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1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave.
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MACJELLY58
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2021 1:04 am    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

Sad, but good to know. Thanks again.
Still waiting for my AVS Actuators. Should be soon.
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MACJELLY58
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2021 2:10 am    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

So like I said, waiting to re-do the Door Popper Actuator. Yeah!!
I went back to trying to make the mounting for the window guides. I wasted a lot of time trying to make the screws and flush mount Allen nuts work. I couldn't do it.
There is not enough room in there to do it, "as is". I was also stuck on how to get the guides to "Hug" the glass, when the window is rolled up and when it is rolled down. The Regulator moves at an angle, taking the window down and away form the rear as it is rolled down. If I have the guide up against the window frame at the top, as I roll it down, the window moves forward, pushing the guide away. Vice Versa, when the window is down, the guide is snug against the bottom of the window frame. But when I roll it up, the window frame moves out of the guide all together.

Much time wasted dreaming up a "spring loaded", "hinged" guide to move with the window on it's slant. Rolling Eyes Way too complicated. Even if I could make them and they did work...Only a matter of time before they would malfunction! Embarassed

So, I went with extending the sides of the guide channel at the top of the front guide and at the bottom of the rear guide. This should work, not the best but, it should function reasonably well. I mocked up a space on the work table so I could see the problem better. I know, a lot of words up there. Hopefully, this pic will help. The lines on the side are the frame at increments of one complete turn of the window crank going down.

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As I mentioned in the last post, the GM window guide Felt I ordered had came in. It is metal infused, rubber coated and felt lined.

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It fit ever soo nicely in the window Guide channel. Very Happy

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However, the GM felt is made for just auto glass to fit in there. I was thinking that I would modify it to accept the larger chrome window frame. I heated a 3/8" metal bar and ran the felt over it. This melted the "Fuzzy" felt inside the channel and it gave me enough room to fit the chrome frame. But, it was still too tight for me. Evil or Very Mad Twisted Evil

I got some self adhesive 3/32" felt that comes in a roll. I cut some pieces and gave them a try. That worked !! It gives just enough room for free movement but, snugs up pretty nicely. I put a piece of chrome frame in there and ran it up and down to test it.

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Now to mount the bad boy. I welded a couple of simple Tabs to the Guide. One at the top and one at the bottom. Sorry, can't find that pic. I will post that later. Here are the two screws in the inner door. Flat head screws with counter sink washers. And a pic from the top of the window channel. Up and Down nicely. Still gotta install the rear one and clean paint and install the felt. Until next time.

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Buggeee
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2021 5:31 am    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

Congratulations on reaching the peak of that mountain and putting closure on the window guide solution. Enjoy the view. Smile

The window will be nice and secure. No rattles to scare away the bunnies.
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MACJELLY58
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2021 4:03 am    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

Thanks BUGEEE!
But as usual, I have not achieved closure on the Guides yet. I still gotta fine tune them a bit and of course clean, paint, install the felt and then tweak some more. I have a bad habit of kicking the "proverbial can" down the road. It's getting harder to do as the road is getting shorter. Good part is... I'm coming to the end of this portion of the build. Bad part is...I actually gotta finish what I start. Here's a couple of pics of the rear window guide. Not much to see, it's all hidden in the door. But, what the Hell.

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Speaking of not finishing anything, I jumped to the interior door handle installation. I'm using the early '50s -'60s door actuator and the corresponding handle. I was stuck on this one for awhile. I wanted to have the cable run on the inside of the door but, there was just no room with window crank in the way. Finally, I gave up on that idea and went with running it on the outside under the Door Card. I will have to make alterations to the Card for that. ( So, a little more of kicking that can!!)

I made a little template and cut and formed a mounting plate for the door actuator.

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I formed it a little and welded the relief cuts closed. Tacked it in and screwed the actuator to the plate for a test run. I canted it off horizontal to get the best angle for the "pull" on the Latch. I used a length of a clothes hanger to attach it to the release arm of the Latch. I will have to use the cable on the final install. I wanted to have the reliability of a "Hard" steel rod connection, like on the stock handles. If I had that, the Door Popper would have to work twice as hard to both "pull" the Latch and push the rod and door handle spring. So, the cable it will be.

