Project Description

We did more work on the 1974 sacrificial VW microbus to build out the suspension and engine mounts that will ultimately make their way into Minerva. To provide support for the struts, which are a combination of springs and shocks, we used thick steel welded into the shape of a semi-octagonal prism. To do this, we used the “score and fold” method where the metal is removed at an angle along a score line and then folded over… you then just run a nice thick weld along the inside joint… this makes for a very strong piece that looks factory made.

For the engine, we fabricated engine mounts to hold the engine in the subframe, which is a structural component that uses a separate structure to carry the engine, transmission and suspension. The powertrain is made to float inside the suspension’s subframe so that the forces generated by the engine and the transmission can be dampened (so that it does not disturb the passengers). We also had to replace yet another large body panel on Minerva… this time it was the driver side middle section opposite the sliding door.

That panel seemed very warped either because of rust or a previous accident so, just to be safe, we wanted new metal to take its place. To do this we used what’s called same-side spot welding… the electrodes are placed on the same surface rather than pinching the panels together like in the last video when we installed the front nose and door skins. Next week, we’ll be doing mud work… yes… we’ll be putting body filler BACK ON Minerva… but in the right amounts… more on that later.