Monthly Archives: October 2014
Spent some time on this awesome fall day removing the back seat, panels, carpet and padding from the inner wheel wells and fire wall. These items were original to the car which was a pretty big surprise. I’ve never removed the padding on one of these old Beetles and not be greeted with rust holes, so this was a first for me. No rust at all, not even surface rust. Inner wheel wells and fire wall are solid as a rock. What looks like rust in the pics is insulation that is going to be a bear to get off. It’s as sticky as it was the day it was installed. I also began removing bolts that hold the floor pan to the body. Since the the pans had been replaced some time in the past, all of the heat channel bolts came out without an issue. The four bolts that secure the floor pan to the cross member, one was missing on each side. The one remaining on the passenger side came out without issue. The one remaining on the driver side just didn’t look right and without much pressure, it broke off. The four under the back seat came out without any problem and the two that mount on top of the tunnel came out without issue. All in all, not too bad. The next big job will be to remove whats left of the tar paper(?) insulation on the inner fire wall.
Had to drain almost 3 gallon of gas, but got the gas tank out and was able to give the body an even better inspection. Some times you never know what you’re going to find as you begin to take these cars apart. But again, so surprises, other than somebody at one time pinched the hood release cable while installing the gas tank and ruined it. All I see is a bunch of cleaning and prep, nothing major. Before I disconnected the battery, I did test the sending unit for the gas gauge and it appears to work. One less thing to have to replace.
Spent some time after work tonight working on the Beetle. First thing was to remove the hood. I was determined to get the wiper assembly removed and a few minutes of tracing wires, I was able to get it out. I’m trying to document everything with pictures, but I’m also writing down every wire that I disconnect and where it lives within the wiring tree. With the wiper assembly out, I’ll be able to clean it up and re-use it since it works fine. Now that the housing for the wiper motor and the fresh air fan (which I’ll have to find a replacement) is clutter free, I can clean out the surface rust, get it re-sealed and painted. I also need to remove the driver side hood hinge. It’s not original and it’s broken. Time to put out feelers for a replacement. I’m hoping to finish with the dash removal and gas tank removal this weekend.
So after work last night, I spent an hour or so in the wiper motor/fresh air fan compartment. This is usually a trouble spot for old Beetles, water gets trapped and the rust begins. Luckily, this one isn’t bad at all. Of course the water drain was plugged with leaves, but only a little surface rust in the whole compartment, no holes or rust pits. Some light sanding, primer and seal will take care of this. The fresh air fan is missing, so that’ll have to be replaced and I’ve removed the wiper motor, so it’s sitting free. I’ll remove it once the wires are disconnected from behind the dashboard. I was also going to remove the washer nozzle only to discover that the last time this Beetle was painted, the nozzle wasn’t masked or removed before paint. Yep, they just painted over it. A little paint remover should free it up and hopefully, I can salvage it. I good friend of mine also made a donation to the Beetle cause. He had an extra decklid spring to replace the one that is missing off of mine. Thanks JB!
Kicking around some ideas of what we want the finished Beetle to look like. The plan is to keep it as stock as possible on the inside and out, minus the bumpers and wheels. Haven’t decided if we’ll go with nerf bars or not, I think they’re a bit dated and they don’t look so nice on a Super Beetle. I’m wanting to give the Beetle a nice stance and to fill in the wheel wells. Not positive of which rims we’ll go with, but I’m sure it’ll be something similar to what I’ve put together here. As for the color, I want a satin black or a very very dark satin gray. Still have a long way to go, but as far as the final product, this is where I’m at.
Before you begin tearing down your project Beetle, be sure to invest into some Zip Lock bags. They are an invaluable way of keeping track of your parts. Also took a closer look at the floor pans when I got home from work tonight. These shoddy welds confirm my suspicions that the floor pans had been replaced some time in the past. As I get further into the tear down, I’ll need to decide to replace them again with new ones or salvage the existing pans. They really are in good shape and I’d like to keep them, but once the body is off the pan, I’ll decide of the installation of the current pans are up to par. If not, I’d be crazy not to go ahead and install new pans.
The dashboard is ready to come out. All bolts removed, just have to remove the knobs for the vents and remove the speedo, but need to document the wiring before it’s disconnected. Also noticed that the heater vent control cable tubes that reside under the back seat are missing. Upon inspection, it doesn’t look like they were ever there which made me dig a little further. I don’t think the floor pans are original. I’ll need to do some more cleaning up before I know for sure, but I really think that they’ve been replaced at one time. As you can see from the bottom, they’re in really good shape, no rust at all. From the inside, the picture doesn’t do it justice, there is some surface rust, but they’re in really good shape. But it looks as if the heater vent control cable tubes have been cut flush with the floor pan channel. You can certainly tell that there was something there at one time as the driver side still has a piece of the control cable hanging out.
Back to the dashboard, it’s covered with silicone as somebody apparently tried to cap it at some point. I think it the dash may be salvageable, not sure yet. I’ll know more once it’s out and cleaned up. Dash repair can be an interesting adventure.