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Projects 56 C/Altered Beetle

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by Algon, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. Algon
    Joined: Mar 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,215

    Algon
    Member

    I also understand the time in the details, research and effort to correctly restore something. There are cars I would restore to this level except for the overspray and grinding marks.:D Taking a saw to something and making it go faster is just more fun.

    I also frequent the same VW site Kuncle gets his information from. People get sideways on my Beetle because either they think the rotted $100 56 with the caved in roof should have been restored and for some its seeing parts they want on a car they don't like or remember those like it.

    VW's have a rich history of their own in drag racing, and put out a many of lingering flathead, (maybe thats it) and shocked a few muscle car owners. Just the same I agree the stock stuff really doesn't fit well on the Hamb and many sites do a good job covering it. I'm painting a line between two of my interests with this car, but its an old line.

    Thanks for all the posts guys...
     
  2. Algon
    Joined: Mar 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,215

    Algon
    Member

    At this point I've been looking for many years for the correct Algon timing cover for 289 like the BBC pictured with no luck. The one on the car in the pictures is custom made from an Enderle. It needs some more time put in it but it matches up well with the valve covers. If you do have a real one I'd pay well for it and put it to good use...
     

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  3. Algon
    Joined: Mar 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,215

    Algon
    Member

    This is the aluminum pan, I made a straight cut across and added two inches after smoothing out the bottom of it. My friend Jeff Church of Church's Fabrication took a time out to weld it up for me. It looked a bit out of place with the perfect seam on it, so I blended the weld some so it looks like one of Ford's old experimental units which other than adding clearance and capacity that was the goal.
     

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  4. Algon
    Joined: Mar 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,215

    Algon
    Member

    Here are the stands I'm working on for the gauge cups they look a bit wild for a drag car but they really help the near sighted driver. I had intended to form them with a concave shape to follow the arc on the bottom of the old aluminum cups but after mocking them up it made installing or removing the mounting bolts and gauges almost impossible. These are flared slightly top and bottom to make this more practical. The larger of the two was just flat sheet steel but the smaller one started out as a section of a smashed late 55 through 61 Beetle tail light housing.
     

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  5. kustombuilder
    Joined: Sep 18, 2002
    Posts: 7,754

    kustombuilder
    Member
    from Novi, MI

    lookin good Dan. can't wait to see that Algon drive all put together.
     
  6. Algon
    Joined: Mar 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,215

    Algon
    Member

    Thanks, I'll get shots of it when its done... The Algon waterpump-fuelpump assembly presents a small problem with a Fairlane , basically the distance between the centerline of the cam and crank is tighter than on other small blocks. Add the position-size of the balancer and you see why an Algon timing cover has been so hard to get as I've been told most were used with a belt drive. Basically because by the time you space out the assembly its hanging so far off the cover it looks like a Potvin kit. I have the room for it, so no big deal but more often than not it would just take up too much space. Even using the aircraft fuel pump alone conflicts where as a Hilborn or Enderle clears.

    Here is the pump as found, the Chevy cover it was on with a 2 inch spacer, and it cleaned up some after months of soaking in WD-40...
     

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  7. Algon
    Joined: Mar 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,215

    Algon
    Member

    Nothing fancy but this is the stainless oil pump pickup I made to fit the dropped oil pan.

    It was too much like work for the twit at Summit Racing to check on my back orders much less look up a two inch longer than stock pickup on his computer. This really made me miss MidWest instead of the Walmart of speed parts that Summit has become. Pretty sad when you have find a buddy working just to get the right part ordered...The long and short of it was a Taiwan rusted in the box replacement or the Milodon $68 unit just wasn't worth it to have to cut it up anyway...
     

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  8. Von Hartmann
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 971

    Von Hartmann
    Member
    from Byron, IL

    This project is just too damn cool. and great work too!
     
  9. Algon
    Joined: Mar 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,215

    Algon
    Member

    Hey, thanks for the interest. Later, Dan
     
  10. 60srailjob
    Joined: Nov 14, 2008
    Posts: 1,219

    60srailjob
    Member
    from nowhere

    interesting and cool altered. i like that motor....thats tuff.....
     
  11. Mercury Kid
    Joined: Nov 22, 2007
    Posts: 414

    Mercury Kid
    Member

    That is a downright gorgeous motor.

    Any advise to somebody wishing they could make fiberglass bodyparts at home?
     
  12. Algon
    Joined: Mar 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,215

    Algon
    Member

    Sure, glad to share, send me a PM with what you are interested in doing and what you have in general for questions. The parts you see on here are very basic fiberglass cloth and matting with an aircraft grade polyester resin. I thought of going the carbon fiber route though I decided to keep with the nostalgic appearance of glass but I can help with more advanced projects....

