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My 69 Ghia
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djkeev
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 9:25 pm    Post subject: My 69 Ghia Reply with quote

Hey all,

I just wanted to say Hi! to all. I've dwelt in the land of the Beetle for many years both in real life and a lot of time here on thesamba.

I recently acquired a 69 Ghia from a gentleman who purchased it from the original owner in 1990.

He had every intention of restoring it but as happens so often life and it's little dips and turns get in the way and change the intended course.
It broke his heart to let me tow it away, it has sat for 19 years and he put less than 2000 miles on it.

I'm excited for it is an original complete car. Bone stock with the original engine and matching numbers. Also have the Owners manual to prove the engine is the one delivered in the car new. It even has the tool roll with it. The entire engine area is original and complete with all the related emission controls and air filter.
Sadly, it is an automatic stick shift, while I desire to maintain historic accuracy as much as possible that may fall victim to a 4 speed transplant.

It was delivered on 12/02/1968, it was licensed in NJ on 11/27/1968 for a fee of $3.00!!!
The selling dealer was Jenewein VW in Linden NJ.

I have a copy of the original title. The seller informed me the original buyers are still alive and living in the same house. They are in their 80's now.

Service records are not there but I assume the speedo went around at least once for they had gone 10,822 miles as of 10/05/1970. At that rate the current odometer reading of 56,121 miles (156,121 miles?) would indicate a use of a tad over 7,000 miles a year until it's sale in 90. It most likely sat unused for awhile before moving on as it aged and the owners fell out of love with the car.
(edit) I was just reading some info from the PO who mentions that it was a "little old lady car"....literally. This mileage may NOT have yet turned over if this is true! That would make the average miles driven about 1400 miles per year! Of course it sat for almost 20 so 2800 miles per year by the Original Owner.

It needs work, it is far from a gem. The ravages of time have taken its toll and there are areas of serious cancer to deal with. There has been some fender damage as well that has been poorly repaired.

It will take awhile but it will return to the highways. I am picking up a 70 Ghia so between the two of them, one whole Ghia will roll out onto the road!

I look forward to your advice and encouragement as I move ahead with this project.

Thanks in advance

Dave
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86 Vanagon Westy "Weekender" 2.1 Auto
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6315537#6315537
Karmann Ghia
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=392473
Beetle
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=482968&highlight=74+super+vert


Last edited by djkeev on Mon Dec 28, 2009 6:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Bruce Amacker
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats on your new purchase. I like '69s best for several reasons, so that's what I sought out when I was car shopping.

Do you have any pictures of your gem in the rough?

Good Luck!
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askinsb
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is a picture of my 69 Ghia right after I clay barred it, polished and waxed it. I got a new Machine Orbital Polish and Wax kit from Griot's Garage for Christmas and had to try it out. (look past the fresh inlet grills that are missing)

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Brad
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats on the "new" 69. As mentioned earlier, 1969 is a great year for ghias--the last year with the nipple blinkers and small (60-69) taillights and one of the first years for the four-jointed independent rear suspension (IRS). (1968 autosticks were IRS, but the IRS wasn't introduced for manual transmission ghias and bugs until the 1969 model year.) I owned a 69 coupe for nearly 20 years and loved it.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks cool. What color is that? Here is my 69 I finished up this past spring.
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cool karmann collected
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice, can't wait to see the pix.

I bought a 69 for the same reasons mentioned by sactojesse above. Like yourself, I put tens of thousands of miles on a 65 swing-axle bug as a daily driver but eventually sold it to raise some cash for travelling. When i got back I looked at a few Ghias before plumping for this 69, I've kept it stock apart from the riv's that it came with, not lowered or anything like that. Best way I can describe it is that driving a bug is, well, like driving a bug, but a ghia is like driving a car. I used to think that all old ac vw's probably drove pretty much the same, but the handling and driving position of the IRS Ghia is nothing like a bug!

Enjoy

Ant

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is a link to the photos the previous owner posted. Don't know how long they will stay up but I'll post some as I get my own. It was originally the light blue color, L 51 K chrome blue. The paint sticker is still intact.

the black is just primer. The PO did a decent job arresting the rust for 20 years!!

http://s895.photobucket.com/albums/ac157/1969Ghia/

The nose, while rusty around the headlamps and below the turn signal hasn't ever been hit. Run you hand along the inside and not a ripple is to be felt.

Dave.
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86 Vanagon Westy "Weekender" 2.1 Auto
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6315537#6315537
Karmann Ghia
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=392473
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

congrats. I think I saw that one in the classifieds and wished I could get it. I hope you get it going and have fun with it.
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jwold
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why change out the tranny?

The autosticks are great. I had a 68AS' loved it.

Start out in low, drive it like a 3 speed. You'll love it too.

