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What should I do?
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Matt_Lewis
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:58 am    Post subject: What should I do? Reply with quote

We have recently bought a 56 ragtop. The car is overall in very good shape and has a very solid 36hp and split case with no issues. I like the fact that I can get in and drive it around the neighborhood with the family but I wouldn't really go too much further than that due to power issues. I also like that it is "orginial" because of the 6v, 36hp, and splitcase but I think this limits its functions because I can't really do anything with it.

We are about to put carpet, recover the seats and a new headliner but before I do this I can't help but thinking I want this car to be more. I would love for this thing to be something I can jump in and goto town(30miles away all interstate), or to the beach(45 miles away mostly highway), and maybe even take it to the autocross once a month! Smile

So my question is, what should I do?

1. Leave everything the way it is, finish the interior and drive it around the neighborhood?

2. Upgrade tranny, motor, suspension, brakes then interior and drive it.

3. Upgrade pan to 68+ from donor car and then finish interior and drive it.

It does not have matching numbers on anything so I am not too concerned with that I just want this car to have dual functions. Right now the body is a 56, the pan is a 55, the motor I am not sure of but is definitely around the same time and the split case is a 57.

I appreciate all comments. I am just looking for advice on what to do and why it is the best option from people who have more experience.
Thanks
matt
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bugguts
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd go with a Berg 5 speed, 2007cc IDA motor, disc brakes, narrowed beam and detailed Fuchs Cool
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Matt_Lewis
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bugguts wrote:
I'd go with a Berg 5 speed, 2007cc IDA motor, disc brakes, narrowed beam and detailed Fuchs Cool


So option 2 staying on same pan?

I have read that the swing axle isn't the best for ride quality and performance for things such as autocrossing.
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Matt_Lewis
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is what it looks like right now.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
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sparkleplenty
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Option 2....Then tuck that split case and 36 away in storage. Cool

Don't go overboard on the motor and trans...Built motors can be temperamental.
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sparkleplenty
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

By the way, nice oval...
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Erik G
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

how fast do you need to go? I had no problems cruising mine on the crazy Houston freeways, 36hp and a crashbox, 68mph cruising speed stock.
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Matt_Lewis
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So another vote for option 2 and just upgrade what I got.

Which is fine but what about performance handling? Will the swing axle be okay for possible light autocrossing?

Also, I noticed when I lowered the rear, the torsion bars were pretty rusty and I am pretty sure the outer spindles were rusted shut. Should this be something to worry about upgrading the current pan? As for rust other places there really isn't any.

Thanks!
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Matt_Lewis
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Erik G wrote:
how fast do you need to go? I had no problems cruising mine on the crazy Houston freeways, 36hp and a crashbox, 68mph cruising speed stock.


Not terribly fast. I just want something safe on the highway, something I can drive wherever.

I have been 55 but I can't imagine 65+ it must have sounded like it was going to blow up? Sad
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Erik G
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

then you have other issues. 65 is like 4000 rpm's. RPM's are what cools your motor. At that speed, you want your fan turning pretty fast.

Personally, I would make sure everything is tip top, and get it back to original running condition before I spent any bread on a big motor. You should have no problem getting to and holding 65mph for long periods of time with a 36 and a crashbox. I've had big motors, small motors, and in-between. get up and go is an issue with a smaller motor, but once it's going it should be fine. A big motor just gets up and goes faster.

Don't get me wrong, a freeway flyer trans and a 1600 or bigger would be fine especially for a non-stock car. But there is something wrong if you are maxed at 55
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bugguts
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've run 80mph+ in my swingaxle VW with no problems. The car is a basket case, so your options are limitless...
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Bart Dunn
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How are you measuring speed? An antique speedo can be pretty inaccurate. Mine on my '58 is off by about 12-15 mph at highway speeds.
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Erik G
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

and small front tires makes it worse

Mine - GPS verified 70+max but cruising nicely at 65. 165's are slightly taller than stock. Roof racks and open rag tops may make it a little slower, but just a little
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sunroof
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sell the beetle to someone who will love it for what it is and go buy a Honda.

Don
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AlanInMass54
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or sell it and buy a later model that already has the features you want?
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Schwing
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My vote is for #1. Drive it. Sell those rims, put on some smoothies, and use the profit to tidy up the interior while you drive the snot out of it.

Be different go stock Smile
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Matt_Lewis
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Bart Dunn & @Erik G
I am measuring speed with a GPS. You are right with those wheels the speedo says like 5-10 more than actual.

@sunroof
I have had the hondas but I like vws and I would love to beat all the hondas with the vw!

@AlanInMass54
I like the oval ragtop and my wife would kill me if I sold it. I guess I am just trying to kill 2 birds with 1 stone...cruiser for her and daily/fun car for me!

@Schwing
Thats always an option...I still have the smoothies too! Smile
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AlteWagen
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My vote is for #2

Like mentioned above keep the stock engine/trans/beam and store it for the future.

Safe and economical

1776 or 1915 engine or thick wall 92s for 1835
69mm counterweight crank
engle 110 cam
1 1/2 merged header
Timms stage 1 or CB 044 heads
40 IDF/HPMX carbs with 30mm vents

4.12 ring and pinion trans with stock gearing/brakes/short axles
rear sway bar with limiting straps

Fresh front beam with disk brakes/HD sway bar
If getting wider rims/tires for the front you might consider a 2 inch narrowed beam for clearance

I would estimate the above to be around $10K or less if you hunt and do most of the work yourself.

It would be a fun/safe/non tempermental cruiser that would be fine on the street or track.
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Matt_Lewis
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

derluftwagen wrote:
My vote is for #2

Like mentioned above keep the stock engine/trans/beam and store it for the future.

Safe and economical

1776 or 1915 engine or thick wall 92s for 1835
69mm counterweight crank
engle 110 cam
1 1/2 merged header
Timms stage 1 or CB 044 heads
40 IDF/HPMX carbs with 30mm vents

4.12 ring and pinion trans with stock gearing/brakes/short axles
rear sway bar with limiting straps

Fresh front beam with disk brakes/HD sway bar
If getting wider rims/tires for the front you might consider a 2 inch narrowed beam for clearance

I would estimate the above to be around $10K or less if you hunt and do most of the work yourself.

It would be a fun/safe/non tempermental cruiser that would be fine on the street or track.


Awesome! This is the type stuff I was looking for, even an estimated cost! Very Happy
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55reasons
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

#2
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