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markh May 4th, 2009 08:18 AM

VW Bugtruck pickup
Now that the coupe has sold, a new project has come to the drawing board....a bug pickup, truck, bugtruck, whatever you want to call it. From inspiration found right here on Volksrods, I am borrowing from some of the RPU builders ideas and using that to help design my own.

The twist....rather than a roadster without a top or removeable top, mine will have a full cab roof.

Borrowing A LOT of metal from a 1950 Chevy pickup cab, the entire rear half of the cab will need sectioned, narrowed, chopped and channeled to match up the rear quarter section of the 67 donor bug.

The donor: a running, driving, everything works 67 bug. Here it is all cleaned up:

The Chevy cab has been sourced, measured and ready to be diced into pieces. The wheel package will be 15X4 and 17X7 Torq Thrust IIs to give it a little hotrod flavor. Have a little pan work, front beam to narrow and disassembly and this is what I'm going for. Stay tuned!!

markh May 5th, 2009 07:07 PM

Re: VW Bugtruck pickup
Quick update. Started disassembly, installed 2-/12" dropped spindles and lowered the rear one inside spline. The rear came down an inch and a half. Also discovered that all the rubber mounts have been replaced along with the torsion swingaxle bushings. Also pciked up the chevy 3-window cab to use as the donor for the new roof and rear section of the cab.

Placed my order for a pair of 15X4 Torq thrust 2s for the front and a pair of 145X15 front tires. Once they arrive, I'll need to figure out how much to narrow the front beam so it all fits. Thinking 5'.

markh May 10th, 2009 07:55 PM

Re: VW Bugtruck pickup
On Saturday I got a few hours start on the pickup conversion. :dancing:

Step One: - cut the 67 almost in half and remove....Oh...this will make some purist mad for sure!! A 67 scrapper now!

Step Two: Cut up good Chevy cab and set in place and chop 5" out of the bug roof

Step Three: Take a Billion measurements to figure out how I'm going to pull this whole thing off. The series of cuts made to the B-pillar are intentional. The bottom of the body line of the truck cab will be right in the body line of the bug; just below the notch I took out of the B-pillar on the bug body. I will also attempt to get the rain gutters to line up. Imagine the rain gutter sitting up against the door half of the B-pillar, that's where it will fit eventually. see it?

Anyway, this is where the fun begins!....cut, cut, cut and maybe a little more cutting. Then a little welding. Need to bring that rain gutter on the cab down about....ohhhhhh A LOT! To keep proportions, the rear cab window will also be sectioned and chopped to match.

Before I get too far with the fitment, I will be replacing the quarter pan under the battery. This was an old Cali car so there is virtually no rust. The goal with the body is to make it so the entire body is removable by using the same pan bolts as original.
The motor will be pulled once the bed is fab'd and the pan cleaned and painted.
I only have a couple hours in the evening to work on the truck. As you might have noticed my "shop space" is actually part of a barn at our families 100 year old farm. I can make all the noise I want without upsetting my neighbors.

markh May 16th, 2009 07:45 PM

Re: VW Bugtruck pickup
Chopped up the cab and made swiss cheese out of it. This has proven to be a little more difficult than originally planned. The doors will get radiused to match the curve of the new roof and rain gutters. The pics really are not close enough to see the work that went in to getting the rain gutters to match but as they progress, I'll show how I get them to curve. Anyway, on with the photos.

PHOTOBUCKET SUCKS! IN the process of moving ALL The build thread photos to anther host. what a pain!!!!!!!!!!!

Took about 8 hours to get to this point. Next will be connecting the A pillars and getting everything back to square. The clamps really block the rain gutters. Should be able to get a little further along on Sunday.

markh May 18th, 2009 08:53 PM

Re: VW Bugtruck pickup
Started welding the A pillars and fitting the roof to the truck back. The gutters lined up nice and two curves are now one.

The top inside cab corners will take some work but once I'm done with the cab and roofline, I'll start on the door corners to get them rounded.

