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My 181 project pics
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KAmes
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Joined: February 16, 2014
Posts: 463
Location: Illinois
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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 4:31 pm    Post subject: My 181 project pics Reply with quote

Hello all. I bought this 181 Thing a little over a year ago from a Samba classified ad. It was a total impulse buy, I was looking at ads for fun, saw this one and thought "that would be different, we've not ever had one of those", then I bookmarked it, that's where the trouble usually starts, bookmarking. Over the years my wife and I have had four beetles, a convertible ghia, a split bus, a 914 and a vanagon. Anyway it took about two weeks to work its way from "wouldn't that be cool" to "what if we really did that?". Now understand my wife is a fabulous co-conspirator, she can be counted on to support any kook scheme I'm likely to come up with wholeheartedly. So 1000 miles round trip later we have a thing in the garage.
I'm far too disorganized (lazy?) to post a proper build thread, but I thought since the project is coming along I should post up some of my pictures. I'll start with the pictures from the original Samba ad, "a dent in every fender" it said. No doubt some of you saw it, or perhaps know the seller. It was an easy transaction, seemed like a nice guy.
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The day we picked it up, what have we done?
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The rear of the car had been hit and was full of bondo that was working on falling back out, so I replaced it with a used lower clip.
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New rocker panels inside and outside. I did it on the pan, cut out the lower half of the inside and replaced then cut out the lower half of the outside and replaced. Then repeat on the other side. I had more pictures of this but I can't find them, I think they vanished from my phone. For all you know midnight metal working pixies fixed it and I dreamed the whole thing.
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New right rear floor pan, otherwise the pan is very good.
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The original engine ran, we drove it up on the trailer, but it would get real rough over 2000 rpm, vibrating badly. It also leaked oil everywhere. I pulled it out to discover a very new looking flywheel and clutch. Hmmm.
I've had old thrashed motors drop valves and self destruct before, enough to know that this one was on that path, so I gave up and bought a rebuilt motor through Mid America Motorworks (they are a 45 minute drive from here).
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Test fitting new Thing Shop windshield frame and glass.
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Test fitting new Thing Shop Top and frame. I drove it to work for about a month at this point.
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Took it back apart to move taillights, new antenna bracket from UMP in Germany.
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Back on the trailer to go next door to my neighbor who does auto body for a living. Note the new Thing Shop front fenders on the floor, it's only money right? Fiberglass rear fenders from Mid America.
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That school bus in the background is my other rear engine car. We lived in that for two years during house construction (another kooky scheme).
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77kafer
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Joined: April 08, 2008
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Location: New Windsor, NY
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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy

Off to a really good start, what color will it end up?
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Supposed to be 77käfer, but there are no umlauts on an american keyboard

Overheard on 27 June 07, one lady to another when they saw my Harli in a parking lot at West Point, "maybe he found it on the clearance aisle at the Volkswagen dealer"
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KAmes
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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

77kafer wrote:
Very Happy

Off to a really good start, what color will it end up?

We're doing savannah beige, Stay tuned I have paint pictures coming up, I was taking a break.
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KAmes
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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, Here's some body work pics in my neighbor's garage. I finished and painted a car myself once, an MG Midget, it took me forever and results varied. I enjoy the metal work but finishing is beyond my skill.
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Loading the car up to go to the shop for exterior paint. He painted the inside in his garage with single stage paint.
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At the shop.
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Paint! Two stage, I originally planned the satin finish, but I was seduced by the shiny.
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Back at my house. He's still working on the doors and fenders.
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I left my weld on the inner rockers exposed, considering the rest of the interior I couldn't think of a reason to hide it.
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Taillights! Ebay from Mexico.
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Antenna bracket.
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Steering column back from the powder coater. Half thing, half split bus.
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Steering shaft, half thing half bus.
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I originally built it skinny bus column all the way to the firewall, it looked better but I had trouble with the thicker thing steering shaft rubbing.
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Barndoor bus wheel! Yessss.
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This is the center part of an MCJ billet KDF button bodged into the stock horn button trim.
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Fitted the Thing Shop windshield frame and glass, I got the top part of the frame powder coated to match the bottom.
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The front.
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That's where I'm at so far, my neighbor says he's got the trunk and engine lid done, just needs to buff them out. I'll post up more as it comes.
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waxhead
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Joined: January 19, 2004
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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2015 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks great! I love the color and the military accessories - the steering wheel is cool. The stock steering wheels look a little too modern for my taste too.
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63ziggy
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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

always love that fresh wet paint look.

looking good. agree, steering wheel is cool

keep up the good work
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KAmes
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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

63ziggy wrote:
always love that fresh wet paint look.

