Project: Street Beetle to Subaru powered Sand Bug

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Post by snewbank » Tue May 04, 2004 11:10 am

I forgot to mention another option. I could install a restrictor plate in the coolant exit of the short path which would cause more coolant to flow through the longer path and balance it out. Overall coolant flow resistance would be more than stock but I could compensate for this by removing the restrictor plate I installed in place of the thermostat. This would be the best solution but again, I need to know how much of difference reversing the coolant manifold makes in order to know how much of a restriction to put into the restrictor plate.

It might be worth while to perform some experiments so other people who want to reverse their coolant manifold will know exactly what mods (if any) they need to make. I will need to get the engine running first. Maybe I can use temp sensors on each head to figure out the difference.
Scott

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Post by jhitesma » Tue May 04, 2004 2:01 pm

I could swear I've seen a number of Subarus setup with the outlet on the other side like you swapped yours....I'm not sure but they may all have been LEP motors. I know one person with a motor that has the outlet on that side and they've never had any problems.

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Post by snewbank » Tue May 04, 2004 2:46 pm

jhitesma wrote:I could swear I've seen a number of Subarus setup with the outlet on the other side like you swapped yours....I'm not sure but they may all have been LEP motors. I know one person with a motor that has the outlet on that side and they've never had any problems.
That's good to hear. I was starting to wonder if I was heading toward big problems.

Thanks.
Scott

Idaho Falls

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Post by jhitesma » Tue May 04, 2004 3:57 pm

Well...like I said I think they were all LEP (Leading Edge Performance) motors...and based on what some people have said about LEP you just may be heading for trouble after all ;)

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Post by quad1100 » Tue May 04, 2004 4:45 pm

I kind of look at it this way, these are off road vehicles, in general we are not running the Baja 500, not doing 70 mph down the highway for 3 hours at a time and not racing on a track or road coarse. Other then possibly running in some fairly hot weather and having the need to keep the engine at a reasonable temp, I would say we are only actually using these motors to about 60% of there full potential, full throttle up China Wall or Olds Hill a few times then you are back to sitting around or cruising through the dunes. So not that 100% efficiency isn't what we strive for, but if you only get 75% I don't think you will be blowing the motor up under this type of driving. Just my 2 cents…

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Post by snewbank » Tue May 04, 2004 5:14 pm

Last weekend, my brother came over and the weekend turned into a "Polish Fest". I had bought some buffer wheels with some rouge and various grits of sand paper a few days ago. This weekend, I made some mounts for my fuel pump with more of the 1/8"x 3/4"x36" aluminum strips I bought and used for the radiator hose supports. I tried my hand at polishing these brackets. First I hit it with 220 grit then 400 then 600. Then I mounted a buffing wheel on my drill and put some Tripoli rouge on it. Within a few minutes, the brackets looked like polished billet aluminum brackets I would have had to pay $20 each for. I was so amazed at how easy it was, I started on polishing the fuel pump and later polished the fuel filter. Here's some picture.

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Then my brother took on the task of polishing my valve covers. It took him about 2-3 hours of sanding and polishing but they look awesome.

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I made a brake line splitter out of a bar of aluminum a couple days before. So I polished that.

Before:
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After:
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Also, I went back and polished the radiator hose support strap I made:

Before:
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After:
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I welded on a new base plate to the stinger exhaust pipe I bought so it would mount to the T03 Turbo base plate on my header.

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And I made a block-off plate for the external wastegate out of some stainless steel bar and even polished it.

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I made some more changes to the top radiator hose. I bought some longer bathroom sink drain J-tubes so all I needed was a short peace of hose to attach them together. It looks better than all the blue hose I had before.

Image

I spent most of Sunday working on the Whip mount. I knew exactly where I wanted it but it was difficult to come-up with a mount for it at that location that would be rigid enough to resist metal fatigue. This is what I came-up with.

Image

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I've seen what happens to whip mounts if they are not rigid enough. With the whip slashing back and forth, it starts to fatigue the metal and eventually breaks-off. I hope this mount will be strong enough. I used 3/16" steel plate in two pieces. One piece is welded to the radiator rack and the other piece is welded to the old engine hood support. I connected the two with a 1/2" bolt which also is used for the quick mount.

