Category Archives: Beetle Restoration
According to UPS, my passenger side mirror and nut should be here some time tomorrow, so this evening, I decided to go ahead and remove the door hardware and panel to get an idea of how I’m going to get the new mirror mounted. For whatever reason, I was expecting more room to work with, but it’s obvious, that’s not the case. So, the big challenge now is to figure out how I”m going to fish the nut up through the door and be able to hold it in place while I screw in the mirror mount. I’ve got a couple of ideas floating around in my head, but until I actually have the mirror and nut in hand, I really can’t test any of those ideas. But at least for now, everything is ready and hopefully tomorrow evening, we’ll be able to give it a try.
I was really wanting this to be a more detailed tutorial, even had the GoPro setup to document everything. It was only after I finished drilling the hole that I realized that I forgot to push the record button on the GoPro. However, I did take pictures in between steps, so hopefully that’ll help anybody else who plans to take on this project. Since I don’t have the mirror in hand (it’s on order), I thought I’d get a jump and prep the door. Tools needed for this part of the project: drill, hammer, center punch and drill bits. I started by printing off the template used to mark the hole for the passenger side mirror. You can download the template (provided by Mid America Motorworks) by clicking here. The instructions for using the template are self explanatory. Once I got the template secured in place, I took the center punch and hammer and with one good strike, made a good indention for drilling the hole. Double check everything before you proceed. Once you start, there’s no going back. I started with a 9/64″ drill bit, then graduated to a 7/32″ bit, then to a 5/16″ and finally a 3/8″ bit. I took a black marker and outlined above the 5/8″ mark on the step bit so I’d know when to stop drilling with it. I really thought this part was going to be difficult, but the step bit cut through the metal with ease and the whole process took only a few seconds. Since I won’t have the mirror and nut in hand until the end of the week, I taped off the freshly cut hole and sprayed it with primer to prevent any oxidation. Once the primer was dry, I installed a 5/8″ plug to seal it until I’m ready to proceed to the next step which will be to remove the door panel and install the mirror. Hopefully this time next week, we’ll have this project wrapped up.
Made a trip to Hobby Lobby to pick up material to wrap up the rear shelf project. I had planned to use the same vinyl that I used on the trunk liner project, but found something else that I thought would work and look a lot better. Best way to describe it is like a very think, heavy duty felt. With material and staple gun in hand, I began to stretch, fit and staple the material to the rear shelf. Very happy with the end result, it fits perfectly, at just the angle that I wanted it to. All in all, a very easy project with minimal costs. The plywood that I used was scrap that I had laying around, I have right at 7 dollars in material and a total of about 2 hours time in the project. If you’re wanting a rear speaker shelf and don’t want to fork out 60 dollars for some crappy aftermarket piece, this project is easy enough for just about anybody with a power saw, jig saw and a couple hours to spare.
Been wanting to do this for a while now and now it’s time. I don’t always drive in the slow lane and even backing in the garage would be a lot easier with a passenger side door mirror. I’ve opted to use an OEM style mirror and mount rather than use a Ghia style mount with a Beetle convertible mirror. Mounting to the outside of the door would definitely be easier, but I want it to match the driver door mirror. Parts are readily available and total costs should be under 50 dollars. Drilling the hole for the mirror will be the biggest challenge, using a pilot hole and a step drill bit, cutting a little at a time. Mid America Motorworks has provided nice step by step instructions and a template that I’ve included in the link below.
Finished sanding all of the edges, getting everything symmetrical. Applied 2 layers of felt to give it a little padding. I think I’m going to use the same vinyl that I used for the trunk liner. Will hopefully have everything wrapped up this weekend.
So I decided to start on the rear shelf project today. I’d priced some online, but just can’t justify paying 60 dollars for a flimsy piece of material when I can build something a bit more beefy for a lot less. I wanted something strong that I may end up mounting speakers beneath, but still light enough that it can be easily removed. So I decided to make my own rear shelf out of 1/2″ plywood that will be covered either in carpet to match the interior or some type of industrial material that will blend well. Remember to measure twice and cut once. Got this one on the first try, test fitted perfectly and it gives the look that I”m going for with the stability of heavier material. I glued and screwed a support that will keep the shelf from bowing or sagging over time. All that’s left to do is find the right material to cover it. That search begins tomorrow. And the best part, other than my time, it hasn’t cost anything……yet!
Treated Mabel to some new keys. I was very surprised how the prices for blanks online varied from 5 dollars to 35 dollars. I found 2 blanks on Ebay for 8 dollars and free shipping so I jumped on them. Had them cut at a local Walmart and they work like a charm.