The center will need some filler and the front window opening is looking good.

got my bed box off a 50 Chevy and it will need to be narrowed and shortened some. Next will be finishing the roof and fitting a back window.

markh May 25th, 2009 05:51 PM

Re: VW Bugtruck pickup
Spent some time over the weekend radiusing the door tops to match the radius of the cab corner. Now that they are on, I found a better way to make them a much cleaner curve so I'll have to come back and re-do the corners once everything else is done.

The other side is not flowing like I would like, so that will be re-done first before there are any photos...yikes.

Also got the Chevy box narrowed and shortened to fit. I found the original mounting points on the shock towers will come in handy when I go to attach the bed. I will take the entire piece of sheet metal from the rear quarters of the bug and graft them to the bedsides for mounting purposes. Rather than the big bolt on the outisde of the wheel well, the bolts will be accessible through the top of the bed. I also hope to re-use the bumper mounts and re-install the stock bumper when it's all done.

Anyway, the bed and rear fenders test fitted:

The rear cross support will be removable for pulling the motor. I have it tacked in for now.
And for height comparison, here is my 5'11" nephew. The roof comes to chest height.

When the box is done, it will be hauled off to the blaster (it was part of the purchase price). Looking at the rear half of the box top rail, it looks like it dips down. Actually, it's just the tip of the bed as it's only resting there and a couple of blocks of wood on top of the exhaust in the rear.

Eventually I will be getting to the back window and filling in the roof. Still searching for a pair of door tops. Anyone?
Friday should also be a productive day. Hope to get all the mounting points for the bed figured out and start on the rear fender modifications.

markh May 31st, 2009 02:48 PM

Re: VW Bugtruck pickup
Spent some time working on the truck. Installed the rear window frame and got the roof put back together and worked on the A and B pillars of the roof and cab to get them to line up. The black vertical mark on the lower section of the window frame and the window is center the bed seam center, not the lower cab seam weld.
Still some final welding and a little hammer and dolly work to get the roof straight.

Started on the rear fenders. Found the old roof metal had a nice contour already, so cut a few pieces and started fitting things together.

The lower edges of the rear fenders will be tied together with a rollpan with a recessed license plate and the dual exhaust sticking through. The fenders are plenty wide for the 17X8 Torq Thrust wheels that will be tucked inside.

Overall profile so far:

Not a bad weekend at all! Once I'm done with one, I'll pair it to the otherside and make them match. I'll pull the fenders and final fit the bed. It will need to be lowered a couple more inches before it's done. I'm also working on the inner paneling of the bed so that I can use the original rear bumper mounts. Those photos are to come!

markh June 4th, 2009 10:04 PM

Re: VW Bugtruck pickup
Wheels and front tires are in! The wheels and tires cost more than what I paid for the original 67! OUCH! Anyway, 15X5 and 17X8 Torq Thrust Classics. The front tires are new Nankang 145s. Trying a 225/50/17 to see how they'll fit the fenders. If there is room, may jump up a little taller. Will know this weekend.

markh June 17th, 2009 07:44 PM

Re: VW Bugtruck pickup
Over the past couple of weeks, been busy picking up parts for the to-be-narrowed beam and the dress up stuff for the motor including a Bosch alternator.

New exhaust..
But I have accomplished a few other things on the bugtruck. The other weekend I had "Mundo" a Portland Volksrodder, come out and give me a hand with figuring out the bed mounts. Thanks Ray! Before he got out , I discovered the bed was too narrow, so plus 3 more inches
Now the fenders will clear the 225/50/17s no problem.
Started on the other rear fender, should have that done in a couple hours.

And finished up the rear cab window.

Still working on the lower cab corners, bracing and boxing in the bottom half of the cab. The design is to have the front edge of the bed rest in a channel along a boxed enclosure accessible from inside the cab. The expansion will also allow access to the panel over the shifter coupler thingy. You can see the extension just below the bottom edge of the bed side

The bed around the motor will be all boxed in so I will be using most of the compartment seals to keep the heat away from the motor. Not a great photo, but you can see that the firewall stops just at the bend and a piece of square steel runs across the firewall and connect the bed sides. Also had some patch work to do to the bed sides. That ate up time and never mind the fact that I had to re do the cross supports because the bed sagged in the rear because I didn't level the bed before welding.

