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Locky's Build up
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locky
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 1:02 pm    Post subject: Locky's Build up Reply with quote

Looks like I will get a bit of time, while the boy is sleeping, to post some of my build pics.
History.
I bought My Thing when I was 18 with some money my parents had put away for me. It was $1800 and when I came home with it, they weren't too happy. It was in rough shape, but I knew someday that I would fix it up and make it real good. I drove it for a couple of years and then I moved across the country to BC. It sat in my Dad's garage for about 8 years. Every time I talked to him he would ask what I wanted to do with it. I finally got it shipped out by train from Toronto. Man, it was in rough shape. I got a bit of work done to it by some shady backyard mechanic's and drove it for two summers. It then sat in my driveway for about 6 years rusting away. We finally moved into a new place, where I built a shop. Finally last February, I pushed it in and started the destruction.
What a mess. Floor pans completely rusty. Rockers almost gone.
I got the body off and all of the rusty parts off of the chassis and used a bench blaster to blast away the dirt and rust. I took the chasis to a local spot and had them blast it for $100 bucks.
I have no previous history in mechanics, so the samba has been a godsend. Thanks to all who have helped. There will be lots more questions on the way.
I have to upload my pics. The boy just woke up, so it is going to take me a bit.

Just after I pulled her into the shop. Feb/09
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74 Cosa
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Document your progress with many pictures. GOOD LUCK (and have fun).
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locky
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are some shots of the rust. floor pans were really bad. Rockers were as well. I had a few patches done by a hack a bunch of years ago. I tore those out, and this is what I found. I took the sawzall to the floor and rockers and cut everything out. Should of taken some measurements before I took out what was left of the floor.
This is the floor, under the rear seat
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I know it looks ugly. Some of the patches on the floor were actually Newspaper coated in black tar. Gotta Love Northern BC.
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locky
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are some more pics. I realized I should of taken more, along the way, oh well. Everything came out pretty easy. Some of the pan bolts were really rusty, I had to use the sawzall to get them out. Nothing was reusable so no worries on the cuts. There were 4 of us to remove the body once I had everything disconnected. It was quite heavy and I think I will go with two more friends to put it back on. Once the body was off, I cleaned everything up with a grinder and sawzall. Man there was alot of rust and was wondering if it was even do-able. I got the pans out and it didn't look as bad.
Here is the chassis, minus the beam and body,tranny and engine. Lots of PB Blaster and heat to get everything off.
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Video Bob
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not trying to be a smart a**, but I've got to ask this question. I've seen others take on similar projects. The question: Wouldn't it be easier and cheaper to just buy a Thing without all the extensive rust and start from that point to refurbish/restore the Thing to your desired level? Confused
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locky
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First order of business was to strip the old beam down and clean up the rusty dirty parts using the speedblaster. It worked pretty good but took a lot of time with the 5 gallon compressor. lots of breaks and patience.
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I then ordered new ball joints, had them pressed in at a local shop and then painted them all with a glossy Rust Not paint product. Turned out great.
My beam was shot so I decided to order a German beam from CIP for $230. I also decided that since I would be doing a fair bit of Mountain Logging Road driving, that I would weld in adjusters, from CB, for three inches of lift. I also installed a set of Sway-Away leaf springs into the new beam.
I then took my old beam and cut the tower supports off with a zip wheel. I also cut off the beam to body support mounts off for future installation.
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locky
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is the beam being primered and complete.

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Here are the torsions, blasted and painted
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curtp07
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great pics. So many reasons for taking an old Thing with history and doing what you're doing. Keep up the great work - and keep posting!
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uberautowerks
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking good keep it up!
But....
You can't get 3 inches of up adjustment. The ball joints run out of play at about two and even then you'll need longer shocks.
I have had some luck clearancing the ball joints for a bit more travel but it was a pain and only bought me a half inch or so.
Blind Chicken Racing can make you a set of lifted Thing spindles.
-
And in the rear three inches is about the max before the CV run out of travel. And you'll have to notch the spring plated to get that AND have some down travel (or Droop).
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Chad1376
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

uberautowerks wrote:
Looking good keep it up!
But....
You can't get 3 inches of up adjustment. The ball joints run out of play at about two and even then you'll need longer shocks.
I have had some luck clearancing the ball joints for a bit more travel but it was a pain and only bought me a half inch or so.
Blind Chicken Racing can make you a set of lifted Thing spindles.
-
And in the rear three inches is about the max before the CV run out of travel. And you'll have to notch the spring plated to get that AND have some down travel (or Droop).


A couple thoughts here:

If your pushing the limits of the ball joints, hook stops would be a good idea. If you haven't assembled the beam yet, now would be the time to do it. It would require just a little bit of welding and touch-up paint. I did a trial assembly with new ball joints (sans torsion leaves) and set the hooks so they would hit the bar-stop just before the ball-joints hit their limit. My KYB Gas-a-just have just enough travel to accomodate the range of the stock ball joints, although I did have to add a few washers at the top of the shock to get the shock extension to match full droop.

