We have been fighting with utilizing, modifying and tossing the stock VW bug pan since we began playing with bugs years ago. It has finally come to our attention that we need to just say no. We needed something that was stronger with better versatility and rigidity that would also give us a good place to attach roll cages, seats as well as other things. After much deliberation we set out to build a custom off-road pan for the bug body (or what is left of it).
The first step was to build a frame jig to keep all the parts aligned. After that we had to decide what size and shape we wanted, what materials to use and a number of other things. We decided that there were to be three types of pans that we wanted to build, maybe more with some modifications done on the current frame jig.
- The first was a pan for a Baja that would be four inches longer, as well as either wider or narrower than a stock pan. We wanted the front end to be pushed out a little bit to compensate for longer travel arms, and tire to fender clearance.
- The second pan was to be one 14.5" shorter and stock width for my Manx. I wanted something that was stronger and lighter than a stock pan and without the tunnel for more interior room.
- The third was to be a stock size and shape for a future street Baja or strip car. Even though we thought about it we really do not think we will ever build one. I have a feeling that we may be into class one racers by then.
The first pan we needed was for Craig's Rail Baja. In this first layout we incorporated a bug kingpin front beam and a stock IRS torsion housing.
With a sort of sketchpad memory, Craig designed his pan from memory as he went. Unfortunately nothing is drawn out to scale, to share. This is a rough draft on the computer of what a custom pan may look like. For further pics and descriptions you will need to jump to Craig's Rail Baja Page.
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