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Old February 11th, 2007, 09:52 PM   #1
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Default Just got my first bug!

Hey fellas -

I checked out and purchased a 1970 Bug on Saturday...my first! I've been looking for a cheap, reliable car to get me around, but didn't want to get stuck in some POS early 80's sedan. I started thinkin about the bug, and my boss told me about one that he'd seen chopped that looked damn cool, so I searched the intarwebs and found this place! Definitely gave me the push to go ahead with the purchase :)

So it's the light blue (powder blue?) paint (needs to be redone - Blitz Black!), with slot wheels, and the interior needs some work. But only one dime-sized spot of rust on the rear fender. Floor panels have been replaced - I've heard they're really prone to rust.

Brakes need work. The rear ones were leaking like crazy, apparently. He blocked off the line at the master cylinder to stop the leak. So I'll need new lines (anybody have some?). He's including wheel cylinders with the car, along with a good distributor...the one on the car the vacuum's going/gone out. Front brakes work to an extent, so it's got that going for it haha

Plans are to swap dist. and fix brakes (duh), Blitz it, and then dink around for a while. This summer I'm hoping to do the chop & drop. Haven't decided if I'll extend the frame yet, but some of the examples here are wicked! Also hope sometime down the road to get whitewalls & moon discs (that's if I do the extension and remove fenders). I really just want to have fun with this car! I'll probably do a bunch of crazy stuff with it.

I work at a restoration shop here in Oregon, so I've got access to all kinds of fun tools Plenty of opportunity for modification! Here's the website:

www.99westcustoms.com

I'll get pics when I get the car back to the shop. I'm gonna pick it up this week sometime.

Guess that's enough.
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Old February 15th, 2007, 05:53 PM   #2
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Default Re: Just got my first bug!

Going to get her tomorrow with the boss! Hopefully I can get pics in between rain showers...

:D
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Old February 18th, 2007, 11:31 PM   #3
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Default Re: Just got my first bug!

Well I finally got some time to spend on her yesterday. Didn't do a whole lot, but gotta start somewhere!

I replaced the dist. with another that I got with the car. Now I've got a mechanical/vacuum advancing dist. She runs, but kinda sluggish above ~2.5-3k rpm. I need to get a Bentley manual so I can get the timing set right (if anyone has info PLEASE PM me!).

Gave her a quick bath - washed off dirt that'd been there a couple years I'm sure...it was pretty caked on.

Removed the bumpers - made a big difference! I like it much better w/o them. A few of the bolts snapped off, but luckily they broke off low enough I could still pop off the bumper.

Found a little rust in the spare wheel well, but not really that suprised. It'd be easy to repair.

You can view a short slideshow here: http://www.99westcustoms.com/images/...slideshow.html

Started grinding on the hood - there's definitely some bad repair work done there. I should be able to get the shape in the metal a heck of a lot closer to what it should be than whoever repaired it before.

Next orders of business: Brakes. I can stop using the front brakes and e-brake, but getting all 4 running perfect is vital! Oh, apparently I've got manual brakes for each side - I'm told they're common in the sand buggies. Not sure how handy they'll be, but hey, it's something!

That's it for now. Gotta sell my 240sx so I can buy the brake parts and a manual. Probably do more next weekend.
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Old February 19th, 2007, 05:45 PM   #4
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Default Re: Just got my first bug!

Worked just a little today. Was going to try to remove the dash to do some painting, but it proved to be too involved to do during my break.

I did, however, pull out the paperboard glovebox, and I've got a metal one tacked together, and I'll likely have it done in the next day or so, as time allows. I fabrication! I'll get some pics when it's done.
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Old February 28th, 2007, 08:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: Just got my first bug!

Here's the link to the glovebox I've been working on. I haven't gotten pics of it yet, but I painted the hood release red and installed it into the box. I'll get pics tomorrow, and possibly install it!

http://www.volksrods.com/forum/showt...853#post218853

That's about it for now. I've got parts on the way for the brakes, along with drop spindles.

Now I just gotta find some 165's for the front...
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Old March 7th, 2007, 08:38 PM   #6
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Default Re: Just got my first bug!

Good god.......what a pain! Worked on the brake stuff, which was fine, but replacing ball joints was really arduous.

I ended up having to remove the lower torsion springs in order to get the passenger side arm off. I spent a good hour or two on that alone, trying to get the arm off. SHIT WASN'T BUDGING.

I also destroyed a perfectly good, new ball joint.

On the positive side, I did get the other 3 joints in, and ran the front brake lines from the new master cyl. to the wheel cylinders.

And I also sold my 240sx ,which means I can put a little into the bug, and the rest for the mustang project that's so patiently waiting for me!

