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1972 basic beetle 1200; mahoosive project


DaveDorson
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Can you still get new panels or skins for these, Dave, or is it a clever/involved make your own job?

 

 

Most of the panels you can buy are a terrible fit, so a lot of it is finding good used ones, or making up sections yourself.

 

It's all part of the fun though right?

 

I did sit there last night, after taking a load of paint off the roof to reveal some good metal to weld the rest of the car to (it's not that bad, but if feels like it), and questioned if it's really worth my while, getting this car down to the bare metal all over, to lay epoxy primer over it.

 

I mean it's not a vintage Porsche, or an E-Type, and if it was either then no questions would be asked, of course it's worth it.  But the beetle is a peasants car, worth so little, hence so many being wildly modified over the years.

 

Is it REALLY going to be worth it.  Especially seeings it's going to be a non VW colour (it's getting done in Porsche Guards red) with after market wheels and stuff.

 

At the end of the day, it's a 1970's mass produced car, that was about 40 years behind the curve when it was new.

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The idea of the basic beetle always makes me smile when someone talks about a modern car being "poverty" spec. VW took money saving on these cars to an extreme that would almost certainly be considered a crime against humanity today. By 1972 they had at least got a fuel gauge. Not long before that the scum who could only afford a 1200A had to make do with a fuel tap.

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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 :)

 

I can't believe you've STILL got that car mate.

 

That said.. I've had this one since my first VW club over in Grantham... Jesus, that's going back a bit... :lol:

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The idea of the basic beetle always makes me smile when someone talks about a modern car being "poverty" spec. VW took money saving on these cars to an extreme that would almost certainly be considered a crime against humanity today. By 1972 they had at least got a fuel gauge. Not long before that the scum who could only afford a 1200A had to make do with a fuel tap.

 

Mate of mine still carried a wooden fuel "dipstick" in his drivers door pocket, even though he's not owned an air cooled VW for about 20 years now.

 

Apparently, it's something his old man made for him when he got his first car (1962 very basic beetle) and he's always carried it with every car he's owned since.

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Forgive me if I am teaching grandma to suck eggs but if you are taking the body off the floorpan then it is a good idea to remove the doors first and spend some time bracing the door aperture so there is a lot less chance of things moving around when the already bendy floorpan is removed particularly if there isn't much left of the heater channels.  You can make up braces from lightish tube that run bewteen the door hinge mounts and the seat belt fixings. A fixing side to side doesn't hurt, either.

 

The other thing that was learned fairly quickly is that the geniune body/floorpan seals aren't brilliant to say the least. Later ones we did (T1s and T3s) we used Denso tape which seems to perform way better than the VW supplied seals.

 

Beetles really are the most shit things on God's clean earth and the more you know about them the more you understand how rubbish they are. However, we all have our weaknesses and I still look at them wistfully thinking that a '67 1500 with a steel sunroof would be just fine. 

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Forgive me if I am teaching grandma to suck eggs but if you are taking the body off the floorpan then it is a good idea to remove the doors first and spend some time bracing the door aperture so there is a lot less chance of things moving around when the already bendy floorpan is removed particularly if there isn't much left of the heater channels.  You can make up braces from lightish tube that run bewteen the door hinge mounts and the seat belt fixings. A fixing side to side doesn't hurt, either.

 

The other thing that was learned fairly quickly is that the geniune body/floorpan seals aren't brilliant to say the least. Later ones we did (T1s and T3s) we used Denso tape which seems to perform way better than the VW supplied seals.

 

Beetles really are the most shit things on God's clean earth and the more you know about them the more you understand how rubbish they are. However, we all have our weaknesses and I still look at them wistfully thinking that a '67 1500 with a steel sunroof would be just fine. 

 

The channels are actually pretty good.  The repairs to the rear quarters are badly done though, and the doors are terribly repaired.

 

To be honest, the only really bad grot is the rear bumper mount and valance area, which is utterly toast, and a bit behind the pedals up front.

 

It's just awful repairs with a load of plod in.  there's good metal under it, but a bit of time with the hammer and dollies would have seen a much better repair that would only need the smallest skim of filler, which is what I'm going to try and do once the shell is off.

