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Old August 21st, 2016, 09:38 PM   #1
kustomkreep86
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Default New Guy '71 Super

Hey all,

New guy here from Ontario Canada. I've been on the forum reading posts for a while now and decided I should join. Really diggin' what's going on around here. Any other VW forum I've read, people are all about keeping their cars stock, or restoring them back to original. Nice to see other folks having fun with them and hot rodding them out like I wanna do.

A little about me. My name's Derek. I'm a graphic artist at a screen printing shop. Part of the Wrencheads Car Club. Been around cars all my life, but only recently got into working on them myself.

As it says in the title I have a '71 super that I've been working on for about a year now. This is my first VW, so I'm learning as I go. I'm not a fan of stock so I'm looking to have fun with this and work within the resources I have available.

Here's where it was at about 2 month's ago.



I'm going to go through all my progress that I've made on it later on. Right now it's getting late, and I gotta work early.

Have a good one!
Derek
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Old August 23rd, 2016, 05:39 AM   #2
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Default Re: New Guy '71 Super

So I picked up this car about a year and a half ago. I swapped it for '66 Dodge Monaco rag top. The monaco had no engine or tranny, no interior, no trim what so ever, and the rag top was in rough shape. Despite the front and back being hacked off the bug, I got the better end of that deal for sure.

Here's a few shots of the day I picked it up. Previous owner was going to make it into a baja bug. As I got into this bug I quickly learned he had no idea what he was doing.



As you can see they hacked the front off to to try and make their own bugeye front end. It was made of galvanized sheet metal and muffler pipe that was booger welded together. I will try and find a picture of that if I have it. Was a real treat to look at.



The back was also cut off. The bug came with a full fiberglass baja kit for a standard beetle. So the back was good, but the front was useless. Also came with tube front and rear bumpers. I ended up selling the baja kit because I was planning on getting regular fenders and taking back in that direction.

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Old August 23rd, 2016, 06:27 AM   #3
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Default Re: New Guy '71 Super

I got the car in the fall, so winter wasn't far behind. I don;t have access to a garage or shop so there wasn't much I could do on the bug itself. So I worked on the engine and interior bits in the basement. Really didn't like the high back seats that came in the 71 so I decided to cut the headrest portion off.







I was a little concerned that I no longer had any support at the top of the seat so I welding in a piece of flat bar. The seat felt pretty sturdy without it, but I felt better having it in there. I also capped up the top of the pipes.



I was originally going to put the seat foam back on, buy covers, and just put them in to look like an earlier model, low back seat. But the future plans I had for this car called for something else. I'm a big fame of "rat rod" cars so I wanted to do something a little different with the seats. When I was putting them together I had the seat assembled with no seat foam on it and I was really liking the way the bare frame and exposed springs looked. So I had to figure out a way to cover the spring so I could actually sit on them. I use foam interlocking floor mats to lay on when I'm working under my cars, and they are fairly comfortable so I figured why not give that a shot. Cut them to shape and attached them with some zip ties I had laying around. Worked out pretty good. Seem comfortable while sitting on them in the house. We'll see how it goes when I'm actually driving though. And the whole deal only ran me about $15.







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Old August 23rd, 2016, 06:48 AM   #4
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Default Re: New Guy '71 Super

Next up was the shift knob. I scored a sweet resin greaser Frankenstein monster shift knob at a car show and that basically set the whole tone for the car. Colour wise the car is going to end up black and green. That's why I went with the green zip ties on the seats. Also the reason I wanted to do a stitched look on the seats. I had some cool threaded spikes that a buddy grabbed me from work, no idea what they're actually used for, but the threads were the same as the shifter so they make the perfect insert. I had also used them to cap the top of the seats.



Just had to cut the spike off the top so it would be flush for the hole I had to drill.



Ended up working perfect. Just used some heavy duty construction adhesive to hold it all together.



All that was left was a little primer, paint, and clear.





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Old August 23rd, 2016, 07:00 AM   #5
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Default Re: New Guy '71 Super

Got lucky this year and we had an early sprint so it was time to get to work. First this I had to do was get the bug sitting back where it should be. The previous owner had it all jacked up for the baja look. They made some spacers to put on top the struts to lift the front suspension. Funny thing was the car had lowering struts that were lowered 2" and rather than putting it back up he made these spacers and stuck them in. worked out well for me, because when i took them out the car was sitting 2" lower than stock. Which is where i wanted to be. I will probably go lower, but we have some rough roads around here so I will have to see how that goes.



Before shot with the lift spacer in.



After with it out. Made quite a bit of difference in how it sat.

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Old August 23rd, 2016, 07:37 AM   #6
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Default Re: New Guy '71 Super

Managed to find some fenders and a hood in my local area and order a new front apron to get started on rebuilding the front. The below picture is just the fenders bolted to the body and the apron bolted to the fenders. looked like things were starting to come together!



Then I got to pulling the rear seat and carpet out...









I knew the heater channels were rough, but was hoping the floors were in good shape. Didn't get lucky there though. took nothing to stick a screwdriver through them. Hell there were some spots you could just stick your finger through. also the rot behind the rear seat was way more than i though. So I knew it was time for the body to come off and I had a little more work than expected.

