Author Topic: Dave's 1969 VW Beetle (56k beware)  (Read 22240 times)

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Offline owdlvr

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Dave's 1969 VW Beetle (56k beware)
« on: December 30, 2008, 12:30:23 AM »
When I found it:







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'71 Type 1 - Rally Car Project
'75 Type 1 - Heirloom
'95 F150 - Unfortunate daily driver...

Offline owdlvr

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Re: Dave's 1969 VW Beetle (56k beware)
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2008, 12:31:22 AM »
I soon brought it home...

Step one...


Rusty bumpers have to go.

>
Installing the hood seal was a pain...it was at this point I noticed the front apron has no lip for the seal. Hmmmmm.


It doesn't show much in the photo...but I scrubbed out the trunk area.


Elbow grease wins for once. Polished vs. unpolished headlight rings. Apparently, before the "made in china" revolution, people actually did this sort of thing regularly...Hmph.


I discovered that trying to get a hose onto the heater-channel nipple is near impossible. It's only made more humorous when you get your arm stuck in the car. Yes, that's right...stuck.


New running boards, with late-model chrome strips and not the early one. I have the early ones...but the polish was better on these.


Before...


...and after. Oh yeah, I popped some E-code headlights with H4 bulbs in there too.

So far, everything went fairly well. Even got my horn working somewhat (now I just need to fix the connections at the steering wheel). A little chapped that my Brazillian running boards don't fit so well...but I will just suck it up for now. The car is far enough from genuine german that I can't afford to bring it all the way back to proper stock, so aftermarket will need to do in a lot of cases.
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'71 Type 1 - Rally Car Project
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'95 F150 - Unfortunate daily driver...

Offline owdlvr

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Re: Dave's 1969 VW Beetle (56k beware)
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2008, 12:32:10 AM »
Shortly after, I decided to enter the Beetleball Las Vegas Event

"The preparation on the Beetle has begun. I began by goning over the whole car these past few days to give it a 'once-over' and create the list of things that need to be done. Since I leave on Friday for California the list was quickly divided into "need", "would help us win" and "would be nice". The need items (maint. and safety) were taken care of on the weekend, except for new seatbelts. Those I'll have to get in California. Following the need items, I've started on the next category. The major items are mounting the rally computer, it's sensor, and mounting rally lights for the drive home."


Rally computer, mounted.


Rally computer sensor mount. Excuse my welding, first time in two years with a not-so-hot welder to boot! The rally computer sensor is waiting for me in California...so here's hoping I made the mount correctly! I also managed to drop the car off for decals this morning, though I'm not entirely happy with the way things turned out...


The door gumballs were supposed to be 12", with a keyline at 14" diameter. Instead, the whole thing is 12". Needless to say, they'll be redoing them tomorrow!


More decals



Don't ask how many tries before they got the names right!

Epic Roadtrip to California

Well, it's 9:19pm and to me it feels like it's midnight. I crossed the border in to California earlier then expected, so I pulled my usual "I'll take that random road". Wow, hwy 96 is NOT to be missed!!

I've made it to "historic US101", and discovered that I'm actually at the famous Californian Redwoods forest. Part of me wants to drive through and "get there" but I just can't pass this opportunity up. I'm going to sleep here, wake up early and actually see them for myself. I'm in the little town of Humbolt, using a powerplug and the wifi at a diner while the girls clean up for the night.

Here's a few photos from the trip so far, and then off to 'bed'.


The earplugs have finally given me some relief from the road noise, tire noise, engine noise and wind noise. Oie.


I was SO sure he was coming after me. I was doing 80...guess this guy was doing more!


This is somewhere in a National park on Hwy 96 :P 


Is it bad that gas stations from the '80's look retro now?


This store is a full on Air-cooled shop AND a domestic shop. Pretty cool. Eugene, OR


Fixing the fuel gauge in Eugene OR


Matthew, the part's store guy's, '61


Motel-6, and yes I stole the towels.


What the heck McDonalds? Coffee with a STRAW!?! - I kid you not, that's how they served it.


Awwww...look at the little guy trying to keep up. (some red super in Portland)


Whew!

So tired.

Sunday I woke up at 5am, adjusted the valves in the dark so I don't have to worry about it the night/day before Beetleball. Headed through the Giant Redwoods and then down the coast on Hwy #1. Arrived at Jimbo's shop around 5, he says Hi to all of you guys. Mentioned Silas and Bruce by name. Checked out the cars, hung around the shop for a bit, hit Alcatraz and then went to the airport and flew home. I actually wasn't tired until I arrived back and had to do a brochure for print today...

Anyways, the Beetle is safely resting in Jimbo's shop...desperately wanting a wash. I was actually disappointed to park it. We've had quite the little road-trip together. I do hope, however, that Saturday night is my last night ever sleeping in the thing.

I had to cover a lot more ground, so all my photos were a rush out, snap, and rush back in affair. The car is even running for all of them, so I'm not really happy with the quality.

-Dave


Valve Adjustment via headlamp...




Wow this car seems tiny!










We've only been separated 14 hours, and already I miss it!


Beetleball!



