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build updates



Rear vent placement

The Revenant team did a mockup of the rear vent some time ago.  I didn’t particularly like it when I first saw it, but it has grown on me.  The 50s early inspiration is seen in its distant slightly older, cousin the Porsche 550.



Spring cleaning (blasting) preparation

Spring has taken her sweet time showing up this year.   Doesn’t she know we’re pushing to be on the road this summer?

Revenant sourced a used rotisserie and adapted it to the Ghia.   Locally, we found Ace Dustless Blasting which is a mobile media blasting service.  We’re ready to roll on our side and just waiting for a break in the weather to have Randy come out and do his thing.

There are somethings we’re working on in parallel.  Very disappointed that when we shipped our 1958 Ghia steering wheel to our California builder, it came back without the rare horn cover!  We can not get in touch with anyone over there to inquire about it.



Toe and Flow

Mendeola True Track toe adjustment guide.

Finally had some free weekend time to seriously work on the cooling and rear suspension. Updates below, enjoy.


After straightening out the rear end’s body work.  It was obvious that the rear toe was too aggressive.  It was pretty much aligned to a body that was mis-aligned. :). On the Mendeola site it recommends between 1/4 and 1/8 inch toe but I think Revenant team measured it to be 1.5 inches in total. Mendeola’s True Track rear end makes toe adjustment pretty straightforward.  CJ made the adjustments and we took the car out for a spin in the dusk of the early evening.

With CJ holding a big spot light for visibility, we drove the car over to our buddy Veek’s house. Veek built a rat rot model A Ford and I made sure he heard us coming up his driveway but of course he wasn’t home! ;)


Fans weren’t working at first so we powered them up outside of the ECU relay for confirmation.   They worked, but were turning the wrong direction!   We tracked down the wires coming off the fans and reversed the polarity to have them push instead of pull which was against the expected air flow design.   Problem one solved.

After pulling the cover of the high voltage ECU relay panel, there was one disconnected wire (ECU-) so we hooked that up and did a better job of seating/connecting the fan wire to the GPO4 terminal.  (We will be going through and fixing the wiring properly after we pull the body).

We fired up the car, laptop/ECU software and manually triggered the fan and boom, it all worked out.   We will tune this a bit later but we are in a good spot here.  We turned on data logging and let the thermostat open up.   At idle, the car held around 95C which is the standard operating temperature for our EZ30R engine.

So for the benefit of those new to this build and my Ghia enthusiasts, yes that rear grill looks pretty strange with the air vents relocated to the rear as shown. We did some software based testing of the airflow and we think that the vents place here are the best place to take advantage of the low air pressure. This is what we are testing.

We added some yarn to the deck lid to record video of the air flow based on the relocated deck lid vents. We quickly realized that we’ll need a manometer to really check the pressure differential so will be ordering one of those soon.

We were going to do the video recording the next day but ran into to some seriously bad news.  CJ spotted a unfamiliar vehicle in the woods where we ride dirt bikes and after a quick investigation discovered that some gentlemen had committed suicide in the vehicle.  He had been dead for 2-3 days.  911 was called and after the parade of emergency vehicles showed up, our little stretch of country back road testing ground was done for that day.  

I wish I could have talked to that guy before this incident – very sad indeed and it took a bit of time to process a discovery like this. Sorry to end on a sad note. If you know of anyone dealing with depression, hard times, life in general, etc please get them help. Suicide hotline resources.



Rear wing work coming along

Revenant mocked up the clipped rear end from the parts car.   We got lucky in that the parts car was coated with a thick protective layer of who knows what.  It was ground off and we have what you see in the pictures below.



Karmann Ghia Body Panel sourcing

Made some notes of places where to get Ghia body parts.  Others may benefit so here’s what we found:




No Turning Back Now

Revenant started the body work in earnest.

Donor car, carved up like a Thanksgiving Day turkey

Removed right rear quarter panel

Donor rear panel getting prepped



Gauge mockup

Dropped off the new gauges over at Revenant. Took the tach, speedo and fuel gauge out for a quick mockup and fit test.



Gauges arrived.

Our custom Speedhut gauges arrived and they look pretty sweet.  I must say that this is one of the highlights of this build. Feels like Christmas with all the red!



Pantera, Redline software up and running

Boom!  Got the software that Lance shipped installed and setup to pull data from the Redline ECU.  This is another huge step for us. We are now set to go deeper and get the cooling system worked out.  

​Some time ago we picked up an old ToughBook to use with the car.   Lance’s install disk comes with the necessary FTDI drivers to do the USB to serial port setup. 

Redline software pulling live data off the car.

Our dedicated Toughbook.

USB to serial cable



Redline ECU, Scratch that. Pantera EFI ECU!

We weren’t successful in getting any of the original software from our first builder nor were we able to get support directly from Redline Weber.   The software they have listed on their site (much of which is broken) for our ECU is very, very old and also broken.

Not to be deterred and having considerable LMGTFY skills, we found others in a similar situation looking for software updates and support for the Redline ECU family.  We saw that the Redline units look to be the same as the Pantera EFI units.  The “Pantera ECU 882C”  follows the same naming convention as the Redline series (see ECU R882 references).  We also found another company called 034 Motorsport selling a similar ECU.

