View original topic: Super Beetle front end conversion for a buggy kit
HUMONGO Mon Mar 01, 2004 12:09 pm

My Brother-in-Law bought a '71 bug on Ebay from a guy in Jersey thinking it was a standard. The seller didn't know that the '71 Super had a flat windshield and a strut front end. We want to put a buggy body on the chassis and would want some good frontend travel. So, the question is, can we chop the frame head off and put a link-pin frame head on? Do we need to change the cross support? Is the tunnel essentially the same? Any help would be appreciated.

HomespunKustom Mon Mar 01, 2004 12:33 pm

You will have to cut off the entire frame head and then weld in the whole unit off of a balljoint or linkpin front end. If you are going to go to all that trouble, why not tube the front end and do a sandrail "long travel" type of setup? Rack and pinion, coil overs, the whole nine!

HUMONGO Mon Mar 01, 2004 2:05 pm

He wants something that is reasonably priced, that handles as well on the road as off the road. He wants to build a buggy to take down to the beach and play with. He wouldn't need anything "long travel", just something to handle a little more abuse than a road only car.

UncleBob Mon Mar 01, 2004 2:37 pm

Well, if the buggy is a short wheel base, and I was going to go through the trouble of shortening the pan AND replacing the frame head, I think I would just replace the whole front pan section with one from an earlier standard (preferably pre 66), so I could have an IRS rear, king-pin front.

It would be a lot less work, and much easier to align.

Surely you could find a rusted out standard for free somewhere. If you're willing to drive down to Florida, I've got one you can have, with rims and tires!

HeidelbergJohn4.0 Mon Mar 01, 2004 4:46 pm

I'm the brother in law.
Actually I' m building a long frame fiberglass buggy, not a short one. We have a complete ball joint front end available and I have a 71 flat window suberbeetle that was in a front-ender with the all important title! It drives but is not driveable if that makes sense, the pans and all are good, but the front frame head and the front body is shot so it's not really a candidate for a restore in my book and of course you can't use a strut front end on a buggy.

What we really need to know is are the center tubes the same at the front cross member? The pans all seem to be the same, and the front cross member seems to be the same, just the frame heads appear different. It appears the extra length of the SB comes from the difference in the frame forward of the front cross member. The body is coming off, so it shouldn't be all that big a deal. I'd basically be removing everything that made it a SB anyway, so we are just welding on the replacement frame head, just as you would to swap a ball joint head for a king pin.
A complete replacement front frame head for a ball joint is what 60-70 bucks? I'm not building an offroader, just a run around to the beach and on a rare occasion, a trip down the hardpack on assateague or the delaware beaches. I'd be concerned with street handling with a lot of front end travel. I'm also doing this low budget. I've considered a tubular front end, but why bother honestly.

I'd rather start with the cheap runner with good pans and such, than get into replacing all that, plus half the front end of a standard beetle that also needs a motor, but I'm not in the position to get stuck with the SB if it won't work.

BTW, we can do the welding job

HomespunKustom Mon Mar 01, 2004 4:50 pm

If I think I understand your question, yes the balljoint front end and linkpin front end have different frame heads. You could not put a ball joint front beam on a linkpin frame head. Hope this helps.

HUMONGO Mon Mar 01, 2004 7:09 pm

We know the frame head of the link pin and ball joint are different. What we want to know is, can we cut the framehead off the chassis of a super beetle, then weld in either a ball joint or link pin frame head. My brother has a '71 Super. I have a '74 standard. I'm converting to link pin because I'm building a Baja. He now wants to use my old balljoint suspension. What it all boils down to is, are the center tunnels the same in a Super and a Standard?

UncleBob Tue Mar 02, 2004 6:36 am


HeidelbergJohn4.0 Thu Mar 04, 2004 4:11 pm

bob, ever done it? once the body and sb frame head is gone, looks pretty straight forward.

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