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Author: Subject:  Trying to locate fire bug ( FOUND with new owner )
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posted on January 28th, 2015 at 02:28 PM



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Originally posted by 1303Steve
A lot has been said about how good this car was, it was very well detailed for sure but it didn't show any innovation, it was basically packed full of bolt on parts from a Hot VWs magazine advert.

Steve


Sounds like 99% of car show winners.
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posted on January 31st, 2015 at 07:36 PM



I don't think the VVDS had the "Aero" 'guards back then :)

In all seriousness, what other customisations or innovations were available in the late 80s? One piece widows perhaps?
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posted on January 31st, 2015 at 08:20 PM



Quote:
Originally posted by Euro_67


In all seriousness, what other customisations or innovations were available in the late 80s? One piece widows perhaps?


I agree.

Some cars can have the entire catalogue strapped to em and still not have a coherent look or that "everything is spot on" appeal

It was pretty for sure and nicely layed out with the colour, chrome bling etc..... However, I've dug out the old magazines and was full of good engine and gearbox pieces and treatment to get the best out of the go fast stuff as well.

Maybe the difference now is that cars are built to a similar standard..... But shortly after it's unveil, put straight to use as a driver.

Like the blue ghia recently had windows put in and treated as a car rather than art.
I liked the cars of that era and it's a shame some haven't survived.
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posted on January 31st, 2015 at 10:47 PM



Quote:
Originally posted by Euro_67
I don't think the VVDS had the "Aero" 'guards back then :)

In all seriousness, what other customisations or innovations were available in the late 80s? One piece widows perhaps?


I don't want to blow my own trumpet, I fitted a WBX motor to Beetle in 1988 and made it work, but a lot of people were doing great things then, just no Internet to boast about it, My day job until 1986 was doing innovations to VWs.

I never liked the car and as Ive already said it looked like it was built using a Hot VWs magazine add. But it was was always well presented & clean, not driving the car will do that
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posted on January 31st, 2015 at 11:34 PM



Quote:
Originally posted by 1303Steve
Quote:
Originally posted by Euro_67
I don't think the VVDS had the "Aero" 'guards back then :)

In all seriousness, what other customisations or innovations were available in the late 80s? One piece widows perhaps?


I don't want to blow my own trumpet, I fitted a WBX motor to Beetle in 1988 and made it work, but a lot of people were doing great things then, just no Internet to boast about it, My day job until 1986 was doing innovations to VWs.

I never liked the car and as Ive already said it looked like it was built using a Hot VWs magazine add. But it was was always well presented & clean, not driving the car will do that


Good luck with your search as I remember that car from mags back in the day also.. It really had all the bells and whistles going on.

If it means anything to you Steve I used to crawl all over your bug when you came to Hellbug in the 90's to see how you got the WBX plumbed up etc as your car inspired me to start to collect the bits to build a slammed OG 64 notch that was going to be IRS on its guts but a water cooled auto daily driver in the 'rat' style we all love, but back then it was a $500 project car that we where saving to get a good paint gob on..:lol:

Luckily I avoided a bullet and sold everything VW and got out of it for nearly 20 yrs so I could afford to buy a house!
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posted on February 1st, 2015 at 08:10 AM



Daimo are you talking about my brothers Blue Ghia? If so it still has no side windows and was rego'd 2 years after completion.

Someone made the comment at Nambucca before last "has this car just been finished" when the build was 20 years old.

John still enjoys driving it and keeping the car as clean as possible.

Mike.




Now... what was I doing again :crazy: :crazy:
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posted on February 1st, 2015 at 08:42 AM



Hey Steve, I understand what you're saying, and a WBX motor in a beetle sounds like great innovation for that time. And I've looked at your Subaru powered Bug & was impressed with the cleanliness of the conversion. your car is a great example of just how practical and drivable a conversion can be, and if you like it then that's what it's all about. however...

How innovative is a Subaru conversion these days? considering that you can buy pretty much every conversion bit from a specialist company that makes parts to do it, (and most of them advertise in DB&HVWS as well...ironic?) every man and his dog can do it with a phone, a credit card, and an obliging engineer to sign off on it.

The way you describe how Firebug was built back then, is pretty similar to the way most people are doing it now, only the names of the companies and magazines may have changed a little, but not a lot.

Firebug was a great little car then, and would be a great little car now if someone could get hold of it and drive it the way it was built to be used, unfortunately it was never used in the way it was built.

I hope someone has some luck in purchasing it and driving the nuts off it.
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posted on February 1st, 2015 at 10:23 AM



It's sad when show cars go to hell like that.

Another one some people may remember from the late 80s/early 90s show scene was the 69 Beetle "BlueDaze" that was a VW power cover car.

Its on the Gold coast now as some ones daily driver, in ok shape but well used and far far from the show car it used to be.

one of the local servo owners here had an ex summernats/Hot4s show winner subi powered ragtop 61 beetle from the early 90s, same deal its on the goldcoast now as a daily driven wreck.
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posted on February 1st, 2015 at 10:46 PM



SC, your WBX beetle was certainly ahead of its time, and paved the way for WC swaps. I also recall the EA81 engined beetle, and countless rotary engined beetles that have provided inspiration over the years too.

