Author Topic: the '55 Ragtop.....are we done yet?  (Read 59468 times)

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Offline josh

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the '55 Ragtop.....are we done yet?
« on: October 26, 2007, 02:49:02 PM »
So I figgured i'd start a thread on my new car and update it as I get along in the build.

heres the puzzle.....



It was all stripped and body work done in the early 90's by a porche shop in the oakanogan. heater channels, and a couple other rust repairs were done at that time. It has all the correct parts with it like non cutout rear apron, 4 tab hood, big spring W lid, ribbed doors etc, etc.

Body came on a 69 ball joint/IRS pan that i'm debating on using.

Every time i get out into the garage to \"work\" on it I end up just doing circles pondering where to start and getting a game plan.

I tore down the rag and man some of those little screws are a biatch to get out after 53 years. some stripped, some snapped and ended up heating some up with the torch. will replace with all stainless hardware.

The original 3 fold....



and the mechanism parts after being stripped and powdercoated. Crincle black and the 2 aluminum bars done in chrome powder, side rails re-polished.




Almost too nice to cover in canvas.

I'll hopefully have all the shiny chrome bits back from the platers soon.

As far the body goes there are a couple areas that need some attention.
For some very strange reason the caged square nuts were cut off on the inside of the roof where the tensioning strip holds down the canvas.



I've started building new \"cages\" out of sheet metal and finnished drilling,tapping and cutting little square nuts out of 3/8\" flatbar, lotsa fun i'll tell ya :rolleyes: then i'll weld them all back on so I can adjust the canvas without having to pull the headliner to get a wrench on the inside.

I don't like the shape of the aftermarket heater channels at the front, they're all square like a 70's beetle and have the pressed louvered heat out lets instead of the mesh ones.
I found a set of original grills but once I got them shipped to me they turned out to be too rusty to use, oh well at least I have the shape/size to make new ones.
when I cut these areas out, i'll have a chance to coat the inside in rust bullet or something to protect them.





.......more to come
« Last Edit: July 16, 2015, 08:58:19 AM by josh »
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Offline surgerypending

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Project '54 Ragtop
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2007, 05:27:42 PM »
Color?
Life isn't like a bowl of cherries or peaches, it's more like a jar of Jalapenos--what you do today, might burn your ass tomorrow

Offline josh

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Project '54 Ragtop
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2007, 12:34:55 PM »
the car was light beige from the factory, I was thinking of sticking with that but there is a zwitter in victoria that color. I might go diamond green again or I might get brave enough to paint it black
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Offline Shane

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« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2007, 01:32:36 PM »
Looks killer Josh
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Offline silas

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« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2007, 07:36:08 PM »
right on josh. looks like a great project.

Offline josh

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Project '54 Ragtop
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2007, 07:13:52 PM »
yeah it's gonna be cool, build it the way I want this time.

 
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Offline egspot

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Project '54 Ragtop
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2007, 06:06:51 AM »


WOW Josh, that was a great choice. I saw that oval in Maple Ridge a while ago and I was very taken by it.

Look forward to see the progress on that baby.

I vote Black

Offline josh

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« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2007, 03:07:51 PM »
black would be sweet but the bodywork has to be deadly, with that vote are you volunteering to sand and sand and sand some more for me B)  
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Offline surgerypending

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« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2007, 05:18:21 PM »
Doesn't matter the color.....the body work has to be deadly on that car....make her look as good as you can!
Life isn't like a bowl of cherries or peaches, it's more like a jar of Jalapenos--what you do today, might burn your ass tomorrow

Offline josh

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« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2007, 08:34:27 PM »
Quote
Doesn't matter the color.....the body work has to be deadly on that car....make her look as good as you can!
I hear ya but black makes any imperfection so obvious, whatever color it'll be all I gots
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Offline surgerypending

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« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2007, 09:31:44 PM »
That would be a fun car to do....if I had more time I'd help ya out...I'm kinna booked for the next year and half tho  :wacko:  
Life isn't like a bowl of cherries or peaches, it's more like a jar of Jalapenos--what you do today, might burn your ass tomorrow

Offline josh

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« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2007, 12:23:56 AM »
Quote
That would be a fun car to do....if I had more time I'd help ya out...I'm kinna booked for the next year and half tho  :wacko:
thanks gerry, no worries. Things are taking waaaay longer on this one being back at work now after my 10 month stint of garagernity leave...................I mean paternity leave I just had.