Last night I polished the fuel filter and started making a 4-way hose splitter for all my breather hoses. I am using a 2" length of 1" square tubing. I capped the ends with some 18 ga pieces, drilled the holes and tonight, I will weld-on lengths of tubing to the holes. I would just buy a 4-way breather hose splitter if I could find one. I'm starting to find out that it can be quicker to make these little pieces from scratch then driving all over town looking for one.

The next big thing to work on will be the hydraulic pedals. I already ran into some problems with it. The front firewall is about 1-1/4" thick (not solid metal of course) but the master cylinder plungers wont extend that far so I had to make a trip to the bolt store and buy some hex bolt extensions to make them long enough along with all the other bolts I need. I'm not looking forward to drilling holes in the firewall with a hole saw. I have not had much luck with hole saws and metal so far. It seems like the metal does a better job at cutting the hole saw then the holes saw does at cutting the metal ;)
Scott

Idaho Falls

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Hole saws

Post by jagclg » Tue May 04, 2004 6:00 pm

Hey scott
I gotta tell ya I have been watching this bug come together for quit some time! Doing a great job.
Regarding the hole saw issue, I got one from home depot not long ago that is made for steel and it works great they come in all sizes and hasn't shown any wear yet and i have used it to cut at least 10 hole's.
By the way I live in the city of Orange, Would love to stop by sometime and check it out in person.
Keep up the good work.
Later
Jeff

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Post by your basic sandrail » Tue May 04, 2004 7:27 pm

BLING! BLING!

It's lookin' good! Can't wait to start on my project. (I can't wait--my wallet wants to wait another few years)

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Post by jhitesma » Tue May 04, 2004 8:20 pm

I was amazed a few years ago when I tried polishing my center console myself. It was a LOT easier than I expected it to be.

But what I learned quick was that making it shiny is easy. Keeping it shiny is a whole different story :)

It still looks a LOT better than it did when I bought it...but it sure don't shine like it did after I finished polishing it.

Before:
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After:
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After a couple of trips (including one that it rained durring...and including wiping it off with a soft cloth after a quick rinse each trip):
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Post by quad1100 » Tue May 04, 2004 9:05 pm

snewbank wrote: I'm not looking forward to drilling holes in the firewall with a hole saw. I have not had much luck with hole saws and metal so far. It seems like the metal does a better job at cutting the hole saw then the holes saw does at cutting the metal ;)
Uni-bits work great on sheet metal, but you can only drill up to 1-3/8" holes. Otherwise, I have had a Milwaukee hole saw set for years and have not had any issues.

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Post by snewbank » Wed May 05, 2004 10:04 am

I haven't measured it yet but I think I need to drill about a 1-1/2" diameter hole. I'll checkout Home Depot for some metal saws cuase mine definitely suck (must be wood only). I've had good results with unibits but my unibit only goes up to 3/4". I would like to get a bigger one but the only bigger ones I've seen where at Mcfadden-Dale and they want like $80 for the freekin' thing.

Jason, I wonder if spraying these parts with clear lacquer would work good. I might try that. We used to go to Pismo in the Summer season but the salty air would destroy polished and chrome parts literally overnight. With our old thrashed rails, it was very anoyong to watch this happen but with this Baja, I think it will be unbareable. Now I know why I never see people from glamis with their $70K rails out at Pismo in the summer.
Scott

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Post by quad1100 » Fri May 07, 2004 9:16 am

I've been going to Pismo since the 80's and only just recently understood what a lot of the Glamis people talk about and probably know why. My belief is most of the people that go to Glamis have motor homes and need to camp as near to the hard pack as possible when they go to Pismo, the problem with doing this is you are getting the full amount of moister as it blows off the ocean. I recently camped near the hard pack with some friends who had motor homes and was amazed at how wet it was, there was sand stuck to everything. I have a 4x4 and usually camp up the beach higher and it is amazing how much dryer it is, this is why I have probably never seen the corrosion that people talk about.

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Post by snewbank » Thu May 13, 2004 4:33 pm

I installed the Hydraulic Pedals. I had to make a number of modifications though. First, the pedals were to wide. The foot pad on the Clutch pedal would hit the tube next to the corner panel and the brake pedal would interfere with the accelerator pedal.

Image

I had to take the pedal assembly apart and put the pedals in a vice so I could bend them closer together.

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I was glad I bought a new hole saw kit. I was dreading the task of drilling holes in my firewall but the Blu-Mol Bi-Metal hole saw kit I bought at Home Depot cut through the firewall quickly. I had to spend some time getting all the holes to line-up exactly so I could bolt the master cylinders to the pedal assembly.

