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My 1971 convertible project
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toddb_67
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:24 pm    Post subject: My 1971 convertible project Reply with quote

I've decided to start a post to document my progress on my recently acquired '71 super beetle convertible. This project must be done in a very short amount of time because the money I make from it when I sell it will be going towards sending my wife and daughter on a mission trip for our church. The idea was that we needed to raise some money and I could think of a better way than to find a solid project car, fix it up and sell it. I found this on craigslist and got a really good deal on it. The lady I got it from was recently divorced and her ex-husband told her to just get rid of it. The good news is that mechanically the car is very sound. I drove it home on the freeway and it was able to do 65 without any issues. All of the electrical works and the brakes are new. The body is fairly solid but has some definite rust issues. It will also need a new interior and a new top. Enough rambling, here are the pictures.
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1970 Pastel White Westfalia
1971 Super Beetle Convertible (sold) http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=582365&highlight=
1970 Squareback "Savanna"
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=714683

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toddb_67
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And now onto the issues. It has the typical convertible door gap problems and there are cracks in the doors too. It was hit pretty good in the front and so that will all need to be fixed. It also has rust in the front wheel wells and as you can see the PO did an awesome fix on the battery tray area of the pan but a new pan half was included with the sale. I've already began sourcing parts and got a new bumper, antenna, trim pieces and little stuff like that from the local junkyard. Here is some of what I'm talking about.
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1970 Pastel White Westfalia
1971 Super Beetle Convertible (sold) http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=582365&highlight=
1970 Squareback "Savanna"
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=714683

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toddb_67
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not one to mess around, I started tearing into it today. First up was to get that banged up front apron off. For those of you that haven't done this before it is actually not that hard. First the fenders have to come off to get to the spot welds that hold the apron on. Once the front fenders are off it's just a matter of finding the spot welds and drill them out. I highly recommend buying a spot weld drill bit for this because it makes real quick work of those spot welds. The hardest part was separating the apron from the front of the car in the trunk area. It is held on by spot welds but good luck finding them since they are buried under a ton of factory seam sealer. I ended up using my angle grinder to cut it off since the apron was junk anyway, it's not like I needed to be gentle! Laughing
On with the pictures;
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Thoughts, comments or suggestions are always welcome. Stay tuned as I continue to tackle this project....
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1970 Pastel White Westfalia
1971 Super Beetle Convertible (sold) http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=582365&highlight=
1970 Squareback "Savanna"
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=714683

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mountainkowboy
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's the wrong deck lid for a 71, it should have 4 sets of slats in it. Good luck on the project, mine isn't quite that rusty.....but its rusty.
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71 Super Convertible...DD
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toddb_67
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good eye, I didn't realize that was the wrong decklid. It will probably stay though since it is rust free and it fits!
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1970 Pastel White Westfalia
1971 Super Beetle Convertible (sold) http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=582365&highlight=
1970 Squareback "Savanna"
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=714683

I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me. - Dudley Field Malone
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sb001
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd almost tell you to leave that paint scheme!
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1969 autostick sedan, family owned since new
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toddb_67
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ha! thats a good one, I could have a harlequin edition convertible. Laughing
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1970 Pastel White Westfalia
1971 Super Beetle Convertible (sold) http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=582365&highlight=
1970 Squareback "Savanna"
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=714683

I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me. - Dudley Field Malone
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mountainkowboy
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

toddb_67 wrote:
Good eye, I didn't realize that was the wrong decklid. It will probably stay though since it is rust free and it fits!


If it has the DP motor it will run hot, cant get enough air through that lid.
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71 Super Convertible...DD
78 Honda CB750K
06 Honda CR-V (wifes)
63 IH Scout 80 "Beater"
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DadsOld74
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome! Looking forward to seeing how your project comes together! What a great way to raise money for missions! Have fun.
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Cusser
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mountainkowboy wrote:
toddb_67 wrote:
Good eye, I didn't realize that was the wrong decklid. It will probably stay though since it is rust free and it fits!


If it has the DP motor it will run hot, cant get enough air through that lid.



I run that type of engine lid on my 1835cc DP engine in Arizona (30 years now) but I have decklid stand-offs and an exteral oil cooler (mine's non-doghouse).
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Looks like a good project. Now I know why I bought my 1971 back in 1976 !!!
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1970 VW (owned since 1972) and 1971 VW Convertible (owned since 1976), second owner of each. The '71 now has the 1835 engine, swapped from the '70. Second owner of each. 1988 Mazda B2200 truck, 1998 Frontier, 2005 Yukon, 2004 Frontier King Cab. All manual transmission except for the Yukon. http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/album_page.php?pic_id=335294 http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/album_page.php?pic_id=335297
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GARYVONT
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a '71 Super, but not a vert. Just pulled the engine, and am proceeding slowly. Very slowly. Your posting is inspiration for me to step it up! Question: What is "DP" motor? Also, I'd like to know more about overheating with the '71 hood. What are your plans as to your build, e.g. stocker, custom, etc.? Best of luck on your project!
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GARYVONT
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a '71 Super, but not a vert. Just pulled the engine, and am proceeding slowly. Very slowly. Your posting is inspiration for me to step it up! Question: What is "DP" motor? Also, I'd like to know more about overheating with the '71 hood. What are your plans as to your build, e.g. stocker, custom, etc.? Best of luck on your project!
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GARYVONT
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a '71 Super, but not a vert. Just pulled the engine, and am proceeding slowly. Very slowly. Your posting is inspiration for me to step it up! Question: What is "DP" motor? Also, I'd like to know more about overheating with the '71 hood. What are your plans as to your build, e.g. stocker, custom, etc.? Best of luck on your project!
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Cusser
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GARYVONT wrote:
I have a '71 Super, but not a vert. Just pulled the engine, and am proceeding slowly. Question: What is "DP" motor?


