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  #1  
Old January 22nd 2023, 17:46
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Dave's 1975 Family Heirloom Build

I thought for sure I had started a thread on this car years ago, but apparently not. I'm actually not sure how many of us stop in here anymore, but figured what the heck...might as well start a build thread.

This here is my 1975 Standard beetle, as photographed back in 2008.



The car was originally bought when I was 4 years old, in the early 1980's, and dad repainted it. As I understand it, I picked the blue colour. I fought my sister for front seat privileges (you got to scrape the inside of the windshield in winter!), learned to drive on it when I was 11, was 'borrowing' the car when I was 13, and I'm the guy that put that dent in the front fender when I was 18. That was 25 years ago, and the last summer that I drove the car. It was winter driven until about 1987 in Toronto, kept at the family cottage until 2008, and I shipped it out west to BC in December 2008. I've had the car in storage ever since.

Now, why do you store a car for 14 years without restoring it? Especially since I've bought at least eight, and restored four Beetles in that time frame? Well, stock beetles don't really interest me. Heck, every vehicle I own gets modified. But how do you modify the family heirloom??? That seemed sacrilegious. My dad pointed out to me about 6 years into my 14 years of storage that for the amount of money I was spending keeping this car, I could have painted it twice. But still, the internal struggle remained. Two years ago, as mom and I were driving an event together, the topic of shuffling cars and the storage problem came up. "Why don't you restore the '75?" she asked. I explained the problem, and mom replied "why would I have a problem with you modifying it? You do know that my favourite car out of your collection is the Rally Bug, right?" It's true...any time we do a driving event together, she asks me if we can do it in the Rally Bug. Headsets and yelling to hear each other just don't seem to bother her.

Then, this past summer, I had my red German Look beetle out in Ontario and dad took it out for a 'quick spin around the block'. He's driven the Rally Bug, which has a similar 2110cc engine, but the German Looker is far more civilized. He kept taking turns away from the house, instead of back to it, and in the German Look you can have a conversation with your co-driver without yelling at all. We arrived back at their house, dad looked at his completely stock '79 Beetle. Before getting out of the car he turned to me "You know," he mused, "I now understand why you put big motors into these cars...it's kinda fun." By dinner it was agreed that I should build the family heirloom car into the car I want. It should be the car in my collection that I always reach for they keys first. The car I want to take on every event, as the first choice. And so, in December 2023...14 years almost to the day after moving it across the country, I brought it into my shop for the teardown.
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Old January 22nd 2023, 17:48
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The plan was to tear the car down this winter, and work on the ‘restoration’ over the next two years. Hmmm…I really hope my wallet can catch up to me, because the following photos are taken over a two-week period. Oh, and I’ve been off to Denver for a trip during that two weeks! Bob has been over a few times to help me out, and plans to do a lot of the body work on the car with me. So I guess it’s moving a little quicker than I anticipated!





The running boards had a bit of a surprise for me. That metal strip was holding onto a label from the shop my dad bought the boards from.



The car was winter driven until about 1988, when it was then moved to summer duty at the family cottage. As you can see by the front beam, Ontario winters can be tough. I do remember dad oiling the body/car with some sort of product each fall, and the cottage road was gravel. The combination of oil and gravel dust means my shop floor has been VERY sandy the last two weeks!



Driver’s side running board bolts all came out by hand, except for the rear most hole which dad had ‘repaired’ in 1983. At the time, dad didn’t weld. Fender bolts all came out by hand, except for this one. Four others had spun on dad in ’83, and he had just used bolts, washers and nuts.


The torsion tube is crusty, but that small spot is all the body rot in the driver’s side rear corner.


Bumper mounts will be swapped…so this bit of rot isn’t a huge deal.







The full fuel tank didn’t exactly survive the 25yrs of storage [img alt=":P" class="smile" src="//storage.proboards.com/forum/images/smiley/tongue.png[/img]



Every bolt on the passenger side running board came out by hand, until the rear most one…which was missing. I guess Bob will have something to do on the body [img class="smile" alt=":P" src="//storage.proboards.com/forum/images/smiley/tongue.png[/img]



All of the body to pan bolts came out by hand, except the four on the front napoleons hat. We had to use the impact gun on it’s lowest setting to get them to spin. Once we did, they came out by hand. The bottom of the heater channels in my initial inspection look absolutely perfect. We have a bit of rot on the front firewall by the brake master, and after this photo was taken I dropped the body off the stand and damaged the rear apron (F$#@!!!!!!!!!!!!!)



