September 28, 2003

Front Reflectors

Today was supposed to be the day that we removed the gas tank, but it turned out that we were both a little too busy, so that will have to wait. So, I removed the front reflectors instead.

What I thought were rubber gaskets underneath the reflectors, were actually a wire conduit assembly. You can see the one on the left is relatively intact. The one on the right had already fallen apart and the wires were actually slicing through the conduit. The wires run through it from under the fender from where they leave the pan. There is a similar one for the headlights. These will be replaced with new ones.

Here is the front now, with the reflectors removed:

Posted by Valkyre at 04:04 PM | Comments (0)

September 23, 2003

The Things You Find Out....

...When you start to remove parts of your car....

I will start from the beginning. I decided to remove the tail light assemblies today:

The red plastic lenses are held in by two long screws. Unfortunately, the tail light lens on the left side was missing one of the screws. As you can see below, the lenses on our bug are in pretty bad shape:

We were planning to replace them with the European lenses that have the amber turn signal.

One of the things that you run into with a nearly 40 year old vehicle is that all the rubber is nearly disintegrated. You can see by the above folder just how bad the rubber gaskets are around the lenses. Not good if you want to keep moisture out.

This is how it looks with the lenses removed:

Next, I removed the reflectors, which involved removing one screw and sliding a tab out of a slot on the top:

As you can see, the wiring again is in terrible shape. Some were not even connected as I removed the reflectors. And, some wires broke at just the slightest movement. Is it any wonder that the tail lights didn't work sometimes?

This is how it looks with everything removed. So, you may be wondering about the title? If you look closely at where the lenses and reflectors used to be, you can see red paint. The original color of this bug is a dark blue. So, those had been replaced at some point. It could be that the fenders were replaced too. It's possible that this car may have been hit in the rear at some point in its life. But, we may be jumping the gun here. We will find out when the fenders are removed.

I also sprayed the last two bolts that are holding the tail lights assemblies onto the fenders. They were accessible from between the front of the rear fenders and the tires, similar to the bumper bolts.

Posted by Valkyre at 10:17 PM | Comments (0)

September 22, 2003

You Can Never Have Enough Books

Another book we have kicking around in the Haynes Manual for our particular car:

It's good to have at least a couple of different books when you doing general maintenance of rebuilding. Sometimes, details that can seem extremely complicated in one book, will be explained a little better in another. You can tell this book is well used. And, it came in very handy for what I thought I would be doing today:

I thought that I would be removing the gas tank today. I thought it would be a simple matter of removing the four bolts that I have circled here. Then, I noticed the thing in the center, with a line running to the gas gauge mounted in the dash. I tried to remove it from the tank, gently. No go. My other option was to remove the gauge from the dash and take the assembly out with the tank. Rather than do that, I consulted the Haynes book and realized that gas tank removal will be a little more involved and the bug will have to be raised and put on jack stands. Since I had other things I needed to get done today, I am pushing that off until next Sunday.

In the meanwhile, I removed the latch assembly from the front:

This is a shot of the car with the latch removed:

I also went ahead and started to remove the turn signal assemblies:

One screw held the chrome housing and amber lens. I panicked when I looked at what was still fastened to the car. I thought those two fasteners, that you can see on the faded chrome, were rivets. Turns out, they are screw heads and are held on by two bolts, under the fender. They were rusted pretty bad, so I am going to do my famous three day, three sprays of WD-40.

I also removed the headlight assemblies. One screw holds them on. I noticed as I was taking them out, and disconnecting the wires, that the park lamps had different connectors. The left side had the slide on type and the right side had the kind that you screwed down to hold. I wonder which one is stock?:

These are the rubber o-rings that were under the headlight assemblies. They were as dry as toast and will be replaced. (All the rubber is going to be replaced.):

This is how the car looks now:

Posted by Valkyre at 12:19 AM | Comments (0)

September 20, 2003

One Smashed Thumb Later

Previously, "Three's the Charm" when it came to screws coming undone after three sprays of WD-40, once a day. (Except for the front license plate screws). So, I tried to remove the rear bumper brackets:

The screws for the rear bumper brackets are located under the fenders behind the tires. There should actually be three locations for the screws, but, this was a non-stock bumper, so it was being held on by only two:

I couldn't get them to budge. I called Mike out, and he was able to "break" them for me, and then I finished removing them. However, usually after you have loosened a screw, you are able to finish removing it with your fingers. These fought to the bitter end. For leverage, I was using a torque wrench to undo the bolts. On one of them, because I wasn't holding it properly, and, not paying attention, I managed to smash my thumb between the wrench handle and the car. After some rather salty language, I was able to completely remove the brackets:

Posted by Valkyre at 09:19 PM | Comments (0)

September 18, 2003

Scary Wiring and Trunk Cleaning

I decided to clean out the trunk today. There are two reasons for this. One, so I could show a better view of the scary wiring. The second was because the trunk is sitting about 2 inches from the sidewalk and I was afraid of things getting stolen during the night:

So, I removed the spare first. That was the one thing that worried me the most about getting stolen. While it can be replaced, it might be expensive:

Then I dragged out a box and cleaned out the trunk. I found a Pinto hubcap, two sets of a pair of snow chains, an ahooga horn, pens, markers, a toothbrush, pieces of wire and a ton of trash. Now, it looks a little better:

Now, I could take a better shot of the nightmarish hack job wiring. The previous owner had converted the car from 6 volt to 12 volt and added an alarm system. I don't think anything has worked right ever since. We've had occasions where the tail lights stopped working, along with the headlights. And, it's not fun fumbling around in the dark in the middle of nowhere, trying to get your lights working again:

You will notice in the upper left you can see the contents of the glove box. That may be the original, I don't know. But, it has been crumbling steadily over the years, exposing more and more of the contents. So, I cleaned that out while I was at it:

Since the metal strap that was supposed to be holding it from behind wasn't fastened down on one side, I just shoved the, now empty, glove box through into the trunk. You now have a nice view of the street:

And, while I had the trunk lid open, I sprayed the inside of the latch/handle assembly with WD-40. That will be next to come off:


Posted by Valkyre at 10:16 PM | Comments (0)

September 17, 2003

The Books Came!

