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Sebring #249 official build thread
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woodoctr
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:48 am    Post subject: Re: Sebring #249 official build thread Reply with quote

Just a tip on these Series I Sebring bodies....Depending on use/abuse the front ends can get a little shaky/vibration prone with age. That large dash helps stiffen the front end somewhat. Since you've cut out this large section I would highly recommend making a framework for up under there and do a combo of bolting/glassing it in.... I would then make that dash panel easily removable for service. I've done this before with these cars and it can really make the front cabin feel a lot more solid.
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WHYYYTRYYY
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Sebring #249 official build thread Reply with quote

woodoctr wrote:
Just a tip on these Series I Sebring bodies....Depending on use/abuse the front ends can get a little shaky/vibration prone with age. That large dash helps stiffen the front end somewhat. Since you've cut out this large section I would highly recommend making a framework for up under there and do a combo of bolting/glassing it in.... I would then make that dash panel easily removable for service. I've done this before with these cars and it can really make the front cabin feel a lot more solid.


I've already added a piece of 2" x 1" rectangle steel across the front to add structure and provide a mount for steering column and relay boxes. The 1/8" aluminum plate will be riveted in place of the original dash section I cut out. I left enough of the original dash around the edges to accomplish this. Hopefully this will be sufficient, but I can always add to it later on.

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WHYYYTRYYY
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Sebring #249 official build thread Reply with quote

Now on to serious chassis upgrades.
Tossing the whole front beam...

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Mocking up the new pedals

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My car has never shift well. So I purchased a new shifter, tried a different transmission, installed a new shift rod, bushing, and coupler. I also wanted to correct an issue...previous owner had cut this section out of the shifter mount. In my neurotic mind, that weakens the mount for the shifter bushing too much, allowing flex. So I wanted to replace this piece. Easiest way is to take the new bushing bracket, put some red grease on the little nibs where the welds go, and place it upside down on the opening, carefully, in the exact spot it goes. Lift it off, and you should have little grease spots where the welds are, as shown in first photo. Drill these spots out and the old bracket will fall off. Weld in new one and good to go.


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To mount the pedals, a support bracket needed to be created. Since I had one week to get this project out of the garage, I need simple and strong. 2x1 and 1x1 rectangle/square stock fit the bill. Bolted and welded to chassis, it adds a strong pedal mount and adds stiffness back after I chopped out a large section of the frame head 'hat' to make room for master cylinders.
Quick coating of undercoat after to protect against rust.


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WHYYYTRYYY
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Sebring #249 official build thread Reply with quote

Rebuilt front beam

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Disc brake conversion, new front bearings, new spindles


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New steering links, shocks, stabilizer

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Rear discs and bearings


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Front calipers

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Chassis getting there...

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Calipers

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WHYYYTRYYY
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Sebring #249 official build thread Reply with quote

Master cylinder mounted on pedals...

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Pedals in

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Throttle cable hooked up, worked out quite easily.


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Brake line time. 3/16" NiCopp for the whole car. Used stainless steel wire wrap where ever possible for protection and that oh-so-cool look. Also upgraded to SS brake hoses. Also removed the clutch cable and ran the line for the hydraulic clutch right through the original clutch cable jacket.

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WHYYYTRYYY
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Sebring #249 official build thread Reply with quote

Empi solid trans mount installed. Brake/clutch lines finished. New rear axles installed. New 2" wheel spacers on. Engine back in place.

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WHYYYTRYYY
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Sebring #249 official build thread Reply with quote

Little details tended to, like mounts and sealing and tightening yadda yadda...also threw the tires on


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Sebring #249 official build thread Reply with quote

While it's easy to do you should trash the urethane steering coupler and replace it with a stock type coupler. The urethane couplers have a bad habit of falling apart and leaving you with no real connection between the steering wheel and the steering box. They really should take them off the market. Confused
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woodoctr
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:12 am    Post subject: Re: Sebring #249 official build thread Reply with quote

