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Old August 8th, 2010, 12:13 PM   #51
radiotrib
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Default Re: Two Virgins and a Sawzall

Another day .. another tweak ... Today I fastened the A-pillar bottoms to the heater boxes and finally started removing the braces .. bit by bit. The interesting exercise today was one I've been wondering about since I started the job .. and today was the day to tackle it ...

If you look at a Beetle heater tube, there's a long straight bit where the door closes, and either side of it there are angled sections ... When I first tried the doors for a fit, 9 months or so ago, back when I still had the old heater boxes in place, I noticed that the door wouldn't close properly, and realized that after moving the B-pillars back, the door was being pushed over one of the angles in the heater box when it closed ... see here ...



So I decided to straighten the heater box by cutting down the long white line, and along the bottom edge, and squeezing it together ... I did that, and added a 15mm stiffener to support the small body panel I'm going to fabricate so that the door closes onto a straight edge, into a proper socket with a lower valance ...



and here's a detail of the fixing for the A pillar to the heater box ...



Once everything was fixed in place I decided to bite the bullet and removed the bracing ... The J-Bug now stands up for itself and is 100% a proper car body again ... You can see the idea for the door fit in the photo below ... The door has to be channeled by 70mm to match the body, but I'm only doing that to the inside, the outside will have about 20mm taken off the bottom so it closes into the gap above the horizontal brace.

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Old August 10th, 2010, 03:51 PM   #52
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Default Re: Two Virgins and a Sawzall

<drunken rambling mode>
It's interesting, but I knew this particular issue was, in may ways, going to become the make-or-break point of the J-bug project. If you're new here and you don't know why ... look back over the early pages ...

I've been avoiding it for as long as possible, but the point is coming where I have no choice. It's rapidly becoming "the next job" on fact, "the job" ... sure, there are a lot of other things I COULD be doing ... but I CAN do those ... this is one of the final frontiers ... so hey ... someone says ... "The chop is done - the channeling is done ... what's so hard " .... Well ... The heater channel (and floor pan) has a kink in it ... lets say its bending from front to back .... well the inner fender had a curve in it too ... the opposite way. Now I could spend months with a set of hammers, a sand bag, lots of dollies and a lot of energy ... and beat myself a panel ... but the return would be minimal for the effort expended ... and the result would never be good enough ... If anyone disagrees, I've got a set of hammers and dollies, and I'll buy a sandbag especially to see the result ...

... but my goal was to prove that someone as dumb as me could build a legal volksrod, in the Netherlands, in a shed, with a rented welder and a set of DIY tools ... so my nemesis has arrived ... everything else was easy up to now ... for this I need to think hard ...

I may go quiet for a while ... but if anyone has a suggestion I'm open to anything ...

At the moment, I think I'm going to take the kink out of the heater tube like I did with the door closing. It's a bit more extreme but from measuring up I see that there's a lot of space between the edge of the heater tube and the lip of the floor pan ... If I can use that slack, I may be able to get at least one (almost) straight edge to start me off ....

More as it happens ... wish me luck :) ....
</drunken rambling mode>
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Old August 12th, 2010, 01:38 PM   #53
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Default Re: Two Virgins and a Sawzall

Here we are again ... wondering what to do with the strange shapes inside the inner fender well now that I've messed up all the original relationships between body and chassis ...

so first I tried a bit of innovation ... it didn't work but it was fun to try it ... I took the smoothly curved bit from the inner fender well and moved it forward to the original place where it sat before the chop ...



The idea was that then I'd only have to fill a fairly straight bit between the a-pillar and the curved bit ... Hell did I say "fairly straight" ... needless to say. the whole episode collapsed into a fit of laughter ... followed by a lot of bashing with a rubber hammer ... followed by removal of the whole mess ... followed by a rethink and a restart ...

Phase 2 ...

I gave up ... I decided to do it the way I imagined it in the first place .,.. somehow I had to straighten the kink in the heater channel ... This one ... (this is the other side)



and 3 hours later ...





