front under pan. The body bolts have all been removed as well. I have to, at this time, take exception with whoever made the decision to use carriage bolts in the fiberglass flange that holds the body to the pan. Years of corrosion has made the grip that the nut held on the bolt stronger than the fiberglass had on the square head of the carriage bolt. They will be replaced by stainless button head cap screws.

Now, my question is this: Is there a better way to separate the body after the screws are removed? There is some sort of soft sealer (according to the assembly manual, window glaze). Wooden wedges have be driven in the sides with some success, but the hump area has, thus far, resisted my persuasion.

Also, in case anyone was wondering, the fuel tank will NOT come out through the rear window (had to try it).

Skirt_off.jpg

Separation.jpg

Fuel_tank.jpg

PS. More blood drawn today, Rick. There's something about these cars that don't like me. *kicked my butt* By the way, the answer to today's trivia question is Lone Watie. 20 points for Griffyndor, however, for recognizing the movie and the actor that made the statement. *thumbs up*
 

Peter

Active member
Two things my apprentice master said about removing and fitting was, "If it doesn't fit, find out why, DON'T HIT IT", and "The thing stopping two parts separating is always the bolt you can't see or forgot to remove".
 

Flyer615

New member
Two things my apprentice master said about removing and fitting was, "If it doesn't fit, find out why, DON'T HIT IT", and "The thing stopping two parts separating is always the bolt you can't see or forgot to remove".

Yep, I tend to agree. On a side note, when I was younger, I farmed with my grandfather. His philosophy was this: "This thing ain't wantin' to go together. Hand me that hammer, son ... no, the big one." And, if it wouldn't come apart: "Looks like we're gonna have to use the hot wrench on this one, boy. Let's go get the torch." :D
 

letterman7

Honorary Admin
By the way, the answer to today's trivia question is Lone Watie. 20 points for Griffyndor, however, for recognizing the movie and the actor that made the statement. *thumbs up*

*laugh* On the other hand, I had to look up Griggyndor. Not a Potter fan here, I'm afraid!

Nice progress on the car though. Sometimes there would be the odd sheet metal screw on the Napoleon hat section.. my red car had two lag screws (!) down through the flange and into the metal. For what, I have no idea, but they're gone now....
 

Flyer615

New member
Dear Abby,

Okay, the body came off today. This is the first opportunity I've had to really get into the VW suspension to take accurate measurements. I'm screwed. I thought I had measured everything from every direction. I've measure the width, height, length, depth, etc.. The one thing that kept floating around in my head was the diagonal trailing links (not sure that's what they're called). Everything fits with the Dodge motor and trans, but the diagonal links are in the way of everything. Ideas guys? I know that I'm going to have to change the rear suspension completely. I have access to a Fiero. I'm thinking that this rear setup is going to be the closest thing I can find to work. I may still have to fab the engine mounts, but if I could take the subframe from the Fiero, can I mate it to the VW pan? OR, is there another independent rear suspension that might work better?

Perplexed in Portland
 

letterman7

Honorary Admin
Anything you do to change the rear completely is going to require welding to the torsion arms and/or frame and floorpan. The Corvair rear suspension and drivetrain was the way to go in the '60's on some dune buggies and there was even a conversion kit for Busses. The trailing arms (diagonal links) are integral to the VW suspension as you've seen, so you'll need to figure out what it's going to take to use the Dodge items to support the IRS driveshafts. Ideally, you would have the entire front clip to manipulate the mounting structures and you wouldn't have to worry about motor mounts and whatnot, but starting from square one and getting everything where it needs to be is going to be a piece of engineering. You need to take into account toe adjustments, camber and rebound arc all while building the frame.

If you have room if you remove the trailing arms, then your only main problem is supporting the driveshafts with the correct hub carriers. You can likely finagle a working suspension using the existing VW torsion plates to those hub carriers, then all that's left is the shock mounts, one of which would already be there from the VW. OR... ditch the Dodge transmission and find an automatic (if that's what you want) from a later model VW Bus or Vanagon. Call KEP and see if there is an adapter plate for that combination and reduce your headaches even further, though the auto trans will need some modifications to the frame horns.
 

Flyer615

New member
Anything you do to change the rear completely is going to require welding to the torsion arms and/or frame and floorpan. The trailing arms (diagonal links) are integral to the VW suspension as you've seen, so you'll need to figure out what it's going to take to use the Dodge items to support the IRS driveshafts.

Yep, that was the first thing that hit me when the body came off. Can I weld to the VW torsion bar tubes? Are the outer tubes strong enough to be that much support? I know I'll have to stiffen it

Ideally, you would have the entire front clip to manipulate the mounting structures and you wouldn't have to worry about motor mounts and whatnot, but starting from square one and getting everything where it needs to be is going to be a piece of engineering. You need to take into account toe adjustments, camber and rebound arc all while building the frame.

I didn't keep the front subframe from the Dodge because I didn't have great confidence that I could engineer something to hold the steering in check and be able to adjust the alignment. Also, it didn't look like it would be very accommodating with regard to attaching it to the VW frame, though, in hindsight, I might have been able to use something from it.

