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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Central Virginia
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550 spyder kit

Hi!
I've been away from these boards for a long time! When our first son was born five years ago, a lot of life went on hold. Those Johnson and Johnson commercials that say "a baby changes everything",......whew, they weren't kidding!

Anyway, I also went back to school a couple of years ago. I took my 914 off the road and it's really suffered from neglect. The last time I went to get an inspection sticker, I failed because of so much rust in the box members under the doors. I had noticed that the more I drove it , the more the doors stuck!

Now I'm trying to figure out what direction to take it. I need a fuel pump before it will run, but otherwise, it shouldn't take much to get it going. I had looked at some 550 spyder kits as a possible alternative for my good-mechanicals/bad-body little project car. I did some searches and couldn't come up with much about "converting" a 914 into a 550. That kinda surprised me. Is there any fundamental reason it's not done? What am I missing? It seems like a good option since some of the kits are reasonably affordable (for tube frame and body).

Anybody have experience with this?

--Case...
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'75 1.8L L-jet 914
Old 05-06-2009, 04:53 PM
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There is a cat named Jake Raby who is a type IV builder who I believe built a 550 with a big 4 in it, think he even posted all about it on his website
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Old 05-06-2009, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VARam1500 View Post
Hi!
I've been away from these boards for a long time! When our first son was born five years ago, a lot of life went on hold. Those Johnson and Johnson commercials that say "a baby changes everything",......whew, they weren't kidding!

Anyway, I also went back to school a couple of years ago. I took my 914 off the road and it's really suffered from neglect. The last time I went to get an inspection sticker, I failed because of so much rust in the box members under the doors. I had noticed that the more I drove it , the more the doors stuck!

Now I'm trying to figure out what direction to take it. I need a fuel pump before it will run, but otherwise, it shouldn't take much to get it going. I had looked at some 550 spyder kits as a possible alternative for my good-mechanicals/bad-body little project car. I did some searches and couldn't come up with much about "converting" a 914 into a 550. That kinda surprised me. Is there any fundamental reason it's not done? What am I missing? It seems like a good option since some of the kits are reasonably affordable (for tube frame and body).

Anybody have experience with this?

--Case...
Most 550 kits are made to be used with a custom frame, except the 550 that fit on
a VW pan. The 914 is a unibody car, if you cut someting out you have to replace it
to get the strength back.
Old 05-11-2009, 06:52 PM
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I was looking at the Thunder Ranch offering. It comes with a tube frame. I know I can use the engine and transmission in it. I guess what Iím wondering is if I get a frame, floorpan, and body, can I use my 914 front suspension (control arms, struts, rack & pinion, spindles) and rear suspension (trailing arms, etc)?

If thatís possible, how much work would I need to do to make it work? Or, how much could they do to the frame to prep it for as much of a ďbolt onĒ transfer of these things as possible?

Ideas?.... Discussion?...

(BTW, I didn't see anything about this on Jake's website. If it's there and I'm missing it, someone post a link.)
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Old 05-12-2009, 10:55 AM
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I think Jake has just supplied engines for Spyder replicas.

As far as I know, all of the Spyder kits either provide the suspension, or use a Beetle suspension. (Mostly the former.) It would take significant amounts of work to try to adapt a 914 suspension to fit and work.

--DD
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Old 05-12-2009, 07:05 PM
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Better to repair the 914 chassis than try and find a way to use all the mechanical bits on a kit car IMO.
Any 550 kit will cost substantial $$ to get it on the road, and you will have something good only for sunny sunday drives and car shows.
A 914 in good mechanical and structural condition can be used as a daily driver.
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Old 05-13-2009, 01:52 AM
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The cars use their own tube frame and most can't easily accept any IRS transaxle..
I have built a couple of these cars and we are beginning the build of a Boxster Powered (3.2)550 with a 6 Speed trans in just a couple of weeks along with the team at Beck.

The Type 4 engine can easily be fit into the car, email me for pics of my car that we built in 2007..

If you buy a car, but a Beck (Chamonix) as Carey and Kevin are the best people in the business and offer the most well built package with the most development. I supply engines for their cars and I know that want to do things right.

I am a dealer for them, so if you want a kit I can probably get you some sort of deal..
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Old 05-13-2009, 01:48 PM
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Jake, are the Beck cars available in kit form?
Old 05-20-2009, 09:13 AM
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I found my answer. Google is quite helpful.

http://www.beckspeedster.com/whatsadeluxebodypac.html
Old 05-20-2009, 09:25 AM
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I can set you up with one :-)
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Jake Raby
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Home of Flat 6 Innovations and Aircooled Technology
'64 356C Outlaw,'76 912E # 185,'76 912E #985,'76 912E #974 Track car
'88 Carrera with 1/4 million miles. 2003 996 Cabriolet, 2004 Cayenne Turbo.
Old 05-20-2009, 09:44 AM
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www.vintagespyders.com

Very nice.
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Old 05-23-2009, 05:38 AM
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You are headed for expensive repairs. With all that rust the car is flexing in the middle. The
914 has the same wheel base as a lamborghini countach so why they choose the pontiac
fiero as a platform for a kitcar instead of the 914 is beyond me. A 550 spyder is much smaller
than a 914. Older 550 kits used a vw chassis that was cut in half and shortened. You can
repair your 914 if you have a cheap mig welder and buy new boxes although a lot of work.
I believe 914's are coming in more demand.
Old 07-05-2009, 01:21 AM
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Old 07-05-2009, 07:48 AM
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Old 07-05-2009, 07:48 AM
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