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fla2smoker Sun Apr 15, 2012 7:37 pm

Long time lurker, I have owned bugs in my younger years, and have done one pan off resto 23 years ago.... My oldest son is about to turn 13 and said he wanted an old bug for his first car. I was apprehensive at first, but after giving it some thought for a few months and discussing the costs with the CFO (Wife), we decided that I would build one first, and if he shows interest in working on it with me then in two years, we would purchase a second one for him to work on. My how times have changed. I looked long and hard for about six months here in Florida and the entire southeast for something that was mostly rust free for under $3k, not happening.... Then I did research on the replacement parts that are available and the complaints outweigh the positives. I finally took the plunge on a mostly original (Ok body, pan and engine are original) 66. I am in the disassembly stage now and should have the body off the pan in the next week or two. The deeper I dig the more I realize that I only saved this car from the crusher. All of the normal rust spots, check, I have them, wiring done by a teenager with only a pack of wire nuts and some generic wires, check I have them. Lack of maintenance and care, check that box too. Regardless, I am going to bring this poor little original black '66 back from the dead. The original engine is still there, has good compression, someone attempted a 12 volt conversion and changed the flywheel and realized it doesnt fit and left it for dead. I will post pics soon.
I have to replace the floor pans, the heater channels, the front and rear apron, the luggage tray, the napoleon's hat, the lower front frame head, and who knows what else. At least the doors and the main body appear straight and relatively rust free. I originally thought two years would be my time frame to complete this car but the deeper I dig the more the costs go up. Oh well, I will pass it on to my sons. I have the tools and most of the skills to complete this car, the timeline is infinite. I want to do it right, not concourse, but as close to original as is possible.

estolze Sun Apr 15, 2012 7:52 pm

good project for you and your son....pis please of you progress

fla2smoker Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:18 pm

Here is the link to photos so far:
http://s1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc471/fla2smoker/66%20vw%20bug%20resto/
I havent taken the photos of the frame head damage yet. I will wait until I get the body off. I know, I need to clean my garage...

fla2smoker Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:39 pm

After I brought it to its new home

The worst of the rust (I thought).

After a few days of removing parts and "trying" to preserve parts. BTW if you pull the washer bottle out at an angle, it will tear the bottom nipples that have held it in place for 40 plus years. The original brake fluid reservoir is cool, only a torn cap, until I attempted to remove the brake fluid hose that was stronger than the plastic. OK, OG request soon.....

drscope Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:55 am

You have 3 years. Better get cracking!

You may want to consider buying the BugMe videos that apply t this car.
http://www.bugmevideo.com/

They are a great resource for "how to" and show you just what you need in the way of parts, materials, tools and skill to do the things you will be doing.

As for your project plans, a few thoughts came to mind. You said YOU would fix this one up and if your 13 year old showed interest then you would get another for him.

Maybe a better idea would be for the 13 year old to fix THIS one up - with your help and direction of course. And then latter find another one for you.

A project like this can loose steam very quickly, and most young kids only have so much interest. if he is involved right from the start and knows this is HIS car, he may stick with it long enough for the project to take hold and make it to the end.

But if he knows he is doing all this work so Dad can have a nice car, he will probably just spend his interest playing video games or looking at porn on the net.

Get him involved and keep him interested knowing he has that carrot at the other end of the project.

fla2smoker Fri May 04, 2012 1:51 pm

Thanks Dr. for the advice! I do have the bugme videos as well as just about every restoration manual including the 61-65 Bentley that I could get my hands on. We try and limit the time we spend on it so it stays exciting. I tend to go out and work on the tougher stuff after the wife and kids go to bed so that the expletives are not heard. Here is a couple of pics of where we are now:

Almost Ready to pull the body off the pan:


A lot of attention is needed here:


Pile of parts that need to be repaired is getting larger:

Ghia Nut Fri May 04, 2012 4:25 pm

Where did you get the beetle from? I looked for about 2-3 months. They go fast around these parts, I was looking around Jacksonville area.

