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Convertible Reinforcement Rails
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NoDents
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:49 am    Post subject: Convertible Reinforcement Rails Reply with quote

I will be installing new heater channels in my 1971 Ghia (doing a body off resto/mod). I noticed that the old channels/rocker panel assembly has the re-enforcement rail attached to the rocker panel itself and not the heater channel.

Does anyone see a downside to attaching the reinforcement rail to the heater channel instead?

I have a concern that getting the rail placed exactly right inside the rocker panel, then making sure the rocker panel will fit onto the heater channel without having to "form" it to fit. My experience so far with replacement panels/floor pans HAS NOT been good. A tweak here; a bend there, etc. In fact the heater channels themselves are going to be fun. If I get it lined up at the "A" Pillar, the "curved" section going towards the front is about a 1/2" off where the 2 bolt holes line up to the body. Yikes!
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kman
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:11 am    Post subject: Re: Convertible Re-enforcement Rails Reply with quote

I would do it as intended. The heater channel divider acts as one "beam" and the convertible reinforcement acts as another. it shouldn't be too bad if you tac weld and test fit before committing fully.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:18 am    Post subject: Re: Convertible Re-enforcement Rails Reply with quote

Check out the following web site for a variation on the above mentioned approach. I can't remember all the details but I know they address the convertible rail issue.
http://karmannghia.org/Richard/71_KG_cabriolet/71_KG_cabriolet_bodywork.html
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Convertible Re-enforcement Rails Reply with quote

No doubt, use the Convertible reinforcement where it is intended.

History shows us that the replacement rocker panel is often NOT the proper radius to match the front and rear fender bottoms.

You may need to fudge it, trial fit it, wiggle and jiggle it to make it all fit properly.

While I have NOT yet done it, my plans are to forego all of the ill fitting and rust prone rocker panel pieces in favor of steel tubing and angle iron, except for the outer skin.

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Dave
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Last edited by djkeev on Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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NOVA Airhead
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Convertible Re-enforcement Rails Reply with quote

The convertible reinforcement goes on first and then the outer skin.

Hopefully this photo illustrates when my last car was done.

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NoDents
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Convertible Re-enforcement Rails Reply with quote

NOVA Airhead: That is what I want to do, but the original piece I removed has the rail attached to the outer skin (like the diagram earlier in this thread, and the picture below).

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Other than adding possible strength to the rocker skin itself (which a coupe DOES NOT have) the overall strength of the completed assembly would remain the same.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Convertible Re-enforcement Rails Reply with quote

So you will be mounting the convertible rail as I drew it in Green????

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NoDents
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Convertible Re-enforcement Rails Reply with quote

djkeev wrote:
So you will be mounting the convertible rail as I drew it in Green????

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


Dave



No. Moving to the Yellow position and attaching to the heater channel:

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

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:13 am    Post subject: Re: Convertible Re-enforcement Rails Reply with quote

Won't they be too short moved farther down the rocker panel slope?

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Mellow Yellow 74
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:13 am    Post subject: Re: Convertible Re-enforcement Rails Reply with quote

I think you are right that the reinforcement was originally welded to the rocker panel and you are right that doing it the same way would make things difficult. The rocker panel needs to be jacked up with quite a bit of force to make the flange sit flush with the edge of the heater channel and you may not be able to do this with the reinforcement already installed. The way you are proposing is the way NOVA did it which looks like the best way to me.

Also, the drawing showing "centre divider" is a little misleading - this is not the centre divider, it is the outside of the heater channel.
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NoDents
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:50 am    Post subject: Re: Convertible Re-enforcement Rails Reply with quote

Mellow Yellow 74 wrote:
I think you are right that the reinforcement was originally welded to the rocker panel and you are right that doing it the same way would make things difficult. The rocker panel needs to be jacked up with quite a bit of force to make the flange sit flush with the edge of the heater channel and you may not be able to do this with the reinforcement already installed. The way you are proposing is the way NOVA did it which looks like the best way to me.

Also, the drawing showing "centre divider" is a little misleading - this is not the centre divider, it is the outside of the heater channel.


Yes. Am concerned about getting the rocker shaped properly to fit the heater channel. Like you said, it will take some force as I have seen on some Youtube videos.
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Mellow Yellow 74
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:35 am    Post subject: Re: Convertible Re-enforcement Rails Reply with quote

NoDents wrote:
Yes. Am concerned about getting the rocker shaped properly to fit the heater channel. Like you said, it will take some force as I have seen on some Youtube videos.


If you have watched the My Friend Pete video on YouTube (and you would f*#%ing remember it if you had) he uses an oxy-acetylene flame to help bend it but you shouldn't need to do this - just a car jack and a length of wood is all you need.
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NoDents
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 7:43 am    Post subject: Re: Convertible Re-enforcement Rails Reply with quote

Mellow Yellow 74 wrote:
NoDents wrote:
Yes. Am concerned about getting the rocker shaped properly to fit the heater channel. Like you said, it will take some force as I have seen on some Youtube videos.


If you have watched the My Friend Pete video on YouTube (and you would f*#%ing remember it if you had) he uses an oxy-acetylene flame to help bend it but you shouldn't need to do this - just a car jack and a length of wood is all you need.


Yes, one of the videos I watched!

Sinced it seemed Pete had quite some VW experince, I made a trip to his shop last year on a visit to the Dallas area just to thank him for all the how to videos.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Convertible Reinforcement Rails Reply with quote

Hi,

My 73 Ghia convertible is now at a restoration shop for body off restoration.

Need advice from experienced people who have done such body off restoration.

Today I visited the shop. It's a very experienced one, but i found out that they did NOT put the reinforcement rails !!

The lower body was pretty rusty, they had to cut and replace many pieces. It's my fault as well as I didn't visit the shop frequently as i had to. The body is now attached to the frame, almost ready for paint.

Should I insist and ask them to detach the body and do the reinforcement?
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NoDents
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Convertible Reinforcement Rails Reply with quote

YES!

You need the extra support for a convertible.


You also need to make sure it is aligned properly so the rocker covers fit. I am learning the hard way about that. Twisted Evil
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swavananda
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Convertible Reinforcement Rails Reply with quote

The shop definitely needs to correct this. It can be done body on , but a big back step for them to remove the rocker skins to do this.

In reference to Pete’s videos. Though I grateful for the education value, there was something else to learn . I saw that he was called out for not treating any of the rust that was on the heater channels or interior metal, just slapped new metal on to get er done. On my rebuild I was lucky to have solid channels AND reinforcements. Though I took the time to strip and clean all the metal and treat it with master series coating. It may be a good thing to bring up with shop. Since they need to open it back up, ask them to do yo a solid by treating the metal. Good luck , hopefully the shop has the integrity to oblige.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Convertible Reinforcement Rails Reply with quote

Get the picture ??


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 9:16 am    Post subject: Re: Convertible Reinforcement Rails Reply with quote

Its not likely that your car will end up like the picture of the 914 without the reinforcements as the center tunnel provides considerable support for the chassis. However not having the reinforcements will cause problems with your door gaps and over time proper closing of the doors. Also I would think you will experience increased cowl shake.

What a difference I found driving a Ghia with properly sorted rockers. Virtually no squeaks and rattles...or shaking. If you can get this done you should.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 4:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Convertible Reinforcement Rails Reply with quote

Verts usually go the other way. Gaps increase, the front and back move away from each other.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Convertible Reinforcement Rails Reply with quote

swavananda wrote:
Get the picture ??


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... picture received, but the 914 is a Unibody.
Not a body bolted to pan.

Laughing

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