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Non T, but Straight axle questions for GB


George, I have something for you to look at if you have the time.

In case you weren't aware of what a volksrod is, I'll fill you in a bit...


There really are no rules to volksrods but most have removed the fenders from a bug, extended the front end and added an I-beam or tube axle, rockin on down the road in VW hotrod.


There was a question posted by a member of the Volksrods community about using VW Ball Joint or VW Kingpin spindles for a tube axle instead of the Chevy or Ford spindle used by us Bucketeers.

The reason? VW hubs, brakes, rims, etc instead of GM disks / bolt patterns, etc.

I remembered you did some fancy work on some Mustang II or Pinto Spindles and adapted them for Tube axle use, so I thought I might try to pick your brain for this if at all possible.

You think the VW BJ spindle (or the VW kingpin spindle) can be adapted (or reamed) like you did on the MII ??

Here's a link to the thread on volksrods in case you want to read a bit.

drop axle mount - The Volksrodders Forum
very interesting stuff. V Dub parts are very interesting to me for some reason. I saw a Tbucket with a Dub engine/transaxle in the back and a 3 piece hood that stored the fuelcell...had pretty good handling, old school wire wheels like the car pictured above and to the uninformed was very hard to spot as what it was. I dont know if it was a real bucket or something hand formed; as I couldnt find the owner. I often wondered about using a corvair drivetrain and suspension since T's use the box sometimes. Thoughts?
I like that set up better than the one Speedway sells. Looks as though it could be bench welded. That's a big plus for some of us plus sized guys.


I read through that thread and still am not positive which spindles they are really wanting to use. It sounds like those guys are wanting to spend the absolute minimum for something that is a major change in the v-dub. That usually don't work real well. :D

The Pinto spindle is ideally configured for modification to a kingpin type of setup. The top and bottom surfaces of both the upper and lower ball joint attachment lugs on the spindle are parallel and machined that way. The centerlines of the holes where the ball joints seat are colinear (Photoman likes that word :D) and the lugs have enough meat to them to be able to bore them and press in bushings and still have enough strength. So the job becomes drilling out the tapered ball joint holes, reaming to size for the bushings, and then making a kingpin. For that I used drill rod as it is a hardenable steel that has a ground, accurately sized surface.


The first set of these that I did were done on a drill press. Bolted them down to the table and used a countersink to center up on the hole. The reaming was done by using a tapered bushing to center up the reamer on one hole while reaming the other one. A Bridgeport makes it easier.


The bearing is an off the shelf enclosed thrust bearing. The top of the lower lug had to have a small amount of relief ground on the back side for the bearing to clear.

If you could find some good photos of the most desirable spindles, maybe I could give you a better opinion as to the practicality of using them.

Hope this helps.
Yes, this certainly helps. They (the Vee Dubbers) are wanting to use the VW spindles on a tube axle so they can use the VW brakes, rims, etc.

I'll try to get some pictures of all the different spindles for you to look at.

I hate ending statements with a preposition.

Thanks George!
Lil John Buttera (RIP) said that he made most of his stuff with a hand grinder, bench grinder, drill press and files. George your eye for precision and detail is amazing. Most guys my age (26) wouldnt attempt anything like that without a 5-axis CNC machine. My Dad said he knew a guy back in the 70s and 80s that had adapted corvair suspension bits to his 34 ford but is still sketchy on the details was this something somewhat common?
Back in the 70s I was building vw dune buggies with a friend we put a corvair spyder (turbo) on a vw pan with a glass body someone had made. It would do a wheelie in second gear. The stories I could about that conversion, but not now(not enough room) :beer::D...Francis

The use of Corvair front ends in street rods was fairly popular in the 70's. But they had one problem. Most installations were done by using a rack and pinion steering box that was installed in the easiest place to position it. Unfortunately, most builders weren't aware of bump steer and the horrendous effects it could have on the cars handling. On an independent front suspension, the position of the inner tie rod pivot points in relation to the a-arm geometry is very critical. As little as 3/8" of height difference of the rack can mean quite a bit of toe-in change.

The Corvair got a bad reputation from these poor installations and gradually faded into obscurity. Along came Progressive Automotive and the Mustang II front ends with the rack mounted to the crossmember and the rest is history as they say.

Thanks for the insight and history lesson. Im a huge history buff esp. in regards to automotive. My girlfriend has a thing for corvairs, so Ive always kinda been interested in them. I always wondered why so many people hated them when the newer ones seem relatively solid, well sorted machines.

Now back to tube axles
How a bout someone dig up a pic of that old straight axle front engine corvair gasser?

Than we'll be on topic right? LOL

I always thought the corvair profile looked like a stretched out 67 Camaro, and I love the 67 and 68 Camaros. I have a friend with a couple of very nice corvairs. A monza and a turbo I think. Mybe a Monza turbo? I don't know much about them but I do like them.
my MAS 6" drop axle takes early Chevy spindles and uses the Superbell Super Stopper kit with Type III calipers. Not sure it is still being made but it used to be around $500. The Wilwood is EXPENSIVE.

What I've been wondering is how much different is the Chevy or Ford spindle compared to the VW spindle.

How much machining would you have to do to the Ford or Chevy Spindle so that the VW drums or disks would be able to be used?

I think that's exactly where this will end up - using Chevy or Ford spindles but mounting the VW disk or drum on it so that we can use existing VW parts like rims and brakes, etc.

I love my Wide 5 VW rims.
You guys have all seen wheel adaptors to put ford rims on chevy spindles right?Well why not think out side the box and make adaptors to mount vw wheels to ford drums?They only have to be 3/4 in. thick.Granted thats a big diameter of aluminum but it can be done.Ask George.
Actually Rick, they need to be thicker than that I think. The VW uses lugbolts (the male kind) that screw into the drum or rotor. You'd need enough meat in the adaptor for the lugbolts to get into.

I already thought of that a long time ago and decided it would probably be too thick.

The other option I thought of was to redrill a rotor (no big deal on the four lug VW but the VW wide 5 that won't work.

There's GOT to be an answer. I mean c'mon, if a Chevy rotor will bolt up to a For Ecololine spindle with only a grease seal change then there's gotta be a spindle that can accept the VW drums and rotors right?

Maybe we are looking on the wrong end for what might be usable. I have a trailer that I use to haul steel on that a buddy built long ago. It uses a rear axle from, if memory serves me correctly, a VW Rabbit. Here are a couple of pics that you might be able to identify. This VW stuff is Greek to me...or I guess that should be German. :lol:


Anyway, the spindle portion is a bolt on piece to the axle with a nice flat back that is perpendicular to the centerline of the spindle. If, and I suppose this is a big if, the wheels and brakes that are what you want are available for this axle, then I could see a fabrication that would bolt to the spindle and have the lugs for the kingpin seats to fit a early ford style axle. Maybe even incorporate a mounting for a caliper in it.

I used to make some caliper mounting brackets for a dune buggy shop that was here locally. It used Porsche rotors and type 2 calipers and also type 3 with a change of 1 part. These were for the rear wheels.


I think that I need to doodle some. :)
George, that sounds like a pretty good idea rght there.

I'll post the info over on volksrods and see what they say.


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