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Zezdy's 1970 VW Build
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Zezdy
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Joined: October 19, 2021
Posts: 8
Location: Nebraska
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2021 11:41 pm    Post subject: Zezdy's 1970 VW Build Reply with quote

Hey All!

New to the forums, and happy to be here. I've been a lurker for a long time, and just started on a restoration. So here goes nothing!

The Beetle itself is a 1970. It's been in our family for about 19 years, and unfortunately has been parked outside for almost all of it. It's been driven maybe 5 times in the past 15 years. I needed a project, and felt like this was the one! Time to bring her back. Since the beginning, I've planned on this being a body off restoration. I've got all the time in the world, and know that this is going to be a VERY slow process.

We got her towed from my parent's place to mine, and it was a chore and a half. It doesn't roll as easily as a 1600 lb car should, and I'm thinking the brakes are activated someplace. A lot of work got her into my garage, and I got to finally take a look at the damage.

As you can see, both the driver's and passenger's floor pans are going to need to be replaced. If I"m not mistaken, both heater channels (or at least the driver's side) are in for a replacement. Anything else major you guys can see from the pictures?

I've got lots of plans for this one, and I'm happy to be here! Looking forward to the process.


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VW_Jimbo Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 8:48 am    Post subject: Re: Zezdy's 1970 VW Build Reply with quote

Welcome to the Samba!

I have restored around 15 1970 Bugs through the years, a 55, a 77, a 65, 68, and currently a 54 along with a 70!

71 is a great year! Very close to the 70 model year. If you need a dimension for anything, I have almost, all of them!

I can see the heater channel are gone. So you need to find out if you will need to replace the lower portions of the quarter panels to make a strong connection to the rest of the body. Also, on the A pillar, there is a secondary inner reinforcement panel that you will need to weld to the heater channel. Heads up! But it is all doable!

By chance is that a California car? That smog equipment, the throttle positioned, I believe was a California only item, but I cannot recall 100%. I am certain someone on here knows for sure!

Just so you know. Do not get rid of the rain catch tray that is attached to the underside of your rear decklid. Black sheet metal thing with 2 drain holes. It catches the rain from the louvres and redirects it.

Also, do not throw away the overriders on your bumpers. The 2 upright parts attached to each bumper. They are hard to find now. And your bumpers. Try and fix them. The ones out in the marketplace are Uber expensive (stainless steel) OR really cheap and thin.

Good luck and know I will be reading up and commenting as you work through your project!
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Jimbo

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. Thereís no thrill in easy projects. Challenges are fun.

67rustavenger wrote:
GFY's Xevin and VW_Jimbo! Smile
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Zezdy
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Joined: October 19, 2021
Posts: 8
Location: Nebraska
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 3:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Zezdy's 1970 VW Build Reply with quote

Thanks for the kind words, Jimbo. I've been reading through your stuff for quite some time, so it's pretty awesome to have your advice!

I can trace the car back to 1974, and it's been in Nebraska since then. I can't speak for the first four years of its life.

I haven't torn off fenders or anything yet, but there's a good hole going through the driver's side front fender into the heater channel. I got a couple better pictures of the heater channels after removing the running boards.

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The passenger's door is tough to open and shut, and I'm not quite sure why. The driver's side door also appears to have to jump up maybe 1/16 of an inch to catch the latch.

The luggage compartment appears to be in good condition, and the rust just appears to be surface rust. But I'm by no means an expert.


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A shot of the rear floor panels...

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I've also removed a majority of the trashed dash pad. I'm going to go with an all metal dash for the remodel. I like the aesthetics of it more.

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As far as the rest of the interior goes, it's going to be a complete tear-out. The front seats are trashed. I'm also planning on replacing them with low-back seats. I don't know if I'll chop the internals for these ones, or just buy new. The back seat isn't in terrible shape, but needs new coverings and padding.

For those interested, she's got just over 86k miles I believe.

