Hello! Log in or Register   |  Help  |  Donate  |  Buy Shirts See all banner ads | Advertise on TheSamba.com  
TheSamba.com
 
Custom Platform for a VW Beetle aka VeeDub ReDub
Forum Index -> Kit Car/Fiberglass Buggy/356 Replica Share: Facebook Twitter
Reply to topic
Print View
Quick sort: Show newest posts on top | Show oldest posts on top View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
ADoyle88
Samba Member


Joined: July 13, 2011
Posts: 14
Location: Red Oak, TX
ADoyle88 is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2022 8:36 pm    Post subject: Custom Platform for a VW Beetle aka VeeDub ReDub Reply with quote

Just like many guys out there, my dad and I found ourselves pulled away from the VW world for a few years. In our case we were developing and building a mid-engine kit car business called DF Kit Car.

Now we're getting back into the old Beetles but with a little twist. We're taking what we've learned building the kit car business and applying it to what we are calling the VeeDub ReDub. This is something we've had in the back of our minds since building the first Goblin.

We plan for the end result to be a Beetle with modern suspension, disc brakes and a Mk7 GTI engine mounted transversely where the rear luggage tray used to be (yes, the rear luggage tray will need to be cut away).

We also decided that instead of cobbling together a one-off car, we should design it as a platform to offer to guys that want to revive a Beetle with an unrepairable pan.

Right now we are building the prototype so we figured we'd start sharing our progress so that we could start fielding questions about it. I'll have some progress photos soon.

For now I'll leave you with a photo of the first to go under the knife (a 1965 Beetle we bought on Facebook Marketplace). We bought this to get measurements of the body mounting points. We didn't want to dive in and use my 69 Beetle for the initial prototype but we'll see about it getting the same treatment later.

We've also got some renders of the chassis in Solidworks. None of this is final but the first prototype will be very close to what you see.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Gallery Classifieds Feedback
GS guy
Samba Member


Joined: December 03, 2007
Posts: 937
Location: Maryland
GS guy is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2022 6:39 am    Post subject: Re: Custom Platform for a VW Beetle aka VeeDub ReDub Reply with quote

Renderings look pretty slick! I love the idea, as always - the devil is in the details. For instance:
Are you using a readily available hub/upright for good availability/replacement/brake setups/upgrades from aftermarket?
Will wheel bolt pattern allow using readily available aftermarket wheels?
Will all hardware, fasteners/plumbing fittings/etc. be metric?
Do you plan to offer this as a bare chassis that one can use parts from a donor car (ie: the GTI mentioned) to complete, along with the Beetle shell of course?
The concept is a great idea and you may consider other engine/trans options in your engine box design.
Keep us posted!
Jeff
_________________
70's vintage Deserter GS buggy - undergoing transformation to Super GS!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
ADoyle88
Samba Member


Joined: July 13, 2011
Posts: 14
Location: Red Oak, TX
ADoyle88 is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2022 7:50 am    Post subject: Re: Custom Platform for a VW Beetle aka VeeDub ReDub Reply with quote

GS guy wrote:

Are you using a readily available hub/upright for good availability/replacement/brake setups/upgrades from aftermarket?
Will wheel bolt pattern allow using readily available aftermarket wheels?
Will all hardware, fasteners/plumbing fittings/etc. be metric?
Do you plan to offer this as a bare chassis that one can use parts from a donor car (ie: the GTI mentioned) to complete, along with the Beetle shell of course?
The concept is a great idea and you may consider other engine/trans options in your engine box design.


We are using the front hubs from the GTI all the way around. On our prototype we are using the same brakes that we use on our Goblin (easy to grab a set from our shelves) but we plan to use a different OEM setup or Wilwood brakes moving forward.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The bolt pattern for the GTI is 5x112. This isn't super common on domestic cars but it appears to be very common among modern German cars.

On our prototype the hardware isn't going to be metric (once again we grabbed what we had at the shop) but the final version will definitely be metric. We don't want to mix tools and hardware on this project.

The rendering is close to what we plan to offer at first (a rolling chassis without engine or transmission). The final builder will harvest the rest from a GTI to make a "powered" platform. From that point on it'll need all of the steps of mating the body and finishing the Beetle like any other Beetle build.

