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Thread: Bolt-on Wishbone front end for buggies and kit cars

  1. #1
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    Bolt-on Wishbone front end for buggies and kit cars

    At the Stonleigh show ~18months ago (I think). this bolt-on front-beam replacement kit was displayed on the Pie Valley Stand. It fits the Type1 Chassis/Beetle.

    It is now available (See Kingfisher Kustoms FB page https://www.facebook.com/KingfisherKustomsVW )

    Effectively this gives you double wishbone front suspension, with Rack & Pinion, using stock Beetle hubs, adjustable for height, camber, with coil-overs allowing you to swap-out the springs to suit the weight of your car.

    It is an alternative to the Red9 kit that a handful of guys on this forum are using.
    Price is £1895.00 GBP + VAT

    The $64k question is, can the ride height on this beam be raised sufficiently for the Nova?

    One other possible issue for our cars is the location of the steering rack spigot, it is quite close to the front bulkhead, that will require a steep angle from (two?) steering column UJs.

    I have to say I like this bit of kit.
    When I think back to the fun & games and expense I had building my front end (custom rack, custom callipers, custom coil-overs, shock mounts re-welded) had this beam been available at the planning stage of my build I would have snapped one up. IF (and it's a big if) the issues of ride height and steering rack placement/ connectivity could be overcome.




  2. #2
    I saw it at the show and was seriously interested for my blue Nova, and was discussing with Ed of Pie Valley on whether it would be able to be fitted without taking the body off. It was very much prototype at that stage. There was some discussion with other manufacturers about its Ackermann angles on this unit, and I also found the steering "notchy" and yes it had 2 UJ's (Ed later said there was a binding issue that had since been sorted), but given time has passed I'm sure much has been tweaked since then.

    I'd still seriously like to consider it for the Blue nova as an upgrade. I think this may have been based on a standard beetle (undropped, unlike the Red9 unit), probably worth asking Ed or Kingfisher








    edit : I posed the questions on their FB site, let's see. They do state that there is still some development required for the type 1 beetles.
    Last edited by islandman; 17-07-2021 at 03:32 PM.

  3. #3
    ***Euro-Nova Supporter*** Spacenut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve View Post
    Effectively this gives you double wishbone front suspension, with Rack & Pinion, using stock Beetle hubs, adjustable for height, camber, with coil-overs allowing you to swap-out the springs to suit the weight of your car.

    The $64k question is, can the ride height on this beam be raised sufficiently for the Nova?

    One other possible issue for our cars is the location of the steering rack spigot, it is quite close to the front bulkhead, that will require a steep angle from (two?) steering column UJs.
    Looks like a nice piece of kit - zero bump-steer geometry and adjustable camber (but not caster, sadly). Kingfisher have been in the VW sand rail game a very long time, so they should know what works on a VW buggy. Judging by the shape of the steering rack clamps it might be possible to rotate the pinion so that only a single UJ is required, giving a lower column position and a less acute UJ angle. I guess the only problem with that approach is that the column might be too low, but the Nova bulkhead is not very tall!

    Dave - I should worry too much about the Ackermann angle. If you were designing a car from the ground up, including defining the track and the wheelbase, sure, design it for true centre point steering. But the effect is very much a second order compared to camber, caster and toe settings, and just changing the wheel offset will move you away from that perfect geometry. Remember too that some manufacturers (notably Lotus) deliberately steered away (geddit?) from Ackermann geometry in the interests of improving high speed stability.

    With a bolt-on piece of kit like this, that could be fixed to a SWB buggy just as easily as a standard Beetle or a sand rail, there really isn't any point in trying to optimise the Ackermann geometry

    Lauren

    PS - on a Nova, where the front ride height is higher than that of a standard Beetle, the main issue will be the increase in front roll centre due to the non-optimal wishbone angles. That said, I can't imagine the change will be that great, and is unlikely to significantly affect the handling, compared to say... having the engine hanging out over the rear
    Last edited by Spacenut; 29-07-2021 at 07:52 PM.
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