1963 VW Beetle:Ragtop Resto.

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been bustin my ass on this thing this last week, sleep when you're dead bitches!



I think I blew a hole in every single one of these, I think when I drilled the spot welds out all that time ago, I had drilled though about half the bottom layer as well, making the metal very thin, very well stuck together now.


the frankenfender is taking shape


this is the difference between the two fenders.


this is me trying to hold things together, in the correct place.


it's alive! it's alive! might just pull this off icon_eek.gif 

go everything ground down on sunday, gave the fender some hammering, starting to look good.


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So I scanned some old pics of the rag the other day, the first 2 where just after I first got it.
The front was wound right up, with very old zx whereveryoucallem michelins,fucked shocks, stock seats(drivers side also shagged) nasty old 1200cc something something, one windscreen wiper icon_lol.gif 


But it was shiney, red and had mags!


and this is the new engine being installed by my brother and myself at the VW shoppe in Hamilton.



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got the fender looking like a fender




needs a good smashing with the hammers and dollys




lit this so you can see the wonkyness, i have since spent some time time hammering it, and it looks much better.

( no pic of that yet)




happy with the overall shape




also plugged up some rust pin holes, thought this might be better than patching, dunno now? still lots of work/fuckingabout.

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bit more of a update, 



patched the last two holes in the left rear fender bolting on side of car area thing(?)


so except of the huge holes at the very bottom, those are sorted. icon_redface.gif icon_rolleyes.gif icon_lol.gif

Also did this the other night to check everything was where it should be, all seemed to work okay.


the main reason was to check the bonnet release tube was working/in the right place etc.


so I could weld thing back together, seemed to crack at some point.




while I was at it I mocked the rest of the front up, had to adjust the bumper mount holes so the rubber seals would fit.



looks like a car!


nearly made it out the shed.



I've pulled it all apart again, took about 5mins, and nearly finished welding the valance back on.


more news at 11!


talk here - //oldschool.co.nz/index.php?/topic/33947-63ragtops-63ragtop/page-2

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Still chopping guys!
Had a bit of a break on the bug, had to do housework/lawns/go away for the weekend and the kids where kind enough to give me both of their colds one after the next icon_confused.gif ah well.
Right where was I?

Spent a little time hammering the weld on the fender, bloody happy as, will need feck all bog!


kinda hard to show, so just take my word it's awesome. icon_lol.gif 


better than massive rust holes!

Got the valance all welded up




just look at all those holes! not going to show the welding here, welding upsidedown sucks, looked like little metal stalactites, took ages laying on my back grinding that shit down!






Started on the drivers side fender


opened it up to fit the oval fender like the other side.


weldy weldy


And then I broke the welder! well sort of. I got the wire stuck in the torch, really stuck, Turns out the liner is worn out and it needs a couple other things sorted, should have it sorted soon.

So onto the next thing!



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Right, re-learnt how to use the MIG, turns out it was missing all sorts of things a welder should have to make it actually work, so much better now. some of the welding I did on the driver side fender is a bit shit because of this.


several pinholes still, so I'll have to go over it again. It's a real bitch cuz the more you weld and grind the thinner the metal can get making welding harder, which leads to more blow outs and more pinholes icon_evil.gif 

The front patch has came up well though, the doner needed some work. has had a hard life.


welded it all back together


and stuck it here




more tacks


and after more tacking I ground it down on the weekend and hammered it flat.


both fenders looking good


heres a better shot of the other side, after it's beating. Shouldn't need too much bog.


While I've been working on the front fenders, I've also been thinking about the rear fenders. The left one I had is a awful pattern panel that was about an inch to long where it matches the valance, was a stupid shape and the tail light (both actually) were on a angle. So I got this lovely old thing off the veedub shoppe in hamilton, Solid OG fender, Me happy.


someone had painted over the factory paint with this lovely BLUE!
Just two cracks in the bottom edge, which should weld up sweet.


i though this was cool, check out the tracks.
only problem now is it makes my other good fender look shittyicon_rolleyes.gif icon_lol.gif

Also found this while looking at my pan


wonder if that's why the electic's sucked on this thing?

okay, time to build a spit.

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Well this thing is useful!


after moving everything around I can even fit the honda inside, It was out in the pissing rain and I felt sorry for the old thing, had it for ten years now, so reliable.


broke out the wire wheel to see whats what.





rust is what it is!
rusted from the inside out.

this is what's left of the heater fitting that takes the heat up to the windscreen


cut the bottom of the quarter panels off


a bit of dirt and crap, mainly just surface rust.


