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Old May 18th, 2010, 01:38 AM   #26
radiotrib
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Default Re: Two Virgins and a Sawzall

Slowly ... very slowly ... the front suspension is coming together, but the painting of all the bits is very time consuming .. there's a lot of solvent dissipation to wait for when the temperature is this low, so I only get to do one or two layers a visit, and prepping the parts takes forever coz I'm trying to remove all the casting flash and coarse sand-grain surfaces from the brakes and spindles. Anyway .. here are the trailing arms and steering box ...


... and the steering box ...



then there's the work I've been doing on the engine tin too ...



It's a pity .. but the black chrome doesn't look anywhere near as sexy in a photo as it does in real ...

Oh yes .. almost forgot ... I did decide to rip the fan shroud up and do it again ... I'm about half-way finished with it and it does look a little better than the previous attempt.
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Old May 23rd, 2010, 06:41 AM   #27
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Default Re: Two Virgins and a Sawzall

I finally wrapped up the revised fan shroud... I think its a bit better than the first attempt ...



... then I clear coated all the tin so I can send it back to Dr. Horsepower at Mörkrieger (yes, the cylinder tins ARE the same colour .. it really shows the black chrome effect with the two at different angles) ...



... an to round off the day I got on with more of the front axle assembly (I just propped the shock in there temporarily to give an impression) ...

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Old May 30th, 2010, 01:09 PM   #28
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Default Re: Two Virgins and a Sawzall

Yesterday I got back from my regular work trip to Spain so today I settled down to doing some essentials. Nothing shiny or flash this time, but certainly a major step forward for me.

I re-mounted the front firewall and lined up/installed the new heater channels (b-quality cheap crap .. nothing lined up until I gave it a good solid dose of swearing and bashing !!!) ... but finally I have a reference for aligning the the body when I have it ready.





Most of that front sheet metal will be removed once things are fastened back together, but I needed to keep it all stiff and in one piece to make sure the firewall was set up correctly.

I think the next few weeks will be spent sorting out the bondo on the upper half of the body and then it gets lifted onto the channels for fixing down. I've already decided to cut out at least two of the vertical welds and replace them with a strip of solid metal and some better welding (passenger door and rear quarter) but I want the whole thing to be fastened down nice and solid before I do anything like that.

During the time I'm doing the upper body I also need to have a long think about whether I still want to channel it by 2-3 inches. Right now I'm thinking its not a good idea but I'm still not certain which way to go..
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Old June 4th, 2010, 02:06 AM   #29
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Default Re: Two Virgins and a Sawzall

No pictures today but ...

This week I finally got back to doing some work on the instrumentation and telemetry side of things. Lots of problems with the rev-counter/spark timing processor, but safe to say I've got it working now!! At last I have a self-built, 15 euro, rev-counter module that will report up to 24000 RPM and spark timing down to as low as 5 degrees advance ... OK this is a bit of overkill. It's microsecond stuff and MUCH tighter than I'll ever need in any motor car, but it's nice to know you can run it reliably at 3x the real operating parameters. 7500RPM and 30 degrees advance is all I'll ever need, and that's easy now ... and adding driver for a programmable shift light is only 2-3 more lines of code ...

I needed a test harness to drive the rev counter, so I programmed another chip to do that, and out of that I worked up a throttle position detector and servo driver. That means that I have the capability to drive fly-by-wire, servo operated throttles on the Kads if I want to. If I decide to go that way, it will only take a couple more lines of code and an evening at the screen to tie the throttle control into the rev-counter and build in a rev limiter with a programmable red line ....

Points-less ignition timing is well within reach now as well ... its just an inverse of the rev-counter/timing indicator ... and the rest of the instrumentation is pretty simple. It's all based on read/store/report of very slow-reacting sensors like pressures, temperatures, intake manifold pressure/balance, intake air velocity, etc ...

I guess it's time to get my old junk 1200 engine up on a test stand and start interfacing with some real hardware instead of simulating an engine with chips 'n' things.

