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Pair of eights: was '58 convertible resto thread
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Bart Dunn
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 3:08 pm    Post subject: Pair of eights: was '58 convertible resto thread Reply with quote

Well, I've this car for over ten years, and it's in a poor state, in dire need of lots of rust repair, paint (of course), full mechanical, and as they say, etc. I bought it "pre-samba" out of Hemmings, pre-internet literacy, imported it from Canada, and was a bit sorely disappointed in its condition when I got it--very, very misrepresented by the seller, including but not limited to the fiberglass over where the support rails and heater channels were supposed to be, galvanized sheet screwed & glued over various rust holes, and so forth. Total parade of horribles. Doors would pop open around corners. No one but myself to blame for that—I should have had it checked out a little better. The price still wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t a bargain by any means.

That being said, I had someone slap some heater channels and rails on it and drove it for the better part of 7 years all the time, including almost 4 years in Hawaii when I was in the service. Tossing wet dive gear in the back didn't help much on the rust (read: saltwater), but it was already in so much need of fixin' that I wasn't too worried about it. Over the years I fixed some stuff just to keep it on the roadworthy side of rusty, but it all caught up with me and it just couldn’t go any further.

Fast forward to 2008, and the car's been sitting since getting out of the military. I've had three kids, started two businesses, moved (one, two, three, four) four times, and otherwise have little time to devote to it. I've done a little disassembly but nothing all that productive.

I hope starting this thread will provide me a little public shame and put me over the edge on getting started. It’s been itching at me recently, but not quite enough. I had a bid done on a pro doing it, given my time constraints, but at $25K on the bid and realizing how long that would take anyway, I’m going to do it myself, slowly, carefully, and correctly.

General idea is 100% stock, but with the little Judson I’ve had stashed away for a few years for a little oomph driving up those mountains we seem to have around here in abundance.

I got the birth certificate not long ago—need to find it again, and hopefully the kids haven’t improved it any with crayons. Original color was atlas blue L338, IIRC, some of which I’ve found under various layers of repaint.

Pic's:

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Edit: Here are the heater channels that were slapped on it by a so-called "professional" in Denver. Note the half-channel approach and tack-welds:

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This is the kind of BS the previous owner did:

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This was the state of things years ago on both sides of the car, with the body/suspension mount rusting away and odd panel things going on:
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Years ago at the Navy hobby shop I broke out the trusty Craftsman mig welder. I’m sure this is still probably the standard of my work, but not what I really want the car to be, so I may redo all this stuff:

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New panel was in, and undoing undoing the old “repair” from some point in the distant past, where they braised a panel on top of the old metal and over the bumper bracket. Ugly:

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Fitting the replacement:

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New panels in, and same process on the other side:

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I drove the car for years after these repairs, and really haven’t looked to see how they held up under the salt assault and in light of the other holes (under back seat, etc.) which I never did get repaired.

Here’s the weed I found in the top when I stripped it down. It was OLD, and predated my ownership of the car by a long time. I’ve posted this pic before in the “what weird stuff did you find in your car” threads:

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Last edited by Bart Dunn on Sun Mar 29, 2009 4:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Critter1
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats Bart,
58 vert is a cool car. I'd love to have one myself. Are your plans for it to be painted the original color?
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Bart Dunn
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sure. I love black cars, but my thoughts are that in order to do a proper "restoration" it should be the original color. If I don't paint it the original blue, all bets are off so then I'll be considering a W decklid, yadda yadda yadda. The decklid is from a later model 'vert, so I can justifiably replace it anyway...hmmm.
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berliner
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 7:49 pm    Post subject: bug Reply with quote

that's a nice little car,get out and play with it as long as it's fun,when it stops being fun take a break;it's only a bad weld if you can hang your coat on it.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cool car. keep it on the road. I would go with a stock vw color .looks like your on your way to a good restore. post some pics of your interior .
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hkoch
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You welded the wrong rear bumper bracket pannels on.
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jmw1982
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

looks like a great vert... get out there and work on it!!
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KantDriveFast
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hkoch wrote:
You welded the wrong rear bumper bracket pannels on.


Yup, those are for fat chick bumpers.

Sweet project!
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Bart Dunn
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KantDriveFast wrote:
hkoch wrote:
You welded the wrong rear bumper bracket pannels on.


Yup, those are for fat chick bumpers.

Sweet project!


Yeah...when I pulled the old repairs apart you could see how the original brackets were different. That was seven or eight years ago, I think, but IIRC the brackets were sold as "universal." Shipping to/from Hawaii was a killer, so I didn't worry about it at the time, as I need to get the metal replaced and this car was my daily driver. Yet another reason to replace them.

Thanks for the words of encouragement. Heading out to the garage later this morning, with all three kids under four helping. Ought to be productive...
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estofer
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great looking vert!! - it is amazing what you find in old vws! Laughing
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Bart Dunn
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's where it is at the moment, a lot of disassembly work done:

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I think after working this floor section with a wool pad, it ought to be barely noticeable:

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Trayle D. the real oggfk
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If youre looking for any parts for your resto I have some of the hard to find stuff from a car I just cut up to save another one. I have a full set of windows and regulators, a back seat (top and bottom), a rear view mirror, and some other vert only odds and ends. Let me know. Lots of vert only sheet metal too.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trayle D. the real oggfk wrote:
If youre looking for any parts for your resto I have some of the hard to find stuff from a car I just cut up to save another one. I have a full set of windows and regulators, a back seat (top and bottom), a rear view mirror, and some other vert only odds and ends. Let me know. Lots of vert only sheet metal too.