I'm also going to echo what drscope said, make it his car, there's no telling how much motivation I had for my ghia to be my first car... had my dad helped it would have been but he was always to busy with work. Yeah daydreaming of taking a girl on a date in the ghia...

fla2smoker Fri May 04, 2012 5:44 pm

Ghia Nut wrote: Where did you get the beetle from? I looked for about 2-3 months. They go fast around these parts, I was looking around Jacksonville area.

I'm also going to echo what drscope said, make it his car, there's no telling how much motivation I had for my ghia to be my first car... had my dad helped it would have been but he was always to busy with work. Yeah daydreaming of taking a girl on a date in the ghia...

Ghia Nut,
I found it on CL in Sarasota about 5 minutes from my office. I was looking from Georgia to Miami and everything I was interested in was either way overpriced for what it was or gone before I could get there to look at it. This one kinda fell in my lap after I missed out on a '58 that was up near you. I will talk with the wife and see what she thinks about making this his. I think she wants it too........

Ghia Nut Fri May 04, 2012 6:56 pm

Im up in savannah if that helps, I just got a 59 even though I was looking for a late model. And yes what people are wanting around these parts is NUTS!

sportin-wood Fri May 04, 2012 8:05 pm

Should be a fun project. I have a '66 project of my own. I lucked out and paid $400 for it here in Texas. Mind if I ask how much $ that set you back?

fla2smoker Fri May 04, 2012 9:03 pm

sportin-wood wrote: Should be a fun project. I have a '66 project of my own. I lucked out and paid $400 for it here in Texas. Mind if I ask how much $ that set you back?

I paid $1600 for it, which is absurd in the central and western U.S. but if you saw some of the cars people are firm on the price for here in Florida, it was actually a decent price. I am ok with what I paid for it. It took a few nights sleep and looking at a few other cars before I finally pulled the trigger. I think this time of year the prices go up because of two factors; 1. People get their tax returns ( I always owe :( ), and 2. everyone wants one for fair weather cruising. The best prices I saw were right around the holidays but I was being too picky and forgot about the tax thing. Will I ever sell it for what I will have invested? Probably not.
My goal with this car is to get it back as close as possible to original as far as the body is concerned. My wife wants original wheels, original 1300, and original looking interior. My oldest son wants it to look original but cool, I want to have a dual purpose weekender, one weekend I put in the original drivetrain and show it, the next weekend I put in a 250 hp drivetrain and drive it.
So my plan is to remove the rusted areas, fix or replace the dented areas and have the body painted black, install as close to year 66 red interior as possible and completely overhaul the drivetrain. The car has too much neglect to ever be worth restoring to concourse level. I would just like to get it back to a beautiful, safe, rust free car. I will spend an insane amount of money to do this but I will know it is done right and that is what is most important to me. Most importantly, my oldest son and my middle son will learn how to use tools, how to use their minds to solve problems and spend some quality time with their Dad.

NCdad Fri May 04, 2012 9:51 pm

Welcome!

Subscribing to follow your progress, I am working on a '66 as well... currently redoing the brake lines.

It is wild what they sell for in different areas of the U.S.

sportin-wood Fri May 04, 2012 10:10 pm

$1600 isn't bad. I've seen cars in worse condition with asking prices close to double that! I'll be replacing my pans fairly soon as well. I'll be watching your progress and picking up useful info, I'm sure.

fla2smoker Fri May 04, 2012 10:18 pm

NCdad wrote: Welcome!

Subscribing to follow your progress, I am working on a '66 as well... currently redoing the brake lines.

It is wild what they sell for in different areas of the U.S.

It truly is!
Are you sticking with original single reservoir or are you upgrading? I cannot knowing my children will drive it and my dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde plans for the car. The reason I ask is do I need to just rebend or replace the brake line to fit a 67 master cylinder?

silvertonguedevil Sat May 05, 2012 12:50 pm

Good luck with your project. I'll be following along as I'm also building one from the ground up with both of my young sons. It's a blast!!

str8buggin Sat May 05, 2012 1:55 pm

I'll definitely be following your post here and watching your progress. I'm looking to sell mine in order to get another project and the one I have my eye on is in just as bad, if not in worse shape, than yours. Looks like you have a good solid plan of attack in order, look forward to your updates.

