Monthly Archives: November 2014
Began the task of tearing down the engine, deciding which parts can be salvaged and reused and what will have to be replaced. The engine itself wasn’t as dirty as I thought it was going to be. The engine tins are in pretty bad shape and many are missing. I don’t know of any of them are worth salvaging. No play in the engine, compression seems to be really good, no broken bolts, etc. Rocker arm assembly and inside the valve covers, everything looks good. So for now, unless something obvious comes up, I have no plans of taking the engine a part. Just replace what needs to be replaced and clean it up nicely.
The valve covers and intake were covered in layers of paint. Red, yellow, blue, purple, you name it, they’ve been painted that color. The valve covers aren’t stock, but they’re aluminum and they cleaned up nicely, so I plan to reuse them. May paint them, may not, haven’t decided yet. The intakes still need a little work, but at least the paint is off and they’re cleaned up. The main intake tube will have to be replaced, one arm to the exhaust has been cut off. Luckily, my friend Bob has a spare.
I also got the passenger side hood hing prepped. The driver side hinge was broke when I bought the car, but luckily again, my friend Bob has a spare. The 74+ Super Beetle hinges are harder to find than the regular Beetle hinges. Removed the engine bay seals as well. They were pretty much dry rotted and in bad shape. They came out a lot easier than I thought they would and the channels they live in are in tact and rust free, that was a big surprise. Speaking of rust, I’ve come up with an awesome solution for cleaning rusty bolts, nuts and anything else that needs to have the rust removed. I used a paint can cap filled with equal parts Naval Jelly and Krud-Kutter Rust Remover. Just drop your rusty bolts and nuts in the solution, let them soak overnight and they’ll look brand new the next day. Got a lot done this weekend and still managed to get the grass cut one last time before winter takes it grip….!
Got my replacement deck lid hinge arms prepped this morning before taking on the task of removing the engine from the Beetle. Really pleased with the way they turned out. Also got a chance to play with some new tools that I picked up this week, a new 2 ton jack and jack stands. I’m sure they’ll get plenty of use over the next few months. Got all of the wiring labeled and removed from the engine, all the bolts out and started the task of removing the engine. I’ve done these numerous times before many years ago, but never by myself. Didn’t take long before the engine was loose and I was ready to lift the body to pull the engine out. I had a time trying to get the alternator pulley bolt to clear the rear apron and by the looks of the apron, somebody before me had the same issue. Even removing the pulley didn’t help, but I was able to get the body high enough to turn the motor for it to clear. So anyhow, it’s out, I can easily lift the body high enough to pull it completely out from under the car, but I’m going to need some help to do that.
Was able to spend some time on the Beetle tonight in preparation of pulling the engine tomorrow. Drained the oil, removed all but one retaining bolts and began labeling the wires. As you can see by the pics, the wiring is a mess and it’s going to take me forever to figure it out. I can’t wait to get the engine out just so I can clean it up, it has to be the ugliest Beetle engine I’ve ever seen. Also added some goodies to the goody box, more new seals and gaskets. Lot’s of smalls make things easier down the road. I also tested a new wire wheel for my grinder. Best 10 dollar investment ever! These wire wheels eat through the grime, layers of paint and undercoating with ease. I’m sure I’ll go through many of them before all is said and done. Also took apart the tail light buckets for closer inspection. Happy that I’ll be able to use them once they’re cleaned up. Even the original Hella lenses are in pretty good shape, but I’ll probably replace them eventually. So the goal is to get a good nights sleep, up early and get this engine pulled……wish me luck!
Some times, success is measured in small strides. So tonight I got the gratification of removing a stubborn, broken bolt from the heater channel. While I was removing the twenty something bolts that secure the floor pan to the body, I discovered one that had previously been broken. Of course, like any classic Beetle owner, you’re never sure of the condition of the heater channel until you can get under it and take really good look at it with the floor pan separated. It really wasn’t no surprise to discover the my heater channels are as solid as a rock, even after years of sitting on the floor pan. Absolutely no holes and a very minimal amount of surface rust. Another testament to their condition is the fact that I’ve practically lifted the body off of the floor pan with vice grips attached to the bolt to try and loosen it. Even after 3 days of constant spraying and soaking with Blaster Penetrating Catalyst, this bolt would not budge. I had eaten enough of it away with the vice grips that I was sure it was bound to break again at any time (just look at the pic) or at a minimum, the nut inside of the heat channel would break free and I’d be left with a gaping hole. Not wanting to get into anything hot and heavy tonight, I decided to give it one more try. This time, I applied some heat with my propane torch to the area around the frozen bolt for about 30 seconds. Then I tightened the vice grips around what was left of the bolt with all my might. And with one swift hit with the palm of my hand, SUCCESS! That little SOB of a bolt was finally free. Some times, it’s the small successes that matter the most!
Got some more smalls in the mail. Hoping to have a lot of these small items accumulated so as we eventually get to the end of the build, none of the little things will be over looked. Also got the wiper assembly put back together. One day it’ll find it’s way back in to the car.
Considering it was in the 30’s last night, today turned out to be a pretty nice day. Took advantage of it and worked on some of the smalls on the Beetle. Finished cleaning and stripping the fuel door and the license plate light cover, got them prepped and primed. Also cleaned the wiper motor and the wiring harness, got them looking pretty good. The wiper motor arm had a lot of surface rust on it, so I spent a lot of time cleaning and sanding before prime and paint. It’s a shame to spend so much time on something that won’t even be seen, but piece of mind knowing that we should get many more years use out of it. I plan to re-assemble the wiper assembly tomorrow, then tuck it away some place until it’s ready to return to the Beetle. I hope to get some time this week after work to finish prepping the deck lid and get it primed. Still need to get the body off of the floor pan, it’s basically just sitting on it right now. Once I remove the ball joints, it’ll be ready to separate. Waiting until I get a good floor jack.
I think 80% of the project is going to be cleaning and sanding. Began to take apart the wiper motor assembly to prep it for cleaning and paint. Just lots of dirt and a little surface rust. Also spent some time on the donor deck lid. Had a couple spots of surface rust, but other than that, it just needs cleaned up and some light sanding to prep it for primer. I also cleaned the donor deck lid hinges. I’ve ordered some OEM replacements, but these actually cleaned up pretty good. Shot them with some primer to sell to somebody else who may be able to use them.