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  View original topic: '69 Baja - Dark Earth Version Page: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10  Next
Dark Earth Sat Jun 04, 2016 9:51 am

Well, here's my 1969 Baja Bug. I bought it off Craigs List last November. The ad had these pics of the engine ...



and the interior ...



I originally wanted to just install a VW Thing front end and start driving it.
While installing the Thing front beam, I removed the front inspection cover, out of curiosity, and went on a tangent ...

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=645337&highlight=

I had to remove the clutch cable, accelerator cable, pedal assembly, shifter, shifter rod, rear inspection plate, and shifter coupler to replace the fuel line.

It seemed like every time I removed something, for the fuel line install, I found another problem, which I'll document later. My master cylinder is leaking. So, I want to replace the master cylinder and the long brake line that runs from the front to the back of the car. I want to install new seats before I install the long brake line, because there will be welding involved in the seat install, and I don't want to damage the brake line accidentally. The project came to a standstill because I needed a welder before I could go any further. Here's a couple of pics of it today ...




Dark Earth Mon Jun 06, 2016 11:47 am

I finally have a welder ...





It's not a real high powered welder, but I think it will work for what I want to do. I basically need to do some pan repairs and modifications. Plus, I want to build some bumpers and brackets. There's a bit of expense involved. I needed to buy the welder, cart, gas bottle, and have an electrician install this 240 volt receptacle.


Dark Earth Mon Jun 06, 2016 7:38 pm

I bought some Race Trim suspension seats with drivers side slider and passenger side tilt mechanisms. I also bought the tubular seat frames that go with them. When I tried to install the frame, I found a problem. I want to mount the seats further back and the stock seat sliders are in the way.



I used a grinder to remove the stock seat sliders.



I bought a spot weld removal tool to remove the remainder of the stock slider. You can see the dimples, where the spot welds are, after you grind everything flat.



Once all the spot welds were removed, I was left with little pieces that were really easy to grind away.



The previous owner had drilled holes in the pan to mount some seats and used tek screws to hold some carpet down. Thereís a lot of holes in the floor of the pan.



I bought a piece of brass.



Iím using the brass as a backing strip that the weld wonít stick to.



Once the hole is welded shut, I just ground the weld down smooth.



I just need to do this a couple dozen more times and I'll be ready to install some seat frames.

dustymojave Fri Jun 10, 2016 7:59 pm

Good job on the chunk of brass! Someone gave you some good advice. The welder should be just fine for building Bajas and buggies and hot rods and all sorts of other stuff.

Dark Earth Sat Jun 11, 2016 11:42 am

dustymojave wrote: Good job on the chunk of brass! Someone gave you some good advice. The welder should be just fine for building Bajas and buggies and hot rods and all sorts of other stuff.

Thanks dustymojave !

I started welding the holes up with .035 wire, which I bought an 8 lb roll of, and found that it was a bit much. I put the .025 wire that came with the welder back in, and found a good heat range.



I measured a battery tray floor pan patch I bought, and it's around 16-18 gauge thereabouts. I'll use the .035 on some bumper / bracket projects I have in mind later.

Work has gotten in the way of my project again, but at least now I've made some progress.

Dark Earth Tue Jun 14, 2016 9:24 pm

I have all the holes welded up and ground smooth on the drivers side. I still have a few holes left to weld up on the passenger side.

The previous owner patched the area where the battery goes.



I bought a pan repair section.



Here's a pic of the underside of the car when I first got it. You can see all the tek screws, the long studs from the seats, and a push button starter wire.



I've removed all that stuff, except the battery tray area, but I will attack that section as soon as I finish welding the rest of the passenger side holes up.

Dark Earth Wed Jun 15, 2016 5:20 pm

I removed the tek screws and patch.



I used a grinder to cut the long sections, and used a die grinder to cut the corners.



Getting the new floor pan section to fit is a bit of a challenge. I put it aside for now. I'll start fresh next time I get a chance.

Dark Earth Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:17 pm

I used a Tri-Square (set at 1/2") to mark the pan with soap stone.





There's a few problem areas where the pan repair section doesn't sit flush.
1. A bulged out area.
2. A minor bent out section.
3. A lightening bolt looking reflection which is a bent up section where it looks like the pan had previously been high centered.



I'll take a hammer and grinder to the pan, and maybe the pan repair section will fit a little better.

Dark Earth Sat Jun 25, 2016 1:49 pm

I took my grinder and trimmed the sides to my soap stone mark. I made vertical cuts in the bulged area and will let the ribbons just hang. I used a hammer to kinda straighten out the bent areas.

It's not perfect by any means but I'll eventually replace the floor pans on both sides. I just didn't want to open up another can of worms by lifting the body off at this point.



I ground the pan repair section a little at a time until I ended up with this shape.



I marked the floor pan where the front end of the repair section met the pan and ground that line out.



I may do some more final fitting, but It's basically ready for welding. Once I get done welding the repair section in, I'll get some seam sealer and cover all the joints up.