NCdad Sat May 05, 2012 3:12 pm

fla2smoker wrote: NCdad wrote: Welcome!

Subscribing to follow your progress, I am working on a '66 as well... currently redoing the brake lines.

It is wild what they sell for in different areas of the U.S.

It truly is!
Are you sticking with original single reservoir or are you upgrading? I cannot knowing my children will drive it and my dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde plans for the car. The reason I ask is do I need to just rebend or replace the brake line to fit a 67 master cylinder?

I had already purchased a single from Wolfsburg West... another member mentioned I should switch over to a dual MC... which is what I am planning on doing, and getting the '67 brake reservoir.

Rome Sun May 06, 2012 9:50 am

Black with red interior will be a beautiful combination, though I'd dread a black car without A/C in Florida! I hope you do stick with it and complete the car as your wife wants. Maybe it will be a treat for your son to drive when its done, as a change of pace to the inevitable "modern" daily driver he will pursue.

20 years ago my mom bought a condo up the road from you in Bradenton. She met a similarly-aged German couple in town who were original owners of a pearl white '61 Beetle. The wife drove it regularly as her only car, and her husband had a modern Buick or such. The wife let me borrow the car and clean it a bit when I'd be in town from NY. It was in good shape, no rust at all (always garaged) but had some dings. Of course it had the original 40hp stale-air engine. Had excellent, quick heat coming thru those solid heater channels during a cold spell in the early 90's. In the late 90's she decided to sell it, offering it to me first. I had over 4 VWs at home at the time so it was not wise for me to buy it, even though I had absolute confidence in driving the car at highway speeds back to NY. She soon sold it to somebody in town for like $1600. But no doubt such car is the great exception to the well-worn Beetles you'd find in FL.

Once you get your car going, the engine rebuilt; you can take it out on I-75 and floor it- with the 70mph speed limit you'd still be passing the foagies in their Fords in the right lane!

Hammarlund Sun May 06, 2012 10:44 am

Although this car is indeed in rough shape, if I read your original post correctly, it is a matching numbers car, and so is an unusual find.

I applaud your decision to keep it as original as possible. There are not many matching numbers cars left to be restored!

Bear this in mind when you are deciding what to replace and what to keep. In particular, I would never part with that engine, even if it cannot be used due to the case being worn out. Just having it around increases the value of the car!

It sounds like you don't have much faith in that twelve-volt conversion. You have of course two paths; restore the car to six volts, or re-do the conversion properly. As far as performance and reliability goes, there isn't much to choose from between the two; although IIRC twelve-volt lights may have more raw candle-power than six-volt ones, properly maintained six-volt ones are still adequate. Twelve-volt parts are certainly easier to find.

If you go with six volts, please let me strongly recommend an Optima battery. Stay away from generic six-volt batteries; they are mostly junk these days. I've told the story of why I feel this way too many times to repeat it here; a search should bring it up if you are curious.

fla2smoker Wed May 09, 2012 6:48 pm

Hammarlund wrote: Although this car is indeed in rough shape, if I read your original post correctly, it is a matching numbers car, and so is an unusual find.

I applaud your decision to keep it as original as possible. There are not many matching numbers cars left to be restored!

Bear this in mind when you are deciding what to replace and what to keep. In particular, I would never part with that engine, even if it cannot be used due to the case being worn out. Just having it around increases the value of the car!

The VIN on the body and frame match and the motor was built the same month as the car (Feb 66). We are waiting for the official word from the VW Museum but I am confident it is original. I haven't pulled the engine apart yet to see what size jugs are in it but, it came with a Solex 30 Pict1 carb. At least the carb and case are original or period correct at this point. All of the glass is sekurit with the exception of the windshield. The doors have me confused though. The doors themselves appear to be original to the car based on their color inside, yet the locks on the driver and passenger are round button. The ignition and doors all work with the same key, which is also period correct.
The only incorrect parts I have found so far have been the front seat covers, the front door panels and the drivers front headlight (adjustment screws not at 2 and 7).
I will have more to post in a few days. We are replacing the rear package tray and will share our findings, observations and plan of attack.



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