DP is dual port, which was stock on 1971 and later USA engines.

But over the years, anything can happen on these VWs. Look at the intake manifold: if one piece, then it's single port. If it has center section with separate end castings (which "split" into individual runners to the two ports on that side), then it's dual port. Some call it twin port.
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1970 VW (owned since 1972) and 1971 VW Convertible (owned since 1976), second owner of each. The '71 now has the 1835 engine, swapped from the '70. Second owner of each. 1988 Mazda B2200 truck, 1998 Frontier, 2005 Yukon, 2004 Frontier King Cab. All manual transmission except for the Yukon. http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/album_page.php?pic_id=335294 http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/album_page.php?pic_id=335297
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A-Wild
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What about the wheels? I bought a 71 vert last year and the wheels were black. I thought that they were some type of replacement but I see your wheels are black as well. Anyone have some insight?
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toddb_67
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2014 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
What about the wheels? I bought a 71 vert last year and the wheels were black. I thought that they were some type of replacement but I see your wheels are black as well. Anyone have some insight?

Again, anyone could have spray painted them at some point, I think they were silver from the factory but I'm not 100% sure, anyone else know for sure?
Quote:
Also, I'd like to know more about overheating with the '71 hood. What are your plans as to your build, e.g. stocker, custom, etc.? Best of luck on your project!

I have also had a '67 convertible with even smaller vents on the decklid and it had a 1776cc and it didn't overheat. I have heard that running any convertible with the top down at prolonged highway speeds can make them run hot because with the top down it will make the air go right over the decklid.
My plans are to bring it back to stock with the exception of empi 8 spokes. I need all the luck I can get, it seems like to more I work on it the more stuff I find that needs to be fixed.
Thanks for all the comments.
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1970 Pastel White Westfalia
1971 Super Beetle Convertible (sold) http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=582365&highlight=
1970 Squareback "Savanna"
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=714683

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toddb_67
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Time for an update. I've been pretty steadily working on it every weekend and I got some parts welded on and the floor pan cut out and welded in.
Here we go:
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The new section all welded in,
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Here is the new front valance welded on. I went with a smooth valance because I like the look better,
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I had the typical door sagging problem but on this car it wasn't the hinges that were loose it was the hinge mount was broken and in pieces,
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I cleaned up the area and made a patch for the area,
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1970 Pastel White Westfalia
1971 Super Beetle Convertible (sold) http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=582365&highlight=
1970 Squareback "Savanna"
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=714683

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toddb_67
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Once I got the metal formed I drilled the holes for the mounting screws,
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I drilled holes in the patch to spot weld it on and then welded the edges also,
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All cleaned up and ground smooth. I test fit the door and it doesn't sag and closes really smoothly now.
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The PO decided to just screw the rear valance on Rolling Eyes
So I removed the rear fenders and welded it on,
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That's it for now, next up will be tackling the running board attaching panels. I've already cut the passenger side one out and found some rust, of course, so I cleaned it up. I will do the drivers side next and weld in the new panels that I already have.
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1970 Pastel White Westfalia
1971 Super Beetle Convertible (sold) http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=582365&highlight=
1970 Squareback "Savanna"
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=714683

I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me. - Dudley Field Malone
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Joel
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GARYVONT wrote:
Also, I'd like to know more about overheating with the '71 hood.


It's only an issue with convertibles because they lack the vents under the window like sedans have.

It may not overheat but it will dramatically shorten engine life, but if your building it just to sell off then its probably not of concern to you.

easiest fix is use stand offs like Cusser.
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toddb_67
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do have to make another trip to my local junkyard to get a rear quarter panel off of a 71 or 72 Super that is there. I seem to remember this car having a pretty clean decklid laying inside of it. Maybe I'll get lucky and it will have 4 vents, if it does I will snag it for this car.

About the repair to the door hinge area, if anyone is going to try this I have dome helpful hints. It may be hard to see but one has to jog the metal patch when installing it because it is not a perfectly flat area. From inside to outside it jogs down to meet the outside area of the car, if that makes sense. The other thing to keep in mind is where this hinge area meets the windshield pillar the Karmann factory used liberal amounts of lead there to fill that gap. Why is this a big deal? Well, when one is looking for solid metal to weld to, you don't want to try to weld to lead, it just melts. So I ended up grinding back quite a bit of lead until I saw sparks and then I knew I was back to steel. But the lead in that area was literally 1/8" thick in some spots. This is best illustrated in this picture. Notice where the windshield pillar ends it looks jagged? That's all lead. You can also see what I mean about this area not being perfectly flat. Where the hinges screw in to where it meets the outside vertical running seam is about a 1/4" difference.
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1970 Pastel White Westfalia
1971 Super Beetle Convertible (sold) http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=582365&highlight=
1970 Squareback "Savanna"
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=714683

I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me. - Dudley Field Malone
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