News & BLOG

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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Project #Super71 - Firewall Area Repairs

Project #Super71 - Firewall Area Repairs

As we mentioned in our previous post, we had a lot of rust to chase out of the body of this Super Beetle. The front firewall was a mess and after we removed it we had several trouble spots that would need to be repaired before we could move forward with installing the replacement firewall.

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Project #Super71 - Chasing The Body Rust

As many of you are aware, when you start removing rust from your Beetle it can easily feel like a losing battle. Thankfully there are a wide assortment of replacement panels available for almost every trouble spot and year. On project #Super71 we are chasing the rust out of the front firewall, heater channels, and rear cross member areas. These areas are tricky spots since it seems like everything connects in these locations.

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Project #Super71 - Heater Channels & Cross Members

When we first fixed up this Bug in 1996 we knew it already had some rough patches that were repaired at some point in the late 80's. Our initial intention with the car was to just fix it up and get it on the road. So because of that, and my lack of skills at the time, all I could do was cover up any really bad spots with some galvanized sheet metal, pop rivets, expansion foam, undercoating, and some amazing body filler work. I have to admin that I was impressed by the end result at the time but there was no way to was going to last forever. Fast forward 20+ years and here we are... finally fixing all those problem areas the way it should have been done the first time.

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Project #Super71 - The Perfect Engine

As most of you are well aware, THEBUGNUT.com has an ongoing hobby mechanic restoration called Project #Super71. We are restoring a 1971 Super Beetle and sharing the progress online with all you fellow air-cooled VW enthusiasts. During the process we started doing some research on what motor we wanted to install in this Beetle once the time comes (Always good to be prepared). When this 1971 Super Beetle was first rebuilt and put on the road in 1997 it was packing a 1835cc motor with dual 40mm Webber carburetors. We loved that old motor and we’re thinking of installing something similar, with a few more extras to go along with it.

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One or Two Carburetors?

It sounds like a simple question to answer, so why am I having such a hard time figuring it out? Most people in the VW Beetle community are one of two kinds... Stock or Modified. Let's face it... there are probably more of us that like to tinker with our VW's than there are who wish to keep them stock. My hat goes off to those who properly preserve the history of the car down to every metric nut and bolt, but that is a special kind of person. The rest of us hacks can't leave our Beetle alone. Many of us also want to make them lower, higher, noisier, more colourful, or faster.

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Project #Super71 - Safe, Secure & Straight

I was out in the garage again working on some additional preliminary jobs before I can get into the real work. This time around I was making sure the body of the Super Beetle was safely secured and wasn't going to fold in half as I attempt to replace the rear cross members and heater channels on Project #Super71. I am using the same system I used for the 1973 Super Beetle project, but this time around it's a little more formal.

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Project #Super71 - We Have Lift Off!

Project #Super71 - We Have Lift Off!

I had some dedicated time in the garage, and everything was prepared for lift off, but I have to admit... the car was was patched together way more than I remember back in 1996. It Must have worked however because the car is still with us today! I had to remove all kinds of sheetmetal patches that were holding the body to the pan with sheetmetal screws, rivets, filler, and undercoating. As I removed all the old body work I found all the old body filler from the previous owner.

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Project #Super71 - Prepare for Lift Off

Project #Super71 - Prepare for Lift Off

It's been 22 years since the initial "restoration" of this car. In fact... it was probably more of a patch and repair job than a full restoration. We worked with what we had and that didn't include a whole lot of proper VW restoration experience. Just a whole lot of pop rivets, self taping screws, body filler, and undercoating. Never the less... all that work in 1996 paid off. The car is still with us today and that makes it one more classic Beetle that didn't get scrapped at the junk yard. I will call that a win any day.

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Project #Super71 - Bag & Tag

Project #Super71 - Bag & Tag

We are continuing to work on ripping the Beetle apart when we have time. We seem to be doing a pretty good job taking the car apart and bagging and tagging all the parts. We don't stress about things too much, after all we have done this a few times, and after a while you just start to recognize what everything is and where it should go later. The problem is that if you don't strategically organize the small or odd ball stuff it may get lost in the shuffle. So if you are tearing your own project Volkswagen down make sure you put a little effort into organizing as much as you can. It will help you wen you start putting it all back together.

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Project #Super71 - Wheels

Project #Super71 - Wheels

As with all my automotive related tastes, they have evolved over time. What I like today is completely different from my youth. Gone are the days of anything extreme and too over the top. I still love modified Beetles, but I am not a fan of anything that is not reversible or kills the spirit of the car. What that leads up to is what many call "Period Correct" modification. For Project #Super71 I was searching far and wide for what I think would be the baest looking set of wheels that were not over the top and period correct. In addition, I always like like to have some type of story or history tied to them.

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News & Blog

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Steve's First Love
I don't have a VW but was a previous owner years ago, I love VW's of all sorts. I grew up around a lot of American cars but not until I was ...


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