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Field find 1954 Canadian custom
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VW_Jimbo
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 9:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

I like it! Sounds like a solid plan. The good news is you have had a bunch of practice. Makes sense the next side should go more quickly. You know - it ALWAYS does! My wife would probably disagree with me! I am always being reminded by her and Murphy that everything takes longer than the last time!
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tomsbuggered
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

Well Don, between Senior, Junior and Dolly that repair is taking shape!

Progress no matter how you measure it. Good work!
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56samba
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:19 am    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

This is a cool topic and also motivates me to keep working on the 54 oval.
When I bought it, I also didn’t expect that so much work is necessary. Well, now the metal work is done and that was the biggest part. I bought it at the age of 20, now I’m 21 Very Happy
I would have never thought that you have to do this amount of work, because the car appeared to be fairly solid and not butchered or messed with old poor work.
But once it’s done, the car will be beautiful again as on its first day, especially in this cool color Smile

Kind regards from the “fatherland”
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sunroof
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 2:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

Slow and steady wins the race as they say. There is much to do on this car besides metal work. The chassis will be a project easily as big as the rust repair. One of the problems I am not looking forward to is the heater cable that has snapped somewhere inside the tunnel. This will require much cutting and welding back together to fix. Happily the metal is thick making the welding easy. I will not think about it until the time comes to start cutting.

Don
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tomsbuggered
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

sunroof wrote:
Slow and steady wins the race as they say. There is much to do on this car besides metal work. The chassis will be a project easily as big as the rust repair. One of the problems I am not looking forward to is the heater cable that has snapped somewhere inside the tunnel. This will require much cutting and welding back together to fix. Happily the metal is thick making the welding easy. I will not think about it until the time comes to start cutting.

Don


Don
as an electrician we used to "fish" for wires in conduit that jammed up when we were pulling in wire bundles. It consisted of running a "fish tape" back into the conduit past the point where the wire was lodged, then turnng the tape a few rotations to try to wrap it around the wires then pull them out. The fish tape needs to be fairly rigid with a small hook on itself. Worth a try maybe.

It sounds like you have no heater cables coming out either end of the conduit?

Tom
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VW_Jimbo
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2020 11:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

I have used old clutch cables to clear the throttle tube and the sunroof drains. Cut off the one of the ends, put one end in a drill and SLOWLY spin it down into the tube. Cleans them out really quickly!
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GFY's Xevin and VW_Jimbo! Smile
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sunroof
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 7:24 am    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

Both great ideas. Thanks guys! Yes, I broke both ends of the cable off trying to get it out. I will try the wire cable idea, I used it once the clear the heat riser on a 36Hp intake manifold. Worked a treat. I had a broken E-brake cable but it went with the last batch to the metal recyclers. I was thinking maybe a coat hanger might work as well.

Don
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:08 am    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

sunroof wrote:
In preparation for cutting the heater channel out I built a brace for the door opening. I don't like to weld to areas that will not be replaced later so I used the hinge mount and the striker plate mount. Most people weld the braces to the inside of the car so the door can be fit up before final welding. I've done it my way once before on a previous build and it worked a treat then.

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The turnbuckle makes the brace adjustable:

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Previous jig. It worked perfectly, when I bolted the door up if fit just like it did when I took it apart.

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The body is carefully leveled side to side and front to back. There was a very slight twist to it so the rear was perfectly level but the front was slightly off. A shim under the right front bumper mount made everything dead level.

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All the rusty metal in the front has been cut away. Once the back end of the heater channel sheet metal is all cut away I will put the body back on the chassis and tack everything in place, put the body back on the horses and finish weld everything. That's the plan anyways, Robbie Burns not withstanding.

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Everything needed to reassemble the A-pillar and the front kick panel:

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It is very reassuring that every time I shake the car a little bit or cut into it, big piles of rust fall out. This is actually one of the smaller piles. This tells me I am doing the right thing cutting it apart like I am. If I was finding solid metal what I am doing would seem like a waste.

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Here is a problem I am facing, how to remove the muffler holder without doing too much damage. For some reason the guy on the spot welder that day put 5 (count 'em five) spot welds on either end. It is not structural, it does not need 10 welds. I can't see a way of removing it without cutting into good metal. It looks like I will have to get out the body saw and cut it off. Geez, I hate to do that!

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This is looking up into the heater channel at the back with the bottom cut away. This is all rust that is hidden between the inner and outer quarter panels. I wonder how many "restorations" have been done over the years where this rust was not addressed and just covered over to make trouble for future owners.