From here, I’ve focused on the pan…






Looks like I’ll be doing both pan halves. They are solid except for the outer mounting flange. Any of the missing metal is attached to the foam seal under the heater channels. If i peel it back off the heater channel, I just get factory Marina Blue. It’s unreal.
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Old January 22nd 2023, 17:50
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Over Christmas, I sent the pan out for sandblasting. Normally one would remove the bad pan halves before blasting, but I was going to be gone for three weeks and my sandblaster had an opening. Besides, we'll probably save anything we cut off it...



My buddy Bob came over yesterday, and we got to work removing the old floor pans.



Today we fit the pan halves to the body...and then welded them in.




Bob started working on the body repairs too.




The next part should be fun...
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Old January 22nd 2023, 17:52
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The mockup begins!











There are some issues with design, like clearance for the #3 exhaust pipe...which seem like they'll be easy enough to overcome. The steering geometry, however, seems to be something I'm going to have to pay a lot of attention to. Note that I don't have the balljoints fully into their taper, but I may need to run limit straps to keep the inner tie rod ends from failing. I'm quite curious how the bump steer will be as well.

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  #5  
Old January 22nd 2023, 17:54
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One of the big issues with my plans for the build seems to be the pedal box / steering column.







We need to drop the pan into the body, to be sure...but I'm trying to get all of the "pan issues" or "pan questions" sorted before dropping the body back on, so that I can mock-up as much as possible and save doing the body-on, body-off, body-on, body-off dance as much as possible. When it comes to the pedal box, however, all indications suggest I’m going to have to sink the box into the floor if I want to use this one. (Big feet being the real problem.)





Tilton makes two different pedal boxes that might allow me to do this without cutting the floor. *might*. Now, if you don’t want to buy two pedal boxes at roughly $800-1300 each, what do you do? You spend way too much time on the computer, and hours waiting for the 3D printer, and then you can mock up yet another way that won’t work. I'll have to add some photos later, but despite the overall height being 20mm less, the base fitment of the Tilton 650 series box (which I can afford) is much less desirable than the Tibuc box pictured above. The Tilton 850 series box (which sort of really can't afford) is almost an inch narrow at the important point...but the height is a mere 9mm shorter than the Tibuc pedal box I have here, so I'd rather just make this one work. It’s frustrating, I feel like I have spent all week measuring and modelling, not fabricating and DOING, but if you are going to use non-standard parts this is going to happen.

I told Boris that I absolutely wasn't going to sink the pedal box into the floor...but more and more I'm thinking I might just do that. Why the obsession with the Pedal box? Essentially it allows me to use whatever brakes I want (front and rear) and set them up for perfect balance. If I use the calipers I want with the factory-style master cylinder, the math suggests the brake pedal travel will be 10-15% longer. Driveable? Absolutely. “Excellent feeling”? Probably not.

Of course, this is only the measuring / printing I did Mon-Wed. The 3D printer has been running 24hours a day, all week...which means there is more I've been working on for the second half.
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Old January 23rd 2023, 09:28
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Following you on Instagram already, but here I can read more about the progress and struggles. So following here too!
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Old January 24th 2023, 07:32
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Following you on Instagram already, but here I can read more about the progress and struggles. So following here too!
x2, more details will be shared here for sure. Fingers crossed, keep the pictures coming Dave!
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Old January 24th 2023, 21:21
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Ahhhh the stock Ghia brakes. Truth be told, if I was going to run the Porsche D90 wheels I have, this is all I would put on the car. I know it goes against the German Look ethos, but bear with me for a second. The Rally Bug has run the 'stock discs' on all four corners for a decade (Ghia fronts, Empi solid rotor rears), and there is only one mountain pass in all my years where I can boil the brakes to the point that the final switchback becomes a prayer as to whether I'll make it or not. The car has all the braking that it needs. Contrast that to the '69 German Looker which has Porsche Boxster calipers on all four corners (the "proper" setup). Take that car to the track, and five laps in you've got your braking points dialled, and you're having fun. Lap six, you enter corner one, and just about smash your face off the windshield because all of a sudden you finally have enough heat into the brakes for them to be doing something. I don't really track my cars, I use them for 3-5 day rallies and tours. So, I'm driving on the street all the time (though, sometimes 'spiritedly' in remote areas). While the Porsche brake setup is effective, you're certainly carrying a tonne of weight around that never actually gets utilized because you can't actually get heat into them on the street. And so, if this new build was going to wear wheels that would hide the brakes, I'd just toss the solid-rotor setup on all four corners and be done with it. It won't get any magazine covers, it won't get much respect from VW people at car shows, but I suspect anyone who actually really understand performance tuning would tilt their head and go "actually, yeah, that makes sense." Besides, with all the weight added by this suspension setup, a little weight savings would be nice!

