Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Overall Philosophy

I've often seen advice to the tune of:

Come up with an overall vision or philosophy for the project before you begin. This will help with the countless small decisions you will have to make as you plan and complete the project.

This is something I seem to struggle with on a lot of projects, not just EV-related, and not even just car-related.

There are two areas in which I'm struggling with this, and being something of a perfectionist*, I want to be consistent with whatever route I choose.

So the first question is how true to original the restoration should be: For instance, do I need to locate window seals with a molding groove, or go for the cheaper and more available "Cal look" versions? The second question is more subtle, but basically it boils down to whether I want a more plug-and-play or a more integrated conversion. For instance, do I adjust or replace the torsion bars to correct the ride height, or do I add air shocks? Another instance of this question is how much sheet metal surgery should I do to get the batteries in an optimal location.

Some might advise to take the easy approach to each question, but I've seen some awfully homely restorations and conversions that take this approach. Or one can take the "perfection at all costs" approach, much like my EV conversion role-model, John Wayland. But given real-world constraints on things like time and money, where do I draw the line?

Suggestions are appreciated, and failing that I'll probably follow up with a post of what I've decided. In the mean time, I'm going to take care of the few obvious no-brainer tasks, like fender beading.

*This is coming from a guy who having received a Lego model of a Ferrari Enzo, decided to assemble it so that all the pieces, where possible, had the little "LEGO" text on each button aligned.

Air Shocks

I just found some Monroe Air Shocks for a '69 Type 3 (I'm assuming it will work for all IRS models). These might be a good way to bring the car back up to level ride height with the extra battery weight in the rear. The other option could be to adjust the torsion bars up a couple of notches. I'm not sure how this affects the handling and the life of the torsion bars, however. I'm going to fire off a post to the VW-EV mailing list and see if they have some insight.