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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After a long time looking we finally purchased ourselfs a Beetle. I got this 1968 Semi Auto off here and I went down to Devon last week and drove her back to London. I was praying she would make the journey and the car had done hardly any miles in the previous two years.

Here are some photos the seller sent me before I went down there, I had to buy off spec and photos and the journey was too much to do more than once.

















 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·








It looked a bit rough and it needed a good clean but there didn't seem to be any major issues so I decided to go for it and head down and buy it.

Simon seemed an honest bloke and the car has 12 months MOT so it would at least be a rolling project car.

Stu
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The journey back to London went fine but the engine got very hot and I had to stop a lot along the way but I got home fine and even had the car up to 70 a couple of times on the motorway (most of the time was spent cruising at 55 in the left lane). The smell from the engine is stinking and noxious.

I took some photos this evening as the weather was nice.











Here are some close ups of the engine, as you can see it's missing some parts.









This has to go:



I'm not too sure I like the steering wheel and also the pedals need to be changed as those feet things are hideous:

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So it's going to be a slow burner of a project this one. first task will be to service the engine as it is in bad need of some TLC. All the fluids need changing and it's filthy so a good clean is in order.

Next the gear stick needs looking at as it's a bit stiff. Need to source a new carpet set, all the window rubbers need replacing as they are perished and the back window leaks in the rain (luckily I now have a garage to store the car so it's not exposed to the elements).

But all of this is on a very very limited budget and with limited knowledge so it's going to be a massive learning curve. Also in buying a Semi Auto (which must be one of the last few left in the UK) I have opened a can of pain sourcing parts etc.

so where is the best place to get window rubbers first off?
 

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Nice beetle! It looks like a great basis for a running project as it seems relatively unmessed with and isn't covered in bodged patches from what i can see.

:cool:
 

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im going to sound silly now, but how does a semi auto work?
Do you still have to shift gears without a clutch?
 

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so where is the best place to get window rubbers first off?
Try the for sale section on here, or GSF in Brixton opposite Tesco on Acre Lane. I'd recommend Cal Look rubbers - have a look at my '58 fake split thread to see how they look, they look easier to fit than the old school rubbers with the fiddly metal chrome bit in there.

Failing this try VW Heritage or eBay.

Also, steering wheels for '60s bugs are easy to come by at shows and will look lovely, remember to get a boss too!!
 

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Theres no cheap way of fitting window rubbers believe me, the GSF ones are nasty and even the Heritage ones are crap, I have some fitted to my 68 and they didn't even last a full year before drying out and cracking:(
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
im going to sound silly now, but how does a semi auto work?
Do you still have to shift gears without a clutch?
It has 4 gears - L, 1, 2 and reverse. In most situations you only need 1 and you can roll off from there most town drive will use 1. L is used to low gears so towing and going up hills etc. 2 is used when you increase speed (over 35/40). To change gear you just lift your foot off the accelerator and change into gear. Easy peasy.

Works very well and this is quite a nippy car which I wasn't expecting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I haven't updated this thread in a while as I have not been getting much done with the car.

I have done a complete service on the engine (I still need to do the ATF fluid but it looks OK for now) and changed everything that needed changing. I need to do another oil change as it's already dirty. The oil that was in there was like tar so I expected it.

So I got round to clearing out the garage and moving some things around so I would have some space to get at the bodywork.

I am struggling to get the front seats out. I can't get at the screws up against the centre tunnel. Any tips?

I took the running boards off and I wish I hadn't:

Passenger side:



Big hole:





Drivers side:



Big hole



So what is my best option to sort these holes? I want to do as much as possible and I am looking to get a welder. So are these rust areas an easy fix?

Here is captain chuckles piloting:



The gutters, the back of the car are the worst and the rest is fine.





So can I get away with cleaning the rust and sorting it filler? Or should I cut the back out and replace them?
 

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Looks like a great project!
Agreed get rid of those foot pedals and replace the wheel with a nice D -ring?
Refering to the pic from last of the right gutter, you need to cut and replace as it has already rotted ;) as far as I can see.
Great to see a semi Auto bug :)
Alex
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Didn't get anything done today. I clean the back yard and cut the grass which took too long.

