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Old March 31st, 2008, 12:14 PM   #1
markh
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Default New Coupe underway

Hello all, my name is Mark, member name Markh. Located in the SW corner of Vancouver, WA, a husband and father of 2 teenage girls and an 8 month old boy. I know, my profile name is real exciting and cutting edge, but I like to keep some things in life simple. On the other hand, I like a good challenge when it comes to chopping up perfectly good bugs.

The new coupe comes after two previous builds:

The first inspired by my very first visit to volkrods.com.

The second inspired by joe dirts rendition of a bug with Ford Fenders.


What I have planned and currently working on, is to take another perfectly good running and driveable 60 bug and graft an early 1940 Buick Super coupe rear roof and decklid to it. Here is a pics after a days work Sunday.

I have a lot more to figure out, cutting and welding and grinding. The 1940 roof had to be narrowed 12 inches to match the bug body width. Right now the front window is stock height. I may be chopping that down.

The big decision is to keep the slanted B pillars or go more verticle??? Don't know. More to come. Have all night tonight with the wife and kids away. I can make as much noise as I want!

Made some progress this evening. Not real noticeable but there was a good 6 hour attempt at it. One side B pillar attached but it needs a LOT of work to graduate it in to the bug door pillar. Also got the the pass side roof attached, and behind the c-pillar body line connected.
Never mind the amount of work needed to get the deck llid to connect. Still working that out.
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg 1942664[1].jpg (51.8 KB, 187 views)
File Type: jpg 1942659[2].jpg (55.5 KB, 62 views)

Last edited by markh; April 17th, 2008 at 09:03 PM. Reason: Update
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Old April 6th, 2008, 07:52 PM   #2
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Default Re: New Coupe underway

After some re-thinking of the B-pillars went back out to the garage and decided to go to a more verticle B-pillar. While at it, I also decided to go ahead and chop the windshield down 4" the B pillar is shorter by 3-1/2" and chopped out 2" in the rear. I think it looks more proportioned.
Also picked up an oval window for the rear window.
Will be working on getting the roof sections to line up, the B-pillars, C-Pillars and the rear of the quarter windows shaped in.....oh what fun!




Last edited by markh; April 6th, 2008 at 07:55 PM.
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Old April 8th, 2008, 09:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: New Coupe underway

Made some progress on shaping the quarter window on the coupe. I think the shape turned out pretty good for what it is. Have a lot of welding to do on the inside roof line. Try and get the otherside put together so I can get started on connecting front to back and then install the rear oval window.

Last edited by markh; April 19th, 2008 at 09:47 PM.
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Old April 13th, 2008, 09:34 PM   #4
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Default Re: New Coupe underway

It was a good weekend. Got a number of items checked off the to do list. Finished up roughing in the passenger side B-pillar, connected the two roofs sections along top grafted in the Oval window.


Worked on the door tops. Ran in to a problem with the rain gutters and the doors. Looks like I'll be doing a lot of hammer and dollie work to get out the "kinks." The distance of the shot makes the doors look decent but there's a lot of work to go!

Looking at the inside, I think I'll be able to use much of the bug roof internal metal to add some strength. Just need to piece is all together. In the areas that look "off" are sections that have not been reliefed cut and re-aligned.



It's coming together.

Last edited by markh; May 14th, 2008 at 08:34 AM.
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Old April 17th, 2008, 08:59 PM   #5
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Default Re: New Coupe underway

Spent a couple of days picking up more bug metal to work across the rear decklid. Working on shaping the rear engine cover which is posing to be a bigger challenge than I expected. One perfectly good 68 hood later, I think I'll have something to show later. For now:

Still some fine tuning but it's coming to shape. The current decklid has a couple battle scars from the first attempt at making the decklid using some of the older Buick hood parts. Decided to go with all bug parts to make it work.

Last edited by markh; April 19th, 2008 at 09:45 PM.
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Old April 19th, 2008, 09:45 PM   #6
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Default Re: New Coupe underway

After picking up more welding gas, cut off wheels and grinding discs, we now have a decklid!


Still have the hinges to work out. The oval vents wil be grafted in to the blue panels of the decklid and replaced with more complex curved material from the donor front hood. May chop up the old donor hood nose and see about using some of the shaping to make the lower half of the deck lid flow better.

