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Bug hearse build
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andk5591 Premium Member
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 5:20 pm    Post subject: Bug hearse build Reply with quote

OK - I gave up - doesnt look like they are doing a Volksrod catagory. Here's the backstory on this project. Somewhere around the time I was finishing up the VW woodie, my wife has this dream and a bug hearse is in it. She tells me about it and that I should build it. Ummmmm - yeah - right Rolling Eyes

Well - I would have considered it IF it would have been like a Model T C cab kind of thing on a VW chassis. Eventually I started thinking about it some and she tells me more and more about it. So - about a year ago - I give in. Plus I wanted to start doing a lot more serious metal fabrication. I scored a cheap mig and some metal working stuff. Then I find a perfect donor car - 73 standard thats fairly solid and the price was right.

Interestingly enough, I have not been able to see that its ever been done before. I mean, ambulances, trucks, vans - but no real hearses. I figured at least in South America....but no luck.

But I still needed to finish picking her brain on what the car is supposed to be. Telling me its like a pickup cab, but with the back like a horsedrawn hearse. Ok..........

So now - I have to figure out what the hell this thing "was". Until the 30's, hearses were pretty much a horsedrawn box behind a truck cab. But a bug was designed in the 30's - and the hearses in the 30s were more like a sedan delivery.
OK - so now I got it - the car concept was basically designed in a transition period. late 20's - early 30's. Now I have a set of rules that I can work with.

This is a revision by a samba member of my original crude paint sketch. The roof of the "box" matches the contours of the stock bug roof - so its kind of 30's sedan delivery, but still "horsedrawn". It would be a lot easier to do this like a rod, but it harder to make it look factory. So then the concept of the build is a relatively new (like late 60's) "professional car" coachworks build of an early design. Like it would have been commisioned by a rich guy that was a VW enthusiast that wanted his last ride in a bug. Makes sense?

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Yeah - I know - What the hell is the deal with having to have a "story" to go with a build. Well - It helps me define the design parameters and helps keep the "look" consistent. This way, I wont stick a snorkle on top Laughing
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D-Dubya Manx clone - 63 Short pan,1914.
Rosie 65 bug - My mostly stock daily driver.
Woodie 69 VW woodie (Hot VWs 7/12).
"John's car" 64 VW woodie - The first ever
Maxine 61 Cal-look bug - Cindy's daily driver.
Max - 73 standard Beetle hearse project
66 bug project - Real patina & Suby conversion
There's more, but not keeping them...


Last edited by andk5591 on Sat Apr 20, 2013 5:25 am; edited 2 times in total
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andk5591 Premium Member
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK - so now I had my donor and stripped the car down to the pan. Enlisted some help.
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Things were pretty ugly - went through quite a fwe wire wheels, grinding and sanding discs.
Stretched the pan 14". By the way - never welded before in my life. The tubing running back to the torsion tube is not that massive. I have gussets that on each side and then I boxed it for strength.
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Beam needed a little work
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Since a 73 is real nose high, I added adjusters. Never did adjusters before - figured if I trashed the beam, no big deal. But it all went well. So I had to fix the holes. Cut them out and welded in small patches. Man, I love how that Rustoleum "professional" black rattle can looks.

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All new bushings, brakes, bearings, seals
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Needed a test drive first - needed to see how good or bad the engine was and also to see if it folded in half
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Didnt fold, but the engine needed a "little" work.
_________________
D-Dubya Manx clone - 63 Short pan,1914.
Rosie 65 bug - My mostly stock daily driver.
Woodie 69 VW woodie (Hot VWs 7/12).
"John's car" 64 VW woodie - The first ever
Maxine 61 Cal-look bug - Cindy's daily driver.
Max - 73 standard Beetle hearse project
66 bug project - Real patina & Suby conversion
There's more, but not keeping them...


Last edited by andk5591 on Sat Apr 20, 2013 5:06 am; edited 3 times in total
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andk5591 Premium Member
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ya think I had a leak at the cooler?
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Compression and leakdown were terrible - it still amazes me how bad these things can be and still run.

New pistons/cylinders, seals, SVDA, rebuilt 34 I had in my stash - nothing fancy - just a basic 1600. No - the aircleaner was only temporary. And yeah - going to have heat - its a real pain to do that, but I want heat.
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Now I could start adding my substructure for the rear box.
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Need to seal the engine up - there are sheet metal panels that fill in the holes, but I have fabricated channels to hold early seals that go around my tins. What is really nice is that once you remove the rear tin, the engine slides straight back about 3" and then you can drop it straight down Cool
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Also - got things started on the "cab" - media blasted it and found some cancer under the heater channels - fixed it and ended up scrapping the passenger door - was a mess.
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Got the body on the pan and this is pretty close to where I am at the moment.
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There will be a 12x24 window in the rear of the cab and we are fabbing the rear cab corners. Trying to maintain all of the body lines to make it look factory. You cant see it - but there is wooden buck across the underside of the roof. Its rounded over to give the right curve. Then the netal gets worked over it and screwed down until its welded. Did the same thing for the rear corners.