how's the 58 comming? was that one from stephan schmitt? if so I almost bought it before the 57
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Offline surgerypending

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« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2007, 07:36:32 AM »
Ya, that's the one....original diamond green car.  It's a pretty solid and should be an easy build as far as body work is concerned. Right now i'm getting the pan ready to go to the blaster and powdercoating......picking up a 3\" beam from Brad this weekend. Hopefully tranny and brakes will be first thing in the new year and I can start on the body and have it in paint by early September. I also have a 79 vert that i'm getting ready for paint this winter for a friend/customer...taking it easy this summer and I have two projects for next winter..a 56 oval and a.....I can't really say right now kinna job!
Anyway, I vote for Strato Silver for that car...it would really look Awsome!
Gerry
Life isn't like a bowl of cherries or peaches, it's more like a jar of Jalapenos--what you do today, might burn your ass tomorrow

Offline josh

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Project '54 Ragtop
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2007, 03:11:52 PM »
I'll say you're busy, have fun :wacko:  
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Offline josh

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« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2008, 12:37:30 PM »
Well time for an update.................

turns out this body will need a little more lovin' than was antissipated, I have un covered a few sheetmetal repairs done by this \"profesional\" porshe shop that are kinda scary. I knew there was some filler in the wheel well openings around the body mounts because they had the shaved look but holy crap they must have gone through a few 5 gal tubs :o





got the captive/caged nuts made up and welded back into the inside of the roof for the ragtop tentioning strip.





started on the heater channel recreation












I don't like the heater tube outlets and where they go through the rear crossmember is crap so I think i'm gonna completely do away with them and weld the hole up..........who the hell runs heater boxes in a hot rod anyway :D  This will give me room to mount the accusump under the rear seat and some extra space by the torsion housing for my oil cooler.




found some beautiful lap welds on the rear quarters they scabed back together :rolleyes:
this is the inside........



and outside skin, looked really straight, the guy was a sculpter :ph34r:








OK enough bondo pics.......
got the new pan head ready to go, just gotta build a jig to keep it true when welding. I calculated some built in caster to eliminate the need for shims under the beam.




I'm working getting on an entire ass end of an oval from cali, that's straight original geman and un fuct with to re-fix the past repairs and make it mint. I plan on building a rotissery for it and cutting out all the shady shit, send it to get walnut blasted and then i'll have a clean slate to start welding to.

a couple parting shots just cause.....



« Last Edit: January 27, 2008, 10:08:14 AM by josh »
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Russ

Project '54 Ragtop
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2008, 01:41:51 PM »
looks killer Josh

Offline silas

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« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2008, 04:40:43 PM »


that's what the d/s door looks like on my 56.  :o



i like that shot.

keep up the good work josh!!!
 

Offline josh

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Project '54 Ragtop
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2008, 10:06:17 AM »
I think i've found a perfect donor section from California..........from a 55 too how perfect!! posted a wanted add on thesamba and no word of a lie the phone rings not 10 mins after posting and the caller id says california :D now I just gotta work out shipping.

I'll hopefully bring the father in laws MIG home in the next couple days, it will be a hell of a lot easier to weld this thin shit with than my TIG, I haven't quite got the hang of it yet (it's a scratch start, no pedal control :( )

I'll try and update this more regularly.
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Offline Mike Scott

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« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2008, 11:41:58 AM »
Glad to see you working on this Josh!!! Keep up the great work!

Cheers
Mike

Offline josh

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« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2008, 01:39:05 PM »
Quote
Glad to see you working on this Josh!!! Keep up the great work!

Cheers
Mike
it's gonna be a long road but worth it.

here's a couple shots of that nasty quarter that Bruce wanted, looks like they used all the scraps lying around the shop.





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Offline Bruce

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« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2008, 03:38:19 PM »
Wow, they really were using scraps!

Initially, I thought they used one of the commonly available VW patch panels.  With the seam so high up, it appeared they made the most common mistake.  Most beginners will fit up the patch panel and cut the car at the top of the panel.  This is the worst way to do it.  You should strive to keep the most original steel and minimize the size of the patch.  You should cut away only enough metal until you get to good sound original steel.  Then trim the patch panel to match.