We're trying to stay focused on this one right now but believe me when I say that we're imagining all kinds of different donors and bodies for this platform. We think it has a lot of potential (kinda like all of the kit car and custom cars that were built on the old Beetle chassis).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Gallery Classifieds Feedback
metalchomper
Samba Member


Joined: June 27, 2005
Posts: 696
Location: Statesville, NC
metalchomper is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2022 2:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Custom Platform for a VW Beetle aka VeeDub ReDub Reply with quote

It's awesome of you to take a stab at this. Good concept! My constructive criticism is that the rear suspension connection to the tunnel doesn't appear substantial enough. Maybe you have done FEA analysis to prove it is strong enough? The tunnel itself may be too flexible torsion. A more rounded profile would provide more rigidity. Again, maybe you have FEA'd this and found it isn't an issue.

Also, maybe move the centerline of the driveline up a couple of inches in relation to the body. Instantly lowered just by replacing the body. Could do the opposite for those that want the raised look.
_________________
Brett

Devil Dog Dubs

I live vicariously through me

'62 Beetle, "Zombie Mojo"
'68 Manx II "Conundrum"
'72 SB "Luftwaffle", 2270 T4
'75 SB Wizard Rodster "Olympias" (Mrs. Metalchomper's car)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
GS guy
Samba Member


Joined: December 03, 2007
Posts: 937
Location: Maryland
GS guy is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2022 6:18 am    Post subject: Re: Custom Platform for a VW Beetle aka VeeDub ReDub Reply with quote

The other elephant in the room - is losing the chassis serial number from the original VW chassis, making titling/registration more difficult. Your VW becomes a "kit car" and depending on the state of residence - potentially difficult to register and insure.
That said.... if one were to "rebuild" the original chassis (which the tunnel/backbone is often the only part of the original chassis used), then no harm no foul. How much of that backbone needs to be preserved? Definitely a gray area there.
Jeff
_________________
70's vintage Deserter GS buggy - undergoing transformation to Super GS!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Dale M.
Samba Member


Joined: April 12, 2006
Posts: 20099
Location: Just a tiny bit west of Yosemite Valley
Dale M. is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2022 8:16 am    Post subject: Re: Custom Platform for a VW Beetle aka VeeDub ReDub Reply with quote

Wonder if the is just another one of so many dreams that never quite made it into production..... Do you really think there is a market for this out there..... Have you done the market research....
_________________
“Fear The Government That Wants To Take Your Guns" - Thomas Jefferson.

"Kellison Sand Piper Roadster" For Street & Show.
"Joe Pody Sandrover" Buggy with 2180 for Autocross (Sold)
============================================================
All suggestions and advice are purely my own opinion. You are free to ignore them if you wish ...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
ADoyle88
Samba Member


Joined: July 13, 2011
Posts: 14
Location: Red Oak, TX
ADoyle88 is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2022 8:59 am    Post subject: Re: Custom Platform for a VW Beetle aka VeeDub ReDub Reply with quote

metalchomper wrote:
It's awesome of you to take a stab at this. Good concept! My constructive criticism is that the rear suspension connection to the tunnel doesn't appear substantial enough. Maybe you have done FEA analysis to prove it is strong enough? The tunnel itself may be too flexible torsion. A more rounded profile would provide more rigidity. Again, maybe you have FEA'd this and found it isn't an issue.

Also, maybe move the centerline of the driveline up a couple of inches in relation to the body. Instantly lowered just by replacing the body. Could do the opposite for those that want the raised look.


The connection between the rear crossmembers and the tunnel includes some triangulation in the form of 1.5 inch OD tubing at the top and 11 gauge gussets from the tunnel to the rectangular tubes.

Also, the rear subframe that supports the rear suspension is mounted to the Beetle body in places where the original Beetle did not attach. These mounting points are the long flat plates on the top tube of the rear subframe. They attach to the sheet metal that runs to the sides of the rear luggage tray and engine compartment.

We have tentative plans for bolt-on tubes running from our rear cage forward beside the rear seats but these are pieces we will add depending on how rigid the prototype turns out.

