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Old April 19th, 2011, 08:03 AM   #51
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Default Re: 1937 Volkster convertible

So I think I'm going to scratch the front bumper. Really distracts from the front fender and grill.

Moving on...

One area needing attention were the '37 inner fender wells. Used some round stock to shape the opening.

Inner fender well before:

And after:

The front fenders are not bolted on in the above photo but now have a much cleaner line. You can also see the steering heim joint mount has been beefed up.




Finished the front clip frame work and mounts...finally. Looks like I'm building a race car with all the tubing...The center bar looks to be touching the floor but it's an illusion.


Also figured out where and how to mount the front vw hood latch. A release cable and tube will run under the top framework rail and in to the car.




To hide the airlines and electrical running from below the luggage tray and up to the firewall and the glove box (where the airride gauges will be located) added a couple of tubes to hide them. Didn't get them all the way done but working on it.


Also finished off the inner/inner fenderwells on the bug body. This fills in the gap and will give the under fender area a much cleaner look.

You can also see the lower edge of the heater channels that I've started framing. Another square "vert" type of support rail will be added under this channel frame to keep the doors square. Obviously I still need to finish the front edge but ran out of welding wire.

More to go!!!
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Old April 27th, 2011, 11:24 PM   #52
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Default Re: 1937 Volkster convertible

Oh let's see..what have I been working on worth updating....? Well, picked up a couple sheets of 18ga to finish some panel work on the inside structure from the B-pillars to the wheel wells. A couple photos to show the side panels in place.

Other side:

Other than adding some some structural integrity, it also cleans up all the internal sharp edges for when the convertible top gets folded down. Have one more panel to work in to really make this area look nice. Just ran out of time.

Top down:

Still have the rear panel to fab and fit to enclose the fuel tank in the rear parcel tray area.

Worked on a little rust repair on the '37 hood cowl.

one side patched but awaiting a little more grinding:


Started re-stiching in the "new" rear top deck skin. The gas tank compartment idea of a door is gone and a new gas tank door will be put in. Have a good idea how to make it work just need to play with some cardboard first. Also need to insert the fresh air vents. Still contemplating where and what shape.


The real noteable progress is the doors. They have a coat of sealer finally!




The front hood was a mess. I mean a real mess. The outer corners were shot, had to cut them both out and replace. Fixed a couple of stress cracks, a wrinkle and a few thin spots but good now.

A little grinding and beating, it will be ready for a little filler and primer.

The "to-do" list keeps getting shorter!
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Old May 4th, 2011, 10:22 PM   #53
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Default Re: 1937 Volkster convertible

Worked on the front fender repair. There were numerous cracks, broken fender beads, dents and holes to attend.

The '37 Ford fenders have a crisp bodyline along the top
that continue to the front edge of the fenders. The driver side was good, the other was damaged and took a lot of work to rescue. You can see the line now. Also filled the bumper bracket notches.
(Pay no mind to the front end orientation, the enders are just resting on the tires)



Also started on the "firewall." still need some mounting tabs and some stiffners welded on. Really wish I had a bead roller right about now...

Have the gas tank mounts, gas tank "firewall" and new gas tank door to tackle next. Then get back to the pass rear fender to fix. Re-skin the running boards with new metal and once those are done, I can re-hang the doors weld on the last supporting rail under the lower edge of the body and set the door alignment.

A little sandblasting and the bodywork can begin. Ready to put away the welder!
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Old May 9th, 2011, 10:46 PM   #54
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Default Re: 1937 Volkster convertible

So the gas tank...replaced the bug tank with a Ghia tank thanks to Mundo. Made a simple mount system. Still have the front support and retaining brackets to make.

The filler neck will come up through the top deck skin. Still need to cut and fit.


To keep the fuel tank partitioned from the cabin, made a firewall panel. Nothing fancy as the top edge will receive a channel the Miata convertible top needs to attach to the car.


One item that needed addressed was the fresh air vents in the decklid. So took the old Dodge vents and welded them in.

Have some cleanup to do on the inside of the lid but there are a couple other things I need to do there before the decklid is done and ready for bodywork. I'm happy with the vents.

Also re-hung the passenger door to check alignment and after installing just one of the outer body rail supports, it is lining up perfectly. Opens and closes great!

Been thinking about adding another bodyline to tie in to the top line of the vert doors. Should be simple to do with some small diam round stock. I think it will carry the door top bodyline around the back and make it look a little more finished.
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Old May 17th, 2011, 09:27 AM   #55
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Default Re: 1937 Volkster convertible

Kind of a lame update, but it's progress.