If you have room if you remove the trailing arms, then your only main problem is supporting the driveshafts with the correct hub carriers. You can likely finagle a working suspension using the existing VW torsion plates to those hub carriers, then all that's left is the shock mounts, one of which would already be there from the VW.

My issue with using the torsion plates is that, if I lose the VW hub carriers, I will lose lateral support. Those original hub carriers were at the same height as the axles. The late model trans drops lower than the axles in front of the axles. I'm hoping that if I can't use the subframe from the Fiero, I will at least be able to gain enough info from them to fab something functional. I'm holding the bus trans on the back burner in the event that I can't get anything else to work.

As I was standing there staring at it (read that as standing with desperation in my mind), I even considered making idler gears for the trans to reverse the rotation of the pinion gear. Turning the whole apparatus around would have left plenty of room. -confused*
 

1/3RDOFF

New member
Flyer516; If I may; I'm an old fiero fan. The rear suspension set up was as you started to do, GM moved the front wheel set up to the back, almost as a complete unit. The tie rods & steering linkage was cut off just outboard of the inner tie rod, threaded & 2 lock nuts added. A simple piece of angle was welded to the rear cross member frame with a gusset & the linkage bolted up.

As Rick said, engineering a suspension set up is a monumental task. I would suggest You find another K-frame to fit your engine/tranny combo & use that. Added idea, if you get one from a junk yard, be sure to measure all angles & in particular, the width of the spring perches or to the stud sticking up thru the spring cap. AND-cut out those caps to weld into the frame @ the "same" angle as they were in the donor car. If @ all possible, have the donor @ your shop, weld a cross bar to the spring caps &
a brace to the K-frame front & rear to keep those caps in place so as you transfer to your Sterling, you won't loose any critical factory set up. A lesson from experience!! Best of luck. Rick
 

RangerBEH

Member
I have a dune buggy with the rear half from a bus if you need pics or measurments. I will say it gives me much more room to work on things with the body mounted
 

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Flyer615

New member
Flyer516; If I may; I'm an old fiero fan. The rear suspension set up was as you started to do, GM moved the front wheel set up to the back, almost as a complete unit. The tie rods & steering linkage was cut off just outboard of the inner tie rod, threaded & 2 lock nuts added. A simple piece of angle was welded to the rear cross member frame with a gusset & the linkage bolted up.

As Rick said, engineering a suspension set up is a monumental task. I would suggest You find another K-frame to fit your engine/tranny combo & use that. Added idea, if you get one from a junk yard, be sure to measure all angles & in particular, the width of the spring perches or to the stud sticking up thru the spring cap. AND-cut out those caps to weld into the frame @ the "same" angle as they were in the donor car. If @ all possible, have the donor @ your shop, weld a cross bar to the spring caps &
a brace to the K-frame front & rear to keep those caps in place so as you transfer to your Sterling, you won't loose any critical factory set up. A lesson from experience!! Best of luck. Rick

Knowing your experience with the Fiero, I was kinda hoping you'd weigh in here, Rick. What GM did is kinda what I was hoping to do. My question is: If GM did it with success, why not use their end result? I know that the Fiero subframe comes out as a unit. I know that I will have to fab something to hold the top of the strut towers. Would using/altering the Fiero unit be MORE difficult than using the front sub from the Dodge? If so, why?

Every driveline change that I've seen on the board, here, has been primarily about the engine. In my case, it has almost nothing to do with the engine. The engine is more a means to an end. I figure that whatever engine I attach to this transmission is going to take me up to 70 mph on the interstate. Anything more would be superfluous. The transmission, on the other hand, allows for two-pedal operation, a water-cooled power plant, and a smooth dash with no visible controls(via an electronic button shift and access doors). The bus trans is not out of the realm of possibility, it's just in last place for me, for now.
 

CyCo

New member
This sort of thing isn't that uncommon, swapping a front mount/drive engine into the rear of a car. Nota here in Oz did just that back in the 60's & 70's with their Fang. Was even a kit car. If you look around the net I'm sure you'll find builds that have this, probably with step by step instructions/photos.
 

1/3RDOFF

New member
CyCo; Well Sir, I'm not too familiar with your cars, don't know what a Fang is-don't mean "ANY"
disrespect, I'm out of the loop here. But swapping a front drive unit to the rear for a mid-engine set up is common. And I have zero experience with VW anything.

Flyer615; My idea was to see if you would consider finding another Dodge k-frame to help you get back to a more complete/useable drive unit & not have to adapt, in keeping as much of your set up in the Dodge/Chrysler family should afford you a wider choice of brake/driveline/steering possibilities.
Hooking up to a fiero K-frame is not hard to do, a matter of cutting-fabbing--welding--etc. Myself,
I'll keep my Cimbria rebuild in the GM family as that is the family of vehicles I most used to & have the
most parts of on hand. I've recently moved into the 2K years for parts & have found that many GM makes cross-utilize many parts. Ford & Chrysler do the same.