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Also, I had to redo the brake lines because they where too short. And I had to put extensions on the plungers to reach the pedals. I had to drill some new holes in the firewall for the rear brake and clutch line too.

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The 5-way brake line splitter I made out of a block of aluminum worked out great. All-in-all, putting in a hydraulic pedal assembly was a lot of work that I really didn't want to do but at least I feel secure the clutch line won't ever be a problem again. Although, I haven't tried the hydraulic clutch yet. Maybe I'll bleed the clutch line tonight just to make sure everything works fine now.

I went to Target the other day and bought a container (some Eddie Bauer Sports Bottle from their camping section). I made some aluminum brackets for it (and polished the brackets of course), drilled a couple of holes in the top, stuck a hose through one of the holes and....

...Boda-boong, boda-bing....


Radiator Overflow Tank:

Image

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There was a sticker on the side of the bottle saying "Made of nearly indestructible Lexan plastic....Can withstand temperatures in excess of 275 degrees Fahrenheit...." so I think it will be Ok with occasional overflowing hot radiator water. I hope.

Next on the agenda is to work out the rear-bumper. I bought a pre-bent tubing rear Baja bumper kit awhile ago but just like the cheap roll-bar cage, it's made of some thin-walled 1.5" tubing. So not only is my safety in danger if I roll it but if I want to tow someone, I'll probably bend the bumper. All because of some second rate pre-fab tubing company who is trying to save a penny by using thinner walled materials. I would have bought a better roll cage and rear bumper but there was nothing else available that would allow me to keep the rear seats. To top it off, I am going to have to do a lot of modifications to the rear bumper to get it to work. One problem is the top of the bumper was designed to attach to the stock rear shock mounts which I don't have anymore. Another problem is even though I have the shortened Subaru oil pan, the bottom tubes of the bumper kit will not clear it..

The point of this is, it's becoming clear as I'm down to the last items in this project that I really should just get a tube bender and make my own bumpers and roll cages, etc. I wonder if there is some way I could improvise with that pipe bender I mistakenly bought a while ago. I only need to make a few bends. On the other hand, just like getting a good welder, it would open up a lot of possibilities with other projects if I had a real tube bender. It's that money thing that always gets in the way though ;)
Scott

Idaho Falls

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Post by Nic » Thu May 13, 2004 9:39 pm

If you are gonna build the cage and bumper out of mild steel the cheapy bender from harbor freight will do the job. It just takes a little more practice. We have built complete tip to tail cages in trucks with it. doesn't work with chromoly though.

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Post by r erfert » Thu May 13, 2004 10:14 pm

Nic wrote:If you are gonna build the cage and bumper out of mild steel the cheapy bender from harbor freight will do the job. It just takes a little more practice.
What is the SKU# and price on the harbor Freight tools tubing bender??
Or are you talking about a pipe bender??

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Post by porboy » Fri May 14, 2004 8:50 am

It's a pipe bender.

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Post by snewbank » Fri May 14, 2004 10:01 am

Save your money.

Just for laughs, I tried bending a piece of 1.5"x.125" wall tubing in my Harbor Frieght Pipe Bender last night. The 1.5" ID die was clearly to big for the 1.5" OD tubing so I used the 1.25" ID die that came with it. The 1.5" tubing was still a little loose in the 1.25" die though. At first it looked like it was it was kinda working but as I continued to bend the tube, I could see that instead of following the contour of the die, the tube was just buckling in the middle. After about 45 degrees of bending, I gave up.

Here is a picture of what happens when you use the Harbor Frieght Pipe Bender (or any Pipe Bender) to bend tubing:

Image

I'm going to search the Internet for a deal on a Tube Bender.
Scott

Idaho Falls

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Post by quad1100 » Fri May 14, 2004 11:42 am

snewbank wrote: I'm going to search the Internet for a deal on a Tube Bender.
My buddy has one of these in his garage, and it works extremely well. I know for a fact he has bent up to 1.5" tube.

http://www.pro-tools.com/mb105.htm

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Post by snewbank » Fri May 14, 2004 11:58 am

Yea, I'm checking that one out but I'm kinda leaning towards this one:

http://www.vansantent.com/model_3_bender.htm

It seems like you get more for your money with the Model-3 but then the dies are more expensive.