Offline josh

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Project '54 Ragtop
« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2008, 06:03:27 PM »
yeah they were complete butchers :angry:

at least now I know what i'm up against and have a plan of attack.
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Offline silas

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Project '54 Ragtop
« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2008, 06:53:37 PM »
Quote
You should strive to keep the most original steel and minimize the size of the patch.  You should cut away only enough metal until you get to good sound original steel.  Then trim the patch panel to match.
that's what my buddy tod told me when i started on my 56.

words to live by.

Offline josh

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Project '54 Ragtop
« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2008, 10:43:58 AM »
so I think we sealed the deal on the rear clip I found, using the seawings express cargo service from Blaine straight to Victoria the quoted me $68 for this big lump (thanks wayne for the link)





it looks really solid with only a little spot where the heater channel welds to the cross member that may need some attention, I hope to have it in my garage by the end of the week and start surgery :rockon:  
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Offline red snapper

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Project '54 Ragtop
« Reply #24 on: January 28, 2008, 05:22:13 PM »
Looking good dude! Since it so cold, motivation seems to be lacking for me to get my ass out in my garage.

Offline Brassmonkey

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« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2008, 07:32:40 PM »
Freaking sweat I love watching builds, that car is going to be awesome

Offline Lanny

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Project '54 Ragtop
« Reply #26 on: January 29, 2008, 07:41:01 PM »
Great pix Josh..nice job! The crash isn't stopping you, as it didn't stop me.. :D
Can't you convert your TIG to use a pedal? What brand is it?
« Last Edit: January 29, 2008, 07:41:47 PM by Lanny »

Offline josh

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Project '54 Ragtop
« Reply #27 on: January 29, 2008, 07:59:29 PM »
the cold ass garage was my excuse, that was lame, it aint that bad.........just keep movin no thinking.

crash what crash B)  I don't know if I can get a pedal for my tig, it's a lincon. haven't looked into it but that'd be sweet

thanks for the motivation boys, it helps..............this is gonna be a long road. :blush:  
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Offline Trevor P

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« Reply #28 on: January 29, 2008, 08:41:17 PM »
Quote
Looking good dude! Since it so cold, motivation seems to be lacking for me to get my ass out in my garage.
:huh: Cold??? I'll trade you forecasts for one day and then you will know the meaning of cold. I actually have an excuse! :lol:

BTW Josh that oval should be killer when it's done. I've always had a soft spot for pre 55 ovals...especially one with a sunroof. :wub:  :rockon:
« Last Edit: January 29, 2008, 08:41:59 PM by Trevor P »
'53 Barndoor single cab
'57 Cal-look oval 2332cc / Berg 5
'70 911T

Offline josh

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Project '54 Ragtop
« Reply #29 on: February 14, 2008, 02:41:45 PM »
so the to do list keeps on growing :angry:

found some more scabbyness in the rear of the car. strips welded here and there, more lap welds, the majority of the fender mounting nuts must have been seized or broken of cause they are all messed with. all the black lines are seams :(









I think I will bit the bullet and order a pair of these from wolfe in sweden, got a quote of $295 shipped to my door. not too bad for the quality I have heard his stuff is.




trying to descide the best place to graft the quarter panel/wheel wells in.............any experienced pro suggestions welcome.



Leaning towards cutting at the white line across the panel and follow the fender flange. then I don't know what would be better to use the pillar from the donor cause mine has some shady parts in the area under the rear door panel where it welds to the heater channel under the seat. OR slice it down the rear quarter lip where the door seal contacts it????

It was a tough call on the original non pea shooter H apron but after having both my last 2 cars have removeable rear aprons, I just can't go back to a solid one.
I thought drilling factory spot welds was a pain, well it's a hell of a lot better than drilling and chiseling off rosete/plug welded panels. I will be weldin a new flange out of some 18 gauge for a little more strength.



the rear apron isn't bad, here it is after a quick hammer and dolly, and a guide coat, still needs a little lovin. I made a stainless shrinking disk for my grinder and will be trying to get the panels as straight as possible without gross amounts of filler needed.



been practicing my welding with my little tig, I think i'm getting the hang of it. starting to fill some of the unnessisary holes drilled in strange locations.













more to come :rockon:  
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