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1964 Beetle - not sure if it's worth fixing - rust (pic heavy)
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PeteBC
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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 6:50 pm    Post subject: 1964 Beetle - not sure if it's worth fixing - rust (pic heavy) Reply with quote

Quick clarifications: I don't plan on a perfect restoration, I just want to be able to safely drive it again. I am comfortable with welding. It's loaded with rust in the bottom several inches from front to back.

The chassis and beam are in fine shape - not counting the pans. Trans just needs a basic rebuild. Dash is intact. Fenders are generally fine except some swiss cheese looking metal in the headlight buckets. Interior paint is still pretty nice - Bahama Blue. Seats are perfectly serviceable.

My question is really more about getting other opinions on whether or not this thing is scrap or actually worth the effort. It's not an old oval or split window, it's early but not terribly early. I know pretty much all of this can be replaced , just not sure at which point to say "Nope". What kind of experiences has anyone else had with a similar year with similar levels of rust?


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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 7:08 pm    Post subject: Re: 1964 Beetle - not sure if it's worth fixing - rust (pic heavy) Reply with quote

Looks the same if no better than mine so I say go for it! Good luck!
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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 8:25 pm    Post subject: Re: 1964 Beetle - not sure if it's worth fixing - rust (pic heavy) Reply with quote

Id buy a a solid body, but I'm also not a genius welder. Looks like it'll be pretty time consuming. I'd say if you're up for a challenge and have deep pockets, why not. I hope you braced the body before taking it off, then again it may not matter after you've replaced all the metal
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PeteBC
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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 10:19 pm    Post subject: Re: 1964 Beetle - not sure if it's worth fixing - rust (pic heavy) Reply with quote

I'm ok with welding, and interested in doing more of it. I'd be doing almost all the work myself save for maybe some media blasting, so it'd mostly just be the cost of parts. I would be using the really nice pan and channels from klassicfab.
Everything else would be from WolfsburgWest.

Mechanically, everything functions fine.

If I thought I could get another Bermuda blue body for what parts would cost for the one I have, then I'd just by another body and part out the old one

I didn't brace this one before removing body. I figured as long as it's braced before I start cutting any major pieces off.
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mukluk
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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 11:48 pm    Post subject: Re: 1964 Beetle - not sure if it's worth fixing - rust (pic heavy) Reply with quote

If the intent is to make a solid/functional driver and cosmetics aren't much of a concern, then I'd say go for it. About half of the problem areas I see look like they can be repaired by making patch panels from sheetmetal instead of buying entire replacement panels, saving you money if you don't mind the fab work.
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hitest
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 6:54 am    Post subject: Re: 1964 Beetle - not sure if it's worth fixing - rust (pic heavy) Reply with quote

There is so much rusty and f'd up metal there that you will have to cut and weld it in small sections. Or you'll risk cutting out all the frames of reference on where and how the pieces fit! If you had a second body to use as reference- for crying out loud use that one for the build. That '64 is junk- especially the passenger side front heater (a pillar) and rear interior areas. I think it's irresponsible to say go for it if doing so will never result in a good car. Or worse, you learn to hate the bug so much you dump the hobby and buy a horse. I'm just being frank because I've had to make the tough decisions on these cars.

If that were VW #39, that's one thing, but didn't VW build a whole lot of 64s?
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carcrazed
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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 1:15 pm    Post subject: Re: 1964 Beetle - not sure if it's worth fixing - rust (pic heavy) Reply with quote

my 61 was a lot worse than that. Needless to say...I patcher her up and it has been completed for a few years now. You are good to go. Check the pictures in my gallery to see how bad it was.
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pbenn
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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 4:36 pm    Post subject: Re: 1964 Beetle - not sure if it's worth fixing - rust (pic heavy) Reply with quote

Well, Hitest has a point. People wait years to sell already done '64s for $12 to 18 K.

You are looking at needing industrial space for a year. On a hoist for a year. Klassicfab has some of the best stuff, and yes you can order all at once to bulk up your shipping.

A problem will be lining everything up. Best practice on the forums seems to be you do the body to pan mating twice, first time just tacked, to see if you can line up the bolt holes. They advised matching the new pan against the old heater channel first, but you may have gone too far already on the shell.

That would mean you'd have to bolt the new heater channels to the old floorpan and lower the body on to the channels... with perfect and braced door gaps.... and tack it and weld it.

I worry that this, plus the rest of the major metal, is more than $18K, presuming the industrial space wasn't free.
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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 4:41 pm    Post subject: Re: 1964 Beetle - not sure if it's worth fixing - rust (pic heavy) Reply with quote

Can that rusted body be fixed? Absolutely. The question is do you have the skills and patience for the 100's of hours it will take to do it correctly. You'll also spend LOTS of money buying decent replacement panels to weld in too.

There are still thousands and thousands of rust free bugs looking for love in the dry SW USA. Even factoring in shipping one across the country, it would be cheaper than fixing that body.
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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 5:17 pm    Post subject: Re: 1964 Beetle - not sure if it's worth fixing - rust (pic heavy) Reply with quote

Thatís a parts car where Iím from. Thereís so many options out here. I still donít understand why people waste years off their lives messing with junk like that. Buy something out here and ship it and youíre still ahead in time and money.
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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 5:37 pm    Post subject: Re: 1964 Beetle - not sure if it's worth fixing - rust (pic heavy) Reply with quote

I think you guys keep ignoring one rather important point that was made quite clearly right off the bat by the OP:
PeteBC wrote:
Quick clarifications: I don't plan on a perfect restoration, I just want to be able to safely drive it again. I am comfortable with welding.