Anybody else have any recomendations?
Scott

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Post by snewbank » Fri May 14, 2004 12:01 pm

It looks like the MB105 and Model-3 are the same Bender but under different names and prices. What gives?
Scott

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Post by quad1100 » Fri May 14, 2004 1:05 pm

Well at first I thought it was just a case of re-badging, but the main components are a little different in shape, so it appears that there are just two companies out there making the same type of bender? One might be a US version and one an offshore knock off?

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Post by snewbank » Fri May 14, 2004 4:11 pm

Well, after researching Tube Benders on the web and reading a bunch of reviews, I just put in an order for a JD2 Model 3 with degree ring and a 1.5" 5.5CLR 180 degree Tube Die at Trick-Tools.com.

Total $521.44 including shipping.

KA-CHING!!! :shock:

I'm hoping this thing will pay for itself over the years (maybe decades).

It Better :evil:
Scott

Idaho Falls

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Post by Scooby-Dune » Fri May 14, 2004 4:29 pm

I'm hoping this thing will pay for itself over the years (maybe decades).

It Better :evil:[/quote]


Kool! Now I don't have to buy prefabbed roll cages or bumpers. You can make 'em for me :roll:

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Post by snewbank » Fri May 14, 2004 4:42 pm

Um.. Yea... For a small fee. :twisted:

I guess it's starting to look like were going to build your new rail from scratch, huh?
Scott

Idaho Falls

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Post by quad1100 » Fri May 14, 2004 5:00 pm

Heck, now you can make yourself a one piece stainless steel version for your cooling system.

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Post by r erfert » Fri May 14, 2004 7:10 pm

I also have the 20 ton pipe bender from Harbor freight...Used it for 2 bends that I had to have done then went to David's Custom Welding and got to use his tubing bender for the rest.
After using it for about 30 minutes...

I bought the same model he had..A Pro Tools tubing bender out of Florida about 2-3 years ago...
I have used it very little,BUT I have it so I can give the kiss off to the local buggy shop that puts the :shock: in bend $$$$

Works VERY NICE (Highly recommended tubing bender)

The first 1-1/2" .095 bend was at a cost off $750 and they are getting less expensive with each new bend.

I did buy the Harbor freight tubing notcher...Works very well and for $50 on sale it is worth every penny.

And with the mig welder I bought myself for my birthday last year...I can now make just about anything I want or fix someone elses cobbled up mess :roll:

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Post by jhitesma » Fri May 14, 2004 8:26 pm

I've used a pro-tools bender as well and was quite impressed by how easy it was to use.

BTW - I thought it was Rick who told me about this but I guess it may have been someone else here locally. Basically they had modified the dies on the Harbor Freight pipe bender so it would work (not outstandingly well...but at least work without crimping) for tubing. What they did was weld pieces of some other size of tubing inside to give the dies the correct dimensions - remember Pipe is measured by ID while tubing is measured by OD.

I forget exactly how they said they did it but they claimed to be able to get acceptable bends out of it with mild steel.

I'd still recomend going with the real tubing bender though! But in an emergency this may be worth looking into ;)

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Post by Virginsand » Fri May 14, 2004 8:45 pm

I have the model 3 and it is a great bender, someday I will get the hydraulic's.

JD2 model 3 was the original bender like this and pro-tools copied the model 3 and came out with their own version.

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Post by snewbank » Mon May 17, 2004 3:44 pm

I Just got an E-mail from trick-tools.com:

"Due to high demand of model 3 benders, please allow up to 6 weeks to
drop ship from the factory as our web prices reflect. I will be glad to
fill your order within that time frame. If you need the bender sooner we
do occasionally have model 3's and some dies in stock at our facility
available for immediate shipping but due to the weight of these machines
we are forced to recoup our incoming freight on these items."


Six Weeks!!!!

Are you insane?


I'm seriuosly considering cancelling my order and making a tube bender myself. I've been thinking about it and it doesn't look that hard to make. The only problem are the dies. I noticed Harbor Freight has a metal lathe for $329

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/D ... mber=33684

I wonder if I could use a lathe to make dies with.
Anybody here have experience with metal lathes?
Could I use the one above to make dies out of billet steel (10" dia x 1.5" thick)?
Can I use a block of aluminum for a die or would it get crushed when bending 1.5"x.125" wall mild steel tubing?

Sure, it would be a pain to have to make one myself. But I'm sure I could finish in less than six weeks at least! And, it would probably cost less to make one then the shipping charges are costing alone. For less than the price of their Tube Bender, I would have a Metal Lathe AND a Tube Bender plus dies at about 1/10th the cost they are charging for dies.

