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1971 Bundeswehr 181
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Welt
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 1:30 pm    Post subject: 1971 Bundeswehr 181 Reply with quote

Might as well start a topic for this car, as my current Baywindow project is starting to look like it's near completion. I think I'll get around starting this project properly the next spring when I actually get the energy to drag this one out of storage. Some of my previous project topics can be found in the forums at: Oval, late model Bug and my current precious baywindow bus.

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Some background:

As many already know, old VWs have this strange kind of attraction to each other. Once you have been marked as an aircooled enthusiast, you never get away from it. I wasn't really looking for a new project, but I got an offer I couldn't pass some while ago. A quite early Bundeswehr Type 181 with reduction boxes and all that. Not too many can be found in this part of the world. I've never owned, or really driven a convertible, so let this be the one summer car. As usual for me, no project is even passable or drivable from the beginning, so this is going to be a real project! Very Happy Got a birth certificate with the car, has not been registered since 2001, engine is an oil spewing swap, current paint is brushed on and lots of rust to boot. More cars I build, more I get to appreciate the stock form in these cars. I've bought beam adjusters etc. for most aircooled cars I currently own, but I've dared not to actually install any, though I'm not a newbie regarding metal work etc. My aim is to get this one fixed properly, rebuild the original 1500cc engine I got along with the car and paint it to original brown. I can see the bills for part orders already, ugh Shocked .
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1956 Oval
1971 Type 181
1974 Baywindow
1974 Beetle
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ALANSD
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 7:35 am    Post subject: Re: 1971 Bundeswehr 181 Reply with quote

love that one. I have been thinking about repainting my repainted THING a military green. Its burgundy now, not my favorite color...
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JBall8019
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 10:55 am    Post subject: Re: 1971 Bundeswehr 181 Reply with quote

i loved your other build threads! I cant wait to see how your 181 turns out!

alan: my thing was red/burgundy when I first got it and I hated the color. you might look into some shades of olive drab that looks sort of grey in color.
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ALANSD
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 1:01 pm    Post subject: Re: 1971 Bundeswehr 181 Reply with quote

I don't hate it, but I would rather have olive drab or some darker green. Not sure how I'm gonna get there...never painted a whole car by myself but I have done lots of fenders, and such..
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el_safari
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 5:58 am    Post subject: Re: 1971 Bundeswehr 181 Reply with quote

Hello Welt
I also loved your other build threads and I will look forward your skills on a 181!
I own a december 1969 181 named frankenkübel and I will be happy to help you, if you need...

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Frankenkübel background, for the moment with front engine... Cool
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Welt
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2016 7:09 am    Post subject: Re: 1971 Bundeswehr 181 Reply with quote

^^^
One good thing about cars in a bad shape is that the choice of paint is free and no originality is ruined. Smile One great thing also is that this is so far from being painted that there's all the time in the world for me to plan colour options etc. Although I mentioned original brown, I may go for a somewhat greener green and not the more brown/olive original one. The paint colour must be good match with the OE soft top though, so choices choices... I think I'll paint this one completely myself, in either satin or flat gloss.

Current baywindow project taught me yet again to keep all the original part and bolts. This one might be a good project to do it even more thoroughly, as there seems to be a lot of specific parts. Need to start reading all the info here before I remove a single thing, but hints from knowledgeable Thing/181 people are always appreciated.
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HUGO bOSS
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:46 pm    Post subject: Re: 1971 Bundeswehr 181 Reply with quote

Smile

Great Project!

Hope to see more photos!
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Welt
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:28 am    Post subject: Re: 1971 Bundeswehr 181 Reply with quote

So, finishing the Baywindow project took a bit longer than expected but here we are!
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Quick look-around revealed some bad spots.
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As usual, the project begins by complete disassembly. The transaxle spins freely, drums were not stuck solid, the pan seems to be doing just fine, body is rusty as expected etc. Fun times ahead.

Don't want to do anything too drastic. The current plan is for the transaxle with reduction boxes to stay, stock slotted bus style 15" wheels shall stay and I'm planning to do a 1500/1600 single port engine with 34 PICT+ CB 2280 cam.
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Welt
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:50 pm    Post subject: Re: 1971 Bundeswehr 181 Reply with quote

Not that I'm surprised or anything, but the condition of this car is yet again somewhat worse than I originally anticipated. Am I drawn to masochistic situations or are all of my cars just gracefully saved from complete neglect?