Finished up welding the A-pillars and the relief cuts in the pass door, and oval graft. Tomorrow will be focused on getting the hinges worked out, and the firewall re-sealed, and the interior jigsaw puzzle put back together.
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Old April 20th, 2008, 10:26 PM   #7
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Default Re: New Coupe underway

Have a working decklid in the cruedest form. took 4 hours to make it work after two attempts. Tried using the stock rear engine lid hinges...no go there, the angle of the dangle wasn't cuttin' it, so I tore it out and tried using a set of front hood hinges. Because I changed angles, the stock hinges had to be shortened and re-curved to fit. Now that I have it swinging and latching, when I disassemble, I'll take a photo of the newly shaped hinges. Still need to finish strengething the mounting points inside then tackle sealing up the firewall again.

I think I will try and use the original hood springs. My only thought is they may interfere with the dual carbs?? Maybe the hinges are far enough forward to clear? For those of you who know your bug years, you'll noticed my 1960 has a newer rear apron 66/67?? I noticed that after the fact as well.


And that's the weekend update!
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Old April 27th, 2008, 09:35 PM   #8
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Default Re: New Coupe underway

Only a few hours to work on the coupe. Spent a couple of hours just grinding my big ugly welds. Discovered I had my amps and wire speed up to high. Once I dialed the wire feeder down, my welds started looking better. The old setting left alot of holes which I guess I'll be going back over..or learn how to lead fill? Maybe just duraglas it? Anyway what I got done: Shaped the middle of the decklid and it is now one unit. Removed the hinges and finished welded and reinstalled. Installed some vents.


Still need to do some hammering to get the decklid to flow. Made some tweaks to get the engine decklid to line up with the cowl. Even after I was thinking I was done, you can see that the driver side needed even more tweaking.

Everything is starting to line up.

If grinding wasn't so noisy and dusty, I'd spend hours in the evening doing that but I like where I live and the neighbors have been nice so far.
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Old May 4th, 2008, 09:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: New Coupe underway

Weekend progress included closing off the firewall so that the deck vents would cool the engine and not the inside of the car.

Pieced together the inside panels. It's hard to tell but the blue metal curves inward and connects to the existing firewall. This is how I keep the air out. Next photo shoto clarify some:

The otherside put together.

Ran out of welding gas, so I messed with the new seat covers. I got the driver bottom installed and the rear bench cover on. Test fitted the rear seat back and it still works. The back edge of the seat is about 6" from the rear window.

Got the decklid gap fixed. Now it lines up all the way around the top.

Profile line of the decklid

My 4-1/2" grinder took a dump and the welder needs another tank of gas. The 7" grinder will not fit in some of those tight spots so as soon as I get the gas and grinder, I'm going to tackle the roof. Also need to fix a door gap on the passenger side and the B-pillar on the driver side needs a little tweak. See the photo below...the B-pillar needs to gently 'curve" to the roof. The way it looks now it just straight

Just after these photos, I re-installed the motor to check clearance on the decklid hinges....looks like I'll be running some smaller air cleaners! I now have a TON of room in front of the fan shourd to reach those motor mount bolts! That's it for the weekend.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 10:51 PM   #10
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Default Re: New Coupe underway

Quick update. Got the roof welded up. Pretty happy with the way it turned out.

Little late night grinding...

From the rear.

Last edited by markh; May 14th, 2008 at 08:33 AM.
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Old May 9th, 2008, 11:25 PM   #11
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Default Re: New Coupe underway

Decided on skirts. So I made one. Still need to work on the mechanism that holds it on but sheet metal screws will do until I figure that out.


Cutom design....I only hope I can replicate it on the other side.!?!

Last edited by markh; May 14th, 2008 at 08:23 AM.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 09:02 PM   #12
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Default Re: New Coupe underway

Fender skirts are done except the locking mechanism.


Also took care of a lot of grinding work on the chop and the roof filler. All that I have left in metal work is finalize the decklid hinge supports, straighten out the front apron so the front hood will latch and put the top on the driver side door. Still need to find a door top for that side.
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Old May 14th, 2008, 08:32 AM   #13
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Default Re: New Coupe underway

Skirts on!


Repaired the dents in the front edge of the rear fender, the arch of the front fender and replaced the damaged section in the rear quarter panel.
Looking closer at the front apron, there seems to be some damage that will need addressed. Front hood latches but there's a big o' gap!. The front has a 3" narrowed beam shortened tie-rods and disc brakes. A little too much steering wheel play so I'll be looking into that as well.