    I have to warn you that not much of anything I do is the normally accepted way of things, not that fiberglass is difficult in the least. Just that you will find many self-proclaimed experts with different ideas on the matter that have never made automotive parts before.
     
  13. hemi
    Joined: Jul 11, 2001
    Posts: 1,961

    hemi
    Member

    Awesome, awesome, awesome! I have a '59 that I'm building and I would LOVE a set of fiberglass doors. (hint, hint, hint...) :D

    Here's an older pic of what I have:

    [​IMG]

    and a very rough photochop of what I'm going for: Mid '70s style street racer vibe with a 2.0L type IV hanging off the back and a duck tail spoiler...

    [​IMG]

    I'd love to make a gasser, V8 Beetle one day, and yours is dead on the money.... very cool.
     
  14. Algon
    Joined: Mar 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,215

    Algon
    Member

    Hemi, Thanks and cool car, I had/have a 63 I/H Gas car that was alot like your plans. Part of it was recycled into the 56 to save it, after selling the 63 a decade before I found it stripped and rotted out for $75. $175 for two junk cars to rebuild an Oval window isn't bad.

    The problem is my door molds are not for stock doors, they are for an unchopped version of my modified smaller doors which also do not use the same inner structure. Empi still sells stock type glass doors and although a little pricey I have the same money in materials to make these with "free" labor... I may start selling deck lids and other parts later on after the car is done but to be honest they will be the same money and sometimes more than the average to cover the price of higher end fibers and resins.
     
  15. hemi
    Joined: Jul 11, 2001
    Posts: 1,961

    hemi
    Member

    Thanks, I will look into the Empi doors... All I've been able to find was a very affordable already sold pair on the Samba and another set for $800 (!) in Hawaii of all places... Is it hard to pull a mold off my stock doors? I would imagine getting and inner and outer part and blending them together effectively would be more work than saving for the Empi parts....
     
  16. Algon
    Joined: Mar 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,215

    Algon
    Member

    Hemi-Mercury Kid,

    Its not hard but is it worth it to you is the question. I make my own parts because I often would have to cut up a "stock" part any way and I can make a stronger and lighter part than the mass produced piece I would be buying otherwise. Most of all I don't leave "well enough" alone even when I know I should.

    The doors require a door skin mold and an inner frame mold, thats four molds, four parts and same money in resin/fiberglass as an already made set. A few years ago this was not the case but you still have many hours in labor. This stuff is easy to master but very time consuming.

    I have about ten hours in the repair of the original, the mold, modifications, and part in the deck lid to get the results I wanted and my lid is still not finished. The bonus is I have a permanent mold that any time I want I can make more...A stock pin on lid with no structure would take me about four or five hours plus to make a limited use mold. Thats counting making the mold of the original part and making the new lid not counting dry time, or any major body work to the original part to be molded.

    Everything you could ever want to know about glass is on FibreGlast.com this is also where I often buy my resins and fibers for higher end parts. The next time I mold a part I'll post a small tech thread of the basics if one does not exist.
     
  17. bbc 1957 gasser
    Joined: Aug 3, 2007
    Posts: 685

    bbc 1957 gasser
    Member

    man i love that car.....:D:D:D:D
     
  18. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,760

    metalshapes
    Tech Editor

    Cool...

    I dont think we have a TECH Thread on that yet.
     
  19. flynstone
    Joined: Aug 14, 2005
    Posts: 1,689

    flynstone
    Member

    you my freind .......................hmmm..................trying to use other words than already spoken......................kicken ass...........that dont even cut it, keep up the great work . when you first posted i thought what a great idea. but what you have done so far omg i whish you were my neighbor.......................
     
  20. Mercury Kid
    Joined: Nov 22, 2007
    Posts: 414

    Mercury Kid
    Member

    The reason I ask, is because there are no aftermarket body parts available for my car, and I could not afford to have someone else make some. I have been throwing around the idea of trying to make some parts myself for the nose, and was wondering how hard it is. Nothing as complex as doors, just a 1-piece tilt nose.

    A tech thread would be awesome, and much appreciated. Please include some sources for the materials. I live only a couple hours from you so any relatively local sources would be even better. Thanks.
     
  21. Algon
    Joined: Mar 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,215

    Algon
    Member

    Thanks again for all the posts and good words on the car.

    I'll see if I have enough stuff to start a thread worth reading with some of my old stuff , its a bit colder than I prefer to lay glass at even with the heaters in the garage but I'll see what I can do...

    Mercury Kid, making a front clip is in the same ballpark as making doors and in some ways harder since the piece or pieces are larger and there are more structural issues that must be dealt with. Size, is just as much a factor as complexity. With most doors a cast of the factory inner shell, and outer skin covers most of what you need. Remember its no big deal to chopper gun large parts but hand laying them takes some planning and extra effort to pull off. The thing is hand laid parts can be much stronger and lighter than chopper gun or vacuum bagged stuff but the cost of doing it this way has nearly killed the process.
     