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A rare success!! Very Happy It worked very nicely. It took very little effort to release the Latch. And I like to look of those door handles. I bought chrome window crank handles to go with them. So, the look should be rather cohesive. I cut out the pressed mounting bolts from the old mounting plates I had removed and welded them to my mounting plate where the test screw holes were.

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Then cleaned and primed with the Weld -Through on the edges and Self Etching in the middle.

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I had to trim the hole a little bigger and prep it all up. While I was there, I also cleaned up all the other "mistakes" and adjustment cuts I had made while getting the window regulator and guides installed.

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Got it all welded up and the interior door frame again feels really solid. It was getting late and I didn't want to "TREAT" the neighbors to another 40 minutes of grinding on a hollow thin metal door.
The resonance and acoustics of the vibrations though the hollow door and into the empty body are really something to behold. Wink
I guess I'm cool with waiting for tomorrow.

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MACJELLY58
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2021 6:10 am    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

I got to the grinding at a decent hour for the sake of the neighbors. 10 a.m. is cool, right?
You may have been able to tell by the weld beads. I got a little enthusiastic-again. Too much heat on the 22ga. inner door metal and then the warpage. Not as bad as it should have been. So, I guess I'm lucky. I pulled on them with the Glue Pullers and pushed from behind. I got them pretty decent. I filled a few pin holes and gave it some primer.


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The AVS "Popper" Actuators...actually came in last week. But, I was avoiding them. The failure with the Solenoids and just the general, "Re-do" wasn't giving me the Umph!! Gotta try them some time, right? It's the Universal ones, so there isn't a left and a right. I thought, just to be safe I would keep everything right where I had fitted them. So hopefully when it comes for the final install, I won't have any problems. Anxious

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I got to getting my cut on. It wasn't necessary to cut out all the Solenoid mounting, but I want to try and have both doors kinda match. Can't have it look like a total HACK JOB!! (even though it is.. Laughing )

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Went to make the "Tape-Plate" and thought I'd show the backlight technique of tracing the hole.
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And Wallah!! A weird looking puzzle piece of a patch with Zinc weld through.
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I welded the patch in and, of course immediately cut a hole in it! Very Happy
The cable securing plate needs access to install the cable. I thought I gotta make the hole... so I made it big enough so that the rubber boots won't rub.

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In mounted the Actuator a little canted toward the jam. I wasn't able to get the cable mount directly under the latch without the mounting screws showing on the jam instead of being hidden under the door card. Fingers crossed that it would work at that angle.

I again used my clothes hanger test rod and hooked it up. The kit does not come with any instructions in the box. You need to download it. The installation instructions do not have any information about wiring. They just direct you to follow your remote instructions/relays and such. So much for Universal. Anyway, unlike the Solenoids, these have positive and negative leads, instead of just a power lead and then grounding to the door. Much better, as you have a guaranteed solid ground. The Green leads are the positive ones if your interested. Anywazz...Success! Dancing Dancing

Not only did it work...it was sooo much quieter. Thanks again, jitbba!! I am much pleased.

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I cleaned it up and hit it with Primer.

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I then moved on to a can that I had kicked down the road...I still had to make an ear on the latch for the interior door handle. If you remember, after I had moved the Latch Pull to the inside of the door, I now needed a connection back on the outside!! Rolling Eyes

There it is up there at the top. I put in few more strengthening welds, cleaned it up and hit it with some primer and black paint.

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So, I'm getting to the point on this door that I have just about herded all the cats into the corral. I got everything on and working. Not at the finish line yet though. I still gotta tweak a bunch stuff to get it all working smooth.

My goal at the end of the build is to have "The List" as short as possible.
What List, you say?
If you have had a Bug for any length of time -You know "The List". It's kinda like a PreFlight List that you give to expectant passengers and inspectors.

