I have spent even less time working on the car this month than last. My left wrist is somehow injured, the weather’s cold and wet and I’m just not feeling it. Still need to find a painter.
Still, I’ve spent a couple hours here and there. One thing I did was fit up an aftermarket Bug sway bar to see if I could make it work.
The bar obviously won’t fit on the bottom trailing arm as stock. It looks like it might maybe work on the top one, but so far it just hits the bolt. Need to flip it upside-down and try again.
If that doesn’t work my choices are to hunt down a usable bar in a junkyard or make one. My buddy Danny had one made from a 5/8-inch 911 bar and some steel. Another guy made something similar using a mild steel bar, which had splined for aluminum ends.
Mild steel is no good as-is though. It wants to hold its new shape.
I called a heat treat company locally to see if they could turn a 3-foot wide mild steel bar into a spring, and they referred me to an outfit outside of Philly, which said they could do it but minimum job is like $160. So it’s doable but man, I’d sure rather be able to do this with found spares.
I also sorted the license plate light. This might be brilliant or a little janky; I’m not sure yet which it is.
That is a Beetle interior dome light. I bought two of them thinking I’d mod them a bit and mount one on each side underneath the plate light housing, similar to what the originals had. But the unit is very resistant to modding of any kind so I could only fit one.
The plastic lens is integral to the bulb holder, which juts up too high to fit near the edges of the housing. There’s basically no way to shorten it, narrow it, reduce the assembly’s depth or even eliminate the little switch you see there without destroying it.
So I just centered it in the housing—where it fits pretty well—and called it an afternoon. I’ll wire it up such that the switch does nothing, and hope it lights the plate nicely enough that I won’t have to go back and mess around with reflectors and such.
Here (courtesy of The Syder Factory) is what this assembly is supposed to look like—one side of it:
The correct setup is two smaller clip bulbs, not one pretty large one. So you can see how far wrong I’ve got this. Of course, when installed, this part will be all but invisible, requiring the dedicated student of Spyder detail to lie down below the tailpipe to get any kind of gander at it. So having it say “DOT” and “Made in Germany” is kind of a weird conceit.