Posted on 10/07/2013 at 23:23

Kitty Upgrade : Fuchs time!

I'm sorry, ShamWerks may have looked like on hold for quite a while now...

Actually, I'm currently in the process of making many improvements on Kitty (that's my Ghia's nickname - don't ask), and it's taking me more time than I had planned for... And I was waiting till I had reached some major steps before posting anything about it here!

So brace yourselves for quite a series of "Kitty Upgrade" posts ; speaking of which, I'd like to thank Bazoom who made the drawing I use in this post's title ; this is kind of a preview of what my Ghia should look like when I finish it. I know, I know, I got quite a lot of work to do before I get there! icone smiley wink

One of the long awaited modifications was installing the Fuchs wheels presented here almost... Phew, 6 years ago!
These are genuine, original, pre-Feb '71 Porsche Deep Fuchs, not repops, 5.5" in the front, 6" in the rear... Überlike! :
It took me a while, I finally got them polished. Yup, I went the easy way, bringing them to a professional to do it, I didn't have the courage/patience to spend 15 hours per wheel sanding! (Olive-from-the-Hills, if you read this : yes, I'm kinda ashamed icone smiley laughicone smiley laughicone smiley laugh)

So, I first took the rims to paint stripper to get rid of the many paint layers. Fun fact, he didn't manage to remove the original black layer from Porsche, even after putting the wheels four times in his paint stripping bath! That paint was pretty tough!
Then, I took the rims to Moriano to get them fully polished. He ain't cheap, but the result is just perfect, they look like they're chromed!

And to those who tell me "that's too shiny, too bling, go on and detail them", well... No. I do like'em this way, they'll remain fully polished! (well, at least until I get tired of cleaning/rubbing/polishing!)
Then I had to decide what the size of the tires would be... Not an easy task, since there's not that much room under the fenders of a Ghia.
So I first spent quite some time browsing several Aicooled VW forum (F4E, FKG, TheSamba...) to see what tires other people used on their Ghias. I compiled all these data in an Excel file, which might prove useful to anyone out there who wants to put Fuchs on his Ghia : download this file here, you'll thank me later... icone smiley wink

I finally set my mind on Yokohama tires, 165/65 R15 in the front, and 185/65 R15 in the rear, ordered on the french website 123pneus (and delivered within 48 hours as usual, that's a good address!). Tires were installed with tire tubes inside ; that's not perfect, but you don't really have a choice with Deep Fuchs, since there's no ridge around the rim to keep a tubeless tire in place...
After a quick test, the Fuchs seem to pass just fine inside the front fenders with the 165/65 R15 tires. That's mainly thanks to the 42mm inside offset of the Deep 5.5"... The tire just slightly rubs the fender when I'm turning full left, but it should be ok. To be confirmed with dynamic driving on the road, though, but I might very well not have to change my front beam for a narrowed one!
On he other hand, the rear tires do not fit the rear fenders, but I knew that would happen.

While I was at it, I installed four red Koni adjustable shockers, trying to make the best I could to improve the road holding. Concerning the shockers, they were out of stock at all the aircooled VW dealers I contacted, but I found them available, and cheaper, directly on the Koni-Shop website, delivered within 24 hours! icone smiley laugh

To be continued... Tomorrow! icone smiley wink
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