Back to the shed tomorrow to remind myself that there's a car underneath all this fiddling about ....
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Old June 6th, 2010, 12:25 AM   #30
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Default Re: Two Virgins and a Sawzall

New arrival in the collection of bits for the engine ... got a 123 points-less ignition and the zorst is almost ready for mounting



Meanwhile I'm wearing myself out, block sanding the roof and rear quarters so the top is ready when it all goes back on the chassis. (I don't want to have to reach up there when it's on the chassis and the trolley ...)
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Old June 6th, 2010, 10:55 PM   #31
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Default Re: Two Virgins and a Sawzall

I'm exhausted ... block sanding the roof and rear quarters all weekend !!! but finally I'm down to my fourth application of bondo, and I think it should be smooth enough for a final skim to remove the sanding scratches ...



Looking at it again. I think, if I'm lucky and work hard next week, I may just have the whole of the roof between the rain channels finished, primed, smoothed and ready for (eventual) paint by the end of next weekend ... YAAAAAAY !!!!
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Old June 9th, 2010, 12:41 PM   #32
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Default Re: Two Virgins and a Sawzall

Ho Hum .. another day ... another 2 layers of fine finish bondo and a lot of dust ... (that's 5 more since I said "a final skim to fill the scratches" and I'm still finding lows and dings !!) ...



... I'm getting there I think ... certainly looks reasonable when its wet ... maybe after another weekends exertions I can sign off on the roof ...

gawd I feel old .... stiff and tired ... but somehow fulfilled ...
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My Intro/Build Journal - Two Virgins and a Sawzall
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Old June 10th, 2010, 12:49 PM   #33
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Default Re: Two Virgins and a Sawzall

All of a sudden my patience snapped ...

No words .. just pictures :)




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Old June 12th, 2010, 12:51 PM   #34
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Default Re: Two Virgins and a Sawzall

No photos of work today .. coz I'm just replacing bad welds and laying on the foundation layers of bondo ... but ther is something i really do have to share ... MY ADAPERS ARE FINISHED !!!



Thanks to Mester-D from the UK Volksrodding Scene I now have a custom built, complete set of aluminium Porsche 5x130mm / 30's Ford 5x5.5 inch adapters to mount my vintage Ford wheels on the Porsche pattern brake disks. The wheel to adapter connection uses the standard kever bolts, so to protect the aluminium Paul made steel inserts for the threaded holes ... You don't get that on a cheap chinese import :)





and he did the whole lot for a very reasonable price .. if you're in Europe and you need custom adapters - Talk to Paul or me :) He can do them for about 150 Euro per pair, ex. shipping costs (about 25 Euro)
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Old June 14th, 2010, 07:48 AM   #35
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Default Re: Two Virgins and a Sawzall

The next episode of "I was a teenage Bondo Freak" ...


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Old June 20th, 2010, 05:00 AM   #36
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Default Re: Two Virgins and a Sawzall

Not much doing this weekend, I only had a short Saturday and I'm off to Spain again today ... and I forgot to take photos ... but it was mostly just the same old "splat-bondo-on, scratch-bondo-off" routine ... but at least there was some progress ... all on the passenger side ...

I think I'm done with the rear quarter except for the bottom 6 inches ... which I need to leave bare until I make the skirts ... At the front the petrol filler hole is closed up and smoothed off, so I'm done with the front quarter until I get round to stretching the A pillar/inner fender area ...whichI need to leave until I've got it all fixed on the new heater channels ... and finally, to kill the last couple of hours I welded in a small patch and realigned the A pillar by straightening the step which was caused by the chop ... (If I remember, photos when I do the driver's side)

One more session (next Sunday) smoothing off the A pillar, and I think I'll be ready to turn the body around and do the same 3-4 week splurge on the drivers side ... after that - no more excuses ... the body goes up onto the chassis/heater channels and I start on the reconnection of front and back ... and thats the point when I have to decide whether to channel it ... Current thoughts are leaning towards an angled channel with a 2" drop at the rear cross member, and a 4" drop at the A pillars, but the jury is still out on whether to channel at all ...
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My Intro/Build Journal - Two Virgins and a Sawzall
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Old June 28th, 2010, 01:26 PM   #37
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Default Re: Two Virgins and a Sawzall

Started tidying the insides .. gawd its hot in a shed, in a beetle body, with a 500watt halogen lamp and a welder ... !!! I'm roasted alive !! and all I managed to do was to turn this ...



into this ... (opposite side of course)



I don't feel like I'm making much progress at the moment ... but little bit by little bit ... I'm plodding along ...
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Old July 4th, 2010, 09:09 AM   #38
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Default Re: Two Virgins and a Sawzall

Was a short weekend this week ... Sunday only ... but at least that corner's finally ready for grinding down ....