Here's the tale of our adventure, as posted on my personal blog. I suppose it assumes you know who my co-driver Warwick is. Warwick is a fellow gravel/snow rally nut, professional photographer and at one point a nationally licensed co-driver. He shares my love for classic cars (his of the british persuasion), mountain bikes and all things with the words "crazy adventure" in them.

For me the event started on Thursday Night, as I was sitting in the Airport ready to fly. My flight landed in San Francisco at 10:30, and I was walking down a very, very dark Pier 33 to the car around 11:30. The Beetle was just as I left in, except for a nice "Canadian" gear shift cover that Jimbo the race organizer had added. Within a few minutes the car and I were on our way towards Long Beach, an honest 7 hour drive. I stopped twice for twenty minute cat-naps, and the L.A. traffic even at 8am was impressive. I pulled into the Queen Mary hotel 10 hours after leaving San Fran.

1200 Miles of bugs tattoo'd to the front of my car


Just a little diry, eh? Time for a Wash!


Warwick was going to meet me at the hotel for about 3pm, so I went about taking care of the final details. First up was installing a new set of seatbelts. I can't imagine why Warwick didn't think the fraying units in the car weren't safe?! haha. With belts installed, I took care of the rally lights and then headed into town for a car wash. Along the way I stopped at So.Cal. Import parts, a Long Beach VW parts specialist. Andy, the owner, allowed me to roll the car out back to change the oil which was a much appreciated convenience! I picked up the last-minute spare parts we needed carry and headed back to the Queen Mary for technical inspection.

A clean Beetle is a happy Beetle. Ready to go racing!


Soon Warwick arrived and we we took care of final registration followed by a quick tour of a Russian Submarine. Turns out my Father was also in town on business, so he came out to the Hotel to check out the car and take Warwick and I out for dinner. With the start of the race set for 4:00am, it was early to bed. Dad mentioned that he might come out for the start, but we didn't really believe he was nuts enough to get up that early.

Lo and behold, as Warwick and I were getting the car warmed up, Dad appeared out of the darkness to take some photos and see the start! Warwick and I had decided early on with this adventure that we would make the Beetleball a little more interesting by "dressing the part". Some research into old racing photos gave us an idea of what the 'period look' was for racers in the late 60's. White driving suit, shirt and tie (or neck scarf) and driving caps were common. While I did technically have a period-looking helmet, I decided to leave that at home!

Man and Machine ready to race


Team Photo


The beginning of the Beetleball is a LeMans style start. Teams must stand about 20feet from their car, and right at 4:00am teams run to their cars, belt in, fire them up and tear off towards Las Vegas. In the case of the Queen Mary start, all the cars would be heading towards the Parking lot exit kiosks, of which only three were open. Jokes before the start were being made about who would try breaking through a closed gate...but it almost happened! I don't think I was even fully in the car before Warwick was yelling at me to "Go! Go! Go!" Seat-belts, who needs seat-belts!?!

Teams lining up for LeMans start


Warwick and dashing to the car


While our initial strategy for the start was to relax a little, and let any carnage happen ahead of us...with Dad there for the show I couldn't exactly 'hold-back'. We tore off from the start, through the kiosks and managed to disappear into the morning in 2nd-place start overall. A few miles down the road I settled down into our pre-agreed strategy of running our own race, and not worrying about the other cars. Warwick and I had to concern ourselves not only with the 440 mile race to Vegas, but with also having a car to drive the 1000miles home! The trick with an endurance rally is not wasting time, gas and risking mechanicals in a relatively pointless jostle over a single mile or two. This point would ring home time and time again as Warwick and I found ourselves passed and alone, but soon suddenly right behind the other cars as they got caught in traffic, or near changes in the route instructions. We were focusing on a smooth even pace, with plenty of preparation and planning towards route, fueling and pace.

Driving through the morning drizzle out of Long Beach


I can't say how other teams were doing it, but we knew exactly what town we were going to fuel in, whether it was at an early exit or late one, and even how many gallons we needed to put in. We had two or three fuel strategies to choose from, and swapped our plan early on as we realized we'd be coming in to Plan A before the station opened. Our plan B would allow us to 'track' our competitors better, as we were likely to see who was refuelling in Twentyninepalms. Diving into our first fuel stop we were in 5th place, and after driving through Twentyninepalms we estimated we were in 3rd or 4th place. Warwick is pretty confident we built a buffer of time between us and those behind us coming into Amboy. The road has some pretty good twists and turns, without a lot of visibility. If I can surprise Warwick (a seasoned rally guy) on how the car corners, you can imagine I was pushing it pretty hard!

Heading towards Amboy, watching the sun come up


At 7am Warwick posted this to our live update: "We got a nice surprise at the Amboy checkpoint - we're in second! Our splash and dash skipped us ahead of everyone but the red open class bug. Currently cruising the old Route 66 to Needles, CA." Knowing Warwick really wanted a photo in Amboy, we pulled off for the fastest photo he's ever had to compose!



At this rate, we'll be there in no-time!


Heading into our second planned fuel stop, which was Needles CA, we were just passing the 1-mile to gas sign when I mentioned the words "uh-oh" to Warwick. Moments later the engine sputtered, starved for fuel, and died. I drafted a truck for the final mile to the exit ramp, took the ramp with as much speed as I could keep and with Warwick yelling "clear!" blasted through a stop sign and into the gas-station. A painfully slow fill later, and we were off. Pulling back onto the highway we weren't sure how far back we would drop. Were we still 2nd or had we dropped back? Soon we would catch up to Jay and discover that we were at least in 3rd, possibly worse.

