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Kick Azz 1975 LaGrande Super Rebuild
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baxsie
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:09 pm    Post subject: Kick Azz 1975 LaGrande Super Rebuild Reply with quote

So my son and I are getting going on the 1974 Super Beetle project. These are pics of the 1973 rusted donor car.

This thing is seriously rusted, so it will only be used as a parts car:
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There has been some real TLC used on this car:
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We will need some of the sheet metal from up here, and it does not seem too bad at first glance. Also, the back side of the dash is still sealed, so I have some hope the fan is functional:
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We need the steering wheel, speedo, and this dash is better than some of the dashes I've seen. Still a big crack in it, but only one:
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This is the only one I've seen that has the plastic around the fuse holder:
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The strangest thing: In this sea of rust, there appears to be good metal in the battery box. I'll believe that when it is all cleaned out:
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The biggest thing I was looking for was a motor to use as a core for rebuilding. I wanted the 1973/1974 offset style oil cooler, with the alternator and larger fan, as shown here (not from this donor car):
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This motor in the donor car seems to have all that. It can be turned by hand. We connected a battery but it would not turn over. We plan on making it bigger, faster, stronger and better so its condition is not a big issue if the case is still good:
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Last edited by baxsie on Tue May 29, 2012 3:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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baxsie
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:10 pm    Post subject: Here is the "rust-free" chassis that we will use Reply with quote

This chassis was used by its previous owner as a parts car, and it had been stripped it fairly well. BUT, it seems to be relatively free of rust compared to the other cars we had seen:

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From underneath, the (driver's side) pan looks pretty good. There is a hole from an aftermarket seat install, and you can see good metal there:
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Of course the battery box is moth-eaten (that grass is _under_ the car, not in it):
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The other side and the rest of the interior appears to be fairly rust free:
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The engine compartment appears to be relatively clean:
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Looking under the right rear fender, there appears to be very little rust:
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There has been marginal body work on the right at the door post. This will have to be removed and fixed correctly. There also some bad bondo on the right rear where the body meets the fender (poor damage repair, not rust I hope!):
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This area is usually rusted through, but here does not show blistering or obvious repair, just a bit of surface rust (again: I hope):
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Last edited by baxsie on Tue May 29, 2012 3:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Nepenthe88
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting. You definitely have your work cut out for you, but it could make for a real good project / bonding experience. RUST is going to be the #1 problem if you haven't already noticed. And despite that yellow car looking halfway decent, it's obviously had repairs and been repainted so you might find some shoddy fixes underneath the gloss / undercoating. Just don't get discouraged when the project turns out to be bigger, more involved and more expensive than originally expected.

My advice... appropriate a garage / workspace that's out of the sun and elements and tear everything apart (be organized, label stuff, document everything and store it in some logical way). It's a dirty, laborious undertaking but you'll learn A LOT about these cars from that exercise. Doing so will give you a way to assess what projects you'll need to do, and what parts you'll need. then...

...DO LOTS OF RESEARCH HERE ON THE SAMBA

There's a wealth of knowledgeable people here, and someone here has probably already problem-solved any issue you're bound to run into. So use the search function liberally and learn everything you can.

And if you don't already have one, beg, borrow or steal a good welder that can use argon and start your fixin's using as much OG steel as possible (the aftermarket re-pops suck). Remember you can fashion a lot of your own patches from random parts of the rustier bug! Other than that, ENJOI the build!! And keep posting in this thread so we can keep track of what's going on.

Two questions though... what are your overall plans? Stock, Germanlook? Twisted Evil Daily driver?? and where do you live? Some local samba guys might creep out of the woodwork and give a helping hand or something.

Good luck!!
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slione
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like a great project to do with your son. I look forward to seeing your progress in this thread. Very Happy
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baxsie
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your reply and encouragement.

Nepenthe88 wrote:
. . . You definitely have your work cut out for you, but it could make for a real good project / bonding experience. . .

