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1969 VW Bug - Fallen's Slow Herbie Build
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fallenone121
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Joined: August 21, 2014
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Location: Bellevue, MI
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:02 pm    Post subject: 1969 VW Bug - Fallen's Slow Herbie Build Reply with quote

Hello there! My name is fallenone121 and I am a disabled military veteran who - at the start of desiring a VW Bug project - had wanted a trike as it was the only way I could figure out a lightweight rear end to base the trike on without needing to do the typical trike backend that would otherwise cost a few thousand dollars just for the most basic way to operate it. I wanted a trike because during my military service I found myself with an inability to lift a motorcycle after severe abdominal surgeries.

August 2014 I had been travelling around within hundreds of miles of my house trying to acquire parts to try to get together a body and some parts - I loved the idea of a trike with a partial cover and a back seat.

The VW Bug I was able to find in my state was a partial - which was fine - but what I failed to notice when I picked it up wasnt a negative it was the fact that the person I bought it from had put in a rollcage for his daughter who was building a baja but chose a different car for the base. So I had a body that I couldnt cut for the trike but I wouldnt let this darken my doorstep.

Having the bug at a shop in Kalamazoo Michigan I was hit hard when the bodyshop that I was having look over work for the VW Bug and another project car of mine (1971 Datsun 240z) the shop owner stole parts from both cars to resell - but it took a bit for me to catch on. Thousands of dollars of parts going missing I didnt know what all parts were missing so I had to get myself a place to stow things - I bought a house with a large main garage (4 car-ish), a pole barn (40x60ish feet), and a secondary garage (2 car) and moved everything I could to the house in a rush after closing.

The problem came about was that now that I had no idea what was missing and everything was so cluttered that I didnt even know where to begin for an inventory. I didnt even want to look at the two projects for years after - I hated the very thought of what happened - but I still loved the vehicles themselves.

Recently ive started to try to find myself a means and measure to be able to refocus my attentions to try to get something going - the 240Z seeming like a rather extreme thing because the engine I had built for it that is sitting in my garage is fully built for a GTR but im hesitant to have big things done by shops and want to be able to do SOME things myself...

Which drew my eyes to Herbie...the little bug...and ALOT of videos on youtube...having no engine and the WRONG transaxle...I could effectively start over...VW engines for the bug being priced at 3-6 thousand dollars I knew I had to find another path since I exist on VA disability and SS disability...

I knew I didnt want to chop the bug to try to build in something big like the 2.5L turbo for my daily (06 Subaru Impreza WRX STi) - so I found resources that said a 2.2L could fit right in without cutting out the back seat or ripping apart the entire firewall and fenders and all...

On 8/22/2014 - I went to Flint MI and picked up the Herbie Donor...

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I had prior to this on 8/21/2014 gone to Indiana to pick up a back seat

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I picked up a transaxle at the same time from Ohio - but it was for a swing axle before I knew mine was an IRS transaxle.

Meanwhile when I got it parked I was able to start the investigation and start removing parts trying to figure what I needed...

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The guys at the shop I was doing this at kept mocking me for using two jack stands - so I used 4x4s and cinder blocks.

And I had a table I was putting parts on I had bought for the VW...

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And to end this post...here is a pic of one of my dailies next to Herbie taken just before the body shop guy was caught stealing parts.

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Now...with a good starting point for everything...I need to go back through the parts I bought in the shop that I had on the table...find out what I already have and find out what I will need to make this Baja into a normal bug again.

I know I can get a rear apron for like 80$ which isnt bad at all - I need to figure out if I need the Front Apron or Front Clip.

Also trying to learn things like how to identify - since every reference I see the transaxle is the transmission - how to find out which ones would be autostick and which would be manual.
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fallenone121
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Joined: August 21, 2014
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Location: Bellevue, MI
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:33 pm    Post subject: Re: 1969 VW Bug - Fallen's Slow Herbie Build Reply with quote

Finally clearing up space around the VW in the garage so I can get into it and sorting and inventorying what all parts I bought when I first got the car to see what.

Among the parts I found and moved to the VW shelves around the car - was the Empi Coilovers.

So I went to the back of the car to look into how hard installation would be...

And find nothing...

Son of a xD

Now to try to figure out what all is missing and how its supposed to go on...

Tried googling diagrams of the rear suspension of the 69 Bug to no success so far.

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walter kandetzki
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 8:12 pm    Post subject: Re: 1969 VW Bug - Fallen's Slow Herbie Build Reply with quote

those are some home made or aftermarket rear trailing arms.original vw ones are shaped different.you will just need an IRS transmission from a 1969 and up beetle OR superbeetle.you will need the axle shafts and well and a bowden tube.if you want just find some original IRS trailing arms from a 69 and up beetle/superbeetle

edit:looks like they modified the stock rear trailing arms and cut the shock brackets off

for the front end you can get a used clip (aftermarket ones are kind of junk) from the front of the gas tank foward.rear part you will need the apron,the bumper bracket areas and the engine bay seal areas as well (metal side pieces)


Last edited by walter kandetzki on Sat Jul 13, 2019 8:20 pm; edited 2 times in total
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walter kandetzki
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 8:14 pm    Post subject: Re: 1969 VW Bug - Fallen's Slow Herbie Build Reply with quote

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fallenone121
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:35 am    Post subject: Re: 1969 VW Bug - Fallen's Slow Herbie Build Reply with quote

Thank you so much for the information Smile I greatly appreciate it.

Ive started looking into Stock Trailing Arms.

Also considered looking into the 3x3 trailing arms ive seen online if I cant find them anywhere else.

There are two VW scrapyards within 4 hours of my house according to Google so this next week I will stop out at the two locations and see what I can get for decent condition parts.

