Friday, June 17, 2011

Back from the Welder

After almost two weeks the Bug came home from the welder this evening. It took longer than expected but the repaired sections look great. I'll be posting additional photos and details of the work soon in the Body and Paint section. Here's a photo of the repaired front firewall:


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Suspension Rebuild

With the Bug still at the welder my plan for this weekend had been to take the front strut towers apart to clean every thing up, paint everything with a coat of POR15, and once the parts arrive, to rebuild them. Saturday morning I went by Advance Auto and rented their strut spring compression tool. Once I got home I got the springs compressed but then discovered I lacked the offset box wrench (22mm) needed to remove the nut at the top of the strut. I was able to borrow one from my brother-in-law later in the day but due to family commitments, yard work, and a crazy storm that passed through that knocked out our power I wasn't able to get back out there until this afternoon. On attempt #2 I discovered I needed a socket hex wrench bit (6mm) as using a regular Allen wrench doesn't provide the needed leverage. (One of the pictures in the Bentley manual covering this procedure should have been a clue.) So it's off to Harbor Freight tomorrow afternoon to get the tools I need. Here's a before photo of how the strut towers look right now:


Thursday, June 9, 2011

At the Welder

The Bug is finally at the welder getting patched up. Not long after writing the previous blog entry last month my father-in-law told me about a small body shop located a half mile down the street from my house. It's somewhat hidden from the road and in the almost five years I've lived here I never realized it was there. I went to talk to the guy that runs it and after several weeks of trying to schedule a time to get the Bug we finally took it down there Monday afternoon. I was hopeful I'd have it back by now as that was one of the issues with scheduling, that I wouldn't bring it down there until he was able to do the work therefore minimizing the time it would be there. (I won't lie, it scares and worries the hell out of me having it away from my garage.) But the shop owner (and sole employee for that matter) has been working on insurance jobs (his main moneymaker apparently) and hasn't gotten to mine yet. Supposedly he'll have it done by early next week but I'm not holding my breath. He does good work though and the price he's charging me is very reasonable so I can't really complain.

To get the Bug down to the welder my father-in-law brought over his motorcycle trailer. The picture below doesn't really show it very well but the fit was very tight. He had measured it a while ago to make sure it would fit but it ended up only being a couple inches of clearance on each side and less than two inches at the end. Had the Bug been any longer the rear door would not have shut. And had I been any fatter I wouldn't have been able to squeeze out the side after getting in the Bug to push it inside the trailer.


Along with replacing the front firewall the front sections of the heater channels and other smaller holes are being patched and the bent front apron is being straightened. I also opted to go ahead and replace the rear apron. The one on the Bug was hit at some point in it's life and covered with a very thick layer of Bondo which has since been bent and cracked. It was easier to simply replace it with a new one.