It needs finishing off and cleaning up, but now I should be able to close the hole with a nice smooth curve from back to front .... Very much the same way the regular Volksrodders do it ...

More to come in a day or two ...
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Old August 14th, 2010, 09:35 AM   #54
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Default Re: Two Virgins and a Sawzall

The weekend is here and it's time to get down and dirty again ... I couldn't put it off any longer so I went and filled the inner fender wells ... (all except a litle oddity in the shape of the fender, which I'll fill later with a small patch ...

First I cut out the old, unwanted bit ... WOW that's a big hole !!!



Then I made a paper template from wallpaper (I wondered at this point ... If I slap a bit of bondo on it would anyone notice ???? ... Hmmmm)



Cut out the piece and belly rolled it into shape ... then tried it for a fit ...



Finally cut it to size and welded it up ...
It'll need bondo and a bit of effort, but there it is .. the J-bug has a completed profile ... YAAAAY !!!





Now I have to repeat the last 3 week's work on the other side ...
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Old August 15th, 2010, 09:30 AM   #55
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Default Re: Two Virgins and a Sawzall

I was doing fiddly bits today .. but still moving forward :) ...

First I relocated the lower hinge attachments .. Since the car is channeled 70 mm the door hinge had to be moved up. Took the opportunity of installing a new lower A-pillar section all in one piece ...




Then I took myself over to the other end and started making good all the chopping up that I had to do for the channeling ... It was a mess so I plated it ...



Bit of grinding and messing around and a whiff of primer ...



But after I'd got over the delight of finishing another job, I got to thinking that the step in the side looked wrong ...



So I decided to do something about it ... First some 6mm support to make the profile



Then I plated that and beat the plate around it to make a smooth return at the rear.



So now (in my opinion) the side view looks a little more 'together' than it did before



A dollop of bondo and a lot of sanding and I think it will work ... eh ??


(later edit ... after looking at the photo for a while, that curve just doesn't quite look smooth enough .. maybe I'll try again if/when I have the time ... Let's see how the driver's side comes out and decide after that)
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My Intro/Build Journal - Two Virgins and a Sawzall
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Last edited by radiotrib; August 15th, 2010 at 11:46 PM. Reason: Took another look at the photo of the rework ... hmmmm
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Old August 20th, 2010, 02:17 PM   #56
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Default Re: Two Virgins and a Sawzall

Did the driver's side rear today ... no photos coz they'd only be the same as the ones I posted for the passenger side ... but it's another step forward ... Got to go buy another welding helmet tomorrow. The current one has finally died of abuse :)

This weekend I'm going to try to finish off the outside of the body ready to lift it off the chassis and start on the inside in a week or so ...
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Old August 21st, 2010, 10:13 AM   #57
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Default Re: Two Virgins and a Sawzall

Bad day today,

Straightened the drivers side heater channel in the door opening and while I was smoothing it off I ran the edge of the grinding disk over the index finger knuckle of my right hand. Went through the glove and put a cut through to the bone. small enough to be not too bad, big enough to hurt like hell and stop me either holding the grinder properly or playing guitar ...

Looks like work is suspended until my finger is mobile again ... but it's a damn good job I was wearing heavy gloves !!!
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 09:54 AM   #58
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Default Re: Two Virgins and a Sawzall

Despite the damaged finger I had to start again ... you knowhow it is .. you fall off a horse - the best thing to do is get straight back on again ... "Hell captain its only a flesh wound and there's metal out there to torture ... let me go back and ..." .. well you get the picture ...

Got the driver's side rear end sorted ...



straightened out the heater tube and fitted the new hinge location ...



and took the kink out of the front heater tube section ...

Sore but satisfied ...

Now all I've got left to do now is the inner fender fabrication and the whole of the outside is done except for bondo and finishing ... so in a week or so I'll be ready to lift off the body and set it down on the work horse without the chassis ... then I can get inside and start on the insides, like doing this sort of stuff ....

Here's where I'll be welding it to the footwall



Then I need to close the space inside the side wall of the legroom. I think I'll be making a double skin to the length of the straight part so I can use it as a speaker enclosure for a pair of 5" speakers ...