 

I'm only really splitting the pan, so I can clean up and do the chassis with some U-Pol Raptor and get into all the nooks and crannies, and to properly paint the shell in all the bits you can't get to.

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I love Beetles and it'll be fantastic when it's done! The nice thing about aircooled VWs is there's lots of information out there and clubs to help. Wish I'd kept mine so I could do similar now I have a garage.

 

You need help mate.

 

Honestly, they're bloody awful things.  It's only my sheer stubbornness that's stopping me from just making it look good, selling it at an over-inflated price at a VW show, and putting my money into something sensible like a Jaguar XJS :D

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If you can undo the floorpan-to-body bolts the heater channels are probably ok. But those sills/channels can look fine, but because there's no steel left around the captive nuts, the bolts just spin.

 

A fix-it or scrap-it decision maker back when beetles were so cheap that they had to be fairly solid or you just wouldn't bother.

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If you can undo the floorpan-to-body bolts the heater channels are probably ok. But those sills/channels can look fine, but because there's no steel left around the captive nuts, the bolts just spin. A fix-it or scrap-it decision maker back when beetles were so cheap that they had to be fairly solid or you just wouldn't bother.

 

They all came out fine except the ones that snapped, which would suggest corrosion is in there, but not enough to make the captive nut or material around it fall apart.

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If - IF - you can get hold of decent quality complete heater channels (which seems to be the name the applied to the inner sill/outer sill/heater tube assembly) they aren't too tricky to fit. The last Notch we did we were jammy enough to get a pair of genuine VW heater channels which made piecing it back together much more simple.

 

However, as has already been pointed out there were a lot of companies bashing out a lot of panels that were slightly "approximate". Pop-On is a brand that springs to mind that were one of the less good ones.

 

Why do I feel myself being drawn into the air cooled shite quicksand again?

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If - IF - you can get hold of decent quality complete heater channels (which seems to be the name the applied to the inner sill/outer sill/heater tube assembly) they aren't too tricky to fit. The last Notch we did we were jammy enough to get a pair of genuine VW heater channels which made piecing it back together much more simple.

 

However, as has already been pointed out there were a lot of companies bashing out a lot of panels that were slightly "approximate". Pop-On is a brand that springs to mind that were one of the less good ones.

 

Why do I feel myself being drawn into the air cooled shite quicksand again?

 

 

IT'S A TRAP!

RUN NOW

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Too late. I've already glanced over at the Rowenta cigarette lighter sitting in its box (complete with instruction leaflet) which was given to my Grandfather when he visited the VW factory back in the early 60s as part of a programme to encourage new dealers. It says "Volkswagen" on the bottom of it in the same script as on the boot lid of very early Type 3s.

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  • 1 year later...

Hello :)

 

So I've been taking a bit of a break from all things automotive for various reasons, but given the whole C-19 situation, working from home, not going out and getting increasingly bored, I decided to get back into it.

As you'll probably remember, we moved into a new workshop a while ago, myself and a friend, and we've slowly been fitting it out so we can use it, store our own stuff, and do the odd job to keep the wheels greased in terms of keeping the cost down.

Thus far, it's really been a place for me to keep my collection of ever breaking shite out the way and keep domestic life fairly blissful, however, I wanted to get back into restoring the beetle, so decided to just get on with it.

 

So, the doors have had some god awful repairs done, tacked on bottoms hidden with filler, I think I might see if I can find a better pair, but they're off the shell now, I also found some repairs I need to do while stripping down the paint, which really meant I had to get the body off the floor.

 

Once I'd done that I found that there's a bit I wanted to sort out in the front area behind the beam, so that came off again.

 

And then I realised the gearbox was a bit grim, and it's got some godawful polyurethane engine mounts fitted which will make it more noisy and vibrational that I'd really want, so that had to be sorted.

 

Current state of play as of last night:

 

50114871658_be2606abce_z.jpgIMG_20200714_213252620 by davedorson, on Flickr

 

So now what?