1). You need to lift and pull forward to open the passenger door.
2). Please don't put your feet to far forward on the pan, It will go through.
3). If you do put your feet there, don't mind the soggy wetness.
4). Please don't touch the Glove Box (I'll never get it to close again)
5). To roll up the window...you need to crank and push on the glass with your
other hand while making a vibrating motion,ect...ect...etc... Sick

Laughing Laughing Hahaha... see you next time.
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MACJELLY58
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2021 5:47 am    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

Hi all, I had hurt my back again. If you remember, I had hurt it a while ago by standing up from my desk at work. This time it was way different. I had hurt my back by....SLEEPING! Shocked Like I had advised last time, DO NOT GET OLD!

I took a break for a week and then forced myself to try and do something with the car. I figured it'll be like going to Physical Therapy and I can work out the remaining kinks in my back. So, I did some little stuff....they gotta get done sometime, right? I cleaned up the Window Guides and gave them a good coating. I had to let them dry for a few days to make sure they were cured before I installed the felt.

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I got a roll of 1" and 2" Self-Adhesive felt. This stuff is STICKY. I had to be really careful when placing it down. I had made an impulse buy of an upholstery tool kit. It's got all plastic tools for prying and poking and stuffing.
The one in the photo was really useful and I will be using the Door Panel pry tool soon. I started by cutting away the bottom of the backing and lining up the bottom of the felt then, slowly peeling back and using the tool to press as I go.
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Success!! Very Happy

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Well, almost. As usual, I didn't do a test fit before I got all excited. But, the fit was excellent!! Laughing The action is perfect. It's snug, but slides freely. So, now....Success!! Very Happy

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I moved on to some more "Sit Down" work. My back was loosening up a bit. Apparently, VW'S are good for your health. Wink I made my largest cardboard template to date.

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Now is the time to see if I can hide all that mess I made in the door. I transferred the template to some 1/8" Hardboard and made some boxes out of the 3/16" Hardboard to hide the hinges. I went with the 3/16" board so I can sand them down a bit for a more "Molded" kinda look. Some progress? Rolling Eyes

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Right about then, my wife came in to inspect my work. She was impressed. Very Happy Then she says, "But does the door close?" You know my luck. I said, "Well, it should." Thankfully, at least for my Ego, it worked as I had imagined.

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I still have to weld in the "Retainer" clip-bracket-hook thingy, that the door armrest hangs on to. I got out the the armrest, I liked the look of the early Ghia ones. This is a Franken build, so why stop now?? So, that's what I got. Razz

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I started to fit the bracket to the back of the armrest, to try and see how it will go together. The bracket juuuust didn't fit. The labeling on the packaging matched up, they were supposed to go together. Oh well, what ya gonna do. I ground out a little more of the channel and...wallah!

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Installed on the door. I'm getting there. Now maybe tomorrow, I can make the "Retainer" clip-bracket-hook thingy to weld to the door.

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Buggeee
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2021 6:39 am    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

MACJELLY58 wrote:
...Like I had advised last time, DO NOT GET OLD!...

I am recklessly disregarding this advice.

MACJELLY58 wrote:

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That is the money shot right there. Applause
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2021 9:57 am    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

That collection of cans kicked down the road really is amazing. All I can say is awesome. Well done.
And I go by the mantra that age is just a number.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2021 12:27 pm    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

WOW! I tuned out for a few days and BAM!

Nice work! Looking forward to the completion of the next obstacle!

Carry on!

The flame tip for brazing is much longer than for welding. Look up a few written articles with pictures of the blue flame size. I think you are making the blue flame more of a small cone than a long feather. So, WAY TOO MUCH HEAT. Stretch it out and the results will be better!
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2021 5:19 pm    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

The amount of work you have done on this bug is incredible! Keep rolling and thanks for sharing!
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2021 3:43 pm    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

Make sure that actuator is grounded inside the body of the car, rather than somewhere inside the door. Looking good!
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MACJELLY58
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 3:29 am    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

WOW!! I'm so popular! I got four responses at once! I won't let it go to my head. Laughing
Seriously though, It's much appreciated. All the help and encouragement sure can go along way. As you know, I'm in my seventh year of my three year build. I was really naive with my abilities and extremely conservative in my expected timeline. Thanks for keeping me motivated!! (and laughing-BUGGEEE)

Thanks again to JIMBO and JITTBA for the priceless expertise. Anytime I can get free timely insight to a problem, I'm SO GAME!!