^^^^^^Yeah, I'd lose the "disc of death" as well. If/when they fail it's a catastrophe with no control. Good ol' rag joint is fine. I don't even like the urethane in the rear coupler to be honest, here. And a few things....what shocks are those? You are adding quite a bit of weight with the extra pedal bracing, batteries, etc., so it may not be a problem but generally you want light action oil shocks up front. Even with my front mounted radiator, condensor, fans etc., in the front of my Sebring I still only run original spec. Boge shocks with their oem rubber snubbers up top. Ok, so why solid mounting in the back? In a fiberglass car you'll experience a lot of "cumulative" noise/vibration. Not as nasty in an open air buggy, but an enclosed fiberglass car is quite another thing. I'm over 300 hp and I've found the CB Rhino mounts about as much as I can tolerate on the street. And, I'm really curious about this....why spacers? Special plans for some exotic wheels????
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BIGMIKEY
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Sebring #249 official build thread Reply with quote

I was expecting to see you box in that notch you cut out of the napoleon hat. It will keep crap out and add strength.

Mike T
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Sebring #249 official build thread Reply with quote

My first thought was that you should go out and apologize to your front and rear wheel bearings with the way you are hanging the tires so far outside of the centerline between the inner and outer wheel bearings with those thick bolt pattern spacers.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:21 am    Post subject: Re: Sebring #249 official build thread Reply with quote

Ditto on boxing in the nap hat and the spacers. No need for hanging the wheels out that far.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Sebring #249 official build thread Reply with quote

Maybe he has some radical backspaced wheels in the plans. Myself I prefer a deep dish look. Also the added unsprung weight I prefer to do without. Parts left off weigh nothing, cost nothing and aren't going to break. But WhyTry is building HIS vision, and that's cool. Hopefully he is taking these comments in a positive way.

Good thread.

Mike T
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WHYYYTRYYY
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:35 am    Post subject: Re: Sebring #249 official build thread Reply with quote

I appreciate ALL comments. That's why I post it all in detail! Some responses to questions, and additional info...
- This car has been sitting at my job for a year and a half now. The owner of the company is very cool, however the project needs to move along. Some things happened because they HAD to happen, right then, to progress.
- The car is further along than this currently, I am just catching you guys up on the last year of progress. Life happens, and this thing sat dormant for months sometimes. But I when I turn my attention back to it, I've spent 100+ hours a week at the garage trying to get everything together.

- The steering coupler has scared me since I first saw it, especially because of the increased steering shaft angle for this body. I have recently been looking into a U-joint to replace it (like these https://www.appletreeauto.com/VW-STEERING ) , but havent checked the splines on my steering shaft yet. Anyone happen to know the shaft spline count for a 1969 beetle?
- The car originally had wheel adapters on it, for going from the stock 4 lug to the 5 lug Chevy pattern the current wheels have. I greatly overestimated their thickness, and bought 2" wheels spacers. After finally pulling the car into the garage to do most of this work, I saw the adapters on the car were only 1" thick. Measure twice cut once, kids! Think I went wheelin alot with my 2000 Dodge Ram on 42 inch tires back in the day, and saw many guys with 8000 pound trucks running 3" spacers in the most abusive manner I've witnessed to date, and it was never the spacers or bearings that failed! (ok Dodge's did kill front hub assemblies, but mine failed often even when it was on stock wheels, so I can't blame the spacers). I'm not worried about them on this featherweight car.
The front looks better with the wheels pushed out (planning on keeping the wheels I have). The rear is damn wide now, so I may back down to a 1" on those. A set of Cooper Cobras Radial GT's with 295's in the rear and white lettering will be ordered in a few weeks. My next update will have some more recent of the stance.
-woodoctr, These are the cheapest Monroe shocks Rockauto had for this thing! I bought all those chassis parts in a week, sooo after totaling up the final figures, I decided cheap new is better than crappy 20 year old junk for now. And to be honest, I've never even driven a beetle in my life, so I have nothing to compare this car to. I already have a Scion tC, Ford Expedition, and a Kawasaki ZX6R. So I have quiet and comfortable, utility, and speed covered. For the Sebring, I'm going for raw and visceral. I wanna feel this fu*ker breathe, ya know? That's why I went with the solid trans mount and race pedals also. It's gonna be a riot, hopefully!
- I wasn't happy with it, but had to skip the chassis repair around the shifter bracket due to time constraints. I will certainly be revisiting almost every area of the car after I get it operational and a few test miles under it's belt. I'm sure I'll think of a hefty list of modifications after I actually experience this oddity on the road.
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woodoctr
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Sebring #249 official build thread Reply with quote