Oh yeah - wheels......THAT was a major source of debate between my wife and myself. I wanted chrome smoothies, baby moons and 2" whites. SHE had "spokes" in her vision. Well, we are at a car show sitting next to an old Studebaker pickup - has "artillery" style wheels - THATS IT. Now, how to pull it off.

Well - the Lemmerz Baja wheels are that kind of look. But there is no hubcap for them - wont look "finished" or elegant. But I got a solution.
This isnt finished - but you get the idea
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

These are custome ealry Ford center caps. I have adapter disks made that get welded into the wheel center to fill the gap and allow the hubcaps to just pop in and out. They will be powder coated black.
_________________
D-Dubya Manx clone - 63 Short pan,1914.
Rosie 65 bug - My mostly stock daily driver.
Woodie 69 VW woodie (Hot VWs 7/12).
"John's car" 64 VW woodie - The first ever
Maxine 61 Cal-look bug - Cindy's daily driver.
Max - 73 standard Beetle hearse project
66 bug project - Real patina & Suby conversion
There's more, but not keeping them...


Last edited by andk5591 on Sat Apr 20, 2013 4:46 am; edited 4 times in total
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andk5591 Premium Member
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK - so you get the gist of what I am doing. There were so many details I had to sort out before I could even start a lot of it. Like engine cooling - I have a really neat rear engine cover in mind that will have a couple genuine VW louvers in it and will even include the stock license plate. But to enhance cooling, I added some ducts into the firewall that will be fed by 2 6" electric fans to keep adequate cool air to the engine.

This is a cardboard mock up - but I think it has a real strong Bug look.
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Yeah - using Bus taillights. Exact placement will be determined later - Did a COOL LED conversion on these 2 bulbs (dual and single filament) in each so my stock wiring will work. Stock front bumper will be perfect in the back, no overriders, but will use the small bumper guards.

OK - so now look at the picture my initial concept sketch - there will be curved glass doors that match the curve of the engine lid right above it - its how the coffin is put in. Incredibly expensive to get tempered glass curved, but its details that make the difference.

Oh - and all the side glass will have faux etching....roses in the corners.

There are dozens of design details that I will post as I do them. But when you do something crazy like this - you have to think about not just building, but driving and ultimately servicing the car. Like access to the shift coupler, engine removal, etc. I have some cool tricks you will probably get a kick out of.
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D-Dubya Manx clone - 63 Short pan,1914.
Rosie 65 bug - My mostly stock daily driver.
Woodie 69 VW woodie (Hot VWs 7/12).
"John's car" 64 VW woodie - The first ever
Maxine 61 Cal-look bug - Cindy's daily driver.
Max - 73 standard Beetle hearse project
66 bug project - Real patina & Suby conversion
There's more, but not keeping them...
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hedgehog
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This one looks like a lot of fun. Awesome work so far. I'll be keeping an eye on this build.

**Edit...I just looked back at some of your other builds. I'm guessing the rear of the body and the rear fenders are going to be similar to the Woodie (which is really cool too!). If so, I like it already. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

andk5591 wrote:

This is a cardboard mock up - but I think it has a real strong Bug look.
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Looks like a face to me but I like it, Keep up the good work. Cool
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Using the same Morris Traveler rear fenders as the woodie, but the wheel openings are going to be quite different.

Its really going to be very different from the woodie - The rendering shows the hearse box in brown, but everything is going to be black with some subtle pin striping . There will be quite a bit of carving on the corner posts and will be using carved wooden apliques a bit. Keeping it unique is important. I even have a set a brass coach lamps for it.

Yeah - the rear mock up looks like a face - not nuts about that - anytime I am behind a "new beetle" I feel paraniod that its looking at me Laughing

With the overiders gone and the final position of the tail lights, it wont look as much like a Very Happy

Thanks for the comments and I was hoping to be a lot further along. My buddy with the body shop where we are doing the cab has has some personal issues that have slowed things down. But the plan is to get the bulk of the car done this summer and then finish off the many details over the fall and winter. Would be cool if it was done in time for Halloween this year though...... Cool
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D-Dubya Manx clone - 63 Short pan,1914.
Rosie 65 bug - My mostly stock daily driver.
Woodie 69 VW woodie (Hot VWs 7/12).
"John's car" 64 VW woodie - The first ever
Maxine 61 Cal-look bug - Cindy's daily driver.
Max - 73 standard Beetle hearse project
66 bug project - Real patina & Suby conversion
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dan macmillan
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While only a model it might help you out.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice... glad ya didn't bail on the build thread!
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan - I had seen that and I have a folder full of hearse pics and such. This was kind of cool, but not at all the look I am after.

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Not sure what kind of car it is, but they widened the hood a bit to make it work.

And yeah - been waiting to post the build.
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D-Dubya Manx clone - 63 Short pan,1914.
Rosie 65 bug - My mostly stock daily driver.
Woodie 69 VW woodie (Hot VWs 7/12).
"John's car" 64 VW woodie - The first ever
Maxine 61 Cal-look bug - Cindy's daily driver.
Max - 73 standard Beetle hearse project
66 bug project - Real patina & Suby conversion
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TequilaSunSet wrote:
Nice... glad ya didn't bail on the build thread!


