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1973 Sports Bug
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CWAVE
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 8:11 pm    Post subject: 1973 Sports Bug Reply with quote

Well, I've been around here for a while now, and have been running my Sports Bug restoration for some time (sadly making little progress). Unfortunately, my available time has been so limited that for now I've decided to shelve those projects. There was still just so much that needed to be done. My desire to drive a Sports Bug again drove me into a new direction. That being the case, I've packed them away in storage.

Picked up a real solid 1973 Sports Bug (Marathon) off a seller right here on thesamba. The car arrived late last week, and I've been pouring over it ever since it arrived... The car has happily turned out to be very solid (as I had hoped). One minor rust hole in the driver side fender well that's going to need to be patched, and some holes that were cut in the rear fender wells to adjust dual carbs. That's the bulk of the major bodywork (quite minor in fact).

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Planning on taking all of the new parts I've been buying over the years and apply them to this car in hopes of getting the car on the road this coming summer.

Inside... OMG does it smell NASTY! Probably the worst smelling VW I've ever encountered. Think that dealing with that is going to be the first thing I dig into. Carpet, headliner will be stripped out first, and the seats pulled. Planning on going with new Sewfine covers for the front and back.

Looking forward to turning some miles this summer... Should be able to make some good progress installing new parts over this coming winter.

CWAVE
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mikewilkinson007
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 6:55 am    Post subject: Re: 1973 Sports Bug Reply with quote

Very Cool Car!
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Zundfolge1432 Premium Member
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:00 am    Post subject: Re: 1973 Sports Bug Reply with quote

How would you describe the smell?
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hitest
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:46 am    Post subject: Re: 1973 Sports Bug Reply with quote

odorous?

I agree- nice car- and great to see so many correct features intact!
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CWAVE
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:57 am    Post subject: Re: 1973 Sports Bug Reply with quote

A very pungent musty old car smell. I thought it might be the smell of mice, but I've gone through the car pretty well and haven't found any rodent evidence yet... although, I haven't pulled the headliner out yet... Might be some surprises in there.

I'm sure the carpeting and seats are holding a bunch of the nastiness in there.

So yesterday I felt it prudent to drain the fuel tank before turning on the garage heater. As it turned out, whoever owned this before me had reasonably recently been driving/maintaining it, as it had a newer looking electric fuel pump and fresh looking lines under the car. Drain the gallon of gas that was in there anyways (better safe than sorry).

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Poking around, I found some interesting evidence of what used to power this car.

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Guessing some of this stuff is the remnants of the motor that was previously in this car. I plan on putting a stock 1600cc engine in this, so I'll be pulling at least the fuel pressure regulator and coil out.

Wondering what your guys thoughts are on electric fuel pumps. Historically I've had problems with the mechanical stock ones. With the emergence of mexican reproductions I can't imagine their reliability has gone up. Confused

Do you think (if that Holley pump works), it would be a viable option to leave it in there (of course putting a fuel filter in line might be a wise decision).

Here are a few photos of the interior.

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Other than one hole in the driverside wheel well, no holes found anywhere else in the car so far. Whew...

LOTS of surface rust however. Was thinking of POR-15 on all those surfaces. Anyone's thoughts on that would be appreciated.

CWAVE


Zundfolge1432 wrote:
How would you describe the smell?
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Gerb
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 6:20 pm    Post subject: Re: 1973 Sports Bug Reply with quote

Looking forward to seeing your progress.
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early
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 7:28 am    Post subject: Re: 1973 Sports Bug Reply with quote

looks like a good start ! good luck on your project and I'll be following your progress .

I used Sewfine seat covers for my Sport Bug project and I think they turned out great.

cheers.. early
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my 73 sports bug project build
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=497088
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davidw99
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 7:53 am    Post subject: Re: 1973 Sports Bug Reply with quote

Best of Luck. You have one of the rarer Marathon Blue models. Keep plugging away and you'll have it finished (finished is a relative word - I'm still working on mine even though it has been on the road ten years since the rebuild). Keep us posted.
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'73 Saturn Yellow Sports Bug that has undergone a full pan off restoration. "Herbert IV."

'67 Sedan. "Bellamy." Currently being "refreshed."
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Horance
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:21 am    Post subject: Re: 1973 Sports Bug Reply with quote

If you are going to keep that pump, I would keep the regulator with the gauge as well.

It may need a plug for the port you do not use, unless you want dual carbs on the 1600.
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CWAVE
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:47 am    Post subject: Re: 1973 Sports Bug Reply with quote

Thanks early!

I enjoyed reading through your build thread. You built a wonderful car, congratulations! Did you ever make a final decision as to go with or without the headrests?

In your posts you said you had photos of the seat recovering process. As I've never recovered seats before, I would love any photos you have showing the work/process you followed in recovering the seats. I'll pm you with my e-mail address if you'd prefer to just mail them that way (provided you still have them that is). I too plan on going with the Sewfine covers. Yours look very nice (from the photos in your thread). How are they holding up, as your post was from 2012 (4 years ago).