The top rear deck skin is fully welded...finally. Still need to hammer and dolly the joints a little but that's will be the easy part.

Also installed a pneumatic strut to keep the rear decklid up. Installed one and it is adequate for the decklid weight. With the added width in the engine bay, the strut should not interfere with anything...hopefully.

Works really well to my surprise.

Back some time ago, I had to shorten the driver side '37 rear fender. the bottom "lip" was rusted and too long so I cut it off. In cutting off this lip, the fender lost some of it's integrity so I had to rebuild the lip.

Took a piece of 1" tube, bent to the radius of the fender, then cut it in half to form a radius "u" channel.

And welded it to the bottom edge of the fender.

A little hard to see but it curves up and really stiffened up the fender.

Getting closer...
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 04:55 PM   #56
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Default Re: 1937 Volkster convertible

Spent some time finishing a couple of things. My phone makes the patch look really bad, but it really isn't as bad as it looks. Anyway, the cowl patch (yikes, I just noticed the dip in the cowl..guess I'll need to fix that before bodywork). Anyway...

There's my punch list of items remaining sitting on the cowl...funny.

One of those items on the list was to re-skin the pass running board. It was really damaged, never mind the million holes used for the original covers that I'm not using. So, spent a couple hours just filling little holes.

Still have more holes to plug weld...oh joy.

Managed to get the running boards aligned after re-mounting the front end. Have a few gaps that will need a verticle adjustment to the front clip to correct (as you can see the gap at the bottom of the front door and the running board in the pic above.



To my surprise, both running boards are almost the exact same length give a 1/4 inch. Something I can live with. Still need to insert some mounting bolts along the length of the pan and running boards.

The next photo really gives an idea of how fat and wide the Volkster will look all aired down.

The money shot:

Just to correct that little gap in the running board, I will need to adjust the fender up and then cut down the hood side panel on both sides. Here I go, doing things twice!
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Old May 30th, 2011, 03:59 PM   #57
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Default Re: 1937 Volkster convertible

Got the running board gap corrected. Had to shorten both hood side panels and re-weld.
The side panels are all "adjusted" and ready for primer.

Knocked off a BUNCH of little loose ends over the Memorial weekend. Two major items remaining but I can work on those while getting started on the bodywork.

Also had a chance to push it outside after several long months tucked in the shop:




And my favorite front 3/4 view:


See right at the top of the grill or below the hood right at the convergence of the side panel?? THAT little area on both sides took me about 4 hours to get this close. In talking to a '37 For owner, he was telling me these side panels are difficult to get to line up. Now I get it!

Anyway, back to the shop. The running boards will get pulled, the front hood, rear decklid, fenders and grill yanked off and prepped for primer. Lots of wire wheel and 80 grit to go before duraglas, filler and shooting the high-build.

The driver side front fender has a good crease along the front that causes the front corner to dive in some. Need to beat on it for a while.

One thing at a time....
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 08:13 AM   #58
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Default Re: 1937 Volkster convertible

One item needing addressed was the front luggage tray access panel. Didn't like the original so cut another panel.

With all the steering components, air ride and brake lines needing access, I will need easy access through the floor of the luggage tray.

Picked up a piano hinge, cut out the center of the tray and welded the hinge to the underside of one side of the opening.


Now it's hinged.


And closed

A little clean up and a couple little supports underneath the access door panel and a latch and it's done done.

Next is the mounting tabs for the firewall cover and this little area will also be done. Then it's off to the back of the car to button up some pre-bodywork items.
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Old June 7th, 2011, 07:48 AM   #59
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Default Re: 1937 Volkster convertible

One more little item off the list...the gas tank door. Found a rear quarter panel off a 2000 model Camero a guy had for sale. He cut out a good section of the panel before picking it up. A little trim here and there and welded in.


Debating if I should remove the little radiused tab on the door and just make the door smooth. Anyway the door open:


The photo above shows the alignment of the filler neck to the tank. Maybe an inch or two. Just need to shorten the fill tube a little to get it to line up.

With fill neck in place.
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Old June 19th, 2011, 04:01 PM   #60
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Default Re: 1937 Volkster convertible

Since last update, spent sim knocking off more of the remaining items on the list.

Pulled the running boards, rear decklid and hood side panels and started in on some bodywork. A lot of wire wheel, sanding and hammer and dolly work, but I was able to get these parts in a coat of primer.





The 74 y/o running boards had some pretty hard years on them and took the most time... but they are getting close to straight.