But then, after purchasing two full sets of Porsche D90 wheels (so I could have four 6" wide ones)...I came upon a set of the wheels I actually wanted for this build. To say they are rare, at least rare in excellent condition, would be an understatement. Also, since they are no longer made new...almost impossible to get in good condition. Alas, the brakes are fully visible through this particular set of wheels, so we need to do something that won't embarrass me.

One of the biggest things I miss about the German Look forum becoming so quiet, is the manner in which it seems everyone on here is trying to improve the build. Whether it's constantly upgrading the same car, like Wally, or building better with the next car...the standards were always improving. For myself, I like to do minor upgrades to the cars I've built, but I keep major changes for "the next build". I could sell all the Porsche bits off the German Looker and try and improve it, or I could simply just make this car an evolution of what I've learned. Well, that and I've had a particular set of brake calipers in storage for years I've always wanted to use.



This particular set has been waiting for a GL style build for quite some time, the original spec is actually for NASCAR if you can believe it. Now, the fronts are insanely massive…and won’t fit under my 16” wheels. But the rears…seems to me they would make excellent front calipers.



Total piston area of the stock front callipers - 2.46” (I think, going by memory here). Total piston area of the smaller AP Racing callipers? 3.18” (again, from memory). When I plug them into a brake master sizing tool, the master sizing for the front brakes changes by just 2.54mm. Basically it’s almost doable with the “big brake” standard Beetle master. Hmmmm.

One thing about this project is that it has to use factory steel fenders, and I really want to do it without tire rubbing (like every other beetle I own). You Europeans have no idea how lucky you have it with CSP and Kerscher fenders being available to you…trying to get them here in North America is almost impossible. I couldn’t even get CSP to sell them to me. I kid you not, I emailed in requesting an order for four fenders, and a time to call as I was ready with my Visa number. They refused the order because it was “too expensive to ship them”. Even after I explained that a) I never asked how much the fenders were, and b) I also didn’t ask how much the shipping was, they still weren’t interested in selling a set. I have contemplated flying over and bringing them home…but now the whole thing annoys me so much I’m like “damnit, I’ll build the car without them!” So, to avoid the rubbing, and to make the brakes fit, we’re going to need to do some maths. Lots of maths. And modelling. Thank god for the age of computers and 3d models…

Started with a factory rotor:


Then modelled a wheel and spacer setup that is known to me, and known to fit the way I want it. This is also how I’m going to buy myself 10mm worth of mistakes later on. Add the dimensions of the wheel I’d like to use, and we can see how we’re getting on. At this stage, you can see the white wheel (that I want to use) is going to probably require a flight to Germany to bring home some fenders.


And now, delete everything you aren’t going to use.


It was before this stage that I was talking with Todd at Subarugears. Through their brake program, they offer a front brake conversion kit that can use virtually any Subaru brake kit. Since the AP calipers came from my rally-world friends, and I know lots of Subaru tuners, I realized I could probably find a rotor and mount that would work. Todd was gracious enough to offer to sell me just his front hubs (not the caliber mounts, etc) and went one step further to give me the critical measurement I needed off his hubs to see if I could use them in my brake setup. Since my wheels are 5x114.3 (STi / WRX bolt pattern) this could be the path of least resistance. So I modelled up Todd’s front hub, and used brembo.com to search any possible rotor combination that might work.