CWAVE

early wrote:
looks like a good start ! good luck on your project and I'll be following your progress .

I used Sewfine seat covers for my Sport Bug project and I think they turned out great.

cheers.. early


Last edited by CWAVE on Fri Nov 04, 2016 9:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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CWAVE
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 9:03 am    Post subject: Re: 1973 Sports Bug Reply with quote

Thanks Davidw99. Felt quite fortunate to get my hands on a Marathon Sports Bug in such nice shape. I will keep plugging away on it. Plan on getting some stuff done this weekend.

davidw99 wrote:
Best of Luck. You have one of the rarer Marathon Blue models. Keep plugging away and you'll have it finished (finished is a relative word - I'm still working on mine even though it has been on the road ten years since the rebuild). Keep us posted.


Thanks Horance. Been thinking more about this, and have decided that I'm going to pull the electric pump afterall, and go with a stock fuel pump. Want to keep this car (for the most part) stock. There are a few "upgrades" that I will be doing. I have a complete set of front and rear suspension parts and four wheel disk set up from Topline, and NOS Kamei spoiler, a nice strut bar from Vdubengineering and a brand new NOS Hurst shifter with a new white Hurst shifter knob. Those will be the bulk of my non-stock upgrades to the car.

Outwardly for the most part (save for the spoiler) the car will look stock. It'll just stop (hopefully) quicker and hopefully ride a bit smoother...

CWAVE

Horance wrote:
If you are going to keep that pump, I would keep the regulator with the gauge as well.

It may need a plug for the port you do not use, unless you want dual carbs on the 1600.
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Rome
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 4:37 pm    Post subject: Re: 1973 Sports Bug Reply with quote

Do you know what kind of dual carbs were on the engine?

When you remove the carpet, do it very carefully and try to avoid ripping the threads where the carpet is fastened to the body with those small nails. Yes, nails; driven right into the body sheetmetal such as along the overlaps at the front of the door openings. Use a sturdy plastic wedge to separate the carpet from the body panels, since the carpet is usually glued on. Then beat them out by whacking with a stiff broom, old tennis racket, etc. Finally, throw them into your washing machine using a small amount of powder detergent and set to the "warm" wash cycle. Lay them out on a flat surface to air dry. This might be an effective attempt to get rid of the smell, and they will look remarkably better.

You did very well to find such a solid example.
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CWAVE
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 6:47 pm    Post subject: Re: 1973 Sports Bug Reply with quote

Hey there Rome. No, unfortunately I have no idea what kind of engine or carbs for that matter were in the car before it was sold to me. I got it engine-less.

You know that's a completely awesome idea. It never occurred to me to try to salvage the old original carpeting. I was just going to garbage it. From what I've been reading the replacement carpet that's available isn't very good. (I bought a CIP1 set a couple years ago and never took it out of the box). Probably will be disappointed given what I'm reading.

I'll take my time removing it (thanks for the tips), and if it's still in good shape, I will totally try cleaning it. I seriously doubt I'd get this into my wife's washing machine, so it'll be a laundromat for me. Confused

And... thanks! Ya, I'm real please with how lucky I was to come across this. Saw it here on the Samba in the classifieds for a while. After a month or so, I thought (maybe I should go for it). Guess it all worked out well as he was probably more amiable to the offer that I gave him than had I offered as soon as he listed it. Whew... All worked out.

CWAVE

Rome wrote:
Do you know what kind of dual carbs were on the engine?

When you remove the carpet, do it very carefully and try to avoid ripping the threads where the carpet is fastened to the body with those small nails. Yes, nails; driven right into the body sheetmetal such as along the overlaps at the front of the door openings. Use a sturdy plastic wedge to separate the carpet from the body panels, since the carpet is usually glued on. Then beat them out by whacking with a stiff broom, old tennis racket, etc. Finally, throw them into your washing machine using a small amount of powder detergent and set to the "warm" wash cycle. Lay them out on a flat surface to air dry. This might be an effective attempt to get rid of the smell, and they will look remarkably better.

You did very well to find such a solid example.
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Frankysfree
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 7:17 pm    Post subject: Re: 1973 Sports Bug Reply with quote

Sweet car!!

First thing that caught my eye is that steering wheel, WITH a horn button. I had that same wheel in my bug and put it in the spare parts bin since the horn button was broken and gone. No replacement available and apparently ALOT of people with that wheel are missing it...
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CWAVE
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 7:39 pm    Post subject: Re: 1973 Sports Bug Reply with quote

Thanks.

Back in my younger years when I had a sad old rusty Sports Bug (I lived in Ontario at the time where cars dissolved from the salt) mine too was missing the horn button.

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I think I've aged more than the car has! Heh. Since I've been collecting parts over the past few years, I've managed to now obtain four 1973 Sports Bug steering wheels, all of which have horn buttons. Go figure.