Yes. He is 14 now, so we have 2 years to get something running. The wrench turning + bonding is a pretty important factor in our decision to take the project on. As a typical kid of his generation and parents, he is very involved in video games and online stuff. Not always a bad thing, but it does displace time from physical world experiences.

He is a good kid: not in trouble all the time like his old man at his age, good grades, musical talent, hard worker. It is really cool to see him "light up" about the bug.

My wife and I have both really worried about the safety of a high-school kid in a bug (vs. Suburban's and H2s). For safety I'd feel better putting him in a used Camry that has anti-lock brakes and air bags. But the experience of working on your own car is something we think he should have.

Part of the motivation is because I had a 1972 flat window Super Beetle handed down from my parents (bought new in '72 to replace their bought-new '63) through high school (me in the photo, circa 1983~1985):
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

I had modded that a bit within what I could afford as a high school student. I worked and saved all summer of 1981 to have Bow-Wow in Boise build up an 1835cc for me ($1300). My urge to "do it all again, and do it right" is strong Smile

Nepenthe88 wrote:
. . . you might find some shoddy fixes underneath the gloss . . .

Agreed. That is why we got the yellow chassis even though it was stripped. So many of the other cars around here are so very seriously rusty. We do expect to be doing some rust repair, starting with the battery box.

Nepenthe88 wrote:
. . . the project turns out to be bigger, more involved and more expensive . . .

I am pretty pessimistic on all these points. I am sure this project will end up over schedule and over budget. Don't they all? We do plan on getting professional help on the finish body work, painting and interior (I have a tiny bit of body experience, but not enough to be proud of). I am not sure how much of the engine we will do ourselves. I am not opposed to having some of that done by a pro.

Nepenthe88 wrote:
. . . appropriate a garage / workspace . . .

That is our current project. We live on a "hobby farm", which came with a ~100 year old barn which we remodeled a few years ago:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Right now my son and I are working on finishing+insulating+heating the "shop" bay (on the right in this image) so we can work on vehicles in the winter. Summers are pretty short here, and winters are long.

Nepenthe88 wrote:
. . . where do you live? . . .

We live in the Spokane area. We went to one of the River City VW Club meetings, a great group of people.

Nepenthe88 wrote:
. . . what are your overall plans? Stock, Germanlook? Daily driver??

This is a bit nebulous. It has to be safe (as possible) & reliable. He needs to be able to get to school and running start (early college classes). He likes "original" and I like functional upgrades, so it will probably end up being a bit of a sleeper.

So here are the things we are thinking of so far:

  • Shop:
    • Insulate (in process)
    • Interior finish work (1/2" plywood)
    • "Real" floor in the loft, which becomes the insulated ceiling of the shop
    • "Reznor" style propane heater.

  • Donor (red) Car:
    • Completely disassemble and catalog all parts.
    • Organize & store those in the loft of the barn.
    • Put the empty chassis behind the barn in case we need to cut patches out of it.
    • This exercise will give my son much needed wrench time Smile

  • "Rust Free" (yellow) Body:
    • Strip this down to "frame off" level.
    • Repair any rust
    • (do body safety work, below)
    • Rust inhibitor, undercoating.
    • Take to body shop to shoot interior and jams
    • (put body on hold during engine, suspension work)
    • Take it to the body shop for final body work/prime/sand/paint
    • Install glass (new functional rear defroster window at the minimum)
    • 7" DOT LED headlights or HID headlights
    • LED inserts in marker & brake lights

  • Body Safety
    • New bumper energy elements (these are "flat" now)
    • Custom "Class 11" style roll/safety cage built into body

  • Interior:
    • New (custom) headliner with padding integrated over safety cage tubing
    • New (custom) door and side panels, accommodating safety cage
    • Thermal insulation bonded to inside of the sheet metal in doors and behind rear side panels (it gets cold here)
    • Power Windows (help safety cage clearance)Wolf or Mid America, remote locks
    • New carpet with acoustic+thermal pad under it.
    • Try to find a solution to the cracked 1974 dash.
    • Seats worthy of the safety cage and 5-point harnesses (racing buckets? adjust? comfort?)
    • Re-do back seat, match front seat fabric.
    • Functional rear seat belts (shoulder tied to safety cage if possible)
    • Stereo, speakers

