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Performance Chassis for T1
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Mint Jams
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 5:59 pm    Post subject: Performance Chassis for T1 Reply with quote

Has anyone installed a Mendeola S2-T1 chassis on a T1? I am really interested in having their chassis on my T1, especially if it doesn't require too much body to chassis mods. Need help to guage if it is a work I can handle. Just the thought of a big engine, a S2-T1 Chassis, this is all so mouth watering.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can your wallet handle it?
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Performance Chassis for T1 Reply with quote

Mint Jams wrote:
Has anyone installed a Mendeola S2-T1 chassis on a T1? I am really interested in having their chassis on my T1, especially if it doesn't require too much body to chassis mods. Need help to guage if it is a work I can handle. Just the thought of a big engine, a S2-T1 Chassis, this is all so mouth watering.


There are actuly only a few small cuts that have to be done for clearance on a couple of things. We engineered it to fit as best we could with out having to change much. We are currently installing a complete chassis including our Mendeola 5 speed MD5 under a stock fender 57' oval with 17x7 up front and 18 x 8s in the rear......

We are also getting closer to offering our semi bolt on front end. Semi because there is still welding to be done to make it stay in place.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

miniman82 wrote:
Can your wallet handle it?


You know whats funny our front end assembly disc brake to disc brake is under $4,000 and the rear end assembly is less then $3000.... Not bad to make you VW out handle a new Porsche.....
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can buy a 911 for less than $9000 that will out-handle any Beetle that thinks it's a Porsche. Wink
At the end of the day, it's still just a T1.
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bugninva
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

miniman82 wrote:
I can buy a 911 for less than $9000 that will out-handle any Beetle that thinks it's a Porsche. Wink
At the end of the day, it's still just a T1.


while true, some of us vw folks actually prefer our vw's.... If'n I wanted a clapped out old porsche I'd have that instead of my clapped out old vw's...


just saying.... Laughing
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

miniman82 wrote:
I can buy a 911 for less than $9000 that will out-handle any Beetle that thinks it's a Porsche. Wink
At the end of the day, it's still just a T1.


I think you should check out the numbers that an old 911 can do and what our chassis can put down under a VW.....

I've been a performance driving instructor with the Porsche club of America for 15 years and have a pretty good idea of what porsches handle like. Its a must to be able to teach people how to drive their P-cars to the limits.

An old 911 can hardly keep itself on the track at .75 "G's" and a new Porsche Cayman can only put down 1.04 "G's" on a prepped 200 ft skid pad. Our chassis cn put down 1.05 "G's" on a un-prepped 100 ft skid pad. Yes that is a better number on a less gripping surface. Just imagine how much more we could pull being on the same surface....

So lets do the math:
our chassis + big VW engine + old bug body = Porsche guy looking pretty lame..... Hey maybe you can get an old gold digger to go with your Porsche and the both of you can watch my tail lights pull away...

So go buy your Porsche and lets meet at the track......

Hope you can take a little ribbing, because our chassis is truely that good.... Cool
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

miniman82 wrote:
I can buy a 911 for less than $9000 that will out-handle any Beetle that thinks it's a Porsche. Wink
At the end of the day, it's still just a T1.


I know you're just kidding. Haven't you ever seen Herbie the Love Bug?

Recently, Speed channel had an "all around performance car" competition that entailed events like 1/8 mile, auto-cross, slalom and a few other categories. The overall winner was a yellow 72 super.

You can do pretty damn good for a fraction of the cost but a Mendeola chassis is way cool.

The original front end beams had needle bearings on the outers and bakelite on the inners. Someone (Bugpack?) makes delrin bushings. Try to get ones that are a tight fit into the tubes and snug on the arms so the movement happens at the arm, not the tube. Grease them up good before each event so they don't wear and get sloppy again.

Check the arms for wear on the surfaces they rotate on within the beams. They usually wear on the area where the bakelite bushings were (the inner end). Urethane is, IMHO, not good for that particular application. It is likely about 98 A durometer (hardness, or the measurement of distance a pin with a given surface area will deform the material with a known amount of force).

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


IOW: they may feel tight by hand but have too much give under the high forces of hard cornering. That's why I recommend delrin bushings. A little wiggle will add up to a lot at the contact patch.

SwayAway makes stiffer torsion leaves for the front but you can modify yours by welding some of them together. Also, lowering the front will help. Adjusters are best; you can also cut-and-turn, but then you are stuck. The top adjuster is for ride and the bottom is for height. Stiffer rear torsions and lowering the back (only slightly, 1 spline) will help too but you have to match them to the fronts.

Upgrade the sway bar on the front and stick a caster shim or two behind the bottom tube so that when you turn, the tire leans into the corner. These are usually used to sorta correct the handling on slammed bugs. To do this, you will need longer bottom bolts.

A kafer brace, urethane spring plate and IRS bushings (I do recommend urethane here), and some sort of down travel limiter (shock straps, welded spacer, etc.) will help tighten up the rear end.