Thanks in advance for everyone looking in and commenting. It'll be nice to share the ride! If things get enough interest, I'm all for putting up some videos up so you guys can watch me stumble through this thing. Thanks again, all!
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VW_Jimbo Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 4:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Zezdy's 1970 VW Build Reply with quote

You are welcome!

Before you go any further, you need to brace the car from folding. This is exactly what happened to my 54, if you read that build thread. The heater channels were so rusted that when I started to get disassembled, it started to fold on me. It took me several days and some engineering to get it to bend back into shape. It then has been a fight at each and every panel swap. I have gotten by it finally, but now knowing that is a possibility, I would weld some steel L channel segments across the door openings and across the cabin to one another as well.

Read the first several pages of the 54 build and you will see the hell I went through!
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Jimbo

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. Thereís no thrill in easy projects. Challenges are fun.

67rustavenger wrote:
GFY's Xevin and VW_Jimbo! Smile
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Zezdy
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Posts: 8
Location: Nebraska
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 3:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Zezdy's 1970 VW Build Reply with quote

Got a little bit of time off from work, and decided to continue with the interior...

Removed the front seats, which were pretty much rusted to the frames. Some kicks from the backseat and some mallet persuasion got them both off though. This is what I was greeted with underneath:


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As you can see, the driver's side, rear floor pan was "patched" by a previous owner. Even the rudimentary repair was completely rusted through. Looking under the car you can see the screws sticking through the bottom. On the plus side, I found $0.32 and an earing!

Did some other small odds and ends with the interior, mainly getting the seatbelts out. All the bolts came out super easily. I marked the seatbelt locations with tape and taped the hardware to each corresponding belt. I'm sure this is overkill, but here's to learning!

Here soon I'll weld some braces to the interior in preparation to get the body off. As a side note, I have no clue how to weld. Once again, here's to learning!

Bonus shot of heater channel rot:

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Zezdy
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2021 8:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Zezdy's 1970 VW Build Reply with quote

Well, been working on a few odd jobs for the past few days. Here's a pic of the seats after I got them out.


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I got the fenders off with no problem. Not a single bolt stuck or even gave me the start of a problem. Do you guys see anything weird?

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The gas tank also came out pretty easy.

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I've also been tagging all the electrical stuff, even though I think I'm going to replace the harness. Took a lot longer than expected!

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I'm just about done with the trunk area. I'm seeing a lot less rust than I thought I would, but there's still a few places that will need to be touched up.
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VW_Jimbo Premium Member
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2021 9:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Zezdy's 1970 VW Build Reply with quote

Looks great! What does the spare tire well look like and both sides of it? Thatís where to look for front end accident damages. I can tell from the gas tank window that no 35mph plus accidents happened!

Did all the fender captive nuts stay where they are supposed to be?
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Jimbo

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. Thereís no thrill in easy projects. Challenges are fun.

67rustavenger wrote:
GFY's Xevin and VW_Jimbo! Smile
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Zezdy
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Posts: 8
Location: Nebraska
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2021 11:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Zezdy's 1970 VW Build Reply with quote

I'll post a pic of the spare tire well when I can. It doesn't look terrible, but isn't perfect either. I don't see anything super obvious, but there is a little rust. It's not enough to warrant a replacement I don't believe.

And yes! All fender nuts were accounted for and still attached. I've got some broken washers out of the front fenders, but I'll take that over anything else breaking in that chain.
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Zezdy
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2021 10:54 am    Post subject: Re: Zezdy's 1970 VW Build Reply with quote

Here's a downward shot into the spare tire well:

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Then working our way around...

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I'm still very excited to see what I'm seeing. I thought the car would be in much worse shape for sitting for the past 19 years.
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Tom K.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2021 11:04 am    Post subject: Re: Zezdy's 1970 VW Build Reply with quote

That is very solid car other than the channels. Well worth saving.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2021 4:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Zezdy's 1970 VW Build Reply with quote

Nice! Looks like it had a slight bump on the drivers side. It looks like there is a line (crack in the paint and it is peeling) along one of the body folds. But it could be just a coincidence. You will need to further investigate. To do so, ask the question, "Why did the paint crack right there along that ridge?", then go about looking for other possibly compromised points. Or deem it, it is what it is! Was the bumper bracket bent at all on that side? How about the bottom rolled edge of the fender?

