VW Kit Floor Pan Compatibility

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    Jim Hine


    Good morning, not sure if draft I was working on went but here goes again. I was curious if any / all of the VW based members could shed more info on the world of compatibility of VW floor pans with Fiber Fab type TD kits. I was just informed about the swing axle vs the IRS with ball joint type pans and was curious if there is experince with either or both. Obviously the later style IRS sounds to be more practical but I am sure there are many around with the swing axle. My project is intended to be a vehicle that will be a top off car that will have a limited driving span strictly for the summer months. I fully intend for it to be reliable and safe and it will be trimmed out properly but I will be storing it at a summer home and use will be on local secondary roads exclusively.

    If there are any real experiences with either or both versions I would appreciate any data or tips. I would also like to understand the effect of an early type engine, stock is fine, because I do not want to get into the performance side of things regarding the weight & power distributions, etc. My old VW back in school wasn’t the fastest but it sure was reliable and kept on cranking for many reliable miles. I look at some of the ‘turn key’ engines and wonder about engine size that is available from 1600 odd to sky’s the limit? I might like to be a little stronger than the 36 HP style( approx.if I remember correctly ) but don’t require the chromed super large power plant that might make sense for a lot of other people but not my application.

    Looking for any thoughts or reference points that will save a lot of time and or aggravation. Thanks Jim Hine Waterford Mi.     



    Hi Jim,

    Are you starting from scratch — finding and rebuilding your own

    VW chasis? I actually didn’t realize that there were any

    companies out there still making MGTD replica kits.


    Jim Hine


    I have purchased an old kit car that was removed from the floor pan. I also purchased a floor pan that has a swing axle type suspension. I was trying to find out what other members used on their projects. During a listing on the forum I was advised that the IRS Ball joint type suspension is more desirable but I have to believe that people have previously built swing arm pans with MGTD kit cars. I was originally looking for advise on welding and received some tips then I was trying to source brake parts and found out about the difference in floor pans.

    To my knowledge there are no new replica kits but I am new to the game so I could be wrong as well. Jim Hine project builder…



    I would recommend that you find a later model chassis with IRS

    (Independent Rear Suspension) like I have. From what I have

    read in the past the Swing Axle models apparently have some

    undesirable handling characteristics, albeit I have no personal

    experience with them. You can find a fairly thorough

    discussion of IRS and Swing Axle in ?How to Hot Rod

    Volkswagon Engines? by Bill Fisher.

    Off hand, some other basic things I can recommend that you do

    in your project.

    Thoroughly rebuild your chassis (sandblast/paint/new ball

    joints/new brake and fuel lines, new brake master cylinder,

    rebuilt steering box, new wheel bearings, rebuild CV joints,

    transmission, etc). Check the tunnel sections very carefully for

    rust. New sections are available that you can have welded in if

    you find any problems. Better to handle problems now than

    after you have put the body back on. Make sure everything is

    perfectly straight and level, and a chassis in the the end that is

    as good as new.

    After painting, coat the entire chassis with 3M?s Rustfree. This

    is clear rustproofing that will allow you to see any rust that

    might pop up in the future rather than hide it like a typical tar

    based rustproofing does. Don?t glue anything like your carpets

    to the chassis. This is a roadster, you will get poured on some

    day, and if you can?t lift the carpets to dry it out you?ll get rust.

    Check the suspension carefully and install one of the

    aftermarket products that will allow height adjustment on the

    rear suspension when it sags.   This can?t be done later without

    removing the body. Install caster shims on the front for better


    Upgrade to both front and rear disc brakes. You won?t regret it.

    Eliminate the stock mechanical fuel pump and install a rotary

    electric pump in the front under the tank.

    Upgrade from a generator to an alternator for better electrical


    Make sure that your steering column and the extension are

    perfectly inline with the steering box. This is critical. If there is

    a bend, even the slightest, it will put strain on the safety section,

    which will break while driving.

    BTW, what company made your MGTD kit?

    Hope that helps, Brian

    Mark Hendrickson


    Great info on your floor pan build. There is a VW house in western PA that sells bare to rolling reconditoned floor pans. It’s called Bugg Stuff. They have provided stock and shortened (Porsche Speedster) floorpans. They are always at the Import-Replica/Kit car nationals at Carlisle, PA in the Spring. I’ll try to post their phone & address. I may have their business card on file.

    Only one year swing axle used a 12 volt system too, 1967. If you use earlier stuff, you’ll need 12 volt starter, coil, Alt/Gen, etc. Also the earlier year cars had single port heads. The newer stuff is all dual port.

    As far as buying aftermarket, the earlier stuff, like wide-5 hubs, etc, are more expensive and not as available as the IRS/Dual port motor stuff. An IRS, 4 lug/dual port is the best way to go.


    There is a company in New Zealand that manufactures an MGTF variant based on a Mazda Miata donor. It is all top shelf stuff. It comes as a “Pallet Car” like the Superperformance Cobra. It is built and strapped to a pallet less the Miata donor parts (drivetrain/suspension/etc.) It costs over $17K f.o.b. at the sole importer’s shop in, I think, Ohio.

    Except for a TD kit that may be still made in Great Britain, that’s it. 

    Pink MG38295.6972685185



    Jimeh, as others have pointed out, the ’69 or later model VWs are preferred because of their IRS, however the earlier models, preferrably the ’67 and ’68 (with 12 volts systems) can be made very servicable and road worthy by adding a “camber compensator” to the rear end. These units are available from Empi, J C Whitney, CB Performance and many other VW parts suppliers.

    Dennis Brock


    I have a swing axle Fiberfab Migi built on a 65 floorpan.  It does have a camber compensator.  I have put it through some rather sharp curves at “too fast” of a rate due to unfamiliarity with the road.  It cornered like it was on rails.  More years ago than I care to admit, we raced a 56 VW with really bad swing axles and had to decamber it to get it to handle.  I see none of these problems with this one.

    Paul Mossberg


    Prototype Research & Development Ltd,a Canadian firm, continues to manufacture a TD replica.

    They do front and rear engine versions. But they are pretty darn pricey!


    Paul Mossberg
    Former Owner of a 1981 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to https://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

    Pat Dwyer



    Did you ever find the info for Bugg Stuff? 


    Mark Hendrickson



    709 Jefferson Ave

    West Brownsville, PA 15417


    724-785-5506 (fax)

    You could also try:

    Peek Performance

    9457 Lanham-Severn Rd.

    Seabrook, MD 20706



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