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Old 10-17-2021, 06:01 AM
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CaddmannQ CaddmannQ is offline
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Default SS100 “replica” Project Car

Last year I bought this custom 1980 fiberglass kit car, which is on a Volkswagen chassis from 1973. About 800 of these fiberglass bodies were produced by a company called Antique and Classic Automobiles. They vanished into the world of legal bankruptcy about 35 years ago.

Anyway, nothing about it is antique or classic. This was a kit put together on a rusty and repaired Volkswagen chassis, evidently by some total amateur, without much patience or skill.

The extent of the chassis repair and existing rust was concealed by a lot of paint and body sealer when I bought this car. Since I live in California and this car came from South Carolina I expected the chassis to be totally rusted out anyhow, but I was surprised to find that only the front half was rusted out. Since the serial numbers are stamped on the rear half of the chassis I decided I could cut the front part off and replace it without a problem.

Well of course it is an enormous problem, And I’ve been working on the solutions for a while.

What I did not expect was that the car would be damaged upon delivery, having a bent rear subframe and lots of gasoline which had leaked into the carpet and upholstery + padding. It also got into the wiring and washed the colors off of the wires. Evidently this wiring kit was all white but the wires have been dyed different colors after the fact. I had to strip the entire wiring harness from the car, but frankly it needed removing anyway, as you will see.

I stripped the body completely off the car and did analysis of everything I could, uncovering a world of ugly welds, rusted stove bolts, and crookedly aligned body panels.

So here is a photograph of me in the car in my garage, a photograph of the car in South Carolina as purchased, a photograph of the chassis completely stripped of the body, the set up of my fender brace reinforcements, and an aging computer geek, crawling on the floor, doing out-of-position tack welds for your amusement.

Hey, check out that patriotic new welding helmet! (You can check out my new TIG welder in the thread High Quality TIG Accessories.)
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  #2  
Old 10-17-2021, 08:55 AM
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milomilo milomilo is offline

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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaddmannQ View Post
Last year I bought this custom 1980 fiberglass kit car, which is on a Volkswagen chassis from 1973. About 800 of these fiberglass bodies were produced by a company called Antique and Classic Automobiles. They vanished into the world of legal bankruptcy about 35 years ago.

Anyway, nothing about it is antique or classic. This was a kit put together on a rusty and repaired Volkswagen chassis, evidently by some total amateur, without much patience or skill.

The extent of the chassis repair and existing rust was concealed by a lot of paint and body sealer when I bought this car. Since I live in California and this car came from South Carolina I expected the chassis to be totally rusted out anyhow, but I was surprised to find that only the front half was rusted out. Since the serial numbers are stamped on the rear half of the chassis I decided I could cut the front part off and replace it without a problem.

Well of course it is an enormous problem, And I’ve been working on the solutions for a while.

What I did not expect was that the car would be damaged upon delivery, having a bent rear subframe and lots of gasoline which had leaked into the carpet and upholstery + padding. It also got into the wiring and washed the colors off of the wires. Evidently this wiring kit was all white but the wires have been dyed different colors after the fact. I had to strip the entire wiring harness from the car, but frankly it needed removing anyway, as you will see.

I stripped the body completely off the car and did analysis of everything I could, uncovering a world of ugly welds, rusted stove bolts, and crookedly aligned body panels.

So here is a photograph of me in the car in my garage, a photograph of the car in South Carolina as purchased, a photograph of the chassis completely stripped of the body, the set up of my fender brace reinforcements, and an aging computer geek, crawling on the floor, doing out-of-position tack welds for your amusement.

Hey, check out that patriotic new welding helmet! (You can check out my new TIG welder in the thread High Quality TIG Accessories.)

Cool looking Sunday street cruiser.
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  #3  
Old 10-17-2021, 09:04 AM
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That car is screaming for a 2180 cc with dual Webers or Del'Ortos. Del'Ortos are less finicky, your call.
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  #4  
Old 10-17-2021, 01:47 PM
BukitCase BukitCase is offline
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Bill, my thoughts exactly; when we lived in Hawaii a friend bought a bug that'd been built that way - 2180 with a pretty "lumpy" cam, IIRC his had a Zenith 4 barrel carb - sounded NOTHING like a V-dub, but would bark the tires in 3rd gear. Made me really bummed when I had to get back in my stock '63 ... Steve
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  #5  
Old 10-17-2021, 03:40 PM
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When I was in college I worked in the Volkswagen shop during the summer, and I rebuilt a number of Volkswagen engines. I owned a ‘66 fast back and I built two different engines for that.