I'll make a new panel up to replace this


most of these holes are old rust from before the shell was dipped, so all these areas you can't reach with a spray gun where bare steel.


luck for me everything was caked in fish oil, so is pretty solid.


I scrapped some of it off, it's like wax, but it has done it's job well.

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I cut a bit more of the quarter panel off, should have done it this way to start with.


so i could unravel the many layers of steel that vw stuck in here.


much like the rear body mounts, I didn't really want to do this, but am now glad I did.



krusty rusty stuff

gave it a quick going over with the wire wheel



first real good look inside the channel


this is the state of the metal on the inside of that part i cut out


and now for the rest of the bottom plate.

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Sorry about the boat loads of pictures, got a bit carried away with it!
This must be the trickiest area to fix, I took HEAPS of photos so hopefully I can put everything back in the right place.
Carrying on from the last post, spotwelds! what fun! meters and meters of fun, stuck together every 10=5mm apart. holy shit thats alot of spotwelds!
These ones where not so bad, this is the outside edge of the channel, where the running board attaches.


the inside edge however!


was a fucking bastard of a thing, I don't think there was enough room to get the spotwelder in like the other side, it was really stuck.


and some where invisible, and then someone had double tapped these ones.

Like I said such fun! The trick I found that worked good for me, was to drink quite heavily while doing this mind numbing work and listen to very loud heavy metal or punk, Motorhead, bad religon etc...
And before you know it the week is finished and victory is yours!



this is going to take some thunking.


another double layer for strength/rust. There was also a scoop that attaches to the hole, it pretty much fell out.


rear end of the channel,

Ones I've seen overseas/online have a second pipe running inside the sill, you will notice the lack of any kind of heater pipe inside this channel, wonder if this an aussie car thing?


trimmed abit more from the front wheelwell to get a better look, hmmmmmmm.

I think I'll start at the back and work forwards, give myself some time to think what to do next, any help would be greatly appreciated, I have no idea right now/suss it as I go.


Any sane person would replace the whole thing, but to be honest that scares the crap outta me!

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Got some more done last week.


chopped the last of the rusty areas out and then sandblasted everything.


got this blasted across the road, saving me about a days work, hopefully I can repair it.


did this one night, once it was in I realised it was not quite right, I had made the corner a right angle, but it's more acute that on the inside of the channel, nothing a grinder and a welder can't fix though.


this little piece took me about 3 hours of my life.


seems to fit good


I even made the little dent detail ( geek!) using a chunk of metal I had left over from building the spit, which I filed a groove in and smashed with a hammer.


ground it all down yesterday and fixed the inside edge. I like to grind the inside as well, not because you can see it, but I hope a smooth finish gives rust less places to get a foot hold.


just like a fucking new one!


there where also a couple small rust holes on the top edge of the outside face that i was able to fill with just weld.
Hopefully I remember to weld in a new nut for the running board before I close everything up.

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Another week, another patch.


or two. A couple 5cm sections all fixed up.


made this to close the end of the channel


slots in here.






this was a pig to smooth out, the grinder wouldn't fit, so was done with the dremmel, a less than perfect finish, but no rust any more is the main thing!
I needed another panel hammed to do some of the above work, I had a pointy one, a domed one, but I needed a flat pointy one, like a pick shape(very technically I know) took a wee trip down to the second hand tools shops in beautiful Henderson, I love rummaging around these tiny old shops that are packed to the roof with shit, Dude wanted $39 for the old hammed with a lose head, then I spotted this panel slapper file thing, which should be useful in the near future, He wanted 30 something for that, ended up getting both for $45, I'm sure he still made on the deal, gotta love the barter system!


I cut a wedge of steel and hammered it into the top of the handle so the head is nice and tight good as new.
I like old tools.

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Another tiny update guys, don't mean to sound like a wanker, but I'm pretty flippin pleased with this wee thing!

remember this?


even though I had it sandblasted so all the rust was gone, this left the metal pretty thin in places. And as this is a strengthening panel I thought it best to put it right.
So I cut it back to were it was solid and had a go at metal origami.


test fitting the rear fender so I get the stud in the right spot, also checking the quarter panel would fit back on top of it, so many layers of metal in this bloody spot.


like so


and welding it together, there is also a wee patch at the top, were it was damaged when I removed(ripped) it.


tidied up


very happy with the fit, took alot of bending and hammering to get this back were it should, I made a bit of a mess of the shape when I pulled it off.


yeah icon_cool.gif 


the stud I used is just a old bolt I welded to the back of the panel and then ground the head down as it was to big.

hope you like?

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So another bite of the ellefant.


welded the outer panel back in place and smoothed it all out.