This shows you the curvature of the inner wing I made, and the space I have to fill alongside the footwall...



This one shows more clearlyu the extent of the straightening I had to do in the heater tubes.



There's a lot of patching to be done in the actual trunk area !!!



and finally this one shows very clearly the extent of the backwards shift of the body, and the depth of the channeling at the front ... the arrow shows where the two bits were originally attached. I'll probably be putting a spun ally tank in that gap and re-routing the steering under or through it.

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Old August 28th, 2010, 02:49 PM   #59
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Default Re: Two Virgins and a Sawzall

Been quiet the last few days because I've just been doing the same stuff on the divers side that I did on the other side in photos back a week or so ago ... but today I did the last of it and moved on to another new bit ...

After the 3 inch channeling job, I was left with the door opening just not looking right, plus the fact that the door itself would be the full height of the side of the body ... not aesthetically pleasing ... So I got one of the guys in the heavy workshop at work to fold a bit of sheet to my specs to make into proper sills fitted to the heater tubes in the door opening .. That way I tidy up the place where the running boards fitted and provide a nice little finished cavity for the door to close into.

Done on one side ...





Then I started on the next stage of the never-ending bondo-on, bondo-off merry-go-round. This time I'm trying to fettle the rear quarter and inner wheel arch before moving round to do the same sill and rear quarter on the other side ... ya can't photograph sweat and boredom so you'll just have to take my word for it for now :)
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Old August 29th, 2010, 02:56 PM   #60
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Default Re: Two Virgins and a Sawzall

Spent all day today fettling one rear quarter and very little else ... but at one point I ran my fingers over the surface and felt a big smile growing on my face ... so I shot it with primer and called it a day ... at least for now ...



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Old September 17th, 2010, 12:36 PM   #61
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Has it really been three weeks !!!! .... Well here I am again .. I finally got over the cold - little old mum has gone back to England, and a big cardboard box is taking up space in the house, so it was back to the bug at last !!!

Couldn't do a lot with the rest of the front end until I had a petrol tank to work around ... and it arrived this week ...

First test to see where to put it ...



and the first bit of bendy metal fabricated up to support it ...



Now I have to work out how to prettify the bit below the sides .... I'm off to Spain next week again so it's there's much time left this week but I have an idea or two ...
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Old September 18th, 2010, 09:33 AM   #62
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Default Re: Two Virgins and a Sawzall

I ABSOLUTELY HATED IT ...

When I went back this morning I just had to get rid of that stupid arrangement for supporting the tank !!! .. so in the end it was back to the original plan ... (why is it that so often your first idea is your best one ????)

Cut down the footwall and plate the front to match the new curves ... No in-progress pictures I'm afraid .. I was in a slash and burn frenzy ...







The tank still has a nice place to sit ... so once i get back from Spain next week I think I'll make up a couple of wedges to support the tank brackets, and then I can put the tank back in a nice warm box until its needed ... I think it looks a lot better than the previous idea :)



See y'all next week ...
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Old September 25th, 2010, 10:06 AM   #63
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Default Re: Two Virgins and a Sawzall

Started on redesigning the floor under the hood ... Most of today was spent measuring and estimating for things like the angle of the steering column and the level of the floor etc. but I finally gave in to the itchy trigger finger and hacked out most of the old crud, and test fitted a few supports to see how it will fit ...



Some interesting shapes to get my head around, but I've started now so there's no way back :) ...



Had a bit of time left but not enough to do anything serious .. so ...

I've been re-thinking the situation with the wheels lately, and I decided that the Model Y wires are wrong. They are pushed too far outwards with the adapters and they look wrong .. not even considering the Akkerman angle they describe on full lock ... So what to do ...

Well I also had a set of solid but rough 1934 16 inch Model 18 V8 Wheels, so I've decided to run those on the front (bigger offset and wider rims) and I'm going to pick up a rather tasty pair of wheels for the rear when I go over to California in November. More on those later, but today I started the paint treatment for the fronts ...