Chassis

  • Well, there's a bit more to come off the floor pan, then that'll get cleaned up properly, there's a small repair it needs at the rear RHS, so that needs to get done, and I'll get some of that fancy raptor chassis coating stuff on it, then I'll replace all the hardware on chassis, new brake lines, new clutch cable, new heat exchanger cables, new fuel line;
  • I'll clean and paint the pedal assembly and the handbrake assembly
  • The front beam I've already done, so that's fine for now, but I might hit that with the raptor as well.
  • The gearbox will get cleaned up, properly, new axle boots, and some proper rubber mounts if I can find some that aren't terrible.
  • Suspension at the rear will be indexed to the correct height for the car, currently it's indexed quite low.

Engine

I did buy a 1600 brand new engine back in December for this, but it's been sat stored. I need to find some carburation for it, I have a new clutch already, it needs a suitable exhaust.

I need some pieces of engine tin, as the stuff I have either doesn't fit, or is isn't correct for the planed engine configuration

  • Source correct engine tin
  • Strip, inspect and re-assemble 1600 engine (I trust no one)
  • Source and set up fueling
  • Source and install exhaust

Not doing anything outlandish here, a little 1600 twin port engine with a proper exhaust and some twin carbs should make it usable;  It's having 145f/165r tyres installed, so a "big" engine would be wasted.

Body

It's not really that bad, there's a couple of bad repairs I want to put right, and given the effort I'm going to for the rest of the car, it makes sense to do this to a decent standard.  I've bought some good front wings from someone locally, they're Days Moulding GRP ones;  modern steel reproduction panels are often a poor fit, so I wanted to get something better on the car, these came up at the right price and had already been modified for Cal Look indicators

  • Repair area above pedal assembly
  • Repair heater channel to luggage floor area
  • Extract broken body to chassis bolts (that'll be fun!)
  • Replace rear bumper mounts and rear apron
  • Fill and flat
  • Apply Epoxy primer
  • Apply Porsche Guards Red paint
  • Source replacement doors/repair doors correctly
  • Source correct ventless 1200 bonnet
  • Strip and paint exterior panels
  • Source quality replacement rubber for door, bonnet and decklid seals
  • Source quality replacement wing beading
  • Fit and gap new panels
  • Fit new wiring loom with modern fusebox
  • Fit exterior trim and lights, test.

Interior

Managed to find a good interior, but it's likely to need recovering.  This will be the final job.  I don't want a fancy retrim and plan to keep the interior very stock looking.

  • Strip seats to frames, springs and horse hair padding
  • source correct basket weave seat covers
  • source "1200" rubber floor mats
  • Install floor mats
  • Recover seats
  • Install new seats
  • Source suitable "three point" inertia seatbelts
  • Install seatbelts

Think that'll keep be going for a bit eh?

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50114871753_68d5c103fe_z.jpgIMG_20200714_190638944 by davedorson, on Flickr

 

Here's the body, for those wondering how far I've got with it :D, not very is the anwer, bit more paint off and a couple less doors than before, crucially though I can get to the bits I need to sort.

The 996 TT engine is part of the "keeping the wheels greased" it won't be finding its way into any of my stuff, even though I've measured it all up and reckon I could make it fit in the van.. :D

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3 minutes ago, Asimo said:

Don't forget the rear torsion-bar/ spring-plate rubber bushes and those annoying bits under the gear lever that need the change-rod to slide out forwards!

If any of that needs replacing it'll also get done, the shift rod stuff all looked pretty good when I initially looked though, which is nice.

 

Torsion bar bushes I'll know when it comes to re-indexing.

 

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Keep going, these are awesome when done.

Had mine since 1999! Restored it around 2005, heater channels, frame head etc, so had a lot done. It’s not so low, or so tidy as it’s heyday in around 2008 now, but I’m getting it out again this year.

If I ever stop trying to weld the crusty old Fourtrak back together.

photo from said heyday. It was that low as I had half a Tonne of pineapples on the back seat.

0A93D7D3-5CFE-4B65-8E7A-AF09F83A9B19.png

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3 hours ago, Tamworthbay said:

What tinware do you need? I am sure I have a fan/ oil cooler cowling and possibly a few other bits at my container. Would be a few weeks until I could get at it though.

36hp style fan housing with doghouse and no heat, front tin for no heat, rear tin with exhaust for doghouse cooler, and all the other bits.

 

Engine will be twin carb without heaters I suspect because after doing all this I can't see me using the car in the winter months.

 

I'm sat down the unit now, having removed the frame head front plate, the pedal assembly, seat rail bushings, heater control levers, torsion arm end plates, bushes, and torsion bars, spring plates and rear gearbox cradle.

