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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi, new to this forum, i'm more usually on clubgti as my car is a mk1 golf. had a look around and cant find the answers to my problems, but found a lot of other useful stuff!

i'm mending a friends '73 beetle (herbie lookalike!) as it failed the MOT on a few things.....

there is rust on the front damper top mount, its not through to the actual hole for the damper strut top but the seam if you like is gone of the metal box section type thing. my friend who can weld is coming to do some other welding (rear subframe, front seatbelt mounts...not inspected these yet) should i get him to weld the damper mount up or is it wise just get a new axle beam - £98 from GSF it seems (with a bit of welding for the steering damper required??)

the other thing is that it failed on one of the upper ball joints, ive taken the brake back plates off and found all four rubber boots intact and in jacking them up and down and wobbling the steering knuckles i cant find any play in any. should i replace all four (might as well if im doing one i reckon - i dont have a press so they'll go to the garage) or leave them?

thanks for any help

Mike
 

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If the rust is confined to the seam at the top of the shock tower / mount, it can be welded. Remove the shock and rubber mount / bump stop and have a good poke around to find the full extent of the rot.You may change your mind.
Check the upper Ball joint by levering the arm up against the steering knuckle, you'll see the play. Remove the affected trailing arm, take it to get new joint pressed in, make sure it's pressed in the right way, take the rubber off, clean off the grease, and you will see the long oval hole in which the ball pin moves backward & forward. The new joint MUST go in the same way. As for your other welding issues, Seatbelt mounts, presumeably the bottom of the door B pillar, check that the rust is not all the way down the sill / Heater channel. It may just be terminology, but there is no rear subframe on a Beetle, so not quite sure what you mean.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
it seems its not too bad on the shock tower, the seams are all there they just got forced apart by the rust, will get my friend to just weld the seam back together

since one of the ball joints has gone is it reasonable to assume the others will go within a year or two (assuming they are all original) so i should change all four? the car has only done 60k miles!

couldnt find any rust at the bottom of the b pillar, but i felt back along the sill and it has rusted through all the way back under the rear seats, on one side theres a hole at the end through to the rear wheel arch and a couple of small ones through to underneath the car. will we get away with patching these up do you think, is this a common area of rust? what is the usual recomendation? the worse side is the one with the wiring loom, im going to have to take all these out arent i :-(

i'm confused about the subframe thing too, cant find any significant rust on the arms that go back and bolt to the engine ithought they meant these. They have also written rust in brake servo area, this car has no servo and i can't find any rust around the master cylinder either!

thanks for your help
Mike
 

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mike c said:
it seems its not too bad on the shock tower, the seams are all there they just got forced apart by the rust, will get my friend to just weld the seam back together

Yeah, chip out all the rust, squeeze the flanges back together and weld up.

since one of the ball joints has gone is it reasonable to assume the others will go within a year or two (assuming they are all original) so i should change all four? the car has only done 60k miles!

I wouldn't change all the ball joints as a preventative measure, they should last much more than 60K.

couldnt find any rust at the bottom of the b pillar, but i felt back along the sill and it has rusted through all the way back under the rear seats, on one side theres a hole at the end through to the rear wheel arch and a couple of small ones through to underneath the car. will we get away with patching these up do you think, is this a common area of rust? what is the usual recomendation? the worse side is the one with the wiring loom, im going to have to take all these out arent i :-(

It's a common rust area, it may be worth getting the proper repair panels instead of making a patchwork, have a look on Heritage site. You can gert away with unclipping the wiring from the heater channel, and lifting it out of the way whilst welding.

i'm confused about the subframe thing too, cant find any significant rust on the arms that go back and bolt to the engine ithought they meant these.

Maybe they mean the rear inner wings, there's a reinforcement panel with a mounting bracket which bolts the body onto the chassis, it often rusts between the double skin, but there is a good repair panel for that too.

They have also written rust in brake servo area, this car has no servo and i can't find any rust around the master cylinder either!

Maybe it's in the bulkhead above and outboard of the M/Cyl.

thanks for your help

You are welcome

Mike
:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thankyou

i obviously didnt have my eyes open when i was looking for the rust in the damper mount, it was behind the top of the damper, hole about 5cm diam in there, can this be repaired or is it a rebuild with a £98 front axle beam assembly?

found more rust underneath too, in addition to the holes in the heater channels behind the b pillars, mostly on the lip just outside of where the body bolts to the chassis i think - at the back of the front wheel arch and a bit beneath the door, whats the procedure, its corroded away on both sides of the vertical lip in one place just leaving the lip floating unconnected. since its not me doing the welding i'm tempted to put the front susp back together with what it needs (wheel bearings, ball joint, dampers+bushes, brakes shoes and flexi lines) and send it to the garage for the rust - what ball park figures should they be charging for what ive mentioned? does it sound like the whole heater channel should be done (in which case the garage is definately doin it!) or just some smaller repair panels? from the inside the heater channels look fine from the b pillars forwards.

Thanks again
Mike
 

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These kind of bodywork repairs will be vry expensive if you get them done in a garage.
You've started out the right way, getting someone to weld it at home, so you can do the time consuming prep, (time in a garage is big money), cutting out the rust, fitting the new panel ready for "Mr. Weld" to stitch it back together quickly.
Look at the repair panels available for all these areas, they will make the job so much easier than cutting and bending bits of sheet steel to fit in those complex corners like the bottom of the A pillar / front inner wing/ heater channel.
I would do what the MOT man needs you to do, then tackle the other stuff later.
That hole behind the shock absorber rubber mount is still easily repaired by seam welding a patch into the recess, (make sure there is room to refit the shock absorber).
Welcome to the dark side of classic car restoration :hangloose
 
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