Also picked up a part of another roof to correct the center section of the chop. Oh boy, more welding and cutting.
I also have (thanks to badboyzkustomz) door top sections coming in the mail. More work to be done. the goal is to have the bed fab work done tomorrow so that on Friday afternoon I can take it back to the blasters for stripping but before then I have to figure out the rollpan!

markh June 19th, 2009 05:13 PM

Re: VW Bugtruck pickup
Another day of progress! Started boxing in the rear frame to the bedsides.

Capped the stack bed holes.
Under the front edge of the bed, I created a box that is accessible from the inside to reach all the pan bolts. You can see the frame is now supporting the bedsides.

Made really good progress on the step side filler.
Filled the old gas tank filler hole.
Finished the other rear fender and test fitted everything and threw a wheel on for G.P.

And so far we have this......
From a little further away:

Next is to finish/start the roll pan, drill the bolt holes for the fenders to the bed, pull the bed off yet again and finish weld a few things. While the beds off, the underside of the frame will also get boxed in for a clean look from underneath.

markh June 25th, 2009 10:21 PM

Re: VW Bugtruck pickup
Formed the rear roll pan to tie in the fenders. Ok, maybe not a "roll pan" because it doesn't roll under, but I forget what one might call it. A skirt? Faring? Anyway, still needs some finish work but it gives a good idea of what it will look like when done. The bottom cross brace of the bed will be made to "swing" out or unbolt completely so the motor can be pulled straight back for removal.

Next up... finish boxing the bed frame and start on the interior paneling of the cab. Welding upside down....not looking forward to it..

markh June 28th, 2009 05:48 PM

Re: VW Bugtruck pickup
The side panels of the engine compartment are getting closer.

Also had some time to start on the inside of the cab paneling.

That's it for the weekend.

markh July 5th, 2009 02:44 PM

Re: VW Bugtruck pickup
Also worked on some rust repair on the box. The lower edges crack where the tailgate attaches.

The other side. The bedsides come together right at the ends so I welded up those seams as well:

Finish welding the pan half.

Paint removal. Also worked on the inside cab panels. Once it's all welded up, pictures to come.

That's it for this weekend.

markh July 13th, 2009 08:50 AM

Re: VW Bugtruck pickup
Picked up a crazy 8" narrowed BJ beam, shortened tie rods and spring pack, and two 6" airbag sleeves (which I'm not planning to use). All new and complete front drum brakes, ball joints, CB drop spindles, tie-rod ends, and steering box. The only mods needed to make fit was trim away at one of the cut off shock towers on the steering box side. The remaining shock tower will get boxed in and the access panel in the front apron was increased by a couple inches. Have full turn right and left with rubbing on the headlight buckets...which will need cut down and welded in. Only other thing to do on the beam....weld in adjusters.

The beam really helps pull off the fat fender look of the old truck. It feeds to the illusion of the front fenders are super wide like the rear fenderrs. It also allows plenty of turning radius for the 15X5.5 wheels.

markh July 13th, 2009 08:52 AM

Re: VW Bugtruck pickup
Woops... dup entry.

markh July 13th, 2009 08:14 PM

Re: VW Bugtruck pickup
A whole lot of photos of the new -8" beam and wheels. It may seem a bit radical but there is a reason behind my madness.

The fit these suckers and get low without worrying about fender clearance. The headlight buckets will be trimmed, but that's no biggy.
And a mock up with the rear wheels and tires:
Plenty of fender clearance.
The steering box and tie rods line up. The tie-rod has a solid sleeve welded in but I will replace it with a solid length tie rod. This set up should eliminate alot of the bump steer.

Also completed one side of the step side fillers between the cab and fender. There was a slight gap that needed filling. The other side is next to trim out.

