Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Life Begins at Forty

Well, it's forty years after my car left VW as a beetle, fifteen years since it was turned into a speedster, nine years since I bought it, and one year since I was degreasing the underside with the body off...... it's finally MOT'd and back on the road again.Ta Da

Magic Carpet

I think the carpet looks magic! .. and the footwell nolonger screams beetle...

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Daylight Rubbery

An aftermarket rubber mat for a real porsche 356 costs over 250 squid. With 20 quids worth of rubber mat roll and the dremmel I think Ive done a good enough job.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Tea and Biscuits

It's much more fun fitting carpet than turning spanners! - but I'm not looking forward to sewing the edge trim. I went with biscuit colour square weave carpet for a more authentic look.

I made a sloping ledge from aluminium sheet to relocate my main speakers behind the seats, and moved the smaller door speakers to the footwells.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Beat It, Beat It, Beat It, Beat It

I finally made a start on the sills to cover the heating plumbing...


Leaking gearbox oil - I took the rear disc off and everything looked fine but I made an extra o ring as oil had clearly gotten out somewhere before.

Weak Handbrake - The essential tool for taking the handbrake off is a magnet on telescopic rod - for when it all falls apart and drops into the chassis tunnel!
The manual says not to press the button when dismantling - and I swear I didn't!

Ball Joints and Steering - Out with the old : Worn Ball Joints and Sloppy steering gone!

In with the new : Double Wishbone and rack&pinion steering thanks to Red9Design.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Balls! MOT Failed...

Well ball joints actually, excessive play? they should have seen the use I got out of the last set!

Lowered beetles are going to go through standard ball joints, there are longer aftermarket ones which are meant to improve their wear.

Its a nasty job replacing them, I felt they were good enough to pass - I could go to another MOT place and they pass, yet I really should have done them whilst the body was off.

Although the top torsion arm on oneside also has alot of play in/out I'll see whats going on there when I take the arms off.

It also failed on the handbrake being too weak, I had such a mare fitting the shortened cables for the new aftermarket discs that I ended up with no adjustment (not realising the handbrakes pivot is held withan E clip). Ill take the handbrake off this time and leave full adjustment after shortening the cables some more.

That wasnt it though, the short journey to the MOT and theres gearbox oil on the rear disc!

Its come from the paper gasket in the mount at the wheel end of the axle - so Im hoping Ive just not torqued the 4 bolts enough when I converted to discs (the other side has a tiny bit of gearbox oil showing on the gasket but not enough to drip - So Ill tighten both sides to be safe.)

A couple of advisory notices were play in the steering and headlights are LHD? So some tape was required. I bought the US spec sloping headlights as a unit in the past as they are alot cheaper, and transfered my uk lenses. When rebuilding them with the new chrome rings I used the shiny new looking lenses I found in the garage - not thinking about them being US spec!

It was threatening to rain when I went for the test so I wasnt very bothered that I wasnt on the road yet....well not much!

I've since cracked on with the heating, whilst it looks like Ive ram raided a plumbers shop at present! It will be sweet when I've covered the pipes with fake sills and fitted the sliding heater vents in the footwell....
My main aim was to prevent rain water which puddles on the windsill and flows down the window vents from getting into the sills. My old rusted subframe had this problem and rusted from the inside out.

Oh and the doors... the doors fit flush at the front now, but still arent quite right. I'll worry about them when everything else is sorted though.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

The Dukes of Hazzard

I'm getting a bit bored of putting the doors on and off....

However, at least now they open/close (with some carefull effort)..

I can see the issue now, the hinges arent reaching their closed position.

My 'accurate' measurements were taken assuming the hinges closed.With a cardboard box for support, its a fiddly job getting the doors on and off, yet I'll need to get the hinge spacers reduced again! I was wondering if Dukes of Hazzard entry/entrance is allowed for the MOT?.

The brakes need another bleed too 8(

I'd hoped to fit a retracting seatbelt on the passenger side instead of a static belt, but the subframe is recessed from the body, so it wouldnt fit correctly. Thats put an MOT off till I get a static belt for the passenger seat.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Rain rain go away

For the first time in months, Im able to drive in and out of the garage instead of needing to push.
The ignition problem was another corroded wire - a few inches passed the accessible point I was testing its current.