IRS is definitely better. Then you can lower it more and still have good wheel alignment and run a rear sway bar. It's not real expensive, but it is hard to do correctly (welding the top of the bracket) with the body on the pan. The 68 pan is well suited for this type of conversion because it has the straight rear shock tower. The older cars have curved ones that will hit right on the brake line at full compression. If you do it, be sure to use the jigs. The jigs cost $100 but some places will rent them to you (aircooled.net?). It's too easy to screw it up without them.

If you stick with swing axle, your handling will be good but limited and suffer from over steer but a camber compensator will help lots.

Get wide fiberglass fenders and fat tires. The autocrossers in Europe do this with small diameter wheels and tires. Of course, experiment with tires, tire pressure and shocks.

Run a deep sump so you don't suck air and see the idiot light flash or come on steady during hard cornering. This also lowers the CG a bit.

Changing your seats so you sit lower will also help. The driver can easily be 10% of the vehicle weight. Take out any weight up high - radio, wiper motor. Anything you can do to lighten things up will help in both acceleration and handling. Run only 1/4 tank of gas. That gas tank is up kind of high in a bug and it sloshes too.

You can do most this for very little money. The torsion bars, wheels and tires are the spendiest part.

If you do all this stuff you will be in the front half of the pack. Best of all...no cutting!

Lower, stiffer, tighter and lighter.
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coolrydes Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eric_S wrote:
miniman82 wrote:
I can buy a 911 for less than $9000 that will out-handle any Beetle that thinks it's a Porsche. Wink
At the end of the day, it's still just a T1.


I know you're just kidding. Haven't you ever seen Herbie the Love Bug?

Recently, Speed channel had an "all around performance car" competition that entailed events like 1/8 mile, auto-cross, slalom and a few other categories. The overall winner was a yellow 72 super.

You can do pretty damn good for a fraction of the cost but a Mendeola chassis is way cool.

The original front end beams had needle bearings on the outers and bakelite on the inners. Someone (Bugpack?) makes delrin bushings. Try to get ones that are a tight fit into the tubes and snug on the arms so the movement happens at the arm, not the tube. Grease them up good before each event so they don't wear and get sloppy again.

Check the arms for wear on the surfaces they rotate on within the beams. They usually wear on the area where the bakelite bushings were (the inner end). Urethane is, IMHO, not good for that particular application. It is likely about 98 A durometer (hardness, or the measurement of distance a pin with a given surface area will deform the material with a known amount of force).

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


IOW: they may feel tight by hand but have too much give under the high forces of hard cornering. That's why I recommend delrin bushings. A little wiggle will add up to a lot at the contact patch.

SwayAway makes stiffer torsion leaves for the front but you can modify yours by welding some of them together. Also, lowering the front will help. Adjusters are best; you can also cut-and-turn, but then you are stuck. The top adjuster is for ride and the bottom is for height. Stiffer rear torsions and lowering the back (only slightly, 1 spline) will help too but you have to match them to the fronts.

Upgrade the sway bar on the front and stick a caster shim or two behind the bottom tube so that when you turn, the tire leans into the corner. These are usually used to sorta correct the handling on slammed bugs. To do this, you will need longer bottom bolts.

A kafer brace, urethane spring plate and IRS bushings (I do recommend urethane here), and some sort of down travel limiter (shock straps, welded spacer, etc.) will help tighten up the rear end.

IRS is definitely better. Then you can lower it more and still have good wheel alignment and run a rear sway bar. It's not real expensive, but it is hard to do correctly (welding the top of the bracket) with the body on the pan. The 68 pan is well suited for this type of conversion because it has the straight rear shock tower. The older cars have curved ones that will hit right on the brake line at full compression. If you do it, be sure to use the jigs. The jigs cost $100 but some places will rent them to you (aircooled.net?). It's too easy to screw it up without them.

If you stick with swing axle, your handling will be good but limited and suffer from over steer but a camber compensator will help lots.

Get wide fiberglass fenders and fat tires. The autocrossers in Europe do this with small diameter wheels and tires. Of course, experiment with tires, tire pressure and shocks.

Run a deep sump so you don't suck air and see the idiot light flash or come on steady during hard cornering. This also lowers the CG a bit.

Changing your seats so you sit lower will also help. The driver can easily be 10% of the vehicle weight. Take out any weight up high - radio, wiper motor. Anything you can do to lighten things up will help in both acceleration and handling. Run only 1/4 tank of gas. That gas tank is up kind of high in a bug and it sloshes too.

You can do most this for very little money. The torsion bars, wheels and tires are the spendiest part.

If you do all this stuff you will be in the front half of the pack. Best of all...no cutting!

Lower, stiffer, tighter and lighter.


All due respect Eric, I think your information is very halpful and well layed out for a lot of guys on here, however who wants to be in front of half
the pack? I've never heard any racer same they want to finish in the
middle.