Congrats on the find!
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just wanted to post that part "B" of my new toy is home, yes, I flat towed it with a bar. Don't want to get into the pros and cons of doing so on an unknown vehicle but the 10 hour trip was made without incident! I carried spares as needed just in case and a tool box.

While most antique VW owners have their little Gems Shrink wrapped and mothballed for the season, my recently accuired 70 Convertible took it's last trip in the salt slush of the North East! This storm wasn't forecast until New Years eve, but what weather report is ever correct?!? Woke up in the Virginia hills to a blanket of white!!

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Considering that this West Virginia car obviously lived outside, and was abandoned for a mighty long time, it is in quite good shape. An unhit nose, headlights without rust, very minor heater channel rust, etc. Further rust investigation will be done in the rockers and I'm prepared for the worst!
The floor pans are shot from sitting water (not having a top will do that)
The Right rear 1/4 panel has taken a hit and has been badly mangled.
The top is just shreds of rotten fabric with a window buried in there.

I plan to mate the 69 with the 70 and end up with a 69 1/2 Ghia Convertible. It will require some cutting and pasting to make the two partial cars one solid whole. Haven't figured out all of the details yet but I am excited to save another Ghia. I'll probably have a perfect nose available (among other parts, I'll use the classifieds when I do) for they both have undamaged noses!

I'm off to dwell in the land of Ghia now!

PS, my praises to the seller, 63_rag_bug , for a very accurate disclosure of what I was getting!! ZERO surprises!! Many thanks!!

Dave
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86 Vanagon Westy "Weekender" 2.1 Auto
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Karmann Ghia
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=392473
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mlhsquared
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave,

Are you going to build the '70 vert or the '69 coupe? Both look pretty decent.
You probably went close by us during your travels. Did you go up I-81? We're just a few miles west of it. Sorry that you missed breakfast.
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djkeev
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jwold wrote:
Why change out the tranny?

The autosticks are great. I had a 68AS' loved it.

Start out in low, drive it like a 3 speed. You'll love it too.

Congrats on the find!


I'm really wondering what to do. I had a 68 Beetle (back in about 71) that had an auto stick. I was young, I wasn't thrilled with it.
I'm older now, live in an area where traffic can be a SERIOUS pain in the rear and am wondering about keeping it.

I've read up on changing it. I'm keeping the 69 chassis and running gear as a whole and doing some body repairs / transplanting with the 70 I just brought home.
The 70 has a 4 speed and is complete except for the engine so doing a transplant wouldn't be hard, I have all of the parts! The 69 pan is just so much better. Add to that the 69 has a Clean NJ title which I am going to transfer to me with zero issues. The 70 title is WV but a few owners old! Not sure how hard it would be to transfer in.

Convince me to keep the auto stick.

Dave
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86 Vanagon Westy "Weekender" 2.1 Auto
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6315537#6315537
Karmann Ghia
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=392473
Beetle
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=482968&highlight=74+super+vert


Last edited by djkeev on Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:53 am; edited 1 time in total
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djkeev
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mlhsquared wrote:
Dave,

Are you going to build the '70 vert or the '69 coupe? Both look pretty decent.
You probably went close by us during your travels. Did you go up I-81? We're just a few miles west of it. Sorry that you missed breakfast.


Yes we were. The car came from Princeton WV and we dropped down 81 and cut across.
We spent two nights in Front Royal Va.

Hadn't a clue you were there!

There's always the next time I go to WV to pick up a Ghia! Wink

At this time I'm thinking of using the 70 body and turning it into a 69 look. I've all the bits for a 69. I'll need to graft the 69 1/4 onto the convertible so there is one tail light. The other I think I can cut and paste in with little effort. The area for the front signals looks like an easy modification to accept the earlier lights.

I realize that making the change will violate the integrity of a matching numbers 69 but done properly it will all be 69 EXCEPT that the 69 is early production and to have an early production convertible it should have a plastic rear window, this one will be glass like the late 69's had.
I am bone stock minded and am slightly torn up by this plan but I often encourage people to do as they wish, it's their car.....UNLESS they found an absolute pristine museum quality sleeper. Then I scream KEEP IT ORIGINAL!!!

Dave
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86 Vanagon Westy "Weekender" 2.1 Auto
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6315537#6315537
Karmann Ghia
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=392473
Beetle
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=482968&highlight=74+super+vert


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

djkeev wrote:
Convince me to keep the auto stick.

Dave


Plenty of talk about Autosticks...even a whole website and forum devoted to it...this is just one recent Samba topic: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=391130
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mlhsquared
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, you were definitely in the hills. Sounds like a long trip towing the Ghia considering the weather we've been having. Glad things went well for you. Look forward to seeing the progress on your project.

