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Old August 21st, 2014, 05:12 PM   #1
mikec4193
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Default Do you guys start with drivers or basket cases?

HI Everybody

I am trying to figure what is the best way to attack this Volksrod hobby. I have found the local Craigslist as a wonderful wish book and the SAMBA a lot more money for VW parts than the Craigslist is...I have built some oval track stuff and some Willys Jeep stuff too...so I can hack at stuff and re-weld them too...just wondering how many of you guys buy drivers and tear into them or maybe purchase boxes of parts and then work that angle...

I would love to create a retro (1970's vintage) "mini-stock" style volksrod, front nerf bars, side rub rails, maybe some numbers on the doors...oval track type stuff..

Not sure if I could hack into a survivor or just start gathering parts...what do you guys suggest??

I would also love to do "patina" type bug....leave it as it is but do safety upgrades and drive it....

Any insight would be great...

MikeC
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Old August 21st, 2014, 05:24 PM   #2
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Default Re: Do you guys start with drivers or basket cases?

My advise is look at basket cases.. or rather cars that need work.. god my 1968 was suppose to be a driver but SURPRISE!!!! Rocker's are roached.. the 1966 I got was bought for parts really.. However I may stick on the early fenders..

I'd say go for basket cases that aren't completely STRIPPED. Aka find a car that somebody was working on yet gave up... and check out the suspension components and stuff thats small and a pain in the ass. Also check out any body work the PO did. If you anything that looks off.. be prepared for hell.
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So JiI is an older DrHax?


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Old August 21st, 2014, 07:05 PM   #3
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Default Re: Do you guys start with drivers or basket cases?

My '61 was a baja 'that ran'... Only to find that #4 rod was about to let go. So, I cut it to pieces.
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Old August 21st, 2014, 07:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: Do you guys start with drivers or basket cases?

Start with the best you can afford.
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Old August 21st, 2014, 08:35 PM   #5
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Default Re: Do you guys start with drivers or basket cases?

My '58 Single Cab has been a runner since day 1 (bought her Jan, '72). She was off the streets for a few months during her Corvair swap, and over a year while I swapped in the V8 and related drive train parts.
My first bug was a fifty buck '62 I bought in '72, towed home ( behind the above mentioned SC) and turned into a Corvair powered Baja. Engine was junk in a box. I sold the transaxle and engine for enough to pay for the Corvair stuff.

Second bug was the '71 (see pic posted for me in the 'What's the point' thread). This hundred buck bug had driven over a concrete divider. A buddy had taken the engine and I got the rest. Transaxle had a broken nose, front suspension was tweaked. Sold the VW axle for more than I paid for the bug (!). Went the Corvair route...you may see a pattern emerging here.

IMHO, it's nice to have a roller to start from, but I've helped others on basket cases. Basically it's whatever you find that 'speaks to you' potential-wise. This site has a huge amount of inspirational projects in about every style you can think of.
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Old August 21st, 2014, 10:08 PM   #6
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Default Re: Do you guys start with drivers or basket cases?

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Originally Posted by V8Transporter View Post
My '58 Single Cab has been a runner since day 1 (bought her Jan, '72). She was off the streets for a few months during her Corvair swap, and over a year while I swapped in the V8 and related drive train parts.
My first bug was a fifty buck '62 I bought in '72, towed home ( behind the above mentioned SC) and turned into a Corvair powered Baja. Engine was junk in a box. I sold the transaxle and engine for enough to pay for the Corvair stuff.

Second bug was the '71 (see pic posted for me in the 'What's the point' thread). This hundred buck bug had driven over a concrete divider. A buddy had taken the engine and I got the rest. Transaxle had a broken nose, front suspension was tweaked. Sold the VW axle for more than I paid for the bug (!). Went the Corvair route...you may see a pattern emerging here.

IMHO, it's nice to have a roller to start from, but I've helped others on basket cases. Basically it's whatever you find that 'speaks to you' potential-wise. This site has a huge amount of inspirational projects in about every style you can think of.
Couldn't have said it better!
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Old August 22nd, 2014, 01:47 AM   #7
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Default Re: Do you guys start with drivers or basket cases?

Start with wheels. Build around the wheels. Halibrands are a good choice.
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Old August 22nd, 2014, 04:37 AM   #8
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Default Re: Do you guys start with drivers or basket cases?

I started with a REALLY rusted non running 67 bug. because of the rust i learned alot so im happy i did it this way but if you want it on the road fast id go with a driver. The reason i didnt was i got my rusty bug for 300 bucks. around me any running non rusted bug that still needs work is 3000.


....
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Old August 22nd, 2014, 05:16 AM   #9
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Default Re: Do you guys start with drivers or basket cases?

