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Old 04-05-2014, 02:20 PM   #15
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I get exactly what your saying
Maybe I'll give that a try
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Old 04-05-2014, 04:53 PM   #16
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The old bugs really didn't have a frame, so to speak. The chassis pan got most of it's rigidity from a central tunnel structure that ran from the front axle to the engine compartment. The outboard sections of the floor pan had a secondary flange arrangement to tie the lower body to the pans with a multitude of bolts. The outside edges of the pans mainly got their rigidity from the heater tubes built into the lower body and a stiffener below that.

Probably a good idea to take the camper shell off the pan to see exactly what damage(probable rust) you have to the pans. If the center tunnel has buckled or're pretty much out of luck. There's a good possibility that who ever did the shell mod, may have cut out the heater tubes in fitting the shell. You may have to built a frame for the shell and not rely on the VW's pans for too much rigidity. To do that, I would think you would have to tie the shell's support into the center tunnel...and geez, I really don't think the tunnel(even if undamaged) would be up to the task.

When I worked for VW(back when the '72s were new), I cut into many a tunnel to weld new bracket supports for the internal clutch cable tube and that metal is not all that robust. All that said, VW seemed to rely heavily on the tunnel, outside pan flanges, heater tubes and the body to form the car's structural integrity. Any of these component failures will seriously compromise the structure...which it looks like, may be the case. Best of luck with the project.
Jan and Bob

'05 Monaco Windsor 40 DST - ISL / '08 Wrangler
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Old 04-05-2014, 05:06 PM   #17
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I agree with scenic route, a bug is built on center tube, heater boxes, and a floor pan. Luckily, all of those parts are available. You will have to lift the camper body off to repair and replace, it should all be welded, not pop-riveted. (how some people repair rusted pans and heater boxes)
Check this place for parts, I've rebuilt a number of bugs, buses, and Rabbits with their parts.
VW Parts, VW Diesel Parts, VW TDI Parts @ Parts Place Inc.

Bob & Donna
'98 Gulf Stream Sun Voyager DP being pushed by a '00 Beetle TDI
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Old 04-05-2014, 06:57 PM   #18
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Great info
No cuts were made Into the pan at all, pan is clear.
All heater tubes etc is all stock and unmodified. The whole chassis is stock.

The camper sides were attached by a welded strip of metal along side the pan and then the floor was screwed into that channel

When I get a bit more time I'll spend the weekend and prep this thing to remove it from chassis
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Old 04-05-2014, 07:39 PM   #19
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Wow, that's a really awesome find! I wish that I could suggest anything helpful, but all I can do is wish you luck. You might reach out on the Samba web forum to see if you find anyone who's tackled these before. It's one of the best VW resources going right now...

- Randy
1975 VW Westfalia camper
2104 Rockwood A122 A-frame
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:59 PM   #20
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Hey I thought I'd ask if you had made any progress?
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Old 04-29-2014, 06:09 AM   #21
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Boy is that cool, I had a 68 bug with a Holly 2 barrel and headers, I could get 2nd gear rubber. Gave a few Porsche's a run for there money... I hope you are able to rescue it.
With interest,Tim
1982 Pace Arrow P30 454
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Old 04-29-2014, 06:47 AM   #22
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Original plans just came in the mail

I think the plan is going to be a full frame off rebuild. Leaning towards aluminum frame although the wood would be cheaper... I just don't want to deal with rot again after this
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Old 04-29-2014, 07:23 AM   #23
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Back in the early 80's I had a Veep kit car, '47 Jeep CJ3A steel body, VW front and rear suspension, VW motor. It did not use VW pan, but had custom steel box frame. Maybe you could find one of these frames, or at least get drawing of frame to replicate. Best of luck on your project, sounds like great fun.

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