News & BLOG

Project #Super71 - One Rusty Frame Head

This particular VW Beetle came into my life back in 1996 when my mechanic decided we needed a promotional car to take to the local VW shows and cruise nights. The Bug was not 100% when we fixed it up back then and a lot of corners were cut to insure we had it on the road by the summer on 1997. Fast forward 24 years later and those trouble areas that were "Patched Up" back then were only getting worse, but until I flipped the chassis upside down to remove those "Repairs" I wasn't sure what I was going to have to work with.

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Project #Super71 - Floor Pans & Tunnel 1.0

After working on some small jobs, it was time to move on to something a little more complicated. In fact, I wasn't even sure how this part of the project was going to go. It was time to attack the chassis. As you are well aware of by now, the bottom 12" of this car was complete mush... so what did that mean exactly for the floors, tunnel and frame head? It was time to find out.

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Project #Super71 - Goodbye Gas Heater Hole

Project #Super71 - VW Beetle Gas Heater Topper

This is a pretty short entry. I figured it was a good time to fill in the hole in the front wheel well where the exhaust from the factory gas heater would vent. We had removed the original gas heater back in 1996 and since I didn't know how to weld back then I simply riveted some metal over the hole and covered it with filler. I have to admit that was a hack... but it did the job.

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Project #Super71 - Strut Brace Repair

Project #Super71 - Strut Brace Repair Topper

The strut brace was already removed earlier. We had to drill out all the old spot welds and that process left us with a bit of a mess. Before we can weld it back in place we had to do two things. One was already completed in my last blog post and the second was to clean and repair the actual brace itself. We used a wire wheel to remove any old paint and rust, then we used a hammer to correct the miss-shaped metal. After that we were ready to fill in the holes that were created during the removal process.

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Project #Super71 - Front Left Wheel Well Skin

It's been a while since I have posted any new content, so I thought I would bring everyone up to date with the front left wheel well. The last time I posted we had just cleaned up the inside metal that makes up the internal support structure for this section of the Bug. It was now ready to be covered with a new metal skin. Most of this repair would be covered with a nice replacement panel I picked up from California Import Parts (CIP) that would have to be cut to fit the area in question.

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Project #Super71 - Front Left Wheel Well

I was able to get back into the garage and start working on the driver's side front wheel well and firewall area on the Super Beetle. This side of the car was pretty much the same and the passenger's side. Thankfully I now have the required experience and templates required to get this job done. I used the same templates and just reversed the folds in the metal after they were cut out of my sheet metal. I used an air chisel to hack out the old rusty metal what was wedged under the bracket for the steering box. After making some small adjustments I was able to properly fit the replacement metal in place.

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Project #Super71 - The Green Door

I wasn't looking for doors at Hershey in 2018, but I came across a solid set that had very minimal rust and were in better shape then the doors I had, but included perfect window regulators. I picked the pair up for only $50. How could you go wrong? Anyway, after I repaired the lower door post on the right hand side I was finally able to install them on the car. They fit pretty good but I do need to make some adjustments to the entire door jam and hinges once the body is once again attached to the pan.

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Project #Super71 - Right Rear Wheel-Well

I had a feeling this was going to be a problem area. You could see a strange buckling from the inside of the car behind the rear seats. This area was covered by seam sealer so the rust was not visible until removed. On the outside the metal was full of holes along the reinforced area of the wheel-well. I thought that maybe I could salvage the area without a large repair but I cam to my senses and ordered a new replacement panel from CIP.

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Project #Super71 - Right Side Door Post

Once I had the front wheel well in looking good and the rear quarter panel welded up to the heater channel I knew that the right side of the bug was now pretty solid. I could then remove the door on the right side and get to work on the lower post. This section of the car was pretty rough and it was poorly repaired in 1996 (I know since I did it wen I was pretty much a kid). I had a replacement panel to weld in place but it didn't have the inner section that the door actually bolts to. Thankfully that section was is pretty good except one of the bolt holes for the door hinge. I had to make some repairs that included tapping the heavy gage steel so the hinge bolt had something to screw in to. For years this door only used two bolts.

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Project #Super71 - Right Rear 1/4 Panel

As this project continues to march forward we find ourselves moving to the right rear quarter panel of the 1971 Super Beetle. The rear quarter panel on this Bug was a mess. The old heater channels were removed by hand and the metal that was supposed to be connecting the body to the channels were extremely thin and repaired a few times over the last 25 years. You could see that a rust hole at the bottom of the door jam and it wasn't going to fix itself. My best description for this VW and especially this area was "Mushy". There was nothing solid, so we were going to have to cut away any rusty or thin metal in order to get to something solid.

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Project #Super71 - Wheel Well Skin & Strut

Project #Super71 - Wheel Well Skin & Strut

Now that the front right section of this wheel well is nicely welded together and solid as can be, it's time to cover up all our hard work. It's really not that sad however. It's kind of exciting. I always like getting to a finishing point on any section of the Beetle. This bizarre area of the Super Beetle has eaten up a lot of time. It will be nice to cover things up and move on to a new section.

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Project #Super71 - Front Right Wheel Well

Project #Super71 - Front Right Wheel Well

As I was ripping this rusty part of the Super Beetle apart I couldn't help think about how strange it was. I spent many hours just thinking about it and looking at pictures to try and make sense of what this area of the bug looked like before It all rusted away. I searched online and had trouble finding solid examples of the inside workings of the inner section of the front wheel well area. I had no worries that I could fix it, but I wanted to copy what ever VW was doing back in 1971. After a few weeks I realized that VW really didn't have an idea what they were doing here either.

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Project #Super71 - Odd Ball Repairs

Not every spot on the Beetle can be easily repaired. Unless you completely disassemble your Bug you may not be able to replace metal that is less than favorable. In some cases it's simply not in the budget or time table. This was the case with Project #Super71 and the metal that is under the gas tank and sandwiched between the front firewall and the back of the spare tire well. In my case the metal was not completely lost, but could use some help.

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Project #Super71 - Heater Channel Assembly Install

Project #Super71 - Heater Channel Assembly Install

This weekend I was able to spend most of the day in the garage. The weather is starting to warm up slowly and that helps inspire me to tackle some larger projects. For the last few weeks I have been working away at chasing out the rust from the body or the Beetle and preparing all the mounting points for the heater channel / firewall assembly that was pre-assembled a couple months ago.

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Project #Super71 - Firewall Brace Repairs

Project #Super71 - Firewall Brace Repairs

Before we can install the front firewall we need to repair and prep the firewall braces for this 1971 Super Beetle. The braces on Project #Super71 were still pretty solid for the most part, but some patch work would be required. These firewall braces are important since they will help support the firewall and all the additional metal that all come together in this spot to support the front of the car.

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News & Blog

Project #Super71 - One Rusty Frame Head
This particular VW Beetle came into my life back in 1996 when my mechanic decided we needed a promotional car to take to the local VW shows ...
Project #Super71 - Floor Pans & Tunnel 1.0
After working on some small jobs, it was time to move on to something a little more complicated. In fact, I wasn't even sure how this part ...
Project #Super71 - Goodbye Gas Heater Hole
This is a pretty short entry. I figured it was a good time to fill in the hole in the front wheel well where the exhaust from the factory ...


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