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My 54 european deluxe from start to finish
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54bug'n
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Joined: April 28, 2005
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Location: Victoria, BC, Canada
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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 6:09 pm    Post subject: My 54 european deluxe from start to finish Reply with quote

Hello Folks,

My name is Mike and I live on the east coast of Canada. I have been lurking around The Samba for a number of years asking questions and getting great info from the people on here. I recently posted a forum with the original colour of my bug L213 Iceland Green, and was asked by a few folks to start posting my progress of the full body off restoration of my 1954 european deluxe beetle.

FIrst a quick story, this car was purchased in Dusseldorf Germany in 1954 by a gentleman in the Canadian Forces serving in Germany. He purchased it for his own use, drove it for one year there, and then was transferred back to Canada and brought it back with him. He drove the car for one more year around Kenora area and then put it away in his barn where it sat for almost 50 years. The original owner passed away in 2004 and his son was left with the farm and the bug. The son although having no interest in beetles, managed to find out which parts would be worth money selling the original heart tail lights, the front seats compete, but luckily not the semaphores. He repainted the car twice (guess he didn't like the first try) and did a terrible job trying to fix the second attempt, as it all started peeling off.

Cue me in 2006 driving along a back road south of Kenora and see this 54 bug in sad shape looking for an owner. Well she had to be mine and is now. I am more or less the second owner (not counting the son) and the car has only 40,525 km's (not miles) This has been proven out by how good condition mechanically this car was, wish you could say that about the rust issues though. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the pics, I will catch up to today, and then post as I go along from here on in.

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Day I picked up the car looking mighty sad and yes it had to rain as well.


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Notice the son sold the original hearts and put on 56 and up tail lights sheesh, although I am looking a little happier now. Just wait till you see the rust....Doh!

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the original european Km Speedometer with 40, 525 km's on it.

More pics to come Very Happy
Mike
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"Schwing wrote:
You either have to be too cheap to hire a pro or determined to do it yourself, but it helps to be both!"

54 European Sedan deluxe
Build thread: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=414940
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54bug'n
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Location: Victoria, BC, Canada
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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok so I am trying to catch up from 2006, here are a few pics of the car coming apart in a sea container, didnt have a garage to work in back then.

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The original 36 horse had seen much better days. She will look alot better soon.

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The number plate on the pan, an August 54 bug.

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The body coming off the pan for the first time in 54 years in 2008. And I only broke 3 bolts, the doors are totally rotten on the bottom and the heater channels are like swiss cheese, but can they be saved?

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Removing the steering box from the front beam. The beam has no play in either the link, king or steering rods and box. More proof that it only had 40, 525 km's. Just gotta get rid of all the rust.

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My buddy Rob trying to save all the important bits after removing the original split case transmission.

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The original pan ready to go to the blaster to be stripped repaired and painted.

More pics to come,
Cheers,
Mike
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"Schwing wrote:
You either have to be too cheap to hire a pro or determined to do it yourself, but it helps to be both!"

54 European Sedan deluxe
Build thread: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=414940
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54bug'n
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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok from 2008, more pics catching up to the current progress.

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Remember that nasty 36 horse above, well its looking alot better thanks to Rick Herity, here i am setting the valve gaps after the first run in in his shop.

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Ok so here is the engine almost ready to go back in the car. I think it is almost all correct, I am sure I will be corrected, and yes it has the wrong filter, anyone have a single strap they want to part with? All the tin is powdercoated, the exhaust and NOS heater boxes are ceramic coated, the generator is a Porsche 12 volt inner in a VW 6v case. The 6 volt regulator on top is just for show, the 12 volt regulator will be under the rear seat. Oh and if you are wondering about the duct tape its to keep the squirrels out...damn things!

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That looks alot better. Blasted, repairs to the pans, made, epoxy primered and chassis black painted.

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Front beam rear suspension, backing plates all given the same treatment. Looking alot better as well.

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Actually reassembling something, the rear standard height 13 degrees being set up. Hopefully I got it right time will tell.

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Front beam going back on and new gas shocks installed. I took them back off later and painted them black.

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The original split case transmission back from being disassembled, cleaned inspected resealed and assembled, then painted. All done by John's Bug shop in Welland Ontario. Good job guys.

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Love seeing that original VW logo, the details are cool.

More to come, stay tuned.
cheers,
Mike
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"Schwing wrote:
You either have to be too cheap to hire a pro or determined to do it yourself, but it helps to be both!"

54 European Sedan deluxe
Build thread: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=414940
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ConcreteAce
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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like you have a lot of fun ahead of you. good luck with the build. that 36 looks awesome!
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Russ
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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

great job so far,i love assembling the new shiney parts
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54bug'n
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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More pics to catch up to this year.

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Reassembling the shift rod, and the parking brake cables from the front end. Gotta love the 54 set up.

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In the depth of winter the new cables and original shift rod all go back on the pan.

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The original shifter and knob, and original parking brake handle back in place. Notice the body of the european 54 has found a temporary home on the second 54's pan. Also note the european fluted lenses on the lights.

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Pedal disassembly 101.

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Newly painted pedal assembly going back together. As well starting to reassemble the front brakes, new cylinders shoes, and springs, all else it original.

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Newly installed original pedal assembly with new WW pads.