Step 0 - Blast and primer ... then Step 1 - Shiny black base ...



Got a couple of big strong family members coming to the shed tomorrow so I'm gonna try to separate the body and chassis, and set myself up to be able to get inside and do the rest of the fabrication work comfortably ...
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Old September 26th, 2010, 08:47 AM   #64
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I had a couple of family members over to help me rearrange the shed. We got the body down approximately where it will sit when it's done and I couldn't resist a photo for a scale impression ... these guys are around 5 ft 9 inches tall ... I think the back will end up a little higher and the front a little lower when it's on its wheels.



BTW - couple of weeks back I has an unexpected visitor ...



It was calmly fishing in the boat dock while I was welding and grinding ... totally unphased ...
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Old September 27th, 2010, 11:11 AM   #65
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Default Re: Two Virgins and a Sawzall

Somebody made me an offer I couldn't refuse .... so I didn't ...



In-seat heating, back relaxer (vibrator !!!), adjustable seat back, universal runners, totally in-yer-face looks, and all for less than the cost of one seat !!!

No prizes for guessing what colour I've finally decided to paint the body then... eh ???
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My Intro/Build Journal - Two Virgins and a Sawzall
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 09:20 AM   #66
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Started sorting out the inside sheet metal at last ... After rearranging the relationship between the body and the heater boxes, the inner footwell walls are a mess of subtle curves !!! ... anyway .. one side is almost ready for welding .. Let's see if I can do the other side tomorrow ...


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My Intro/Build Journal - Two Virgins and a Sawzall
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 11:22 AM   #67
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Default Re: Two Virgins and a Sawzall

It took me another two hours this morning to reshape the left side panel ... but I finally welded it into place then I sorted the other side ...



Ahhhh the divinity of symmetry !!!


(Yes I know the cross-brace isn't straight but it won't matter once I get the footwall finished !!! and anyway .. if it was all perfect I'd be scared to drive it ... heh heh ...

One of the hot buggy guys came round in the afternoon and switched the long wheel studs in the rear Porsche hubs for a set of short ones, so now my new wheels will only be spaced out by the adapters ... then when he'd done that he rebuilt my rear brakes for me while I went on torturing metal ... then he helped me out with some jobs that needed 3 hands and more ..

THANKS RUBEN !!!!
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My Intro/Build Journal - Two Virgins and a Sawzall
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You can't build a car with a cheque book

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Old October 9th, 2010, 11:10 AM   #68
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The RHD dash panel arrived, safe and sound so now I have to think about how to mix it with the LHD one I already have to give me a 'genuine' beetle dash with side-by-side rev counter and speedo ... :) ...

Today was a day for consolidation ... I sorted out some of the strange things caused by the job so far ... first I removed the heat arrangements - like so ....



and filled all the channeling oddities at the rear at the same time as removing the tubes and filling the space ...



Then I had to try something out @!!!!! ... When Ruben was around last week we had a discussion about whether the tank would fit once the steering was in place and the trunk floor was installed ... well I put a couple of temporary supports in to make sure the tank sat at the right height .. dropped the lid on the lot ... and took a photo from up inside ... not a lot of clearance but good enough for rock'n'roll !!!

and it FITS !!!! ... Cinderella will go to the ball !!!!!



The arrow points to the guide hole for the place where the steering column goes through the foot wall.
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My Intro/Build Journal - Two Virgins and a Sawzall
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You can't build a car with a cheque book

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Old October 10th, 2010, 08:27 AM   #69
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Default Re: Two Virgins and a Sawzall

Started off OK today and then ran out of welding wire half way through the first job So I spent most of the day grinding and then took some time to cut out bits for the next visit to the shed ...

I got a dashboard panel from a UK kever (right-hand drive) this week, so to relieve the boredom of grinding I also made a first pass at playing with the left/right dash panels to make a dual clock dash for speed and RPM ... cut them up and slotted them loosely together to see what I could see ...



