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Has Anyone Built The Tamiya '66 Volkswagen 1300 Beetle?

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Posted · Report post

Hey guys-

New to the forum. I've recently picked up a Tamiya Volkswagen Beetle and have started the build. I'd really like to slam this Beetle to the ground and give it the classic crazy camber VW look. Anyone that has any experience with this kit, any ideas how to lower it? I've been eyeing the suspension pieces and am not sure what I can remove here or there to make it 'lower.' I could sink the 'frame' up into the body more... but this would look kind of weird.

Thanks for your help!

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Posted · Report post

When I built mine I added a .25 inch block between the pan and the front suspension to lower it.

At the rear I drilled the swing arm mounts, rounded the square tubes and pinned the swing amrs in place. I then cut the center of the rear axle, inside where it mounts to the trans, and glued in a piece of wire.

This will retain the axle halves w/o gluing them to the trans.

When you pick up the finished model the rear wheels will droop. When you set it down the wheels will swing up into the fenders. <_<

If this dose not make sense to you looking at the instructions, let me know. :lol:

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Posted · Report post

Hmm... I can see how adding a block to the front will lower it. Great idea.

I'm still a little unclear where to drill the swing arms in different places....

Unfortunately I've already got the transaxle put together and painted.... I'll probably end up taking it apart I guess and doing your wire trick. Do the axles 'stop' when the tires hit the inside of the fenders? This will be the low point?

Thanks!

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Posted · Report post

MNRenegade - I've built 2 of the Tamiya '66 Beetles so far, but both are stock-spec. IMO You made a great choice in buying that kit.

If you've already assembled the trans, I say you can still lower the rear end by adding 'squat' to it like I did on my Revell-based VolksRod:

DSCN3080-vi.jpg

I cut a small notch on top of the axle, at the outer edge of the axle boot, and slightly tweaked the axle upwards; hog out the square hole where the spring plate mounts onto the torsion tube, and glue the plate in place where you need it to be....not 100% accurate, but it should do the trick. I'd recommend adding a strip of styrene or even thin metal wire(like a paper clip) to the top of the axle to keep it from breaking later on.

To lower the front, I agree that relocating the entire axle assembly upwards is the easiest method. You may need to shorten(or chop right off) the shock towers to clear the trunk, but many 1:1 slammed Type 1 show cars are set up without shock towers - I wouldn't recomend it on a real one, but have at it in scale; I dropped the nose of my Gunze '56 this way.

DSCN2552_edited-vi.jpg

Depending on what size tires you're planning to stuff under the front fenders, narrowing the beam might be a good thing as well. Most 1:1 custom beams are narrowed between 3" and 6." In scale, I figure the front beam on my RustoRod '56 is about 3.5" narrower than it was. I also lowered it by raising the beam like on the pink one.

DSCN3124_edited-vi.jpg

(I've got a 4" narrowed beam with dropped spindles ready for my 1:1 '68 come springtime)

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Posted · Report post

Awesome. Thanks for all the help. I am glad that I bought the kit.... it is really nice and easy to work with.

I took the transaxle apart and I'll be figuring something out to get it lower.... I'm wondering exactly how I would 'pin' the trailing arms to the pan after I drill the holes out... any ideas?

I've been eyeing up the front suspension and it does look like raising it 1/4in or so will be good. Do I still use the piece that they include to go over the axle that the 'inners' of the trunk attach to?

Also, where would I go about finding the wheels that are on your 'rusto' rod? Are the Empi's? Where's the best place to look if you don't mind filling me in.

Thanks for ALL your help.

Kevin

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Posted · Report post

Hmm... I can see how adding a block to the front will lower it. Great idea.

I'm still a little unclear where to drill the swing arms in different places....

Unfortunately I've already got the transaxle put together and painted.... I'll probably end up taking it apart I guess and doing your wire trick. Do the axles 'stop' when the tires hit the inside of the fenders? This will be the low point?

Thanks!

It's been a few years since I built mine, so I dug out the instructions.

Parts C-15 and C-8 are the swing arms ,they mount to the chassis pan to a square peg. Temporarily mount them on the peg and drill through the swing arm into the peg to insert a sewing pin with the head used as a keeper. This will be the pivot point just like the prototype.

Now remove the swing arms and file the square peg into a round peg, this allows the arms to move after you glue the pin in place.

You may be able to cut the axles away from the transaxle just inside the dust boots and insert a wire there on either side as your flex point.

When I built mine these modifications did not allow the joints to flex enough to get the wheels all the way to touch the fenders. The car has a bit of rake so it did not lower the back a quarter inch as the front had been lowered. It dose exibit the cambered wheels and still looks 'drivable'.

Hope this helps. I really enjoyed building this kit and plan to do a Ghia version someday.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

The wheels on my rusty '56 are BRM's, made in the 60's by Speedwell in England; the originals are highly sought after in the 1:1 world, and a few replicas are made today.

brmbug-vi.jpg

I bought a set of them in white metal a few years back from the guy who mastered them, and cast a couple of spare sets myself.

If you're referring to the inner fender/trunk tub assembly, I'd say you need it if the trunklid will be functional....if the car is a slammed 'shelf model, it might not be necessary. Personally, I'd use it because the inner fenders are visible even on a lowered car. Chop the tops off the shock towers to afford the clearance you need, and glue the spindles in place because the tie rod assembly might interfere(and it's pretty flimsy anyway).

Edited by VW Dave

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Posted · Report post

should be killer!

frontviewcloseup640480de2.gif

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Posted · Report post

Thanks guys for all your help. I've slowly been making some progress on this... I've got the rear swing arms mounted and glued in place. I opted not to pin them but instead made them stable and glued them in place.... Hopefully there about where they need to be.

I've got the engine about put together and ready....

Slowly making some progress.

VWDave was generous enough to tempt me with a narrowed front beam. We'll see how that looks... I'm anxious to get this thing mocked up and see where it sits. I want it to be low, but not so low it doesn't appear driveable.

Keep you posted.

Kevin

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Posted · Report post

I want it to be low, but not so low it doesn't appear driveable.

Although not really practical here in the northeast, slammed VWs can be driven regularly in lots of locales:

406047.jpg

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Posted · Report post

This is true. Here in Minnesota I went threw 3 oil pans in my MK3 Jetta slammed to the ground on coilovers... not the best roads and conditions.... but I liked it low.

That's a sharp beetle. Something like the color scheme I'm shooting for.....

Kevin

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