I agree that a water cooled motor set up would be better--simply my opinion. I'm much more @ ease doing a mid-engine, water cooled, automatic, w/air. Chopping up a fiero for a base passenger tub and
keeping the front cowl & rear firewall w/base suspension points (F/R) is a no-brainer--for me. Any other framing/mounting of hardware & etc. will just be a matter of syphorin it out. I did get my donor fiero moved to the shop big door so I don't have to drag out 100'of air hose/welding power lead. Now
I haven't ruled out the in-line V-8 & 4 spd T/A, It will fit in my Cimbria SS w/o a stretch. Interior room
behind the seat will be gone, but the kick in the ass from an old V-8 & slammin 4 gears would be a riot-again. Or the fiero 5 spd with the caddy 4.9 or the land rover 4.0 would only enhance the daily driving fun. Sorry to have rambled on, hope I've helped some. Rick
 

Flyer615

New member
I appreciate ALL of the input, guys. As of now, my plan is to try the Fiero rear sub. My reasons for this are thus:
1. The Dodge sub includes steering. I would have to figure a way to lock that and be able to adjust it for alignment. I would have to do this with the ability for this part to float with suspension to allow for deflection, as well. The Fiero has already taken all this into consideration and doesn't steer.
2. Either unit will require fabrication to attach to the VW pan. I don't see a significant difference in the labor or engineering here.
3. The advantage to the Dodge sub is that the hubs are made for the stub axles that I'll be using. I would, however, still have to come up with a way to fashion a parking brake. The Fiero already has that covered, too.

Other than this, my next option is to re-fabricate the trailing links of the VW. The front attach points would need to be relocated to the underside of the torsion tube and rebuilt with some sort of tubing. I think I can do this, but I'm not sure how to get two opposite pieces exactly the same and built with align-ability without some elaborate fixtures.
 

CyCo

New member
My example of the Nota Fang was certainly a poor example, being restricted to Oz. Could be bought as a turn key car, or kit car if my memory serves me right.

I just found this neat 3/4 cutaway technical drawing of a Nota Fang, the page also gives some history/background info on the cars. But in short, they were a lightweight sportscar based around the use of the Mini engine & subframe, which was turned around making it a midengined car, making it the third such car made. Being a light weight car, great weight distribution and all independent suspension, they made a name for them selves on the track. They locked off the steering, but I'm not sure how. They, like the Nova/Sterling/Eureka family, had a polarizing look.

Nota+Fang+3.jpg
 

1/3RDOFF

New member
CyCo; That Fang is sooooooo cool!! O.K. Maybe a bit dated compared to what's available now-a-days,
but some ones dream was pressed from metal, etc. THANKS.

Flyer615; COOL!! Thanks for not pressing me to heap gobs of praise on the fiero simply cause I have some & enjoy their versatility. Hey Guys: 10PM---alert--Victoria Secrets new fall "fashions show", for
all us prevrts, perverts & proverts!?! Wife just told me to keep an eye on the time. Now-where the hell was I?? Oh, yah, fiero K-frame. It does have those issues worked out for ya. I was wrong on one point; the inner ball joint from the fiero rack is used to mount/hold the alignment true & allow for toe adjustments. Having seen the fiero set up, you can do the same w/Dodge set up. 9:42! I'm a little
perplexed about the addition on the back of your 215. Not sure of the purpose-would you enlighten
me please? 9:48--gotta go, get ice cream, a drink & get my mind cleared so I can pay attention @ 10
PM! Later, Rick
 

mud4fun

New member
sub frames

I have a square tube chasis instead of a VW frame. It still has VW suspension and it had a way wonky engine mounting system in it before. Here is a pic of the subframe you looked at when it was at the show. PM me an email and I will send you more pics. I made this with the possibility of a future change to swing arms in mind.
Maybe when the girls get out of college I can spend more money on it and change it but for now the vw works fine.
IMG_20130504_130617_680.jpg
 

RangerBEH

Member
That tube chassis looks beefy compared to the basic VW. With a newer donor car and some time you could have one of the nicest riding cars here
 

Peter

Active member
I have a square tube chasis instead of a VW frame. It still has VW suspension and it had a way wonky engine mounting system in it before. Here is a pic of the subframe you looked at when it was at the show. PM me an email and I will send you more pics. I made this with the possibility of a future change to swing arms in mind.
Maybe when the girls get out of college I can spend more money on it and change it but for now the vw works fine.
View attachment 4347
With the VW IRS suspension there needs to be a serious reason to go to all the expense of A arms and coils overs, possible IRS with coil overs would be more than good.
But that is one chunky frame there but I have to ask with a std. VW tranny and type 4 engine, why? *hmmm*
 

letterman7

Honorary Admin
With the VW IRS suspension there needs to be a serious reason to go to all the expense of A arms and coils overs, possible IRS with coil overs would be more than good.
But that is one chunky frame there but I have to ask with a std. VW tranny and type 4 engine, why? *hmmm*

Nothing standard about that drivetrain. That's Corvair powered with a Corvair 4-speed in place (might be a three speed..). All that extra tubing is to strengthen up the rear frame horns and support all the extra weight.
 
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