Starting with...tail light housings, license housing, hood handle, door handles, hubcaps and most of the dash. After I get another radio plate clip and a lock for the glove box, the dash will be done. I thought I did a good job of labeling and keeping track of my parts when I took the car apart......I was wrong. I had trouble locating some of them, and also remembering exactly how everything goes. (My old pictures are helping me with that some.) If I ever do another car someday, I will be much more organized with the old parts.
I am feeling overwhelmed again - so much to do all of a sudden!!
The seat covers are on. The seats are in the car. The door panels are in. The armrests, door handles, and window cranks are on. The check-rods/seals have been installed. The door weatherstripping rubber is 80% finished. The rear kick panels (below the rear seat) are covered with cotton and installed temporarily in the car - waiting to be covered with vinyl. I made my own template and then cut them out of some of that real dense cardboard that sometimes get used as a backing to a small cabinet. My boys were excited that the car finally had seats again! They wanted to try them out, and of course we had to get pictures! (last 2 pics above)
I forgot to put the seat belts in with everything else (oops), but they're in now. Pic top right.
Note: I used a heat gun to smooth out the wrinkles after the covers had been installed. I happened to own one that I use for golf club repair - it wasn't like magic, but it did help.
The front bumper got mounted today. I had not been looking forward to this job, and now I remember why. It was a pain to get everything to line up properly. But after some tweaking and some grumbling, I got her on there good. The bumper was purchased from WW. Great quality, but kinda spendy.
I drove the car around the block a couple of times - put 1 mile on the speedo.
It is now insured for it's restored value, and ready for Spring/Summer driving. : )
This whole project took approx. 3 1/2 years from start to finish. 3/11/05
Parts installed as described above plus the mechanical gas gauge.
* The hood release/lock mechanism is pretty clever. It really works slick. The key for the hood release inside the car still works, too. It took me a good while to get everything to line up properly, though.
Today I got the driver's mirror installed on the door hinge, the quarter windows cleaned up and working, and the newly chromed convertible top latch plates installed. It was a nice day, so I got some pictures outside.
I've got all the windows back in and working. I it obvious that Volkswagen wasn't overly concerned about the ease of window installation. If there is some trick to this job, I don't know it. It was difficult getting everything to fit back together in the door. I decided not to "restore" the window frames after all. They do show some signs of age, but will do for now. Actually, they don't look all that bad. The quarter window rubber, the wing window glass seals, and the big seals that attach to the A pillars have now been replaced.
Both wing windows needed the top chrome pivot and bottom chrome mount pieces glued back on. They were both loose. I didn't have any kind of press, so I considered a few different ways to do it. I ended up covering the glass with rags, then wrapping duct tape around them - squeezing them together from top to bottom tightly - squeezing the upper pivot mount onto the glass while squeezing the bottom mount on at the same time. (I used contact cement) I let them sit for over 24 hours, and it actually worked well...a bit crude perhaps, but simple.
The windshield was a challenge for me, and the chrome molding was the problem. Getting the rubber on the window is simple enough, but getting the molding into the thin channel in the rubber was difficult. It's physically hard on the hands and fingers, and it also stressed me out. I was concerned about accidentally bending the molding out of shape (any significant bend would pretty much ruin it), scratching the glass with the end of the molding that I wasn't working with, and breaking the glass itself somehow. The job took about two hours in front of the TV - yikes. Getting the window in the car is pretty simple. You stuff a piece of something thin and <i>strong</i> like chord or twine down inside the only groove left in the rubber (all the way around - overlapping a bit), then have a friend apply some pressure to the outside of the glass while you pull out the twine - which lifts the rubber lip up and secures it over the metal lip of the car. The problem is the chrome molding. After the windshield is installed, you'll most likely have to "adjust" the contours of the molding to match the contours of the car - mostly in the corners. A chrome strip that doesn't have the same curvature as the car will result in gaps in the corners, and the outer lip of the rubber will not lay against the car properly. This part also stressed me out. I used a technique that I've seen others use...I created a small piece of flat wood with a slightly rounded nose, covered the wood with a rag so it wouldn't scratch the window, laid it flat against the windshield, pointed the nose towards the curve that I wanted to modify, slid it down until it stopped against the rubber, and tapped the end with a rubber mallet hard enough to influence the curve of the molding. After breaking my first windshield, I learned to be very careful with this part...