Mike
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djkeev
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mlhsquared wrote:
Wow, you were definitely in the hills. Sounds like a long trip towing the Ghia considering the weather we've been having. Glad things went well for you. Look forward to seeing the progress on your project.

Mike


My wife is a good sport, we made a fun trip out of it. The car is for her anyway. Shortly after our marriage I totaled her 66 coupe. It was her first car she ever had and she's reminded me about it for 35 years now! Time to replace it.

We made a stop at our daughter's in Reading PA. and made new countertops for her and installed a new kitchen floor.
Overall we had fun though the ride in the snow was a bit tense at times.

I don't mind flat tow bar towing but in slippery conditions it becomes "iffy" at best. The rear end of the truck becomes a little skittish and one must be extremely careful.

Dave
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86 Vanagon Westy "Weekender" 2.1 Auto
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6315537#6315537
Karmann Ghia
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=392473
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djkeev
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, the day has arrived. After almost a year of being "mine" the 69 Ghia has moved into the Garage. I'm not sure if my 74 Super Vert is excited or annoyed by having to share the space and attention though!

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The time has come for a complete physical and an assessment of what needs to be done before the winter snows come and block access to this and the 70 Ghia.
The engine rotates freely which is a minor miracle considering the last registration and inspection of the car took place during November 1989.
It passed inspection at that time!! Doubt it would today.

First order of business is to pull the plugs, check compression, change the oil and adjust the valves. I think it will be good for the car while I am checking compression to be rotated freely without compression and build up oil pressure throughout the system.

To do this I'll need to Install a good battery and a starter (it was "stolen" for the Super Vert during the summer) and see what happens!!

I'm thinking 20 year old fuel in the carb, if there is any in the carb, is not a good thing. I'll probably pull the carb and clean it out good before trying to start it up. The fuel pump will be very suspect with the old rubber and if it has become porous or not.

Here is a shot of the interior, a little musty smelling but original floor mats in good shape and original upholstery covered with fake lambs wool covers.

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Here is a shot of an unmolested (well, they did add the ever famous 99 cent plastic fuel filter) engine. Note the Auto Stick shift oil system clogging up the space by the air filter.

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Here is a photo of the LF wheel well, rear towards the drivers feet. Quite rusted and nasty!! Then a photo of the exterior of the rocker panel just in front of the drivers door.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



The floor pans are actually in excellent shape....considering. The only rust is on the passenger side just below the door. Even at that just the lip of the pan where it hangs down by the bolts is rusted away. It appears to be an easy to fabricate and weld in repair. I can probably adapt a Beetle floor pan edge to install. It isn't the dog leg area but the straight area just towards the rear. We'll see what it really is when I pull the Body!!

I'll keep you posted and be seeking advice as this project progresses. Many have traveled this path before me and I welcome your advice!!

Dave
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86 Vanagon Westy "Weekender" 2.1 Auto
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6315537#6315537
Karmann Ghia
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=392473
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, a few hours, Dropped the 20 year old oil, black as black can be.
Pulled the oil pan and strainer and had about 3/8 inch of muck. I sorted through it looking for hard matter like bearing race or other metal and found none. I am happy with that find.
Put in Brad Penn's 30 w and adjusted the valves. The engine has the .004 sticker on it but they were all at .006 except one which was a bit looser. I kept to the .006 on all of the valves.
The valve cover gasket was cork "concrete" after at least 20 and maybe 25 years of being clamped onto the head.

So, step one done, now to pull the carb and clean it and do a compression test.

Dave
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Karmann Ghia
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=392473
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LIFE IS GOOD!!!!

Put on a new starter to replace the one I stole for my Super Vert a few weeks ago. Also slipped in a fully charged battery.

I then pulled the carb, the shafts were so tight they would not pivot, inside was literally an eighth inch of crud dried up on the bottom of the float bowl.

I disassembled it and put it all into a gallon can of GUNK Carb Medic for about 40 minutes. It worked wonderfully! There were 20 years of dried up varnish from just sitting, for all I know the carb hasn't ever been removed and serviced at all since 1969. I did have to scrape the bowl bottom of some stubborn deposits. All the passages came clean, the check ball works without sticking and the shafts rotate as nicely as the day they were made.
There is no discernible wear on the throttle shaft.
I do believe it is the original carb on the car. 69 Ghia, Auto stick.
34 PICT 2
VW 167-2
tag # 113 129 027 J
Dist 113 905 205 AA

It all checks out as original.
I do need to get a new Vacuum advance diaphragm, it is shot.