Not yet perfect, but it's a start.

Spent a few hours out with the car today and got a couple items taken care of before starting in on the Duraglas and filler. The cowl took some serious hammering but I got it close enough to start filler.
Will get some car photos up later this week.

My plan is to have it off the farm and in the garage at home on Wednesday so I can fine tune all the bodywork.
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Old June 21st, 2011, 05:41 PM   #61
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Default Re: 1937 Volkster convertible

Tomorrow I have a couple friends coming over to help drag the Volkster home. My goal today was to get the body in filler and shot in a coat of primer. Amazing how quickly six hours go by sanding, hammering, filling, sanding, hammering and filling...anyway:


Keep in mind, some of the filler work is not 100% because I'm coming back to finish it once home.


I think the cowl is really turning out and the door gaps are close enough for me.
With the extra pan stiffners installed and the suicide doors adjusted, they open and close like butter.


The front hood still needs a center hold down latch installed under the cowl. What and how I do it, I'll make it so it's a bolt on component.

Driver side door gap:


...continued tomorrow...
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Old June 23rd, 2011, 10:57 AM   #62
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Default Re: 1937 Volkster convertible

With the help of Mundo and my nephew, we practically disassembled the entire car to ready for the drag home. Once safely tucked in the garage, Mundo helped re-assemble, thanks Ray! Now it's awaiting a zillion hours of bodywork.

One of the items on my to-do list is to install the roof canvas and make mounting holes for the rear edge along the body. With the canvass in place, I know where to drill the holes and install the internal drip rail.

Believe me, it's a good thing the photos are of low quality and poor lighting!

..oh and by the way...the suspension is not completely aired out in the photos. Yes, it goes lower!!
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Old July 2nd, 2011, 09:58 AM   #63
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Default Re: 1937 Volkster convertible

On with the bodywork and a few other remaining buid items.

One was to test fit the headlight buckets and lenses to ensure they fit properly after all the beating, welding and fitment progress.

They fit nicely. Now to get the hood to align properly...

The center of the hood stuck up a little higher than the cowl and been scratching my head trying to figure out how to hold it down. Well it came to me finally..

Before center latch:

And after latch:


How I did it? Used a u-bolt and mounted to the underside of the hood:

It has a smaller profile than what it seems.


On the cowl side, here is my locking mechanism tacked in place:

Once I have it boxed in and the sheetmetal firewall is in place, it shouldn't be too obtrusive.

The round rod you see under the mechanism, goes inside the car where there is a knob. Simply turn the knob, it pulls back the latch and the center of the hood pops up. The front of the hood uses a standard front hood pin and latch. This hood is going nowhere!

Next up was to stretch and mount the rear edge of the Miata top to the rear deck. Used a 1" wide strip of alum and drilled it through the rear cowl frame:


With the rear edge fixed, pull the top forward and bam, it fits much better!


The rear window maintains it's shape just fine. Have a littlework to do at the sides of the canvass and B-pillars to get the canvass wrinkle free.

As you can see, I'm nose-bugger deap in the body work. Lots of hammer and dolly work and more filler but's it's coming out.

More to come!
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Old July 3rd, 2011, 02:53 PM   #64
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Default Re: 1937 Volkster convertible

Once the rear hood latch was done, I needed to adjust and align the front VW hood latch at the nose to make sure it will work properly on re-assemble. Better I do it now than after paint because afterwards...well, that would pretty much suck.

What I found after the hood was aligned and adjusted, is the driver side hood and side panel were not lining up. This told me the front fender mount needs to be slotted and the entire front fender needs to come up about a 1/4 to 1/2" to bring everything flush with the bottom of the hood.

Here's the gap:

The good side I can live with:

Once the driver side is shifted up, it should also correct the gap right at the nose of the hood and grill. Speaking of the grill, it will require a little tweaking to get all those fins lined up. Oh joy!

Took about 2 hours to get that front hood to latch and another 30 minutes to get it to release.

Afterwards, I broke out the hammer and dolly and started beating on metal. Worked in this little dent pretty good.

Sure...if I filed the metal, it would go away but I can live with it.

The rear fenders required some time pounding out the dings and dents. Pretty happy here:

Then another skim coat.

It should block out nicely.
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Old July 5th, 2011, 09:56 AM   #65
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Default Re: 1937 Volkster convertible

Had a beautiful 4th of July weekend. With my entire body aching from blocking, rather than go at it again, decided to roll it out of the garage and clean up all the dust.

