1963 VW Beetle:Ragtop Resto.

166 posts in this topic

Now returning you to your reqularly scheduled programming.

Gathered up my balls and cut two big holes in my decklid.


like this.


insert here.


and weld that sucker up!


cut and repeat.


didn't take alot of pics, took me just over a week to complete, once I had committed to the placement.
super happy with it, a little more hammer work and some bog and it should look sweet!

Like this rather famous fucker!


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So must be time for a update, feels like I've been doing more planning than working, which is important I guess.

The drivers side front fender needed a bit of finishing off, there were a bunch of pinholes from rust that must have happened decades ago.


so I set about welding them up, this can be a frustrating job as what looks like a tiny hole is actually the lowest point in a rust pit, which blows out as soon as any heat gets near it.


but by keeping the wire longer than normal at the tip of the welder, it makes a little less heat or current and you can just about poo up anything!


there was also a few holes in the rear of the fender where I had spliced in the other fender.


and I managed to remove the headlight bucket as I had noticed a lot of pinholes that had rotted though the fender under where the rubber headlight seal sits against fender. I was going to try welding these up with the bucket in place but I could also see rust swelling in the lap between bucket and the fender.


lots-a-surface-rusty! and the bucket it's self needed a couple repairs.
more pinholes icon_rolleyes.gif and someone butchered the wire tubes which I don't need anyway.




and the fender lip pinholes.




and I had a play with some spray guns.


I also spend a Friday afternoon pushing this dirty thing out onto the grass, 


sprayed 1.5 cans of repco's finest (cheapest) degreaser about and then got the bloody thing wet for the first time in seven years!


and removed this retarded as fuck brake line, and the other not retarded ones as all my brake fluid became invisible years back.


also removed the shady fuel line, that front clamp is the only thing that held it to the car, except for the hoses at each end I guess. Look how wobbly the bloody thing is!


a rather cathartic afternoon.


and then I pushed it back in the shed, at which point a mate wondered over with a beer and it was tools down.


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spent the last wee while sorting out the rear fenders, they all seem to crack at the bottom.
Still running the 60's lights of now, the blue fender is a nice og panel to replace the shitty brazilian one I had.
the other one may be a 50's fender as it has all those pressing in the bolt flange between the holes.
In any case neither tail lights where even or flat, so after I finished fixing up the cracks yesterday.


using the blue one as a template, I has some homebrew dutch courage and drilled some new holes for the right hand light.


it doesn't look much, but it was sitting 25mm higher as well as being on the piss.

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been a bit lazy with the photos lately, but look at all dem holes.

found a few other pits and holes, tears and cracks, all fenders seem to have a hard life on a old bug.


sorry for the shitty cell phone pics.


patching them up.




one more mock up of the tail lights.


carried on with the running boards, wanted to make sure the hole in the front fenders were where they should be.


and the doors could open.


decided to test out the bonnet trim, handle, VW badge, which look sweet, headlights and horngrills for the full effect.


and bought me some paint!!


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Yes Sir I'm loving that fake vert decklid!
as the lid was one of the few panels I had fully stripped and paint with PA10, I thought it a good experiment with the new paints I've bought.


stripped out the PA10 where the bog was to go, sanded the rest down with 80 sandpaper as i had brushed the PA on and it looked like it!


and after much sanding and sweating about how to use a paint gun, ta daa!


I even filled the join in the inner panel pretty good.

not finished yet I just wanted to get some primer down, needs more filler in a few places.

Also had a play in the sandpit.



stripped the outside and sanded it down to 99% bare, the inside and under the taillight on this one was so pitted, blasting was the only thing to do. still need to blast the other one.


can still see the makes from 40 years of stone chips.


actually blew a hole in the the fender with sandblaster some of the pits were that thin, hopefully get it filled and primed this weekend.

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managed to blast the inside of the second fender, what a mission, glad it's done but fucckkkin hell I an't doing that again!


close up of pitted tail light area.


just about lost my shit blasting this thing, Lee your compressor is huge, but still not fast enough for sandblasting large things.


after the blaster got blocked for the 12th time I called it done.
But it wasn't really done, there were still lots of black spots, deep pits. So I thought I'd do an experiment with this POR metalready stuff I got for the chassis.
Sprayed it on, waited, washed it off with the hose, dried it(with the mrs hairdryer) and the next day it looked a bit like this, camera makes it look ruster than real life.