Tomorrow's goals are to get that last joint in, and then figure how the hell I'm supposed to run the rear brake line. THEN I'll put on the drop spindles, slap on the tires, and take The Intimidator (test name...we'll see if it sticks) out to test and get them working nice.

More tomorrow, probably.
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Old March 12th, 2007, 05:04 PM   #7
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Default Re: Just got my first bug!

... ^ yeah.

Well it sounded good when I typed it. So far I've put 4.5 days into it, and it's not on the road yet. Well...technically, it is, cause I drove it to the local VW shop today to have them fix the brakes. View the drama here.

For those of you who are too lazy to click, here's the condensed version: Rear brakes bleed & work fine; fronts will bleed but won't do any stopping.

So hopefully they can figure out what's going on. They said they'd try to look at it this afternoon, but probably not till tomorrow.

For being my daily driver, it's not performing well! I can't count moving it in and out of the shop as the "daily" part. It also kinda sounded like an airplane when I was driving into town. Gotta fix the clearance on the points and set the timing right.

I thought I had an issue with my headlights as well, but I didn't realize the key needed to be in the On position for them to work, along with the fact that the switch is a little sensitive and I hadn't pulled it out far enough. All good now, though!

There's a few more pics in the slideshow in my signature. None of the new tires yet (175/65R14), so don't worry, the gap isn't like that any more
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Old March 13th, 2007, 08:29 PM   #8
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Default Re: Just got my first bug!

$174 later, and I've got brakes! They replaced a hardline they "suspected" of possibly being bent too much, and a couple rubber lines, apparently. They also vacuum bled it, and apparently they had more success than we did. I've got brakes!

Still need an alignment, tags & reg. stuff, and paint...my god. But he drives, stops, and everything in between!

Here's a couple pics after getting him home:






I'm going in tomorrow to get the title in my name and tags, and hopefully dial in the tie rods a little closer at some point. It's driveable, but a little darty.

I painted the dash grill, just for fun. I'll end up sandblasting and powdercoating it, probably, back in silver, along with the speedometer bezel.

Speaking of which, my speedometer is frozen up, so I NEED a new/working used one! "Honestly, officer, I have no idea how fast I was going...couldn't be that fast though! "

More...this weekend probably. It's back to real work at the shop.
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Old March 16th, 2007, 07:34 PM   #9
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Default Re: Just got my first bug!

Not a whole lot new, but ordered some parts. Rear wheel bearings (both) w/seals, inner tie rod ends, more eccentric washers, and a Bentley manual, all from CIP1. Good company, btw

So that'll be here hopefully next week.

I got new points today and installed & dialed them in. Should run good now! The old ones were shot...the contacts were about 50% aligned, and the electrical contact was on what looked like built up corrosion.

Lastly, if ANYONE has a 90mph 1968+ speedo they'd be willing to sell/ship for $30, please PM me! I really need one.
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Old March 26th, 2007, 08:24 AM   #10
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Default Re: Just got my first bug!

Well I got the new wheel bearings for the rear, but it doesn't look like something I'll want to tackle. I'm going to take it to the shop and have them do it so I'm not out of my car for another 4 days.

I did get the inner tie rod ends changed and swapped out the more eccentric spacers. Camber is much better on the front! Steering is a bit less sloppy, but until I get the rear done and then an alignment, it won't be its best.

I also got a cutoff wheel to the hole in the dash finally. Made a square cut and put a new piece of metal in there (slightly thicker than stock). My stereo arrives this week sometime, so I gotta be ready!

I guess it's been a little while. I've been to the local junkyards and snagged a couple window cranks - nothing fancy, just out of a Golf - along with a shift knob from a Fox and door lock pulls from some other car (which don't fit...). So I just gotta find pulls for cheap somewhere.

I'll probably get pics this coming weekend of the more recent work.
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Old March 27th, 2007, 05:01 PM   #11
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Default Re: Just got my first bug!

Got it back from the shop today - holy crap what a difference! The pass. bearing was in 6 pieces, they said, and had worn a groove out of the housing hahah

So the noise difference is amazing as well...I can hear something other than the roaring of the rear end!

Here's a picture of the partially completed dash:
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Old March 28th, 2007, 09:02 PM   #12
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Default Re: Just got my first bug!

Sweet! Got my stereo (Pioneer DEH-1900) and speakers (Infinity Reference 5012i) in the mail today! My speedo & cable should have arrived at work, though after I'd left to get my alignment done.

Man, what a great day for Johnny Walker! Plus, to top it off, I got some door lock pulls, so now I can lock the doors and not worry about the rods getting lost and gettin locked out!

Like I said, great day for the bug
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Old May 13th, 2007, 10:40 PM   #13
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Default Re: Just got my first bug!

Well it's been a while. Not a whole lot's changed.