After we dug deeper, it turns out that the Redline and 034 units are rebranded Pantera EFI systems.

For anyone else out there in a similar situation, we’ve compiled a detailed summary of what we’ve found:

  • Pantera EFI

    The original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for both 034 and Redline Weber.  The source.  Not only the source, but the wizard behind the curtain available to help you!

    If you are looking for a performant (yes, that is a word now because we computer geeks made it up!) ECU, we highly suggest the Pantera ECU 882C.    The 034EFI system has been discontinued and can be supported by the folks at Pantera.

    After a post on the site, we got a reply from Lance over at Pantera who has graciously offered to update our ECU and provide the latest software.  We made phone contact with Lance and had the latest software shipped to us so that we could begin tuning the mighty EZ30R.


  • Finding 034Motorsport was revealing.  Looks like a great shop dealing with Audi and VW!  The were selling an ECU called the 034EFI which was EOL’d (end of life’d) September 2016 according to a page on their site.   Even though we found this, we were enthused to know that there are quite a few of these “882” units out in the wild.  034Motorsport apparently sold them for 15 years!

    Do it yourself support is still somewhat available.  Here are some 340EFI resources:

  • From what we gathered on various forums, it looks like Redline picked up the Pantera EFI as an ECU to resale to the VW market.   We didn’t get a call back from our voicemail or email and others have expressed frustration with similar experiences.

    Unfortunately, the software as displayed on the site is very old and broken so there is not much help there.  Nothing more to be said really.


Software screen shots:



Speedhut Gauges proof

The first round of proofs for the gauges came back.   Needed to make some adjustments to the sizing of the logo.  The changes where made and here is the final proof as provided by the Speedhut artwork team:

Off to print and delivery.  Stay tuned.



Antique plates registered

After two visits, 5 phone calls and 4 hours of waiting in line, we have the Basilari tags registered.   

The most terrifying words in the English language are: 

I’m from the government DMV and I’m here to help.



Revenant garage

Just a quick shout out to Revenant, the guys behind the Basilari build!

#aldie,  #winning



New gauge set ordered

We ordered Speedhut gauges in red:


Speedhut gauge example (10k shows, but 8k will be delivered)



Let the body (panels) hit the floor!!

Always time for a laugh.  :)

So, I found this image that explains the Ghia problem areas when it comes to rust.  We have our work cut out for us (ha!, pun intended):

Shopping for panels now!  The parts car should provide some metal higher up on the quarters. It looks like we’ll need to order all of the lower pieces.



More Inspiration

Just a quick post.  Saw this on Facebook and of course immediately thought of my project.   It’s worth a watch.

Building Your Dream Is A Beautiful Thing

Some dreams have more cylinders than others.

Posted by Petrolicious on Monday, October 10, 2016




Interior inspiration

Going for a Porsche RS inspired interior.  If you recall, we are going with black paint for the top of the car.  Our roll cage is already red and the dash will be the same color as the top of the car (frozen black).   

We’ll see if we can get the pull tab style door handle. :)

Roll cage box already checked for us:

Early pic of the Basilari roll cage

Better view of the Porsche RS cage:

Porsche RS cage



Running again.

After the fuel tank cleanup, replaced injectors, and sending unit mods, she’s back running.

Next is to get some road testing under our belt for the cooling system.




Fuel injectors are expensive!

Getting started with clearing up the fuel system.  First up, new injectors.  For folks considering the Redline Engine Management system, the injector connectors supplied with the harness will require you to grind down the nubs on the injectors to fit properly.

Denso 297-0010 Injectors for EZ30R

They have been installed and we have the car running again!




Fuel tank progress

We have great progress on the fuel tank and related work.   We first needed to get the gas tank situation sorted.   We had roughly three options here:

  1. Restore/coat the original 1958 tank.
  2. Find an existing fuel cell and work to fit it into the stock tank location.
  3. Go full custom and fab up exactly what we need.

We were leaning toward option 2 because we liked some of the race car inspired safety features that come with modern tanks.  We didn’t find anything close enough and the pricing, while reasonable was about the same as option 1.   But, we’d need to do some fab work to make a generic tank work.

Option three came in very high – like used Honda Civic high!   It was ruled out. So we checked around for vendors and pricing for a recoat/reseal job and went this route.

We selected Moyer Fuel Tank Renu to get the tank work done.  The original tank had already been modified to add a baffle in the bottom to help with sloshing fuel.  The guys at Moyer split the tank open, prepped and coated all internals including the installed baffle.   It came back as shown in the photo below.  It looks a bit rough, but we knew this going in with Moyer and they have explicitly noted this on their site. “Tank may be painted after the Renu process but must be touch sanded lightly and primed with lacquer primer first.”

Ordered a new sending unit and it was too long as the baffle we added is about one inch from the bottom of the tank.   The Revenant team cut the sending unit and re-welded all of the resistor wires and such to make it fit.  Very clean job!  We’ll need to get another gas cap though.  The original one is pretty banged up.

Tank as it returned from Moyer.

Cut down sending unit

Fuel tank ready to go!