I had ordered the books back on September 3rd, from Rocky Mountain Motorworks. I found out on the 6th, that they were on backorder. But, they were restocked and delivered. I received them yesterday. Mike has been looking through them and said they are both excellent for what we are going to do. He has already been using, How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive to compare vin numbers and engine block numbers. Our bug was built sometime between August and December of 1965. And, the engine was built in 1971, and was originally a 48 horse 1600cc. With a generator and not an alternator. These books will come in real handy.

Posted by Valkyre at 08:01 PM | Comments (0)

September 16, 2003

Even More Things Coming Off

Even though I had been hitting the license plate bolts for the front plate with WD-40, the screws would not budge. The first attempt twisted the blade of the el-cheapo screwdriver I was using. The second screwdriver, a little stronger, was chewing up the head of the screw. I figured that these screws were probably never turned once in 37 years and weren't going to turn now. So, the license plate will come off with the bumper:

The bumper bolts came undone just fine. There were six of them. Two, on each side, were holding the little "bumperettes". This is a shot with the bumper removed, but the brackets are still on:

To get at the brackets, the spare tire has to be moved and you can get at the screws on the inside:

This is how it looked when we removed everything:

Posted by Valkyre at 10:01 PM | Comments (0)

September 13, 2003

More Things Removed

After several applications of WD-40, over several days, I removed the rear license plate:

After that, I removed the rear bumper. The rusty bolt gave way, no problem:

And, Mike folded it, in a feat of strength and tossed it unceremoniously into the trash:

I also sprayed the rear bumper bracket where it is fastened inside the car. Access was under the rear fenders. The passenger side was relatively easy to get access to. But, the driver's side was a little more difficult due to the truck being parked so close.

Posted by Valkyre at 09:31 PM | Comments (0)

September 10, 2003

More WD-40

Didn't do much today. Just sprayed both license plate brackets and the bumper bolts with more WD-40:

Mike suggested that I spray the bumper bracket bolts too. To gain access to the ones in front means that the spare tire has to be removed:

If you are observant, you will notice that that is a Pinto hubcap in the trunk, along with a set of tire chains, that don't fit and an Ahoogah horn. Along with some other junk. There will be better pictures of that disaster of wiring at the back. We purchased a new wiring harness from Rocky Mountain Motorworks. That will be installed after the car is completely stripped down.

Here is a picture of the bolts, after the spare tire is removed:

Posted by Valkyre at 09:05 PM | Comments (0)

September 08, 2003

Crackling Floorpan


A couple of years ago. Mike noticed that the floorpan in front of the rear passenger seat crackled somewhat. Figuring that the original floorpan had rotted through, he placed a board over it and dropped the carpet back over the board.

Yesterday, while Mike was checking out the floorboard, he noticed that the board he had put down was starting to collapse also. So, he pulled it up to get a good look at the rotted out floorpan. As he pulled it up, this is what we saw. What looked like some small holes:

Then, he starts to work his fingers through the hole, just to see how extensive the rot is:

That's when he noticed that the floorpan felt kind of weird. It wasn't metal!!! What he was poking through was a board that someone had put over the real rotted out floorboard some time before we got the car. So, Mike pulled up the second board, and we could now see the full extent of the damage:

After the car is stripped completely down, we will put in a new floorpan.

Posted by Valkyre at 08:49 PM | Comments (0)

September 06, 2003

Just Some Little Cosmetic Changes

Unfortunately, the books I ordered are on backorder. So, I figured while we wait, we could do some other simple things. First, I wanted to remove some non-essentials:

So, the poor faded Jack-in-the-Box antenna ball was removed, along with the roofrack.

I won't be removing the bumpers right away. But, both bumpers had rusty bolts holding them on. So, I wanted to hit them with WD-40.

I sprayed the bolts on both bumpers, the bumper brackets and, I also sprayed around the bolts on the license plate frame. I will do it again tomorrow. After the third day, they should be easy to remove. This is a shot of the bolts on the front bumper after they were sprayed:

The rear bumper is not the original and will be tossed after it is removed.

Posted by Valkyre at 09:48 PM | Comments (0)

September 04, 2003

Some Recent Before Photos


Went out today and took more before pictures. Took some exterior and interior shots. You can see just how ugly this little guy is. There will be some in the future of the engine and engine compartment. And more will be taken as we go along with the restoration for comparisons. Anyway, I saved the rest in a Yahoo Photo Album. You can check them out here.

Posted by Valkyre at 08:43 PM | Comments (0)

September 03, 2003

Before We Begin


We are not afraid of asking for a little help. I ordered these two books from Rocky Mountain Motorworks. They are one of the better VW supply shops that I have seen. I love the way you can utilize the catalog on their site. You can order a paper one via snail mail. Or, you can have a CD catalog sent via snail mail. Or, view their catalog online, with Adobe Acrobat Reader, or download it and read it at your leisure with Adobe. I chose the latter. We have a couple of their paper catalogs kicking around, but I couldn't find them. So, I just ordered via the internet after finding what I wanted on the computer. They have quite a selection of books and manuals, so I will probably be ordering more as we go along.

Posted by Valkyre at 08:45 PM | Comments (0)