Love this thread, just discovered it and spent an hour reading it. I have an '03 (Bonita) that i bought just for the engine in '96....plans changed and i plated up to get it through the MOT it flew through for 3 yrs then failed majorly...
I started rebuilding it then had to move house and had no garage so the project stalled...just started mine again in January after getting a roof over her head.
I have been keeping a wiki log of it.. link here : http://www.thebughaus.co.uk/wiki/doku.php?id=bonita
It goes from bottom to top for ease of updating but it's a great record (for me) and keeps me motivated!
For the record...the strengthener plate under the pedals is 5mm steel. I ended up with some 6mm and got a 1mm machined off in the mounting area. Rock solid now! My old one looked like deep sea salvage!
I have a (some would say slightly sick) thing about 03s too...they are cast aside by the greater(?) Vdub community and a lot have already gone to the great scrapyard in the sky. Yet they are great to drive and still have the bug thing going on...it;s almost like a cross between a bug and a Type 3 from inside!
Anyway good luck with the build, look forward to seeing her at a show in the future...maybe i will have finsihed mine too!
Mine was pretty unmolested when i got it so ref points etc should be good. I have found that these aftermarket heater channels are not wide enough at the front...as seen in your pics. The remains of my old one flares out more to fill that gap against the inner wing.
Also if you need any advice on the bulkhead area, i've been rebuilding all of the individual panel pieces in mine...slow going but satisfying!
I binned those closing panel repair pieces and bought the whole rear outriggger pieces from VWH. Much better, heavier gauge, double skinned too as per the originals. They have the holes for the bakelite pieces but not the captive nuts/holes so you need to add those.