Volksworld Dyno Shoot Out

This weekend I am going to RaceShack for the Volksworld Dyno Shoot Out. I have a new camera (a Sony DSC-H1 Cybershot), and am looking forward to getting some cool shots of hi-po dubs on the dyno. I might be going up in a friends buggy (cold!), or I might take the van (warm!).

Big brakes

I have sourced a good pair of Porsche Brembo 4 pot brake calipers. As you can see they dwarf the stock brakes. They will obviously need an adapter plate to mount them, but I am hoping there will be space for a simple peice of laser cut plate steel.


Ready to blast

I have now stripped the chassis completly, and it is ready for shot blasting. I will leave the floorpans on for now and get them blasted too. They are in pretty good nick, and it would be pointless to cut them off if all they need are some new corners. After blasting I will be able to see areas that need attention, and I can also throw some paint on it.

To prepare the chassis for blasting I will need to cover all the holes to stop blast medium from entering. Then its just a case of carting it down the blasting shop.

The smaller items, like trailing arms for example, I will get shot blasted and powder coated. I like the finish and hardwearing properties of powercoat, and it saves me the effort of painting them.

Body now off

Last night with the help of some friends, I lifted the body shell of the chassis. It went without a hitch, well, one fuel pipe was still connected which I missed!

The chassis is as good as I thought. The original floor pans are still excellent, and all the important bits like the frame head and rear suspension is mint.

I am really looking forward to getting stuck into the resto. First job will be to make up something to hold the struts in place so I can move the the chassis about without the front wheels flopping about the place.

Separating body and pan

I have now done the following to disconnect the body from the floorpan:

  • Taken out all the bolts down either sill
  • Undone the two at the front on the chassis on the inside.
  • Undone the four behind the battery compartment on the inside
  • The bolts near the rear shocks
  • The four large bolts at the front behind the frame head
  • Undone the centre steering tie-rod at either end This was easier than taking the arm off the steering box
  • Cut the brake fluid pipes feeding the master cylinder
  • Made sure the front flexy brake pipes were disconnected from the body
  • Pulled the speedo cable out of the hub

I then put a jack under the rear valance, and jacked the rear of the body up. The rear jacking points had been tacked to the under sill closing panels, so I sliced them free. However there is something sticking at the front to sort out.


Well I did it. The bug is definitely off the road now. It is SORNed, so I can't drive it anyway. I have taken all the wings off and there are no nasty surprises waiting for me. All the rust found was what I expected. It will probably need a complete rear quarter as this picture shows.

I have taken the engine out already, then its seats and fuel tank, then I will get the lads round and lift it off the floorpan and put it outside under the car port. I can then get on with the floorpan. In the following pictures you can see the engine out, my new struts in place, and a nice garage scene!


Resto time?

I am starting to have serious thoughts about taking the bug off the road completely and doing its full restoration. I started thinking like this as a result of playing around with the rear disc brake kit.

In order to try out the kit, I needed to take the rear drum and backing plate off. In order to that I needed to disconnect the brake line etc. So now to get the bug back on the road, I need to bleed the brakes, use yet another split pin in the hub castle nut, and I am just sick and tired of doing modifications, and having to get the bug back on the road so I can drive it.

Modifying my bug the way I am doing it is so inefficient. I am better off just taking it off the road and doing it all at the same time. Its so long overdue anyway!

Disc re-drilling

Well, my attempts at re-drilling my old disks for a Porsche stud pattern was only partially successful. I used a ready made jig to position the holes which went well, however my attempts at tapping the holes to take conversion studs was less successful. I didn't get them straight enough, so when I screwed the studs in they where not quite true, and I couldn't get the spacers on!

So now I need to drill out the holes for some push through studs but this means milling the backs of the disks where the holes are, so more hold-ups!

However I did manage to pick up a rear disk brake kit last night which looks good. It's this CB Performance kit, and it uses Porsche 914 discs and Mk4 Golf callipers. I am looking forward to bolting that on. The kit was missing the handbrake cables, so I will need to sort that. I would also need to add a residual pressure valve in the rear brake line.

Porsche discs and studs

The struts are now on, but I still don't know if they are any good. However I do know that they easily support the weight of the car, and look like they will provide ample adjustment of ride height.

At the same time of fitting the struts I am also swapping my disks and drums with some drilled with a Porsche stud pattern, to enable me to fit my wheels. I got these cheap from a friend. However, it turns out the disks are odd, and one of them won't fit my caliper, it has a slightly different offset. I never knew that was possible. It turns out the previous owner of the disks had some odd calipers on his bug, which would explain it! So I am just going to drill my old 4 stud discs, at least I know they will fit then.

Struts MK2

Back in April I built a set of adjustable struts, and I had a few issues with them. Well now I have built another set! This time I have mounted the threaded sleeve much nearer the top of the strut, which will enable me to use a much shorter spring. This will enable me to get springs more easily (I had a problem getting 12" springs), reduce the unsprung weight of the struts, and reduce the chance of spring wobbling about and hitting the shock retention cap.

Here is a picture of the new strut in parts (on the left). Compare with the old strut on the right.

I was limited to how close I could get the threaded sleeve to the shock retention cap because the shock has a flaired section at the top. The flaired section of the strut has to go over this, but then thats too wide for the sleeve!

Also, in order for the shock retention cap to fit in the spring I had to reduce its diameter a little. I did this by fitting the cap in my piller drill, then spinning it while taking material off it with a softpad in the grinder. Its pretty thick so you can take off quite a lot. It flairs out quite a bit at the bottom, so this is where you need to take most off. I also rounded it off, so if the spring does touch it, there is nothing to catch the spring on.

