Category Archives: Beetle Restoration
Ever since I got the radio installed in the Beetle, there was this vibration coming from the speaker grill any time the volume was turned up. Took out the grill today and determined that the vibration sound was the wire mesh that sits between the speaker grill and the speaker. At some point in Mabel’s life, some body had installed a piece of vinyl between the speaker grill and the opening for the speaker to keep air from coming through, so I removed that and secured the wire mesh with double sided tape…no more vibration and with the vinyl removed, it sounds so much better.
The OG arm rests / handles that I ordered for Mabel came in the mail yesterday, so I got them installed this evening. Now we can shut the doors without rolling down the windows. Had been looking for originals at a decent price for a couple of months and finally came across a set the other day on TheSamba.com. Thanks to Ralph Hopper (user TSVW) for a great deal and extremely fast shipping.
The previous owner of Mabel had about 95% of the interior restored when I bought her. One thing that has bugged me was the lack of arm rests on the door panels, my guess is that they ditched the old ones when the door panels were replaced. Have been looking for months for a good deal on OG arm rests and finally came across one the other day while searching the classified’s on TheSamba.com. Got in contact with the seller and he made me a deal that I couldn’t resist. 20 bucks for OG arm rests and mounting hardware that are in excellent condition. Couldn’t pass up the deal, hopefully they’ll be here in a few days. Now I just have to get the door panels off without screwing them up.
Finished installing the vintage radio into the Beetle this evening. Had to remove the air intake to install the back support for the radio. Installed the speaker and buttoned everything up. Very pleased with the end result, wouldn’t hesitate to do it again.
I’ve been wanting to install a vintage radio in the Beetle for some time now and last week I came across a great deal on a new old stock Tenna Ranger that is period correct. So I received the radio in the mail the other day and was excited to open the box that had been sealed for over 47 years. This is the same radio kit that the dealers would’ve installed at the dealership after you purchased your new Beetle. My next hope was that the radio would actually work after being tucked away that long. Regardless of whether it worked or not, it was going to get installed. So last night, I began the install process. The hardest part so far was removing the dash pad material that would open the hole for the radio. This stuff is extremely tough. But after an hour or so of chipping away at it, the opening was clear and ready for the install. The radio slid right in and locked into place. Next, it was a matter of feeding the wires through the back and connecting the antenna. At this point, it was time to test the radio. Hot wire was connected to the fuse bus, ground wire was secured, wire for the radio light was piggybacked off of the speedo light and the speaker was temporarily connected. To my amazement, the radio fired up, all of the controls and the light worked and even the speaker worked. I was very, very pleased. I quickly tuned in an AM station and listened to the sounds of the 60’s and 70’s. Next, I’ll install the rear support for the radio (air intake will have to come out temporarily to gain access), install the speaker and button up the wiring. Hope to get it finished up tomorrow night.
I’ll be installing a vintage Tenna Ranger radio hopefully this weekend, depending on the weather. I know a lot of others are planning on doing a similar project with their VW, so I’ve posted instructions for installing a vintage radio. Just click on the link to the right: Tenna-VW
Even though I use my phone and blue tooth speaker for tunes when I’m driving Mabel around town, I really wanted a period correct radio to fill in the dash. After months and months of searching, I came across a vintage NOS Tenna Ranger AM radio for Volkswagen. Sold as an aftermarket accessory for use exclusively in VW, complete kit includes radio, faceplate, mounting accessories, etc. Radio can be used in either 6 volt systems or 12 volt systems, voltage can be set on the back. Popular accessory sold years ago to install a radio in a VW in models that were not factory equipped with one, or as a replacement for the original radio. So, even though it’s not a factory radio, I only paid 50 dollars for a working, NOS radio that looks just like the factory radio and it’s period correct. Not to bad.
The passenger side mirror and mounting nut that I ordered from Mid America Motorworks arrived today, so it was time to button up the passenger side mirror project. My first impressions of the mirror was that it was a quality piece, matched the OEM driver side mirror perfectly. First thing I did was to test fit the mounting nut to the mirror and I’m glad that I did before trying to fish the nut up through the door. Though the nut fit, it was very, very tight. So tight that there would’ve been no way to tighten it onto the mirror mount from inside the door. The chrome was just too thick. After a few passes on the wire wheel, the nut threaded with ease. I disassembled the mirror to make the install a little easier. The 5/8″ hole that I had pre-drilled in the door with the step bit was also a little to tight to get the threaded part of the mirror mount through. I couldn’t use the step bit to make it any larger because I’d end up with a hole that was too big. So I broke out the dremel and made a few passes with the sanding bit, making the hole just big enough for the mount to slip through. Things were looking pretty good at this point. Now the hard part. How in the world to fish the nut up through the door and hold it securely enough to thread the mirror mount into it. I found a small metal rod laying around the garage so I thought I’d use shipping tape to secure the nut to the rod and use that to fish the nut up through the door. The God’s must’ve been smiling upon me because I thought that this process would take several attempts but I got it first try. Once I got the mirror mount threaded, it tightened up nicely and I was able to simply pull the rod and tape off of the nut. The whole process took about a minute and a half. I lucked out, but I was prepared to spend a couple hours on this part of the project. Once the mirror mount was secure, I put the mirror back together, made my final adjustments, then put this project to bed. For anybody else thinking about doing this project, I say go for it. Just make sure you have the right tools for the job, be patient and prepared to walk away for a few moments. A few cans of your favorite brew wouldn’t hurt either. I stretched this project out over 3 days while I had the mirror and nut on order. I think that worked to my advantage. I wasn’t rushed and like I said, I got lucky getting the nut threaded first try. Very, very pleased with the end result. I wanted the passenger side mirror to match the driver side mirror and that was accomplished.