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January 2005

Finished removing everything from the engine bay so that I could deal with the dreaded rust - I am most disappointed in the quality of the paint finish of Chesil's subframe which is rusting everywhere despite my cars sheltered life. In the engine bay I rubbed down the rust, gave it a coat of hammertie, followed by a thick coating of wunderseal which I also used to seal the subframe to the GRP properly. The wunderseal was light grey, so then a coat of paint was required to make it all black again - found some great chassis paint suitable for GRP and metal in Halfords.

I've added sound deadening to the floor pans, centre tunnel, and bulkhead. Again there was some rust on the floorpan seam where it was shortened - though only surface this time. Removed the steering column so make access easier.

I finally decided where to locate the electric fuel pump and new filter, and the Webasto petrol heater. Although the Webasto manual recommends the petrol heaters be fitted with the exhaust pointing vertically downwards to reduce burner wear I couldn't find a suitable location to allow this so ended up with it mounted near horizontally. Didn't want the mount the heater at the rear like Chesil do (on the side of the battery box) as I want to rust-proof the sills with waxoil so don't want hot air routed through them.

Pump and filter, and the Webasto heater and its dosing pump are now mounted so I can calculate the hoses and fixings required to connect them up. Note I am not planning to use a standard fuel tank - These locations wouldn't work if I was. I reinforced the bulkhead with a few addtional layers of GRP where the heater is mounted and added a ceramic fibre heat shield to help protect the GRP also. The loom to the heater drops down directly to it from under the bonnet.

I've ordered a custom aluminium fuel tank from Prepfab Motorsport Engineering. This has a higher capacity than the beetle tank, and sits further back in the car, allowing the filler cap to pass through the bonnet in an 'authentic' outlaw position. I've also designed a CNC machined adaptor to allow an early VW cap to mate with an aero style filler funnel (which is being welded to the tank) and spill rubber, to make a complete solution. I've had five-holed handles for the filler cap laser cut. Pricing was such that i'm getting four adaptors and twenty handles made up. Handles are 10 posted, and adaptors will be 60 if anyone wants to replicate what i'm doing.

I've finally decided where to route my new fuel line from tank to engine after changing my mind numerous times - down the centre tunnel with my existing hard servo line. I've used 3/8" aluminium tubing with -6AN fittings on each end.

I've also sourced some original beige square-weave carpet (from Southbound Trimmers) to have made up into a new set of carpets - wasn't too fond of the very synthetic looking Chesil carpets that I half destroyed removing from the car to add sound deadening. Chesil's carpet makers are making up the carpets for me from the standard templates, with a couple of modification to take account of my webasto heater positioning.

New carpets have just arrived and look great. Here's a small bound sample.

Spent the last weekend making and installing an extra wiring loom for the additional gauges i'm fitting (dual CHT, dual EGT, oil P, oil T, air/fuel mix - an extra 12 signal wires from engine bay to dash) plus a fuse box and relays for fuel pump, heated seats, 12V power point, webasto heater, and interior lights. I think I now have double the wiring of the standard Chesil loom.

  • Picture 1: Fuel pump relay next to driving light and air horn relays
  • Picture 2: New fuse box under bonnet (with ignition switched relay; 3 live fuses; 3 ignition switched)
  • Picture 3: Fuel line entering bulkhead - capret will hide
  • Picture 4: Fuel line at rear and new loom. Existing kunifer pipe is vacuum for servo. Yet to fit clips

 

I have also replaced the master cylinder as the standard one is incompatible with the rear disc brakes I am about to install.
The new master cylinder (from CSP), with 20.64mm pistons, and designed for 4 wheel disc brakes, came with a fitting kit (adaptor ring and 2-way brake line connector with banjo bolt) to adapt it to a beetle. The front brake line had to be rebent to suit the different take-off position of the new cylinder; the other front brake outlet was blocked off with a bleed nipple (as I have a remote servo and the front brakes are tee'd after this - you can see the two pairs of lines (front rear) going towards the front of the car to the servo in the picture)

I have also started dismantling the seats and unclipping the covers to fit the seat heating kits that I bought in place.

Cost a not unreasonable 127 for 2 seats (delivered from USA)

The laser cut filler cap handles I ordered from eMachineshop arrived, just 10 days after ordering them from them in the USA over the web. Amazingly quick service when they quoted 35 working days!! They're a great fit on the early Type 2 filler cap too. I have a few to sell at 10 each posted to (hopefully) contribute to the cost of creating one for myself. Email me if interested.

Picked up the welded Kafer brace from Beetlelink who did a fabulous job of adapting the brackets and TIG welding them together. Its a tight fit under the Chesil but it WILL fit, as these pictures of my trial fitting of it show. Its now dismantled again, ready to have the brackets powder-coated. Heavy-duty cradle essential if you want to weld to the cradle rather than directly to the frame horns.

The next two pictures are looking up at the brace from the floor. Note the orientation of the brackets of the horizontal brace to make sure it clears the chassis member with the rear seat-belt mounts.

I've also now removed the driveshafts and gearbox to change the mounts from urethane to heavy-duty rubber, and give more room to mount the new rear fuel line, and to rust-proof the sub-frame <Insert moan about the quality of Chesil's powder coating here!!>

Noticed that one of the CV joint boots has split and so need to replace prior to refitting.

February 2005

Received the fuel tank from Prepfab Motorsport. Looks great - just hope it fits! The capacity is 9.7 Gallons or 44 Litres, so about a gallon more than a stock tank. Note the filler funnel (with 8 mounting holes on a 4" PCD) welded into the neck of the tank to mount the rubber spill tray and my CNC'd adaptor for an early VW filler cap.

Also received some sand cast carrera air filter covers as one of the finishing touches for the engine. I've also ordered a cast alumnium alternator backing plate to replace the stock item currently on the engine.

Latest

Took a batch of powder coating to Trestan in Southampton - It had been a couple of years since my last visit, but they still remembered me. Charged me 15 to powder coat 9 parts 'fire engine' red, which will be ready in a weeks time.

Fitted the rear discs. This was just a matter of removing the old drums and backing plates, bolting in the new oil seal carrier which is also the caliper mount, sorting out the spacers (directions are not clear for IRS cars), and fitting the hubs. Just need to bleed the system thoroughly.

Also fitted some of the flexible fuel lines (filter to pump, pump to hard lines, hard lines to engine compartment).

Received my fuel cap adaptors from eMachineShop today. These were CNC machined from solid T6 aluminium billets. Very happy to report that the cap, spill tray, and funnel all fit the adaptor perfectly, so I have a working fuel tank system for my through-the-bonnet filler plans.

Click for "phase 2" details after February 2005