 

I've had a blaster offer to blast the floor for £130 with a one day turn around which is appealing and would save considerable time cleaning it all back.

Just taking a couple of pictures of the bits that are crusty now so I can get an idea of how much welding to the floor I'd need to do once it comes back if I go that route.  

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53 minutes ago, rickvw72 said:

Keep going, these are awesome when done.

Had mine since 1999! Restored it around 2005, heater channels, frame head etc, so had a lot done. It’s not so low, or so tidy as it’s heyday in around 2008 now, but I’m getting it out again this year.

If I ever stop trying to weld the crusty old Fourtrak back together.

photo from said heyday. It was that low as I had half a Tonne of pineapples on the back seat.

0A93D7D3-5CFE-4B65-8E7A-AF09F83A9B19.png

Lovely colour 

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21 minutes ago, DaveDorson said:

36hp style fan housing with doghouse and no heat, front tin for no heat, rear tin with exhaust for doghouse cooler, and all the other bits.

 

Engine will be twin carb without heaters I suspect because after doing all this I can't see me using the car in the winter months.

 

I'm sat down the unit now, having removed the frame head front plate, the pedal assembly, seat rail bushings, heater control levers, torsion arm end plates, bushes, and torsion bars, spring plates and rear gearbox cradle.

 

I've had a blaster offer to blast the floor for £130 with a one day turn around which is appealing and would save considerable time cleaning it all back.

Just taking a couple of pictures of the bits that are crusty now so I can get an idea of how much welding to the floor I'd need to do once it comes back if I go that route.  

I will have a look when I get a chance, if I don’t get back to you in a couple of weeks remind me.

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So here was the state of play as of 21:00ish tonight.

 

50116354043_035184a8e8_z.jpgIMG_20200715_202129718 by davedorson, on Flickr

 

Trimmed back the bit at the front on the body that needs new steel:

50116925761_70c6465f51_z.jpgIMG_20200715_202223159 by davedorson, on Flickr

 

The bit at the back is going to need a bit more involved work to sort out

 

50117149237_67433b0ff7_z.jpgIMG_20200715_202201185 by davedorson, on Flickr

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The torsion bar grommets are actually in really good order, but I suspect they've gone soft over time, they appear to have genuine VW part numbers on them, so naturally I'll buy new ones.

Cables are a pain to feed into the pan so I'm going to try and leave them in if I can when it goes for blasting, if I decide to do that, rather than attack it myself.

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Had a bit of time today, so moved some stuff around in the unit to give me a bit more room to work;  it's a constant battle in that place, you can never have enough space.

50129820883_5830fc7252_c.jpgIMG_20200719_175216759 by davedorson, on Flickr

Got most the paint off the roof, which was partially stripped before.

Did a bit of the passenger rear quarter. 

50129820308_588dc05353_c.jpgIMG_20200719_175225894 by davedorson, on Flickr

As you can see, this will need some work.

50130611802_161a426bbf_c.jpgIMG_20200719_175235083 by davedorson, on Flickr

Evidence of a pineapple past, welded in radio aerial aperture

 50130388566_a0c0864fdd_c.jpgIMG_20200719_175239697 by davedorson, on Flickr

And a hole in the roof where someone added a fucking aerial on the roof..

50130609762_aa450d9805_c.jpgIMG_20200719_175250726 by davedorson, on Flickr

This won't be fun, thick with underseal and shit repairs

50130387166_2a02faf201_c.jpgIMG_20200719_175304220 by davedorson, on Flickr

Other side isn't much better

 

Onto the floor pan, now stripped of everything, going to blast next week.

50129816808_3f88952ab5_c.jpgIMG_20200719_175830565 by davedorson, on Flickr

50129816108_2e1f1164e9_c.jpgIMG_20200719_175814251 by davedorson, on Flickr

50130605332_42b0c7fa7c_c.jpgIMG_20200719_175820557 by davedorson, on Flickr

50130602507_e5ae1b310b_c.jpgIMG_20200719_175902071 by davedorson, on Flickr

 

It's only really the two rear corners I'm hugely concerned about, the rest I think will survive it's excursion to the blasters.

 

 

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