Jay Sanchez, just before the start


We spent the rest of the event playing leap-frog with Jay Sanchez in his "Mexican Taxi" beetle. Jay's bug certainly had more oomph up the hills, and he was definitely willing to risk engine destruction more then I was. Despite logging 91mph at some-point along the rally, I was trying to keep it to 80mph max knowing we had to drive car home. Anytime we got close enough to Jay for him to see us in his mirrors, he would hammer off down the road and soon disappear. The big questions Warwick and I were asking was what kind of fuel tank does Jay have, and would he need to stop once more? We knew he stopped in Twentyninepalms. A 15gal tank could get him to the finish, but a 10gal tank would require once last stop in Kingman...

By the time we hit the Hoover Dam we had lost Jay, and didn't really know if he had made a stop in Kingman. Crusing slowly in tourist traffic Warwick calmed down the Toronto-driver in me and remarked that at this point, where ever we were in respects to the other competitors is likely where we are to remain. The officer working the security checkpoint had commented on the fact that he had already seen "four or five" cars go through, so we weren't too optimistic! Without anyone in sight, chances of catching them with the tourists would be slim, but we soldiered on with our "smooth and steady" pace strategy.

Soon we caught sight of Jay and the Mexi-Taxi once again, but played it smart this time. With the finish coming up Warwick and I knew we needed to stay hidden as long as possible. Jay had already proved he could get away from us with open roads, so we needed to rely on Las Vegas traffic to tie him up a little. Hiding behind trucks and SUV's, I slowly made my way closer and closer to him. About ten miles from the finish we popped out from an SUV on a downhill and tried to get a run on Jay. I wish I could say our little car flew past him...but it was mere moments before I was staring at his exhaust and following him off the freeway into Las Vegas.

Hugging Jay's rear bumper


Jay's exit off the highway surprised Warwick, it wasn't the exit marked in the routebook but we also didn't want to lose sight of Jay should he happen to have a short cut. With Warwick trying hard to figure out Jay's plan using Google maps, I focused on staying right on his tail to keep the pressure up. Jay's route was a confusing twist towards the airport, which I happened to know was on the wrong end of the strip for the finish. Where were we going?! Diving under the runway we raced through the tunnel and around a sweeping bend dodging local taxis and limos. I was following Jay towards an exit ramp when a sign caught my eye: "Airport Bypass".

I don't remember if I took the time to ask Warwick if I should follow the bypass and not Jay, or whether my gut reaction was to just take it since I knew the finish wasn't anywhere near where we were. In hindsight, I'm not even sure if Warwick and I agreed on my decision...regardless, I held close to Jay's bumper for as long as I possibly dared, to convince him I was following, and dove off at the last moment towards the bypass.

Suddenly I had nothing but horrible feelings that I had made the wrong choice. As we sat at the first red light I watched with dismay as Jay flew past us alongside the airport. What secret trick did he know?! As the light turned green Warwick reminded me that the rally isn't over until we've finished, and besides...we have no idea who screwed up. Was it Jay, or us? Could we beat him on side streets? Warwick returned to the task of navigating a route, and I returned to the task of driving as fast as possible without attracting a police officer.

With the Peppermill finish in sight both Warwick and I could feel the anticipation building in the car...had we beat him? Rounding the corner in the parking lot we were surprised to find that not only was Jay's Mexi-Taxi not in sight...but there was only one other Beetle! We had come in first place for Stock class, and 2nd overall!






--
'71 Type 1 - Rally Car Project
'75 Type 1 - Heirloom
'95 F150 - Unfortunate daily driver...

Offline owdlvr

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Re: Dave's 1969 VW Beetle (56k beware)
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2008, 12:35:00 AM »
And now, the Winter Project...



The list for this winter:
- Engine rebuild
- Rear fender repairs
- Rust Repairs w/potential respray. More likely to spray and blend.
- New hood
- Front disc brake conversion
- Pop out windows
- Debating Upholstery overhaul
- Brake overhaul...we're leaking fluid somewhere!
- Possible switch back from one-piece windows...new doors required.
- *edit* Clean the electrical contacts and sort out my hazard light issues

-Dave
--
'71 Type 1 - Rally Car Project
'75 Type 1 - Heirloom
'95 F150 - Unfortunate daily driver...

Offline blarneyman

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Re: Dave's 1969 VW Beetle (56k beware)
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2008, 02:37:57 PM »
Great write-up! Sounds like an adventure to remember. ;D
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My \"new\" 1970 Ghia

Offline splitworld

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Re: Dave's 1969 VW Beetle (56k beware)
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2009, 04:05:57 PM »
Man thats so cool!  Congrats!  Sounds like something I would do.  Maybe there is a type 3 event out there somewhere.
71 SQUARE

Offline owdlvr

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Re: Dave's 1969 VW Beetle (56k beware)
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2009, 06:03:33 PM »
There is a type-3 Class for the Beetleball events. They're open to all air-cooled VW's.