I put on a Bugpack 3/4" sway bar yesterday, and it makes a huge helluva difference! Especially since I didn't even have the stock one on there haha

I bought a quart of some olive drab to paint it till I'm ready to do more extensive body work. A good friend of my boss is going to make me some decals for the side of the German cross found on WW2 era tanks, like this one:



I've got new (to me) seats in there I picked up at the Portland swap meet, which are wayyyy more comfy and supportive than the torn up stock seats I had. Made brackets and threw 'em in!
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Old May 30th, 2007, 11:28 PM   #14
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Default Re: Just got my first bug!

Put in a new (remanned) steering box, but still have about 1/8 of the wheel of free play. No bueno! Called the local shop again and I'll be picking up a steering damper tomorrow, as it's the only thing on the steering I didn't replace.

Not much else to report. I'm starting in on the Mustang now that I've got the front end to swap over. I'll be putting pics on the 99westcustoms website (below) soon, so check back - I'll update this thread when they're there.
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Old November 18th, 2007, 11:06 PM   #15
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Default Re: Just got my first bug!

Again, been a while. Got new seals for the front deck and the doors from cip1. Everything's pretty good except the outside scraper and the wing window, which don't really fit all that well. The wing window seal is too large (or something) to allow the window to fully close, so it whistles a bit, but doesn't leak much. The outside scraper has about a 1/8" gap between it and the actual window, so water just drips right into my door.

I'm going to try to heat it up with a heatgun tomorrow and see if that'll help things. If not, I might fork out the change for the German-made ones.

I also welded up/removed the defrost inlet in my hood, as it was just letting water in, and the defrost didnt' work anyways.

I'm anxious to start the chop!

In other news, I picked up a Model A axle yesterday at the local swap meet for the belly tank. Anxious doesn't even begin to describe getting into this project...it's reached obsession. Street-legal belly tank car...can it get any better? I submit that it CANNOT!
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Old October 2nd, 2008, 11:53 PM   #16
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Default Re: Just got my first bug!

Hooooooooly jebus it's been a while. It's crazy how fast life comes at you. Anyhow, finally finished up the 280Z, so it's time to get crackin on Johnny!

I didn't do all that much today. Vacuumed the mouse droppings up, then removed the seats and the rest of the stuff that'd been in there since I parked it in....March? Then I cleaned up the loose crap on the pan. Found a couple smaller holes...nothing hard to fix. I will need to find a patch panel for the driver rear footwell, though. Whoever'd worked on it before just used flat sheet metal and screwed it in, so it's floppy.

Anyhow, here's a few pics thus far:



















Hopefully I'll get more done tomorrow and Saturday. Sunday is the Canby Swap Meet.
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Old October 3rd, 2008, 09:51 PM   #17
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Default Re: Just got my first bug!

Well, only worked for a few minutes today, but got all the sealed glass out. To my surprise, no rust in the window channels! I also tore out some of the headliner material, and started removing the bows, but I was too lazy to take out the visors, so I stopped.

Tomorrow will hopefully see some tape and lines of where to cut







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Old October 4th, 2008, 11:29 PM   #18
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Default Re: Just got my first bug!

Well, didn't do as much as I'd hoped today. Ended up helping a friend fix a bumper and picking up some Model A wheels to refurb.

Took the headliner out and made a few lines of where I "think" I'd like to cut. Hell, I just want to cut!!

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Old October 6th, 2008, 10:17 PM   #19
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Default Re: Just got my first bug!

Crap! I forgot to take pictures today!

Anywho, I put in the bracing for the chop and made my first cut in the door frame. I'm going to get the doors basically figured out, then bring the roof down on top of it so it'll give me a sort of reference point.

I think the chop will happen some time this week!!

EDIT: some pics...





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Old October 11th, 2008, 12:35 AM   #20
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Default Re: Just got my first bug!

Been a pretty productive couple of days after my normal work. Got both doors chopped 5" and most of the welding done on them, as well as ~1/3 the grinding. I'll probably stop where I'm at with those and tomorrow (saturday) I'll work on getting the top where it needs to be...5" lower!

I've never seen anyone on here do the doors first, but to each their own. I hope it all works out and my measurements were good...I'd rather not have to re-cut the window frames.

I'm pretty happy with where it's at for a couple days' work. More to come tomorrow!









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Old October 12th, 2008, 05:18 PM   #21
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Default Re: Just got my first bug!

Saturday was pretty successful, I'd say! Got the top off, and cut up the old roof to start putting in the sections. I managed to get the A and B pillars in place before I ran out of steam. I'm gonna take a couple days off so I don't burn out.