It looks promising but it's early days yet ...
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Old October 24th, 2010, 10:34 AM   #70
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Default Re: Two Virgins and a Sawzall

Got down to a bit more this weekend .. not as much as I'd have liked .. but still ... one step forward is one step nearer :)

Finally filled the front end with metal .... well ... most of it ... and cut the holes for the tank mounts and the petrol feed connector ...









I'll not be filling in the rear part of the footwell tops until I've decided what to do with the demister arrangement (demisters are a legal requirement in Holland for all cars with a windscreen). Current plan is to fit a small vent in the footwell side wall and a little in-line fan and motor to recirculate the inside air back around and over the windscreen ... but that may change with time ... (especially if I can get my hand on a half-decent Eberspacher) ...

Next week I tackle the oil cooler mountings and if successful I can finalise the rear parcel area and if that works, the body will be almost complete, so I can start grinding again ...

erm ...

should I be enthusiastic about the prospect of several weeks of nothing but grinding and filling and sanding and filling and ..... ?
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Old November 11th, 2010, 11:19 AM   #71
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Default Re: Two Virgins and a Sawzall

Home again ... got a couple of hours in this afternoon. Despite the crap weather and frozen fingers I managed to fabricate the oil cooler mount ... eventually there'll be a 7 inch fan mounted under the cooler running in suck mode ...





... I brought a souvenir back from California with me too .. saved a shitpot full of money on Euro Taxes and Shipping ... and got myself a bit of genuine CA Hotrodding for the bug ...





10inch x 15 inch hand-laced wires ... powder-coated black .. should look OK on the back of the bug with a pair of 295/50 15's :) ...
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Old November 12th, 2010, 10:38 AM   #72
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Started filling more spaces with metal ... should see the back end done by the time I go to Spain on Monday ...

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Old November 13th, 2010, 03:34 PM   #73
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{sigh} ... another day, another dollar ...

More welding ... more sheet metal torture ....



Getting closer ... day by day ... :)



Big mistake ... On the left I welded above the brace .... on the right I welded below .... oops ...

I should have done them both below the bar ... the fold is much cleaner on the right ...



Thank G*d for carpet ... eh ???
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Old November 14th, 2010, 08:56 AM   #74
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Default Re: Two Virgins and a Sawzall

Did a bit of detail work today ... I just wanted to see how my dashboard idea would work out ...

Take one left-hand drive dash and one right-hand drive dash ... cut, fit, cut, fit, cut, weld .... tadaaa ....

Needs some work, but the idea is OK I think ...



... and here it is clamped in place to give an idea of how the layout will work ... sorry 'bout the crappy photo but it was dark by the time I'd done



I think I might end up mounting it the other way round so the slight V shape fits over the steering column .. I recon it would look more natural ... plus the fact that the other long edge is straight ...
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My Intro/Build Journal - Two Virgins and a Sawzall
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You can't build a car with a cheque book

Last edited by radiotrib; November 14th, 2010 at 09:01 AM.
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Old November 27th, 2010, 01:09 PM   #75
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Default Re: Two Virgins and a Sawzall

Today no photos .. I worked on the dashboard a little but mostly I spent the time plotting and sorting out the steering column. Funny isn't it - in a car where the distance between the steering box and the steering wheel is extended by 23 cm ... the first thing I decided to do was shorten the steering column ....

Between now and the first week in Jan, I'll be working on getting it all into a rolling state and at least smoothish ready for the Kever Winter Festijn (Beetle Winter Festival). That's where everyone in BeNeLux who's into the bug world goes during the 'closed' season, and I've been asked to show the JBug on the Keversite.nl stand ... as one of the representative projects in the world of Euro VW hobbying ...

I'll document all oft this part once I have things clear in my mind and as I start to reassemble it all, but if I'm going to get this sucker on a trailer in January, it needs steering :) ...

Oh .. and the tyres will be here in early December .... so the J-Bug will definitely be rolling by Christmas !!!!!

and of course, I'll take lots of photos at the show and post them on another thread ...
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You're only young once .... but you can be immature for as long as you like!

My Intro/Build Journal - Two Virgins and a Sawzall
----------
You can't build a car with a cheque book
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