While the carb was soaking I pulled the spark plugs after vacuuming up a few inches of mouse nest and turds......ugh!!!! Throughly soaked the area with bleach to kill the possibility of disease as well.
The plugs were TIGHT!!!!! frighteningly tight. I feared I was going to be bringing out aluminum with each one.
I only worked each one a turn or so and went on to the next plug as the first plug cooled. Went back and forth, back and forth among all four until they were are out with no thread transfer at all!!! I was ecstatic!! This also convinced me all the more to put anti-seize on spark plug threads. They were almost new Bosch plugs, barely run but each one was run rich and rusty to boot.
I slipped in a set of new NGK's.

While the plugs were out I checked compression, not great, not horrible...
1 - #140 2 - #125 3 - #115 4 - #120

I was pleased to have compression after almost 20 years of sitting!

Put on a new cap and rotor, adjusted the points and slipped the carb back on. Ran a hose to a gas can to the fuel pump and then a line into the carb. I pulled the vacuum lines for the Auto Stick and vacuum advance and plugged them all. Problems with the auto stick are for another day!
I cranked it over without plugs to circulate oil and prime the fuel pump which worked! I had a spare next to me but it wasn't needed surprisingly.

A few cranks of the starter and vroom!! off it went!! Thousands of chunks of rust came hurtling out of the tailpipes but no smoke, no knocks and after a few adjustments I had it running fairly smooth for about an hour or so.

Someday I'll rebuild the engine but for now I'm happy to have a running engine. Time and money can be put into fixing up the body!

Tomorrow I hope to put some good tires on it and see if the trans works. It's an auto stick so this test will determine if I'm going with a four speed conversion or stay with the Auto Stick. I'm leaning to keeping the Auto Stick considering where I live and the ever present threat of sitting in traffic.

It was A Very Good Day Indeed! Soon I'll pull the body. I'll scrape the pan down, do a small patch on the edge of the pan and do a coat of POR 15 over it all. Next I'll roll in the convertible and see what wrath nature hath wrought upon that body! A casual inspection has revealed only minor issues but we'll see when I pull that body off! These buggers are known for serious hidden rust!! I hope I dodge that bullet.

Just though I'd mention that the more I look at this car, the more I am convinced that it only has 56,000 miles on it. Nothing is worn out! It is rusty and dirty but not worn.
The carb shafts are a prime example for they are not worn. The distributor shaft being tight also tells me the Original Owner hasn't gone very far.

Dave
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Karmann Ghia
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=392473
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Location: North West New Jersey
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, being motivated by other's experiences I went ahead and removed the body. Did it the easy way, me and JCB, one finger. It's nice to have some large toys lying about!!

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Took a 6x6 timber, two straps with end hooks and simply lifted it off by myself.

Incredibly easy but a word of caution to those who use the removal procedure outlined here.....

http://vwjudsonregister.tripod.com/IMAGES/ghia-faq.pdf

That it isn't 100% correct, a few minor issues but won't go into it just now.

I took lots of photos on the procedure and will post them.

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Here is a shot of the very rusty coupe body that was removed from the good chassis and the donor convertible body waiting its similar fate. You can see a dark spot above the rear bumper, that is non existent metal. It shows what 40 years of Good NJ road salt techniques produces!! The Coupe looks better in Photos than it does in person. Both headlights are constructed of aluminum flashing supporting a THICK layer of Bondo recreating a fender top.

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First I need to clean up the Coupe pan and take care of the rust. Mostly just surface rust. I fail to understand why they glued the "tarboard" (actually tar styrofoam) to the floor for it rusts in each valley below the board. I am happy I caught it soon enough where the moisture below the tar board hadn't yet perforated the floor pan. I was thinking about reinstalling a similar sound material but am having serious doubts about the wisdom of doing so. The tarboard came up amazingly easy, I simply heated the bottom of the pan with a propane torch and then simply scraped it off. The same heat also loosened the undercoating which scraped away just as easily. All told, a full pan half took maybe an hour.

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Here is the only real pan rust I need to deal with, probably a total of 3 feet where the lip on the exterior of the pan seal rusted away.
I'm pleased that the amount of pan rust I found is quite minimal. A few of the edges outside of the bolts, nothing major but will need some repairs.


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I'm pondering the easiest / cheapest way to fix this. I doubt the convertible has good edges for that pan is toast!!
Thinking about welding in either an 1 1/4" angle iron or possible making some square stock to sit up in the recess and and extra strength, very similar the the Convertible Beetle support rails under the rockers. I don't want to weld in new pans because of a little bit of easily fixed rust!! I know you can purchase just the edge for Beetles but haven't seen it for Ghias.

Here is a shot of the chassis sitting in the garage without the body and before I pull the engine and pressure wash the unit before repair and painting.

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I am really excited to get going on this after almost a year. I did get the engine rebuilt on my 74 Super Vert and got it legally on the road so the months were not a total waste!

Dave
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86 Vanagon Westy "Weekender" 2.1 Auto
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6315537#6315537
Karmann Ghia
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=392473
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https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=482968&highlight=74+super+vert
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