View Full Version : Anti Roll Bar Mount Rusted & Bashed

31-07-2012, 04:21 PM
Having just received delivery of my Avante +2 I have spent a few hours having a poke around to see just exactly what I have committed myself to :shock:

It appears that my front anti roll bar mounting has had a hefty thump in its past, so I will need to do a bit more mechanical work than I first thought. Speaking to dgee87 he told me that it was during an on/offloading incident and the underside of the car grounded heavily enough to split the wheel arch! :shock: :shock: Further investigation uncovered all sorts of damage which will no doubt keep me busy for a while - the bodywork I can easily deal with but the chassis is another matter entirely.

I am unable to post pics yet (waiting for the photobucket login details) but can anyone give me some pointers to a chassis repair? I assume it will involve some professional welding but is there a repair kit that I can perhaps prepare before the actual welding? Please tell me I don't need to remove the body to do the work :cry:

Any help would be appreciated as I know less than nothing about Beetle chassis ....... although I suspect I will become quite knowledgeable by the end of this restoration project :wink:

31-07-2012, 04:39 PM
With out pics it is a of a lottery. If the chassis is badly twisted/rusted/needs new floor pans, then you may well be looking at a body off job. At the very least it will be a lot easier to work on and, in the long run, may be cheaper & quicker.

Look forward to the pictures. If you want a 2nd opinion & advice from a body off veteran, I am an Essexarian myself at present & would not mind comming round for a look see.


31-07-2012, 07:13 PM
Razman, as another "body off" restorer I agree with Bushboy that it is so much easier to maintain the chassis it is worth the effort of getting the body off.


31-07-2012, 09:46 PM
I agree, body off is the way, anti roll bar is bolted via bushes to the lower suspension arms only, not the chassis. at worst a new frame head might be needed, they pop up on eBay from time to time for about 80 or you can get all the chassis panels form the likes of VW heritage or GSF.
You might want to check out viewtopic.php?f=58&t=2954 (http://www.euro-nova.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=58&t=2954) even if you are seasoned restorer there are still a few tips worth a read, (I am a bit biased though).
Good news is the VW 'kipper' is a doddle to repair in the rolling chassis state.

31-07-2012, 09:55 PM
Awww and the body looks so comfy just sitting there on (most of) its chassis. I have a feeling that all of you are right - it would be the sensible thing to do, especially as I can't see exactly how much the dreaded tin worm has claimed (I had to eject some slugs from the interior too :crash: ) I'm pretty sure the chassis is not too badly out of shape and the damage is only to the anti roll bar mounts, although the drivers floor pan is certainly a bit erm .... holy and will need extensive repair work. Oooh 'eck, what have I let myself in for now?

How much work is entailed whipping the body off then? [crosses fingers]

Oh and I would welcome your visit Mr BB sir - I have been following your Eureka build with great interest and you are welcome any time you can make it (I'm in Kelvedon by the way) :cheers:

I will post up a few pics when I get the magic words. :whistling:

31-07-2012, 11:18 PM
Body off, but you are going to needs a few helpers the Nova shell can be lifted by two people but you wont do it with an Avante you will need at least 4 people it is very heavy with all the extra steel.


01-08-2012, 06:55 AM
And now that I can post pics (thanks Dan) here is the full horror of it all - those of nervous disposition please look away now...


So what do you reckon guys?

01-08-2012, 09:43 AM
Wow - that looks very ugly.


01-08-2012, 12:09 PM
Isn't it just! The curious thing is that the other side looks relatively ok with only surface rust - but this side is a write off.

Newbie question alert :dunce:

Am I right in saying that this is the frame head? Is this fixable with a frame head bottom plate or is it just wishful thinking on my part?

If the complete frame head needs replacing, can this be done with the body in place?

01-08-2012, 02:47 PM
Hi RazMan.

Im still on my learning curve with my Nova but here's my 2 pennies worth (for what its worth) I've had the body off of my floor pan which was easy too un bolt & off it came all be it with extra hands to help with the lifting.

I've also had a new frame head bottom panel welded on as mine was shot. The bottom plate was 50 quid Plus the mobile welder to pop it on. It also gave me a chance to fix a couple of other problems so well worth doing from my point of view.