... and I had a few minutes spare so I fitted the brakes to the front




Onward and upward :) .......
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Old July 8th, 2010, 12:17 PM   #39
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Default Re: Two Virgins and a Sawzall

Squeezed in a couple of hours after work today ... another baby step closer ...



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Old July 12th, 2010, 01:44 AM   #40
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Default Re: Two Virgins and a Sawzall

In between partying and recovering from partying I managed a few hours on the bug ...

First I almost finished off the driver's side quarter panel ...



... and then I started preparing for the channeling. This is an odd one because I can't do it the way most people do ... by removing the heater boxes, because I want to keep them intact, thereby keeping all my mods restricted to the body itself. To do that I have to lower the body over the existing heater boxes .... in fact, I actually do have to do the VW equivalent of traditional hot rod channeling.

I decided to drop the body 70mm at the A pillars and 60mm at the B pillars to give it a subtle but noticeable rake. I started on the passenger side this week. Here's the A pillar with the bit removed ...



Te A pillar is pretty strong and has a thick plate inside, so dropping that down won't worry me unduly. I think it can support the load (well that's how it did it before I cut it !!) ... but ...
the B pillar is fairly flimsy inside and relies more on the flanges which are welded to the heater box. I also wanted to keep the side quarter panel intact and bring it down to hide the heater channel on the outside, so a bit of creative cutting was required, and a nice stiff brace to support it ...



but then .... SNAFU !!! I welded the brace in place, but fitted it so that the bottom of the brace was lined up with the lower part of the cut-out instead of the higher bit ... see ...



... and of course, by the time I realized that, the whole thing was solid metal and there was no way I could undo what I'd done. So instead I cut the whole lot out and shifted it up 15mm and added an extra bit of support to fit the step in the heater channel ...



So ... onward and upward .. one baby step at a time ...
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Old July 12th, 2010, 01:02 PM   #41
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Default Re: Two Virgins and a Sawzall

Grabbed a couple of hours after dinner today ... I've been promising myself I'd straighten the kink in the second A pillar for ages ....



... and I found the time to replace the gap in the front where the roof was stretched, and gave the bug a new rear-view mirror mount ...



If I keep chipping away at the patching jobs, I think I might just be ready on August 1st to mate up the channeled body to the chassis and new heater boxes ... then I can start working out how to get the front-end sheetmetal to fit back together again ...
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Old July 13th, 2010, 01:31 PM   #42
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I have to say that this part must be the most boring part of a build ... it takes ages to do, and all your mates get to see are endless photos of tacky welding and small patches of new sheet metal ... It seems to take forever when you look at the photo history, but at least I can feel it happening because I'm there with it ... but I promised myself I'd publish a blow-by-blow so every bit of time I spend with the car gets reported ... no matter how trivial or monumental the results are :)

Did another patch today .. 'twas a little bugger fitting a shape into the lower corner of the rear screen ... no decent photos because my hands were shaking too much, but for the morbidly curious ...



If I get a better shot at the weekend I'll replace this one ...

So there's only one simple bit to do and all the holes in the driver's side are filled, then another day doing the same on the passenger side, and I'm about ready for the next major modification !!!
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Old July 17th, 2010, 11:47 AM   #43
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I promised a less shaky photo so ... Other side done ... I don't believe it but the inside is complete all bar the grinding and bondo ... excuse the drippy brown stuff .. it's freshly applied rust curative. I have to clean it off tomorrow ...



Now I go "downstairs", complete the channeling, build a frame for the new rear floor and belt attachments and then it can go onto the new heater boxes ....
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Old July 18th, 2010, 11:54 AM   #44
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No pictures today ... cut up and braced the drivers side the same as the passenger side ready for channeling .. and then chickened out of making the ultimate cut and spent the rest of the afternoon testing paint viscosity and HVLP gun delivery rates ... the new clear coat I got is absolutely weird .. its like spraying molasses with a vacuum cleaner ...