Unfortunately, the calipers I want to use have pretty specific rotor requirements, that are more common to the rear end of performance vehicles than the front. 0.81” wide rotors, or 20mm. Any of the Subaru front rotors start at 23mm, so that was pretty much a dead end. All my rally buddies use those nifty floating rotors on hats, so I figured there must be some Subaru fitment units out there I could play with.

COUGH Apparently my rally buddies have much deeper pockets than I was aware of. Fortunately Willwood components are somewhat affordable, so off I went to find a rotor that would fit the caliper, and then a hat that would fit the rotor. After finding a few that would work, I modelled up what i thought would be the best option. And then combined it with my spindle setup. I’m now using four wheel segments, which allows me to compare the current brake setup to the stock setup, so I can keep an eye on how I’m doing for placement. The last image below is both the new rotor/setup and the stock rotor all overlapping so I can fully appreciate how this is going to sit on the spindle.







Once I think I’ve got it all correct, it’s off to the 3D printer! In my case I’m using an enclosed Prusa MK3S and I generally prototype in PLA. While I prefer to prototype in white, or light grey, apparently I’m running low so it’s into the strange mix of colours for this one! I had two potential rotors and hats I wanted to try, the goal is to get the caliper placed “perfectly” in the wheel. The smaller silver hub is printed with adjustable rings so I can play with the rotor offset, and the larger hub is printed with both Subaru and Porsche bolt pattern so I can play with the fit of two wheel types.









The 3D printed parts are so accurate, I actually had to use the shop press to put the bearing races into the hub.







IMG_5375 by Dave Hord, on Flickr





Just a few millimetres of clearance between the caliper and the spokes. The wheel actually sits 4.5mm closer to the chassis than a factory sport wheel, so I’m basically dead-nuts perfect. And these are the wheels I will use for the car. They are a 16” Speedline Corsa, in 5.5” wide. These wheels were used in WRC for winter rally, and haven’t been produced since they switched to the 15” wheel rule. I can still get this wheel in 16” x 6.5 and 7, which is my likely path for the rear in the long term…but I have four of the 5.5’s which will do just perfectly for now. I thought I was pretty darned lucky when I managed to buy a set of Gold ones off of Travis’ car. The fact that I found the white ones I also wanted (from a different rally team) in almost perfect condition was just outstanding.

-Dave
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'58 Type 1 - I bought an early!?!
'73 Type 1 - Proper Germanlook project
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Old January 26th 2023, 05:29
wouter1303 wouter1303 is offline
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3D software and a 3D printer makes this a cool process of trying to figure out what will and what will not fit.
Keep up the good work and keep us informed!

I like the way you're building this Heirloom
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Old January 26th 2023, 18:15
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Bogara_ZO Bogara_ZO is offline
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Hi Dave,

All of your builds has been very interesting to follow and I like(d) every bit & mods on your cars! I don’t know if it helps you but I’m from central Europe and my friend knows Emmi Kerscher personally who runs the business nowadays, therefore I am happy to offer my assistance in ordering and delivering parts to you from Kerscher / CSP or other European sources.

Concerning the brakes I can’t agree more with you on suitable stopping power and unsprung weight for our cars, porsche brakes (at least under 200hp) are overkill in every respect in my opinion. For this exact reason I proposed already on instagram using Kerscher/CSP rotors and Tarox calipers in front: they are lightweight, compact, fit even under 15” rim and work very well with stock or Kerscher master cylinder. This would sort your pedal dilemma as well I guess. I used this setup on my 1302 with 944 NA rear brakes and that was just perfect, now I’m running the Taroxs on my squareback with Kerscher solid rear setup, they are still ok but the 944 was better (also the bug was lighter than the sqareback). Since you are using the car on open roads you are in need changing pads just in every 3-5 years and rotors in 5-8 years or so…if you buy 2 sets you are ok for the next 10 years. A bunch of brakepads can be selected for the Tarox calipers like EBC yellowstuff if you need more agressive streetable brakes. Last but not least the whole setup would fit under stock fenders that would save a lot of hassle as I understand. I hope you don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be pushy at all just sharing my experiences

The wheels are looking great btw, I remember you were about mounting the gold ones on the red GL as well.

