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67dubcab 02-02-2010 03:10 PM

Porsche Powered Mid-Engine Double Cab
Hello all,
I bought my 67 double cab eight years ago with a 2110 stroker engine and stock suspension, It serves as my daily driver/ shop truck (wood shop).
It ran well for about 15,000 miles till the forged crank snapped in half. I ran it (slowly!) for about a year with the single port 1600 out of my Ghia convertible, then a front wheel
bearing seized and destroyed the spindle. Time to make some changes!

My plan at the time was to replace the swingaxle with a I.R.S. kit from Wagenswest and go for a adjustable narrowed balljoint front beam with 2.5" welded drop spindles from a early 944, rear steel arms and master cylinder from the same car.
I picked up a cheap 85 944 (broken timing belt) as a parts donor and went to work.
Mini me-chanic gettin' some work done between naps.

The engine for this build was going to be a 2.0 914 stroker which I started to collect parts for, I ordered a built vw transaxle to back it up.
While waiting for the transaxle I put in a used, hyper 1835 to get back on the road.
It ran well (a little loud) handled well and braking was awesome.
Ends up I would have to wait forever for the transaxle as the builder ran off with my money(and many others, went from feedback hero to straight up thief).
The next thing that happened is the 1835 develops a terminal oil leak.
Time to make some more changes!

I had this idea while pulling parts off the 944 about using the rear transaxle to a shortened torque tube to a mid- mounted 911 engine.........

Twisted Minis 02-02-2010 07:47 PM

I am the one doing the fabrication on this project, Stephen asked me to post the pictures of what I have done so far, so here we go.

First shot is the stock torsion tube that needs to be removed. Second shot is the Porsche 944 torsion tube with most of the stock tabs cleaned off. Third shot is the stock tube removed. I cut as closely to the tube as possible, but not much was left.
Some shots of the arms on and the tube fully welded.

Twisted Minis 02-02-2010 07:49 PM

Stephen brought me some blue prints for a big square thing. I wasn't entirely sure what I was building at this point really, but later came to realize Stephen did a really good job designing all the parts I built from his blue prints. His drawings where also some of the best I have gotten to work from, I get a lot of napkin drawings, or just a picture of something and "build this."

Then there was the bell housing. Again I wasn't entirely sure what was going on here, I just weld stuff. He brought in the housing pre cut, and a piece of thick 6061 angle trimmed to fit it. I welded it together after some extensive cleaning of the housing.

He took it back to his machinist at this point and had it milled down to match the flange and a hole cut for the shaft. I used the piece in the center to index the 944 section that bolts to the torque tube.

Twisted Minis 02-02-2010 07:51 PM

Later he brought the sub frame back and had some motor mount drawings. He had seen some dimpled holes I used on something else and liked them. And as always "stronger, lighter, faster" is the goal. So I built the mounts out of 1/8" cold rolled 1018 plate with a 2.5" and 2" dimpled hole, and the top plates are 3/16" for both the front and rear mounts.

Here is the mock up on the mounts, measuring and figuring still.

TIG welded and added a flange for some rigidity.

Then pasted onto the subframe.

It wasn't until later when I first saw the motor that all this stuff clicked in my head and started to make sense as to what I was building.

I modified an RCI fuel cell for him to fit over the tunnel I made to fit over the torque tube (forgot to take pictures of that part though). I also added a filler neck to the side of the tank that will line up with stock gas door. I made it out of 2" .120 wall 6061 T6 tube and cut a 30 degree angle on the end to make it easier to get the fuel hose onto, and so that it looks cleaner.

Twisted Minis 02-02-2010 07:52 PM

Here are some shots of the cage I'm working on for it. It's not built to any organizations specs, it's just built to do what Stephen wants without interfering with passenger room too much. It really stiffened the body/chassis up and it is only done in the B and C pillar right now. It will go all the way forward once it is complete.
This was a pain.

Twisted Minis 02-02-2010 07:53 PM

Here are some pictures from the day we installed the motor. It goes in from the bottom, which is pretty fun.
Rotated intake.

In the last shot you can see an addition to the cage I made in the morning before putting the motor in (no more welding inside after the motor goes in). I felt like the C pillar needed some extra help with no X or any bars continuing to the rear of the vehicle from the top. I like how it turned out with the dimples, lets me use thinner plate and keep the weight down.

Twisted Minis 02-02-2010 07:54 PM

Here it is on stands in the shop.

Here are some pictures of the trans axle mount.

Here are some bell cranks I built for the rear suspension.

Here I am starting to work on the mount for the bell crank.

Twisted Minis 02-02-2010 07:54 PM

Here is a piece of the tab that will capture the bell crank in double shear. I decided to keep with the double plated bolt holes I started on the bell crank on all the tabs back here. You can also see below it, a custom spacer I machined for the coilovers since they are not a standard size.

The setup is almost done here. I still need to do some clean up when it comes back, like capping off the open ends of the tube, and patching the floor back in all the way and sealing it up.

