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My Beetle build. Polish it everywhere.

Crusty Sills

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With carpets and head lining in it was time for the interior. I didn't want the usual TMI covers as they seem a lot of money for what they and they didn't seem to do the colours I wanted.

I found a trimmer in North Walsham who would do 2 front seats, rear bench and back, 2 door cards and 2 rear quarter cards in vinyl all for £350 fitted. I was offered leather as well but really couldn't justify the extra £300 for a car that will be used occasionally.


Although he didn't have access to a heat press to put the original style lines in the door cards he sewed a line through them in thread the same colour as the piping, which I think looks a bit different.




I painted the all the seat frames and other interior parts in cream which works really well with the upholstery colour. Seeing this in Buzz was honestly one of the best parts of the whole project.








This is one of the few things on the car that I didn't do myself. If I do another car I may have a bash at the upholstery myself!!!






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That is lovely. I do like an early Beetle. Would love to put a more powerful engine in but blow me they are expensive and I just can't justify it.

Do you still have it?

I wish!  Due to dodgy job security I bailed out and sold it.


To be continued....attachicon.gif20150618_095154.jpg

Those South African Beetles are great, a real mix up of parts.  5 stud wheels, large window bodyshells, up to '72 rear wings but with after '73 tail lights and an adaptor to go between them (all others had the large tail lights screwed directly to the wings).  There's also the reflective front markers next to the headlights.


After all that, the groovy bamboo headliner is pretty normal

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What engine is in that for drag racing?

One of the beautiful things about VW drag racing is that they heavily promote the ET racing, where it doesn't matter what you have - you just have to drive consistently. So you can start with a 1600 or whatever, running 25 second quarters, and win - whilst the big boys get to play with their Subaru engines and turbochargers and win their class. A couple of years ago a friend won the champtionship in a semi-auto 1600 Squareback which has all the disadvantages of 50bhp going through a leper-box, more metal than a Beetle, and less aerodynamics.


The Santa Pod timing system resets at 30 seconds btw, so as long as you make it over the line before then..... ;)

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^agreed, he did what looks like a superb job and the colour choice is perfect.  One of the nicest bug interiors I've seen.

Thank you. He did a great job for a good price. It took a while to decide on the right colour for the seats, was thinking red originally.

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One of the beautiful things about VW drag racing is that they heavily promote the ET racing, where it doesn't matter what you have - you just have to drive consistently. So you can start with a 1600 or whatever, running 25 second quarters, and win - whilst the big boys get to play with their Subaru engines and turbochargers and win their class. A couple of years ago a friend won the champtionship in a semi-auto 1600 Squareback which has all the disadvantages of 50bhp going through a leper-box, more metal than a Beetle, and less aerodynamics.


The Santa Pod timing system resets at 30 seconds btw, so as long as you make it over the line before then..... ;)


Crikey. I got quite close to running out of time in my 2CV then. 28 seconds. Into a headwind.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Next job up the engine got a rebuild and the fresh powder coated tinware back on. The engine was in great shape with no end float.

New seals and gaskets and it was ready to go.




Getting it in was not the 'simple' reverse of taking out, When the engine came out I took the body off first and just removed the engine from the back of the floorpan.




Lots off wiggling, swearing, scraped knuckles and staring and I finally managed it after 3 days, bear in mind that the world record for an engine and replacement is around 4 mins!


A house move followed which put the car on hold for a good 6 months.

I finally got my arse in gear and a friend came round to help get the car started, this took afew hours of chasing simple problems like having the distributor in the wrong way round and priming the carb' so it could draw fuel as the standard fuel pump struggled a bit.


He fired up and sounded great but my excitement was soon scuppered when I decided to have a little drive and a massive graunching sound came from the clutch.

No amount of adjust would sort it so I did what the logical thing and put the car in the garage and hoped it would sort itself!! Alas it didn't so another £100 was spent on a clutch kit and the engine had to be removed again.


With the engine out the problem was obvious that the pressure ring on the fingers of the clutch plate was missing (didn't even notice when I put it back together) causing the pins on the throw out bearing to sheer.


This was a real low point and I struggled again to find some enthusiasm to fit the clutch and put the engine in knowing what a pain in the arse it was before.

Although it seems a relatively small thing I really did consider selling and giving up (after standing over the car with a large hammer in my hand), guess this is why there are so many unfinished projects on Ebay!!!


Garage door shut again and sulking commenced.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Sulking and moping took the best part of 4 months with only minimal work being done.


Finally I got going and dropped the engine again to get the clutch replaced, getting the bearing retaining pin to fit in these required filling down to make fit.


Clutch finally back in and it was time for the engine, although having taken it out and putting it in a few times I would have learnt how to do it fairly easily but no I still struggled to get the thing back in, in hindsight maybe having someone to help me would have helped but being a stubborn twat I would rather struggle myself!!


Engine in and went for another start up, after turning over and getting some fuel back to the carb' he started and still sounded great.

Now came the crunch, taking him on a little test drive down the drive, slipped into gear with no problems and moved down the drive under its own power.

Some adjustment on the clutch cable and he was driving nicely, so took off down the road for a cheeky drive with a huge smile on my face.


Filled with enthusiasm I start all the silly little things that needed doing to get things finished, battery secured, rear seat belts in, a whole list of bits and pieces that took months to do!







Mmmmm lists, although this would appear that I am a lot more organised than I really am!


A friend gave me the number of an auto electrician (Craig at Complete Car Solutions Attleborough) in case anyone in the Norfolk area needs a recommended electrician!


He did an amazing job getting the wiring sorted and working, he worked 10 hrs to get it all done and really is a great guy, even got a discount with us both being Retained Fire fighters, the best £300 I spent on the car and although it was one of the few things I didn't I wanted it down correctly and have zero ability in car electrics!


On the home straight now!!







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  • 1 month later...

Thought I should really finish this thread off.

With the car rolling and moving under its own steam I started to do all the little bits needed for the MOT.


Most of it niggly bits getting all the lights back on for the final time after testing they are working, checking all bolts were tight (some weren't) and fitting in the last of the interior.

These bits seemed to take the longest and cost more than I thought it would.




Buzz went in for test  and failed on 3 things; 2 bolts missing from the floor to body, steering column fouling the body which was also causing the horn not to work.


With these things sorted Buzz was retested and given its first MOT in 5 long years! car was taxed easily despite me thinking it would be a world of pain.




The last things to do were getting the wheels powder coated and the new tyres fitted. Decided on an anthracite grey and a week later picked them up. For £200 for 5 wheels I didn't think it was bad value and they did a great job.


New tyres on and fitted to the car Buzz was now finished.










Just a few bits to do over the winter and Buzz will be finished properly.


Thanks for watching and reading, I know its not the most popular car in these parts but I have enjoyed sharing.


An arty shot to finish








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