My little fat girlfriend is getting one "little step" closer.
Just noticed you can see the added frame supports under the doors. Along with a hint of the bodyline I added on the rear quarter panels to continue the door line, just in reverse.
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Old July 5th, 2011, 11:08 AM   #66
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Default Re: 1937 Volkster convertible

JUST Realized something....the entire front nose end of the car is jacked up! The grill and front fenders are mounted too high! The last photo I just posted made me realize something was a miss. This will also help correct the gap at the hood and grill I was concerned about.
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Old July 11th, 2011, 10:46 AM   #67
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Default Re: 1937 Volkster convertible

Back in the garage for more bodywork. Pulled the grill and front fenders and spent COUNTLESS hours hammering the grill fins and fenders. In the process, also had to increase the radius of the inner fenderwells to clear the tires when running the front low. In an earlier photo, there is a comparison photo that shows the difference in the shape.

Fixed a couple 74-year old stress cracks along the way but otherwise ready for a final skim coat, blocking and some high build.

The top of the front cowl is blocked and ready finally:


Dash is ready for high build:


The rear quarters and fenders are ready as well:


Little more work on the inner fender wells and a little metal rust repair to go before this area will be ready for primer.

The gray box with the braided line coming out of it is where the airride compressor sits. The little box should help muffle the noise a little. You can also see where the lower frame supports terminate.

Aside from the front fenders, I have the lower edge of the front quarters outside and underneath, the grill, engine compartment and a couple ripples in the hood to finish. Then it's time for the primer to come out again.
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Old July 21st, 2011, 09:42 AM   #68
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Default Re: 1937 Volkster convertible

Work has been progressing and to please the peanut gallery (you know who you are) I'll show a little of what I've been working on.

(disclaimer) Keep in mind, I'm no professional bodyman. I've spent hours online trying to figure out how real professionals go about repairing dents, waves, wrinkles and dings. My technique is not the best, nor do I claim what you are about to see is the "proper" way. However, I have learned a lot and continue to learn. I usually do everything twice so keeping loyal to my approach, here we go!

The front hood edge at the cowl on the driver side did not fit properly. Why? I have no idea. But I figured out a way to fix it.
Before:

After - but still needing a little fitment adjustment:


The top of the grill filler panel:

Before withh lots of holes:

With first round filler panel:

Tried again, and now we have this:

And again:

This 74-year old grill has seen better days. Many of the fins were tweaked a little so a lot of time was spent tapping out the individual bars. Real fun stuff there...

On to the front fenders.... One of the tricks I picked up from watching pro bodymen was their use of a "slap stick" to bring up dings and dents (don't make fun). I couldn't believe that by beating on TOP of a sunken dent (with a dolly behind the center of the low spot) that it would bring up the dent. Freakin' amazing!

Several hours later, I'm pleased with the end result less this one particular area at the bottom of the pass fender.

The red circle shows the crease or hump compared to the driver side fender. I think I'll slice it apart and re-weld. That should do it!?!

The front hood, yup, more dents and more slap sticking brought up many of the lows and leveled the highs.


Now the real airing of dirty laundry. The front quarter panel on the passenger side. Really goofed on the initial fab design because the panels didn't match side-to-side.

I was clipping along with filler and realized that the arch following the fender was off.
Mid process:

Re-cut, re-shape and re-welded:

Made for a big mess but now both sides match.

Well, that's it. Many more hours to go before high build. Getting anxious to get it back in one color.
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Old August 2nd, 2011, 12:16 PM   #69
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Default Re: 1937 Volkster convertible

More fine tuning, metal work and filler work.

Couple little problem areas found were the fitment of the running boards to the rear fenders. The bottom "flare" of the passenger side rear fender was TOO wide, so re-do.


The rear edges of both running boards are TOO narrow, so I'll need to splice in some filler metal and re-do. Not a biggy though. In the above photo you can see the slight gap between the running board and the rear quarter panel.

The driverside rear fender, bottom edge was TOO short, so re-do.

The rear decklid arch was off at the pass side lower corner so yup...re-arched.

BUT, the rear of the car is in high build!

I will shoot a guide coat but I can clearly see a number of "spots" that need attention.

All in all...getting closer everyday.
Probably not the route a real pro would go about doing it, but at least it's getting done.
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Old August 9th, 2011, 08:34 AM   #70
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Default Re: 1937 Volkster convertible

The rear edge of the running boards have been corrected...sorry no photos. but they fit much better.

Got the rear decklid re-arched and the driver side rear fender fixed..no photos. But fixed.

