Just a quick update, the chassis (aka "pan") is finally stripped clean! Almost a month of work & a gallon of aircraft paint stripper went into it! Now I'm fixing some small rust holes, I need to fill about two dozen 3/8 dia. holes too.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Alright, it's been almost a month since I updated my progress. I have since welded the new frame head on, and the new napoleon's hat. Both turned out very well. The measurements I took of the original frame head all fell within 1/16" of how it ended up, which aint bad. However, at Easter, I was visiting with my in-laws when a conversation with my wife's uncle led me to find out he had a chassis that someone had given him as payment for work he did on their beetle last year. The chassis had disc brakes he said. How much I asked... $100 he said. I said I'll take it, sight unseen. The disc brakes were worth it to me alone. And I could always use an extra chassis, I doubt this will be my only beetle project ever! When I went to pick up the chassis that same day I was amazed at what I saw- the chassis was in great shape! Come to find out it was from a '73 beetle and the disc brakes were from a '67-'72 Ghia. So, I decided since my chassis is so rusted, pitted, awful... that I'm going to use the beautiful chassis I picked up instead. I'll use my original chassis to build a street legal buggy someday I think. I replaced all of the suspension on the old chassis so I could roll it around, and I put the body back on it so I can roll it around too! And what do you know- when I put the body back on, everything lined up perfectly with what I had welded on!!! I started to strip the 5 layers of paint off the new chassis today. Three hours to do 1/4 of the chassis. Sigh...
Friday, March 19, 2010
Sunday, February 21, 2010
So today I cleaned up my shop a bit, put all the tools away, swept up the huge amount of rust that had fallen out of the car, and did a little bit of work on the actual beetle! I first cut the old seat pedestals out since I need to re-use them. Full 1/2-pans made from steel that is the original thickness are no longer available. However 1/4 pans that are made from the original thickness are. The only problem is one, you obviously have to weld them together. That's a bit more work, but I think the lap weld actually makes them even stronger than the original pans. In my opinion, the thicker pan is worth the trouble of a welded seam across the center. Second, the 1/4 pans don't come with seat pedestals or jack supports. The original seat pedestals are in good condition, and since they're $45 a piece it was worth it to re-use them. I had to cut the spot welds to free them from the original floorpan metal. I have temporarily laid the 1/4 pans on top of the original pans just to see how they look. I had to order the special 12 point CV joint removal tool today in order to be able to remove the transaxle.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
So today I finally took the body off of the chassis! The hardest part of it all was building those sawhorses so they were heavy duty enough to hold the body! That took a few hours and two trips to the local lumber/hardware store! 2x6 beams make them very strong, and I made them high enough & wide enough to roll the chassis under the body if I need to. After I finally finished the sawhorses a couple of my friends who live close by came over & we lifted the body off & sat it on the sawhorses! I then cleaned up the chassis a little bit with the shop vac and then called it a day. I also received the 18 gauge 1/4 pans to restore the chassis this week. I'm very happy with the progress so far, I hadn't planned on doing much work until it warmed up a bit, but oh well!