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1973 VW Thing "Face Lift" Many pictures!
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Michael B
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:50 am    Post subject: 1973 VW Thing "Face Lift" Many pictures! Reply with quote

1973 Thing Face Lift

Well itís time to start a new project and this is a short story of where it all started.

This ďThingĒ came to me from my recently deceased father: David R. Bumgarner. He started working on it after it had been sitting out at my uncleís house in Rosemond, CA for some 15 years. We would use it from time to time during Thanksgiving gatherings, but would always need to work on something before it would be up and running. I kept telling my dad that he should take it home to Santa Maria, CA and take some time cleaning it up and fixing the mechanical problems that needed attention. So he finally took it home and started working on it for a couple of months, then cancer took his life.

Now the Thing is in my possession and hereís where the ďFace LiftĒ comes up. This isnít my first face lift that I have done.
(Read here: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=217280&highlight=face+lift ).
So what I would like to do is start by showing some pictures and add what Iím doing as I go. Any input is always greatly appreciated. What I have in mind for this project is making it a good running, Clean, VW Thing. My wife would like to be able to drive it to work some times and we will be driving it in the desert and fire trails. Everything will be gone through and rebuilt. It has a stock trans and 1835cc engine right now and I will have the trans rebuilt and I have a 2180cc or so engine size in mind. Rewiring and gauges with new seats, belts, ect. Now that Iíve started with taking everything apart Iíll have the pan sandblasted and painted with Por-15 paint. I havenít thought too much about the body other than the need for sandblasting as well. I know that thereís rust under the paint and many other problems that this ďThingĒ has gone through.


Hereís some pictures:

In the beginning:
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This is what it looked like after some of the work my dad did:


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Hereís where Iím at today:

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I will add more pictures as I go and hope that someone getís some use of this information.

I also will be selling some of the parts that I donít need, like the heater and washer bottle, and a few other parts. Iím not going back to stock on this Thing so no need for some of the parts.

Regards,
Michael B
Very Happy
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Fun 181
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Michael,
I am very sorry to hear about the loss of your father. It's great to see that you have decided to continue the work he started on the Thing.

Judging by the pics of your awesome buggy resto I'm sure your Thing will surely turn some heads upon completion.

Good luck with the facelift and keep the pictures coming! I'm especially interested to see what you do with your gauges and seats. Any plans for lifting her?

Slim
a.k.a. Fun 181
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bmwloco
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael,

Great shots, and it looks like you're "going deep" so your Thing will live on for many years and happy miles to come. Good on ya' as my Kiwi friends say.

I, too, have a legacy with my father regarding Thing ownership. He found my first one, and helped me buy it. I sold it when I lived in Vermont back in the 80's, and have missed having one since.

Happily, I found another one. It too needs work, and I'm planning on getting it ready by this summer.

Cheers!
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npconnor
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, looks like you are going all out on this one! Good luck and it seems as though you know what your doing, you got a nice Buggy there! Definitaley keep us updated on progress and whatnot, I am very interested as to how this will turn out.

In your third picture, you have a set of auxillary brake lights, may I ask where you got those/where I can get some/if you want to sell those? Laughing Those look REALLY good, I want some. I looked around autozone and amazon websites for extra/auxillary brake lights but nothing came up.
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Michael B
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 10:19 am    Post subject: Front Beam After Sandblasting Reply with quote

After about 45 mins of sandblasting this is what the front beam looks like. I have a 6.25 HP air compressor and this Harbor Freight sandblasting machine ($ 80.00 on sale). I used kids play sand from Lowes ($ 4.75 ea. 50 lb. bag.) and had to fill it twice to complete the job. Keep in mind that you can reuse the sand as long as it's kept clean (no big debris that will clog the tip). I used a arc welding mask and overalls for safety. I will get some pictures of how I made a sandblasting area that goes up and come's down in just 10 mins Wink .

Got quotes to have the pan sandblasted and one guy said $ 150.00 and another said $ 300.00 Shocked . After doing the beam I think I will do the pan myself and save some $$$$$$$$$ Very Happy .

Here's the front beam,


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This is the sandblasting machine,

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Last edited by Michael B on Sat Jan 19, 2008 8:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Video Bob
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice blasting job. I have the same blaster along with another suction unit.
Safety is very important using these units. Inside the front cover of your instruction manual for that unit it states: "Do not use any sand or silica based abrasives with this tool. Silica based abrasives have been linked to severe respiratory disease." Although a little more expensive, I use aluminum oxide and a canister style dust mask. The dust mask gets clogged fairly fast with extremely fine dust. Not a good thing for your lungs if you're not wearing one. I hope you take this advise in the positive light it was given.
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joosty_chin
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i see what tool ill be buying next. just curious (might be a stupid question seeing that it is one piece) did you leave it all together like that to sandblast it? is so how is all the rubber?
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74 Thing
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That Thing looks pretty good. Looks like you have some cracks in the pan by the E brake handle (typical of a Thing).

Make sure you replace all the bushings on the rear end while you have the body off.

How come there are some welds in the center of the beam-looks like somone wanted to put adjusters in or something.

Keep the gas heater in and get it working!!
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spaeth
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What video Bob said!!! Do not use Silica sand with this blaster unless you have some very high end air filtration gear. The Silica settles in the lungs and there is no way to get it out. It can lead lot's of very bad health issues. There are some safe blasting medias out there. Make sure you are using one. This looks like a cool project. Good luck on it.

Craig
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Michael B
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 3:11 pm    Post subject: Mediablasting not SANDblasting Reply with quote

I understand what has been said and have now made a change to how I will mediablast. I have taken back the kids play sand and have bought GARNET blasting media.