Also fixed the hump along the lower edge of the front pass fender. That was fun.


Took a little break from bodywork and worked on the headlight assemblies. The 7" round H4 bulbs with built-in turn signal indicators are installed in the '37 buckets. Took a little to figure out and if anyone is really interested in knowing how I did it, let me know. Had to make 4 tabs for the frames that all are adjustable for aligning the head lights. Yes, they make aftermarket brackets but they wanted like $100 for the plastic adjusters!

These should adjust and function just fine. Need a little cleaninig up and paint but good for now.

Added the lenses and the rings and everything fits fine.

Now, back to the regularly scheduled bodywork....oh joy.
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Old August 22nd, 2011, 08:32 PM   #71
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Default Re: 1937 Volkster convertible

AHHHHH...bodywork! Still banging on metal and dealing with filler.

Took another little break and worked on the rear breast tin along the back edge of the engine. At the PIR Swap meet I picked up a no heat doghouse and no heat breast tin. Borrowed a engine case and heads from Mundo to mock up the tin. Added some metal and bango! Still working on the metal channel thing for the engine seal.

To keep true to the VW roots, I added the sciript along the tin..

This was also my change to test fit the exhaust again to make sure everything will work. Have a little tweak to do but no biggy. Not the best photo but have some work to do on it before it's 100% presentable.
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Old September 4th, 2011, 05:33 PM   #72
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Default Re: 1937 Volkster convertible

Bodywork continues. Fixing little spots and working mostly in the 120 grit range, ready for 320 before sealer.


Have the bottom sections of the front fenders left to contour. They have been tough to shape but getting really close:

Close to 90 degrees today. A little to much sunshine for good photos but a great day to live in the Pacific NW!
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Old September 12th, 2011, 08:49 AM   #73
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Default Re: 1937 Volkster convertible

Still clipping away at bodywork. The front edges of the '37 fenders are tough to work! There are more curves in just this little area...
Anyway, I have them close now. Just a couple little spots to work. Keep in mind, this driver side fender was bashed in about 10" along the outside edge just in front of the wheel. I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out.

Threw the front wheels on to test clearance issues. Re-installed the adjuster bolts back in the adjustable beam. With the adjusters cranked all the way down, this is where she'll sit. The car will roll even with all the air dumped out of the shocks. So if I blow an airline, I can still drive it... in a limited sense. Straight ahead with a little turn. It takes a minimum of 70PSI to bring the nose up high enough to get full lock right and left and the tires clear the fenders. Driving requires about 80-90PSI to allow suspension travel.

I think it's a little too high. Once the rear edge of the fender is brought up and bolted in the right spot, the fender and running board will come up another half inch. My preference would be for the fenders to sit on the ground when aired out, which it'll do but that doesn't give me a contingency plan if I lose the air system. Oh well.
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Old October 10th, 2011, 11:12 AM   #74
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Default Re: 1937 Volkster convertible

Well it's been a while but I'm still clipping along with the bodywork. A couple hours here and there.

Had to address a couple little things along the way:

1) Weld in a freakin' patch panel in the passenger side front wheel well right at the heater channel. Of all things...a patch panel. BORING!! but done.

2) Figure out a way to keep the fuel filler neck in the proper location so when you go to unscrew the fuel cap, you don't twist away the actual fuel tube itself. Been putting this off because it involved welding in a very close space.

So here is the filler neck and cap at the fuel tank door.

You could twist that cap as hard as you want and the tube will never move. Because I installed this little mounting/support ditty underneath.

Nothing too sexy, but it's certainly sturdy.

I should have at least ground down the welds....eh...unless someone climbs in next to the fuel tank which is behind a sheet metal panel, no one will ever see it. EVER.

Hate to end such a short update with so little to show for the past 3 weeks, but it's all I've got. Unless you like looking at bodypanels being sanded, bumped, filled, sanded and primed.... over and over and over?

Getting ever so close to paint though....stay tuned.
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Old October 22nd, 2011, 09:31 PM   #75
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Default Re: 1937 Volkster convertible

Still pluggin' away with the bodywork. Had a nice visit today by OBCustom (Spencer). He pointed out a couple of possible solutions to a couple of little detail issues I've been having with the bodywork.

Re-fit the convertible top frame to address another little snag. Spencer threw out a possible solution that just might cut it.

Sometimes you cannot see the trees and need a fresh set of eyes. Looks like I have a little more work cut out for me.

Here's a shot around the forrest.


How about stump height:


A parting shot:
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