You cut up the orange parade car?

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Bart Dunn
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, an update. Drilled out a lot of spotwelds in the convertible reinforcement panels in the front. I knew I had something of a hack-job done by a “pro” in Denver in 2000, but seriously, I couldn’t believe it when I started taking it all apart. I quote from this guy’s shop manual:

HOW TO REPLACE HEATER CHANNELS ON A CONVERTIBLE WHICH DO NOT NEED THEM EVEN MORE THAN A SEDAN:

1. Order new heater channels. Cut new heater channels in half lengthwise. If this was wood this would be a “rip cut.”
2. Cut old channels back to where a tack weld might hold.
3. Slip new half-channel over old channel with a 1.5” to 2” overlap, and tack weld on edges. Don’t bother even with a plug weld.
4. On convertible, ensure that you weld heater channel edge to edge of Karmann-installed reinforcement panels (see illustrations). If Karmann-installed reinforcement panels are insufficiently rusty, you may create a lap-joint and tack-weld bottom half of heater channel over reinforcement panel.
5. If heater channels are sufficiently rusty, they will remain sufficiently rusty if not removed from car or replaced with new heater channels. It is untrue that heater channels are a structurally important part of the car body, especially on convertibles, as they merely channel heat from the rear to the front.

Illustrations:

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This illustration shows the proper method for installing the bottom half of a heater channel, with the Karmann-reinforcement panel removed for ease of illustration. Note that it is unnecessary to remove the old heater channel:

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**sigh** I suppose the good news is that there’s more of the original Karmann reinforcement panels left than I thought there was:
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Nice, clean donor metal that will go into this bastard:


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This is my recently acquired rust-free ’59 body from Arizona . I don’t feel bad cutting it up as it was body-only and most recently was a baja (no complete front or rear clips and pan location unknown).
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diponyou
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wow thats horrible Sad
keep up the updates
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ohh and while your cutting it up.ill take that lower passenger hinge area Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

diponyou wrote:
ohh and while your cutting it up.ill take that lower passenger hinge area Very Happy


Sure! I'll charge $1.00 more than you're willing to pay.

I hear the Hooky's Panel Shop replacements are pretty nice, fit-wise. It's what I was going to get for this car until I found this shell:
http://www.hookyspanelshop.com/
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

haha im willing to pay -$42
so you can just paypal me 41 and send the hinge area.thanks brosif Laughing

but seriously i checked out that site and i wish it showed more details of the replacement panels because mine is rotted out until the curve and need the whole thing.and ww.com want 119 bucks Shocked
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Bart Dunn
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did some more "investigatory" work today. Busted out the 3M paint stripper wheel on the drill and took it to the front end. Found some "interesting" things, "interesting" in the sense of mostly bad. The highlight of the day was cutting the roof off the parts car with the sawzall, so I can tip it up on its side to save some room in the garage. That was fun.

I knew the car had been in an accident in the past, and I wanted to strip of some of the thick undercoat in the inner fender area to see how bad it was and get a better idea of whether I need to clip the front end. There was a LOT of bondo along where the apron is spot-welded to the inner fender (I suppose to make the fender "fit" better), but in this pic it's all stripped off:

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Having found that bondo, I went a bit deeper and found a lot more bondo on the front of the apron and inside the spare tire area:

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Here's a nice detail shot of some of the bondo, and the pop rivets under the bondo at the top of the brake reservoir area:

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A bit deeper in the wheel well and with some bondo removed, you can see the car was hit pretty hard at one point. This panel is pretty wrinkled,and some of this bondo was pretty deep:

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I didn't particularly want to clip the front, but think it's unavoidable at this point.

I thought it was interesting, too, that the four-finger pressing in the apron is largely unscathed (and showing the original blue color), but with the panel behind it being so damaged. The only thing I can think of is that it was in at least two separate accidents. Brick wall So, I'm adding a front apron to my shopping list, as well as inner fenders/quarter panels.

The Autocraft aprons from the UK have a nice and correct-looking pressing (as does Wolf Part's in Sweden, but the Autocraft one is siginficantly less expensive), but I might get the el cheapo ones available in the States and weld in the latch plate area from the apron currently on the car. We'll see.

Anyone know if the quater panels/inner fenders are being reproduced anywhere? I can't find anything.
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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2009 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, decided that the passenger front quarter had to go. Drilled out every single one of those spotwelds the busy factory workers put in there. One more bitch about the guy who worked on my car in 2000. See if you can find it.

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Yep, that’s a washer he welded in there.

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Got a sweet h-apron rear clip for $40 from a local supplier.

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So, that’ll take care of the back. The front is another matter. Took off the quarter panel and all the front sheet metal that had all the bondo on it:

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On to constructive things (vice teardown). Took my new HF shrinker/stretcher for a spin and tried fabbing these little corner reinforcements in the doors:

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Not bad for the first try, but I’m going to try again. I should be able to make something pretty decent, and I don’t know of anyone reproducing these little Karmann pieces.

The front apron was pretty trashed, rusty, bondoey, and had been braised back together in several places. The four-finger latch plate was salvageable, though, and got it pretty straight with a hammer & dolly:

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Mocking it up with magnets on my cheapy new Klokkerholm apron from WW. That thing needed some serious hammer/dolly work out of the box, but it straightened up well.

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And, voila! A “new” front apron:

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