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New front brake installed ready for lines.

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New rear brake assembly with parking brake hooked up.

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New metal brake lines going in.

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New brake lines in the back end going in.

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The transmission is mated back with the original pan.

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Rear end getting set up, parking brake cable reattached, and brakes ready to bleed once the drums are installed.

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Original rear drums ready to go back on.

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Original front drums reading to go back on.

More to come we are almost caught up.
Cheers,
Mike
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"Schwing wrote:
You either have to be too cheap to hire a pro or determined to do it yourself, but it helps to be both!"

54 European Sedan deluxe
Build thread: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=414940
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54bug'n
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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys, hope you enjoy the progress.

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I found 3 NOS smoothy rims bought from a guy I met at a Tim Hortons, gotta love TImmies, they are the ones with the brown inner part of the rim in the picture. They had never been used. THey are all getting primed and ready for final paint.

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5 rims finished in their final paint colour, L213 Iceland Green and L87 Pearl white. I love the look, the car is going to be great in it's original colour.

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A little artistic license here, but looks very nice.

I bled the brakes with DOT 5 in the past 2 days and got pressure after a few tries. Thanks to my wife Naomi. I have to work on adjusting the parking brake and getting the brakes adjusted properly but I am making headway. I bought Vredestein Sprint Classic 155SR15 radials that are on the way, and also a homebuilt rotisserie for the body to start the body work so stand by for future updates. I welcome any comments.

Thanks for looking, Cool
Cheers,
Mike
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"Schwing wrote:
You either have to be too cheap to hire a pro or determined to do it yourself, but it helps to be both!"

54 European Sedan deluxe
Build thread: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=414940
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lovethatconvertible
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PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your looking good. That 36hp and Transmission are the bomb, nice work. NOW get busy on that body. And please keep up on the Pic's
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downsbs
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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This almost makes me want to pull my body off the pan and clean it. Almost....

You are doing a great job.
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SSTBUG
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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This makes me wanna finally get to work on my trashed OG 57 pan and get the body off the 69 pan..

Really.

And you really are doing a great job. Cool
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54bug'n
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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys I appreciate the props, and the fresh eyes looking at everything.

I am away on work for a couple of weeks. but will get back on it when I get back and upload more photos.

Cheers, Cool
Mike
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"Schwing wrote:
You either have to be too cheap to hire a pro or determined to do it yourself, but it helps to be both!"

54 European Sedan deluxe
Build thread: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=414940
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Schwing
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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow looks really good! I'm just a bit behind you right now on my own '57 since I still have to finish the engine and body. Very nice detail!
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AlteWagen
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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you sure the original color is Iceland Green? In the areas that rarely get a repaint (behind tar board, dash, engine vents) it looks like black to me.

The pic that really convinses me that the og paint is black is the firewall. Looks like the original tar board with the og felt strips and og glue.

If the BC said IG I can see your confusion but they are known to be wrong.
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johnshenry Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, nice work! That engine looks stunning!!!

Applause Applause

I'm curious as to why the tranny was painted black though? Just a custom idea? Ir is it some kind of coating??
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54bug'n
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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Derluftwagen, I suppose it could have been Black, it has been painted twice and the blue is coming off. The BC had all the rest of the information correct, engine # interior colours etc, and listed it as Iceland Green. Plus the information that it was shipped to the dealership in Dusseldorf is all correct. Anyway, it will now agree with the BC as I like the Iceland Green. Cool

Cheers,
Mike
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"Schwing wrote:
You either have to be too cheap to hire a pro or determined to do it yourself, but it helps to be both!"

54 European Sedan deluxe
Build thread: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=414940


Last edited by 54bug'n on Wed May 19, 2010 10:14 am; edited 1 time in total
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54bug'n
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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Johnshenry, I didn't actually know they were going to paint it at John's Bug shop. but they blasted the exterior of the case and said they normally paint it with this anti corrosion paint. When I was talking to them about paint I was asking about the axle shafts.

Considering it will be hidden under the car I suppose it can't hurt.

Cheers,
Mike
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"Schwing wrote:
You either have to be too cheap to hire a pro or determined to do it yourself, but it helps to be both!"

54 European Sedan deluxe
Build thread: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=414940
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Zwitterkafer
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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice work, the car has found a good home, motivating!!

Someone painted my tranny black as well. While it no doubt prevented corrosion over the years before I got it, I have <sigh> decided to strip it off.

"Why must work get in the way of my VW hobby?"

Indeed!

H.
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vw54john
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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

awesome man! my '54 started the same way.... you learn a lot don't you?
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54bug'n
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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks alot guys, I appreciate the input.

vw54john, did you change your parking brake cables with new ones? I bought replacements from cip1 I believe. The end that attaches to the brake lever seems to be bigger than the original cables and is jamming on my brake shoe. I think I will have to grind the sides of the cable end down to clear the shoe. Did you experience anything like this? Confused

Thanks,
Mike
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"Schwing wrote:
You either have to be too cheap to hire a pro or determined to do it yourself, but it helps to be both!"

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Build thread: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=414940
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vw54john
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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mike,

Yes, I did change my parking brake cables with new ones from Wolfsburg West. They were a perfect fit ... no issues. Best of luck !
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