I had the shop that made both of my windshields put a new piece mirrored glass in the rear-view assembly for me, too. After some hand polishing, it turned out pretty nice. The sun visors also cleaned up nicely.
Time to get the carpet installed...
Some shots of the completed car on a nice winter day...
The body chrome is now on, the antenna, and the rear fender beading. Check out the reflection in the last picture above - cool.
Along with the wiring, I've got the tail lights, license plate light, front turn signals, headlights, and wiper motor all installed and wired up. Put on the horn grills, too.
The window scrapers w/ chrome molding are now all installed. It wasn't a bad job - just some marking and cutting. The scratch-factor is very high, though. The trim clips that stick down from inside the chrome moldings are perfect little scratch tools while you're trying to install them. I was careful enough with mine, but putting some type of temporary protection down along the top of the doors wouldn't be a bad idea.
I also switched out the new Brazilian fuel gage face plate with the original German faceplate. (I had replaced my original broken gauge with a new one.) It read "Gasolina" instead of "Tank" and bothered me a little bit, so now it reads "Tank" again and looks like the original German one.
Radio installed today. I ended up making my own radio plate clip...turned out great. Since I had one already, I copied it - made the new one out of similar thickness sheet metal. Only cut myself twice.......
I made a little bracket out of sheet metal, covered it with vinyl, and mounted it with the oil temp gauge and tachometer under the dash. I wanted them kind of "out of the way", but still in sight from the driver's seat... this was the solution I came up with. It's just kind of hanging there right now. I still need to center it more precisely, and wire them up.
The rear bumper installation was similar to the front, but it took longer. I wanted everything to fit perfectly, including the grommets, so some minor modifications were made to the bumper brackets ensuring proper alignment.
The top frame was mounted back onto the car, and the boot was installed over the frame. Pretty good color match between the outer wheel and the boot, huh? The top itself is the exact same color and material. I have yet to decide about the top installation...am still doing research. <i>For the moment</i>, I am considering getting the parts from Chucks Convertible Parts and doing it myself. However, I plan to drive it a little bit first the way it is.
I will soon take the car to my paint guy. He had promised to fix the unavoidable scratches that would occur during the reassembly, and detail it, too, upon completion. Actually, I did pretty well as far as scratches go...I only made a few.
After that, I will have my insurance company appraise the car at it's restored value, so I won't get 1964 Bug blue book if something should happen to it. Then, she'll be ready to hit the streets on a semi-regular basis.
There are still a few things I want to get...a package tray, mud flaps, carpet kit for the trunk, and seat belts for the rear seat. I'll probably get all that in a week or two.
I was looking through some old pictures - here are some, just for comparison...aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The running boards are on, the hood release tube and lock mechanism are installed and working*, and I've started with the gas tank. For now, it is just sitting there, but will have it completely installed next session...along with the steering box covers, brake fluid res, and washer bottle.
Mounted, wired, and working. Lots of wires for two little gauges...I included the little wiring schematic I drew up to install them.
I had painted the wiper arm assemblies at first - trying to match the old silver/gray paint that I believe was the original color... Now, had I wanted to mount them on a carnival ride, they would have looked great. There was just too much metal flake in the paint I bought. They stood out so much, they mind as well have been bright orange. Somewhere during the process of removing that paint, I thought I'd try to <i>polish</i> a small area - just to see what it would look like. Five days later, they are completely polished and done. Tedious work, obviously, but satisfying. They turned out nicely, and blend in well with the rest of the shiny pieces on the front of the car.
The difference between the 2nd and 3rd picture above is about 4 days...
I made some brackets and got the mudflaps installed, and also ran two new wires from the engine compartment up to the trunk. I plan to move the oil temperature gauge up to the cockpit as well as a matching VDO tachometer. They are both fairly small, and have the vintage style faces on them. I plan to mount them below the dash somewhere out of the way.