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The Aufgeladen Ghia
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xzener
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:04 pm    Post subject: The Aufgeladen Ghia Reply with quote

Hey guys. Been meaning to start a build thread. Have a couple days off, so I figured I'd start one. Bought my 1968 Ghia from a guy locally, was impressed with the lack of rust. I asked him if it ran, he said yes and started her up. Didn't want to idle... he also said you had to hold the key in the "On" position or it would die. The engine sounded good too but needed some work. Gave the car a good look, and told him I had another one to look at in Bakersfield, about an hour and a half away. Went and looked at that one... THERE'S THE RUST! What a wasted trip that was. Went back up to give the guy an offer, thinking to myself... "He's asking $4000, I will offer him $3000 and start from there." So, I offer him $3000... "SOLD!" Damn it! Should have started lower. Wink

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So, when I went to pick it up the next day, found them out front giving her a wash. Kind of funny, it was primer grey... I don't care what it looked like. Threw her on the trailer, and began tossing boxes of parts in the back of the truck. Trim, rubber, spare parts... This thing might be complete I thought. He said "It's ready for paint, most of the parts to reassemble it are in these boxes." Couldn't help but think, yeah right... This thing is no where near ready for paint. But said I was very thankful, and happy to have found it.

Got her home and gave it a complete electrical once over. Had a couple bad grounds for lights, but was happy to find everything in working order except for the ignition switch and hazard lights. Looks like the relay is fried... They are around $65 to replace. Found a replacement ignition switch and voila... She runs on her own... Well as long as I'm keeping her from dying, but at least I don't have to hold the key now. 😄

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Had a look at the engine, gave it a quick tune up, but still struggled to stay running... Found that choking the carburetor would make it pur like a kitten. Vacuum leak? Decided to have my local classic VW guy get her running good. And that he did. What a fun little car to drive. Drove it home... And tore it apart.

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While taking it apart, found the original paint color script... White. Who on earth would paint it an ugly gold (pictured above in engine compartment).

Took the car apart piece by piece, bagging and tagging everything. While doing so, day dreaming about how the Ghia would look when finished... I have a lot of work to do. The rear end on 68's have the long axle, no way is a 17X7 rim gonna fit with those. So... I researched and started the short axle conversion.

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Thought I was in over my head... I've worked on VWs before, but never attempted anything like this. Read many posts, and watched a few YouTube videos. Not much to it... Or so I thought. Getting the new tubes into the sort axle end castings was impossible without the correct tools and equipment. So, I sent them off and had them assembled.

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While I was at it, decided it was a great time to rebuild the brakes. A couple weeks later, and a little help from a buddy. All back together, with porsche/chevy drums.

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A few weeks later, mounted and installed the 17X7 rim with 205/45's...

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Now to tackle the front end. After talking with a couple guys here in the forums about 17s in the front. It was decided to go with a narrowed adjustable beam. My first intension was to go with air ride... But have recently decided to go with springs and shocks after struggling with the sway bar. Many of you are probably wondering why I would try a sway bar with air ride, I'm after the best ride possible. Always thought riding on air would be best, but seems more like a death trap. After getting everything assembled... Found that the sway bar was hitting the ground before the car bottomed out. The front end has been through many modifications, drop spindles (which also didn't jive with 17s and a sway bar), air shocks, narrowed beam, you name it... Funny how Ive decided against it all and gone back to stock spindles, springs, and shocks. Here are a couple pictures...

Stock beam with drop spindles (air shock hitting the control arm, not allowing full down travel)...
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Custom 2" narrowed adjustable beam assembled with air shocks...
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Installed, and slammed all the way. Which looks awesome BTW...
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But, as you can see here, the sway bar doesn't allow the 17s to turn very well.
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So, this is where I am now. Stock spindles allowing better turning radius...
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Now I'm just waiting for the narrowed leaf springs. Which Aircooled.net claims are 10% less stiff compensating for 2 inches being cut off. Hopefully when its all said and done, it will be a smooth ride.

While all the above work was going on, I was using time in between part orders to get the car ready for paint. The worst damage was in the front end. The front passenger fender was hit, and the PO didn't do a well enough job of repair in my opinion. I ordered a headlight clip, and taught myself how to weld (with a little help from a buddy who had a welder and the know how). The bucket was beyond repair, so I cut it out. I must say... The headlight bucket was very hard to find. I finally posted a WTB add in the classifieds after not finding a single bucket... anywhere in the world! And boom! a couple days later, a kind forum member was willing to part with his, as he was no where near ready for it.

After the old bucket was removed...
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New clip tacked in. You can see a gap in the fender where the body profile didn't match the clip...
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I cut a slit in the fender and added a sliver of sheet metal to better shape the contour...
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After removing all the POs body filler, and adding a small amount of my own, all done...
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After the body work was done, decided to get the inside up to my standard. Used undercoating to seal the pans (which were in AWESOME shape). I have never seen a VW without pans being rotted through. These are the original pans.

