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My Dad's '70 Bug - A year long restoration and continuing on
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flyboy161
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 10:27 pm    Post subject: My Dad's '70 Bug - A year long restoration and continuing on Reply with quote

This is a story about my father's beloved Beetle. I've been a VW owner since I was in my early 20's. That would be around 1984 when I bought my first bug. Dad caught the "bug" some 10 years later when he bought his '70 Beetle. I was more of a 6-volt kind of guy and over the years I've owned several types and varieties. But that's another story.
I'll add pictures as we go along, but I'll start with some background here. Around 1996, my Dad called me and asked where he could get a turn signal switch. I told him to pick up any number of VW magazines and find one. They were relatively inexpensive, about $30 at the time. In 1998 when my Mom passed away, I went to visit him. He proudly showed off his homemade turn signal switch box. I just shook my head.
The years weren't kind to the little bug and after 10 more years on another visit I was asking about his absent Beetle. So we took a ride to the airport and in his rented hangar was the Bug. Pics tomorrow and a continuation. Sadly I don't have any pics of his pride and joy over the years, but this topic will be picture heavy on the restoration that started in September 2009.


Last edited by flyboy161 on Thu Oct 02, 2014 11:33 am; edited 1 time in total
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jlex
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking forward to it... especially since it's a '70 Cool
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flyboy161
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:28 am    Post subject: The first look Reply with quote

This picture was taken on Father's Day in 2008. It really doesn't do justice to how bad she really was.
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Basically she was sitting there with about 10 layers of North Georgia pollen and dust on her. She had some kind of ratty old seat covers (not stock) and the headliner was falling. Rubber was cracked all the way around and there had been an engine fire, which Dad explained, someone had fixed. Somewhere along the way he had replaced one, yes one, piston and cylinder because it was bad.
So we towed it to his house and I got it running for him. My son and I then returned home.
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flyboy161
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:33 am    Post subject: September 2009 Reply with quote

Now we'll fast forward to 2009. I had just returned from a deployment in Turkey, and my wife and I took a trip North to see Dad. He says he's having some electrical issues. Says sometimes she won't crank. Then he asks if I'll take her home and fix it. I said sure so, we fired her up and I drove her south. Its a trip of about 180 miles and she was running good, but I had to stop and put a quart of oil in after about 100 miles. So I start a mental list:
1. Electrical problem
2. Oil leak.

So continuing on, I make it about 10 miles from home and spun a bearing. Yeah...

3. Overhaul engine


Last edited by flyboy161 on Thu Aug 14, 2014 10:58 am; edited 1 time in total
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flyboy161
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:40 am    Post subject: Home at last! Reply with quote

So a friend brings a tow bar and we tow her the rest of the way home.
I called Dad and discussed the dilemma. He said well, go ahead and do a full bore restore.
New list:
Engine, paint, straighten front end, replace headliner and window rubber...make that ALL the rubber, rewire, recover the seats. well, you get the idea
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flyboy161
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:45 am    Post subject: The stripping crew Reply with quote

My wife and I stripped this bug down to a shell:
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flyboy161
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:01 am    Post subject: September 21, 2009...more stripping Reply with quote

I told you there was an engine fire
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I found a rusty hood too that did not fit very well. He had a bungie cord holding it closed
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And a lot of Bondo behind the front fenders on the quarter panels
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flyboy161
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:10 am    Post subject: A little body magic Reply with quote

I found the front end was pushed in about 1.5 inches. So I set about removing the Bondo. What I found underneath was a severely wrinkled front clip but no creases, so I figured I'll just straighten it out. Over the next few days I used a scissor jack, a block of wood and some well placed hammer work.
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Now I'm not a body master by any stretch but I was able to get the rough shape back and stretch the front end back out to its stock location. I also picked up a hood from a friend to replace the rusted out original. I kept working until the quarters were no longer bowed and the hood fit like a champ
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flyboy161
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:14 am    Post subject: Prepping for paint Reply with quote

We continued sanding and hammering and smoothing everything out
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Chochobeef
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice work. Hopefully you will get to take your dad for a ride in it as i'm sure he'd love it.

Can't wait to see all the progress you made. Obviously those are from 2009 and this is 2014. But we are never done with them are we?
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flyboy161
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chochobeef wrote:
Nice work. Hopefully you will get to take your dad for a ride in it as i'm sure he'd love it.

Can't wait to see all the progress you made. Obviously those are from 2009 and this is 2014. But we are never done with them are we?


Thanks, this story will take a few days to unfold. It has an end in 2010 and a new beginning this year
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flyboy161
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:27 am    Post subject: Front clip and heartbreak Reply with quote

So the front clip came together nicely. The fenders test fit well
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And now the tragedy...On close inspection the front end torsion tubes were found to be lacking structural integrity
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flyboy161
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:41 am    Post subject: More body prep Reply with quote

Ordered a new front axle assembly
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:50 am    Post subject: December 2009...ready for paint Reply with quote

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New axle assembly installed
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flyboy161
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:56 am    Post subject: Off to paint Reply with quote

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danno627
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome!
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flyboy161
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:02 am    Post subject: To be continued Reply with quote

Tomorrow, I'll post the return from paint and the assembly process. Stay tuned
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Government
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:15 am    Post subject: awesome Reply with quote

Very awesome! Pops will be very happy.
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Stuart Maingot
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks great. I can relate to your build as I am doing a 69 presently much the same. I did not find yours in that much of a rough shape when u began as compared to my 69.
Look foward to seeing yours completed it to the end . It has given me some inspiration to finally push harder to complete my own build which started in Jan this year. Thanks.
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flyboy161
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like I said the pics didn't do it justice. It was pretty rough
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