Luckily for me there was another body in way nicer shape than mine just a few hours away. I just happened to jump on Kijiji (site like Craigslist in Canada) and someone had posted up a body for $300. Came with everything except a windshield. Heater channels were shot, which was to be expected. Me and the buddies headed up there the next day with a trailer.







The doors were pretty cool. Previous owner had taken out the vent windows and put in full glass.



Body looked like had been taken care of pretty well, and whoever was doing it before was going for a california look I think. All the trim holes were filled was set up for a different antenna, some of the dash switches were taken out and filled in. The bluish look in the paint isn't all the reflection of the sky. it came with a pearlescent paint job. That will be getting changed shortly after the car is on the road.
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Old August 23rd, 2016, 07:53 AM   #7
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Default Re: New Guy '71 Super

Next job I got onto was the wiring. I decided to clean it up, run my own dash switches, and update the fuse panel.



I found this cool blade style fuse panel at the auto parts store and worked with that. I was Eliminating some circuits so it ended up having the right number of circuits for what I wanted to do.



Bottom diagram is the old fuse panel layout and the top one is set up for my new panel. The layout is pretty close to plug and play. Just had to add some jumpers and make a few changes.



Still need to do some cleaning up, but at least i know everything is where it needs to be and works.

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Old August 23rd, 2016, 08:00 AM   #8
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Default Re: New Guy '71 Super

Made myself a sweet reverse light out of a vintage bike light, and a hanging LED lamp I had. Going to mount it somewhere near the bumper.



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Old August 23rd, 2016, 09:35 AM   #9
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Default Re: New Guy '71 Super

Time to start sorting out heater channels and floors. I looked into just buying the repo parts and putting them in. Cost was a big factor for me. I knew I could just build what i needed for less than half of what I would've spent. On replacement bits. after a bunch of time sitting, staring, and researching I settled on a plan. This is where things start to come away from the bug being stock. I decided since I won't be running this car in the winter that I can just make some heater channels out of 2x4 steel. I know it would end up dropping the body a little but barely enough to make any real difference.



Heater channels came out good so now it was time to line everything up on the body.





The original plan was to build the chassis and floor pans the way the buggy guys do. Build the outter edge out of 2x1 steel, run 1x1 across for support, and then put in a flat sheet for the floor. As I was sitting and staring at my heater channels I realized I can just save myself a bunch of work by making the car a unibody car. Instead of making my heater channels, and the chassis 2 separate pieces and bolting them together. I can build my chassis with the heater channels I already made, set the body on and weld it all up. I have no future plans of taking the body off.

So this past weekend I got to work on the chassis. I've got a good start on the passenger side. Before I cut the floor pan out, I set my heater channel on and lined it all up with the original floor plan. The core of the chassis was all in good shape and solid so I can work right off that. I had to do a little bit of rebuilding on the front. The top where the heater channel had bolted down was a little soft, but the bottom channel part was good and solid. I just used some 1x2 C channel and rebuilt the top. I had to cut the height down some and it fit in perfectly. I know my welds are ugly, but they're solid, so I'm happy.



The back was all in good shape so all I had to do was clean it up and weld the rail to it.

I got the passenger side heater channel/frame rail all welded in.





The plan form here is to run 1x2 C channel braces from the bottom of the outer rail to the tunnel in the center of the chassis for support, then put in a flat sheet of steel for the floor. I know the floor is going to sit a bit higher than stock so I will address things like the seats and the pedals when I get to those. I'll also be adding some tabs to the outer side of the frame rail so I can still mount running boards.
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Old August 23rd, 2016, 11:21 AM   #10
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Default Re: New Guy '71 Super

I wanted to clean things up on the dash and mine was poorly hacked and for a stereo and gauges. I saw that you can order a 1 piece dash panel that you can mount that was blank so you were free to do whatever you want, but read that they didn't fit well. For $10 buck I just made my own. I still need to drill holes for gauges and cut out the stereo.



I didn't want to run the stock switches so I sat down did some drawing and ended up with 5 toggle switches for everything I need. 2 for lights (running/dash, headights, high beam is stock), 2 for wipers (on/off, hi/lo), and 1 for hazards.



I ended up putting the mounting tabs for the speedo on the front side of the dash. I had these skull license plate bolts that had led eyes, so I used them to both mount the speedo and each one is a signal indicator. I'm going to end up painting the ring around the front black because the dash is going to be green.

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Old August 23rd, 2016, 12:18 PM   #11
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Default Re: New Guy '71 Super

Changed out the steering on the bug for a Grant wheel that I grabbed off a '79 Chevette. The foam of the wheel was pretty moldy and starting to to deteriorate so I wanted to cut that all off and recover the wheel. Best solution i could come up with was to wrap the wheel the way boat wheels are wrapped. I used masonry twine to wrap the wheel with, because it would give me a good tight wrap and not be overly bulky.

Was an awesome idea...until about 4 hours in and i was only at this point...haha



I stuck it out though and I'm glad i did. Wheel was looking pretty cool. all that was left was to figure out how to cover the spots where the spokes were. I ended up having to do a loose loop around the spoke then loosely threading the twine over the wheel and under the loop. Then I had to pull it all tight and tie it off.



Once I got tall the spoke spots all done I was stoked with how it turned out. To seal the whole deal I'm going to coat the twine in clear resin.

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