I'm going to lower the arse end another click and see where that gets the ride height. I need a pair of L/P dropped spindles for disc brakes for the front. Anyone?

A chrome doghouse and chrome pulley cover on this strong running 1641 DP along with a modfied chrome firewall will be the limit of what is done to the engine compartment. I'll run some different air cleaners to avoid the decklid hinges but otherwise this one is a runner.

Last edited by markh; May 14th, 2008 at 08:40 AM.
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Old May 18th, 2008, 10:20 AM   #14
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Default Re: New Coupe underway

Finished off the driver side door top.

Added a decklid hinge. It stays opened and closes just as planned.

Started in with a little Duraglass over the welds.

What you don't see is all of the welding, trimming, refitting on the hood, fender, roof, inside panels, roof pillars and the cutting, re-welding, grinding re-fitting of panels. Never mind the rain gutter re-fit and those pesky areas under the rain gutters (above the doors and the B-pillar.) All these details.

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Old May 20th, 2008, 11:17 PM   #15
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Default Re: New Coupe underway

Pulled the seats out, tightend up the new covers after reconditioning the frames and painting them. Fixed the e-brake lever, re-adjusted the passenger door and drip rail, finished up the welding on the inside of the car. Had a few minutes to mess with the decklid. Go with the pope nose or follow more of the lines of the Stoll or Heb decklid?

..............OR.......................


I'm groovin' the line of the stoll style. If I go the stoll decklid route, I'll need to figure out how to get the light bulb in to the fixture. My wife suggests from underneath the hood....hmmm, she's not only cute, she's a thinker!

Last edited by markh; May 20th, 2008 at 11:25 PM.
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Old May 26th, 2008, 08:48 PM   #16
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Default Re: New Coupe underway

Parts of the Memorial weekend were spent grinding down more welds inside and out, bodywork and ultimately deciding to go with the earlier decklid light housing versus the pope nose. I also changed the curved sections at the top of the decklid to flow past the decklid lines. Here's the weekend update:

Up it's nose... you can just see the end of the license plate light which is housed in the sacrificed pope nose. It still has the middle mount passing through the decklid to attach. a little tug and pull, out comes the housing so to change bulbs!

Not having an english wheel, shrinker stretcher or any idea how to use them, I made the curve using a series of relief cuts, a few gentle taps with a hammer and a little squeeze here and there.
I
I'm shaping the filler with 40 grit right now. Once I have the general shape and contours I'm wanting, I'll start in with another light coat and take all that down with a DA.

I drove it around the culdesac on that step stool...it was kind of spooky as this 1641 has some spunk! Anyway, the goal again is to have the first coat of high build 2k primer on before the end of May. Shouldn't be a problem!

Last edited by markh; May 26th, 2008 at 08:58 PM.
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Old May 28th, 2008, 08:21 AM   #17
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Default Re: New Coupe underway

Realized progress has to halt to correct the off centered oval rear window.
In my May 6th post, there is a straight on shot of the rear window. Looking at the vents in the cowl and a measurement from the rain gutters to the edge of the window...the damn thing needs to move to the right about an inch!! Oh well, no big deal I guess, just cut it out , shift it to the right and re-weld.... dang it, dang it, dang it. Still have plans to have first coat of primer shot before end of month.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 11:01 AM   #18
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Default Re: New Coupe underway

In primer!
More to come.


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Old June 1st, 2008, 04:35 PM   #19
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Default Re: New Coupe underway

Spent the better part of 8 hours on Friday doing bodywork and getting it ready for the first coat of high-build primer.
Saturday - picked up a few extra needed parts included the oval glass.

This morning, spent a few hours DAing the primer. Now I can see some of my problem areas. One big noticeable being the roof corner just above the rear window on the driver side. With the oval window moved over to the right 5/8" (where it should have been the first go around) I can see where the roof corner needs corrected. It's not real visible in any of the pics unless you really know what you're looking at....Oh well, just means I need to make a few more cuts, more welding, bodywork and primer. Good thing my time is cheap!
More photos from today.