  • Suspension:
    • Replace/upgrade struts
    • Swaybar + bushings (and possible other front suspension improvements)
    • Front disc brakes (for sure)
    • Rear disc brakes or new drums (need to research)
    • Rear shocks (and possible other rear suspension improvements)
    • Standard ride height (we are not in the city)
    • Tires and wheels (need a winter set and a summer set)
    • Possible: Look at 1975 style rack and pinion

  • Engine:
    • Probably 92x76 2020cc or 94x69 1914cc
    • Forged, counterbalanced crank
    • "H beam" rods ? (like the idea, need to research)
    • SCAT Split-Port Heads ? (like the idea, need to research)
    • Good (forged?) pistons (need to research)
    • Good cylinders (thick wall 92 that fits like traditional 94?)
    • Good rings, bearings etc
    • Hydraulic lifters + cam (need to research)
    • Conservative compression for regular unleaded gas
    • Megasquirt injection, CB Performance Quick Tune EFI System, Top End Performance, or Raby's Aircooled Performance
    • Electronic ignition / platinum plugs
    • Good upgrade oil pump
    • External full-flow filter
    • Possible additional oil cooler + tstat (use as a cabin heater? remote flow valves?)
    • Use standard 1974 offset oil cooler tin (chrome? powder coat?)
    • Keep all factory thermostat vanes/preheat
    • New heat exchangers (performance loss? ditch for oil cabin heater?)
    • 4-tip "monza" extractor or OEM style 4-into 2 header
    • rebuild 1974 alternator (polish? powder coat?)
    • rebuild starter & new solenoid
    • Inspect transaxle (we have 2)
    • Dress-up pulleys
    • High-tech acoustic insulation on firewall


It will be a busy 2 years Smile Comments/thoughts on any of these ideas are welcome!


Last edited by baxsie on Tue May 29, 2012 3:30 pm; edited 6 times in total
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69satellite
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

trucklites 7in led headlights aren't any brighter than a normal h4. Just go with the h4s from bus depot and save your money.

http://busdepot.com/details.jsp?partnumber=0301600118

and for a bender this thread over on pirate talks about benders. good read. I want one one day but Im only goin buy one once. And thats $900 outta range right now.

http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=944432&highlight=bender+review
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice.

You're already well ahead of where I was in the planning / experience stages, and you're gonna have a SLIGHTLY nicer workspace than mine (my driveway can't be beat for fresh air! Very Happy) Nice barn resto. A couple things:

--I was going to mention something similar about the headlights. 69Satellite beat me to it. I still have qualms about LED taillights because of their uni-directionality. I like to be seen (Though a couple cheap strips work well as a 3rd brake light)

--Also, as far as I know No one makes new shock absorbing bumper mounts, but I've been wrong before. And when you get to needing suspension stuff, Talk to Jon at Topline Parts.

--and.. I would consider stressing body work and non-engine greasy bits first and push the engine build back. It's just my opinion but it might not be a bad idea to keep a stock-ish engine in the car for the kid's first winter. Despite his being the model teenager, there's still a bit of a learning curve with a rear wheel drive, no power steering car and snow. Just my opinion tho.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The pick of the Yellow bug floor looks like a fork lift was under it a bit and scraped and lifted the floor up a bit. Should be easy to pound back out.
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baxsie
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies.

Nepenthe88 wrote:
. . . nicer workspace . . .
It is not bad as it is now. It is dry and flat. But the heat is only on from late June through early September Smile I am really looking forward to having a heated shop for the first time since I was a kid. Beats the cardboard on the gravel "shop" I have used for years.

Nepenthe88 wrote:
. . . when you get to needing suspension stuff, Talk to Jon at Topline Parts. . .