Am I crazy or am I on to something here?
Scott

Idaho Falls

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Post by jhitesma » Mon May 17, 2004 4:05 pm

If you're interested in building your own you should probably take a peek at the Blind Chicken website:
http://blindchickenracing.com/Tools/Tub ... bender.htm

You can always buy dies from one of the big manufacturers, they can probably ship them a lot quicker than a full bender. Or try going direct to the factory :)

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Post by snewbank » Tue May 18, 2004 1:58 pm

Thanks Jason. His looks more complicated than I was thinking of.

Anyway, I made some calls and found out that the Pro-Tools MB105 only has a lead time of 7 days plus 5 for shipping. The MB105 is a little more expensive and it doesn't include a degree ring but the dies are cheaper. Shipping is little more expensive. Well, I cancelled my order for the Model 3 and ordered an MB105 and Die. I should have it around the first of June.

I still wonder if I could have made my own but I got my hands full with just trying to complete the Baja. Someday I hope to have enough tools to be able to make my own tools. :shock: 8)
Scott

Idaho Falls

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Post by r erfert » Tue May 18, 2004 7:43 pm

Scott
I bought the Pro Tools #150.
The MB105 and Die :shock: Must be the revised Model. :roll:
seriously what Die or dies did you get?
I got the 1 1/2" x 6...and the 1"x 3.
I have just the basic stuff and can do everything I need so far.
Did you spring for the hydraulic stuff?
I didn't honestly think that there is enough bent tubing on a rail frame(Old school) to warrant the extra expense :shock:
After bending tubing for about an hour it would be nice to have,BUT I still have not worn the new off yet :)
I think if a person wants to try and save some money(NOT TIME)
they could buy the dies and build the same basic bender as the #105.
You will like your new machine.
Rick

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Post by TroyB » Thu May 20, 2004 1:45 pm

Scott, can you see the light at the end of the tunnel yet. When do you think it will be done

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Post by snewbank » Thu May 20, 2004 2:27 pm

Rick, I just got the 1.5"x5"CLR Tube Die. I didn't buy the Hydraulics or even the Stand. Trying to keep the cost down.

TroyB, It seems like I'm getting close to finishing but whenever I list the major items left to do, each one of these items seems to breakdown into huge lists of there own. I'm hoping to finish in another couple months.
Scott

Idaho Falls

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Post by TroyB » Thu May 20, 2004 4:43 pm

Looling forward to seeing it complete. Have you picked out a color yet.

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Post by snewbank » Thu May 20, 2004 4:51 pm

I want a light color so it wont get so hot sitting in the sun. I was thinking of a bright Yellow but it seems like everybody paints their Baja bright Yellow so now I'm leaning towards a Pearl Essence Blue (like some of the new Beetles) with Black details.
Scott

Idaho Falls

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Post by r erfert » Thu May 20, 2004 6:58 pm

snewbank wrote:Rick, I just got the 1.5"x5"CLR Tube Die. I didn't buy the Hydraulics or even the Stand. Trying to keep the cost down.
I didn't buy the stand either...I made my own stand with a 2"slip in type mount like the slip in receiver hitch's on the trucks(same material)
I made the mistake of buying the 3' rectangle steel handle for $9.99...I thought it was some special rectangle steel handle...(NOT) The price wasn't all that bad...I just forgot about the cost of shipping it from Florida :shock: ... :roll:... :roll:It ended up costing 3 times as much as if I would have just bought it locally, BUT on the up side I didn't have to drive around and try to find one.

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Post by snewbank » Fri May 21, 2004 10:27 am

I don't know if you can even buy one locally. Anybody know of a metal tools/supply shop that would carry something like this?

Speaking of the stand, If you don't feel like puting some anchors into your concrete or need something more mobile, the guy at Pro-Tools mentioned that you can use the 2" receiver tubing to acutally mount the bender to your trucks receiver!

I'm thinking of doing this since it would be hard to manuver 10' long pieces of tubing around in the garage right now. I got so much stuff in there. Maybe, I'll just back the Jeep into the driveway and slide the tube bender into the receiver for a few bends. It makes for a simpler stand too.
Scott

Idaho Falls

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Post by jhitesma » Fri May 21, 2004 2:36 pm

If the handle is the one I think it is.....you can buy them at any steel supply shop. It's just a piece of 1" by 2" square tubing.

