Aluminum 550 Spyder build

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Mike Wilson
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Re: Aluminum 550 Spyder build

#166 Post by Mike Wilson »

Great progress, Adam!

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Adam Wright
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Re: Aluminum 550 Spyder build

#167 Post by Adam Wright »

Phase 1 is complete, only took 7 years! The body is shaped, complete and together. Phase 2 begins, the mechanical. Then phase 3, final assembly and finishing of body and interior. Never give up! Thanks for Wray Schelin at Pro Shaper for making dreams come true. I took his class on metal shaping years ago, learned some skills and he and me went crazy on my dream, an aluminum 550 Spyder. This is that dream realized.
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Ronald Sieber
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Re: Aluminum 550 Spyder build

#168 Post by Ronald Sieber »

It's been a long journey but a worthy quest. Good luck with the next steps!
=rds

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Adam Wright
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Re: Aluminum 550 Spyder build

#169 Post by Adam Wright »

According to science a group of Spyders is called a Cluster. My car and 550-0054.
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Martin Benade
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Re: Aluminum 550 Spyder build

#170 Post by Martin Benade »

Is the body done, or will it be mudded and painted? I like it’s current look, but smooth and shiny sounds even better!
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Re: Aluminum 550 Spyder build

#171 Post by Adam Wright »

Phase 2 has begun. Bill and me assessed the things we need to do to get the car operational and decided to start on the steering. I have an original 550 steering column, which is a good deal shorter then a 356. But we had the problem that the 550 steering column is much farther in board then in a 356. We moved the steering box and drilled a new hole in the bulkhead. It lined up nicely. We had a little day left so we started placing the shifter and ran the cables for the cable shift.
Also lined up the e-brake with the one in Bill's car, it was a close match. Bill and I worked well together so I think this will flow pretty smooth moving forward.
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Mike Wilson
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Re: Aluminum 550 Spyder build

#172 Post by Mike Wilson »

It's really coming along nicely, Adam.

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Re: Aluminum 550 Spyder build

#173 Post by Adam Wright »

Today was pedal day. We first had to make and fit the bar that holds the pedals. Luckily we knew exactly where to put it since Bill's Spyder 550-0054 was a few inches away! The pedals were drilled and fitted, then the bar was welded in. It fit with my plan of showing progress every time we touch the car.
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Mike Wilson
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Re: Aluminum 550 Spyder build

#174 Post by Mike Wilson »

👍👍👍

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Adam Wright
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Re: Aluminum 550 Spyder build

#175 Post by Adam Wright »

Today was momentous even if it doesn't seem so. One of the last big obstacles to the build and one that has been worrying me was the shift linkage. I had decided to go with a 644 gearbox but while converting it to 550 mid engine is easy enough by flipping the ring gear the real obstacle is I couldn't find anyone who had made linkage for tail shifting of one. 550's used a gearbox like the 519, lots of linkage there but it won't work on a 644. Most of the aftermarket stuff out there is set up for a VW Type 1 gearbox, so no help there either. So after consulting with many folks I decided to do a cable shift system because of the versatility in the setup and adjustment. I found one that was set up for a Type 1 gearbox and decided to see if I could modify it. Geoff Fleming started the process, making some custom brackets and changes and the baton was passed to Bill Haupt who tried many things, some worked some didn't. But by the end of today we could shift in all four gears. The end result looks pretty good too. My car is on top, Bill's car 550-0054 is on bottom. So one of the last great obstacles of this really hard build is not behind me and it feels pretty good!
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Martin Benade
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Re: Aluminum 550 Spyder build

#176 Post by Martin Benade »

What’s the third picture in post 171?

I’m surprised the VW shift linkage wouldn’t be an easy fit. Isn’t a regular B setup essentially the same as a VW?
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Vic Skirmants
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Re: Aluminum 550 Spyder build

#177 Post by Vic Skirmants »

644 trans; not a B.

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Adam Wright
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Re: Aluminum 550 Spyder build

#178 Post by Adam Wright »

Vic Skirmants wrote: Fri Dec 08, 2023 8:51 am 644 trans; not a B.
Next you're going to tell us you built it! Oh wait, you did....
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Martin Benade
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Re: Aluminum 550 Spyder build

#179 Post by Martin Benade »

I know it is a 644 but wouldn’t sticking in the 741 rails, hockey stick and cover have left you ready for an off-the-shelf VW shifter conversion? You worked too hard! But I’m sure the end result will be good.

After looking at various shifter types, maybe the flexibility of cables makes them the best route.
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Re: Aluminum 550 Spyder build

#180 Post by Nathan Miller »

Greg Bryan wrote: Thu Jan 08, 2015 2:54 pm That's a very impressive industrial-strength English wheel ...
Wray designed and built most of the English Wheels in his shop, and sells a kit or the complete English Wheel. I took his five day class a few months ago and saw an aluminum 550 in the process of being shaped. I only remember one 550, so I assume it was yours, Adam. There was also a 250 GTO that he was building from scratch for a client. The client had purchased a Ferrari V12 Columbo for the car and it was in the shop. If you want to BEGIN to learn how to shape metal, Wray's is a great class. I seem to remember that if you buy one of his English Wheels, you get to take his class for free.

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