The tunnel might end up being more rounded out but for the prototype we are using plasma cut sheet metal that we bent ourselves along the top two bends in the render.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Gallery Classifieds Feedback
ADoyle88
Samba Member


Joined: July 13, 2011
Posts: 14
Location: Red Oak, TX
ADoyle88 is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2022 9:05 am    Post subject: Re: Custom Platform for a VW Beetle aka VeeDub ReDub Reply with quote

GS guy wrote:
The other elephant in the room - is losing the chassis serial number from the original VW chassis, making titling/registration more difficult. Your VW becomes a "kit car" and depending on the state of residence - potentially difficult to register and insure.
That said.... if one were to "rebuild" the original chassis (which the tunnel/backbone is often the only part of the original chassis used), then no harm no foul. How much of that backbone needs to be preserved? Definitely a gray area there.
Jeff


Since we are coming from an open wheel, open top kit car, registration was definitely something we put some thought into. We had to battle with Texas 5 years ago to get our kit on the road so registration woes still haunt us.

I have this question answered on our website but the short version is that you'll need to check with your DMV about registering it as a Beetle and if they won't allow it, you'll use the MCO that we supply to register it as an "Assembled" or "Hobby" vehicle. These pathways are specifically designed for custom assembled vehicles like this.

The good news is that compared to our kit car, this will be a much easier process with a Beetle because the average build will include windshield, wipers, sunvisors, etc that many states require.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Gallery Classifieds Feedback
ADoyle88
Samba Member


Joined: July 13, 2011
Posts: 14
Location: Red Oak, TX
ADoyle88 is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2022 9:11 am    Post subject: Re: Custom Platform for a VW Beetle aka VeeDub ReDub Reply with quote

Dale M. wrote:
Wonder if the is just another one of so many dreams that never quite made it into production..... Do you really think there is a market for this out there..... Have you done the market research....


This is one step toward the next version of the kit car we already produce. We're Bug guys so we've been considering putting the chassis of our Goblin kit under a Bug for a while (that is a mid-engine, Chevy Cobalt powered, open wheel car). When we decided to go with the GTI as the next donor, we figured we'd make a GTI powered Beetle before the next Goblin just in case there is a market for it.

On that note, having manufactured and sold Goblin kits for 8 years now, we do have a feel for what some guys want. It might not specifically be the Beetle but there is a market for a decent platform that can easily receive a different body or run a different engine. We believe the platform we are developing can fill both of these roles down the road.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Gallery Classifieds Feedback
ADoyle88
Samba Member


Joined: July 13, 2011
Posts: 14
Location: Red Oak, TX
ADoyle88 is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 2022 1:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Custom Platform for a VW Beetle aka VeeDub ReDub Reply with quote

I'm going to try to do a few posts over the next few days to get you guys caught up to where we are at in the construction of our first prototype.

The first step was cutting out many sheet metal parts. Sending these parts out to get laser cut would have made for some cleaner parts that were easier to work with but one-off parts are very expensive. So instead, we used our CNC plasma cutter.

We ended up cutting 14 gauge, 11 gauge, 3/16, 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick material to get all of the pieces we needed. Overall, we were happy with the results but it did require extra clean up to remove dross on the underside of the parts.

Here's a shot of the paths on the control computer.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


And this is a photo oh the machine cutting 1/4 inch steel.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Here's a look at the tunnel on the plasma table. We don't have a way to bend something this long so we had the machine "score" the bend lines by cutting slots.

The slotted piece to the right is the "floor" of the tunnel. Those slots are where the tunnel's slots will line up. I'll show that in the next post.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Gallery Classifieds Feedback
ADoyle88
Samba Member


Joined: July 13, 2011
Posts: 14
Location: Red Oak, TX
ADoyle88 is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2022 9:21 am    Post subject: Re: Custom Platform for a VW Beetle aka VeeDub ReDub Reply with quote

The first piece we tackled after plasma cutting parts on the CNC table was the tunnel. The screenshot below shows the three main pieces: the tunnel on top and the two floor pieces below.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Since we don't have an 8 foot sheet metal brake, we drew in slots along the bend lines of the tunnel (top piece). The lower pieces have slots of their own but they are for the tunnel to fit into after bending it.

The bend line slots made it easier to hand bend the tunnel but we were still struggling. So to make things easier, we took a cut-off wheel and cut every other tab.