My experience is that we can get lots and lots of horsepower out of a Volkswagen engine but it’s difficult to get enough cooling air to it. (And I live in the desert.) Once they get hot enough they just literally pull themselves apart.

I would be much more likely to put a smaller lighter engine in the back of his car, and possibly a water cooled motorcycle engine.

But until the state of California gives me a bona fide title to this car, I’m not going to invest any more time and money than absolutely necessary to make that happen first. They won’t title it to me until I show them, “a complete and roadworthy car.”

I got to go finish that welding and bolt this baby back together.
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  #6  
Old 10-18-2021, 12:11 PM
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So here’s another example of my welding where I had to close up a big gap.

I had 95 amps and I used 1/8” filler rod, 3/32” electrode, extra argon.

The whole weld only took 15 seconds with that much heat, but I was dabbing like a maniac.

Last is the frame painted & bolted under the car.
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  #7  
Old 10-26-2021, 01:32 PM
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Windshield and legal wipers are on and tested. The car is nearly assembled, needing some wiring for the tail lights, fuses, and panel. Also rear fender adjustments and many 1/4-20 fender bolts for security.

But the brakes are working, steering working, fuel system together with all new lines and fittings (but untested for leaks and pump pressure.)

Temporary floorboards were formed for the front compartment. Well, Maytag did the nice stamping. I just bent 1.5” flanges on the hemmed edges and cut them to a cardboard template.

The huge 12 gal tank & rusty frame has to go, but for now it will hold gas.
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  #8  
Old 10-26-2021, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by CaddmannQ View Post
Windshield and legal wipers are on and tested. The car is nearly assembled, needing some wiring for the tail lights, fuses, and panel. Also rear fender adjustments and many 1/4-20 fender bolts for security.

But the brakes are working, steering working, fuel system together with all new lines and fittings (but untested for leaks and pump pressure.)

Temporary floorboards were formed for the front compartment. Well, Maytag did the nice stamping. I just bent 1.5” flanges on the hemmed edges and cut them to a cardboard template.

The huge 12 gal tank & rusty frame has to go, but for now it will hold gas.
Good progress.
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. Plato

LET'S GO BRANDON!!!!

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  #9  
Old 10-29-2021, 05:48 PM
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I spent some time attaching the firewall to the cowl forever with epoxy putty, and I let in some PVC tubes as conduit for the rear wiring looms.

There are supposed to be two steel brackets that connect the Cowell to the firewall at the bolt line, but for some reason those were never installed. Likewise the similar steel brackets from the quarter panels to the rear firewall were not installed. Both of those brackets were crap designs, putting large point loads on plastic from the steel bolts.

But in the kit form this meant that the final assembler didn’t have to mess around with doing epoxy and fiberglass work to unitize the body. This is something that does not scare me at all. It will make a much nicer structure in the end when everything is fiberglassed together permanently.

The firewall is a mess because huge rectangles were cut out of it for the radio (deleted!) and ugly big VW fuse panel (trashed!) I think I’m eventually going to put some diamond plate aluminum on the firewall. For now I’m just gonna cover it up with plastic.

The SS now has a battery, cables, and most of the wiring is in, so of course I had to crank the engine over. This is the first time it has turned in a year and a half, and it spun freely and popped, & would have started willingly, had I put any gas in the tank. I didn’t actually want it to start yet. I just had to test the starter and wiring.

First I need to purge the fuel system And add a fuel filter. I’m doing an oil change right now & when those two things are accomplished I can do a test start, but I won’t be driving it around until it has seats and doors.

I could not deal with the nylon ratchet straps on the gas tank & I made nice steel straps to retain it to the frame.
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Old 11-29-2021, 11:36 PM
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Yippie! Today the SS started and ran! First time in 18 mos, but I did not drive it. I just poured some gas in the carburetor and ran it a little bit in the garage. It revved up and it idled down ok. Nice!

All the wiring is complete but there are 3 terminals I did not solder yet. Just crimped. Also there is no switch panel and I have four switches just hanging loose under the dash.

I only have one seat in the car and there's no doors yet. But it’s coming together fast now.

I don’t know if the gas tank will leak and I don’t know if the fuel pump will work. I will find out when I get some fresh gas, but all I had to test it with was carb cleaner and some old two-stroke gas. With a new oil change and some two-stroke gas down the throat, she is well lubed up for now.
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