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Summer 2002

Picked up a reasonably priced 1302s to start the project off.

August 2002

In theory its a simple matter of unbolting the body from the chassis. However, on this car both sills had repairs which welded body and chassis together and a further repair panel on the framehead which covered some of the mounting bolts. But I got there in the end.

At least I managed to buy a torsion-bar front beam assembly on ebay for a very reasonable 24, which I will rebuild on a new adjustable 'puma' beam.

September 2002

Chassis currently at Chesil for shortening. Their current lead time is about 6 months so despite me paying a deposit to get in the 'queue' earlier in the year my chassis isn't due back until December.

Having decided to go for 'wide' 5 hubs as I wanted to run the car without hubcaps and to look authentic, I searched around for a source of front discs and rear drums. I ended up buying a set of both from Custom and Speed Parts (CSP) in Germany, which are of excellent quality, and designed to fit on cars originally running 4-130s.

I also stumbled across 'drum skinz' made by Fibersteel. These are aluminium disc and drum covers to make your beetle/aftermarket hubs/drums look like 356 drums! They simply bolt up behind the wheels. See Body section for photo.

Whilst waiting for the chassis to be shortened, I've been busy cleaning up the front and rear suspension ready to assemble it later, and buying all the parts that i'll need for reassembly. I found an excellent powder coaters in Southampton who do excellent work at reasonable rates (Trestan). I decided to go for a lurid yellow and red colour scheme for the suspension arms. The quality of the paint finish on many of the new parts I've bought is such that they need refinishing too (like the Puma front beam).

I can also highly recommend C.R.S. for their Yellow Zinc Passivating work on various nuts, bolts, and other small components.

I was surprised how difficult it was to find a garage able to replace the torsion arm ball-joints; My local independent VW specialist admitted defeat but at least they were willing to have a try. Eventually I discovered Beetlelink in Badshot Lea, who changed them for me.

October 2002

I have now stopped using BBT / Volkspares for parts, and am now going to VW Heritage instead. Although their prices can be slightly higher, the service, quality and availability of parts, and level of helpfulness, makes shopping there instead more than worthwhile.

December 2002

Now that the drum skinz have arrived I've discovered the 'off-road' rear drums that I bought need machining for the skinz to fit over them due to their large reinforcing ribs. Again, Beetlelink came to the rescue and knew a machine shop locally to them that could do the work for me. Just need to get them powder coated again. Doh!

Pedals are back from being powder coated (GREY) as are the machined drums (RED). Once the required fasteners are back from being YZP'd I can re-assemble pedal sub-assembly, rear hubs, and front torsion arms.

I found that the Sway-away adjustable IRS rear torsion arms lacked the correct bolt pattern for my IRS rear and had to modify them, adding the hole nearest the adjuster.

Rear hubs now assembled - note the yellow suspension arms :), and special wide-5 drums to fit late rear hubs (CSP again), repainted after machining.

All the suspension is now ready to bolt straight on the chassis when it arrives:

So, whilst waiting I started cleaning up the original gearbox which was (and still is) coating in a thick sludge of oil and grease. Not a pleasant task. Concerned about the internal state given the crud is also inside the clutch housing. Time to consider a recon perhaps?

Click for work done on the chassis after December 2002