Next is to get adjusters welded in the beam. The original plan for the beam was air ride but that takes it to a whole new level that I'm not ready to venture. So, take it all apart and start over. Oh joy!!
If I cannot figure out an easier way to include the wing vents, those will be coming out and one piece glass will be cut and installed. That's it for this week.

markh July 22nd, 2009 09:47 PM

Re: VW Bugtruck pickup
Got a couple hours in. Dumb stuff but it all needs to be done. Like capped the front edges of the bed.
Those are done and now the bed is ready to go to the sand blaster....finally. Also installed a support for the back half of the bed. I hope it doesn't interfere with the motor. Shouldn't....

Pulled the beam out to install adjusters and to do a little boxing on the cut off shock towers. Here it is in front of a stock width beam.

More welding to go and soon I'll start hammering out the metal to get it straight before the bodywork. Here is one of the step sides completely boxed. Again, more filling and welding.

Started stripping the driver side fender to fix a couple stress cracks in the fender lip.

Until I start on the bodywork, the progress will be rather mundane. If there is significant and noticeable differences, I'll update my thread as they come.

markh August 5th, 2009 09:04 PM

Re: VW Bugtruck pickup
Well the bed is off at the blasters. Over the past couple of weeks, been finish welding a few areas and working on the front beam. But yesterday received a package in the mail from a VR member UT-X, thank you. Door tops to complete the door frames. My first attempt at the radiusing the door top coners reuslted in a need to re-work what was done but he was kind enough to send a pair to me to fix them.
Before starting on the door frames, needed to finish shaping the inside corners of the cab. Have been dragging my feet as I had no idea how to tie it all together. As you can see, a big pain.

Photo from the outside. All the welds and seams need cleaning but that's the easy part.

The other side... You can see the different levels of the frame that caused the complication. Again. still needs some grinding work but the shape is otherwise there.

What else? Oh, shaved the front turn signals. Will be relocating them to the grills in the front of the fenders:

Lastly, a parting shot of the truck awaiting the return of the bed. Looks sad, but good because it's forcing me to finish welding on the lower half of the cab...boring...

markh August 10th, 2009 08:43 PM

Re: VW Bugtruck pickup
Had a chance to see the bed over at the blasters and it looks good. Only a couple rust areas to fix!
Anyway, here are a couple shots of the capped off shock towers.
Passenger side:
Finished up filling the door tops after re-doing the radius on the driver side door.
And the passenger side:
From a little further away..
Finished welding the rear of the cab.
Still need to finish patching the inside cab panel.
Hit the whole truck with a couple more spot welds and grinder here and there.
Sand blast a few areas, and start beating on the metal to get a few things straight.
Follow it all up with some filler and make some progress on the bodywork!
Thinking of pulling the body off and treating the whole pan top and bottom. We'll see how ambitious I feel next week.

markh August 23rd, 2009 10:07 AM

Re: VW Bugtruck pickup
With the bed back from the blaster, spent some time on the rust repair and filling a few 50-year old holes. Also spent some time blasting other areas of the bug that needed a good cleaning. Picked up the tailgate and narrowed it to fit.

"W"??? For "What" or "Whatever" or "Why not?" If you haven't figured it out, it's the "M" from the GMC logo!

Threw a stock low back in to check the room. Looks a little small for the room inside the cab. Looking for a nice pair of custom seats to fill up the area a little better. Still not decided. Need a trip to the junk yard.

Here's a quarter rear view of the bed, fender and tailgate. Starting to look like something.

That's it for this week. More patch welding on the bed. Oh yeah, also got a rear bumper from a 46 Chevy to replace the bug bumper. Should look nice and solid.

markh August 31st, 2009 08:42 PM

Re: VW Bugtruck pickup
Well, it's looking like a truck!!
Spent the week welding more holes in the box and finishing the inside cab corners. Still more rust areas on the bed to repair. Became annoyed with all the hot sparks finding there way inside my socks, so started fine tuning the roof metal and other areas needing a good beating. Hit it all with the in-line sander.
No idea what happened to the photo quality...some low-light setting?
There are a ton of rock chips that needed to be taken down. The front end looks like it will not require too much work.
It takes all my will power to keep from starting in with the filler. Need to get the metal beaten out specially the roof before that happens.

markh September 7th, 2009 05:38 PM

Re: VW Bugtruck pickup
Thanks to VR member Mundo, he went over my motor and found that I have a 1600 SP rather than the 1500 I originally believed. the rear motor tin will need to be custom made to fit against the rear cross bar of the pickup box so the seal will keep the heat away.
Anyway, he cleaned it and dressed it up:
Got it home and rebuilt the carb. Hopefully that will fix the idle problem. Haven't had a chance to test the idle after the rebuild. Other than the shady idle, the little motor runs great.