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After a few coats of that, on goes the Dynamat (and yes, those are not stock seats but SCAT Procar 90 lowbacks)...
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Undercoated the bottom of the pans with Rinoliner truck bed liner (just noticed the 2 scratches, will get those fixed)...
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Running out of stuff to add. I've done tons of work. Rebuilt the wiper/transmission assembly. The wiper shafts were out of stock for over a year... Finally got them recently and finished the rebuild.
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This is a picture of the Ghia being out of the garage to clean all the primer dust everywhere. Was still on the stock beam at this point...
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MORE TO COME!
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My 70 beetle was totaled Now to build the Ghia I always wanted. Rest in peace Ruby, I will miss you. Hello <insert Ghia name here>!


Last edited by xzener on Sat Dec 23, 2017 10:25 pm; edited 8 times in total
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TDCTDI
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:38 pm    Post subject: Re: <insert name here> Build Thread Reply with quote

xzener wrote:
Who on earth would paint it an ugly gold (pictured above in engine compartment).

Flavor Flav?
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Era Vulgaris
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:48 pm    Post subject: Re: <insert name here> Build Thread Reply with quote

Looks great! That's going to be a killer Ghia when it's done.

One question...why is your VIN missing?



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1966 Karmann Ghia, under construction
1998 Porsche Boxster, silver, 2.5L overhauled by Jake Raby SOLD!
1967 Karmann Ghia, Black, 1500sp, 4 lug steelies SOLD!
1998 BMW Z3, Atlanta Blue Metallic, 2.8L I-6, 17" factory wheels SOLD!
1975 Porsche 914, Laguna Blue, 2270cc DRLA40's, 5 lug fuchs SOLD!
1972 Porsche 914, Signal Orange, 1.7 FI, 5 lug fuchs SOLD!
1974 Karmann Ghia, Black, 1600dp, bullet turn signals, steelies SOLD!
1974 Triumph TR6 with O.D., metallic blue, stock everything SOLD!
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xzener
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:56 pm    Post subject: Re: <insert name here> Build Thread Reply with quote

Thanks! It's not missing, just masked over it for the undercoating.

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BTW, thanks for the striker plate rebuild tutorial, plan on doing that soon too. Wink
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My 70 beetle was totaled Now to build the Ghia I always wanted. Rest in peace Ruby, I will miss you. Hello <insert Ghia name here>!
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sputnick60
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2017 5:07 am    Post subject: Re: <insert name here> Build Thread Reply with quote

I'm glad you've started a build thread. Keep up the good work!
Nicholas
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'66 Karmann Ghia Cabriolet...
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xzener
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:12 am    Post subject: Re: <insert name here> Build Thread Reply with quote

Thanks Nicholas!

Question for you guys... Is it possible to remove/replace leaf springs with removing one side of cars control arms? It seems doable.
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My 70 beetle was totaled Now to build the Ghia I always wanted. Rest in peace Ruby, I will miss you. Hello <insert Ghia name here>!
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:21 am    Post subject: Re: <insert name here> Build Thread Reply with quote

xzener wrote:
Question for you guys... Is it possible to remove/replace leaf springs with removing one side of cars control arms?

Yes, I just had to do that because the grub screw on one of my arms was stuck. Back out the grub screw on one control but leave it engaged on the opposite arm then pull the engaged arm and spring pack out as a unit. If there is corrosion or "ugly plaque buildup" on the spring pack you may have to horse it out.
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xzener
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:36 am    Post subject: Re: <insert name here> Build Thread Reply with quote

Awesome. I've already had it apart and back together. I only have through rods to deal with. My new narrowed springs are in a UPS truck somewhere between here and Salt Lake City... Probably spending Christmas with the driver. Laughing

Gonna attempt to disassemble the passenger side, loosen the grubs on the driver side, pull them out, insert the new leafs, and install new lowered shocks. Will post my results in a couple days.
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My 70 beetle was totaled Now to build the Ghia I always wanted. Rest in peace Ruby, I will miss you. Hello <insert Ghia name here>!
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xzener
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2017 10:48 am    Post subject: Re: <insert name here> Build Thread Reply with quote

Done... Now just need to wait for the springs. Merry Christmas everyone!!

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My 70 beetle was totaled Now to build the Ghia I always wanted. Rest in peace Ruby, I will miss you. Hello <insert Ghia name here>!
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2017 1:32 pm    Post subject: Re: <insert name here> Build Thread Reply with quote

Ok, so after installing the driver side shock... Which I had to really force the spindle up to meet the shock tower... The lowered shock is topped out, and the control arms are angled up quite a bit.

Aren't lowered shocks for adjustable beams?? These shocks seem WAY to short to allow the car to be adjusted high enough to get over obstacles.

Am I missing something here? Seems as though I should have purchased stock shocks. In order for these to do any good, the car would need to be SLAMMED, way lower than I would ever go without air shocks to get up and over speed bumps.

Here is a picture of the shock topped out and off the tower with the control arms nearly level... Which is where, IMO, the shock should be in the mid position.