I've got a buch of it just sitting here that came with my garage :) Don't think any of my pieces are long enough to make an effective bender handle though...you need one about 4 or 5 feet long to get good leverage.

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Post by r erfert » Fri May 21, 2004 7:00 pm

snewbank wrote:I don't know if you can even buy one locally. Anybody know of a metal tools/supply shop that would carry something like this?
:idea: You only need about 6" on rectangle tubing to fit over the end on the bender...the rest can be round.(like the end of your floor jack)

[/quote]Speaking of the stand, If you don't feel like puting some anchors into your concrete or need something more mobile, the guy at Pro-Tools mentioned that you can use the 2" receiver tubing to acutally mount the bender to your trucks receiver!
:idea: You would still need to bring it up off the truck mount (2' high) to about (4' foot)or what ever is comfortable for you.
:idea: The one at the welding shop was a slip receiver on the corner of his 20' STEEL work bench inside of a 200' x 200' metal building.

:( WISH I had a 20' work area :!:
I'm thinking of doing this since it would be hard to manuver 10' long pieces of tubing around in the garage right now. I got so much stuff in there. Maybe, I'll just back the Jeep into the driveway and slide the tube bender into the receiver for a few bends. It makes for a simpler stand too

I can possably see a problem with the bent tubing hitting the vehical :?:

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Post by snewbank » Mon May 24, 2004 10:19 am

Sorry, for some reason I was thinking you meant you would have bought the whole tube bender locally to save on shipping not just the handle.

Yes, I plan on getting some 1"x2" tubing next time I go to Industrial Metal Supply.

About the hitch, I was thinking of running some 2" sq tubing out from the hitch 3-4' then straght-up 2' from that. That should give me enough clearance from the Jeep to make most any kind of bend with out hitting the Jeep.

Question:

I understand it doesn't take too much force on the lever to make bends. The handle they sell is 40" long but you guys are talking about making a 6' handle. Does it need to be that long for 1.5"x.125" tubing?

Also, I think 6' of 2" receiver tubing is pretty expensive (not to mention heavy) because it is something like 1/4"-3/8" thick wall. So I'm thinking of using some 2"x.125 wall sq tubing instead. As a matter of fact, I already have some scraps that would be long enough for the hitch stand. Do you think 2"x.125" sq tubing would be strong enough?

I figure if the handle is 1"x2"x40", the handle would start bending long before the 2"x2x48" .125" wall square tubing would. Right?
Scott

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Post by Virginsand » Mon May 24, 2004 6:14 pm

I understand it doesn't take too much force on the lever to make bends. The handle they sell is 40" long but you guys are talking about making a 6' handle. Does it need to be that long for 1.5"x.125" tubing?
A resounding yes, you do need that long handle for 15'x.125' tubing, it is not that easy, well, the first bend may be easy but multiple bends will wear you out.

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Post by quad1100 » Tue May 25, 2004 11:45 am

I just ran across this company, they were are the SSSS last year. Lots of metal working equipment.

http://www.mtechsupply.com/

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Post by TLB » Wed May 26, 2004 3:37 pm

The progress looks like it's going well. Can't wait to see more photo's.
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Post by AlxCook » Wed Jun 16, 2004 9:44 am

Where are our updates????? :lol: :lol:
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Post by snewbank » Wed Jun 16, 2004 9:52 am

Sorry, I've been so busy on other things I haven't had a chance to do any updates. I haven't got a whole lot done since my last post. I'm currently building the engine cage. I'll try to get a complete update together ASAP.
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Post by snewbank » Fri Jun 25, 2004 11:19 am

Lots of updating to do. I've been slacking'. Fortunately, I have been taking pictures as I've been moving along so I will use those to refresh my memory.

I installed the slave cylinder for the clutch. It works MUCH smoother than the stock clutch cable and is easier to adjust. Here is a picture of the slave cylinder.

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I cleaned-up the A/C Evaporator/Blower Unit and sealed the output end with a plate of ABS plastic and a 2" hose fitting so I can connect it to the stock VW heater ducts under the rear seat.

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I made a cover for the shift end of the bus tranny where I had to cut into the body. I spent almost a day making it and it came out great. Here are a couple pictures.

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All along I was planning to install the Air Conditioning evap/blower housing under the rear seat. It seemed like it would fit.