-Dave
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Offline owdlvr

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Re: Dave's 1969 VW Beetle (56k beware)
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2009, 09:12:30 PM »
All my part orders have arrived, so it's time to start working on the '69. Originally I was planning on doing the pop-out windows today, figured it would be an easy enough job, but then I realized I have no hinges. Doh! Forgot to order the hinges.

So, onto the disc-brake conversion!

Began with the conversion kit from California Import Parts, plus new brake lines:



I hate rusty brakes, and so I chose to paint the calipers, spindles, hats and lip of the rotors with black paint. Yes, the paint traps heat...but rusty scale traps heat as well. Might as well keep 'em looking semi-okay. As this was my first time replacing as spindle, I had to come up with a solution for VW's special tool that lifts the upper torsion arm. Enter, the simple lever!



I've got the passenger side bolted up, and simply need to bleed the caliper to finish it off. Still need to do the driver's side, but perhaps I'll do that this evening.



Before anyone freaks out about contaminating the brake pads, I have two sets. One set I use just to clean the paint off the braking surface, and then switch to a new set of pads. Simply keep the 'paint pads' for the as long as I own the car/brake system.

-Dave
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'71 Type 1 - Rally Car Project
'75 Type 1 - Heirloom
'95 F150 - Unfortunate daily driver...

Offline OUTKAST

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Re: Dave's 1969 VW Beetle (56k beware)
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2009, 06:57:41 PM »
Looks likw quite an adventure great thread and photos

Offline silas

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Re: Dave's 1969 VW Beetle (56k beware)
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2009, 08:33:10 PM »
just saw this in thesamba.com gallery. not as nice a pic as warwicks...but along the same line...





(^^^great pic btw...)

Offline owdlvr

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Re: Dave's 1969 VW Beetle (56k beware)
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2009, 10:17:39 PM »
^^^ I'm going to print that photo on canvas and hang it in the house.

...back to the project!

Picked up a set of wheels from Silas, price was right but they definitely need a refinish! After a quick scuff and respray I think they'll work out just fine...at least until I can collect 4 worth restoring with the factory cream/black.


I've been dreading the dash pad replacement. Factory wiring is ugly enough...and then there is my '69. Everything but the hazards work, which is why I've been reluctant to touch it. Guaranteed, when I'm done moving it all about something won't work anymore!







New dash pad partially installed...now the reassembly fun begins.

-Dave
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'71 Type 1 - Rally Car Project
'75 Type 1 - Heirloom
'95 F150 - Unfortunate daily driver...

Offline owdlvr

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Re: Dave's 1969 VW Beetle (56k beware)
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2009, 01:11:26 AM »
A couple of weekends ago I started to attack the rusty sections on the '69. It's mostly all stone-chips or similar, but it definitely needed attention. Even with a spectrometer I couldn't get the paint matched correctly...so what do you do?

Somehow I got it into my head that my buddies and I could strip, prep, paint and reassemble the car over the Easter weekend.

...in my garage. Yeah, I've lost it. But really, I couldn't show up to the Spring Thaw with "patches" the '69 beetle! I've painted portions of one car in my life, and it turned out quite well (had we ever gone back to wetsand out the orange peel). So with some luck, this will work out alright. The paint, currently, is a 20/20 paint job (at 20 feet or 20mph it looks great), or perhaps 30/30 with the rust now. If I can get a 10/10 or 20/20...and know the rust has been stopped...I'll be happy.

5:20pm, I pulled the car into the garage:


12:00am, with a long stop for dinner at a friend's place:




And now for the photos of things we discovered along the way...


I can say I never thought the rear windows / feet method would really work. I have pop-outs waiting, so broken glass here wasn't a problem. Amazed at how easy it was!


Broke the windshield, lower left hand corner. Damnit! not in the budget!


Gutted the doors, 1-piece windows going back in. No time to chase down vent-window doors.


Thankfully I didn't break the rear glass!


The worst surprise removing the front fenders had for us.



The front apron, however, is bad. It's been in an accident, repaired with cheap repair panels and bondo. I totally forgot to order a repair panel for this, so my buddies Scott and Ian have been working out the best way to patch it up with good steel.


Left rear quarter...I expected much worse.


Worst part of the Right Rear Quarter.


Aluminum tape, painted over. Awww crap. What is this hiding?


Scott and Ian's progress on the front Apron before we called it a night.

-Dave
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'71 Type 1 - Rally Car Project
'75 Type 1 - Heirloom
'95 F150 - Unfortunate daily driver...

Offline owdlvr

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Re: Dave's 1969 VW Beetle (56k beware)
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2009, 11:12:25 PM »
I've finally caught up on sleep from this project. I figured out that by Monday evening I had over 120 hours into it, and that doesn't include all the time Connor, Scott, Wayne, Eric, Ian and Craig put in.

So to answer the age-old car-nut question...Can you paint a car in your garage over a weekend? Yes (if it's four days).

Would you want to? No. But alas, I did it anyways.

When I last posted it was Thursday night, and I had just finished stripping the car down for sanding:



Friday morning started with sanding...lots and lots of sanding. Connor and I sanded the car from Friday morning to saturday evening, while Scott went around welding up all the holes we were uncovering. The short version:






Scott welding holes near the windows...


Connor trying some welding out after being totally bored sanding.


Fenders back on, almost done sanding!


