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1972 basic beetle 1200; mahoosive project


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It was a different project, mines been tucked up in the workshop for a while now.


It looks alright but there's some had previous repairs in there and the only way to find them all is going to be taking it right back, so it'll end up taking a bit of time. My thoughts are doing it right and it won't need doing again though.


Radio blank is welded in with a glob of filler as it had a smoothed dash some time in the 1990s, it was also painted green and purple with yellow empi wheels and lowered within an inch of its life at the same time.


Today I started taking the layers of crap off the beam and making sure that's all OK, and taking off the underseal in the front arches with a grinder and knot wheel. Suffice to say I now need a shower and the workshop is very dirty. Cock.

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Java green? Or is that just a shade of one of the 90’s adornments? I toyed with the idea of buying a java green sloper a few years back, and then remembered how my old ‘67 had buggered my bank account when I was but a teenager.

Looks like you know your shiz - really interested to see this one come back together.

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Right, got to the unit at about half ten this morning and fired up the compressor to fill the tank so I could crack on with the shell stripping and nothing, NADA.. looks like the bloody capacitor has gone.


So I got the drill out and used the not wheel to strip the underseal, a messy horrible tankless task.


41789027835_2c10b70e35_c.jpgIMG_20180608_205425477 by davedorson, on Flickr


42688743011_2265b4403b_c.jpgIMG_20180608_205407821 by davedorson, on Flickr



40906428360_619664b80b_c.jpgIMG_20180610_134601805 by davedorson, on Flickr


42716491681_b24f3f9264_c.jpgIMG_20180610_134548463 by davedorson, on Flickr

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As I'm lacking air tools I've not managed to get any paint off or into the nooks and crannies you can reach with the finger sander or the mini grinder, but it's all progress.


Then I turned by attention to the front beam. This has been badly painted gloss black and has adjusters in that don't adjust.. it was also bone dry inside.


First I took the torsion arm off and cleaned them up, then pressed in some new mahle balljoints, then gave them a coat of acid etch primer and a dose of satin black.



27847660447_0250b009b9_c.jpg[/url]IMG_20180610_134834225 by davedorson, on Flickr


Then I took all the shitty paint off the old beam with the knot wheel again. Nice to find a German beam that isn't shagged. Amazingly the bearing and seals were OK but there was no grease in there at all. I removed the torsion leaves and gave them a coat of moly grease and reinserted them.



40906435550_9715960073_c.jpgIMG_20180610_134619586 by davedorson, on Flickr


28842703378_8b552039f4_c.jpgIMG_20180610_134624248 by davedorson, on Flickr



Shot some acid etch over it with my small compressor and let it dry off in the heat (did both sides).


40906377540_ea481b9450_c.jpgIMG_20180610_152742728 by davedorson, on Flickr


Then a bit of satin black.


40906388410_4beb5db75d_c.jpgIMG_20180610_162856652 by davedorson, on Flickr


Then banged it back together.


One of the balljoints is stuck fast in the pitman arm so I've not done that one yet, and the steering box feels like gravel so that wants looking at tomorrow evening after work.


Progress.. slower than I'd have liked but it's something.

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I went for a shit ton of (proper) nitromors, you know that if that tingles your hands through gloves!! Takes filler off too.

I'm not a fan of that stuff.


Did my first beetle with it and had a shit load of issues with stuff finding its way into nooks and crannies, not getting washed off then reacting with paint later.


Enjoyed reading your thread. :)

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Java green? Or is that just a shade of one of the 90’s adornments? I toyed with the idea of buying a java green sloper a few years back, and then remembered how my old ‘67 had buggered my bank account when I was but a teenager.

Looks like you know your shiz - really interested to see this one come back together.

I'm just blagging it mate :D


It's Java green, but its a ford version of it. This one was very early 90s unfortunately, with some purple, lairy door cards and Astra GTE seats. I've burned the door cards and the seats are long gone.


Originally the car was pastel white.

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Has that beam suffered from the Cut-turn-weld brigade on the centre clamps? I didn't think there was a factory weld there.


As for your compressor, do you need a replacement/spare? I have far too many compressors and am selling many of them off cheap.


Looks like a big-ole' project, but done as well as you're doing it, you'll have a lovely beetle at the end of it.

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Has that beam suffered from the Cut-turn-weld brigade on the centre clamps? I didn't think there was a factory weld there.


As for your compressor, do you need a replacement/spare? I have far too many compressors and am selling many of them off cheap.


Looks like a big-ole' project, but done as well as you're doing it, you'll have a lovely beetle at the end of it.

