LVOUTLD
   When my wife heard this bug was for sale she went absolutely nuts until I agreed to purchase it. This bug  was one of the first cars she ever drove...it used to belong to her favorite teacher, who sadly passed away a couple of years ago.
  
   The teachers family decided to sell the car about two years after her death, and it hadn't been driven or run for years before that.. so it's basically been sitting and rusting for the better part of ten years.
  
   When we got it, we had the leaking gas tank replaced. New hoses, belts and plugs were put in...It runs, but it's in really rough shape. There's oil all over the engine, smokes a lot and seems to run really hot..this may just be because it's air cooled, but since I'm new to bugs.. I don't know what's normal and what isn't.
  
   Speedometer and headlights stopped working soon after we got it. As near as I could tell, the speedo cable got crimped when the gas tank was replaced. I've tried straightening it out, and now the speedometer does move again...I wouldn't say it's accurate, but it works. The headlights have me stumped...I've already posted a message about that in the SB forum.

   Now, of course my wife has this vision of restoring it, but the truth is, I'm no mechanic and between her, the kids, and work, I don't have a lot of time to work on this poor thing, nor do I have $14-20K to have somebody else do everything for me. I'll have to settle for trying to do as much as I can.. a little at a time. I'll post a few pics to show everybody, and see what you guys think of it.

   It's in my garage hooked up to a battery charger, there's a slow drain somewhere and I've got to put the charger on every two weeks or so...I've disconnected the (still working) dashboard clock to help with that.
 Well, here's a few pics.. I'll put it up on jack stands and get some pictures of the suspension and floor pans this evening. Honestly I think the rust is going to have to be the priority issue, if it's not already too late.

Some pictures here too : http://ourphotos.boldlygoingnowhere.org/main.php?g2_itemId=891
One day I thought I was being too hard on myself...then I thought, "Damn, that's stupid!"
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Wayne

Nice Beetle with your standard rust spots. I'm sure it's going to be a beauty once you're done. Good luck!

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LVOUTLD
   Thanks for the encouragement Wayne. I just got done reading this guys web site, and I'm amazed at how great his bug came out. I'm also freaked out by how much work was involved. Being new to bugs, I've ordered some books and am trying to psyche myself up for the challenges ahead.

   I know I wanted to have this done already - hopefully this Wednesday I'll get a chance to get the car up on jack stands and get a better look at her from underneath.
 
  Sorry to hear about the hdd issue...keep your chin up though, your forums are proving to be invaluable to many. I wouldn't have been able to figure out a simple headlight relay problem without them.

One day I thought I was being too hard on myself...then I thought, "Damn, that's stupid!"
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MY72BUG
Welcome to the world of VW or in the case of your wife, welcome back.  I undertook the restoration of a 1972 Bug convertible and started with a whole lot less car than you with fair automotive knowledge but no knowledge of VW whatsoever.  It took me four years, two body shops and around $ 9000 to get MY72BUG on the road.  Since then there have been refinements and finishing touches but cars are never really done.  Some things I would suggest right away:
1. Buy a copy of John Muir's book " How to Keep your Volkswagen Alive" and a Hayne's manual.  The two books will be a big help to your efforts.
2. Check out the web site for CIP1.  They are a good source, but not the only source, for Bug parts.
3. See if there is a VW club anywhere near you.  There you will find more sources for parts and a lot of good advice.
4.Decide what you want to do with your Bug.  You want it to be reliable and safe but do you want a 100 point restoration show car or a summer cruiser.  The one on the "guys web site" may be much more restoration than you really need.
5. Bring your problems to the forum.  The Samba and All Air Cooled are two other forums.  Somebody somewhere has seen your problem.  The same stuff crops up again and again.
6. Find the web site TYP15.com  This is the international VW Beetle Convertible registry run by Michael Berger in Krefeld, Germany.  Enter your car in the registry and show it to the whole world.  The site is in 6 languages.  Currently there are 1065  convertibles registered from 37 countries.  It doesn't matter what stage of restoration you are at.  Go ahead and enter.  You can update your entry with more pictures later.  #330 in the registry is MY72BUG   Good luck with your project.

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LVOUTLD
Well, ... It's Wednesday...and as promised, I managed to get some pics of the underside of the beetle. After the chores and yard work, I finally got a chance to escape to the garage.

  Then I realized I had no idea where to jack this thing up from...with this car, the fun just doesn't stop, does it? So I took a guess and put the jack under the center of the frame in the front and jacked it up from there. I guess I need a bigger jack -  because with mine fully cranked, I couldn't get the bug more than inch off the ground, and had to set the jack stands in the lowest position.  When appropriate, I'll put it up on my ramps in the future for a little more clearance.