First thought was, Oh shit thats alot of surface rust! but after closer inspection it was a chalky yellow coating the metalready had left behind. I think POR goes over the top of this, but as I wasn't planing on that I gave it a good wire brushing/sand.


50 years of wear.


and now my pits are super clear!

smashed some bog on.


screwed up the mix, it was still soft two days later! re-smashed the bog, getting the hang of it now.

sprayed some etch primer on, did the inside first, trying to not get it on the bog, forgot about it at first, didn't seem to make much difference? i find out when it all falls off!


and primer filler.




these photos make me happy in my pants.
The fenders still need work but I think my mud slinging has improved even since I did the engine lid, as you can see in this pic.


the number plate light area needs smoothing out.

Spent about three hours on Saturday, stripping this sucker down.




clear coat??


nah, just more metalready.


primed the inside sunday night, looks good here, but painting cold metal at 9.30 at night in about 15 degrees is not advisable! shit came out like crazy string. Will be starting the bogwork tonight, I'm trying to get at least a panel done per week.


I picked this up the other day at the dump shop for three bucks, I've always thought these cases look cool. Might use it as a tool box once the bug is finished, but in the meantime, it keeps my spray gun clean and bog dust free as they were just lying around before.


geek alert!




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Bog, lots and lots of bog.


most of which ended up here.


and then


I hung the bonnet up so I could paint both sides at once, great plan! made painting the nose of the hood interesting wit it only inches off the ground. icon_lol.gif

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Packed the shell to one side and hung the fenders back on the wall for now.
Can't believe I'm so close to painting the thing!

But first!


Stripped the pedals, cables, steering box and tie rods.


forgot how much of a bitch this Rhino mount was to remove, does the job though.


finally got the gearbag out, after I removed the drums and took the handbrake cables out.

Thanks to Sluggy for the Torque Master tool, I was able to get the castle nuts loose, but holy hell the passenger side was still hard to remove, must have had about 400 metric tonnes on it!


managed to fit the phone in the gearbox hole, tunnel is not to bad.

I did have a small fuck up, when I removed the handbrake leaver I didn't realize the clicker plate thing inside that locks the brake was separate and as I lifted the leaver the plate went, plop down inside the tunnel icon_mad.gif 
Lucky I have one of those magnetic pole things for just such a occasion, So I did have a great laugh when I first got the gearbox out and looking inside to find another handbrake plate rusting away down the back of the tunnel.
Also found a spare MC bolt spacer inside the frame up front. icon_lol.gif


cleaning these up was satisfying.


cleaned my hands as well!

Ideally I'd like to cad plate all these, but time is money, whats the best to paint these with?

Flat black everything is my idea.

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Another shitty little update, but progress is progress.


got the beam off last night, with the help of Darrell the Holden driving westie, Cheers Big D!


lifted the almost bare pan onto the wooden dolly/stand, so it's can move.


and had a look inside icon_eek.gif 


so much lose rust!

think of it as a light weight race spec pan. icon_lol.gif

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Seasons greetings handbags and faghags!

I've been doing stuff.








spent all Saturday afternoon on the end of the wire wheeled grinder of death, killed the back stooping over this thing!


found a wee bit of rot, so out came the cut off wheel.


cleaned it out as best as I could, will fill up with anti-rust stuff.




other side was just starting to swell up, so I did this.






you'd never know.


this was always the lowest point of the pan.



every bit helps!



trimmed it down, welded it up and smoothed it out.

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I've been trying to get this pan sorted ASAP so I can carry on with the bodywork/paint, so i was trying to not get carried away with getting it perfect, an't no one going to see it really, I thought about opening the tunnel, sandblasting, replacing the bung fuel line etc, but fuck it, 

lets go!!

time for a bath or shower, in acid.


and here it is drying off.


I duct taped all the holes it stop the metal ready getting inside where I didn't want it.


here you can see the rust turning funky and the clean metal getting etched.


but, it seams there is a leak somewhere in the weld between the frame head and the floorpan??

Darrel gave me some rustroy that will hopefully sort this shit out.

Once it was all dry, after blasting any water out of the seams with compressed air and drying the inside of the tunnel with the wife's hair dyer, I hung it up to paint.


I think is might be the source leak, right in the corner were the bottom of the tunnel meets the corner of the pan.



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well that's nearly the end of another year in the projects life, icon_eek.gif 

opened up the steering box last night, errrr?


whats this shit?


I think it's actually been rusting/corroding in there. are rebuild kits even available for these things?
Might just pack it with grease and be done.

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