With the number of tabs cut in half, we were able to muscle the tunnel into shape. We used an angle finder to set each side and then put the floor sections of the tunnel in place. It was a satisfying moment seeing the floor slots lining up with the tabs.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


We tacked each tab along the floor and had ourselves a tunnel for our prototype.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Gallery Classifieds Feedback
GS guy
Samba Member


Joined: December 03, 2007
Posts: 937
Location: Maryland
GS guy is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2022 10:58 am    Post subject: Re: Custom Platform for a VW Beetle aka VeeDub ReDub Reply with quote

Looks good! I like the self-jigging design with tabs and slots.
Are you trying to stay within some kind of weight range with the finished chassis? Something similar to the original VW pan? Presume you've already got a "calculated" finished weight to help decide on material gauging.

Oh yea, another thing to consider: bolt-on access & service panels to sides or bottom of the tunnel. Much easier to "get in there" for service or mods once assembled!
Jeff
_________________
70's vintage Deserter GS buggy - undergoing transformation to Super GS!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
ADoyle88
Samba Member


Joined: July 13, 2011
Posts: 14
Location: Red Oak, TX
ADoyle88 is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2022 12:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Custom Platform for a VW Beetle aka VeeDub ReDub Reply with quote

GS guy wrote:
Looks good! I like the self-jigging design with tabs and slots.
Are you trying to stay within some kind of weight range with the finished chassis? Something similar to the original VW pan? Presume you've already got a "calculated" finished weight to help decide on material gauging.

Oh yea, another thing to consider: bolt-on access & service panels to sides or bottom of the tunnel. Much easier to "get in there" for service or mods once assembled!
Jeff


On this first prototype we are not attempting to hit a certain weight range. We knew much of what we were making wouldn't be the final version so we weren't too concerned with where the weight ended up. We've already figured out a pretty big redesign for the rear and there are small things here and there that will be changed as well just based off of what we've learned so far.

Before the end of the year we'll have the actual weight for this one fully assembled.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Gallery Classifieds Feedback
ADoyle88
Samba Member


Joined: July 13, 2011
Posts: 14
Location: Red Oak, TX
ADoyle88 is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2022 1:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Custom Platform for a VW Beetle aka VeeDub ReDub Reply with quote

After we tack welded the tunnel to the floor pieces, we started building up the front structures. This included what we are calling the front bulkhead seat since we don't know what it is actually called (this is the curved rail ahead of the pedals where the body mounts to the chassis).

First we welded doublers on the underside of our tunnel structure. These add a little more rigidity for bolting up the body but more importantly, they double up the material underneath the crossmember that the lower control arms will bolt to. This crossmember was welded in after finishing the front bulkhead seat.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


On top of the floor we welded a steel bar that goes through the tunnel and spans all the way across to the sets of bolt holes on each side. The steel bar was capped with 1/4 inch thick plates and a bent piece of 1/4 thick steel strap. At the same time, 3/16 thick panels were welded between the steel bar and the steel strap.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Next we moved forward to build up the front suspension structure. This is where it starts to really differ from the Beetle. We are using coilovers with short and long control arms so our structure is a bit different than what would normally hold the front beam.

In the following photo you can see temporary tools that were CNC cut to help align the control arm mounting points. At each mounting a point, a rod end was bolted to the tool along with the mounting plates that needed to be welded to the frame.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The final result was a structure that is fairly accurate to our original model. Final versions would be built with more substantial tools and fixtures but this is just the prototype.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


One piece still missing from the front end is the tube that the front of the Beetle body will bolt to. We will install this after our first test fit. But next up will be the rear suspension structure.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Gallery Classifieds Feedback
isucorvair
Samba Member


Joined: April 28, 2013
Posts: 56
Location: DeWitt
isucorvair is offline 

PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2022 11:06 am    Post subject: Re: Custom Platform for a VW Beetle aka VeeDub ReDub Reply with quote

GS guy wrote:
The other elephant in the room - is losing the chassis serial number from the original VW chassis, making titling/registration more difficult. Your VW becomes a "kit car" and depending on the state of residence - potentially difficult to register and insure.
That said.... if one were to "rebuild" the original chassis (which the tunnel/backbone is often the only part of the original chassis used), then no harm no foul. How much of that backbone needs to be preserved? Definitely a gray area there.
Jeff




Both my 1967 and 1977 Beetles had a VIN on the body (in the trunk on the 67, and windshield area on the 77)....if you are re-using the body....

