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1973 VW Thing "Face Lift" Many pictures!
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HUGO bOSS
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Joined: April 27, 2008
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Location: Madeira Island - Portugal
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One year past... no news... Crying or Very sad
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Arkansauced
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Joined: November 11, 2014
Posts: 36
Location: Stockton, CA
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael,

I just checked out your face lift for your Manx.

I swear I ran into you (and your Manx) a few years ago at the Ralph's gas station on Washington in Murrieta and we ended up talking VW's for a while.

I'm sure I brought up that my first car was a Thing, you must not have picked this one up at that point.

I love the detail of this build, more than that I appreciate how you spell out the issues/quandaries you're facing then walk us through your thought process and solution.

Please keep us updated!!
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Michael B
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Joined: November 03, 2006
Posts: 372
Location: Murrieta,CA
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 10:13 am    Post subject: Re: 1973 VW Thing "Face Lift" Many pictures! Reply with quote

Hello again! Been quite some time sense my last posting and thought it might be a good time to update what's going on. The Thing has just over 7,400 miles and now I'm giving the engine a little update Very Happy It started with a small noise I could hear while the engine was warm and at idle. It sounded like a clicking noise and I couldn't figure it out. After removing the engine and disassembling it, I came to find what I think the problem was. The oil pump shaft that inputs to the cam drive end has big time ware.
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As you can see the damage!

Now for the engine update.... decided to replace the heads with some new Steve Tims Stage 2, and a few other things as well. New Weber 44 IDF's, MST serpentine belt system, 30mm Berg full flow pump, Berg pump pressure relief cover, Berg welded, trued and balanced fan, New Eagle 120 cam and Stainless steel pushrod tubes. I set the compession low @ 8.68:1. I hope to have a good running engine after this investment.

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Just need to clean up the new carbs and stick the engine back in for a cam/lifer brake in.
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Dougster43
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Joined: May 11, 2018
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Location: Texas
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 6:25 am    Post subject: Re: 1973 VW Thing "Face Lift" Many pictures! Reply with quote

Thanks for the bump and update on this. As a new Thing owner a few months ago I have to say reading your thread has been inspirational- incredibly well done restoration!
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Michael B
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Joined: November 03, 2006
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Location: Murrieta,CA
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 9:35 am    Post subject: Re: 1973 VW Thing "Face Lift" Many pictures! Reply with quote

Greetings again, got the engine back together and installed. Here are a few pictures of the progress. I wanted to show these nuts I found for my intake manifold, carburetor to intake and exhaust. What I was looking for is something that had a small hex, i.e. (10mm wrench) so I could get to tightening them up easier then with a lager 13mm wrench. Very happy with these nuts.
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As you can see I still get quite a bit of use out of this hoist. It has saved me the trouble of trying to find someone to help many times.
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This is the way I go about installing the engine. As you can see the smaller jack stands hold it up just high enough to then place the jacking block I made to give it the rest of the boost necessary.
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A little fast forward to most of it complete. Been some time since I’ve had to install this engine. I forgot about some of the tricks of installing the intake on the passenger side.
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No pictures of the tuning process, but It was quite fun. I used a LC-2: Digital Wideband "Lambda" O2 Controller to help with getting the carburetors tuned. It was the first time I have tried doing it this way and so far so good! One thing for sure is this engine is WAY better than the last by FAR. First gear is so fast that I’m hitting 4,500 RPM’s within two seconds. It just pulls so much harder in all gears. There are a few other things I would like to add/adjust to the valve train, like heavy duty aluminum push rods and maybe different rockers. I did find an oil leak coming from the cover of the oil pump that will need to be addressed. And maybe a little oil coming from the case half just under the oil pump? Not sure as it may be just the oil coming from the pump cover?

So, on to what my wife said about the roller throttle pedal that she didn’t like from day one (9+ years). We were talking about the thought of power steering as the Thing is very tough to turn while going slow. Well, she said that if I could fix that roller throttle pedal with something much easier for her to drive with, then she would spring for power steering! As you can imagine, I jumped right to it and this is what I came up with. And yes I know I cut out the old Thing throttle pedal early on and thought this was best for “Me”, but wife also drives the Thing and should have her input as well. Enough said.

These are some of the steps I took to make this new throttle pedal and thus order the power steering that I will need to fabricate into the steering.
Started with this.
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It all starts with a plan… In this case cardboard.
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Then transfer to aluminum
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Then cut it out
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Then a bit of sanding
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I used a door hinge and cut it down to size. I needed to tap the end of the pin so I could hold it from coming apart. You might be able to see the small SS screw/washer on the right side.
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Bolted it to my aluminum plate with, you guessed it SS bolts
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Made a lower bolting plate to attach it to
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Ground off the SS bolts
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After making some adjustments to the throttle cable and making a stop plate (keeps the plate from coming back toward the driver). You can see it on the lower left side.
And here it is…..
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Michael B
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Joined: November 03, 2006
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Location: Murrieta,CA
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:07 pm    Post subject: Re: 1973 VW Thing "Face Lift" Many pictures! Reply with quote

POWER STEERING Cool Razz

Attention all purist, view at your own discretion… The power steering is in and it took a LOT of work to accomplish and some sacrifices. The sacrifices were made to the Thing, thus the discretion to the purist.
It all started with this.
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And this is what I needed to install to make it happen.
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This was where I had my stereo power amplifier.
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After measuring a couple dozen times, I made the first cut out as this was the only way to align the power steering unit with the steering shaft.
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Had to make a few templets to judge what my angles where going to be.
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This is the templet I came up with. Next was to transfer it to ¼” steel plate and cut it out.
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After some grinding, I drilled some holes and welding a temporary ear on the bracket.
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As you can see at first the alignment wasn’t quite right. I needed to cut the hole just a bit bigger to move the steering unit back and to the left to allow a straighter shot.

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On to making the steering shafts. They would need to be a custom length in order for the steering unit to be more permanently placed.
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I had to machine these adapters in order for the different sized shafts to mate together.
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As you can see in this picture I have removed the old style of steering connector in lieu of a stronger U-joint.
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After some more measurements and some grinding on the steering box shaft (Note the steering box shaft is VERY hard metal) it required stone grinding. I needed to extend the notch to allow more movement fore-and-aft.
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At this point I was able to attach more tabs to the bracket to mount the steering unit.
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On the top side I made a plate that would support the steering unit bracket.
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After making sure the lower steering shaft fit while the steering unit was in, I started working on the upper portion of the steering shaft.
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Fast forward to everything sand blasted and painted. I didn’t take any pictures of the process of added additional support rods that attach the steering column to the steering unit bracket. What happened when I attached the steering column with the two underside bolts was no support was given. I needed to sleep on it to come up with my next idea. As you can see in this picture of the completed steering column, there are rods that bolt from the back side of the steering unit bracket and are welded to angle iron that was welded to the steering column bracket. (I think it makes better sense when you see the picture). You will also note the flat piece of iron with two holes. This was to allow for better alignment of the upper steering shaft and to lower the steering wheel by 1/2”. The round shiny part between the upper steering shaft and the circlip was made to keep the steering shaft from moving within the steering column.
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A picture of the custom brackets. Many hours it took to make the steering unit bracket.
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Now everything is installed.
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This was quite the project for sure, I am extremely happy with the performance enhancement that this has brought to the Thing. You can drive with one hand while turning and shifting! The Thing drives like a slot car now.
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