TurboLlew's Beetle Project

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TurboLlew
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TurboLlew's Beetle Project

Post by TurboLlew » Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:16 am

Thought I would make a thread

So I picked up the Beetle a couple of weeks ago as a fun project for my son and I to work on. I finally got the change of ownership etc done. I've also cleaned it up to the extent that my wife now understands what it is that I saw in it and that it isn't just a piece of junk in the driveway LOL

I have to say it attracts a heck of a lot of attention in an area without that many old cars (let alone those in regular use). My son and his friends absolutely love it and he has insisted on going to school in the beetle :lol: :lol:

In many ways it is the polar opposite of my other car and it puts you back in touch with the pure mechanical motoring experience.

She is running just fine for now. so I've just tidied her up a bit and started bringing back the trim that is salvageable. I am doing the 'usual' stuff I do when getting a new car - I am going to be doing most (if not all) the work on the car myself and with my son over time.

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I don't think I will get away not painting her. I got a few panels to look quite good with some clay, cleaner and a bit of wax, but it is a lot of work and it isn't all-original paint. A few panels are down to metal (or close to it) such as edges of doors etc. That said, although there is some surface rust here and there but nothing serious for the most part except one spot. There is a bit of rust that is treated but which I feel I will need to have repaired on the inner skin of the body in the two corners below the rear window. Previous owner seems to have at least treated and sealed it so I could probably just cover it up with trim for the time being, but it will bother me so has to be done. :lol: There are no leaks and I had a go at the car with a pressure washer for quite some time to test that out...

One thing I have not found online is the trim with 'holes' going down the side of the rear window and a patch panel for that area mentioned above (there is pretty much a patch panel available for everything except that!)

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There is quite a bit of slop in the shifter. I have inspected the coupling in the tunnel and it definitely needs a set of bushings. I will do this as my next little project with the shift rod bushing and metal short shifter kit. I am not sure about these trigger shifters and haven't yet learned enough but I think this should be a nice start.

The steering has a few cracks. I actually want to get an older style white/ivory steering wheel or perhaps an old porsche wheel if one comes up for a decent price.

Driver's seat cover is toast so I am on the lookout for a new seat in that colour... Because the others and the door pads are just fine (after I steam cleaned and treated them at least), I don't want to necessarily go through a whole reupholstery exercise.

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I will definitely need new carpets as part of the project

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There's an aftermarket radio in there but the trim plate looks very odd... and what is more odd is that it looks like the radio trim would cover the hole in the dash just fine... will get around to remedying this soon :lol:

I have bought a set of engine gaskets, rear main seal, gearbox gasket kit is on the way new inertia reel seat belts (the ones I have don't retract quickly on both sides - driver's side is worse). At this point, I am just assembling the necessary parts. this is a future project.

Wiring all works and is intact but i will be tidying up ALL the wiring with plastic sleeving and routing properly as well (especially the aftermarket radio wiring LOL. I will do a set of better speakers, swap the in-dash speaker for a tach (maybe) and fit proper speakers into the front kick panels.

I bought a Stirling roof rack off the forum yesterday and fitted it on (this in time will be sand blasted and powdercoated or chromed with slats added.

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Anyway I hope to learn a lot from the resources here and hearing your thoughts.



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Re: TurboLlew's Beetle Project

Post by retrovan » Sat Jun 15, 2019 10:09 am

Welcome with your project.

That is a fine car you have , and if taking the age into consideration, it is in very good condition.

Should I be you, I would clean up everything as best as I can, do repair to the existing upholstery, and moisturize the covers, stick down the carpets after cleaning out under them and maybe treating rust. but keep it as is.

The paint can be spot painted if need but if just polished, will protect it from rust and keep its Provenance and age of the car.

After all it is an Peoples car, and they normally show their age. :lol:

But in fairness, its your and your sons project, so enjoy it and it will eventually turn out to be exactly what you guys want and enjoy to have.

Good luck with your project, and keep the photo's coming.

Herman
1952 Split Beetle 1835cc (Azure Blue)
1968 Fastback 2Lt.type4( Red)
1972 Low Light Bay Panel Van 2Lt type 4(White)
1975 Fleetline Panel Van 1914cc (Aqua Blue/White)
2019 MeFusco Beetle Truck

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Re: TurboLlew's Beetle Project

Post by Tony Z » Sat Jun 15, 2019 1:03 pm

Good luck with the project.
With the kick panel speakers, I'd advise that you get a small amplifier to help them out. Sound will be better and loud enough tto actually hear them properly. Plus, if it has a hi/low pass crossover, you could put it to high pass and filter out the bass which the little speakers cant make properly anyway, allowing less distortion and better clarity and volume.

Otherwise, enjoy the project and keep us posted.

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Re: TurboLlew's Beetle Project

Post by Haans » Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:04 pm

Nice beetle!!! ......once you have the 'bug',...it's tickets,........it's forever!!!

You can keep it under "control" for a period but flareups can be violent!!!,......that is the time you need to give the credit card to the missus!!!🤣

Haans

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Re: TurboLlew's Beetle Project

Post by Terry Phillips » Sat Jun 15, 2019 7:44 pm

Very nice car but did you tell the wife its a son father project meaning it is really yours and your son can get to ride in it if he cleans it Hehe, great work so far keep it up and more pictures.