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

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My 70 beetle was totaled Now to build the Ghia I always wanted. Rest in peace Ruby, I will miss you. Hello <insert Ghia name here>!
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:31 pm    Post subject: Re: <insert name here> Build Thread Reply with quote

This is what happens when you don't research and do your homework... So, after some digging, found that these will be best for what I'm looking for. They claim 18" - 11" topped out to full compressed for a firm ride.

http://www.airkewld.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=2492
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My 70 beetle was totaled Now to build the Ghia I always wanted. Rest in peace Ruby, I will miss you. Hello <insert Ghia name here>!
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:16 am    Post subject: Re: <insert name here> Build Thread Reply with quote

Hi there, what a lovely build you have there, some fab work going on. Giving me plenty of enthusiasm to get back onto mine. Thanks for sharing with us.
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xzener
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:35 pm    Post subject: Re: <insert name here> Build Thread Reply with quote

Ok, so I received the narrowed leaves... How the heck do you get these installed with a ratchet style adjuster? Do I pull out one side of the polyurethane bushings, install the adjuster sleeve on the leaf, guide it in, then put the grub screws on? It won't just slide in with the adjuster in place with the grub screws backed out.

If I attempt that, I'm afraid it won't get past the zert fitting.

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My 70 beetle was totaled Now to build the Ghia I always wanted. Rest in peace Ruby, I will miss you. Hello <insert Ghia name here>!
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:00 pm    Post subject: Re: <insert name here> Build Thread Reply with quote

Found this thread for reference... I guess these are called Puma style adjusters. There is two holes on the collar, which makes sense. After locating it to the other hole, it looks as though the grub screw hole will match the leaves. Mine was 90 degrees out similar to the thread starters problem.

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=573456&highlight=torsion

Now, what's the trick to slide these in?? Do I take the leaves apart and guide them in one by one??

My Official VW Service Manual is vague, and makes it seem easy.
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My 70 beetle was totaled Now to build the Ghia I always wanted. Rest in peace Ruby, I will miss you. Hello <insert Ghia name here>!
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70 140
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:11 pm    Post subject: Re: <insert name here> Build Thread Reply with quote

Slide the two outermost leaves in first. Insert the rest of pack between the two outer leaves. It might take a bit of force.
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xzener
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:14 pm    Post subject: Re: <insert name here> Build Thread Reply with quote

Ok, so keep the bundle together and slide the two outer most leaves forward, guide it in. When they are through, push the rest if them through?
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My 70 beetle was totaled Now to build the Ghia I always wanted. Rest in peace Ruby, I will miss you. Hello <insert Ghia name here>!
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:41 pm    Post subject: Re: <insert name here> Build Thread Reply with quote

Awesome... That did it. Thanks 70 140.

I got is started, luckily the collar slid out without binding on the zert fitting. Now to bang this thing into place. I will have to take it to work and use a vice to give me leverage. The collar is very tight, no way it would easily slide in like I was hoping.

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My 70 beetle was totaled Now to build the Ghia I always wanted. Rest in peace Ruby, I will miss you. Hello <insert Ghia name here>!
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:13 pm    Post subject: Re: <insert name here> Build Thread Reply with quote

Can't seem to wrap my brain around installing these correctly... Started with the bottom leaves. Had the collar on backwards, put it back on the other way, installed it... Now the grub indention is on the opposite side if the beam. Talk about trial and error. Taking a break for the day, will tackle it after the new year.

Happy New Year everyone!
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My 70 beetle was totaled Now to build the Ghia I always wanted. Rest in peace Ruby, I will miss you. Hello <insert Ghia name here>!
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 8:35 am    Post subject: Re: <insert name here> Build Thread Reply with quote

xzener wrote:
Ok, so after installing the driver side shock... Which I had to really force the spindle up to meet the shock tower... The lowered shock is topped out, and the control arms are angled up quite a bit.

Aren't lowered shocks for adjustable beams?? These shocks seem WAY to short to allow the car to be adjusted high enough to get over obstacles.

Am I missing something here? Seems as though I should have purchased stock shocks. In order for these to do any good, the car would need to be SLAMMED, way lower than I would ever go without air shocks to get up and over speed bumps.

Here is a picture of the shock topped out and off the tower with the control arms nearly level... Which is where, IMO, the shock should be in the mid position.

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


Since the shock towers are raised to accept stock length shocks, don't forget the fact that you haven't actually gained upward travel in the suspension, the balljoints are still going to be the limiting factor & without the shock providing an upward limit, you will be prone to breaking balljoints.
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xzener
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:15 am    Post subject: Re: <insert name here> Build Thread Reply with quote

I've installed lowered ball joints... They claim they have better travel. Jacking the wheel into the fender fully, and raised to it's extent seems plenty. Won't be jumping the car at the dunes or gliding over speed bumps with it. 😉
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My 70 beetle was totaled Now to build the Ghia I always wanted. Rest in peace Ruby, I will miss you. Hello <insert Ghia name here>!
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