Thursday, April 12, 2012

Staying planted required triangulation, and can lead to Gettin Hitched!

I've meant to add some detail on the mighty fine truss bar set that was provided by Lanner Khan of V-Dub Engineering.  It was a complicated job that involved a lot of trimming and fitting to weld four mounting tabs to the wishbone thta holds the tranny and motor, and four more tabs to the upper shock mounts.  This was made possible by the welding skills of Roger Wright, along with the loan of a wire feed welder from Good Neighbor Tom. 

The five truss bars were installed in the spring of 2010, but the rear end was not finally finished until the trailer hitch took shape in the summer of 2011.  A TRAILER HITCH, you say?   Why of course.  Who would waste such colossal torque on a subcompact commuter that has only modest drag-racing ambitions without also ensuring that one can also tow a boat, a boatload of extra batteries for range extension, or even another half a ghia
So, since the Gene Berg bus-to-bug transaxle adaptor was already over-beefed, that was a logical mounting point, and since the original front transaxle mount was no longer in use, that made for a nice forward mount.  Most trailer hitch receivers add at least 25 lbs of dead weight to the car when not in use, even without a ball mount, so I wanted to eliminate that penalty.  The final solution was to drill a couple of holes through the beefiest point on the tranny mount, and pin on a step-bumper-styler 2" receiver that had been modified with a couple of angle iron brackets on top.  Then I passed a 5' piece of 2" square tubing forward and inserted it into a "duckbill" bracket that prevents both horizontal and vertical torque on the rear mount, but still lets the rear mount handle all of the pushin and pullin....  take a moment on that...