   Well, here ya go...My first look is yours as well.. I started at the front passenger side and went towards the driver side and around the car. I tried getting shots of the suspension, heater channels, floor pans, and some of the body panels. Opinions and advice are greatly welcomed here....


One day I thought I was being too hard on myself...then I thought, "Damn, that's stupid!"
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MY72BUG
Having worked on a Superbeetle convertible I can feel some of your pain but really what I see mostly is surface rust.  When you stand on the door thresholds ( the heater channels) is there any trampoline effect?  When you knock on the centres of the floor panels do you get a crisp metalic knock or a porous thud?  The reinforcement rails under the heater channel are special for the convertible.  They give the body its rigidity that it loses when it loses the enclosed shell effect of the roof.  Your heater channels and reinforcement rails look solid.  On my car there were actual holes through the rails and pieces could be readily removed by hand.  The whole works had to be replaced and that is very specialized work by a skilled body man.  Amateurs need not try because when they finish, the doors won't close squarely and the alignment will be murdered.  Is the spacing at the top of your doors the same as the spacing at the bottom?  If so, I would say that you should go nuts with an angle grinder equipped with a coarse wire wheel.  Buff off all of the flakey crap and look for pin holes becoming large and continuous.  If this doesnt' happen and the car has all of the needed rigidity then concentrate on the upper shiney side.  Take the car to a trusted alignment shop and have them look under it to evaluate your suspension components and where they attach to the frame head at the front of the car.  If they are cool with it then great.  When all of the underside passes these tests take the car to a place which does oil spray rust proofing and repeat yearly.  No tar preparation or waxy compound will rust proof a car like oil spray.  The rust will never advance again if you do this routine.  I speak from experience here as I live in Goderich, Ontario the home of the biggest salt mine in the world.  We are on Lake Huron and this is heavy snow country.  Our town gets salt from the mine for free and we drive on a layer of the stuff that makes our town look like it has white gravel roads.  MY72BUG gets its oil spraying every September even though it does not see winter.  My daily drivers are a 1977 Ford Granada and a 1993 Grand Voyager.  These are both virtually rust free - believe it or not.
     When you jack up your 'vert use that reinforcement rail under the heater channel.  If the application of a jack starts to crush the rail - you have a real rust problem with it.  This is pretty heavy gauge stuff and should take a jack or a hoist without receiving a mark.  Oh, and another place to look for rust of a bad sort is in the spare tire well.  Mine had the lid of a 45 gallon drum tack welded in there!  I was not amused.
    All in all, I would say that your machine doesn't look too awfully bad.  See what a wire wheel will reveal and don't sweat the small stuff, kill it with oil spray.  Dan (MY72BUG) in Goderich - the real home of rusty cars.



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LVOUTLD
Thanks Dan, Like you I live in a northern environment...just head west to the other side of Lake Michigan....I'm hoping to get the rust under control before winter sets in again.  I guess I got lucky..the spare tire well seems to be OK...either that or I got gypped out of a metal drum lid...

I was slightly relieved when I looked under the car yesterday...it wasn't as bad as I feared it would be. There were only three spots that I could immediately see were a little bit more than surface rust. Two spots are on the front suspension (both spots can be seen in the first photo, immediately to the right of the bracket, and directly below the bolt head just to the right and below the first spot). And the other location was a small spot on the rear passenger floor pan (third photo from the end). These areas will probably be the first things I clean and inspect.

I picked up some supplies today..wire brushes, wire wheels, rust remover, penetrating oil, booze, etc...

Trying to prioritize, I don't know if I should focus on the frame/chassis rust first, or the body rust...I know eventually, I'm going to have to hit it all...but the body rust that's starting to show through the paint scares me...I have never in my life intentionally scraped/sanded a car's paint job. I'll probably just treat what I can until I get the car to a body shop...and get over being afraid of the (already shot) paint job.

  As far as the frame goes...after cleaning off as much as I can, I will coat the surfaces with a rust converter, then re-coat with a primer/sealer like por-15. I'm hoping to put in an hour or so over the next few nights..not much, but better than nothing..until I get a few days off of work in row...(but then I'll need to re-roof the house...but thats for another board all together)

I'll take pics as I go along, and I'll post those in the "Super and Standard Beetle - Body" forum, as that seems to be the more appropriate place to have that kind of discussion.






One day I thought I was being too hard on myself...then I thought, "Damn, that's stupid!"
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