As for cutting, most everything fits where the stock stuff did, however you do have to cut a hole in the firewall to get to the rack, and a little trimming in a few other places. None of this efects the looks of the car at all. And after wards you can run 17x7 fronts and 18x8 rears.... Can't do that on a lowered stock set up....

As far as: Lower, stiffer, tighter and lighter. I assume your are comparing to stock? If not you should know that our chassis will out handle any modes you can do to a stock chassis. Ours is stiffer, tighter, and lighter then what your talking about. As for lower, you can get the chassis too low for everyday driving. Have you seen the bottom of a lot of lowered bug and Ghias????
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Other than the Delrin bushings, I'm running Eric_S's full checklist on my swing axle Beetle and the Mendeola piece certainly looks interesting to me. My Beetle handles similarly to an early SWB 911, but there's certainly room for improvement.

What's involved with the rack & pinion conversion-- would I have to lose my current fuel cell (built by Fuel Safe based directly off of a stock long-range VW tank) and the trio of Tilton M/Cs already hacked into the firewall?

Are there any testimonials from previous customers who have made the full chassis swap on an early Beetle?
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

coolrydes wrote:
As far as: Lower, stiffer, tighter and lighter. I assume your are comparing to stock? If not you should know that our chassis will out handle any modes you can do to a stock chassis. Ours is stiffer, tighter, and lighter then what your talking about. As for lower, you can get the chassis too low for everyday driving. Have you seen the bottom of a lot of lowered bug and Ghias????

id like to know how your set up compares to a modded super beetle
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kevin, I'm not suggesting that our 70 year old technology is unbeatable nor that Mendeola good are not worthy...not at all. Mendeola has built a reputation on well engineered products. I'm merely stating that if someone like me with other monetary priorities does not have $9k to drop, there is lots of fun to be had for $2k. In these hard times, that's a viable alternative.


Link

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eric_S wrote:
Kevin, I'm not suggesting that our 70 year old technology is unbeatable nor that Mendeola good are not worthy...not at all. Mendeola has built a reputation on well engineered products. I'm merely stating that if someone like me with other monetary priorities does not have $9k to drop, there is lots of fun to be had for $2k. In these hard times, that's a viable alternative.


Link


Eric,
I understand fully, and I think the fact that you took the time to post everything that you did. I was just responding to the nay sayers and try to cast away any dought in the product..... And just for the record the self fixtureing bolt of unit for the front is under 4K and the rear set up is less then 3K for a total of 7 not 9....
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are many who spend alot on customization to their bug. I'm just thinking it could be as good an idea to spend on a good suspension set-up that can shock a modern day sports car Twisted Evil , porsches and better still those WRXs and Civics. ....... and how about Ferrari ... ????? Laughing
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is this possible (with a little work) to put under a type 3 notch or fastback? Or is there no way?
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mint Jams wrote:
There are many who spend alot on customization to their bug. I'm just thinking it could be as good an idea to spend on a good suspension set-up that can shock a modern day sports car Twisted Evil , porsches and better still those WRXs and Civics. ....... and how about Ferrari ... ????? Laughing


At 1.05 "Gs" I think that a just about any including a Ferrari would be easy pickins for this chassis.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MRRAGPICKER wrote:
Is this possible (with a little work) to put under a type 3 notch or fastback? Or is there no way?


This is completely possible. We only set it up for a type 1 because I know after 20 + years in VWs that there are a lot more type 1s than any thing else. But yes it could be done... And most likely will be....
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eric_S wrote:
Kevin, I'm not suggesting that our 70 year old technology is unbeatable nor that Mendeola good are not worthy...not at all. Mendeola has built a reputation on well engineered products. I'm merely stating that if someone like me with other monetary priorities does not have $9k to drop, there is lots of fun to be had for $2k. In these hard times, that's a viable alternative.


Link


That was sooooo awesome! Love IT!!!!
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

coolrydes, it's incredible that somebody invested the time to come up with a tube chassis for a Beetle that is race-ready like yours is.

Did you know that the late Paul Newman had a Beetle convertible built in the mid to late 1960's which also had a tube frame? It was built by Jerry Eisert, the Indy race car fabricator. Newman's Beetle had a Ford V8 mounted mid-engine...

And if some of you remember the VW Beetle sales brochure for 1969 or 1970, I think, it had a photo of Newman with another of his Beetles in the background- his red mid '60's Cabrio, stock looking except for "chromies". You could not tell in the photo (but maybe in the caption) but he had a Porsche 356 engine in it.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

coolrydes wrote:
Mint Jams wrote:
There are many who spend alot on customization to their bug. I'm just thinking it could be as good an idea to spend on a good suspension set-up that can shock a modern day sports car Twisted Evil , porsches and better still those WRXs and Civics. ....... and how about Ferrari ... ????? Laughing


At 1.05 "Gs" I think that a just about any including a Ferrari would be easy pickins for this chassis.


Boy, I wish I could have one. Gotta lotta Porsches, WRX's, Beemers and Ferrari's where I live. Would be great to teach them a small lesson Wink
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