View original topic: Beetle body dimensions / door gaps
Minus-society Sat Mar 04, 2023 10:46 am


My 71 has had the heater channels replaced by the previous owner and one side has been installed out of alignment and is too high 🙄

The door will hit the top of the channel and won't close. I've got some heavy duty Dansk channels that are now ready to go in along with inner quarters and probably A-post bottoms.

Dimensional data wise is this the only information available?

Looking at M&N how exactly is this measured? The underside of the roof rail is curved which would affect the distance depending on where you take the measurement? Or is it to the bottom of outside of the gutter lip?

If anyone has a body they could measure and maybe take some photos that would be a big help.

I have a set of doors (scabby but solid) which I'll be double checking everything with.

What's an average gap between the bottom of the door going over the seal face of the channel?

Any help would be great!


esde Sat Mar 04, 2023 11:34 am

Best to fit the gaps with the doors that the car will be finished with. My experience is that hinges get bent, and the doors get tweaked where the hinges are fastened. Not much, but enough to change the final fit. I did the last few cars with the heater channels bolted to the floor pans and the body on. Use some jacks to raise lower the a and b pillar areas till things are right. Sometimes you need to spread the pillars a bit, there are different ways to do it. Having one of the cheap harbor freight porta power kits is money well spent. You can push from the firewall to the b pillar and still be able to close the door. Tack things in place till the doors work great, then make the heavy welds, you'll probably go around a few times till it's perfect.

Jhp212 Mon Mar 06, 2023 4:51 am

I was passed along this tip from vw jimbo on this site on measuring those 3 door opening dimensions accurately. What I did was measure the 3 dimensions needed to an exact measurement listed on that picture you have on some angle steel.

If you can tell in the pictures I had to cut the tips of the angle steel into a point to fit in the corners as well as in the top curved area you mentioned. Plus I wrote the dimensions on the steel in mm and I have a 71 too (I think they’re all the same though). You can’t get an accurate measurement from a tape measure in those areas so you need something rigid and exact. When you’re done you’ll have some nice weapons out of those measuring tools! Hope this helps.

viiking Mon Mar 06, 2023 2:56 pm


This is how I do it. 100% correct you cannot get an accurate measurement with a tape measure. And use a metric one not imperial. You need to be mm perfect.

The only difference I do is to use two "threaded rods" and a coupler between them so I can fine tune the length of the metal. It allows you to allow for poor cutting with a grinder or hacksaw. You want the lengths to be accurate obviously.

Minus-society Wed Mar 15, 2023 2:40 pm

Thanks for the replies, very helpful.

This was similar to what I already had in mind so glad to hear it's the approved way!

I think I'll use some threaded turnbuckles Inbetween the crossbraces, that way there's some adjustment if needed.

viiking Wed Mar 15, 2023 3:14 pm

If you do use the turnbuckle method use something solid. The only drawback with my method was that on first attempt the rod would "buckle" at the centre. I had to go to a 5/8" rod from memory.

The angle iron method is great, but I was always worried about under cutting the points and making them too short. But if you are confident in your cutting skills then it is a good way to go too.

The third alternative is to use a hybrid version. Angle iron point at one end and a turnbuckle/threaded rod at the other end.

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