Fire bug was definitely built with a spare no expense approach. I had the pleasure of working on the car, and watching it come together - (I was told it cost a staggering $50K to complete), and whilst not to everyone's tastes, Im sure everything that went into it was "best available" in Australia at the time, from a catalogue or otherwise.
What is clear, is tastes and trends change, so thankfully there are no more beetles with Carrerra kits and Torana taillights.

What will we be saying about early K&L beetles with narrowed beams or Subi converted beetles in 20+ years time? Because that seems to be the only real evolution of the "scene" since Cal Look, German Look and installing upgrade parts advertised in magazines.

One thing we all seem to agree on, is it would be awesome for someone to bring Fire Bug out of storage, and simply use it!


The other '76 that was very nice was superbly built by VVDS. I believe Boris built it for his book keeper.
I caught it a few times running around the North Shore.

White, with white interior and 944 phone dials. Any one have any photos of it? Birchall, or Mike?
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posted on February 2nd, 2015 at 01:26 PM



There was a factory (911 code) white 76 with blacked out 16x6 & 16x7 Fuchs, white bumpers and big VVDS stickers across the tops of the front & back windows & along the bottoms of the doors. Was featured in an Australian VW magazine but I can't remember which one. Think it had a black Recaro interior, MOMO wheel maybe?

That was a really tidy little 76. I dont remember teledials on that one though.
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posted on February 2nd, 2015 at 10:44 PM



Quote:
Originally posted by DOKA Dave[

How innovative is a Subaru conversion these days?


I don't think any 2 Subaru conversions I've seen are the same.

A brief summary of what I did to my bug, Ike probably forgotten some

Electrical, moved the fuse box from under the dash into the boot area behind the glove box and it uses blade fuses instead ceramic/plastic fuses. The wiring loom layout mimics an Mk1 1 Golf, Euro parking lights, intermittent wiper, electric washers etc Cruise control has been fitted

Extra interior light over rear parcel shelf which can be removed for access to the bee sting radio aerial mounted on the rear of the roof, the factory interior light and parcel shelf light have LED bulbs fitted

Side indicators are mounted in the front 1/4s, extra brake light holders are mounted inside the taillights

Provision for future fitment of air conditioning has been made
Brakes, Porsche 4 spot Brembos all round, larger 20.6 mm master cylinder fitted, brake master cylinder moved outwards 25mm to allow room for a clutch master cylinder to sit beside it. Front brakes are from Dak to the Future and use Porsche 930 rotors adapted to Beetle hubs with 996 rear callipers used on the front, the rear brakes are Porsche 944 with Boxster callipers.

Suspension, KMac camber strut tops on the front struts which have have been shortened and an adjustable collar has been fitted to adjust ride height with heavier narrow coil springs, Mazda RX7 Koni sports shock have been adapted to fit, Vee Dub Engineering heavy tie rods are fitted, tie rods have been turned upside down to reduce bump steer. Rack & Pinion steering from a later Beetle has been fitted, the body and chassis needed to modified to do this. I have an adjustable caster White line front sway bar taken from my old 1302, I instigated the production of these in the early 1980s with a friend of mine Richard Watts who owned Whiteine at the time. Larger camber pins fitted to allow more adjustment.

Rears suspension is from a 1986 944 Porsche, the trailing arms are aluminium and use a double row wheel bearing, although they use the same mounting as IRS Beetle trailing arms there is some modifications that need to be done to use them on Beetle.

Iím using Bilstien rear shocks, a fabricated bracket was made to tilt forward slightly to clear axles. The chassis has been modified to allow a Porsche G50 transmission to fitted where the torsion bar mounting would normally be, short early Beetle 30mm Sway Away are used with the splined mountings moved further out in the chassis, a custom 3 bar Kafer was made using molly tube. The chassis forks have been boxed in with 25x50 tubing and have a trapeze mounting that tie into the chassis and extend nearly up to the front seats. Sway Away axles with race prepped 930 CVs are used

Chassis, the transmission has been moved forward 100 mm and raised 25 mm. The transmission is held in place by a Porsche front cross member, location points have been fabricated and welded to the torsion bar housing, a 76 Kombi bell housing mount is used as a midpoint mounting for the transmission and a fabricated mount at the end of the frame horn supports the motor via Subaru engine mounts.

The chassis has a 13mm stainless steel tube welded into it through which passes a Bowden accelerator cable, the accelerator cross shaft has been modified to eliminate the factory circlip, the accelerator pedal pivot point has a Allen head screw through it with a lock nut.

Porsche 944 handbrake cables are used and are mated to Beetle handbrake lever.

Engine, is an EJ207 and is from a GDB Subaru WRX STI, it has been modified with hand ported stock headers, 3 inch exhaust, 1000 cc injectors, PWR water to air intercooler with an ice box for drag racing is used, Garret GTX 30/76 turbo and has been converted to run on E85 fuel, while still running on BP98 it has made 235 kW at the wheels, more to come with E85. Engine is mounted using a KEP adaptor, clutch and flywheel.

