Yep, my flares hold

Spent the past few days making brackets, bending tubes and just generally getting the brakes, clutch, shifter & etc. into near-working order.

And, yes, the flares I made for the clutch lines hold pressure.

I haven’t tested the brake system yet but it’s a good bet those will work too.

Also working: the emergency/parking brake. Here’s me welding the e-brake handle mount to the shifter housing:

And here’s how it fits with the driver’s seat:

The center plate is getting a bit crowded. I fabbed up some brackets with tubes to keep the e-brake cables in line and off the brake proportioning valve.IMG_0979.JPG

And of course I had to curve some half-inch steel tubing to carry the cables back to the stock Beetle flex lines the normally plug into the tunnel. I bent them without heat, and the passenger side got a little dented. Then I made some brackets and welded them in. The cable sheaths plug right into the open ends, and a half-inch drill opened the outboard holes in the firewall enough for a snug fit.


I welded the tubes to my brackets but did not tack them at the firewall. There seems no need, and I don’t want to burn any more aluminum or glass.

With the cables shortened and the threaded rod that came with the Fibersteel Emergency Brake handle it wasn’t too hard to get the system adjusted.

I still have to tap a couple more holes into the steel plate in the floor and bolt down the e-brake mount to keep it from twisting. But, basically done.

I also bolted down the shifter, hooked-up the cables and adjusted them to get all four gears and reverse. It’s still a bit rough, but I know it works now, so I can take the whole works out and prep for paint and a few other minor details.

Speaking of which, not all Spyder build details are fascinating exercises in Creative Fabrication for Greater Authenticity. My last hour today consisted of taking the front brake hoses out and widening the grooves in their inboard fittings so they can be secured to the chassis with the stock clips.

Seems the powder coating on the Thunder Ranch chassis makes the metal up front just a hair too thick to pass this fitting through the hole and secure it with the U-shaped spring clips that somehow became universal on brake lines about 50 years ago. My choices were: A. who cares, it’s invisible so leave it alone; B. grind powder coat off the steel there to thin it enough to use the clips; C. find some other way (hose clamps?) to secure the hard line to the frame; or D. widen the groove.

D it is.


I’ve spent a lot of time, and expect to spend a lot more, doing stuff like this. These are the little unsung time-sucks that stretch the build process and tax the builder’s patience. I think a lot of home-built (and probably some “factory-built”) cars roll with Option A, and it’s mostly fine. But Option A, multiplied hundreds of times over the course of construction, can lead to trouble, and at least it leads to a subtly-inferior product. I’m  keeping those Option A compromises to a minimum on this car.




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