Spray booth built - I essentially built a five-sided box using 3mil plastic sheeting and tuck tape. Fully covered and sealed the floor before building the walls. The walls are held up by 4x4 blocks of wood screwed into the ceiling, and then they are tuck-taped to both the ceiling and around the floor edge. The wood holds the weight, and the tape seals it off. We agreed that painting the ceiling a bit didn't matter, but the floor and the rest of the garage needs to be over-spray free. There's a couple of home furnace filters cut into the walls near the floor which had fans sucking air to the outside. Apparently that was a huge no-no, as sparks off the brushes in the fan motors can ignite the paint fumes. Better to blow INTO the booth through filters and offer a filtered exit. The air hose and water hose were cut into the booth and sealed. Entry and exit to the booth was via a slit in the wall -> simply tape it off after you slide through.

I have no photos of the priming stage, and actually little of the spraying. By the time we had hit Saturday night and I was priming it...the train was in full-blast-finish mode. Priming went just fine, I had good coverage on all panels with little or no orange peel. I did, however, manage to create four big runs though. Runs come from laying it on too thick too fast, and are a real pain. You can paint a panel, and it looks PERFECT...walk away and come back 30sec later, still perfect. Another 30sec and the damned thing is slumping towards the floor.

Wayne, Eric and I woke up saturday morning and sanded out the runs in about 45min. It wasn't too difficult, and I figured the mistakes had happened...so the car was cleaned off with reducer, run over with a tack cloth and I got to mixing paint.

The good news is I had figured out how to paint the fenders. During my priming passes, it was the fenders that caused me the most problems. Trying to to spray around the curves evenly caused me the run issues. When it came to paint, though, the fenders were working out perfectly.

And then I hit the roof...in more ways then one.


In the photo above you can see the roof run we had to sand out, just how massive it really was. I ran the roof on both sides, both doors, the rear decklid and a bit on the front apron.

At this point I had pretty much reached my limit. All that sanding to completely blow it. Wayne and Eric, though, saved my butt. They calmly mentioned that we'd sand it out, and have a go again on sunday morning.

Monday started for me at 7:30am, and hours of sanding. Wayne and Eric quickly showed up and sanded out the massive runs I had made. There was chat over who was going to spray the second and third coats...but eventually I lost out. It was my car, I'd be holding the gun again. While they joined Scott on the pump track near my house, I mixed the paint and held my breath...








This photo is why you use a professional paint booth, and not one built in your garage. A week later and my eyelashes are still white. Think about that.


The second and third coats, I'm proud to say, went on without any runs. They most certainly have bad orange peel, but for that is to be expected. When you spray, the first bit should be almost a light misting...you wait till it gets tacky and then ideally lay on a fairly heavy coat, almost to the point of running. Alas, you need to have some good experience to hit the 'almost running stage' without going over. If you don't get it right, and go too light or two far away, you're going to get orange peel...that rough paint surface. If you lay on enough paint, though, you can sand out your orange peel later.




10:30pm Monday night. The booth comes down, the paint is finished. I'm technically a day behind on my planned schedule...but at least I only have to worry about reassembly at this point!


Wednesday morning, driving to the windshield shop for my new glass. Apparently it's completely legal to do this, as long as you're wearing eye protection. At 5deg C, however, I don't recommend it!

And finally...finished. It's missing a bit of trim, and a horn, but the clips are in the mail.





Finish wise, it's a 5/5 to 20/20 depending on the light and who you ask (20 feet, or passing at 20mph). Quite frankly, for a garage paint job rushed over four days...I can't complain! And the rot we found in the car that was unknown previous would have caused serious issues by the end of the summer. So all in all, I'm happy to have done it. More happy that it's over though!

-Dave
--
'71 Type 1 - Rally Car Project
'75 Type 1 - Heirloom
'95 F150 - Unfortunate daily driver...

Offline owdlvr

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Re: Dave's 1969 VW Beetle (56k beware)
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2009, 11:13:23 PM »
Hmmm..seven months, I think we need an update! Don't worry, there are fun machined bits at the end of this post.

May 1-3 2009 was the Spring Thaw Classic Car Adventure, a three day event run by my roommate Warwick and I. We had 42 classic cars of various makes and models join us for the event. More details and photos are on www.classiccaradventures.com


The summer continued with using the car to travel to most of the mountain bike races around BC, a photo shoot for Thule racks, a couple of cruises and the annual Great Canadian VW show. No award this year, however, I arrived too late for judging!







it ended with our new Thanksgiving classic car run. ...er, that's the CANADIAN thanksgiving run.


On the maintenance and upgrades side of things, however, it was a pretty slow summer. No time for new parts, I was too busy changing the oil and adjusting the valves on what seemed like every other weekend. By the time September had hit, the beetle had completed 40,000 miles in 15 months. I own other cars too...my carbon footprint is scary.

But I digress...

Along the way a good friend learned to drive stick on the bug, and at one moment forgot that a clutch is needed before selecting reverse. Whoops! No worries, I was able to return his reverse gear teeth whilst adding a fresh change of Redline MT-90.



At some point we discovered the bug had a dislike for restarting after burning a complete tank of fuel in one swipe. Hammers were tapped against starters, fuel tanks were drained and fuel filters replaced, ignition switches examined and still the problem remained. Eventually the problem was sourced to a bad Voltage Regulator...yeah, you read that correctly.



