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Old October 21st 2010, 22:03
Bugged Bugged is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Flagstaff, AZ
Posts: 126
Bugged Build Thread

Hello online Beetle community!!

My name is Zach, I live in Tempe, AZ and I purchased my 1974 Super Beetle in July of 2009. This is my first car project undertaking and I wanted something affordable and simple enough for me to learn on. I hear many novice car enthusiasts asking whether or not they can undertake this or that, and hopefully my build will show them the reality of building a beetle, affordable techniques, and the complications they will likely face. I had a lot of ideas in the beginning and it is funny how they have transformed from dream to reality. At first reading every page you can find on a given topic seems comprehensive, but you quickly learn there is more to do then a "how-to" usually suggests. A big part of starting a build is realizing the cost. It is hard to see sometimes where the money will go, and it is easy to think you can get by with a certain budget; be prepared to spend more than you originally expect; if you want to do it right. You think you just need to replace this or that, but in general everything usually costs more than you think and takes twice as long!

Here is my 1303 when I first got her:

I knew I wanted to put a lot of power into this guy, so I started with building up a platform for it. If I can't turn and stop, then I probably shouldn't go really really really fast... really. Also, I figured starting with these components had a lower learning curve then engine building, so I started by replacing the suspension and steering components thanks to the help of topline parts. With intentions of taking it to autocross events and track days, I want it fun but elegant.

Replacing the suspension and steering was not too difficult, and a simple set of tools can get you far.
Here are the results of my work! I think it looks pretty sweet.

I have more pictures somewhere of the steering rack and other bushings and assorted steering stuff I replaced... I'll have to find them.

After all that was finished, the next step was to order the wheels. I was torn between Cal and Germanlook at the time, and I ordered a set of Centerline wheels in a Chevy bolt pattern and had my rotors accordingly drilled. Tracking down a machinist and many problems from Centerline caused 2-3 months to idle by with no wheels.
Here are my Centerline wheels:
15x8 in back and 15x7 up front, these guys have a nice stepped lip. They remind me a bit of phone dials, but are also very different. Anyway, with 225's in back, the meaty tire looks deliciously fast. Not to mention that the wheels weigh about 14lbs a piece, they should be pretty nice on the track.

Ok, well I'm much further ahead, but I will update soon... posting pictures is not as much fun as sawing out your floors!
I'll leave you with this though.

I hope you like what I've started, and am looking forward to the help you guys will give me. Can't wait to fit the 2366 and the 901!!!

Last edited by Bugged; November 21st 2010 at 03:42.
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