Besides that. Everything else looks great!
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Jimbo

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. Thereís no thrill in easy projects. Challenges are fun.

67rustavenger wrote:
GFY's Xevin and VW_Jimbo! Smile
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walter kandetzki
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2021 4:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Zezdy's 1970 VW Build Reply with quote

Since you are going non padded dash you can get fresh air control knobs from a 73+ super and the rest of knobs from a type3 as they are shorter then just buy shorter vents
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Zezdy
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2021 11:28 am    Post subject: Re: Zezdy's 1970 VW Build Reply with quote

Thanks, Walter. I appreciate it. I'll also be doing the glovebox modification:

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=582210

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the three dash vents. I'm debating leaving all three and using shorter vents for the side two. The car will probably eventually have an aftermarket, ceramic heating system installed. That's too far down the road for me to think about right now, so I'm not diving into the idea too deeply at this point.

I believe I read that the early model chrome dash trim will work just fine for the conversion. Then of course I'll plug up all of the excess holes. I've got plans for the large opening just to the right of the speedometer, but again, that's a long ways down the road.

Also, after labeling the majority of the wiring harness, I've decided that I'm probably just going to buy a new one anyways.

On the agenda for today is to get the rear fenders off and see if there's any more odd jobs I can do before I finally have to brace the frame. I've got a welder in mind to buy, but have yet to pull the trigger.
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Buggeee
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2021 2:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Zezdy's 1970 VW Build Reply with quote

It's hard for me to believe this car lived outside it's whole life because it's in such good condition. Excellent candidate for a project, even before considering the family history. Enjoy the build!
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Zezdy
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2021 3:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Zezdy's 1970 VW Build Reply with quote

Hey Buggeee, thanks for joining in!

It really is pretty interesting when I think about it. The whole time we've had it, it has sat outside in the (rare) rain, deep snow, and hot sun. Other than about 50 wasp nests so far, I'm super happy with it.

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While preparing to get the rear fenders off today, I noticed the pretty obvious damage by the rear apron.

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Off came the fenders. These two are significantly more rusted than the front two, and I'm not sure what my best course of action is here.

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You can see the rust extending from just in front of the passenger's tire to inside the rear luggage compartment area. It's rusted through, but I don't think it will be a very large patch. The driver's side isn't as bad, but still warrants a patch.

I'm also just about out of small jobs before I need to break down and finally get a welder. The tear down went a lot faster than I thought it would!
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walter kandetzki
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2021 6:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Zezdy's 1970 VW Build Reply with quote

Iím deleting my two outer vents on my 68 as I had the vents on hood for fresh air welded shut you can use the stock dash grills and drill holes and put the trim on.Wolfsburg west sells the trim
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2021 10:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Zezdy's 1970 VW Build Reply with quote

Hey man! Good to see progress.

Your local Jr college most likely has a Welding 101 class. It is SO IMPORTANT to get some fundamentals in place before starting out welding wrong! Get a welder, some steel that is good enough to practice on and then practice. Practice till you get good. Then go after the spots on the car.

And just so you have the information. Thick steel, letís say 1/8 of an inch and thicker is fairly easy to weld, right out of the gate. Thin steel, like sheet metal is not hard, but does require some awareness. The torch can easily blow through the sheet steel, so you actually weld, one dot at a time, each one overlapping the previously cooled down blob.

Best thing you can do for yourself is take a class!

Car is still looking solid to me. Those are some small rust spots and very common at the front wheel well/luggage shelf area. There are patch panel available or you can make your own.

Looking forward to your next few posts!
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Jimbo

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. Thereís no thrill in easy projects. Challenges are fun.

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