Zoltan
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Last edited by Bogara_ZO; January 26th 2023 at 19:01.
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Old January 28th 2023, 01:18
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Originally Posted by Bogara_ZO View Post
Hi Dave,

All of your builds has been very interesting to follow and I like(d) every bit & mods on your cars! I don’t know if it helps you but I’m from central Europe and my friend knows Emmi Kerscher personally who runs the business nowadays, therefore I am happy to offer my assistance in ordering and delivering parts to you from Kerscher / CSP or other European sources.

Concerning the brakes I can’t agree more with you on suitable stopping power and unsprung weight for our cars, porsche brakes (at least under 200hp) are overkill in every respect in my opinion. For this exact reason I proposed already on instagram using Kerscher/CSP rotors and Tarox calipers in front: they are lightweight, compact, fit even under 15” rim and work very well with stock or Kerscher master cylinder. This would sort your pedal dilemma as well I guess. I used this setup on my 1302 with 944 NA rear brakes and that was just perfect, now I’m running the Taroxs on my squareback with Kerscher solid rear setup, they are still ok but the 944 was better (also the bug was lighter than the sqareback). Since you are using the car on open roads you are in need changing pads just in every 3-5 years and rotors in 5-8 years or so…if you buy 2 sets you are ok for the next 10 years. A bunch of brakepads can be selected for the Tarox calipers like EBC yellowstuff if you need more agressive streetable brakes. Last but not least the whole setup would fit under stock fenders that would save a lot of hassle as I understand. I hope you don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be pushy at all just sharing my experiences

The wheels are looking great btw, I remember you were about mounting the gold ones on the red GL as well.

Zoltan
This is all excellent! I think, if I hadn’t already owned the AP Racing calipers, I’d be following your suggestion for sure. The AP’s have been on my “want to use” list for so long, it’s time to use them for this project.

The big question now, is what to do with the rear brakes? I have 2010 Golf calipers which will work with the Imohr rear end and standard EMPi solid rotors. But, is that enough visually?

…I think I passed the pedal dilemma question a week ago in my head. I have to go all out and put them in the car, brand new floor pans be damned :P
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  #12  
Old February 3rd 2023, 01:49
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This past weekend I went off to my buddy Scott’s house. One of Scott’s newer toys is his CNC milling machine…which is about to become very handy. Rummaging around in his collection of off-cuts, we found some 7075 Aluminium that was sized appropriately. Just gotta remove the bits that aren’t front VW hub :P Every time I’m over here, I think to myself “gee I need a bigger lathe”. With Scotts you can take 1/2” cuts off an aluminum chunk of this size. That’s a full inch off the diameter in one pass!



I prepped the stock, while Scott turned my 3D model into G-Code and movements on the CNC machine.



For those of you who aren’t machinists, who are curious how this is done…here we go.

First we cut a set of aluminum jaws for the vice, and machined a half circle into each. They are machined to match the diameter of the finished hub’s backside outer diameter. On the lathe, I prepped the aluminium piece to have an outside diameter on the front side that matched this dimension. Now we can hold the piece in the vice, and machine the backside.



The part is then flipped, measured to confirm it’s zero’d perfectly, and the front side is machined.



Most of the dimensions are machined right away to the finished size, with the exception of the areas that the bearing races are set to.

These are first machined with an extra 0.020” left in their diameter. A measurement is taken, and then they are machined again an additional 0.010”. Measuring again, we can now confirm exactly how much was taken off.

The amount removed can can change by a few thousands simply due to tool flex, cutter wear, or other factors. Since we told the machine “take 0.010 off”, and we measured 0.095 off, we can now tell the machine to take 0.015 off and the bearing areas should be perfect.

Following the machining, the bearings are put in and run-out is checked. Lastly it was back onto the lathe to chamfer any sharp transitions…mostly because we were too lazy to program the tool changes and radii into the CNC machine (since we could quickly do it on the lathe).





Scott had a nice chunk of 1” thick aluminium hanging out from his truck project, so we also put my brake calliper mounts through the computer. I gotta say, it’s a tonne of fun watching something you designed slowly appear out of aluminium. For the brake mounts Scott programmed the G-code, but made me do the setup and run the machine. Always good to learn new skills! The goal is to eventually get me to the point where I can just come over and use the CNC machine, without taking up his whole weekend on my projects.