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Old June 9th, 2008, 10:05 PM   #20
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Default Re: New Coupe underway

Last weekend was spent doing more bodywork. Not real rewarding in progress photos as everything looks the same, just a little smoother.
Worked the top driver side roof section out and got it to match the pass side. Worked out the front apron.
Picked up my basecoat/clearcoat Polished Metal Metallic paint.
Ordered a dropped spindle kit and a few other dress up goodies.
Again, progress photos look like earlier photos but there's another 8-9 hrs in metal and bodywork.

The rear window lined up, the roof curves matching...can't wait to paint. I think I'm going to go ahead and try painting this one myself. If I screw it up, I'll consider it a $400 paint lesson.

Still working out the lines of the heb decklid housing and the decklid curves. The body line gap between the decklid and the cowl is a little deceiving. The hinges are not adjusted so everything is just "sitting."

More photos after spindles arrive.

Last edited by markh; June 9th, 2008 at 10:08 PM.
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Old June 18th, 2008, 10:27 PM   #21
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Making some progress on the bodywork. Got the high build primer sanded down, shot another light coat followed by a guide coat, then started sanding again. Now I can see every high and low better than before.

Took a short break from body work to address the disconnected rear brakes...I wondered why the PO never connected the rear brake line...come to find out the pads where shot. New pads and I have brakes all around plus a working e-brake.

The front disc brake issue with dropped spindles has been an expensive lesson.


Nothing is compatible so my word of advice if you want dropped spindles, the wide-five bolt pattern and disc brakes; just buck up and buy it all together!

Sits just a little lower, but I was able to crank up the adjusters and now I have a softer front end...nice...

I'll be knocking down the high metal spots, hitting the rest with some icing and one last coat of high-build then it's 600 wet sanding time. Hopefully paint will be first part of July!

Last edited by markh; June 18th, 2008 at 10:30 PM.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 07:59 AM   #22
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Default Re: New Coupe underway

Its been a while since the last update. Work on the coupe was postponed due to buying a house. My next door neighbors house to be exact. Bigger garage and pegboard galore! Anyway, here's the coupe sitting in the last spray of gray primer in the new garage. I will have about a week of time at the end of July to shoot paint. Giving myself until then to finish any last minute bodywork issues.

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Old July 17th, 2008, 01:37 PM   #23
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Default Re: New Coupe underway

Couple more pics before paint.

The following is of the inside of oval window section that I had to move over 3/4 of an inch to center. It required the entire frame be cut and shifted over. It wasn't fun but here is the end result which I feel turned out good enough to paint and cover with a headliner.

Next update will be painting!
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Old August 3rd, 2008, 10:16 AM   #24
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Default Re: New Coupe underway

Just like that, after a week of final prep and several late nights, I shot paint! My wife was away with the camera and I just got it back in time to shoot these progress photos.


The color is an '08 honda Polished Metal Metalic. Painted with one of those ghetto harbor frieght hvlp turbine guns for which I paid $39 bucks.

This fender has been cut with 600, 1000 then 2000. Buffed and polished. The rest....well until I get enought time to get to the rest, it's best viewed from 5-6 ft away. The gun shot real heavy. The color went on great, the clear was heavy, sagged and ran but it can be managed.


More assembly to go

Last edited by markh; August 3rd, 2008 at 10:19 AM.
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Old August 14th, 2008, 11:26 PM   #25
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Been working on cutting out the clear. Wow, did I ever shoot it heavy with my crap-o-matic gun! Started with the roof and got it cut out and buffed. Must have used every grit of paper known to man to get out the orange peel....and not once did I hit the basecoat! The roof still needs polishing but I'll wait until the rest is ready to polish.

Managed to get the rear window installed following the headliner. There is something odd that happend to the driver side upper corner of my engine lid....it sticks up a little further than the deck cowl. I'm not sure where it started to go wrong, but something is a miss. Oh well, come back to that later.

The headliner was a real challenge with the coupe roof line. There are a few wrinkles I should be able to work out before I install the quarters. A couple nips and tucks, a good wipe down and glue overspray clean up and it should look good.

See that dome light!? Working on electrical as well.
Got the carpet in. Need to install the brackets for the package tray. Also working on the quarter panels, door panels.


Still need to lower the back end:

One last pass with 2000 grit to get the last of the orange peel and that should do it. Glass is at the shop waiting to be cut. Should have it installed within the next week or so...hopefully. It'll give me time to tighten up some loose ends inside on the interior.
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