View original topic: Shortening a Pan Page: 1, 2, 3  Next
turboghia Thu Sep 22, 2005 7:21 am

Has anyone shortned a pan themselves? or is this a job best left to a pro?

vicsvw Thu Sep 22, 2005 8:49 am

No Problem if you have a welder. Just be sure to make your cut at an angle not straight across. We often install support rails at the same time as the VW Bug relied on the body for some of the strength. Vic

Mr. Unpopular Thu Sep 22, 2005 9:36 am

Why cut at an angle? Just curious.

DSC Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:43 am

If you cut it at an angle you spread the stress across a wider area than just at one straight seam. The body will get less flex if you cut the angle as opposed to straight across.

Read for yourself in this book. I read it front to back. It filled in a lot of blanks.;s=books

subybaja Mon Sep 26, 2005 3:55 pm

Here's a link to a "How-To" on the official Myers Manx site:

...where it says to cut straight, but I also disagree. Rather than a bar straight across, your section to be removed should be shaped like a chevron, slanting back toward the torsion housing at the outside ends.

Tim10 Mon Sep 26, 2005 7:53 pm


Angle cut... straights are not forgiving.


turboghia Tue Sep 27, 2005 12:17 pm

subybaja wrote: Here's a link to a "How-To" on the official Myers Manx site:

...where it says to cut straight, but I also disagree. Rather than a bar straight across, your section to be removed should be shaped like a chevron, slanting back toward the torsion housing at the outside ends.

How much of an angle?

subybaja Tue Sep 27, 2005 12:47 pm

My $.02- "The right way to shorten a VW pan for a buggy. Stronger than just a straight slice, since there is no "Fold Here" line. The section removed is the same width all the way out. Be careful of the tubes inside the tunnel. You'll lose your jack-points, and have to relocate the seat-belt mounts."

turboghia Tue Sep 27, 2005 2:04 pm

Great info. Thanks for all the help. I'm glad I asked before cutting the pan.
Thanks Again,

DSC Thu Dec 08, 2005 7:05 pm

I'd only add that make sure to be careful when cutting through the main tunnel that you do not cut through all the guide tubes inside. You need to let them push through the back as you pull the cut setcions together and shorten them from the rear after the pan has been tacked back together.

iceluke Thu Dec 08, 2005 11:44 pm

I did my own. Now working on my neighbor's (sux2bu).
If I ever do it again it will cost the poor soul a cool grand. ](*,)

just in my labor....

Genom Wed Feb 15, 2006 8:07 pm

I'm gonna dig up this old thread and say the "angle cut" shown only allows the floor pans to come together cleaner, and has little if anything to do with the structural integrity of the finished product.

When I had my Sandwinder, I shortened the chassis using the "Z cut" method shown on this website: (Look under Project Diary and then Frame) Yes it was a whole lot of extra measuring and fitting, but the finished product was well worth it.

I didn't need any further reinforcement on the tunnel, and the two halves came together real neat and clean...especially where the end of the tunnel flares out.

dirtydeedss Wed Feb 15, 2006 8:46 pm

just cut mine on an angle and u just have to do a bit os smashinn with a hammer to get the edges to meet on the curvey sections of the pan.

Jimmler Thu Feb 16, 2006 9:08 am

Here's some real life photos of how I did mine:

Here's how I made sure all the lines were nice and straight and properly aligned. I used a Craftsman Laser Trac and a white paint pen:

The rest is easy!

UncleBob Thu Feb 16, 2006 9:41 am

Great Pictures, Jimmler. Nothing like seeing the real thing. Did you use some of the 'liberated' tunnel section over the tunnel joint for reinforcement? What did you use for cutting?

Feel free to post the rest of the pics and the finished product.

Jimmler Thu Feb 16, 2006 10:26 am

The pan is not officially welded back together yet, so there's not much more to tell at this point. I have a broken clutch tube I'm repairing.

I probably will not brace over the weld with a section of removed tunnel. In this last picture you can see I left some "tabs" from the rear section. I think by bending those in and welding them to the sides of the tunnel, it will reinforce more than a strip across the top. The tunnel is stamped in that area that almost makes it look like those tabs are supposed to go there.

Most of the cutting was either by a sawzall or an air powered body saw from Harbor Freight. The tunnel is some pretty tough stuff. Buy plenty of blades. Also be careful not to slice the various tubes. That's the wrong place to shorten them! :wink:

MURZI Thu Feb 16, 2006 4:53 pm

I left a tongue on the bottom of the rear half of the pan that was about 8 inches long. I feel that it really strengthed the whole job. I like the idea of the flaps on the sides too. If I had to do it over I would do the flaps and the tongue. I wasn't concerned about the pans because I used sheet metal and 1x2 box tubing. EDIT--If I had to do it over I would buy a BERRIEN chassis. That job was a b*^%ch!!!


bim55 Thu Feb 16, 2006 6:57 pm

If you've ever worked with the metal floor pans, it's hard to believe that either a straight cut or a delta cut adds any integrity to the structure at all. They are just too flimsy even without any cuts.

The strength comes from the boxed tunnel section and the section or height of the sidewalls in the fiberglass body itself. Think of or visualize an I beam, the top and bottom plates control compression and tension.

But without a doubt, the two halves will match up better and require less work if you use the angle or delta cut.

You can cut the whole VW chassis with any metal cutting blade in a recip sawl, jig saw, circular saw, just about anyhting will work. As stated, be carefull in the tunnel section, and a small mig works perfectly on this gauge metal.

Also, great photos in this thread, nice to see projects like this.

Boston Bob E.

DSC Thu Feb 23, 2006 6:37 pm

Here were some photos from when I did mine a couple of months ago.

phatbstrd Fri Feb 23, 2007 7:10 am

I cut the pan and am now in the process of welding it back together. Everything went well with the cutting, but the shape of the tunnel halves obviously doesn't match up. Is it correct that I need to do some reshaping on the back half to match the front, or am I missing something? I don't want to mess anything up at this point, the body fits well, and the cuts are straight.

Thanks for your help.

Matt "The Newbie" Purvis
Oilton, OK

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