The Bat Dude

Building the Bat Car


Fabrication of a 2" Body Lift



  1. Fabrication and mounting of the bat fins.

  2. Engine Cover and hinge mounting

  3. Complete re wiring

  4. Fabrication of steel windshield frame

  5. Fabrication and construction of Convertible  Top

  6. Fabrication of back window

  7. Fabrication of Front Beam support structure

  8. Fabrication of Gull Wing Doors

  9. Constructing retractable Headlights

  10. Mounting and fitting of front turn signal lights

  11. Mounting and fitting of Gas Tank

  12. Fabrication and installation of side scoops

  13. Fabrication of a 2"body lift

Fabrication of a 2" Body Lift

I found after eight years of building the Bat Car I was too tall to fit in it very well. So I needed to lift the body up about 2" off the frame. So I started out by buying a 4' X 8' sheet of 16 gauge  steel.

 I took the front lift shape off a replacement front body mount I bought from Mid America Motor Works. I marked it on my steel with a sharpie. I took my Sabre saw and cut two identical shapes.

I cut two pieces 1 1/2” wide x 40” long bent them to fit the curved shape. I clamped a block of 1½” X1 ½” square block of wood to keep everything square and arc welded the sheet steel where the edges meet with 3/32 7014 welding rod.

Once I made sure it fit the mount, I ground all the welds smooth and drilled my 1/2” holes to fit the bolt mounts.

I then primed and painted the front lift.


For the back lift spacer, I took measurements off my spare chassis. Then I took all the angles and measurements and re-drew them full size in CorelDraw.



Once I had the drawing to full size which was 1 1/2” wide and 2” tall, I printed the pattern out on

paper and mounted it down on my sheet of 16 gauge steel with 3M spray mount adhesive.



Then I got out my saber saw and cut along the lines on the paper pattern. I cut two identical pieces, a top and a bottom. The vertical pieces on the curve were cut 2” wide and bent to the correct curvature.



I clamped a block of 1 ½” X 1 ½” square block of wood to keep everything square and arc welded the sheet steel where the edges meet with 3/32 7014 welding rod. The arc welder was set to 60 amps.



I clamped the part to my spare VW frame to get the correct angle and to drill the bolt holes. I then spot welded the sides the get the correct angle.



I removed the part from the VW frame and took it over to my welding bench where I finished welding both sides, cut to size and welded caps to the ends.



When the welding was complete, I took a grinding wheel and made it smooth.



I took the finished part primed it the first day and finished with flat black enamel the next day.



For the sides, I bought a 20’ piece of 1 1/2” X 2” square tubing, cut 2 pieces to 72” each. Then I cut 5 slots in the front inside and one cut inside almost all the way through. I clamped to form the shape of the pan and welded everything. I ground everything smooth, drilled holes to match the pan and primed and painted each side black.



This is what the finished lift kit looked like before it was installed in the car. I did not actually start the lift installation until Wednesday January 2, 2013. It is not as easy as I thought it would be.



Above: First I removed the carpet where the body was bolted to the pan. There were 10 5/16

bolts on each side of the pan 2 in front on each side and 4 across the back. Some bolts were missing and some were so rusty they broke off when I tried to remove them.



Above: I made a special steel box frame 16”x 8” x 6” and put it on myHarbor Freight ATV jack to lift the body off the pan in center. There is a fiberglass plywood structure between the inside cockpit and outer body about 8” wide and 36” long and 8” above the bottom of the outside body.



Above: I lifted the body about 3” off the pan. One problem was the steering column. I did unbolt the steering column and enlarged the hole in the firewall but I didn’t unbolt the column from the dash. This caused the body to move about an inch back so the holes in the body didn’t line up with the holes in the pan. I unbolted the column from the dash and used a come-along to pull the body back in line with the holes. I did also buy a roll of the rubber gasket to seal the top. I re-used the bottom rubber as it was fine.


 Above: I put the front mount in first then each side and finally the back. I needed 3 ½ 5/16” bolts. I lined up the holes and took a 3/8” drill to clean up the holes that were off a little. I started bolting in the back first and then worked my way up to the front tightening each bolt as I went
forward. I did have to pry and persuade to make the body and pan holes to line up after tightening each bolt. WOW ! This was taking a lot longer than than I thought.



Above: I used a jack stand to hold the steering column in place. I will have to fabricate an new bracket as the steering column moved one inch forward by lifting the body 2” up.


Above: You can see the steering column actually bent down from its own weight. On the right you can see I had to use a pry bar to help line up the holes in the pan to the lift and then to the body. I didn’t finish today so I will try to finish Saturday 01-05-2013. This is taking much longer than I thought. It is also much more work than I thought.



Above: I made quick bracket to hold the steering wheel in place so I could get under the drivers side dash to measure for a adaptor bracket to re-attach the steering column back to the dash. The column had moved 1 1/8” forward after lifting the body 2” off the pan. Above right is the new steering column adaptor I made out of 1/8” steel plate.



Above: After re-attaching the steering column, I wedged a steel bar between the fiberglass center body support and the top of the steering column and straightened the steering column. I originally welded a tab on the firewall steering column mount to hold the remote brake fluid reservoir. But ended up using a VW bus master cylinder with the reservoir attached.



After all the bolts were tightened I used the old carpet I removed as a template for the new by just adding 2 1/2" to the width and re gluing in place and trimming any excess from the bottom.




I also installed carpet on the firewall up front where I had none before. It does look a lot better and was much easier to get under the dash with the 2"lift.


To be continued...