Lets see what have I done in the last month…
Well first of all I finished up the front suspensions adjusters. I welded them in and covered up the holes with some metal! For this I used a flat strip of steel 3mm thick. I tack welded the strip at the adjuster and than I used the blowtorch to heat it up so I could easily bend it around the beam. Finally I got it welded around…only a short seam at a time to avoid warpage. It looks nice and it is now ready for painting and assembly.
In the meantime I found a machine shop who will modify my cylinder heads. Fortunately they work on VW heads from time to time so they are pretty familiar with the thing, even though they usually not modify them like I wanted mine. However they said they going to make the changes without any problems. I agreed with them that when they welded up the sparkplugs hole and installed the new valve seat I get back the head so I can work on the ports. When I will be done with that they finish up the rest. I have already got back the heads and I have to tell you its done professionally. So now its my turn to make the ports right!
Porting is nothing like exact science…it is more like black magic and sculpting put together. It is an art form! It takes a lot of time, patience and some good hand coordination.
First I have made a template to copy the bigger exhaust to the port. With the template in place I was able to open up the exhaust port to match the new competition 1 1/2 inch exhaust headers. Then I removed the edge below the valve seat end blended the whole port. So now the fumes can exit the cylinder chamber easily without any sharp edges or constrictions in the port.
The next step was to open up the intake port for the bigger valves. I wanted to keep the factory header for the centre mounted double throat Weber carb. I decided early on the build that I won’t use two double throat carbs for maximum performance, because they would increase the fuel consumption significantly, and I can’t allow that if I want to drive the beetle regularly (regarding nowadays fuel prizes). So I opened up the ports from the valve side and removed every edge and constriction.
When I was finished with the ruff porting I got some sandpaper and using my fingers I sanded the walls of the ports so they have some nice longitudinal grooves, as that would improve the flow just like the shark’s skin!
I have started working on the chassis! The one I will repair is from a ’71 beetle and luckily it is in a quit good shape. The floor pan is a little bit rotten but the center beam is intact, it even had the factory paint on it! The plan is to cut out the floor pan and replace it with aluminum panels hence making the chassis a little lighter and much more durable against rust! The side U-rails will be replaced with rectangular steel beams. Before I cut out the floor pan I have tack-welded a temporary frame to the center section so the newly made side rails would be sitting in the right position. After installing the new side rails I welded in some cross members to locate the seat. In the front I hade to cut out some of the old metal because it was rotten, I replaced the section with a new rectangular steel beam so it should be even more stronger than the original design. The pedal area have to be modified because of the new racing quality pedal assembly. It is a pretty tight fit because of the 2 circuit brake system and the hydraulic clutch! I don’t want to compromise on the these so I will make them fit!