Bob's VW Trike

Started on: Saturday 1 October 2005

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pict5153.jpg
I didn't remember to take pictures before I started cutting. These are the first pictures of the chop.
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pict5155.jpg
These are some of the leftovers. The first thing I do is chop the top so I can have some room to disassemble the parts I'm going to sell. Lots of the parts can be sold for $10-25 or more to help finance the build.
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pict5157.jpg
This torsion came out of another bug. I'm using it for a trailer, so I cut off the shock mounts, gutted the brake assemblies, and anything else to cut a few pounds.
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pict5165.jpg
I have to finish the trailer before I get any further into the VW trike project. I can't leave it unfinished or it will never get done. Here is the torsion with the tongue attached.
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pict5176.jpg
Now the trailer is mostly complete. Just need to finish up the wheels to match the VW trike.
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pict5166.jpg
I started the front half of the frame. It is 41 inches along the bottom, 20 inches up, and 32 inches on the diagonal. I didn't just make these numbers up. I laid a wood 2x4 on the torsion above, leveled it off, sat my seat where I wanted it and checked where my feet went. That point is the inside of the 90 degree angle. I don't trust my welding, so I took it to a fab shop. they charged me $60 for materials and labor to assemble this part.
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pict5162.jpg
Here it is sitting next to my first VW trike. You can see the rake is much less. The diagonal bar is at 35 degrees. That makes the rake at the square cut end 35 degrees also. What an easy way to set the rake. I will be using stock hydraulic forks this time around. The first one has about a 45 degree rake and a 12 over front end.
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pict5163.jpg
The new frame is a lot shorter too. The first one comes out 45 inches to where it turns up. That makes for a 10.5 foot wheelbase and 14 foot VW trike, from nose to tail. This one is 12 inches, measured along the top.
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pict5175.jpg
Here is my "new" tranny. After pressure washing 1/2 inch of crud off of it, I rebuilt it with a $.99 can of flat black.
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pict5177.jpg
This is the torsion for the VW trike. I still have to cut it back a little more. I will cut it to the body mount strap right in front of the torsion. I had to pressure wash the same 1/2 inch of crud off of it to. Then I treated it with phosphoric acid to kill the rust. I will need more than one can of flat black here.
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pict5232.jpg
Here we have the torsion cut back and painted. It is ready for welding to the front end.
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pict5231.jpg
One more shot of the mid section of the frame.
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pict5229.jpg
The newly cut front end. Still some cleaning up to do. 
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pict5234.jpg
Everything piled up together. The shape of things to come.
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pict5237.jpg
I went from a 10.5' wheelbase to a 6.5' wheelbase. We have the limo and the mini.
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pict5242.jpg
For those of you needing inspiration, 11 days from bug to sitting on three. 
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pict5250.jpg
Sat the tranny in place to see how much I needed to take off the 1/2 inch plate used to mount the front end. It is probably easier to do before welding, but I had the main frame professionally welded, and he was ready to start before I was. Anybody want to guess what color this one is going to be?
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pict5251.jpg
Picked up these buckhorn bars to have something to push it around with. Good thing, too. The front end I used has bars that are 1 inch through the risers, and then immediately drop to 7/8. I probably would not have noticed the 1" section and bought some 7/8" bars.
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pict5252.jpg
Cut a deep V into the plate. It wasn't as hard to cut as I thought. Only used 5 cut-off blades in the grinder. I took the manifolds off and pressure washed the engine. I took the rockers off to keep water out of the engine.
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pict5253.jpg
Hung the motor off the back to dry. Since I don't have an engine stand, I'll probably paint it there, too.
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pict5357.jpg
I painted the motor and have most of it put back together. I'll probably fire it up this weekend. My master cylinders and slave cylinder came in today, so I'll start working on the pedals and figuring out the seat(s).
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pict5367.jpg
My 18" apes came in. I mounted them and started on the floorboards. I used 22 gauge steel. Not nearly thick enough. What was I thinking! I made some patterns and am having some 1/8 or maybe even 3/16 or 1/4 cut at the machine shop. The larger sizes are to add more weight on the front end. I'm testing a silver/red color scheme. Thanks for the idea, Dom.
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pict5372.jpg
Here are the new 3/16 floorboards. Much more sturdy than the 22 gauge.
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pict5375.jpg
Another shape of things to come picture. I'm thinking of using tool boxes as saddlebags.
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pict5380.jpg
The beginning of the seat/bumper framework. Drilling holes is not my favorite thing. I spent 1-2 hours drilling 2 holes in 1/4" steel. I must have changed 20 bits to get to a 1/2" hole. Then I realized I needed 2 more and had to do it again.
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A friend mentioned using the stock VW tank. It drops in almost like I planned it. Just need to add a 4" raised section to the bumper to level it off. The seat is now 36" off the ground. At first I thought it was too high, but the rear seat on my other VW trike is at 28", and I consider it too low.
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The new tank idea caused me to rethink some of my plans. I cut the tracks out of the VW, and used the bottom of the sliders to make my seat adjustable. I added some framework for a raised floorboard (currently white cardboard) for the passenger. 
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pict6106.jpg
I finally got around to working on it again. It's been 3 months since I mounted the front seat
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pict6109.jpg
I used the seat tracks and rails out of the bug to make the seat adjustable
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pict6108.jpg
Here is the seat tilted up. Makes it a lot easier for the passenger to get on and off.
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pict6104.jpg
Today I mounted the rear seat. I decided trying to use the stock tank was too much trouble. I might plan it differently and try again someday
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pict6103.jpg
This is how it sits today
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pict6735.jpg
I got back to work finally. Here are the new brake and clutch pedals
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pict6737.jpg
I made this big sissy bar to mount the tank on.
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pict6739.jpg
Here you can see the rear of the sissy bar.
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pict6876.jpg
Now we have the tank mounted and the rear supports for the bumper. The supports bolt on so the engine can be removed.
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pict6881.jpg
I found these great big saddlebags on ebay. They will add a lot of storage.
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pict6885.jpg
I think I'll put five taillights, four on the bumper, and one at the top of the sissybar.
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pict6903.jpg
This fairing was on my old VW trike when I bought it. I think it goes well here.
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pict6906.jpg
These will be armrest/saddlebag mounts.
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pict7238.jpg
Here are the lower taillight mounts. I still have to figure out the upper one.
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pict7240.jpg
I painted the rims today. Hmmm...Maybe red would look good.
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pict7242.jpg
Close up of the brake pedal and master cylinder. I think I might have to redo the pedals. I don't think you can push down with enough force. We'll see.
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pict7243.jpg
Close up of the shifter and the clutch master cylinder
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pict7251.jpg
Got the new rubber on the rear. I hoped to get more done today, but spent all day trying to get the shield clean. It had clear overspray all over it that would not come off. I got it so clean you can't even see it.
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pict7350.jpg
It looks like three steps backwards, but this is the frame stripped down and painted. I coated the whole thing with por 15 and then 2 coats of bedliner in a can.
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pict7349.jpg
Here is the upper frame getting ready for paint. After this was taken, the paint didn't harden all the way and bubbled up. I had to grind all of the paint off and redo it.
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pict7570.jpg
Got a lot done today. All the color is on and most of the assembly is finished. Now for the little things - like brakes and wiring.
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pict9730.jpg
I was not happy with the stock front end. I'm building a shocker using the stock trees.
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pict9732.jpg
A close up of the link and the tubes.
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The completed shocker front end. It handles and rides so much better than the stock front end that I am going to change the front end on the yellow VW trike.
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The next 4 pics are views of the completed VW trike.
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The completed VW trike.
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The completed VW trike.
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The completed VW trike.