So I spent a lot of time planning out the paths I may (or may not) take Żuczek down once I start on the restoration.
A lot will depend on finances at any given time, as well as if I think I will be up to any given task when the appropriate time comes.
While I could probably be happy just restoring him as-is, with all his rust repaired and all parts being the best they can be, I’d like to make him a little better than was he was born as.
While the plans have always called for the elimanation of the stock strut assembly and the installation of the Kerscher Tuning struts and possibly even rear coil overs,
I’ve read far better things about these options than the equivalent US TopLine Parts struts and since I’m already committing a lot of money to this I may has get the best I can afford.
However, this is where things may just get more complicated.
In my many hundreds of evening hours ill-spent in front of my computer screen researching directions to go I have kept coming back to the amazing Mendeola suspension kits and brake kits that Cool Rydes So-Cal Customs sells.
Were talking modern wishbone style suspensions and more modern rack and pinion steering
Let’s face it. If you’ve driven in a standard Beetle, and even a Super Beetle, there’s a certain charm to ancient steering and suspensions but imagine if it was closer to what a modern car feels like.
I mean, at least with Murbella the rack and pinion steering is a blessing compared to the older steering box. But imagine something even better.
Since I had some brake product questions (I’m looking at these), I decided to ask if they’d had anyone attempt to modify these kits to fit on 1302/1303 chastises.
Kevin from Cool Rydes got back to me and pretty much shocked me the realization that the Mendeola suspension can be put onto a 1302/1302 with of course modifications to the body.
From the looks of it (Fig 1.), the stock control arms would of course be removed and the Mendeola framework would fit in right after the crumplezone area and before the napoleon at.
It looks like the brake lines and master cylinder are all in the same spot, with the rack and pinion up top which is sorta-kinda the general location in the 75-79 1303s.
Now there does appear to be a substantial amount of body work necessary in the front quarter panels with quite a lot of clearance being made (Fig 3.), as well as the entire removal of where the strut assemblies would mount. It looks like the stock sway bar is gone with this sway bay closer in directly on the framework.
The real differences in metal work/body modding can be seen in Figure 4 (above) as to make this work, you are essentially eliminating the entire back half of the spare wheel well. Now I guess I don’t mind the installation of the braces from the old strut towers to the bottom of the wheel well, but if those supports over the fuel tank are welded in, that means a whole lot of future frustrations there as I’ve had to remove my tanks in all my cars for this or that upgrade work before.
While these were just a few photos he sent me to show how it is done, you end up with substantially altering the front body. I suppose this could be treated like a standard, with the spare on an angle, but notice those braces are there with the fuel tank.
I really need to investigate more, at $3,295.00 if really isn’t all that bad. But I’m not sure about the major changes to the body. Are they worth it to put a more modern system in?