Rotten door panels were replaced at one point, almost a year after I bought new ones, complete with new plastic sheeting for the doors. Interestingly enough we discovered at this point my '69 has '65 doors on it, since the door panels are 1" shorter in height.




Along the way, the miles continued to be clocked...



By the time mid September hit, I could no longer hide behind the excuse that all air-cooled VW's mark there spot a little. The poor '69 wasn't marking it's spot, it was Exxon Valdez'ing it. So, at 10:45am on September 26th, I decided to deal with the oil leak.


This is a HECK of a lot easier then doing the engine on my rally car.


Why yes, I do think we'll swap out the engine/transmission mounts....


and right about 5pm on the same night...we're driving off to a BBQ. Gotta love the beetle simplicity!



After a year of playing with a very 'classic' beetle, I was feeling like I wanted something a little different.

Those are the track wheels off my rally car, complete with 225/50/15's. Hmmmmmm...can we make these fit? After a quick trial on a jackstand, I realized there was going to be some issues with making them work. Off to the drawing board...

First step is to model up the brake rotor:


And then add the mounting flange/centerbore from the Audi wheel in red. Without the dust cap for the bearings, they will fit with 2mm to spare. I'm dropping off my rotors for drilling tomorrow night, and just need to solve a solution for the dust caps.


OMP suede wheel joins the 914 Tach


I went way overboard on designing a spacer to bring the height up on my gas pedal. With the stock setup I can't heel-toe the bug, the pedal is too low. Still haven't gotten this back from the CNC rig, but eventually we'll pop it into the car.


In the meantime...Connor and I took it rallying. Here's Connor trying to figure out the reason why "you can't get there from here".


Now, I have to admit I'm doing a bit of "review and duplicate" for this next piece. About a year ago I saw a sweet CNC shifter assembly in a photo of a bug in Europe. I started toying around with a similar looking piece, thinking the unit I saw was a one-off. Well, after getting through some of my 'design' and almost into the prototyping stage I found the Bug Tech shifters were released for sale. Doh. Lacking the 600 euros, I figured I might as well continue working away at 'mine'.


The first step, after getting a rough design laid out, was to complete re-do it. I needed to create a design that would allow me to change each of the pivot point locations, while in the car, so I could determine the exact throw and feel that I wanted.



Its ugly...but adjustable!


And now into the car...


The Beetle, like my B3 Audi, uses a push-down lockout for reverse. In this new version the lockout is removed, and instead you need to push against the horizontal bar to go into reverse. The bar is supported by springs, which should keep me from hitting reverse. Well, 'should'. Three different sets of springs, and a couple of shims later and I haven't caught reverse again. Hopefully those first few mistakes aren't too damaging in the long term!

Another thing I didn't think about before the prototype was in use, is that a reduction in throw from 1st to 2nd (or 3rd to 4th) also means a reduction laterally from 2nd to 3rd. I mean, it seems terribly obvious now...but it just never registered in my grey matter. A roughly 60% reduction in throw feels _awesome_ in that 1-2 or 3-4 direction, but means the shifter is has roughly 2mm of feeling between 2nd and 4th. 1-2 and 3-4 shifts are soooo much fun, but my gosh that 3-2 downshift is scarier then all hell. Will you catch 4th, 2nd, reverse or somewhere in between them?

I'm thinking of setting up a new top pivot piece, which will allow for different ratios between the fore-aft and lateral movements. I haven't had a chance to get back to the mill, nor do I actually have the bits I need to make this, but soon I hope to add this to my design:



And well, that's it for now. I've got more coming down the pipeline, just need to wait until after the first week of December before I'll have a chance to do the installs.

-Dave
--
'71 Type 1 - Rally Car Project
'75 Type 1 - Heirloom
'95 F150 - Unfortunate daily driver...

CHEECH

Re: Dave's 1969 VW Beetle (56k beware)
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2009, 01:18:17 PM »
Very cool Dave...

Offline owdlvr

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Re: Dave's 1969 VW Beetle (56k beware)
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2010, 11:56:14 PM »
Well, back in the garage again...



Brake master seals failed while it was parked outside in the cold, so I figured now was as good a time as any to swap the front rotors, install the rear disc brakes and the sway bars. While in there I had to run all new brake lines and the master...just a few years of corrosion. The calipers are rear calipers from a Ford Taurus, this means you've first got to adapt the calipers from imperial to metric. The Ford must use them as a leading caliper, while the VW needs them as a trailing...so the lines come out pointing towards the rear bumper. In the end it takes a bit of plumbing to get everything lined up correctly!



But once you've got all the rotors swapped...the track wheels from the rally car bolt right up :) 225/50/15's fit fine on the rear, but I'm going to need to drop to a 215 or 205 to the front. The tires I've got on these wheels are toast, so I'll first figure out the front sizing and then setup the rear to match.







Also found some welding on the pan that's badly needed...sigh. On the plus side, I was able to install a bunch of missing items which I pulled out of a '72 parts car. Sun visors, grab handles, etc. I'm almost finished the design work for my shifter-copy. Just need to sort out how I'm going to do the bearings and then start cutting on the mill.