Body, a box to house the intercooler and various other engine ancillaries was made to fit behind the rear seat, body stiffening similar to a factory convertible has been fitted in the door openings at the A&B pillar locations, the factory rear seat base mount has been replaced with a 25x50 tube that is welded to the inner B pillar and bolted to the chassis. The stock boot hinge pin pivots have been replaced with bolts from an earlier model Beetle to make them more stable, boot release is mounted under the dash using a Bowden cable similar to a choke cable. Part of the rear inner guards and rear apron can be removed to facilitate engine removal.
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posted on February 2nd, 2015 at 11:00 PM



The 76 with the dials belonged to Judy when she worked for VVDS, she sold the car ages ago, I still see her sometimes at the locals shops.

The white 76 might be the Aero 1500 Beetle that eventually became Boris targa car, then his drag car and now Lou Guevara's circuit car
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posted on February 3rd, 2015 at 01:06 PM



Quote:
Originally posted by DOKA Dave
How innovative is a Subaru conversion these days? considering that you can buy pretty much every conversion bit from a specialist company that makes parts to do it, (and most of them advertise in DB&HVWS as well...ironic?) every man and his dog can do it with a phone, a credit card, and an obliging engineer to sign off on it.


Dave, if you;re taking sand rails which have no bodywork limitations and the rad just bolts to the frame above the engine then yes you can buy it all for a quick bolt in but as Steve said no two bug conversions are the same because nobody makes an off the shelf bolt in bug cooling system,
its all custom pipework has to be made and a radiator to suit that particular car, off the shelf mufflers are around for buses but need custom modding for bugs, the fuel system has to be redesigned for fuel injection,
Yes you can buy a throttle body inverter but you still need to make up a custom intake and filter to fit a bug engine bay etc etc etc but long and short of it you can't just do a bolt in Kmart subaru conversion in a bug.

I'd also question the legality of half the conversion stuff you can buy in US in Aus anyway ie, mufflers with no cat, miniumum ground clearance issues etc.
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posted on February 5th, 2015 at 10:17 AM



Just read your build thread Steve. Although Subaru powered VWs are not my thing, it's a very well engineered and clever little package. It's an exceptional car that's a credit to your building skills. I'm sure it's a hoot to drive & it shows great mechanical innovation.

My point that there are companies advertising in VW mags that make alternative engine conversions a 'bolt in' reality, obviously does not apply to your car. I seriously doubt there would be more than a handful of people on the planet with the vision and resources to achieve what you have with your bug. :cool:

Anyway it would be good to see Firebug get a new lease of life.
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posted on February 5th, 2015 at 11:01 AM



Thanks Dave, I agree it would be good to see Firebug out again maybe after all this interest the owner might consider resurrecting Firebug but I dont think time would have been kind to the car as rust etc goes, I live not too far from its location and we get lots of salt in the air
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posted on June 16th, 2015 at 11:28 AM



still there
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posted on June 15th, 2018 at 09:33 PM



still there a few weeks ago
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posted on June 9th, 2019 at 10:58 AM



still there a week ago
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posted on June 17th, 2019 at 12:36 PM



Its been SOLD new owner



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posted on June 18th, 2019 at 06:18 AM



Have you had a look at it DB?
Condition?
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posted on June 18th, 2019 at 08:21 AM



No not yet just been talking to new owner he has started the engine
I suggest to clean fuel tank and replace line etc and don't brakes hoses etc before he drives

Grahame Giles passed away a few months ago ( spell ) so that why it sold




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posted on June 19th, 2019 at 06:11 AM



Oh, didn't know he had passed, RIP
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posted on June 24th, 2019 at 06:07 PM



I'm pretty sure I saw it today in the driveway of repair shop in Kirrawee, looked nice and clean
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posted on August 6th, 2019 at 02:59 PM



Firebug is now registered , needs bit more tuning but hopefully be at a meet soon.

Cheers

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posted on August 6th, 2019 at 06:13 PM



Good work



From your ole' mate Jeff
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posted on August 6th, 2019 at 07:35 PM



looking good, I fitted a battery to your neighbours car a few weeks ago, we had a bit of a talk about him coming home and seeing it being pulled out of the driveway
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posted on August 6th, 2019 at 10:14 PM



Nice looking bug



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posted on August 7th, 2019 at 02:39 PM



Looking Good



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posted on August 8th, 2019 at 06:19 AM



:tu:
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posted on August 11th, 2019 at 02:30 PM



Hi all I have had major problems writing on the site from an iPad so not sure if this will work . I need to replace the wheel cylinders on the fire bug it has tyoe3 brakes . Front disc and re drum could someone please tell me the best place to buy them. Maybe pads too. Also if there are any gene berg gurus out there I wrote to them about valve clearances . The reply was Unless it has a hydraulic cam set them to VW factory specs or you can go .004" on exhaust and .006" on intake with the chrome-moly pushrods. What are your thoughts on appropriate clearances .

Thanks in Advance
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