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August 67 Karmann cabrio beetle.
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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
...and just a quick mock up of the gauges in cardboard so I can start thinking about a proper wiring loom for the extras. I can't decide whether the FastFab 3 gauge panel should be painted to match the car, or black/grey to tie in with the clock. I only did a very quick spray in the old colour to get an idea here, as the final colour, while probably similar, isn't 100% decided yet.



I also noticed that the end trim pieces on the panel aren't a match for the trim on the clock (haven't checked against my glovebox trim yet), so they may need a bit of re-shaping when the time comes.
 

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August 67 Karmann cabrio beetle.
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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Before installing the kickwell reinforcing panels, everything is getting epoxy coated and weld through primer protection. While that's being sorted, we re-fitted the doors to ensure the fit of the a-pillar gussets is good (they're part of the same panel).

We bolted the front wings on just to see the alignment with front panels. Looking good.




 

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August 67 Karmann cabrio beetle.
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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
More metal going in. This time it's the kick panel strengtheners/door opening gusset or "lower cowl reinforcement panel" as Karmann called it.
It's all the extra bits like this that were obviously considered necessary when building the cabrios but many of the DIY cabrio kits ignored. Even with the way this car was before work started, the body still felt as stiff, if not stiffer, than some sedans I've been in.










That's also where most people put the speakers in a beetle. Maybe I just won't have a stereo in here. We'll see.
 

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August 67 Karmann cabrio beetle.
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Discussion Starter · #46 · (Edited)
Left side also progressing nicely, but no pictures for you on that as (apart from having a hole for the footwell light) it's same again.

Instead, here's some progress on the gauges. I decided to rub back the paint test and got a cool "fake patina" look.



That's not the look I'll be going for on the car, but I kept it anyway and did the black on the reverse side. It's actually a slightly grey colour to match the steering wheel (over a lightly textured finish). I think I prefer this.



And the steering wheel.



It's left over from my old type 3, which is now long gone. I fully restored it then it's just been hung on the wall ever since, so I may as well use it. The horn push has had the black paint in the centre polished off internally to give a kind of crystal effect. I like this look on its own, but it will also allow me to run a temperature warning lamp and shift lamp behind (super bright LEDs) while being otherwise hidden.

On the dirtier side, and it is pretty disgusting right now, the gearbox has come back with me to be cleaned up and refreshed as required.

 

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New to this thread and just read all the way through.

I see quite a few restoration threads that just make me cringe. Poor workmanship right through to downright dangerous.

This however, is superb! Well done! Do you do this sort of thing professionally? If not, you should.

Oh and I love the idea of removing the paint behind the horn press to fit a shift light! If this appears on my build, it's totally coincidental....... lol
 

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August 67 Karmann cabrio beetle.
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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
Thank you, and if the horn push mod becomes a new trend, that's fine with me.

Looking forward to seeing more work on "the special". I've really admired your work, so that means a lot. While I accept perfection isn't necessarily attainable, I think it's always best to try, however much the re-checking, measuring and adjusting annoys others. Knowing when to stop and step back for a while can sometimes be the real skill - I know for a fact I won't be doing the paint, well, not on the bits you can see anyway.
 

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Thank you, and if the horn push mod becomes a new trend, that's fine with me.

Looking forward to seeing more work on "the special".
Once I have finished my beetle I will be back on the Special. The beetle is now mostly in paint, so just a matter of putting it back together.
My daughter wants me to take her to her prom in the Special. So that's 8 months to finish it........ gulp!
 

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August 67 Karmann cabrio beetle.
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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
A fair bit has happened sincee the last update. It may look like we're getting close to the finish line, but believe me when I say looks are decieving.

We got the roof frame back on to check general condition and alignment of the frame and wood. A little work needed, but overall, we're happy.

In a bit of bad planning, the gearbox is currently being re-finished, the front beam is in pieces, and we were wanting the engine in to check fit. Ideally, to do this we needed the car back on the lift. So, we borrowed a beam and gearbox, got it rolling, then fitted the engine.







With such extensive metal replacement, non-standard engine and a mix of panels we wanted to check clearances for the exhaust, engine seal, tinware, etc.
Huge relief, it's looking good.


 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
Happy with the fit and clearance. we got the wings off, exhaust out the way, and the lightly tacked in panels were more solidly fitted.

Note, final welding is still a way off on much of the back end, just in case a bit of adjustment is required later.
Also, it's admittedly more fun making new progress than filling in between welds a bit at a time to avoid heat build up and warping.









The eagle eyed will also notice different bumper mounting panels to the earlier test fits. We just weren't 100% happy with the pressings on the 1st ones so decided not to use them.
 

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Happy with the fit and clearance. we got the wings off, exhaust out the way, and the lightly tacked in panels were more solidly fitted.

Note, final welding is still a way off on much of the back end, just in case a bit of adjustment is required later.
Also, it's admittedly more fun making new progress than filling in between welds a bit at a time to avoid heat build up and warping.









The eagle eyed will also notice different bumper mounting panels to the earlier test fits. We just weren't 100% happy with the pressings on the 1st ones so decided not to use them.
Really enjoying your progress updates, nice work!
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
Thank you both. The photos don't really do justice to all the time taken checking, adjusting, and aligning before we get to the stage where we're tacking in and taking the photos, but anyone who's done this (or even more minor repairs) probably knows it's the preparation that takes time and matters most, but doesn't necessarily make the greatest photos. We're (mostly) loving doing the work and solving problems, and it's nice to know you're enjoying seeing the progress too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
Luckily, we had a body cut for this repair. Unfortunately, it didn't go forward quite enough to cover all the required repair, but it does leave an area that will be very easy to fabricate a patch for. Initial tacks done; next we're going to be starting on the long job of finish welding the rear end.



 

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
Max at EVA Resto builds very nice beams (amongst other things).

I decided to go with one of his new 2" narrowed beams for a mild tuck (the Fuchs don't need more) which should work well with the CB Performance dropped spindles which are just getting cleaned and painted. He also supplied narrowed leaves, skid plate, and narrowed tie rods with new ends (not pictured). I've also cleaned up the trailing arms, powder-coated, and new German ball joints have been pressed in.







Meanwhile, I've also finished the gearbox refresh. Mechanically it was pretty good anyway, having been rebuilt not long ago, but it looked awful.
As it was out, I replaced all the seals and gaskets anyway to be sure. The CSP disc brake caliper mounts just needed a light clean, while the axle tubes were acid treated for rust then epoxy coated in chassis black. The gearbox casing was stripped, acid etched, then grey epoxy coated (just for a change from black or bare metal). The new KYB GR2 shocks were also colour matched to the box.

New heavy duty genuine (grey) front and rear mounts plus mid mount kit were fitted (I may change snubbers from red urethane to HD rubber as I'm not a fan of urethane for noise and lifespan).

 
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