I have built some rather different VWs and even graced the abortions pages. If I can help someone I will.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Totally subscribed!
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vaughn bros. wrote:
Totally subscribed!


I only wish I had 1/10 of your skills....you guys (Vaughn Bros.) totally blow me away with your work.

And Dan, I try to post my own in the abortions thread before someone beats me to it......... Laughing
_________________
D-Dubya Manx clone - 63 Short pan,1914.
Rosie 65 bug - My mostly stock daily driver.
Woodie 69 VW woodie (Hot VWs 7/12).
"John's car" 64 VW woodie - The first ever
Maxine 61 Cal-look bug - Cindy's daily driver.
Max - 73 standard Beetle hearse project
66 bug project - Real patina & Suby conversion
There's more, but not keeping them...


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was just wondering if you had considered a type three engine. Much lower profile.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Derek Cobb wrote:
I was just wondering if you had considered a type three engine. Much lower profile.


Yeah - and have had this conversation a couple times Laughing

I have a real good friend who built one of the first VW woodies and that is the route he went. Works great - has lots of space behind the rear seat. Makes all the sense in the world, which is why I stayed Type 1 in the woodie... Eh?

Its like this - I am relatively new to these things. Never worked on one before mid 2005. I got comfortable with a type 1 engine and have my combos that work really well. And it makes for some interesting solutions. Plus I have really limited access to pancake parts. But you are 100% correct - a pancake would have been easier.

In the case of the hearse, the engine will actually protrude into the coffin area a couple inches. What I am doing is making a removable insulated sheet metal box that functions as the upper engine cover. Then the coffin is designed so its in 2 pieces - the rear third is held in place by a Bier pin (what they use to hold a real coffin in a real hearse). So to get access to the top of the engine, I loosen the coffin crank. Slide the rear 1/3 of the coffin out and remove my upper engine cover. The rest of the coffin comes out as well, if I need to get to the shifter coupler. Checking oil, adjusting timing, etc can be done from the rear engine cover.

But if I was after easy, I wouldnt be building this thing anyway. Laughing
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D-Dubya Manx clone - 63 Short pan,1914.
Rosie 65 bug - My mostly stock daily driver.
Woodie 69 VW woodie (Hot VWs 7/12).
"John's car" 64 VW woodie - The first ever
Maxine 61 Cal-look bug - Cindy's daily driver.
Max - 73 standard Beetle hearse project
66 bug project - Real patina & Suby conversion
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't believe you are ruining a perfectly good Beetle to build this ...this...., "thing"...... Laughing Laughing

You all know ... Coming from me ....that's meant as a light hearted joke..

Its nice you decided to finally take the Samba build thread plunge....
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

VOLKSWAGNUT wrote:
I can't believe you are ruining a perfectly good Beetle to build this ...this...., "thing"...... Laughing Laughing

You all know ... Coming from me ....that's meant as a light hearted joke..

Its nice you decided to finally take the Samba build thread plunge....



Well maybe he is saving the back half to do a stretch Bug some day.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unfortunately the back half got hacked - know enough folks that needed good metal by the rear window vents and lower quarters. But I have a piece of roof left. Just got back from a show with the woodie and showed a couple folks the sketch of the hearse. Have a sneaking suspicion it may get a little attention at the shows next year.
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D-Dubya Manx clone - 63 Short pan,1914.
Rosie 65 bug - My mostly stock daily driver.
Woodie 69 VW woodie (Hot VWs 7/12).
"John's car" 64 VW woodie - The first ever
Maxine 61 Cal-look bug - Cindy's daily driver.
Max - 73 standard Beetle hearse project
66 bug project - Real patina & Suby conversion
There's more, but not keeping them...
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

andk5591 wrote:
Unfortunately the back half got hacked -........... But I have a piece of roof left.....

LOL, how big a piece?

Quote:
....... Have a sneaking suspicion it may get a little attention at the shows next year.


I think you are right about that . If that ever came to a show here in the north east i would go to check it out.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

too_many_projects wrote:
andk5591 wrote:
Unfortunately the back half got hacked -........... But I have a piece of roof left.....

LOL, how big a piece?

Quote:
....... Have a sneaking suspicion it may get a little attention at the shows next year.


I think you are right about that . If that ever came to a show here in the north east i would go to check it out.


I am actually giong to hang on to the piece of roof. I can use a nice section of it for my rear engine cover. I am one of those folks that tries to get a much out of any material as possible.
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D-Dubya Manx clone - 63 Short pan,1914.
Rosie 65 bug - My mostly stock daily driver.
Woodie 69 VW woodie (Hot VWs 7/12).
"John's car" 64 VW woodie - The first ever
Maxine 61 Cal-look bug - Cindy's daily driver.
Max - 73 standard Beetle hearse project
66 bug project - Real patina & Suby conversion
There's more, but not keeping them...
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