I need to do a lot more work on mix proportions before I have it worked out ...
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Old July 25th, 2010, 09:11 AM   #45
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Fitted the new rear brace to the kokerbalken today ... New piece one each side, welded up and waiting for the body ...



Then I turned to making the bracing frame to support the new rear floor at the channeled height ... No pictures because its just three box section tubes welded to the back right now ... boring ...

Then I just HAD to try out the adapters from Paul ... Here's a 1934 Model Y Ford wirewheel, on a VV beetle disk brake with Porsche drilling for the bolts ... The adapter had to be thick to provide the clearance between the back of the wheel and the caliper ...

Now I know how they work .. and the machinist (Mester-D) signed them. The www.CustomBilletCo.com tag looks great .. and is just visible through the center hole in the wheel ...


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Old July 26th, 2010, 12:13 PM   #46
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I grabbed some time tonight, so I finally cut the floor out ready for channeling ... It's only a rough cut but it's a start and keeps me smiling until I can find the time to start tidying it up, and removing the rear cross-brace, then I can drop it onto the restored chassis and new kokerbalken (heater channels) ....



and for the hell of it and no other reason ... I tried to do a little painting demo of old-skool scallops - didn't turn out too good, but it was fun making brown paper parcels again ...

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Old July 28th, 2010, 02:23 AM   #47
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GONE !!



2 more serious cuts and a bit of trimming and I'm ready for the remount on Sunday !!!

Bit of drama though ... I had the whole back end supported on a couple of roof jacks while I separated the cross-member. They aren't too stable, and as I removed the saw horse from underneath the back the body wobbled a bit ... I nipped around the back to put it back on trck and I must have lifted a little .. next thing I know the roof jacks had fallen away and I was left standing ... alone ... supporting the back end of the body in a half-press ... too far away from the main house to be heard by the 65 yr old lady who lives there .... erm ... OOPS ...

Fortunately I never remove the safety supports until the others are in place ... so I managed to kick the saw horse back under and lower the body down again .. but hey ... MEMO TO SELF ... Next time, stick the roof jacks to the body with duct tape to stop them wandering off alone ....
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Old July 29th, 2010, 01:13 PM   #48
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Default Re: Two Virgins and a Sawzall

Tonight I finally hacked off the old heater boxes ...



The whole thing is now only as stable as the cage of bracing I've put inside it, but it's ready for its first trial fit to the chassis/new heater boxes on Sunday, so all I have to do on Saturday is clean up the shed and get the beers in the fridge ...
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Old August 1st, 2010, 12:57 PM   #49
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It's Sunday ... It's August 1st ... and with a hand from four Dutch Beetle People I made my deadline ... Yesss .. The J-Bug on the chassis for the first time.

The day wasn't without its problems .. getting B-quality replacement panels to match up to the old shell involved making quite a few on-the-fly final fine adjustments with the angle grinder and a silent prayer ... the back end went up and down so many times I lost count ... and there are still finer adjustments yet to be made ... but I can do that at my leisure now the big job is done ...

Here are a couple of shots using the demo hood to fill the hole. I have a long nose for the real thing ...







I'm overwhelmed with emotion .. it was a hell of a day ...

(memo to self ... I really need to reset the date on my camera some day !!!)
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Old August 7th, 2010, 08:55 AM   #50
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During the week I fastened the back end down properly to the heater boxes and rear cross-member ... now it's the wekend so more to do ... Yaaaay ...

'Twas a slow day today .. but I guess it's all going to be baby steps now the obvious stuff is done ... Did about half the fabrication on the inner side of one of the rear wheel arches .. still got to do the inside skin and clean it up a bit ... but every step along the road is one step closer to home ... eh ??

Started off by making the shape in 5mm bar stock ...


Carried the shape through to the end of the arch so I can stiffen the cut off and round off the sharp cut edges ...


and finally plated it .. was a bugger to bend right but it seems to have worked OK, and what a big fat hammer and a lot of swearing didn't fix, a bit of grinding and a dollop of bondo will .. :)


Back again tomorrow ... maybe I'll have a go at the inside fillers on the same side ...
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