Also decided that I could handle those quad tips no longer! Off they came in a flurry of sparks from the angle grinder. Mind you, it does create for me a rather unique issue as far as what to do in their place, the monza-style muffler doesn't leave a whole lot of room for options. I picked up a couple of Vibrant 1.5" mandrel bends, and dug out some tips from when I used to work there. Welding upside down sucks, but I didn't feel like pulling the motor. Filling 1/4" gaps with weld, while doing it upside down, really sucks. The end result will pass for now, seeing as I'm only using this exhaust until the Spring Thaw.







They stick out a little further then I was hoping for, but it was either mount them as is, or cut the tips to shorten them. It's a double wall design, which makes it difficult, and you'd be able to see the seam lines...so I left them as is. Looks like it's running a little rich too, guess I'll be doing a carb adjustment this week :P

Had to toss the car back on the stock wheels. The track tires are just a little bald, and now the two front wheels need to be re-coated. They rub the very end of the sway bar while turning, and I tore up the powder coating just moving the car in and out of the garage. Not sure what I'm going to do to solve this problem yet. I'm not happy with the option of removing the sway bar and I don't think shortening the ends is going to help any. I did pull it off and I can drive the car on these wheels without the sway bar, so now I just need to figure out how I'm going to work the bar into the equation.




While the car was in the garage I also reupholstered the seats using the near-mint stuff from the '72. Fresh horsehair padding, or at least factory-thick, and like-new covers. I also swapped out the rear seat for the complete '72 unit, which means I now have package shelf for hiding the luggage area.

-Dave
--
'71 Type 1 - Rally Car Project
'75 Type 1 - Heirloom
'95 F150 - Unfortunate daily driver...

Offline Bruce

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Re: Dave's 1969 VW Beetle (56k beware)
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2010, 12:40:52 AM »
Dave, post a pic of the interference with the sway bar against the wheel, I may have some ideas.  I fought with that problem many years ago when I fitted big-ass tires up front.

Offline owdlvr

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Re: Dave's 1969 VW Beetle (56k beware)
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2010, 04:13:52 PM »
Well, finally got the rally car finished for ice racing and the bug back into the garage. Here's the shots of the sway bar interference. I just zip-tied the sway bar on...but the problem is pretty clear.

Here's the stock size, for comparison...


And with the new wheels on, which are obviously just a bit wider ;)


Once the car is on the ground and the suspension compressed, the sway bar is right in the middle of the rim lip.


Searching around, this whiteline sway bar sold by Aircooled.net would solve all my problems, but there's a few things I'm not stoked on. The strut nut is already single-shear (not ideal, and the sway bar will add more load to it. Might be my only choice though. Bruce, any ideas?

-Dave



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'71 Type 1 - Rally Car Project
'75 Type 1 - Heirloom
'95 F150 - Unfortunate daily driver...

Offline dirtydeedss

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Re: Dave's 1969 VW Beetle (56k beware)
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2010, 04:49:30 PM »
could you not cut like 1/2'' off each end of the bar?

Offline silas

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Re: Dave's 1969 VW Beetle (56k beware)
« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2010, 08:45:59 PM »
could you not cut like 1/2'' off each end of the bar?
that's what i had suggested too (via email).

or/and machine the inner lip on the wheel a hair and/or run a spacer with the wheel (depending on the track width of the front, wheel tuck, fender clearance, etc).

how's the clearance on that lower balljoint, dave?

Offline Bruce

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Re: Dave's 1969 VW Beetle (56k beware)
« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2010, 11:19:08 PM »
could you not cut like 1/2'' off each end of the bar?
I'd say cut more!

Dave, you can bend the sway bar away from the wheels.  Bending it won't hurt it.

The Whiteline looks good.  I don't know if the shear forces are enough to worry about.  Before that, I'd ask if the lower angle bracket interferes with the bottom of the shock.  Then I'd ask how thick that angle bracket is, there's not a lot of extra stud length available.

Offline owdlvr

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Re: Dave's 1969 VW Beetle (56k beware)
« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2010, 11:59:55 PM »
could you not cut like 1/2'' off each end of the bar?
I'd say cut more!

Dave, you can bend the sway bar away from the wheels.  Bending it won't hurt it.

The Whiteline looks good.  I don't know if the shear forces are enough to worry about.  Before that, I'd ask if the lower angle bracket interferes with the bottom of the shock.  Then I'd ask how thick that angle bracket is, there's not a lot of extra stud length available.

I was looking at that stud length today...the bracket would have to be THIN, and then the question becomes whether or not it's rigid enough to take the force. I had considered cutting the bar back, but think it will just rub the clamps then. Hmmmm...I suppose I will just experiment with the stock bar, and if it works mod the 'lowered' sway bar in the photos.

-Dave
--
'71 Type 1 - Rally Car Project
'75 Type 1 - Heirloom
'95 F150 - Unfortunate daily driver...

Offline owdlvr

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Re: Dave's 1969 VW Beetle (56k beware)
« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2010, 11:19:14 AM »
The project list is never ending! Last night while looking at the sway bar issues, I figured it was worth crossing off a few other items on the list. Mid summer a guy's muffler fell off on the Sea-To-Sky, just as I was coming up to pass. Chose to smoke it with the apron, since it was a panel that I knew needed replacing.



