GoKraut.com - History - Home of the Original VW MK1 Crossmember Reinforcement Bar 

 



History of the A1 Chassis Crossmember Reinforcement Bar

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Inquiries began as early as 2005. 1.8T 20V swaps were all the rage and very quickly people were discovering the A1 chassis was not equipped to handle 150ft+ lbs of torque. The thin double ply sheet metal was splitting and fracturing left and right. VW engineers had not intended for the chassis to accept more than the PL code 1.8 16V engine (a top output of 122ft/lbs of torque)

For the individuals track racing and for the hard core dubbers the solution was simple. Their skill and available tools afforded them the opportunity to correct these problems easily. For the average Joe not possessing these skills, not possessing the tools for repair, the issue was still very real.

There were a few intuitive individuals on the 'Tex (forums.VWVortex.com) making bolt on solutions for their dubs but not offering them in commercial abundance. The few that were able to talk the individuals into making extras were set. However, that still left the rest of us....

The preliminary designs were drawn up in early 2006 and offered to the community.

The component pieces were based on many cardboard cutouts,

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many hours measuring and re-measuring. And finally many, many hours in front of CAD design software. Compatibility among all the A1 Chassis vehicles was the foremost concern. Individual input helped shape the look and fitment. Finally after months of research and development the designs were sent out to a third party laser cutter for the initial production run. While the first bars were, by any measure, a success. There were still nagging issues with the fitment that needed addressing...

In late 2006 the second version with adjustable end plates was released. While the end plates addressed quite a few issues, the additional components affording the bar adjustability cost the community in two respects: weight and affordability.

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The goal had always been to serve the community, not profit from it. While these designs were indeed an improvement they were not the final answer. The third and final design was created - Fixed end plates, slightly looser tolerances, and provisions to accept all A1 Chassis MK1 VW's.

In Sept. 2006 the new and upcoming BFI (Black Forest Industries) was excited by our design and arranged to carry GoKraut manufactured crossmember braces. BFI would continue to carry GoKraut braces until 2008.

The final version of the crossmember required no additional hardware and bolted directly to the A1 chassis. Community reviews were great.

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GoKraut continues to offer the same bar at the same price it did nearly 6 years ago.