Last edited by MACJELLY58 on Fri Apr 16, 2021 4:25 am; edited 2 times in total
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MACJELLY58
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 4:23 am    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

So, next up was the "Retainer" clip-bracket-hook thingy for the Ghia Armrest. I dug out a few scrap "L" channel bed frame pieces and trimmed it down. I was too conservative on the first two tries. I finally ended up with about 1/2" foot to weld to the door. The armrest bulges out a bit but, it was necessary to clear the Door handle gear.

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I get the panel to hang, and then I think that the armrest is now not level. I had measured! Crying or Very sad I put on the bubble level and it's very close to horizontal. I think it's optical, due to the angle of the door handle mechanism.

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I returned the Template to the door and measured and marked the Retainer Clip hole locations. Then, just poked my ballpoint pen through.

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Now, on to mounting this thing. I was never a fan of the little rubber retaining nipples and the brittle O.E. panel clips. I figured that I've gotta be able to use some 21st century Door Trim retainers. So, I measured the naked hole in the door frame-8.5mm. Not a very popular size, but I was able to find a couple of candidates. I went with the HONDA retainers, mostly because they were a pretty Aqua color.

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Did a quick test with a piece of scrap. They fit perfectly. I mean, like a glove. The problem was, and yes, again I got a problem, they fit soooo perfectly that it is really difficult to get them to release. I'm using that 1/8" Hardboard and if I can get behind the clip, It releases okay. But If I'm doing the prying from the usual outer edge of panel area, It's liable to break the Hardboard. I ended up lightly sanding the lip of the plastic clips where they engage the hole and all was well again.

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Confidant that this plan might work, I transferred the template holes to the panel I made. I had reinforced the Hinge area with 1/8" think bar from top to bottom. The blue clips won't work there, It's too thick to engage the clip. So, I went with 8mm regular body "push" plugs and a smaller 1/4" hole for those.

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Fingers crossed, I drilled the holes and fitted the pane to the door.

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It went on nicely and even better, it came off nicely. Here's the Upholstery tool set I was talking about

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My next step was to assemble all the guts and make sure that it all worked in there together. All I needed was a 1/8" I.D. tube I planned on running the interior door handle release wire through. Because, it needed to run between the panel and the interior door frame, I didn't want it to rub on anything. I couldn't find it locally. Lot's of the 1/4" Ice Maker tubing, too big for me fit in there. I found some decent ones from my daughters hair conditioning bottle pick up tubes, but too short. Anyway, I ordered some from Grainger. I gotta wait on that to arrive.

I didn't want to just wait around for it and waste the three hours I have to work on the Bug the next day so, I decided to change up and do some bodywork.
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Not as much fun as I thought it would have been. I forgot this was the door I cut in half! Embarassed After about 40 minutes of Block Sanding, my back said, " No...NO... Shame on you Not talking

and I had to remove the door for the pleasure of my complaining back. I had started by applying filler to the problem areas. Then, I found that I needed to do a complete skim coat to the door to ensure some degree of straightness. The curvature of the door makes Block Sanding a nightmare. Evil or Very Mad I gave my block a slight curve to help. I'll keep plugging away when I can.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 9:20 am    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

Good to see that door getting a few skim coats of shaping putty! Finally getting to step back and enjoy all that energy expended!!!

Have a beer or 2, man you earned it!

Now, the big trick is NOT rethinking all of it and reworking it all over again! That is what does me in ALOT! I get some portion done, I then really start getting critical of my work and the project. The inner devil comes out, picks up the Sawzall and starts making “changes”. Don’t do it! It looks good! Keep moving forward!
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 10:25 am    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

I can wait a long time for the next sanding project I run into. There is no way out but through it. Beats going to the gym though. My cousin is a body man and tells me "coast to coast" on a panel like that, so skimming the whole thing was a good idea in his book. On mine I began to think of it as a daily meditation. Spray bottle in one hand, block in the other. Swish swish this way, swish swish 45 degrees that way. Chris chris, cross cross, chris chris, cross cross. Oh my shoulders are beginning to hurt just thinking about it.