No different than replacing the frame under a muscle car.


Eric P
DeWitt, IA
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
didget69
Samba Member


Joined: July 22, 2004
Posts: 4909
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
didget69 is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2022 8:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Custom Platform for a VW Beetle aka VeeDub ReDub Reply with quote

isucorvair wrote:


Both my 1967 and 1977 Beetles had a VIN on the body (in the trunk on the 67, and windshield area on the 77)....if you are re-using the body....

No different than replacing the frame under a muscle car.


Eric P
DeWitt, IA


Incorrect - VIN goes with the VW chassis. Body VIN tag is irrelevant...

bnc
_________________
I never found the need to impress people with any mechanic certifications, trophies or track wins... unless it was for Mom to post on the refrigerator door.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
ADoyle88
Samba Member


Joined: July 13, 2011
Posts: 14
Location: Red Oak, TX
ADoyle88 is offline 

PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2023 7:01 am    Post subject: Re: Custom Platform for a VW Beetle aka VeeDub ReDub Reply with quote

Sorry for not keeping you guys updated. I was posting regularly to our blog (doylemw.com/blog) but forgot to come fill you guys in. The biggest news is that we did get the platform down on its own tires. Here are some photos and summaries to get you caught up:

We welded the rear crossmember tubes to the tunnel along with the rear body mounts and the lower gusset plates that go from the lower crossmember to the tunnel.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Next we welded in the floor pans and the rest of the rear crossmember gussets (this included 1.5 inch DOM tubes on both sides to support the top crossmember, a top plate and two side plates). With the floor welded on, we did our first side by side comparison of the platform and the stock chassis.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Next we built up the rear subframe. It bolts onto the rear crossmembers and eventually will attach to the body of the car near our upper control arms. There will also be two forward supports that will go from the upper subframe tubes down to the floor pan. Originally we designed these supports to be bolt-on pieces but we've figured out a way to have welded supports going forward. This requires a little more trimming of the Beetle body than we originally planned to do but I'll elaborate more on this later when we add the supports. 

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Our Goblin reused the stock Cobalt knuckles, struts and control arms. This was a decent arrangement but on the VeeDub ReDub project we wanted to swap to double wishbone suspension with coilovers at the rear. This meant machining our own aluminum uprights for all four corners.

On the prototype, we're using front GTI bearing hubs all the way around. These are pretty compact units and obviously will work with the GTI axles at the back.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Finally we were able to bolt on the brakes and throw on some tires. We didn't align anything so the toe and camber are definitely not right but no point in doing that right now.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


We've already started redesigning many portions of the platform that aren't exactly how we would like them to be. Having to go back to the drawing board expected while prototyping something like this and we plan to iterate through 2-3 prototypes before we land on a production version. Here are some of the changes:

  • bail on the Beetle floor pans and make our own pans
  • simplify the rear area of the floor pan/tunnel
  • change up the rear subframe where it mounts to the floor pan structure
  • add welded in braces from the floor pan to the new subframe mount locations

We still have a lot of work to do but we're hoping to do a first drive late this month or early next month.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Gallery Classifieds Feedback
SpyderMike
Samba Member


Joined: October 31, 2003
Posts: 204
Location: So CA and So OR
SpyderMike is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2023 8:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Custom Platform for a VW Beetle aka VeeDub ReDub Reply with quote

If you haven't already checked, you might see some potential sales in the replica Porsche 356 market.
_________________
1966 Beetle
1971 Tin Top Westy
1955 Porsche 550 replica
2008 Touareg
2005 Beetle Turbo Vert
plus a few others
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Kit Car/Fiberglass Buggy/356 Replica All times are Mountain Standard Time/Pacific Daylight Savings Time
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

About | Help! | Advertise | Donate | Premium Membership | Privacy/Terms of Use | Contact Us | Site Map
Copyright © 1996-2020, Everett Barnes. All Rights Reserved.
Not affiliated with or sponsored by Volkswagen of America | Forum powered by phpBB