I think I might leave the quarter panel off till I've finished with the sandblasting, so much crap gets down the inside of the panel and once it's closed up I'll never get it out, maybe, I'll get bored one night and start welding it up knowing me.

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The next phase in fixing the channel is going to be bloody tricky.
Many parts converge here, the channel, the bottom plate with end cap, the front firewall, the wheel well, the A pillar with door hinge! icon_eek.gif icon_surprised.gif 





dissection of a volkswagen.

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So i made this thing, which is the end of the channel its self.


goes here


that took a lot of work to get right, pretty happy with it.
After chopping a bit more rust and badly pitted metal out of the very bottom of the firewall, I sandblasted and primed.


made another patch to replace the bottom of the firewall


hot glue gunned it in here.



had to make that tiny patch on the flange thing

welded up the pie cuts I made to shape the metal


and smoothed that out


and finally welded it back in


just tacked in here


the inside view, welded together and to the firewall.


Now. The more perceptive of you will have noticed in that last pic that the channel seems to be missing some metal.


well thats coz i chopped it off.


yes yes, I should have just bought new channels icon_rolleyes.gif icon_lol.gif 



ah well, in for a penny, in for a pound, or some such rubbish!

I still have to finish welding it all up, but its looking like I might pull this shit off!


this me checking the bottom plate still fits.


these bottom plates are actually pretty good, the pressing are not exactly the same as the old stuff, but the main thing it that the bolt holes are in the right place and line up with the pan perfectly, I will fill in the big drain holes that are in them, and they will need a wee bit of trimming but thats okay.
Next up will be the A pillar and the rusted channel that it joins to, so with that in mind, I made this.


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Did some more stuff.




was in a bit of a rush when i chopped this out, used a thicker cutting disc than the usual 1mm one, so now I have a whacking great gap to fill, as I'm going to try and repair this mess. I had a look at the cheap repair panels that you can get for the A pillar, they were terrible. And as I'm to tight to spring for the good ones I'll give it a go at fixing the old one.

Then I cut some more!


I thought long and hard about the best way to go about this, as this bit was ok, but this bit was fucked, anyway seemed to make sense at the time. icon_rolleyes.gif icon_razz.gif

This is the inner rust trap, part #12679666 icon_evil.gif 


what was left of the sill


like i said "fucked'


replacement makering



this lot of metal I got, does not have the zinc coating like the other stuff, at first I thought, sweet now i don't have to sand/wire brush all that stuff off but man, as soon as you touch it it starts rusting!


so i had to sand it all down anyway.


still a little unfinished as I need to close that wee hole once I make the heater pipe hole, and then i guess i should make a new rust trap?


I also sandblasted the inside and outside, managed to get the thread plate thing that the door bolt to, out without breaking the strap the holds it in, icon_biggrin.gif . But then I forgot to sandblast said bolt plate thing icon_mad.gif
oh and i repaired the inner A pillar, just the corner was rusted out, did the whole thing, fab,weld,grind, paint, in record time, before the kids movie finished!

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 Not been able to do much work the last week or so, between writing off family cars and working long hours plus the whole family having the pox, this is all I managed last week.


I'll hopefully start welding the main patch in soon, after I suss the heater pipe thing out.


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Right, got this finished up.



stuck the dents and air pipe in.

goes here



camera is on the way out, flash has stopped working.





not all that happy with this join, but will be covered by the inner wheel well.

this is better





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Well here we are, the start of another year and my car is still not anywhere near being finished icon_mad.gif 

Must keep pushing!

This Fab work does eat up the time loVol, I just want to do the best job I can, and I can't afford top shelf parts, so it's hammer time!

Didn't really get much done over the holidays, so hot in the shed, swimming is better.
I did wire wheeled/blasted these parts up.


don't think I will be able to save the hinge cover though, just to tricky with my limited skills and tools.

Also wirewheeled my arm icon_eek.gif icon_redface.gif 


Glued the scoop to the new inner panel thing(there is a hole on the other side icon_wink.gif )


and welded it in here.


I hoping to get the heat working when she back on the road.

I have been spending a lot of time messing around with bottom plate, I think the best thing is to finish all the other repairs to the channels on both sides, then test fit the shell to the pan before welding the bottom plates on for good.
I don't know, I've never don this before!
The plates seem to fit the pan perfect, but when I stick them on the shell they seem 5-10mm short?
So a test fit seems prudent.

I had to dig the pan out to get to all the camping stuff for the hoilday so I took a couple snaps.


A little pitting, but so solid icon_biggrin.gif 


So that's it for now, I've been working on the patches for the front and rear quarters this week, but can't actually weld anything yet until the A pillar in back in place and I can fit the door, so till then i'll keep hammering.

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