If you just have a steel floor pan to weld up it makes life a lot easier. Plus when welding all that can catch fire is the old paint & under seal from the heat & not the fiberglass body :scared:


01-08-2012, 06:02 PM
I'm a bit confused :confused1:

The picture doesn't look like a standard VW front end at all - the ARB is too fat for a start, and I can't make out the torsion bar tubes. Is this an Mac strut 1303 front end? Strut front ends won't work on Novas (not enough clearance), but may well be OK on the Avante.

I agree with the others though, I think that part of the chassis is toast :scared:

01-08-2012, 07:54 PM
With Lauren on that, I had to do a lot of reconstruction on my frame head/napoleons hat area the MOT before last, and that doesn't look very much like anywhere I was rebuilding!

01-08-2012, 08:37 PM
Ok ..... now I'm the one that is confused :confused1: :confused1:

I was certainly under the impression that it was a 1303 chassis .... but then again it could be a Nissan GTR for all I know (I haven't seen either before so how would I know?) :crylol:

Methinks a few more pics might be in order here, but they will have to wait until the weekend when I can get to the car during daylight. All I can show you tonight is the passenger side as a comparison ..... so here's one without quite so much rust.


You can just about make out that there is some sort of repair plate welded to this part

And if I squint a bit, it looks a leeeeetle like this diagram

So it certainly looks like a 1302/3 mac strut setup to me - Any help?

01-08-2012, 09:09 PM
1303 macpherson strut frot end. So that means yu have an IRS rear end.

Defo a body off job. It can be achieved with one man & a high shed roof with a decent roof truss or an A frame & an endless chain. Thats how the reek body can off & on & off & on & off etc


01-08-2012, 09:16 PM
I like your thinking BB - I only have a single garage to work in (the Avante is about 500mm longer than my Aeon and nearly fills it completely) but maybe I can hoist the body off high enough to roll the chassis out to work on it outside. My only other option is to lift it off and trailer it away to a storage facility, in readiness when the chassis is fixed.

Oh and the IRS back end means I can look at a bit more power than an aircooled motor :party:

01-08-2012, 09:56 PM
Nova body is a 2 man lift, so I assume Avante is similar. If you look on my web site (below) you will see how I had mine supported on 2 ladders with a plank between, and the workbench.


01-08-2012, 11:13 PM
Nova body is a 2 man lift, so I assume Avante is similar.


Not a chance it is 4 good men at least there is alot of metal, I was supprised at the weight of the body when I picked mine up.


02-08-2012, 06:48 AM
I would have to agree that the weight of the shell is going to be a lot more than a Nova. I was amazed at the thickness of the fibre glass and there is a quite a lot of steelwork in the sides and roof. Not exactly like a modern roll cage but it must make a significant difference to the strength of the car in general. I am now thinking that a hoist is going to be needed at the very least.

02-08-2012, 03:50 PM
All new 1303 front end needed there, quickest and easiest way.
Having an IRS rear end means the car will handle better but not cart blanc to stuff a lot of power in the rear, it will still step out or even swap ends if you have to much weight and power there. Having a mib thobbing lump in the boot sounds good but it does make it a bit 'interesting', INHO keep it to under 120 horses and about the same weight and you would have a liverly car but easier to drive.

02-08-2012, 08:28 PM
That explains everything, the Nova wasn't supposed to be able to use the 1303 chasis due to the height of the struts and having nowhere to mount the tops of them anyhow - I guess the Avante's bonded in metal work and higher front wings must allow one to be shoe-horned in there, aren't you lucky!

02-08-2012, 09:34 PM
aren't you lucky!

I'd say - can't you fit rack and pinion steering to Mac strut Beetles?

Nearside picture you can see the lower radius arm which identifies the front end as Mac strut. I believe Avante bodyshells are quite a lot heavier than Novas because they use bonded steel structures in the sills and A pillars to support the door hinges - and as Raz has said, some sort of structure around/over the back too!


03-08-2012, 12:48 PM
aren't you lucky!

I'd say - can't you fit rack and pinion steering to Mac strut Beetles?