Back home in the shop, and it all fits as though I actually know what I’m doing. Hmph.


With the fronts done, I started working on the rear setup. I figured out that the Imohr brake setup is off of a 2010 VW Golf (or similar) so grabbed a caliper from my local parts store. It’s a bit awkward to mount on the suspension, and the parking brake cable is definitely going to be an issue. But, they are freaking light.





Despite the awkward angle of the mounting surface, and the difficulty in measuring it all out, I managed to get it spot on in two 3D printed tries. Not too shabby considering. But, sitting back expecting some sense of accomplishment and excitement for the next part…I couldn’t help but feel like it’s just too wimpy.




Oh gee…it’s like a honda civic with the mini drums still in the back. Or the fast and furious days when they sold the red-anodized rotors people would bolt between drum and wheel. Hmm, surely we can come up with something a little more robust that still has a parking brake feature?

I hit the couch for some surfing…and bad ideas started to pop into my head.




I mean, I do own a matching set of front and rears.

…but it creates a parking brake problem.

…BUT, the balance front to rear would be pretty easy on the hydraulic side.

I mean, we could just see how they fit?



Three episodes later, and the mount for testing was out of the 3D printer.





Yeah…remember that whole post about unsprung weight, not getting enough heat into the brakes, and how silly big brake setups are on beetles? Oops. I guess I’m all in now. Time to sort out the rears!



I’ve got these splined hubs from SubaruGears that allow for using the Subaru rear drum parking brake setup, and (in this case) a Subaru Impreza disc and caliper. They increase the rear track by 12.5mm a side, which adds some complications.



If I want to use the white Speedline wheels, with the offset they have, I’ll need to cut the hubs down by 12.5mm and lose the ability to use the Subaru drum-parking brake. BUT, doing so also opens up options for a wide variety of rotors. My second option, if I want to source all the STI rear brake stuff, is to split up my sets of Speedline wheels, run the gold offset on the rear, and the white offset on the front. Not sure what that will mean for the Rally Bug, where the gold wheels are supposed to end up. Or I find a different mechanical parking brake option and run a second set of calipers. That’s option 3.



Time to spend some time thinking…
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'71 Type 1 - Rally Project
'58 Type 1 - I bought an early!?!
'73 Type 1 - Proper Germanlook project
'68 Type 1 - Interm German 'look' project
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  #13  
Old February 3rd 2023, 11:45
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72marinablue 72marinablue is offline
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Great work Dave! I have the same golf calipers on the rear of my car with 944 turbo front brembo's, I really like them but also my wheels hide a lot more of the caliper. I am looking forward to hearing what you think of the double a arm setup on the front. I have always lusted to design my own but wonder "is it that much better?" Willwood does make a cable actuated ebrake caliper that you could run in addition, I don't love willwood for there npt brake fittings but it may work for your situation.
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Old February 3rd 2023, 11:57
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I've been so curious about a double a-arm setup for years, figured I finally should try one and find out. Worst case scenario, I have to cut off the welded tabs, and go to my tried-and-proven modified stock setup like I run on the red beetle. I somewhat doubt that will be the case though!

It looks like Wilwood 120-12069 is the caliper that will do what I need. The e-brake cable input has multiple positions, so I should be able to make it fit...

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Old February 6th 2023, 03:34
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My brain hurts from this evenings' math sessions, but in 12hrs prototypes version one for the rear brake caliper mount and rear parking brake caliper mount will come out of the 3D printer. Then I'll be able to see how close I am, and I can make changes off of simple planes (not on a weird 34.3 degree angled slope).





So, despite the cost of the Subaru Brakes rear brake adapter kit, I've decided I'm going to modify the hubs and use them on their own. I'll need to remove the stepped lip from the outside, and narrow the backside by 12.5mm to put the mounting face of my brake setup in the factory drum location.



Despite surprising little to hold onto because of the step on the nose, I managed to get the runout to less than 0.001", which is good enough for me. Lots of little passes on my lathe, vs what I could have done on Scotts, but one down...one to be done tomorrow night.



I would have gotten the second one done, but we hit a brewery for dinner and beer instead. :P

-Dave
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