Twisted Minis 02-02-2010 07:56 PM

Next I machined some links out of solid 6061 T6 aluminum.

Twisted Minis 02-02-2010 07:56 PM

Here are some custom bolts I made to put coilovers on the narrowed beam. The bearing on the coilovers the Stephen got have an oddball bearing, that measures .588" (I made custom spacers to go from this size to a 1/2" bolt for the rear and lower front mount). So instead of running a bolt with a spacer on it, I figured I would make something a little stronger that looks a little cleaner. The bolt itself is 4130 chromoly, all corners lightly radiused to prevent any stress risers, and the suspension load is transferred entirely into the chromoly piece. The other side is just an aluminum spacer that holds the shock in place (side to side, it's a clamp) allows for some misalignment (same as on the chromoly side, cut at 30 degrees .130" in depth), that uses a counter sunk bolt to keep the spacer in place and provide a flush clean look.

And here it is installed. I added another mount 3/4" lower to gain a little bit of suspension droop at Stephen's desired ride height.

And here it is outside before going home for a bit.

Now it's time for bed. Any questions I will be happy to answer, and I will check back in tomorrow night. Probably late again as my days have been long at the shop lately.

67dubcab 02-02-2010 09:40 PM

That is where the d.c is at right now, all the big stuff is fabbed in and the truck is back at my shop while Seth (mad skillz fabricator) builds up some Mercedes race car or something.
The build list:
Engine- used 84 3.2 modified to lower profile to fit under seat by cutting and turning intake manifold. 993 heat exchanger with rotated flanges to face the opposite (correct!) direction.

Suspension- 90 944s2 donated torsion housing, Brembo brakes, front spindles(welded onto the ball joint front end from first build) master cylinder, transaxle and rear aluminum arms which I swapped out for 86 944 arms to reduce offset.
Lightly used Bilstein coil-overs to increase spring rates front and rear(still running torsion bars)

Full cage- If you have driven in a bus you would see the merit in this verses the downside of street driven cage vehicles.

The double cab is my daily driver so all build design decisions were made with this intended use: reliable/ carry kids (two minimum, custom back seat will get headrests,shoulder belts)/carry 1000# plus loads, the rear shock rocker system was designed to extend travel to 7", 3" droop, 4'' compression at ride height./brake and handle reasonably well (for a truck!)/ outrun aggressively driven farm tractors.

Fishcop 02-04-2010 03:48 AM

Wow, you guys really know your stuff! That metalwork is beautiful!

Very hard to find dual cabs over here...

FF2239 02-09-2010 04:26 PM


Your taking the Type-2/Porsche marriage to a whole new level.

Continue to keep us informed with the detailed photos & descriptions, it is very motivating.

merbesfield 03-08-2010 09:04 AM

Beautiful fabrication work.

micheloaks 03-10-2010 04:20 AM


67dubcab 03-17-2010 09:18 PM

Not sure what you mean by "ouch", but thanks for the response regardless.
You Aussies are a strange bunch, I had family in Coober Pedy so I have direct knowledge of this.

micheloaks 04-07-2010 04:02 AM

67 dubcab - 'ouch' as in it hurts to look at - excellent work!

I got family in Coober Pedy as well - definitely an odd bunch out there.

Beetspeed 04-07-2010 07:54 AM

Amazing work! Of course crazy beautifull welding skills, but the design idea with the rear transaxle and mid-engine lay-out is downright briljant!

Nice used rear Bilstein coil-overs. Wouldn't mind a pair myself ;-)
Those lower mounting bolts in the arms have a 1/2 inch diameter eight? Were the Bilstein lower uniballs also 1/2 inch holes??

Tnx for posting this project!

JIM DRAGTEAM 04-07-2010 03:09 PM

Excellent job, congrats !

Please post as many pics as you can !


67dubcab 04-08-2010 11:39 PM

Hey Micheloaks, thanks for that "ouch" as here that could be a response of concern as to cutting up a some what rare old bus.
As to Coober Pedy, well I have never been but have cut and polished a few of those funny rocks they collect , and had family willingly go there and even stay a spell.

Hey beetspeed, the mid engine layout was my idea but all the fab work is Seth
from Twisted Minis, all I can do is glue bits of wood together.
Thanks for the props on the design, it seems to be coherent in reality which is reassuring.

The lower shock mount bolt is a Racers Edge part made to convert the 944 arm to coilover and delete the torsion bars. Paragon sells them. It is indeed .5 inch as that is standard (here) for coilover shock mounts.
I found the Bilsteins for sale on the 944 parts forums here and they are indeed nice shocks, they were apparently take-offs from a Cobra kit car but had a weird bearing size, .588 or so, not a problem for mad skillz fabstar Seth to make them work.
There are more notes and pictures from the build on "The" in "readers rides"- Porsche Powered Double Cab Build.

Jim Dragteam, I will post up more soon as the d.c. has been resting lately while Seth works on a Mercedes Lemons race car build.

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