The first rule of Volksrods is....there are no rules ! Driver or parts, the main thing is to get good value for your dollar. If a ride is cheap, it still isn't a good deal if it is all rusted out. It is worth spending a little more for a car that has solid pans and rust free heater channels. I have gone both directions. The VW that I most often drive was a riunner/driver with limited body damage while my current project (see Boulevard Baja thread) is all pieces parts I've gathered up.
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Old August 22nd, 2014, 10:06 AM   #10
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Default Re: Do you guys start with drivers or basket cases?

Mine was pulled from a garage "needing work" now sitting in my garage "needing work" :)

The problem I have found (outside time and money) is once you buy one you are looking for another, ie donor for roof, door tops etc etc
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Old August 22nd, 2014, 03:52 PM   #11
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Default Re: Do you guys start with drivers or basket cases?

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Originally Posted by Unkl Ian View Post
Start with the best you can afford.
That's the best advice I have read/seen yet

I have bought many VW Bugs since my first one in 1981, at least 25 of them & one Ghia, most were basket cases, somebody bought, took apart only to find it is way more work than they wanted to get into, paid between $25 & $75 for them, towed them home, reassembled them & drove them until they weren't drivable anymore, cut them up & would bring the pieces to where I worked & put the pieces into the scrap bins

Then I thought I found a nice one in 1986, it was a 74 Bug, the owner also owned a body shop, big mistake, never buy a car from anyone who owns a body shop, took me for each of the 12 $100 dollar bills I gave him, didn't find out until 3 months later, got it stuck in the mud while fishing, by the time I got it out, it had no bumpers on it, the left front fender was hanging on with 2 bolts, the rest had pulled the nuts out of the rusted body, which by the way looked fantastic with the thin coat of bondo covering the rust holes
By the time I got it home it weighed at least 400 Lbs lighter, lots of rust & a bunch a bondo was left behind, I bet there was at least 200 Lbs of filler on it until that night

My V8 Bug was a daily driver when my wife bought it for me in 1994, it was 28 years old, it's 2,3 of the way finished
Then there is my daily driver VolksRod, when I got my hands on it it needed 1 floor pan & heater channel installed, the PO had installed the passengers side, I had to cut them both out & move them into the right position, not 1 of the body to heater channel bolts was used, it was spot welded every few inches, once I started hearing the "noises" & did some inspection work I cut that side completely out & added the 9 or 10 bolts, then welded everything back in

Just trying to say, no matter how good or bad a deal you think you have, never give in once you have started, either way your gonna drop a lot of cash into you VolksRod, if you get taken for was turns out to be a junk car, just go with it, soon it will have mostly new metal in/on it, & eventually you will drive it & have the biggest smile on your face, just something about driving a Bug that puts a Big ole Smile on my face


Ron
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Old August 22nd, 2014, 04:29 PM   #12
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Default Re: Do you guys start with drivers or basket cases?

I started with a wrecked 66' a fender, hood, and front apron. Mangled to get the motor started and off I went, then come to find out my beam was bent and it was pretty awful.

But in all honesty, to each his own I suppose. The purists will just be a little sadder inside if you cut up a good looking bug, the way I see it, I just made their vw that much more profitable. Don't get me wrong I hate seeing a pretty vw cut up, but I also hate seeing beautiful Chevys cut up.

And finally I'd really go for at the very least a "running" bug just because if the body isn't pretty at least you can drive it like you stole it!
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Old August 22nd, 2014, 05:52 PM   #13
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Default Re: Do you guys start with drivers or basket cases?

Quote:
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Start with the best you can afford.
Best Advice I can See here... The Best Example you can afford will give you the least amount of fits
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Old August 22nd, 2014, 06:39 PM   #14
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Default Re: Do you guys start with drivers or basket cases?

An affordable project means having to be imaginative, creative, and leads to having a good time with your ride.
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Old August 23rd, 2014, 11:42 AM   #15
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Default Re: Do you guys start with drivers or basket cases?

I bought my first bug almost 30 years ago (65 sunroof I still own). I learned a lot on it while driving it. My Volksrod was a parts car passed around and was going to go to the crusher until I got it and started cutting. Like what was already said. Build what you can afford but also build it how you want it to be or you will not be satisfied with it. Come up with an idea/plan on what you want and start shopping for deal on the parts you want.
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Old August 23rd, 2014, 02:31 PM   #16
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Ian has the right of it. Although I started with a wrecked car too.
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Old August 23rd, 2014, 03:20 PM   #17
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Default Re: Do you guys start with drivers or basket cases?

I bought mine as a shell, then the chassis. It's been a great learning experience, but I have had to buy every single little piece that would be on a complete car. A complete car makes it way easier to remove and replace things rather then go, where the hell does this go.

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Old August 23rd, 2014, 05:43 PM   #18
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Default Re: Do you guys start with drivers or basket cases?

I gotta say guys...I don't like doing the lefty loosey (takin things apart)thing at all....I would much rather be doing righty tighty (puttin things back together).....

I am really thinking about all the great insight on here...