Anyway the plan with this bug is to get the rust sorted, the pictures above show the worst of it so hopefully I don't have too much to do. The bottom both doors are a little crusty so I might have to cut some rust of them aswell.

The inside will require a good bit of work, the seats need new covers and padding. The lining it fine till the back window where it's rotten where water came in through the windows. I need to sort a carpet set but I am going to put down some sound proofing first.

Outside I am going to have a go at painting it myself (either roller or hvlp) after I have sorted the rust.

I need to source new bumpers as there is a back bumper on the front and both are a bit rusty.

So the rust, anyone like to give me some pointers about what I need to do? I am OK to try welding (when I get a welder) but I need some advice about what to cut out?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I only got an hour or so to work on the car tonight but in that hour I made some pretty depressing discoveries.

I first got the passenger seat out which was a pain in the balls as it was jammed but some gentle persuasion with my unjamming tool got it out. I then removed the tar like crap that was on the floor (which I can only presume was some sort of primative soundproofing) and this is what I got:



It's all surface rusted where water got under the tar.

I then pulled off the bits of carpet that was on the sides and it got worse from there:







I then noticed this load of silicone:



which revealed:



a previous owner had cleaned up the drivers side and put rust bullet down so there was no carpet or tar on that side but there was carpet and a panel for the speaker when I removed them I found:





So I am pretty pissed off now. It was bad enough when I found the holes in the channels but now I am out of my league. I don't even know where to start with these holes.

I will get the drivers seat and back seats out tomorrow night and see what's happening back there. I am not looking forward to that.
 

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A handy tool to have is a wire brush bit that you can attached to a drill. It's basically a drill bit with a wire brush on the end. You can use this to wire brush all the rust away (to an extent). And you can wire brush old paint off and coat with new rust protecting paint.

Nice car, sorry to hear of these little surprises - but given time you can sort these issue out.

:) Best of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I got the rest of the interior out last night and gave it a clean up and a hoover (black bag full of crap from inside) so it looks neat and tidy now. It's not too bad at the back. The lining is completely rotten so it will need to be replaced completely. Also the seat covers are crap and need replacing. The original seat covers (which are under the cream ones on the back) were black but I think I will be changing the colour.

I will get some pics up tonight of the car after the clean out.

Any ideas on colours for the car? I am going to repaint it, the wife likes savannah beige but I'm not too keen. I will be doing this on a budget so the headlining will be a GSF job which will be white but I suppose the headlining makes no difference to the colour of the rest of the car.
 

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Sorry to say but it looks like you need a new pair of heater chanels and other associated repairs.

Depending on your budget and the length of time you intend to keep the car I would go for Genuine parts and not the cheap stuff which is a PITA to fit and often doesn't last -GSF seals have leaked from the first time they were installed, engine mounts failed in months...

Status VW have been the most consistant with quality over the years and provided me with the best part for my last resto, I'm using them again on the current project.

My advice, get the mechanics and body sorted then move to the paint, interior and chrome..

Good luck, Semi Auto's are lovely cars to drive. :)
 

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Sorry to say but it looks like you need a new pair of heater chanels and other associated repairs.

Depending on your budget and the length of time you intend to keep the car I would go for Genuine parts and not the cheap stuff which is a PITA to fit and often doesn't last -GSF seals have leaked from the first time they were installed, engine mounts failed in months...

Status VW have been the most consistant with quality over the years and provided me with the best part for my last resto, I'm using them again on the current project.

My advice, get the mechanics and body sorted then move to the paint, interior and chrome..

Good luck, Semi Auto's are lovely cars to drive. :)
Agree with this, although to be honest its pretty good for its age as those heater channels are original. You can can fit repro heater channels although I prefer genuine ones as they are so much better quality, but you can only get the late ones. The hole where the silicon is, is probably due to the drain tube for the air box or the air box itself not being present, so water is getting in via the grill in the bonnet. Replace this and a small repair to the hole and it will be sorted. Good luck with the resto, semi autos are cool.
 
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