Also got the truck shot in a coat of sealer followed by some high build primer. Much better resolution on the camera this time around.
the rear wheel looks off center to the fender but the fenders are not bolted on and the front edge will pull forward some when all bolted up. The front edge of the bed looks like it is sitting down, that's because the front mounts will get a rubber pad to raise it up some.
More overall shots:
The inside of the bed with the frame structure exposed looks like this...
When the wood bed goes in (front of the bed to the cross bar just behind the brown angle iron), all of this will be hidden.
Also finished the inside cab corners and installed the top mounting point for the shoulder harness. Should be strong enough with all the attached points to the B-pillar, the inside cab paneling and roof structure.
After the photos but before calling it a day, took a couple of hammers to the roof and got it straighted out some. Enough so that when I start in with the Duraglass filler, it will quickly smooth out. Just a few more spots to finish weld and a little work on the door tops to get them absolutely straight then body filler will begin!

One last shot for fun...What is really pleasing to me is the way the a-pillars line up. No filler and it's hard to tell it was ever chopped.

markh September 14th, 2009 08:54 PM

Re: VW Bugtruck pickup
Got the roof pounded out enough to start with the Duraglass but that all came after welding a few more holes and even more grinding. Have finally reached a point where the cab is all welded. DONE FINALLY! Still need to address the front apron, the tops of the doors (again) and a couple spots on the bed, but getting close to putting the welder away.

Skimped on the hardner on the first batch and now must wait on the extended drying time. Good thing it's a real thin layer.
the roof is straight enough to finally show a front view. Was frustrated with the warpage. Ok, more embarrassed to be honest.

Once I got started coating all the weld seams, I realized how much welding was done to get to this point.
I Must have gone through 7 lbs of wire to stitch this thing together....ok I admit, not the best welder on the block.
The inside panel:
Once I pull the rear fenders back off for the 90th time and start on the outside paneling, there are even more seams and holes to coat.
When I'm at a point where I can start blocking it out, I'll get it up off the ground and finish cleaning the underside of the pan and get a coat of sealer on the belly. Until next time...

markh September 23rd, 2009 07:12 PM

Re: VW Bugtruck pickup
Worked on getting the roof straight. A little rusty at filler work. Took a few batches to get the filler to hardner ratios figured out again. Here is the roof shot in a coat of high build:
Looking much better
Welded up the overrider holes in the front followed by a quick coat of Duraglas. There is some work needing done on the front apron. It was repaired at one time so ended up blasting it all out and will start anew.
Got one front fender smoothed out and started on the lower section of the cab transition.
The goal is to have all of the rough bodywork done before the end of month. Once at home in the garage, I can work on the finish blocking coat. It's getting too dark to get any work done after work. Need to get it in the garaage!

markh September 30th, 2009 08:23 PM

Re: VW Bugtruck pickup
Thanks to Mundo and his car trailer...the bug truck is finally home!!!:dancing:
The rough bodywork is done. The rest can be easily blocked out by hand. Time consuming yes, but having it home is great!

Here she is sitting at home, this thing is really small. Look at at the height of a standard garbage can sitting next to it. Mundo crawled in and I thought he was going to lose his head. Still plenty of head room... Again Thanks Ray. Anyway, on with the photos:
Thought I would try the photo with the flash off, had to tweek the brightness some on the photo, but it's a cool photo:
All the fenders and running boards are hanging there with just a couple of bolts. The rear fender supports are not mounted either. Once the fender support brackets are installed, it will correct the fender alignment with the rear tires. Now tear it all apart and start working on the little stuff.

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