Hammered out the dent last night and discovered the metal is even thinner then I expected...it was essentially swiss cheese and I knocked out large sections of bondo and metal. After cutting and welding a patch in I smoothed it out and got it painted. Its definitely a temp-fix, but I don't have a spare apron handy and I need the garage space for Connor's Mustang project.







The color change is interesting...same paint I shot the car with, but I suppose it has had almost a year of UV. Hopefully it won't be as noticeable with the bumper on. Probably should have considered shooting this somewhere else besides my garage, the house still smells like a paint shop 12 hours later!

-Dave

--
'71 Type 1 - Rally Car Project
'75 Type 1 - Heirloom
'95 F150 - Unfortunate daily driver...

Offline owdlvr

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Re: Dave's 1969 VW Beetle (56k beware)
« Reply #23 on: February 25, 2010, 11:50:25 PM »
The MustangII is still taking up my garage space, so I've been working on little projects that still keep me in the garage and available to help Connor.




The 914 tach suits my 'classic'/'GL'/'rally' style perfectly, but the stock speedo is just a poor match. I started looking at the 914 multi gauge for ideas, and soon my work bench look like a watch repair shop.



My original plan was to see if I couldn't marry the beetle speedo unit with the 914 fuel gauge, but it was going to take a lot more effort then I was willing to put in. I did get a good rough start at it, but decided I didn't want a multi-day epic for a single gauge. My attention then turned to modifying a Beetle speedo to be more Porsche-like. The '72 speedo I had matches the 914 text and colors better then my '69, so I started there.


...a little paint.


...a little drill bit.

...some spray paint (not shown)...




It's a poor photo, but you get the idea. A couple of days later I also decided on Audi Red/Orange lighting...but I haven't got a shot of that yet.


The '72 spare bits getting ready to match the wheels. Still haven't decided if I like the black look, but it's all spare stuff so why not. I scuffed, etched, primed and painted it...so maybe I'll get a few days out of it before the chrome starts reappearing.

And finally, with the rally car up for sale I'm considering using some of the bits for the beetle...







Mounted using the frames from a factory seat (thanks Egspot!), with 3/16" steel plate welded on. Will probably gusset the frames before painting and installing in the car for good. Going to need to test it out on the way to work tomorrow and confirm I'm happy with it. Then I'll do the passenger side.

-Dave
--
'71 Type 1 - Rally Car Project
'75 Type 1 - Heirloom
'95 F150 - Unfortunate daily driver...

Offline owdlvr

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Re: Dave's 1969 VW Beetle (56k beware)
« Reply #24 on: February 26, 2010, 12:02:01 AM »
Oh, I also added weight.  >:(

...but I like good tunes. The rear speaker unit hides under the factory cover (which I took from the '72 and installed in the '69), and has connectors so it's removable out of the car. Wired the bug for amps and sub, but I'm not going there yet. Front speakers aren't easily removable...maybe I'll have to pull some lexan out of the rally car to even things up  :D haha.







-Dave

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'71 Type 1 - Rally Car Project
'75 Type 1 - Heirloom
'95 F150 - Unfortunate daily driver...

Offline silas

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Re: Dave's 1969 VW Beetle (56k beware)
« Reply #25 on: February 26, 2010, 07:40:05 PM »
looks good dave!! i'm diggin the black bits....might look pretty stealth on the car!!

Offline owdlvr

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Re: Dave's 1969 VW Beetle (56k beware)
« Reply #26 on: February 28, 2010, 11:46:43 PM »


Thought I would rebuild my spare carb before swapping it out. I think the throttle shaft bushings are toast on the one I've been using. After seeing this, I'm glad I decided to rebuild the spare before using it!



Should be finished the rebuild tomorrow night, need to soak this for a while...

-Dave
--
'71 Type 1 - Rally Car Project
'75 Type 1 - Heirloom
'95 F150 - Unfortunate daily driver...

CHEECH

Re: Dave's 1969 VW Beetle (56k beware)
« Reply #27 on: March 01, 2010, 08:13:26 AM »
Looking good Dave  PDT_Armataz_01_37

Offline owdlvr

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Re: Dave's 1969 VW Beetle (56k beware)
« Reply #28 on: March 06, 2010, 11:14:59 PM »
Waiting for parts, so I figured I better start on the "donor" motor. I'm using it for the tin, distributor gear off the crankshaft and oil pressure valve covers. The rest goes on the shelf for a future project.



This motor has every bit of factory cooling tin that should be there, including a functional thermostat. I've never actually seen a proper factory thermostat. Started running all the tin through a kerosene bath & then the sandblaster.





Haven't decided on whether it will be simply painted or powder coated yet. I should powder coat it, but it's a pain as the closest place is over an hour away. The tin will be used on my new engine build. Rob dropped off a massive parts order...so I'm getting real close to assembly time!

-Dave
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'71 Type 1 - Rally Car Project
'75 Type 1 - Heirloom
'95 F150 - Unfortunate daily driver...

Offline Bruce

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Re: Dave's 1969 VW Beetle (56k beware)
« Reply #29 on: March 07, 2010, 12:08:09 AM »
Don't powdercoat the flaps.  The thick powder may cause them to bind.  VW never even painted them, so a quick thin coat of spray can should work.