When I was cutting through the C pillar, I noticed that there was another nut in there, presumably for a shoulder strap for the back seat. I also found the same thing in the B pillar, though I only had the lap belt. Shoulder straps were an option, maybe?

Anyways, some pics!























Yes, I know I'm a picture whore. What of it?
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 09:02 PM   #22
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Default Re: Just got my first bug!

Well I haven't done much lately. We had an Oktoberfest last weekend, so that hogged up most of my time. Then normal life got in the way, and last night I was at the House of Kolor seminar learning from Jon Kosmoski (awesome!).

Anyhow, I did manage to get the filler sections above the doors tacked in place, and started cutting the rear window clip off. Hopefully more tomorrow!





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Old November 2nd, 2008, 11:30 AM   #23
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Default Re: Just got my first bug!

Well, the oval clip was apparently ~1in wider (see pics) on each side. Only ~5/16" where it meets the deck lid, though. It was kind of a headache, as I didn't really want to cut the clip up to make it fit. That ended up being the only way, though. I ended up cutting it into 3 pieces...essentially the driprails on either side and the oval window center section. I've just got it tacked in for now.

Here's kind of a progression throughout the day:











I tacked the decklid on where it needed to be...I needed a reference for the 3 roof pieces. The hinges are obviously not in.



I tacked spacers to the decklid and laid the center roof section on. The gap is a bit bigger (~1/4") in the center of the decklid than at the edges (where it hits the two spacers). I'll fab something on the shrinker/stretcher that I can swap for the original lip so the gap's the same.





I noticed as I was tacking in the filler that I was getting a "double bump" sort of thing on either side of the filler. The curvature of the roof was obviously different than the flat filler piece. I figured out a way to help eliminate most of the issue.

I tacked on a piece of sturdy scrap metal. Just one tack will hold it for what you need.



Here's a close-up of the scrap tacked on. You can't see the difference in height of the roof pieces here, but it's there.



Lay in a small but sturdy tack between the two pieces. Let it cool just barely...you want to catch the weld while it's still flexible, but not to the point that you'll break the weld or pull one side higher than the other (which would happen if the tack's still red).

So, while you're in that flexible window, pull up/out on the tacked-on scrap piece and let the weld cool a bit more...about 5 seconds. It's pretty hard to pull it too far, but be conscious of that, too.



Interior shot...this should be fun to fix...



Tacked in:

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Old November 9th, 2008, 01:00 AM   #24
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Default Re: Just got my first bug!

Another semi-productive Saturday. I finished up tacking in the passenger quarter window. It took 12 slices with about 1/2" between cuts to get that shape, if you're wondering. I was trying to save the pop-out screw holes, but figured I can always redrill, so they got no special treatment.

The drip rails had a bit of a "kink" to them just behind the window, so I made a couple slices to fix that. I also welded in the spacers that I'd hastily cut out before.









Then I got started on the driver's side. Got a bit done, then realized that the window was 1/2" taller than the passenger side, thanks to a cardboard template. So I had to cut all the tacks I'd done and reset the roof. It's all better now, but I didn't accomplish quite as much as I'd hoped for the day. I did get the driver's window frame tacked in, as well as the drip rail spacer.









More next week!
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Old November 15th, 2008, 11:08 PM   #25
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Default Re: Just got my first bug!

Kinda slow, but steadily coming along. Life is way too busy...all the time. If I'm not doing something, I'm tired from doing something the night before!

So anyways, here's a 3/4-ish shot from the other day:



This chunk of cardboard came on our paint cup system box. Apparently it can't be used in Germany...so of course I thought this would be fitting:



This last week I got the driver's rear quarter fully tacked in place:



And I set the top on (finally!) here:



Some front views, mostly for my reference:





Anyone need roof donor parts? Free to a good home! I'll put them in the For Sale bin:



Again, mostly reference, but tacked in, making sure I'm lined up:





It might not look like much here, but there's definitely two bumps going on where the white meets the blue:





I figured out a way to get a little of the double bump out...use a heel dolly, wrap it in copper sheeting (so you don't weld onto the dolly), and push up/out. It helps a little at least.

And some tacks along the backside...I kinda dig the Cleco look...maybe I'll leave 'em Note in the pic of the rear here...in hindsight I would've cut the rearmost line (the cut across the back) about 2in. closer to the front. It would've been accessible by hammer & dolly had I done that. Now, not so much...it's about 5/8in too far back, hiding the weld behind the oval interior frame. Oh well.





And here's as of today. I got the roof fully tacked in all the way around. There was a little extra tweaking to be done where the center of the windshield frame was patched in. I had too much metal...cut, heat, cool. Worked pretty well. I would've gotten it better but I had to come home to hang with the g/f's family. There's still some of the double hump, but I'll be able to hammer most of it out, except the rearmost section (over the rear window).





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