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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.



A skinny “Fat Chick” gets weighed.

Got the car on the scale.  She weighed in dry at 1,895 pounds giving us a 66/33 (rear/front) weight distribution.  The weight distribution will be tuned up a bit before heading back to the east coast – would like to be at 62% rear bias.

At the moment, no complete interior, no bumpers, no fuel/coolant and no glass.

A stock Karmann Ghia is about 1,850 lbs.

Category update.



Body to chassis work..

Just wanted to toss up some pictures of the front-end stance (top row) some folks on ShopTalkForums wanted profile shots.  These aren’t full profile but it’s all we have at the moment.

The first picture is the result of the initial body to chassis merge.  I wanted to see if we could go lower.  Kevin then tweaked the suspension to drop the front a bit more.    I keep forgetting that these are 17 inch wheels – and as pictured, no rubbing, lock to lock! Trying to find the optimal mix between aesthetics and performance.

Ghias have narrow rear wheel wells.  So on the rear we rolled the fenders a bit to comfortably fit the 205s, but now we can (and will, eventually) go to 215s with no problem.




Back from powder coating

More suspension and brake parts have arrived back from powder coating.   I haven’t talked to Kevin for about a week – been super busy at work.  The roll cage and the kafer bars aren’t shown and I’m not sure if they are back yet.  It’s very cool seeing this car come together – back to work for me though. :)

Kevin scooped me and posted these on The Samba with this pics – enjoy..



Handles like its on rails (funny)..

Well, Kevin did say it will handle extremely well..but this is ridiculous! lol..

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!




Ghia Road Course Setup

This is one of the best threads ever regarding suspension tuning on a Karmann Ghia:

The first question anyone who knows racing should ask here is why run a Ghia?

To win, you can’t just run a car you love and hope it will win. You have to run a car you know that can win.

The VW Karmann Ghia is that car. Here’s the bullet points of why it can win.

  • The Ghia is light, 2000lb. and under. In today’s racing world that is usually 1000lb. less than the competition. And by competition, we mean anything you pick out on the track to beat. Forget classes for a moment, think lap times.
  • The Ghia has the advantage of a rear engine, which greatly helps accelleration traction, and weight distribution in braking over almost any front engine car.
  • Old Doc Porsche knew what he was doing with the suspension design, and general chassis dynamics. It was the layout of his Grand Prix Auto Unions just before WWII. The Ghia’s chassis comes from an old race car, but one that works.

FJCamper, ShopTalkForums thread (“Ghia Road Course Setup“)