Again, as said this is your build, your way but I'll give you at least some feedback to think about....
Steering coupler- You are overthinking this. A U joint just isn't needed down there. That would just add another "solid" connection point for even more vibration/harshness. If you were going to be jumping dunes, yeah, but street car, no. The little black donuts work fine.
Wheel adapters to spacer change- Okay, so that was a mistake. As wide as those rear wheel/tires are I just loose them on the back completely. When you push wheels out that far on a Sebring it is just asking for more stone chips because of the way that body tucks down in the back. Also throws more dust dirt up on the rear decklid as well. On the front, well that's your choice but between the extra unsprung weight and the way that the geometry will be I wouldn't be surprised if you don't get some strange handling/ bump steer.
On the Monroe shocks.... I've owned 5 Sebrings/Sterlings over the years. A guy sold me a Sebring grossly under market price after a 2 year long build. He complained he just couldn't get it to ride like a good car and that I should probably scrap the crappy VW chassis and start over. He had the tires inflated to 34 psi at all corners and I checked....yep, Monroe shocks at all 4 corners. He was right, it road like a box of rocks and literally bounced off every hump, bump, pothole. My wife was shocked that I was still going to buy it..... After an hour or so later I had put oem shocks on the front and HG light gas shocks on the back, aired the tires down to 22 psi and the car smoothed out, handled well, and road great..... Moral of the story? These cars aren't just light, they will weigh more like 3/4s of a ton less than that Scion Tc of yours.... I get the raw/visceral thing....but rides like a box of rocks could easily be in your future.... Again, you'll probably be making more changes once you get it on the road....
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Sebring #249 official build thread Reply with quote

woodoctr- I can honestly say that you have been the greatest source of information on this kit car over the last year and a half, and as always I appreciate all of your insight. I was thinking U-joint for the reliability aspect. I don't mind if the car rides rough initially, and I don't mind spending the money to make changes down the road if I deem it necessary. But I try to start with the strongest possible replacement parts to prevent catastrophic failure while I'm still learning to trust this vehicle. A steel U-joint is the strongest and most fail-resistant option in this case, and where I'm going to start. If the vibes are really that unbearable, then I may look into another option. But I'm already nervous about the many possible fail points on a homebuilt car. Again, I will take your advice into consideration as I always do.
The shocks are on for now, and I don't doubt that the cars gonna bounce around based on what you say. I may purchase the shocks you recommend before the car is fully on the road though. And I will start with a much lower tire pressure (I had them at 35 psi also). Thanks again.
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WHYYYTRYYY
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Sebring #249 official build thread Reply with quote

Fuel tank in

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Body going back on

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Lowered the adjustable beam all the way to get a starting point for the front height. Looks damn cool slammed, but ended up raising it halfway.

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woodoctr
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:38 am    Post subject: Re: Sebring #249 official build thread Reply with quote

Stance up front looks pretty good at that halfway setting, about like mine. Just a further refinement on the tire thing. Your Series 1 car is actually even lighter than my current Series II. You could probably air down to about 18 to 20 on the front and 22 to 24 on those big back meats.
When I owned my last Series I car it was a pretty nice car, just a little too tight for my wife and myself compared to the later cars. I was running about 120 h.p. from a 1835 build with dual Dellortos. Car was well balanced and a lot of fun. If I had that car today I'd probably go Ecotec or Subaru on the engine.
Looks like you should have neat car when you get it all sorted out.....
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Sebring #249 official build thread Reply with quote

The Sterling/Sebring is just the most beautiful kit body shape. I sound like a broken record here I know. But wow.

Mike T
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