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Old February 17th, 2012, 05:37 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Den Haag, Netherlands
Posts: 1,146
Default Channeling how-to
Re:: How I did mine anyway ...   

Occasionally another 'how do I channel my bug' thread pops up so for the sake of posterity, in the spirit of the volksrod brotherhood of sharing, and mostly to massage my own ego ... here's a blow-by-blow account ...

CAVEAT !! .... There are many ways to channel a bug !!! ...

Some people remove the heater boxes to get a 3 inch channel ... Some people section the body horizontally ... there are lots of ways to do this ...

What I did was to cut the bottom of the body and drop it back over the tubes ...

No way is better or worse than any other ... This way is just my way ... It may not be right for you .. all I can say is I did it, this way and it works ... I never tried it any other way ... :)

Because of the Dutch regulations, if you remove the heater channels you have to re-register as a buggy, and replace them with 30x30x3 box .. so you gain nothing ... and anyway - I wanted "Volkswagen Beetle" on the registration papers not "Home-built Buggy" !!

So here's what I did ... in pictures ...

Preparation ... If you intend to keep your original heater channels ... bolt them down to the floor pans before you start ... It keeps it all stiffer.

OK y'all ... fire up your preferred implement of mass mutilation and let's get stuck in !!!!!

Cut away the A pillars from the heater channels ... The wood is actually supporting the body at the original height to stop the body twisting while the other side is still attached ... shows how much was removed too ...

make up a brace for the bottom of A pillar ... (this is a later photo but at least you can see what I did in this one

Now separate the B pillars - you'll need to make up strong stiff braces for the the bottom of the pillar they're a lot floppier than the A pillar bottoms ... BTW - I left the outside sheet-metal the original size and cut only the inside ... it's your choice ...

Floor out ...

Crossbrace out ...

Heater boxes out ... MAN this was getting scary .. make sure you've got a lot of bracing in place !!

Because I was replacing the heater channels I could add the new rear cross-brace in comfort ...

OK ... still with me?? .. good .. now drop it all back on the floor pan with a pair of new heater boxes - Note the 'skirt' at the rear .. remember that I left a bit hanging down at the rear ?? That was to hide the exposed heater boxes ...

... relocate the lower hinge by putting a new repair section at the bottom of the pillar (handy - coz when you come to sectioning the door you can use the 2 hinges as the reference points ...

Apart from fastening it all down .. the only things left are to ... fix up the front end ...

... replace the inner footwell panels ....

... put the rear floor back in ...

BTW ... if you're planning on a tranny raise ... don't wait 'till you've put the floor back in .. I had to go back and cut chunks out to do this ...

... now you can get down to sorting out the door sectioning ...

First cut the door into two modifiable bits ... each with a hinge

Then hang each bit in turn, and mark up the differences in height etc on the door frame ...

Then try out to see if the modifications and the marking out were OK ...

and weld it all back together

fit it and make the new sills ...

... plenty of bondo and fiddling followed by a few coats of shiny juice ... and bingo ... easy peasy ....

and here's how it looks right now with a 4.5 inch chop, 3.5 inches of channeling, a 4.5 inch tranny raise, 1 spline drop at the rear, a 5 inch drop at the front (spindles and avis) and a 9 inch vertical body section ...

I think the stance works great and the whole fit has a good line from top to bottom ... in fact - it's just what I saw when I did the original photoshop ... right back 2.5 years ago.

You're only young once .... but you can be immature for as long as you like!

My Intro/Build Journal - Two Virgins and a Sawzall
You can't build a car with a cheque book

Last edited by radiotrib; February 17th, 2012 at 03:09 PM. Reason: got the order wrong
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