All began with a pressure wash, as if any more moisture would make the rust issues worse!
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Other than the odd Renault exhaust and the rear suspension bump stop, nothing too bad in the rear.
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Some parts of the body have been previously repaired. Although most of the fender attachment areas are rusted quite badly. Surprisingly, the front brakes had brand new hardware installed (like brake pads and all). Don't see a point really, as the drums were almost solid rust in the braking surface.
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Rear of the pan is mostly solid and repaired before in some areas. One thing I still wonder is why would anyone brush paint on top of the original like this. The OG paint is not even sanded to give the new one enough grit to stick on properly!
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Front looks to be mostly solid at first glance, but has some large holes I didn't notice at first. The bottom areas connected to the pan were rotten as I prodded the area with a screwdriver. Paint over rust, who would've thought?
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Front left area in the body near the attachment to the pan is gone. Most hardware is to be replaced as well. Found out that a second output from the gas tank (for the gasoline heater?) was only mechanically pinched with a pair of pliers or something else. I've wouldn't have driven a car like that knowing how fluid fuel is...
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Beam looks to be mostly intact. Managed to salvage the dust covers on the shocks, but had to cut one shock out as all the hardware was too much gone and stuck. Many bolts broke, but whatever.
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Both rear fenders were attached mostly with sheet metal screws as the attachment point were repaired some time. Both sides were mostly gone.
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Did a small experiment in the meantime, seems that some areas have been filled and painted in other colours. Front corners have some areas that look to have collision damage on them. Don't have any more pictures at this point, but the body is definitely coming of the pan. Guess it's worth to explode this to the last bolt anyway.
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Parts hoarding started too btw. As the OE shocks were far too gone and these have HD shocks, bought some Bilsteins and not the flimsiest one available.
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HUGO bOSS
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:14 pm    Post subject: Re: 1971 Bundeswehr 181 Reply with quote

Smile Great car! Loving the work on him.
About the paint... dont forget that was an old militar car on the army... painted by soldiers... Laughing
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Welt
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:33 pm    Post subject: Re: 1971 Bundeswehr 181 Reply with quote

HUGO bOSS wrote:
Smile Great car! Loving the work on him.
About the paint... dont forget that was an old militar car on the army... painted by soldiers... Laughing


If only! I'd understand that if it were done in service, but this paint is done in Finnish army colors after it was imported here. Doesn't really matter, but I personally hold cars in such high regard that I couldn't do such a thing even to a beater. Guess I'm odd like that.
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HUGO bOSS
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:51 pm    Post subject: Re: 1971 Bundeswehr 181 Reply with quote

Hum... if that was done on the USA, it's a (stupid) different history... Crying or Very sad

I'm the same about my cars... Wink
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Jim Hunter
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:00 am    Post subject: Re: 1971 Bundeswehr 181 Reply with quote

Any updates ??? Looks very interesting project...
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:10 pm    Post subject: Re: 1971 Bundeswehr 181 Reply with quote

I have a Complete set of 4 NOS Military 181 Fenders, still have the tags on them if you are interested let me know.

Gary
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Welt
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:19 am    Post subject: Re: 1971 Bundeswehr 181 Reply with quote

Sheesh, should check these more often as I've missed these other posts. I've been very busy with work, but the "winter" here has also been more liquid downpour and horrid mush than proper dry cold, so I haven't been able to sandblast and grind as much stuff as I'd hoped. Some things have happened in the meantime, though. Don't have all the nice stuff to post here as I've swapped to another phone and didn't document all that I'd like.

Already scrapped the lifting mechanism I've used with my oval project, so had to make something new. The scrap metal yard that I previously bought raw-material from had more of the same stuff still there lying around, which meant that cheap steel was ripe for picking. Some steel, fresh wire and an ATV jack became a cheap body lift.
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As luck would have it, I found a bunch of Camac 165R15 tires in retro style online. Got the last ones!
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The original engine hardware showed some heavy use! All the cylinder heads, pistons etc. I got along with the car was scrap. Analyzing the damage, seems that an exhaust valve had snapped or something similar. One combustion chamber was beaten to death and one crankshaft journal is scored as well. Can you guess which one? Wink Seems that the engine was ran to the ground in all other aspects as well. The bearings were completely shot and contained a bunch of foreign material. In the end, I was happy with what I'd seen, as the case in STD specs other than the clearly apparent wear. The crank was in first undersize/cut with matching OEM VW bearings. That means the case is salvageable and i'll get it linebored to first undersize. 1.6 single port with a 34-PICT seems to be still on the menu.

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Some of the other stuff I've already refurbished. The front beam was in a pretty good shape. Even the grease seals were great in most places. Only bad one was in the lower left corner. Something had distorted the seal and I guess water and dirt had gotten in the beam. The needle bearing was dirty and the torsion arm had some wear on it. Cleaned and lubed as much as I could at this point. As 181 torsion arms don't grow on trees, that was only a stopgap solution. Guess I'll ask one of the local machine shops that does thermal spraying a quote to repair the bearing journal, as they're a place that I've actually done academic research with.
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Bugs4Life wrote:
I have a Complete set of 4 NOS Military 181 Fenders, still have the tags on them if you are interested let me know.

Sweet! Some of my fenders are quite gone, so I'll definitely message you at some point. Must not be cheap to ship such things halfway across the world, but I'm interested nonetheless.
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1971 Type 181
1974 Baywindow
1974 Beetle
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