TurboLlew
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Re: TurboLlew's Beetle Project

Post by TurboLlew » Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:09 am

Thanks all for the comments!

@retrovan, I am leaning towards this approach - just do what is required in the mean time to preserve before taking things on. The car is really photogenic LOL. I will do a proper decontamination and polish in the next few weeks. My son is still quite young and this will be an ongoing project. I wanted a splitty but discovered quickly that I would be out of my depth and budget getting the ones I could afford restored.

@Haans, I am already experiencing this - my amazon recommendations are already full of beetle things and it has only been a couple of weeks! I sold the extra set of wheels for my BMW yesterday (to make space for the perfect diamond-in-the-rough beetle set I might find on gumtree/facebook/forums one day) and spent 3/4 of the evening on VWHeritage, Amazon, WolfsburgWest & JBugs with beetle parts tempting me. I don't think I've had this kind of thing happen for many years :lol:

@Tony Z, I am just a bit worried about security so far (I will either get used to it or fit something for peace of mind) - however I have two amps that I would love to use in the bug project... one for a set of 3 way fronts (Audison SRx 2s) and a Focal FP1.800 (which will likely be overkill). I have this and a few leftovers from old cars and don't have the heart to sell them on one hand, but also fitting them into modern cars is prohibitively expensive (optical converters, signal summers, DSPs etc). However, I also don't want them stolen out the bug (or making it attractive to steal the bug!)

@Terry Phillips :lol: :lol: :lol: My wife was in Italy speaking at a conference and arrived back to this LOL. Fortunately she (and everyone else) seems to have a soft spot for it so far. My son is still at the age where he helps to wash and passes the tools so still many years of training to go LOL

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Re: TurboLlew's Beetle Project

Post by Terry Phillips » Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:25 pm

Good one, its nice to see you getting stuck into the car and fixing things as time goes on.Its amazing what a good clean and polish can do to the car all of a sudden the car looks so good. Nice choice those Beetles are nice cars.Use some Dubbin on the mats door cards and seats it softens them up.Test it on one panel first to see if its the finish you want leave the dubbin on over night and polish it with a dry rag.Use Mr Min on the paint to polish it.
Last edited by Terry Phillips on Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: TurboLlew's Beetle Project

Post by Tony Z » Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:38 pm

The Audio is quite easy to hide. People look for amps and they look for a flat back shelf in the dog box or a set of 6x9s on the shelf. Dont show any of that and it wont get stolen. Drop the volume in slow traffic, at lights and at stop streets and people wont realise you have audio.
Amps go under the seats - out of sight.
If you want a sub, then you could put an 8 or a small volume 10 under the rear seat passenger side. Or a small volume 10 in the dog box with a box the full width and depth but now only a few cm high so the floor "isnt raised" thus there "isnt anything there". Then take a bed sheet and just throw it into the dog box over the sub. It doesnt affect audio much but it makes it look like you use the area to store crap - I hid a 15" in there for nearly 15 years with a carefully shaped box and a horrible black bedsheet
Tinted windows help too.

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Re: TurboLlew's Beetle Project

Post by Riaan.N » Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:21 pm

Good looking beetle

TurboLlew
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Re: TurboLlew's Beetle Project

Post by TurboLlew » Fri Jun 28, 2019 5:04 pm

SO I decided to try my hand at rebuilding the shifter in its entirety.

I placed an order online with Volkspares and it arrived pretty quickly. I watched a few videos and felt fairly confident... so got a bunch of the parts together and after the easy bits (fuel filter, which my car didn't have at all and wipers which had last been changed many many years ago), I set off.

Let me first say it is actually quite interesting how thoughtfully designed the car is in terms of servicing items like this. Yes you need a bit of adjustment and common sense applied, but it is something you can really enjoy working on - especially as a little project. This goes for quite a few things!

I went about removing the shift coupling... not too bad after 45 years of use - certainly not like the videos that have them crumbling as they're removed, but the bushings really did need a change. My center nylon bushing had totally disintegrated, but fortunately the carrier was still round and attached.

I thought the guys were exaggerating about how bad the EMPI hardware was when they used only the cage and bushings or even just the cage... but guess what I ended up doing :roll:

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It was a greasy job, so not that many pics, but this little guy almost defeated me, first after I dropped it in the tunnel whilst installing and then when I used a little too much force putting the rod in and ended up disloging it (resting place below) LOL. Fortunately we have camera phones and LED lights in 2019 and I wouldn't like to be the VW apprentice that ended up doing this blind way back in the day :lol:

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I know this pic looks a bit dodgy BUT it is partially the camera angle, I have all my gears and they said 'some adjustment' would be required with the kit... :lol: anyway, the short shifter and upgraded bushings actually make the car feel like a should - just 'positive' and notchy enough (vs. stirring a bowl of porridge).

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Tested it out on a longer run to the school and all seems well.

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Now that the 'dirty' job is done, I am going to look into mats and carpets.

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Re: TurboLlew's Beetle Project

Post by Tony Z » Fri Jun 28, 2019 5:14 pm

Job well done.
You can be proud

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Re: TurboLlew's Beetle Project

Post by Haans » Sun Jun 30, 2019 10:39 am

So!,....you passed 1st test,.....well done !,
Plenty more to come !!

Glad I was'nt the only one dropping the bush!!!😆😇

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