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Don


That bracing idea is the smartest thing I’ve seen in a long time. Ill be doing this one day when i have a car that needs it. Thanks
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VW_Jimbo
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:36 am    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

Coat hangers are pretty soft steel. I would be wary of having it get lodged into a pocket and then, if you are twisting it, it breaking off in the tunnel. That would add insult to the injury!

I would look for something with more carbon within the steel. Something that has to withstand some severe stress. I think the clutch cable is perfect. If it were me, and I did not have a broken cable ready to use (I have one for just this task from several years ago), I would drive over to a transmission shop or automotive repair shop and ask for a broken or old clutch cable. Even one from another vehicle would work.

If I was the mechanic you approached, I would point to the scrap barrel and say, “Help yourself.”

Good luck!
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Ricksurfin wrote:
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67rustavenger wrote:
GFY's Xevin and VW_Jimbo! Smile
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sunroof
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:00 am    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

Excellent! I still have some of the steel cable I used to clean the intake manifold, I will dig it out.

Don
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

One last patch for this piece.

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The rest I will do when the body is back on the pan and I can determine exactly where things need to go.


Don
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 2:50 am    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

I likee
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

So I have been pretty focussed on 1959 beetles for about 40 years now and I have certainly owned '54s in the past, but I have never restored one before. Here's my Question: How does the ground wire hook up? On '59s there is a stud behind the battery to bolt the ground strap to but I don't see any such thing here. The ground wire is bolted to the starter, a good idea but is it correct?



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Don
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:51 am    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

The ground strap (battery) is attached together with the bolt : see red arrow.

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Regards.
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sunroof
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 2:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

I see it!

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Thank you.

BTW: Have you built that solid state regulator? It looks pretty simple.

Don
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 6:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

sunroof wrote:
I see it!

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Thank you.

BTW: Have you built that solid state regulator? It looks pretty simple.

Don


That photo is from my Oval October '53.

From '54 VW changed the battery mounting strap and looked like this.

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Yes, I built the solid-state regulator a long time ago and it still works in my VW 1200 D 6V engine.
It is an old design and comes from a book from the late 70s.
It is an electronic version of the mechanical regulator.
According to the specialists, there are a number of disadvantages.
See https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=9253704#9253704

Regards.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 9:15 am    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

Started final preparations for putting the body back on the pan by replacing this bit:

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I have cut the rusty stuff away and left as much original metal as possible

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I bought the repair panels from Virtanen. His stuff is good but not nearly as precise as Wolfparts. Virtanen's stuff needs massaging to fit but it is still a lot better than repair panels have been in the past.

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I just needed a small part of the part so trimming was necessary. What you don't see here is all the thinking that went into figuring out how to get it just right. I forgot to take pictures of the process but it involved cardboard, scissors and masking tape. The rest you will have to imagine.

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I guess that is close enough.

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Don
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 11:32 am    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

Well Don, is it just me or does that repair look pretty good ? Laughing

Is that a weld thru primer you are using, it looks like is has a Copper hue ?

I think ypu are making great progress and you are taking the time to do it right.

I hope to start on my project this week, now that it has warmed up some, enough of the -35 C already.

Keep up the good work, one step at a time.

Tom
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 12:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

Don, Excellent work!

Also, thank you for the pictures. I was unsure of how the metal contoured around the wheel well , where the lower package tray and upper package shelf meet up. Mine was MIA! I had been searching the gallery for a decent picture but had been only mildly successful. Your picture(s) are worth a few thousand words!

Keep on going! I think next weekend I can get back to working on the Bug. My tennis elbow on my good arm flared back up last week. Surfing the couch this weekend. Hoping work is easier this upcoming week and that my arm is not in pain for next weekend!
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:24 am    Post subject: Re: Field find 1954 Canadian custom Reply with quote

Got a couple of good ol boys to drop by and help put the body back on the pan.

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First initial fitment of the heater channel.

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Amazingly the first cut I made on the firewall was absolutely correct. This was mostly luck.

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It took about 2 hours to get to this point. There was a lot of fitting and slight trimming to get everything to fit the way I wanted.

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Klassic Fab heater channel problem: Which bolt do you think is correct for these 2 holes? If you guessed M10 x 1.25 you would be wrong. While this is the original size for this application, Klassic Fab in their infinite wisdom decided that 3/8 x 16 was a better choice. Good job boys. I will have to drill them out and retap them correctly.

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Door fitment check? Check.

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The base of the A pillar piece I bought from CIP1.ca looks really good but has one glaring problem: The door hinge mount is about 1/4" too high. The part is going to need some significant trimming to fit. I anticipate another 2 hours before I can tack this in place. So far the only pieces that go in without alteration are Wolfparts.

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Last edited by sunroof on Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:10 am; edited 8 times in total
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