It's had sway away adjusters welded in, which I'm fine with.


I think it's just a cap on the compressor, I'll check them over tonight if I get a chance, they're one about a tenner each and it'll be the starter circuit one that's gone or the reset switch.

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Update... Definitely the capacitor in the compressor that's failed, it's ballooned like the elephant man's face. Managed to beat a few dents out the front end earlier and ive had the steering box apart. It's not shagged but if ain't amazing either. I've left it submerged in the parts cleaner and taken a wire wheel on a drill to the brake discs to clean them up. First skim of filler over the front end earlier and decided that I'm going to take the body off so I can detail the chassis properly, assess the underside of the shell and hit it with Upol raptor.


Also bought some of the stuff, in tintable form. It got to 22.15 and I decided to call it a night as I've got no air and didn't want to be making loads of noise down there on a school night.


Forgot to take my phone, as such forgot to take pictures but will try and sort some when I'm down next. :)

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The wife is on stage tonight, so chances are I'll be able to do a photographic update of the work so far, and hopefully I can make a start on a few other things that need doing.


The body and floor will be seperated, that means I can get the chap I share my unit with; a panel beater and body technician for an accident repair place Corby by trade, but a classic car enthusiast and long term friend of mine, concentrate on prepping and painting the bits I've already stripped down, while I get the floorpan and chassis cleaned, stripped and repaired.


I've got a tintable Upol Raptor kit sat in the workshop now, so I need to decide how I'm going to tint it for the chassis stuff, I'm thinking VW Chinchilla Grey, should go well with the planned Porsche Guards Red, and Satin black for the suspension componments and gearbox.

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Apologies for the lack of udpates.


Mrs D was hospitalised on Sunday, and it's thrown a spanner in my workshop time.


She's alright, (although we're still not sure what's happened to her), they've ruled out appendix, ovarian issues, gall bladder and anything else that's likely to end them with a massive law suit for not diagnosing her with it quickly.


She's on the pain killers, and can't move around as much, although back at work (against my advice), we've been told it it gets worse, or doesn't change in a few weeks, to get back in to have a look.


I'm fully planning to get down there at the weekend and get more of it to the metal, and start to prize the body off the chassis.

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Ok, so I promise I will do some decent picture updates soon, but it's been slow going.


I've got all the floor to chassis bolts out, three of them snapped but that's fine, I can drill them out once the pan and body are split and I've got some access.


I spent Saturday evening doing some more paint stripping under the bonnet area, both inner wings and most of the front end are now in bare metal, and I've given the front end of the car a skim of filler and sanded it off to level things out. 


I also took all the crap that was in the car, out of the car, so I've got more room to work, the bonnet hinges are off, so no more nazi salutes, the wiring loom is removed, the fuse box is out, the steering column is removed, the steering box has been rebuilt, (I'm waiting for a tube of John Deere Corn head grease and a gasket before I can re-install that), and I'm awaiting for some tie rod ends for the inner pitman arm so I can put those bits back on and make the chassis roll, as that makes splitting the floor and body a bit more simple.


I'm going to remove the doors this week if I get the chance so I can sort them out, one of them has am impressive amount of filler in it, and a badly repaired bottom skin, which is giving an impossible shutline.  Anyone that follows my antics on Facebook will have seen my "MOT exempt mate" posts of late with regards to this car :).


42947318202_fef8d84c45_k.jpg2018-06-25_10-02-44 by davedorson, on Flickr

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Nice to see you’re already collecting old bikes and shit to stick on the roofrack when it’s done!


I'm a BMX fan, especially 1990's GT's and Dyno's :)


The Dyno is likely to go into a charity auction when it's done, the GT behind it is one of my personal BMX's.  There won't be a roofrack on the car when it's finished. :P

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  • 3 months later...

So things stalled on this, simply because I had a massive compressor failure, then an attempted break in at the unit, and the roller door has only JUST been replaced, so I've been keeping away while it's less than ideally secure in order to keep attention away from the premises.



Yesterday though, nearly a full two months on from the initial break in attempt, the door was replaced, and I managed to strip more paint off the shell.


I'll either end up unboxing some carbs tonight, or I'll end up down the unit and have a womble about (clean up and re-organise of stuff post having swathes of the wall removed to fit new door!) PRACE BETS NOW.



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I reckon theres probably more parts available now than ever for old stuff, and quite a lot is much improved on what was available back int day. Watching this with interest Dave as I've got my old 71 1300 to crack on with at some point :)

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