I had seen the Topline site. I liked:
Super Beetle Front Stress Bar
Front Disc Brake Kit (for all Super Beetles)
Rear Disc Brake Kit (for all Super Beetles)
Front End Rebuilding Kit
That does not mean I can afford them, but I can look!

banditwolf wrote:
. . . lifted the floor up a bit . . .
Ya. A hammer and block should help some on that one. The other side is completely rusted through at the battery box, so welding and grinding will be involved there.

69satellite wrote:
. . . trucklites 7in led headlights aren't any brighter than a normal h4 . . .
How could I pass up LEDs? High tech is always better, right? Actually what I would really like is HID, but that seems way over the top. I'll have to research the H4 kits compared to the LED. Our 2000 Toyota Sienna minivan has Halogen and the 2005 Prius has HID. What a difference the Prius lights are compared to the van.

On the bender, do you have specific negative information on the Eastwood bender? I like that it is so compact. The floor mounted ones seem nice but they seem like they would be a storage issue in my small work area. Well, I also like the idea that the Eastwood one comes with multiple dies in that $500 price. I still need do do more research on this one, including reading that review and looking at the products reviewed.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 3:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

baxsie wrote:
How could I pass up LEDs? High tech is always better, right? Actually what I would really like is HID, but that seems way over the top. I'll have to research the H4 kits compared to the LED. Our 2000 Toyota Sienna minivan has Halogen and the 2005 Prius has HID. What a difference the Prius lights are compared to the van.


Trust me you will find when it comes to HIDs when you pay peanuts you get monkeys.

There is a huge difference between OEM Toyota HIDs and cheap drop in kits from China.

I've tried a cheap kit like that one and it lasted one trip home before I took them back.

Do some Googling and youtube, there is some good info out there but if you want HIDs, that work well, don't blind everyone on the road and are legal you gotta cough up some big $$ for a quality projector style kit.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

baxsie wrote:
Nepenthe88 wrote:
. . . when you get to needing suspension stuff, Talk to Jon at Topline Parts. . .

I had seen the Topline site. I liked:
Super Beetle Front Stress Bar
Front Disc Brake Kit (for all Super Beetles)
Rear Disc Brake Kit (for all Super Beetles)
Front End Rebuilding Kit
That does not mean I can afford them, but I can look!


I'd skip this:

baxsie wrote:

[*]Power windows, remote locks


and spring for the Topline stuff. He might be a little bit more expensive on parts, but there's a his stuff and the cheap chinese stuff that's just a wee bit cheaper from another vender. I sincerely WISH I'd bought all my disk brake kits from him. He sells the forged kits (v.the cast kits) which adds a bit of money, but if you troll my build thread a bit you'll see that I probably spent a month's worth of time trying to index the crappy EMPI rear kit I bought from someone else (I hadn't heard of Topline at that point). And to add insult, half the soft lines I got with my kit weren't the right length. In the long run I woulda saved money, by spending more up front (not to mention the decrease in stress!). One of the things that endeared me to him was our conversation about the strut brace. He flat out told me I didn't NEED it, because I wasn't running triangles in the back. It's rare these days to find a owner/salesman who discourages you from buying a product based on the specifics of your setup. Most just want the $$$.... Of course, I'm stubborn and bought it anyway, but that's not the point.
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baxsie
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The boy and I are still working on the shop. We have a pile of VW restore and repair and hot-rod books to read. Meanwhile I am filling out the tool arsenal.
69satellite wrote:
. . . and for a bender this thread over on pirate talks about benders. good read. I want one one day but Im only goin buy one once. And thats $900 outta range right now . . .

I sprung for this bender today:
http://www.jmrmfg.com/featured-tools/jmr-sportsman-tube-bender/
with 1" and 1.5" die sets. You were bang on with the price. JMR site is horrible, but the fellow I talked to by telephone was nice, and talked me out of the higher end bender models and the 240 deg dies that I was looking at. Seemed like nice folks, so they got the biz.