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I was going to install suspension seats in the rear but I figured that was a lot of extra money for seats that won't be used very often. So I decided to install the cheap "Poly Super Seats". Plus, I figured the poly seats would allow for even more space underneath for the A/C evap/blower than the suspension seats. I figured wrong :(

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As you can see, the headrest is almost touching the roof. So, I took the A/C housing out and found-out that the seats still don't fit.

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Bucket seats are much deeper than the stock bench seat and I just don't see how anyone could fit there legs in. So, I tried re-installing the stock bench seat and I think that's how it's going to be. Unfortunately, the nice tranny cover I built is useless now. It interferes with the bench. Also, I still can't fit the A/C unit underneath the bench so it looks like it will be going in the rear deck area after all. Actually, it will make the A/C hoses shorter at least. But now I need to relocate my fuel pump so I can mount the A/C Receiver/dryer next to the A/C lines as they come through the firewall.

I bought some Mini-tailights and welded some mounts for them on the Radiator bracket.

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About this time, I received the Tube Bender I ordered. I had to make a stand for it but before I committed to a design for the stand, I decided to try an idea I came-up with while waiting to receive the bender. The hydraulic option seemed ridiculously expensive and although I don't mind using a little back muscle to bend some tubes, it sure would make the stand a lot smaller and simpler if I could find a way to make it an automatic bender. I figured the cheapest way to do this would be to use a long threaded rod as a worm gear (kind of like a scissor jack) and use my impact wrench to drive it. So, I went out bought these pieces:

- five 4"x12"x3/8" plates
- 1/2" and 5/8" ID tubing to make bushings
- 5/8" fine-pitch Grade-8 threaded rod and some Grade-8 nuts

....and spent a day and half building this contraption:

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It came out great. However, it puts more of a load on my impact wrench than I thought it would and consequently, it turns very slow. In fact, It takes about two minutes to do a 5 degree bend and then my Air compressor is spent and I have to wait three minutes for it to recharge before I can add another 5 degrees to the bend. At this rate it would take me and hour and a half to make a 90 degree bend. I looked at getting a higher torque impact wrench but then I would also have to get a higher capacity air compressor to keep-up with it. So forget it.

I went to plan B and built a stand for manual use. Rather than anchoring a stand to the ground with concrete anchors, I decided to go with the more mobile approach with emphasis on "mobile". I had a 7' length of 2" square tubing laying around and I bought a 6" length of 2" ID square tubing. It only took me a couple hours to build this stand/bracket. Here it is.

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It works very well too. It's a lot longer than it needs to be but at least I don't have to worry at all about a tube being too long and interfering with anything.

After doing some test bends to characterize the dies set and tubing I'm using, I was finally able to put the tube bender to work building a removable rear engine cage. I used 1-1/2" 11ga (.125 wall) tubing for the cage. Here is the first bends for the top hoop.

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I welded in a short length of 1-3/4"x .125" wall tubing to the crossbrace on the stock shock mount and the 1-1/2" tubing slides into that.

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Then I built a skid ramp under the tranny horns to protect the Suby oil pan which sticks down lower than a VW oil pan (even though the Suby pan has already been shortened from the stock pan).

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I had a hard time getting the angles on the front tubes right so I cheated some (OK, a lot) and filled in the gaps with the welder.

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I bent the two rear tubes and welded in some 1-1/4" OD .125 wall tubing inside the tubes that inserts into the skid ramp tubes and is bolted through both tubes. I notched and welded-in the two rear tubes and added a crossbrace (reinforced with a 1-1/4" 11ga tube slipped inside of the 1-1/2" 11ga tube) for towing other sandrails. Here is the finished engine cage.

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It only takes four bolts to pull this cage off.

Last night, I drilled a 5/8" hole in the crossbrace and installed a heavy duty eye-bolt for towing other rails.

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I'm going to put another eye-bolt in the front beam for when I need to be towed which I hope doesn't happen too often.

Slowly but surely, it coming together.
Scott

Idaho Falls

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Post by porboy » Fri Jun 25, 2004 6:35 pm

You are doing an excellent job. Keep up the ggod work.

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Post by r erfert » Sat Jun 26, 2004 12:26 pm

Very nice so far...I noticed in your picture of the bender that you did not have a spacer under the slide block?? that holds the tubing to the die...It helps in keeping the tubing centered in the die.

don't for your tag on the trans that reads NO OIL.

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Post by TLB » Sun Jun 27, 2004 5:03 am

I haven't checked in for a while, but it look's like your coming along nicely
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