View original topic: Sometimes working on your car can be a real pain
911pickup Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:14 am

Another 15 minute job that turned into a 2+ hour job.

I just received the new clips I ordered to attach the soft top to the windshield header on my Thing. The passenger side install went off without a hitch.

Then I started on the driver's side.

There's 3 screws that hold the hinge onto the soft top. Two of the screws broke off while I was unscrewing them.


So, I got out my drill and went to work drilling them out. The first one wasn't too bad. I managed to drill it out, use a tap, and install a heli coil. The second one was another story.

First, I broke off the end of a drill bit, with the piece of the bit stuck in the hole. Ever try and drill out a drill bit? It takes.......forever.

Next came the tap, which shouldn't have been a problem, except I broke off the end of the tap and it was stuck in the hole

Double crap. :x :x

The only option (besides ordering a new top) was to drill out the tap and those suckers are HARD.

I finally drilled it out and used a larger tap and installed a heli coil.

I guess I can expect more of this when working on a vehicle built 43 years ago.

Mark Lewalski Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:53 am

Not a way to start your weekend...

But I guess the job got done. Sometimes you gotta be satisfied with that.


Captain Spalding Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:04 pm

Working on old cars is definitely a test of character.

mondshine Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:34 pm

As the Captain says, it can be a test of character, but it is also good clean (in a manner of speaking) fun! One of the great benefits of being retired is the ability to dink around with these cars at leisure. Sometimes I even look for projects just for the fun of it. I might not be quite up to Cecil's level, with his GPS speedometer, but I do enjoy lying on my back with my "mistress" above me.
Here's a photo of my "mistress" ready for action:

Have fun with it...That's what these cars are meant for :D

911pickup Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:28 am

After retiring I rewarded myself with a big shop and hoist.
Thankfully, my days of lying on a cold, hard concrete floor are over.

Mondshine, what front disc brake kit did you buy?

scottyrocks Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:42 am

My retirement years are close in coming. I look forward to a garage with one of the rigs pictured in this thread.

Right now, along with all my other non-work related responsibilities, I'm working on the car on the weekends outside (there's another project in the single-car garage).

mondshine Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:11 pm

That is the CSP disc brake kit made specifically for the 181.

The CSP disc brake kit overall, is a nice piece of work. The hubs are nicely machined aluminum, with 14x1.5 threaded in studs which require ball end lug nuts to be used with the stock steel wheels. (In fact, this is the only disc brake kit I know of that can be used in a Thing with the stock 14" wheels.)

The rotors are steel, of course, made in Germany. The calipers are single piston Delco Moraine units, made in France :shock: . Basically nice calipers, though the dust covers for the sliders are sort of “Mickey Mouse”, but certainly adequate. Everything in the CSP brake kit lined up/matched up very well, and there were no snags in the installation. My only complaint with the kit is that the furnished brake hoses were a little too long at about 395 mm. That is the length of stock brake hoses for a Thing with drum brakes. I noticed what looked like excessive “droop” in these hoses, making them seem accident prone, so I switched to 355 mm hoses like a Karmann Ghia with disc brakes would use. At 355 mm, there’s plenty of slack at full lock, and the hoses are much more out of harm’s way.

An unexpected pitfall when converting to front disc brakes (at least for me) was a reduction in the pedal pressure to stop the car. That sounds OK, but the difference was enough to keep the brake light switches from triggering unless I was on the brakes hard. I was fortunate enough to buy the so-called Smart Brake Light Kit from Unique Parts before Don stopped making them. This thing is an adjustable auxiliary brake light switch mounted inside the car at the pedal cluster which powers the brake lights as soon as the pedal is touched. It provides a margin of safety, as well as allowing me to disengage the cruise control without actually slowing the car down.
I hope that's helpful, good luck, Mondshine

911pickup Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:59 pm

Do you know what the differences are with the 181 kit, compared to the Beetle kit?

mondshine Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:05 pm

911pickup wrote: Do you know what the differences are with the 181 kit, compared to the Beetle kit?

Compatibility with the stock Thing 14" wheels.

If you intend to switch to non-stock wheels, like 15 inch, then you might be able to use the Beetle kit, provided the holes in the caliper brackets will line up with those in your Thing steering knuckles.
I don't know the answer to that one.

I will say that the tire choices are much greater for 15 inch wheels than for the stock 14 inch wheels. Additionally, I have to assume that the brake rotors in the Beetle kit (for 15 inch wheels) will have a slightly larger diameter than the Thing rotors.
I chose to keep the original wheels just because I prefer the look of the stock wheels, so I used the Thing specific CSP kit.

The CSP kit is a little expensive (compared to EMPI and such) so do the research before you take the leap.

Good luck,Mondshine

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