The Beetle (Body) Has Landed
We hit another big milestone for the VeeDub ReDub prototype: the first mock up of the Beetle body on the chassis.
Before we could lower the body down onto the chassis, the body needed a little bit of trimming. Since our build is a mid-engine layout, the engine would hit sheet metal behind the rear seats.
We ended up cutting out the entire luggage tray, firewall and the structure under the rear seats. We originally planned on keeping the section under the rear seat to bolt to the chassis. However, we decided early on that we wouldn't be using the Beetle pan halves in the future and wouldn't keep the section under the seat. Instead we'll be using our own floor pans and sheet metal to seal up this area in a way that works better for us.
The main benefit of cutting out the seat structure is that we can weld in braces from the rear end to the floor. These braces would be in the way if the under the seat structure was intact. This prototype will get bolt-on braces later but the next prototype will integrate them into the chassis.
With the body trimmed, we lifted the front end with an engine hoist and lowered the rear down over the engine by hand. We had to trim a little extra on each side at the rear to clear the upper control arms but other than that, it fit very well at the rear.
At the front, there wasn't much interference so no cutting was required. Instead we bent the sheet metal out of the way to clear the front suspension structure.
Finally the body was down on the chassis and the engine was IN the car.