Douglas A Sun Jun 26, 2016 8:31 am

Dark Earth wrote: I took my grinder and trimmed the sides to my soap stone mark. I made vertical cuts in the bulged area and will let the ribbons just hang. I used a hammer to kinda straighten out the bent areas.

It's not perfect by any means but I'll eventually replace the floor pans on both sides. I just didn't want to open up another can of worms by lifting the body off at this point.



I ground the pan repair section a little at a time until I ended up with this shape.



I marked the floor pan where the front end of the repair section met the pan and ground that line out.



I may do some more final fitting, but It's basically ready for welding. Once I get done welding the repair section in, I'll get some seam sealer and cover all the joints up. isn't amazing what PO do
I'm just finishing my seats. My fuel
Line was clog, I ran a external one under the
Pan. It fits nice and is protected along the edge.
My seat setup

Dark Earth Sun Jun 26, 2016 8:50 am

Douglas A wrote: isn't amazing what PO do
I'm just finishing my seats. My fuel
Line was clog, I ran a external one under the
Pan. It fits nice and is protected along the edge.
My seat setup

It's kind of a testament to the durability and engineering of the car, when it can run with so many PO horror stories you hear about.

I did a thread about running a fuel line inside the tunnel if you're interested ...

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=645337&highlight=

It wasn't really difficult, but it was a challenge. It was a little intimidating at first, but after completing the project It wasn't too bad.

EnjoyNukaCola Sun Jun 26, 2016 2:57 pm

Those screws sticking out the bottom are horrendous! Was spray glue not invented in PO's world?

Dark Earth Sun Jun 26, 2016 3:17 pm

EnjoyNukaCola wrote: Those screws sticking out the bottom are horrendous! Was spray glue not invented in PO's world?

Lol ... I don't know why that was done. Even the battery ground was tek screwed to the body right behind the battery. It wasn't really a ground strap, but a positive cable with the eye for the starter screwed down to the body with about seven screws through the eye.

I mean ... It worked \:D/

Dark Earth Sat Jul 02, 2016 7:55 pm

I'm still putting the finishing touches on the pan. The smoke from welding and the dust of grinding limits the amount of time I want to work on the project. Sandblasting would have been the way to go for sure. The tar on the pan and the road grime underneath smolders when welding. I'm done welding the holes up and almost done grinding the pan down.

I'm almost ready to start installing the seats. I bought some 1" exhaust flanges, some 2 1/2" x 1/4" flat bar, some 2" x 1/4" flat bar, and some 1/4" x 3/4" bolts.



I bought a 1 1/16" steel hawg. You have to use a drill press with this.



I used the flange to lay out the holes for the 1/4" x 2" flat bar squares.



Here's a flange bolted to a 2" square.



I transferred the hole centers onto the 2 1/2" flat bar.



I used a tubing cutter to remove the factory seat frame tabs.



I used the seat frame to line up where to drill the holes in the 2 1/2" flat bar.



The seats were originally about 3/4" too high for my taste. I cut 1" off the seat frame including the factory mounting tabs. The 2 1/2" flat bar raises it 1/4" effectively lowering the seat the 3/4".

Here's a drawing I made for the seat frames.


Dark Earth Sun Jul 03, 2016 7:15 am

Here's the frame sitting about where I think it will go.



I'm going to put both seats in place and make sure they don't interfere with the doors or get too close to the emergency brake. Then I'll tack them down. I'll get in and out of the car a few times to get a feel for the seats and to make sure they're where I want them to be. Then I'll remove the seats and weld the frames down for good. Finally, I'll finish cleaning the pan to get it ready for some POR-15.

Dark Earth Mon Jul 04, 2016 6:59 am

Here it is with all the squares and flanges welded in place.



Here it is with the tubular seat frame removed.


Dark Earth Tue Jul 05, 2016 7:38 pm

I bolted the seat frame back in place to keep everything rigid. I wanted to prevent warping as everything cooled down after I finished welding.

I popped the frame back out after everything cooled down to spray paint the underside to prevent rust. You can see that 1/4" of the seat frame tubing extends through the flanges.



I still have to finish cleaning the remainder of the pan and apply POR-15, but for now, I'm done.

Dark Earth Wed Jul 13, 2016 12:19 am

Not much of an update, but here's the underside of the drivers seat.



Assembly was pretty straight forward. I did have to cut about 2" off (and re-bend) the little wire that connects both sides of the slider together though.

Dark Earth Wed Jul 13, 2016 9:28 am

Here's the underside of the passenger seat.



The tilt mechanism spring that came with the frame was a bit weak, so I welded a washer on and got a bigger spring. Also, the welds on the tube frame mounts were rubbing against the bent metal where the assembly pivots. I used washers as spacers to get the needed clearance between the pivot points. The seat pivots smoothly now.



Since all I have left to do is bolt them in, I'd say this seat project is done. \:D/

earthquake Sat Aug 27, 2016 3:22 pm

You can also use a piece of copper tubing with the end flattened to weld up holes. you may have to anneal the end with a torch so it wont split when you flatten it, if you make the tube about 12" long you can reach most holes with one hand while you weld up the hole with the other.

Casey



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