GARNET MSDS http://www.garnetsales.com/pdf/English/techdata/GMA%20Garnet%20MSDS.pdf

I knew that there could be a problem, but not how great. all I can say is Thanks for the heads up!

I will be using a painters air filtration mask from here on out.


Last edited by Michael B on Wed Jan 16, 2008 2:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Michael B
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

74 Thing wrote:
That Thing looks pretty good. Looks like you have some cracks in the pan by the E brake handle (typical of a Thing).

Make sure you replace all the bushings on the rear end while you have the body off.

How come there are some welds in the center of the beam-looks like somone wanted to put adjusters in or something.

Keep the gas heater in and get it working!!


I have in mind to replace everything that needs replacing while I have it apart.

The welds on the beam are from the other owner cutting and turning the beam. ( I think I might put in adjusters, not sure at this time).

The heater is going for sure because less weight and less work to keep it working AND more $$ after I sell it for other parts that I need.

Thanks for your interest though Smile
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Michael B
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2008 2:00 pm    Post subject: Powder Coating Pan Reply with quote

Well do to the nature of this project (In memory of the father), I have decided to have the Pan powder coated at a cost of $ 300.00 and I might have the rest of the suspension parts done as well (Front beam, trailing arms, and rear IRS) at a quoted price of $ 500.00. I did have in mind to use Por-15, but would like to keep this Thing in the family for my son (heís 3 years 6 moths.) Smile . I will post some pictures when I get the pan back.

I will now start taking the front beam apart and see what I have, will post some pictures for viewing purposes later. Very Happy

Michael
Yellow 181
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Michael B
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hereís some pictures of the back suspension parts and how the brakes and baking plates look after 35 years.



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This is how I went about removing the VERY stuck ball joints Evil or Very Mad. I think I will be changing over to disk brakes for the front, but not sure about the rear.



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Hereís some pictures of the pan after having it powder coated. Looks great although there was some heavy rust in the battery tray area that when they sand blasted it went all the way through, no biggie. After paying $ 300.00 for this service I know it was money well spent and a big time savings. Very Happy

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Pierre G
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2008 1:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, nice pan ! It's a very good job you're doing. But not sure about the technique to remove the ball joints. They're pressed in and supposed to be removed with a HD press...

Pierre
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1976 181/Thing (daily driver), 1967 fastback, 1973 squareback, 1964 microbus, 1967 Double Cab, 1969 westfalia (currently under resto), 1972 westfalia, 1978 westfalia, 1972 LM1C dune buggy, 1974 jean's bug, 1974 1303 (super beetle, currently under reassembly after new paint) + 2 semi wrecks 181 (1971 and 1972)...
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Michael B
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2008 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pierre181 wrote:
They're pressed in and supposed to be removed with a HD press...Pierre


Yes in deed they are pressed in and I gave it all I had 12 tons and heating it with MAPP Gas Evil or Very Mad ... No luck.

I think I read somewhere on here that if you cut out the center of a stuck ball joint it makes it weaker Idea and then can be pressed out. This was the case with these ball joints, because after cutting out the center they just pressed right out.

Pictures of what I tried. I used as much force as it would put out and was even bending the 3/8" steel flat bars Surprised as seen in the photos
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Pierre G
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2008 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I see what you mean...It's because 12 ton isn't enough. The regular press of the mechanics doesn't do that job. It's really tough to remove the old ones and must be done with a very strong press in a professional shop. The new ones are easier to do generally. But you did it !! Wink Keep up the good job on this thing, I'll keep my eyes on your thread, it gives me courage to start the resto of my other Thing (not the yellow).

Pierre
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1976 181/Thing (daily driver), 1967 fastback, 1973 squareback, 1964 microbus, 1967 Double Cab, 1969 westfalia (currently under resto), 1972 westfalia, 1978 westfalia, 1972 LM1C dune buggy, 1974 jean's bug, 1974 1303 (super beetle, currently under reassembly after new paint) + 2 semi wrecks 181 (1971 and 1972)...
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Michael B
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:07 am    Post subject: Cleaning out the GREASE / Keep track of parts Reply with quote

This is the way I got all the grease out of the front beam. I wasnít sure this would work, but it seems that 90% came out by heating up the grease it just ran right out. I then removed the bearings and wiped out another 8% of grease. The last thing to do was wash out the remaining.



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In order to keep track of the parts I have labeled these storage totes for either the next process, or just to make sure I donít loose track of where they are. For smaller items I use zip-lock bags and right information on them as to where the parts came from. These are just a few of the totes. Larger parts are stored elsewhere.




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welsh619
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You always have done really nice work, and i have to say that you have to be the best at taking pics throughout a process and then actually posting them! Im sorry to hear about your dad... I just finished my f/b and i thanked you in the post but i dont know if you ever saw it so i just wanted to stop by and say "Thanks" (you answered a few of my questions and all the pictures definitely helped if not just for motivation/reassurance). Take care and thanks again.
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Michael B
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

welsh619 wrote:
just wanted to stop by and say "Thanks" .


Thanks for the kind words Very Happy

I said I was going to post pictures, so these are of the front beam where rust was filling the area inside the shock towers. One side the weep hole was draining fine and the other side was blocked all the way causing water to stand inside the shock tower and hence RUST! So the only way to clean these out was to drill holes and flush out the rust. I used the sandblaster to blast away as much rust as I could. I will now weld up the holes and grind them down flush.

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This one has three holes because it was the one with blockage.
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This is pictures of the steering box and shift rod.
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I said I would post pictures of my sandblasting area and it takes about 10 minutes or so to get set up. I found that placing an automotive drip pan under the part that youíre sandblasting keeps you from damaging the tarps.

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Last edited by Michael B on Wed Jan 23, 2008 4:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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kuebelwagen84
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you must have really cooperative neighbors to set up that close to the property Wink wish mine were as nice
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