I'm not sure about notching the spring plates for additional droop. On my car, I could feel the CV's barely starting to bind with the arms at full droop using stock spring plates and stop. I was afraid to push it any farther, but maybe mine are just tight because they are new.
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locky
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure, I looked at buying a different thing. I went back and forth, and it took me a while to decide. I have had this car for 23 years, and I thought, why just junk it to a yard, which would mean we all lose one more thing. The tunnel and rear set up are in great condition. (I will get to those photos soon). There are brand new replacement parts available, so why not. I will tell you that I am going to feel much better about my thing, knowing that I built it. Except the engine, which is for a different day.
It means I am getting a thing, exactly the way I want.

Uber. I was planning on using a set of 6100 Bilsteins, front and back. Would this help, my situation? I reindexed the back 2 splines on the outside, which I think should be ok for my stock CV's?? I have yet to do any adjustment on my beam, as far as height. The beam is assembled and on the car. I did a fair bit of research here on the Samba for the beam. I didn't read anywhere that you needed raised spindles for the adjusters. Michael B for example.
Maybe they aren't using the full three inches?
Chad, I will do a search for your hook stops. You mentioned something to me before on this subject.
Great info guys. Keep it coming.
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uberautowerks
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lifted spindles aren't needed for the adjusters. they are used instead of or with adjusters.
The 6100 should be long enough, but you are still limited by how far the ball joints will go.
-
Here's a pointer on suspension lifting....
For a comfortable ride you should have two or three inches of "Droop" front AND rear. That is with the car on all four wheels if you were to start jacking the front end up the car will rise 3 to 3 inches before the tires start to come off the ground. Without droop the car will ride like hell and will beat it's suspension parts to death.
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--- The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at and repair.
- Douglas Adams -
---
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'71 Single cab (White too)
'70 Weekender (White three)
'05 Evolution VIII (White also!!!)
'68 F-250 (White over black)
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locky
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, so what do I need to know about the hookstops? Do I have to take the beam apart? AAAAHHH! I checked out Chad's pic on beefing up a Brazilian beam. Couldn't quite see exactly what was going on. I see that one points up and one points down. So these are to limit the range on either full compression or full extension of the suspension?
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locky
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do limit straps act in the same way as hookstops?
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Chad1376
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2009 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

locky wrote:
Ok, so what do I need to know about the hookstops? Do I have to take the beam apart? AAAAHHH! I checked out Chad's pic on beefing up a Brazilian beam. Couldn't quite see exactly what was going on. I see that one points up and one points down. So these are to limit the range on either full compression or full extension of the suspension?


Maybe this picture helps. Here the hooks are only tacked on.
1) You drill a hole for the pin completely through the shock tower at a distance where both hooks will catch, then weld. I've seen a gusset added at the rear of the pin, but I didn't do it.
2) Extend the arms to full droop, move them up a little (1/16" for breathing room) and tack the bottom hook.
3) Swing the arms to full compression, move the arms down a touch and tack the top hook.
4) Pull it apart and fully weld the hooks.

Cycling the arms will be a lot easier with the leaves removed, and you'll need to pull the arms out to fully weld, otherwise you'll cook your end seals or nylon bushings (if you have them).

Limit straps might work nice to control full droop, and would be a softer stop at the limit, but you'd need to be sure the stretch in the straps doesn't allow the ball joints to over-extend.

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locky
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What thickness metal did you use for your stops? What diameter is your pin?
Thanks for the photo Chad.
HL
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Chad1376
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

locky wrote:
What thickness metal did you use for your stops? What diameter is your pin?
Thanks for the photo Chad.
HL


This was a pre-cut setup (Empi or Bugpack) I bought at the local VW off-road shop. $20 more or less if I remember right.
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uberautowerks
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bugpack's part number is 6525-10, list price is $34.97.
-
It's a nice kit, but I prefer limit straps. They don't hit so hard. Although I have stuffed a pair of urethane tubes over the stop on the hook kit. But remember is you go that way you'll have to plan on the urethane from the start to get the geometry set up right.
-
And, No, I don't remember what the urethane tubes came off of, it was many years ago!
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--- The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at and repair.
- Douglas Adams -
---
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'71 Single cab (White too)
'70 Weekender (White three)
'05 Evolution VIII (White also!!!)
'68 F-250 (White over black)
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locky
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I will hold off on changing the beam at this point. Reason being is I have to get the rolling chassis out of the shop and the body into the shop, so that I can work on it all winter. We get alot of snow here, and once it piles up I won't be able to move either. I am leaning to the limit straps, and shouldn't have a problem installing them in the spring without tearing everything apart. Any ideas what length I would need?
Here are a couple of shots of the chassis Preblast, blasted, and Por 15'd. Payed $100 for the blast and between dropping it off and picking it up, was only an hour. Turned out really good. Por looks great. I have to take some shots of the top part, repainted, and get them on here.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2009 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Video Bob wrote:
I'm not trying to be a smart a**, but I've got to ask this question. I've seen others take on similar projects. The question: Wouldn't it be easier and cheaper to just buy a Thing without all the extensive rust and start from that point to refurbish/restore the Thing to your desired level? Confused


If everyone took that point of view, we'd all be driving new SUVs. It almost goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway, there's so much more satisfaction bringing something back from the grave with your own blood, sweat and tears, than from simply picking one up on a used car lot (metaphorically speaking). Enjoying a hobby has never been defined by whether it makes monetary sense. Take one of the ultimate car collectors, Jay Leno. He flat out admits he has spent way more restoring his collection than it's worth, at least in the short term.
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