  22. Mercury Kid
    Joined: Nov 22, 2007
    Posts: 414

    Mercury Kid
    Member

    Thanks. I didn't really take into consideration the hugeness of it. That's why I'm eager to get some advice from somebody first hand. I'm not saying that I'm going to jump right into it, but I'd at least like to get an idea of how difficult it is to get a decent result by hand in a small garage.
     
  23. Algon
    Joined: Mar 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,215

    Algon
    Member

    Mercury Kid, I didn't have everything for pictures I wanted to put in it but I started a thread on home grown fiberglass molds. Its very basic but if nothing else it may stir the pot enough for some experts to chime in.:D
     
  24. Awesome thread. Any idea how fast it could be, what is the raceweight going to be?

    Not to a nervous nellie, but make sure you hang some decent brakes on there, make a driveshaft loop, and align the front so it's not all over the track. Shouldn't take much to make it legal for 12's.
     
  25. Algon
    Joined: Mar 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,215

    Algon
    Member

    John,
    She is about 500hp and 1,500lbs, actually about 75 lighter than a stock 56 Beetle as of now counting for all the parts and a tank of gas. I'm still drilling holes and cutting off anything that doesn't hold it together but I'm also adding extra structure where its needed so it should stay in the same ball park. Then there is the 330+ pound ballast on the rear wheels otherwise known as the driver.:D The rear only brakes are Airheart four spot 175s but I'm hunting a usable chute pack and there is a drive shaft loop built into the rear cross member. The question is, will I ever get it to hook at all as I'm going to use piecrust slicks.

    We'll all see what it does whenever I finally get it far enough run. I'm rather sure it will be a handfull.
     
  26. Mercury Kid
    Joined: Nov 22, 2007
    Posts: 414

    Mercury Kid
    Member

    500hp, sweet. Mind devulging some motor specs?
     
  27. Algon
    Joined: Mar 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,215

    Algon
    Member

    Its not been on a dyno as of yet but its just a 347 , it has billet Ross pistons, a Scat billet 4340 crank and H-beam rods,TrickFlow high port heads that have been flowed, with the off set Harland Sharp rockers on the 289 block. Nothing really trick here...I would have liked to build a real Hipo 289 with all vintage internals but I had this left over from a nitrous feed sleeper 64 Falcon wagon project that I sold. For now I'm going to have to make due with this.:D The plan is to run it for a while and then put it in either my Fairlane or the wife's Mustang while either going for more power or a more correct powerplant for the Beetle. I still have a 6-71 I can't wait to use...

    Actually the science of this engine is tolerances, as my buddy that is working on it for me usually builds aircraft engines out of Subaru 1.8s. 2.0s and 2.2s of all things. His name is Ron Carr and the shop is Ram Performance, try ramengines.com. He builds some really sick stuff, designs his own cams, rockers, drives, heads, everything possible. Basically he is one the few people I'd recommend for anything, and on the rare occasion I can't find a good way to make it at home I go to Ron's...

    Speeking of Ron he did some work on my Algon cover truing it up and adding this spacer to clear the balancer. He also cut the throttle shafts for the Algon intake when I bought it bare.
     

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  28. Mercury Kid
    Joined: Nov 22, 2007
    Posts: 414

    Mercury Kid
    Member

    Jeeze... good luck keeping all those trick billet internals on the inside. Should make 500 no problem though. I really want to see it make a pass in person, should be quite a sight.
     
  29. Algon
    Joined: Mar 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,215

    Algon
    Member

    No faith in the stock block ? I understand, but its in good hands and doubt there will be any problem. I still remember Ron commenting about bolting good stuff to a piece of junk, but at the time there wasn't much to pick from, just 289 Hipos, Mexican 302s, and SVO's and mine is just a base 289... Ironically, World Man-O-War blocks were just being advertised at Summit the day I picked up the cradle to put the engine in to take it home... It would have been cool to build one of the 440's or Dart 462's but at the time, I was planning to use it in the Falcon wagon that was my a daily driven sleeper. Man that was eight years ago:eek: but its getting close. Check for classifieds because I'm going to have to sell some stuff to finish it...:cool:
     
  30. Mercury Kid
    Joined: Nov 22, 2007
    Posts: 414

    Mercury Kid
    Member

    I'm scrounging to pull some money together for a "new" T5 from the local craigslist, let alone affording some of your cool spares. I'll be sure to take a look though. Don't feel bad, I'm stuck with a stock 289 block too. And rods, and pistons, and crank lol. It's held up to my 6000 rpm antics for 3 years so far. I'm a little afraid to rev it much more with a 42yr old bottom end and a hydraulic cam. A good girdle, maybe some valley gussets, billet mains, and the like should make it last in something like your bug. Not like it's going to hook ever anyhow right?
     

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