I have a rear apron - at least most of it I think - that I bought a few years back when I bought two stock seats for the VW from people off Samba classifieds with the horse hair still in it - the seats are falling apart but I can have them used as a basis for rejuvination by a local upholsterer.
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fallenone121
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:14 pm    Post subject: Re: 1969 VW Bug - Fallen's Slow Herbie Build Reply with quote

More pics during my exploration...trying to find what parts I need to get it drivable and then what I should consider changing or upgrading...

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Roll cage peeking out from under floor panel...which made me notice the floor coloring...

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Seeing the rear driver tire through the floor...

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walter kandetzki
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:42 am    Post subject: Re: 1969 VW Bug - Fallen's Slow Herbie Build Reply with quote

your car is completely missing the heater channels which is a structure part of car i believe
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Buggeee
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:10 pm    Post subject: Re: 1969 VW Bug - Fallen's Slow Herbie Build Reply with quote

Fallenone121, thank you for your work in our service.

I will suggest that this bug is a base for building an off road woods buggy or radical baja.

This bug is no longer for a street car like I think you have in mind.

The body is missing massive amounts of major structural sections. It looks like the prior owner built a tube cage framework to carry the load, hacking away all parts of the bug that stood in the way of the tube cage chassis he was building. The tube cage now serves as the foundation for the vehicle.

I have seen simple baja conversions turned back into street cars on this Samba forum. This bug is not it. The simple baja conversions only chop off the nose and the tail (front clip and rear clip) and those can be welded back on but it is a very serious, precise, advanced body work to do it. Here, however, massive portions of the front, rear... and bottom of the car have been cut away to make way for the tube cage construction. Also the suspension has had serious modification for the off road. The wiring harness has been mostly removed as with all the dashboard details.

This will be a money pit for you. Many thousands of dollars will be spent chasing this rabbit down the hole before the car is even partway built.

I am speaking directly out of great respect for the sacrifice you have made for me and all of us. In my honest opinion I will suggest piling together the money you would be spending on this one and using it to look for a fully complete, stock beetle without a lot of rust. Running or not is less important than being complete, mostly original, and little rust. Do not fall for the trick of the really shiny fresh paint. That fresh paint can hide a lot of problems. Look for mostly original, or at least mostly complete.

In Michigan you will be able to get a complete bug for $3,000 if you are patient and strike when it pops up. About three weeks ago a complete, unmolested white 66 popped up on Craigslist for $3,000 and then was gone in a matter of three days. Just assemble the funds, be patient and strike when it appears. You will spend more than that amount on this bug just trying to gather some of what you would need.

On the other hand, this might make a base for a cool baja bug. The people in the off road section of Samba will be able to identify what you have here in that regard, and they could tell you whether it can be made safe as a street baja or better left for the woods buggy purpose.
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Blue Baron
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:14 pm    Post subject: Re: 1969 VW Bug - Fallen's Slow Herbie Build Reply with quote

X2

Honestly, if it's Herbie you want, it's best to start with a complete '62 or '63 sunroof car, as many people who build Herbies start out not very concerned with authenticity, but at some point the authenticity bug bites them, and they regret not starting with the proper model VW to begin with.
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fallenone121
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2020 8:29 am    Post subject: Re: 1969 VW Bug - Fallen's Slow Herbie Build Reply with quote

I wanted to thank you both for your responses to my intended build.

I have finally gotten to the point I can start looking into getting into a herbie project again.

Finally started looking at VW Bugs for sale locally and even on Samba and CarGuru seeing the pricing - put my 06 Subaru STI for sale to help further fund the build more.
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Jacks
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2020 9:00 am    Post subject: Re: 1969 VW Bug - Fallen's Slow Herbie Build Reply with quote

I want to warn you (and others) about using cinder blocks as jack stands. In the early 1970ís I had the rear end of a stock bug supported with these blocks while doing work under the car with the wheels off. While standing next to the car, after just having been under it, one of the blocks fractured in to pieces and the car crashed to the ground!!! I count myself as very fortunate to have learned the value of proper jack stands, without suffering. Good luck to to you sir, and God bless you.
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fallenone121
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 1:39 pm    Post subject: Re: 1969 VW Bug - Fallen's Slow Herbie Build Reply with quote

Jacks wrote:
I want to warn you (and others) about using cinder blocks as jack stands. In the early 1970ís I had the rear end of a stock bug supported with these blocks while doing work under the car with the wheels off. While standing next to the car, after just having been under it, one of the blocks fractured in to pieces and the car crashed to the ground!!! I count myself as very fortunate to have learned the value of proper jack stands, without suffering. Good luck to to you sir, and God bless you.


Oh no - fortunately it was a short lived thing when I first got that vehicle.

I was working on it in a local shop using one of their unused bays and was trying to figure out what was missing to make it functional. I had it on jackstands initially but people kept bumping into the vehicle making it wobble and nearly knocked it over because the mechanics didnt pay attention to where they were going - so I figured if I balanced it on 4x4s and cinderblocks they wouldnt knock it over while I stood behind it trying to examine the suspension.
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fallenone121
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 1:44 pm    Post subject: Re: 1969 VW Bug - Fallen's Slow Herbie Build Reply with quote

Found a 69 VW Bug I was REALLY interested in...was waiting for the seller to provide some pics that they said they needed to wait for their husband to get home to help them photograph the car where I asked about - after waiting a week to hear back they sold the car to someone else.

Oh well, time to start the search over. Not easy to find good condition ones out and about.

So many have heavy rust and the people want 15000$ for them. Definately not worth 10k+ for a rusty bug.

Lots of beauties in California - but flying to california to get a car seems a bit much during covid.
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Buggeee
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2020 5:53 am    Post subject: Re: 1969 VW Bug - Fallen's Slow Herbie Build Reply with quote

Wishing you good luck on the Bug hunt!
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