V8 Beetle Update: Rear cross member, shocks, and sway bar.............
Another Quick update on some progress on the V8 Bug.
This time I finished up the rear cross member, got the shocks, and the rear sway bar mounted, etc.
Below are a few pictures but you can see more from this update at:
And see the rest of the update at the V8 Beetle Resource homepage:
Next I needed to make a rear cross member for the s-10 chassis. I needed the rear cross member for a couple reasons, 1) just to tie the back of the frame rails together 2) a place for the upper shock mounts, and 3)I needed a place to tie in the sway bar end links. I started out by putting the u-bolts and leaf spring plates on the axle instead of c-clamps. The leaf spring plates are from the ford explorer, I figured I might as well use the built in lower shock mounts that where already there if I could. I just had to bend the mount tabs towards teh tires because it put the shocks at too much of an angle to be able to attached anywhere that would work.
I also mounted my rear sway bar. The stock explorer rear sway bar was VERY whimpy looking compared to the zq8 S10 extreme sway bar I was going to use with the s10 rear end so at first I thought I'd make it work for the 8.8 rear end. It was going to be more work than it was worth trying to make it work so I bought this hellwig sway bar that is ment for the explorer 8.8 rear end. It mounts nicely to the rear end, and I'll just have to figure out some end links.
I got into making the cross member and kind of forgot to take a couple pictures along the way. At first I was thinking of using a piece of 2x4 tubing or c channel, but first I didn't have any on hand, and I just didn't like the way it would look. So I had some heavy wall 1 inch square tubing so I started messing around with it. I first cut a piece to go straight across the bottom, then I put the shocks in the lower mounts and was eyeballing them. If I ran another piece of 1 inch tubing from the top of the frame rail to the center of the lower piece of tubing the angle was the same that the upper shock mount would need to be. So then I cut the two piece of tubing for the top supports and tacked them in. This should be plenty strong and I just like the way it looks compared to a piece of 2x4 going straight across.
After getting the tubing tacked in place, I tacked on a couple piece of 1/4" plate for the upper shock mounts that ran with the angle of the upper supports. I then pulled it off of the car and started welding everything up.
I got the shock mount brackets/tabs from Speedway Motors they were like 2 or 3 bucks for 5 of them, well worth not having to make them.
Next I had to do a little work to the lower shock mounts. Since I bent the tabs out to work with my setup the holes no longer line up.
Not a problem though, I just welded up the old hole in the long side, cut off the extra length and then drilled a new hole that lined up with the other one. A pretty simple fix I think.
I also got the shocks from Speedway Motors, they are their 3 way adjustable Carrera (QA1) Street Rod Shocks. I have them wrapped in paper and tape so they don't get all scratched up. They ended up being perfect for my application, and I figured being adjustable might help a bit. They have a regular, firm and very firm settings. Just push them in and turn the shaft until it clicks. I figured I'd set them at firm and go from there.
I ended up making end links out of a couple heim joints, one male and one female. That way I could adjust them to just the correct length.
Here is a closer look at the homemade end links. I just ordered 2 male and 2 female 5/8-18 heim joints. I was short on 5/8" bolts so just for mock up the top of the end links are bolted on with 1/2" bolts. At first I was going to make some mounting tabs out of heavy angle and weld them to the back of the cross member, but I didn't have a 5/8" drill bit and my step drill was SHOT. I didn't want to stop progress so on to plan B. I had some heavy wall 5/8" id seamless tubing so I cut a couple chunks of that and welded it to the bottom of the cross member. I think it ended up looking cleaner this way anyways.
A few weeks ago I picked up some seats for the V8 Bug. On Craigslist I found some PT cruiser seats for 25 bucks, that was for the two front buckets, and the rear split seat. They are in pretty good shape, a little dirty, and a couple burns in the back seat, but I can't complain for 25 bucks. I'll probably get some black seat covers for them until I have the money to recover them. I just had to throw the drivers seat in and sit in it. I think these will work out great, they seem to fit nicely arn't too high, etc... Of course that 1" angle holding the body together is in the way a little.... LOL
Like I told a few people, with a little duck tape we could have a finished rat rod....... LOL
Next I'll be making the traction bars and then probably onto the body...........
Thanks to everyone who is following our project!
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