I have found (on Craigslist) some piles of parts for like $450.00 and running stuff for as much as I want to spend money wise. I am going to keep looking...

I really loved the Ron Burgandy bug photos but darn buying every single part can get pricey really quick too....when I redid my last Willys Jeep, the little pieces and parts cost me an arm and leg..

You guys are awesome on here...

MikeC
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Old August 23rd, 2014, 07:23 PM   #19
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Default Re: Do you guys start with drivers or basket cases?

Mine was free off of Craigslist
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Old August 23rd, 2014, 07:29 PM   #20
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Chop looks excellent! Now what you need is a no doubt difficult to find 'parts car' for reference and those all important bits and pieces.
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Old August 23rd, 2014, 09:09 PM   #21
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Default Re: Do you guys start with drivers or basket cases?

yeah the 1968 was bought as a driver.. but quickly fell to chaos of the PO cheap sweater routine opening up on me.. between the fiberglassed rusted rocker panels and the wiring catching on fire (Once when I was with my girlfriend... smoke came out of the tailights and I had to turn off the car before the lens caught on fire.. and once again when the ignition wires actually BURNT out causing smoke to come in from the speaker grills. That scared the fuck out of me.. I thought my front end caught on fire. I had that drivers door open faster then i ever thought was possible.



Sorry for the derail
Still i'm building my volksrod from the parts of the 1966 and swapping them.. I told my family when I bought the 1966 i'd be using both cars to build one bug.. they just assumed it'd be the 1966.. was for awhile until I saw how much metal work it needed.. .(not that i'm afraid of metal working... its just I feel no attachment to the 1966 and its a basket case.. a basket case I got for 850 that came with 2k plus worth of parts.. (if bought individually) also the 1968's my first car.. so it has that sentimental Throw logic out the window type of value to it. So my advice if you get a basket case.. get a rusted out whole parts car.. You never know when you'll need a small part! Hell just the low back seats I got from the 1966 and the adjustable beam made it worth it! also I might take the 1966's pan and get a kit car body Fiberglass doesn't rust.
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Old August 24th, 2014, 03:53 AM   #22
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Default Re: Do you guys start with drivers or basket cases?

I did buy a parts car for some stuff I needed, then I stripped it and sold the remaining parts and used the money to buy more parts for me. I got the original body for $100, then chassis, which had new floor pans for 300. That's when Craigslist, eBay and the samba become your best friends. I've traded parts, and you meet a lot of new people. The way I have done it is not the fastest way, but it's close to being completed now. Plus it's peace of mind, like Drhax said about the wiring. I have a rebel wiring harness, my brake system is 100% brand new! trans and engine rebuilt also. I think I have had my hands on every little piece of this car in and out it all depends on how much work YOU want to put into it. Just find a car and dive in
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Old August 24th, 2014, 08:02 AM   #23
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I have always kept parts from all the 22 Bugs (not counting the 3 VW Bugs & rail buggy I currently have, my VolksRod daily driver, my 66 V8 Bug, or the 56/57 parts car) I have owned 25 over the last 32 years, I suppose that's how I ended up with 8 or 9 sets of stock spindles, half a dozen rear brake drums, several steering boxes, at one time I had 3 sets of doors, 2 roofs & a few sets of heater channels that were in decent shape
I also kept most of the wiring harnesses, all the high beam headlight relays, flasher relays, all switches, fuse blocks or anything else I thought I might use

I used most of the wiring harnesses & switches on non VW cars just to save money, I even put a VW distributor in an 80 or 81 Datsun pickup truck to save $280 on the ignition module, I had to modify the VW distributor to make it fit the engine, I chucked it in the lathe to cut the housing down so it would go deeper into the Nissan engine, deep enough to engage in the distributor drive, which happened to be exactly the same as a VW's, worked out purty good, I drove the truck until the registration expired 9 months later

At times I wonder why I didn't keep this or that, only because I could have used it by now, but that's how it works

Always best to buy a complete car, even if all the parts are in several boxes, just make sure you get every box, it's the little stuff that's tricky to get & leaving just 1 box can cause lots of $$


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Old August 25th, 2014, 10:28 AM   #24
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Default Re: Do you guys start with drivers or basket cases?

Vehicles that drive are easier to get past my wife. I say start with a driver, you can drive it and work on it with out to much down time, depending on what needs to be done. But to keep peace in the house, drivers are always better.
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Old August 27th, 2014, 11:55 AM   #25
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Default Re: Do you guys start with drivers or basket cases?

I took the best I could afford, and I looked for an abandoned restoration project ...

My reasoning was that all the big work had probably been done before the PO lost heart and decided it was all too much, or had a baby, or got a job in a town with no garage space ... you'd be surprised how many of them there are who just don't realise they've done all the hard stuff climbing the mountain ... and the rest is a long, slow stroll down the other side ... and they give up ...

Because of that I had very little repair work to do before I started to rod it ...

Get one already dismantled so you can see the state of the work to date ...
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