My measurements for the door hinge spacers were a few mm over, however I was then
able to offer the doors up to get an accurate measurement. Now they are off being reduced about 4mm each. I should have them back on next week...
Once the doors are on, I should be ready for an MOT.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

The JB Weld worked a treat, albeit 7 hours later (though the weather was cool) the wipers are working again.

I needed to make a new earth for the license plate/reverse lights as it had rusted beyond use and replace a couple of bulbs,

also the front indicator wires had corroded beyond their ability to transfer electricity.

The earth to the front beam was also rubbish - but only myself to blame from replacing the front beam about 6 years ago. This time I drilled and tapped a hole in the beam to insert a stubby screw and have a proper earth - instead of washers and electrical tape!
I had expected to just reconnect the wiring loom where I had cut it and everything work OK.
Well with the exception of the horn, and a suspected weak battery preventing it from trying to start, everything else works now.

I suspect the body (with wiring attached) being sat on the ground through some rain and snow for several months was enough for the rust to take over.

Refitting the petrol tank was a very tight fit, I think I should have routed the speedo cable a little lower to have avoided it completely, but all seems fine, and I was pleased to see the fuel gauge work when I reconnected it.
Still waiting for the spacers and the repaired door hinge before I can put the doors on, not that ive been putting it off /grin.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

JB Weld

Having broken the wiper mechanism last week, I removed the wiper pivot, cleaned up the area for fixing and am now waiting for the JB Weld to dry.

I thought it would be a five minute thing, but the tube says 6 hours!

The rear subframe tray was overlapping the engine tray, after trimming, a new foam seal could be fitted. ..and I got around to replacing a split heater tube.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Transplant completed, patient in coma...

Whilst awaiting some new spacers for the door hinges (one of which is bent and needs to be repaired), I reconnected the cut wiring loom and managed to break the wiper mechanism (by activating the wipers with the mechanism obstructed by the windscreen stem! should have reconnected that ages ago!).

I still need to check through the wiring as theres a bad earth, I thought I had found it being the headlight connections corroded, but its just moved the problem. I spose I could do with a chesil wiring diagram as John Muir (Idiots Guide) doesnt have an immobiliser!

As far as the subframes concerned, the transplant is complete and was a success. In hind sight, using another makers subframe on a finished car is just not advisable. The main bodies may come from the same moulds, but there is alot of inner body fibreglassing to mount it to the subframe. I got lucky with the engine bay frame fitting, but that was about it....

Some of the subframe transplant issues:

cutting out the front fibreglass footwell from chesil inner body
the subframes footwell is longer as the steering column outer doesnt reach - needs sorting yet
cutting a couple of inches off each rear bumper arms from the subframe
replace subframes front bar for thinner chesil bar as it was obstructing everything behind dash
cut rear subframes catch support as it sat too high and stopped lid closing
cut bodies rear seat area as subframe support at rear was obstructing - again as if im trying to lower it too much, if anything it should be lower still.
Heres an update on the Chesil subframe, powder coated in 1994, rusted from the inside out and collapsing after 14 years:

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Elbow Grease

The hinge spacers which came off the last subframe...

I will need to try and try again to get the doors to fit nice and flush. More jobs done which wernt on the list though....

Sunday, 1 March 2009

A few more days like this will see it right...

Yet more jobs crossed off the list, and some which wernt even on it!

Did alot of dremmeling to remove the welds left from cutting the dash beam out, then after searching for some brackets to return the dash beam to its location - I cut the ones off the old subframe, and drilled/tapped them. - drilling and tapping went like a dream, mostly due to new drill bits and the multi speed drill which santa supplied, but also all the practice Ive had.

I needed to revise the brace Id previously made for the body to torsion bar, where it had cracked years ago, but now the body is attached to the front beam, the rear subframes attached to the chassis and everything lines up! /phew. The steering wheels attached (needs a little adjustment yet, but...

The seatbelt bolts dont quite line up, so thats some more unexpected work with fibreglass at some point.

I was thankfull for my notes for reconnecting the wires to the steering wheel, there seems alot for just left/right indicator.

Reconnecting the bonnet release didnt go so well as the cable was inside the sheaf and had fraid so didnt want to come out. Ah well, it cant all go well.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Throw those curtains wide....

The sun came out for a while, so I managed to get a few jobs crossed off the long list. It looks a bit like its on stilts at the moment from being jacked up at the rear...