Beck Spyder: newbie questions (donor?)

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Beck Spyder: newbie questions (donor?)

Postby Paluck » Wed Sep 25, 2019 3:00 pm

Hi everyone,
I'm a new joiner as of today. I currently own zero spyders, but looking to get into a buy or a build. I did a quick search and I didn't see much information on donor vehicles - for a Beck Spyder (if I go the build route) what are the smart options for a donor vehicle? My limited understanding so far would be engine, tranny, steering gear and some suspension from a VW. beetle? bus? I'm in California, but those are getting rare here these days too
Forgive the new questions, but I'm a 944 guy, so little experience in the air-cooled VW world

also, slightly random Q but anyone's opinions on ground clearance for these on steep driveways?

Anyone else here in the SF Bay Area who would be interested to talk? maybe even show me their Spyder?

-Mike Paluck
Walnut Creek, CA
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Re: Beck Spyder: newbie questions (donor?)

Postby WasserSpyder » Thu Sep 26, 2019 5:32 am

Most people do not use a donor vehicle, rather buy the parts new. Several reasons, but mainly the mix of years for donor parts would make it hard to get a lot of parts from a single vehicle. Secondly, the parts them selves are't extraordinarily expensive to buy new. Likewise, most people are running a MUCH larger engine than stock VW and unless building yourself, the engine builders are largely starting from new case halves, new P&C, new crank, big carbs, etc...
If you did want to take parts from a donor vehicle, your biggest cost savings would be engine/trans and you could use a handful of additional parts such as steering box, damper, steering arms, tie rods, spindles, possible brakes. You donor year would need to be one with short axle swingalxe gearbox, or atto least a swingaxle gearbox that you'd convert to short axle.

Ground clearance is set at 6" as a standard height, but is adjustable front and rear. At standard ride height you can generally take a large approach angle and not scrape on most driveways, but that would depend on just how steep it was...
Carey Hines
Special Edition, Inc.
www.beckspeedster.com
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Re: Beck Spyder: newbie questions (donor?)

Postby Paluck » Thu Sep 26, 2019 9:59 am

Thanks Carey, for the clarification, that will help with my research
Currently I can avoid material scraping with, as you suggested, the large approach angle. I'll have to gauge what ride height is on my lowered 944 is. I expect nose/tail taper and the overhang relative to wheel position would be important factors as well...
I'm a little limited with the approach angle though as my driveway is 'boxed in' on both sides by retaining walls
My neighbor recently bought a Tesla and just had to return it (for an adjustable ride height optioned car) because he couldn't get it up his driveway... :-(

-M
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