I grabbed this notcher:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007J4JWMC
I liked it because it can offset the notch, so the 1" tubing can meet the 1.5" tubing at the top, not forced to meet at the center.

My son found these seats & belts:
http://www.corbeau.com/products/reclining_seats/vx2000/
http://www.corbeau.com/products/harness_belts/3-inch_5-point_harness_belts/
http://www.corbeau.com/products/accessories/5th_slot/
Can't get that model in heated though. Would be nice to have heated in the winter in a bug.

Looks like we could get matching fabric to do the door panels and rear seat:
http://treperformance.com/i-130108-corbeau-matching-material.html

I really like the heated BMW power seats that Nepenthe88 put in Red w/ Racing Stripes, a 74 Super Build..., but I promised myself and my wife that 5-points and the cage would be the way it happens.
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baxsie
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joel wrote:
. . . Trust me you will find when it comes to HIDs when you pay peanuts you get monkeys. . .


Well, this one:

HID HEADLIGHT, Xe7R 7" ROUND BI-FUNCTION, TWIN PACK

certainly takes care of the "pay for" side of the equation.

I do not know how it would perform in real life. Would have to make new headlight buckets.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is a high price to pay for headlights.... I only paid 700 for my bug total. Smile

I'll stick with my cheapo stock lights....

baxsie wrote:
Joel wrote:
. . . Trust me you will find when it comes to HIDs when you pay peanuts you get monkeys. . .


Well, this one:

HID HEADLIGHT, Xe7R 7" ROUND BI-FUNCTION, TWIN PACK

certainly takes care of the "pay for" side of the equation.

I do not know how it would perform in real life. Would have to make new headlight buckets.

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baxsie
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:07 pm    Post subject: Quick Update: Shop progress, Peter Aschwanden bug artwork Reply with quote

The progress on insulating the barn is going, if slowly. One wall is fitted with R21 loving, ready for the plywood inner sheathing to go up:

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


I have always loved the Peter Aschwanden "Exploded VW" and "The Dream" illustrations from the idiot books. I tracked down a poster and print from the very helpful Deborah Reade at http://www.peteraschwanden.com/

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


The perfect art for the shop. Well at in this politically correct world, at least.
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baxsie
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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I realize that this shop work is a bit off topic. I guess I'll keep updating until someone is nasty about it.

Here is how the inside wall is shaping up:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

We plan to spray the AC plywood with some lacquer stuff once all the sheets are up. Hopefully this will keep it somewhat clean.

Here is a detail of how the plywood is fit:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

The window will need some trim, the plate should cover the outlet. Not too bad for a couple of farm boys.
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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

looks like fun.. keep the updates comin!
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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2012 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I have been thinking of possible solutions to the headlights. I would really like to have HID, but the good ones are bloody expensive.

I saw a Kia Amanti today and I think its lights could be worked into the fenders of the bug. Here is my horrible photoshop job:

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


I was thinking if I could find a wrecked Kia Amanti to yank the HID lighting system out of, it might not be too expensive.

Thoughts?

Bleh. Nevermind, it looks like the Amanti only had halogen lights. At first glance I thought they were HID with multi-surface-reflectors.


Last edited by baxsie on Tue May 29, 2012 3:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I have come across a 1975 Super. It is in pretty rough shape. No engine. Once had fuel injection, no engine now. Has rack-and pinion steering. And a sunroof.

I need to go back to it to look at the rust situation more closely.

I would like to get the rack-and-pinion, and the sunroof would be fun. But my wife is not at all excited about a 3rd old bug junking up the place.
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stupidlow
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Joined: May 14, 2012
Posts: 20
Location: United States
stupidlow is offline 

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

for cheap but good hid's go to www.ddmtuning.com they are $35/set for regular sized ballasts or $40/set for slim ballasts and they carry a lifetime warranty. i currently have these on my daily driver (colorado) for fogs and low beams and couldnt be happier. i have the 35w set and that is plenty light for me for night time driving.

cant wait to see what you do with this 74, i just acquired one myself so the learning begins!
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