Here they are:

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CWAVE

Frankysfree wrote:
Sweet car!!

First thing that caught my eye is that steering wheel, WITH a horn button. I had that same wheel in my bug and put it in the spare parts bin since the horn button was broken and gone. No replacement available and apparently ALOT of people with that wheel are missing it...


Last edited by CWAVE on Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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René R. Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2016 2:31 pm    Post subject: Re: 1973 Sports Bug Reply with quote

I'm subscribing to this thread and am looking forward to your restoration updates.

I bought a marathon blue Sports Bug brand-new in 1973. Some months back I posted a scan of the original dealer invoice that I still have in my files.

I wonder where mine ended up? Probably long gone, I'd imagine, but it would be cool if it's out there somewhere. (I do know that the 1950 beetle I bought in 1965 is still around, though I don't know who owns it today.)
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CWAVE
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 7:11 pm    Post subject: Re: 1973 Sports Bug Reply with quote

Spent the day tearing into the car, and uncovering some poor repairs. So, as it turns out there's a bit more rot than originally seen... but still, not bad.

Both front wheel wells have holes, and below the rear windows at the heater channels there's some rot. Rear fender wells are pretty good.

Thought I'd get a bit further today, but decided to put aside the impact, and carefully take my time removing the fender bolts. This was the right decision, as they all came out without twisting or breaking off. So, that alone still leaves me happy and impressed with the condition of this car.

The bolts that hold the running boards on all came out fine with the exception of two of them, and those were in an area that's going to need some repair.

After that I pulled the rear deck lid and discovered that the bracket that the spring attaches to was cut off. I have a spare of that, so I'll weld a replacement in, in the next few days.

Made a tool to rip out the death foam, and started digging away at that until my arms were tired. Figure I got about a third of it out on both sides. I'll keep at that. Thankfully there's no rott caused by the foam, but it's gotta come out.

Pulled the stinky seats out. The rear seat, I'm going to toss. The entire frame is completely rusty. I have another out of a 73 super that is in nice structural shape with no rust, so I'll use that one to recover. The front seats came out nicely.

Tomorrow I'll visit my storage lot and get all of the replacement panels I need to repair all the various areas that need attention. Over the years I've ended up buying just about every replacement panel that's sold, so I have all the panels I'll need to fix the car. Plan on starting those repairs on Sunday.

Here are some photos of my efforts from today.

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More updates to follow as I start cutting out the bad and patching the holes.

CWAVE
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CWAVE
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 8:26 pm    Post subject: Re: 1973 Sports Bug Reply with quote

So yesterday as planned, I picked up all the replacement panels I figured I'd need to affect repairs.

Today I began removing the bad, and welding in new steel. It goes remarkably quickly when you're using the right tools. Last time I did work on a beetle it was back in the mid 80's, at which time I didn't have the right tools or the skills. Fast forward to today, I'm happy to say that I have a properly equipped garage, and I guess time will tell if I have the right skills. Very Happy

Today I managed to patch the two holes in the front wheel wells. Went quite well. They didn't didn't span much larger when I first saw them.

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Was kinda wiped out by the time I finished those two, and the daylight was starting to wane, but I pressed on and started on the next section. Didn't get too far, but did expose a fair amount of rot. Still, there's plenty of solid metal in there to weld to, and it's really not as bad as it looks.

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Tomorrow I'll continue working on this area. The hope is that I can complete welding in this repair panel by the time I call it quits for the day. More updates will follow.

CWAVE
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CWAVE
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:56 pm    Post subject: Re: 1973 Sports Bug Reply with quote

More progress today.

Got the passenger side of the car done. Have a few holes to patch in the firewall, then it's on to the last repairs on the driver side. It's looking like the driverside repairs that remain are going to be less work than the passenger side as the rot appears to be less.

There was considerable decay in this area and as such, it took the better part of the day to repair it.

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Closing up the carb access point into the engine compartment was pretty straight forward.

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There was a bit of a hole here, but was an easy fix once the bad was cut away.

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The last thing I did was re-attach the spring mounting point for the deck lid. I presume the previous owner had cut it off to accompdate the engine he had in there. Personally, I don't want the decklid to bash me in the head. So I opted to put one back in.

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Don't know what I'm going to be able to get done the rest of the week, but I've earmarked the weekend for trying to complete the welding work that needs to be done. It's slowly getting colder. Supposed to be a high of -7 this weekend. I can still work/weld at that temperature, so I should be able to wrap that up.

So the plan after the welding work is done will be to clean up the wheel wells and por-15 them as well as the floors in the car and the entire underside of the pan and body. Then the glass and remaining interior will be pulled and it'll be close to being ready for the body shop.

I'm on a mission to drive this car next summer!

CWAVE
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Boosten Ya(Josh)
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 9:08 am    Post subject: Re: 1973 Sports Bug Reply with quote

Great work. Looks like you have some skills. Keep chugging away. I cant wait to see how this turns out.
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