In order to use the top spring cap, I had to use early strut top bearings. The late ones require a deeply dished cap, which would just not work with the caps you get with the sleeves. The springs are 10.5" by 130lbs. This should be the right length, and hopefully the right stiffness, though I can easily change them if need be. The sleeves and springs where sourced from Rally Design, and the yellow bump-stops are from Hoopers here in Bristol.

Oil cooler

The other night I fitted an oil cooler to the engine. This I did to control the oil temperature a little better on the motorway, and on the track. I found that sustained high RPM caused the oil to heat up beyond 100°c. I would really rather keep the oil temperature below 100°c, so an oil cooler was the solution.

This consisted of a 16 row square shaped cooler which I mounted vertically to the left of the gearbox. Stainless steel braded oil hose carries the oil from a take-off plate which fits between the oil filter, and boss. This take-off plate contains a thermostat that allows oil to flow through the cooler when its above 80°c. All this kit was purchased from Think Automotive. It is top quality kit, and hopefully where I have installed it should get a good airflow at speed, and keep the oil temp under control.

Porsche cup-2 rims

I have recently purchased some new wheels for the bug. They are cup 2's, 7.5"x17" ET65 and 8"x17" ET52. It is my intention to make them fit! Here is a picture, on the left is one of my existing Porsche 2-litre alloys, and on the right a cup 2.

In order to do this I need to make some modifications. Firstly at the rear I need to cut the bump stop down a little, and remove one of the bolts from the spring plate, probobly by turning it into a stud threaded into the trailing arm. At the front its a bit less straight forward. I need to reduce the diameter of the springs, so the wheel can tuck under, because they would touch the springs at the moment. Here I have a few options:

Kerscher strutsBest solution, with excelent quality and adjustabilityHigh cost
Bugpack or similar struts with toplineparts.com slimline springsSimple solution, as I already have Bugpack strutsNot sure they are thin enough
toplineparts.com Maxx strutSimilar to Kerscher strut, but cheaperFixed adjustment steps
Home made slimline strutsI can make them how I like, and they will be cheapNot as easy as I thought!

Well I started to make my own. Below is a picture. I used a threaded sleave welded over a shortened late 1303 strut, with a MK1 Golf (Rabbit) shock absorber insert. The MK1 golf shock is about 25mm shorter than a 1303 one. The welding is not as neat as I would like, and because the top of the strut is flaired, it will be very close the spring, which might rub on it. I also wish I had welded the sleave on further up, so I could use a shorter spring. I am probobly going to get the springs and try them anyway, they might be ok. Got to try haven't I?


I visited RaceShack today. First we weighed the car. In total it weighed 939kg, and the following at each wheel:


We did a run and it was suggested that the 162 main jets be swapped for 170 jets. This we did and power was up 8bhp for a total of 75bhp @ 4750rpm and 85ft/lbs @ 4500 at the wheels.

Overall I was very pleased with the few hours I spent there, and very pleased with the engine output.

Clutch slip

The other day after a long run, the clutch started to slip. It was a rather tired clutch when I built the engine, but I thought it would be ok. Obviously now I regret not forking out £80 for a new clutch kit at the time. So the engine had to come out again. What a pain! It takes ages to take everything off again, the carbs & manifolds, the exhaust, the breather pipes, even the oil filler tube had to come off to pull the engine back far enough, which ment the oil had to come out too.. Well its done now. The new clutch is much lighter than the last one, hope it holds up.

Carbs fixed

After having the carbs off again, I have found the blockage that was causing the lean mixture. Well actually I didn't actually find anything wrong, but I stripped them down again, took all the jets out, and made sure they were clear. I worked out that the blockage must have been between the main and idle jet chambers. So I got some welding wire and pushed it though carefully, with lots of carb cleaner. Although I didn't see any dirt come out, it solved the problem. Then engine runs much better now, very smooth and with much more power.


I have now swapped the fan and carbs over. The new fan unit I have is much nicer. It has an internal regulator, so I had to bypass my existing regulator. I did this by connecting the G light pin on the alternator to a wire on that goes to the regulator, but then straight onto the G light. The alternator also needed a dedicated earth.

I have now done nearly 100 miles on it now. The DLRAs are much nicer than the webers. The power is smooth, although until recently there was lots of popping through the exhaust and the carbs on idle, but I richened up the idle circuit and its much better now. I still have a little bit of popping through the carbs, but only on number one. Pulling the spark plug showed that this cylinder was leaner than the others (not dangerously so). I am guessing there is a blockage in the idle circuit for that barrel.

I did a compression test. All cylinders were 100psi and all within 1 or 2 psi of each other, which is great. I would be happier if they were all 150psi, but then its a low compression engine, with second hand rings.

So whats it like to drive? Well up till now It hasn't been driven on more that 3/4 throttle and not over 5k. However even with those restrictions its a joy to drive. Considering its got quite a racey cam in it, its very drivable at low revs, having loads of torque. It just pulls hard right up to 5k and I expect it will go much higher if I let it. The need for self control is immense!

Last night I made up some rear tinwear. I borrowed a nibbler from a friend, and cut it out from 1.5mm stainless. Its not as neat as it could be, but will do the job.

Bye bye Weber, hello Dellorto

I have sourced another set of carbs. This time a pair of Dellorto 45 DLRAs, in nice condition. I have cleaned them up and they are ready to go. Before they go on though I am debating cutting some access panels in the inner wings, to make tuning the carbs easier. I have another 911 alternator and fan comming to me, and when that arrives and the carbs are on I intend to start putting some miles on her and fixing any teething troubles that might develop. Then I might make a trip to RaceShack and get them setup properly. :D