It's going to be beautiful.
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MACJELLY58
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2021 4:38 am    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

Now you got me laughing JIMBO!! Laughing Laughing
I get that all the time too. I do my very best, then I'm like....let's just tweak that a little, then a little more... and end up in mess of trouble. I'm really trying to remember that it's my first real project...and give myself (my skills) a little leeway. You can't get blood from a stone, right?

And BUGGEEE, you were really making me feel bad because I know how hard you worked on getting your car nice an straight. The pics of that shine-line on your in-progress work was impressive Applause I'm just doing the general work now. I'm gonna freak when I gotta do the fine tuning with Guide Coat and Wet Sanding the whole car with all it's curves etc... Just thinking it gives me the chills. Sick
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MACJELLY58
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 3:04 am    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

Well, still waiting for the plastic sheath for the interior door cable. I guess the news reports of a backlog of shipping containers is for real. I also ordered some O.E.M. used window regulators. Those are also stuck at the docks in Cali.

But whateva, I continued working on the body filler. I rough finished the outer door skin. Then worked on the side jams and bottom. The front jam , the one everyone will see, had two holes I originally made to mount the front window guide. I didn't like that out there and moved them to the inside of the door. So, I had make some plugs first and weld those in. I guess I really like making more work for myself. Crying or Very sad

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As was about to shoot some primer, I looked around at all the dust everywhere and decided to do a few more areas since the mess was already made. I worked on the front quarter panel. I wanted the welds from the deletion of the Pinch Weld to go away.

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Then there was the Windshield Post from the chop and of course the whole "A" Pillar with all those Mods.

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I'm still having trouble with my spreading technique, well actually the whole process! Rolling Eyes I was doing okay, I guess. Then I was putting a second application and wanted to go big. I mixed up a large batch to spread on everything. I wanted more working time before it hardened, so I skimped on the hardener. Spread it all on and waited. 20 minutes...30 minutes...finally, It was getting late so I just left it to set overnight. Three days later, I gave up and scraped that crap off and started over. Boo hoo!

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So like I said, still trying to get my groove on with the filler thing. I wasted a bunch of filler trying to get it to go where I wanted it to go. I tried using some tape to help me with the edging. Still not pretty, but it was where I could shape it now. Still a lot of waste.

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I'm not using the Large chrome stock piece of molding. Just straight molding through there. So, I needed to create that bodyline from the door onto the Quarter panel. The tape worked before, so I tried it again.

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That worked out pretty well. I did the passenger side Quarter as well. That side was actually better. Even considering that side had the Gas Flap deleted!
That was enough for now, and I got to the primer. I still gotta fine tune the bodywork but that's a good rough-in for me. Besides...Kicking the CAN!!


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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 11:23 am    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

Looking more together. NICE and TIGHT!!!

Keep on going! Onto the block sanding! Lucky guy!!!
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There is never enough time to do it right the first time, but all the time necessary the second time!
nshaddox wrote:
Plus I tend to prefer these impossible projects that take way too much time. There’s no thrill in easy projects. Challenges are fun.

67rustavenger wrote:
GFY's Xevin and VW_Jimbo! Smile
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PostPosted: Sat May 01, 2021 8:05 pm    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

For a large surface like a door or side panel I like to use a 10 - 12" steel spreader for drywall mud. I even have a 2ft version! They are still somewhat flexible enough to fit to the shape of a door or panel. Do not forget. Less is more when it comes to bondo. Always better to put a couple thin layers on with little sanding between. Saves bondo too.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2021 12:02 pm    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

Hey brother, what is happening? Any updates?
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There is never enough time to do it right the first time, but all the time necessary the second time!
nshaddox wrote:
Plus I tend to prefer these impossible projects that take way too much time. There’s no thrill in easy projects. Challenges are fun.

67rustavenger wrote:
GFY's Xevin and VW_Jimbo! Smile
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