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Has anyone narrowed a vw pan and drivetrain?
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 5:50 pm    Post subject: Has anyone narrowed a vw pan and drivetrain? Reply with quote

I just bought a Subaru 360 van and it needs a ton of work. I'm going to upgrade the motor and drivetrain and one of the options I actually saw on a customized Subaru 360 van was an air-cooled VW motor and I assume the drivetrain. But, the biggest problem is these vans are about 10 inches narrower then a VW bug. I was thinking you could possibly narrow a pan to make it fit. Has anyone done this and if so, what was involved? Any input or direction would be greatly appreciated.
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chickengeorge
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:47 am    Post subject: Re: Has anyone narrowed a vw pan and drivetrain? Reply with quote

Building your own pan halves is pretty straight forward. Cutting down the torsion tubes out back and abandoning the torsions in favor of coil overs or air ride would also be fairly easy. If you went with an IRS rear, you could have axles made to length. The rear is going to be way more difficult than the front, but the front has it's issues as well. Narrowing the beam that much might require rack and pinion steering or something. When you narrow the beam as much as what it would take to get it under that little Subby, the driver's side steering arm gets really short and can cause scrubbing, terrible bump steer and other issues.
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chickengeorge
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:58 am    Post subject: Re: Has anyone narrowed a vw pan and drivetrain? Reply with quote

http://www.trucktrend.com/cool-trucks/0909mt-1969-subaru-360-van/
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:19 am    Post subject: Re: Has anyone narrowed a vw pan and drivetrain? Reply with quote

chickengeorge wrote:
http://www.trucktrend.com/cool-trucks/0909mt-1969-subaru-360-van/
Yeah, that is the one that gave me the idea of using an air-cooled motor, but there are no real details about the frame and driveline except that he used custom made a-arms front and back.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:32 am    Post subject: Re: Has anyone narrowed a vw pan and drivetrain? Reply with quote

chickengeorge wrote:
Building your own pan halves is pretty straight forward. Cutting down the torsion tubes out back and abandoning the torsions in favor of coil overs or air ride would also be fairly easy. If you went with an IRS rear, you could have axles made to length. The rear is going to be way more difficult than the front, but the front has it's issues as well. Narrowing the beam that much might require rack and pinion steering or something. When you narrow the beam as much as what it would take to get it under that little Subby, the driver's side steering arm gets really short and can cause scrubbing, terrible bump steer and other issues.
After reading this I did a little more research and saw a 550 spider(see pic)

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


that used the vw driveline and they removed everything but the axles and added 2/4 link type setup and I think that would work, what do you think? I would do the install in the normal direction.

How difficult is it to cut down the axles?

I would definantly consider a rack and pinion for the front.
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vwuberalles
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:34 am    Post subject: Re: Has anyone narrowed a vw pan and drivetrain? Reply with quote

If you can't narrow the beam and rear end enough you can always run Bosozoku style wide flares!

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chickengeorge
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 12:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Has anyone narrowed a vw pan and drivetrain? Reply with quote

[email protected] wrote:
chickengeorge wrote:
Building your own pan halves is pretty straight forward. Cutting down the torsion tubes out back and abandoning the torsions in favor of coil overs or air ride would also be fairly easy. If you went with an IRS rear, you could have axles made to length. The rear is going to be way more difficult than the front, but the front has it's issues as well. Narrowing the beam that much might require rack and pinion steering or something. When you narrow the beam as much as what it would take to get it under that little Subby, the driver's side steering arm gets really short and can cause scrubbing, terrible bump steer and other issues.
After reading this I did a little more research and saw a 550 spider(see pic)

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


that used the vw driveline and they removed everything but the axles and added 2/4 link type setup and I think that would work, what do you think? I would do the install in the normal direction.

How difficult is it to cut down the axles?

I would definantly consider a rack and pinion for the front.

There are places that do it for drag cars and whatnot. It's not something you can do yourself. Maybe the housing on a swingaxle, but not the axle itself. I'd stick with IRS.
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