I've had cars painted in the past but they never looked like this. The same guy painted the blue super beetle and they both have a poured on depth to them that really amazes me. I especially like the savannah beige because it's an old school solid color with no flakes or sparkles in it.
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KAmes
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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The paint guy showed up with the engine door today. He didn't like how the trunk lid turned out so he did it over, said he'd probably have it ready tomorrow.
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HMVWNAB
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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2015 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bus SW looks cool, but can you slide into the drivers seat with that large diameter? I went the other way and bought a used smaller than stock SW so I could fit better.
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KAmes
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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2015 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HMVWNAB wrote:
Bus SW looks cool, but can you slide into the drivers seat with that large diameter? I went the other way and bought a used smaller than stock SW so I could fit better.

It's a valid concern. I ended up making the steering column nearly 2 inches longer bringing it closer to me but higher and further from my knees. There was a lot of mocking up testing with the seat in place. I'm kind of average, 5'10" & 170 pounds, could be a problem for a large guy. My downfall might be reupholstering the seat, making it thicker, but I'll section out the seat frame and lower it if I have to. I might like that anyway.
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KAmes
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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2015 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another thing I did was move the bracket on the column that bolts under the dash to the side about 1/2 inch. When I installed the skinny column in the original position it didn't line up centered with the speedometer, looking strange. With the original column you don't realize it's not centered because of the larger housing with the turn signals and ignition switch etc. As you know the seat, steering wheel and pedals don't line up anyway, it's all "fudged" towards the centerline of the car. So by moving the column slightly to the right I caused the wheel position (remember 2 inches closer) to end up looking about right to me. It also moves it away from the door a little, helping with entry and exit. Not like a thing is ever easy to get in and out of anyway.
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ALANSD
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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2015 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

love the work. And the ideas. It makes me feel odd that the Thing I bought was already mostly finished. But I like it anyway
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Ron Domeck
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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2015 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would love to see this car at Kubel Treffen East in Dayton Ohio in July
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mondshine
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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2015 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ron Domeck wrote:
Would love to see this car at Kubel Treffen East in Dayton Ohio in July


Me too!
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KAmes
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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2015 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ron Domeck wrote:
Would love to see this car at Kubel Treffen East in Dayton Ohio in July

We would really love to do that! My brother and I work a family business and we can't take time off at the same time, I'm thinking there's already a conflict but I'll check it out. I looked it's 300 miles from here, within easy driving range for me. I'm new to car show stuff, it sounds like a lot of fun, we'll see.
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KAmes
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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2015 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the Thing Shop five point roll bar back in the car now, I had to cut and reweld the right front leg a little shorter due to my floor pan replacement being a little high. The paint guy brought me the trunk lid Sunday, looks great but I have yet to do up the hardware. New tandem bicycle we ordered came in Saturday and I've been playing with that instead.
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KAmes
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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2015 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

More goodies from the paint guy. Two fenders and two doors to go.
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KAmes
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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2015 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Put the drivers side doors and fenders on. My neighbor (paint guy) is going on vacation to Colorado so I may not get the passenger side stuff for a couple weeks. There's lots to do in the meantime.
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License light installed.
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Cool Thing shop mirror bracket. I welded in the holes in the doors. The passenger side door had a growing crack.
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New door pocket edging.
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Thing Shop sun visors.
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Working on the dash switch layout. 68 beetle switches.
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Gas heater bought from Marty in Colorado. Great to deal with, highly recommend. My new Thing Shop exhaust pipe is not angled quite right, interferes with the shock tower. I'll have to cut and reweld before install.
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KAmes
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to try something different for wiring and fuses.
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Color coded and labeled.
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63ziggy
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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

looking real nice
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