Doesn't sound like a person that's wanting to do a concourse restoration or fix it up for its investment value, rather, they just want to make it back into a safe driver.
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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 5:52 pm    Post subject: Re: 1964 Beetle - not sure if it's worth fixing - rust (pic heavy) Reply with quote

Start welding! If it gets to be a process that becomes detestable... well...
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Cali_Army_Guy
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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 5:58 pm    Post subject: Re: 1964 Beetle - not sure if it's worth fixing - rust (pic heavy) Reply with quote

By all means have at then.

For me buying a running $4,000 car on the west coast is cheaper than my labor and time spent away from my wife and kids fixing that one.

Thatís got to be a few hundred hours of labor there. After I get done working 8-10 hours a day. Eating dinnner. Helping kids with homework and baths and whatnot. What does that leave? MAYBE a hour a day to work on it? Factor in extra hours on the weekends if Iím not doing something with the family. Youíd easily spend 6, 9, 12 months fixing that a hour at a time to have something worth driving. No thanks.

But hey to each their own.
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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 6:15 pm    Post subject: Re: 1964 Beetle - not sure if it's worth fixing - rust (pic heavy) Reply with quote

mukluk wrote:
...they just want to make it back into a safe driver.

Well, if all the OP wants is a decent driver, he shouldn't be wasting his time on that piece of crap. Just go out and pick up a good driver-quality car and be done with it...it's not like they're hard to find.

On the other hand, if what the OP really wants is a project that'll take up all of his free time for a couple of years, relieve his bank account of many thousands of dollars and frustrate the living hell out of him, then this car is a good place to start.
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Cali_Army_Guy
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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 6:25 pm    Post subject: Re: 1964 Beetle - not sure if it's worth fixing - rust (pic heavy) Reply with quote

Iíd ship one of these out there

https://sacramento.craigslist.org/cto/d/1963-vw-beetle-gulf-blue/6589758055.html

https://sacramento.craigslist.org/cto/d/67-volkswagen-bug/6588290458.html

https://sacramento.craigslist.org/cto/d/1974-vw-bug-5000-obo/6579912554.html

https://sacramento.craigslist.org/cto/d/1969-vw-bug-beetle/6587176742.html

https://sacramento.craigslist.org/cto/d/1973-vw-bug-3800-obo/6589448103.html

Thereís literally hundreds and hundreds of cheap decent cars that run or need next to nothing to make run out there.
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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 6:34 pm    Post subject: Re: 1964 Beetle - not sure if it's worth fixing - rust (pic heavy) Reply with quote

PeteBC, CalArmyGuy makes a very valid point with finding and starting with a solid car- the TIME you lose in repairing yours, and the possible but realistic loss of incentive to DRIVE the car. It is so much more enjoyable to start with a car that runs now but needs minor repairs which you can perform "on the run" compared to a project like what you have that will be off the road for realistically 2 years.

This energetic man in Germany started out with a plain jane '62 Beetle which was in worse rust condition than yours. He's done similar to what your target is- repair the rust, paint the rusted areas in original color, and get it back on the road. His thread takes up 2 years. https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=649511

If the above points still do not deter you, I suggest tackling the welding one component at a time. Think of the rust repair as a jigsaw puzzle- try to identify the key part onto which other panels are attached and fitted, then hit that first part for the repairs. Continue with repairs to the next adjoining section. Don't cut out all rust all at once. Take a baseball bat and use the tip as a ram from underneath the car to punch and bang out that large dent in the rear package area slope.

I have a '77 Beetle which has been down for nearly a year for various mechanical problems. Every time I'm on the highway in my modern car I wish I'd be driving the '77. Repairs would take maybe 3 full weekends to complete, though I only purchased all needed parts up to yesterday. Laziness, getting older (I'm in my late 50's), winter cold weather, and "it can wait until next weekend" are my excuses.
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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 6:53 pm    Post subject: Re: 1964 Beetle - not sure if it's worth fixing - rust (pic heavy) Reply with quote

I just hate to see people waste time and money when thereís literally hundreds of better options out there.

I get it not everyone has $5,000 to just buy a car with. If thatís the case instead of spending a few hundred dollars a paycheck on patch repairs over the course of god knows how long why not put that money in to a jar towards a running car? If you end up changing your mind in 6 months at least youíll have a jar of money instead of a half built patched up car and an empty wallet.

Just my 2 cents
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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 6:53 pm    Post subject: Re: 1964 Beetle - not sure if it's worth fixing - rust (pic heavy) Reply with quote

mukluk wrote:
I think you guys keep ignoring one rather important point that was made quite clearly right off the bat by the OP:
PeteBC wrote:
Quick clarifications: I don't plan on a perfect restoration, I just want to be able to safely drive it again. I am comfortable with welding.

Doesn't sound like a person that's wanting to do a concourse restoration or fix it up for its investment value, rather, they just want to make it back into a safe driver.


I didn't miss that point at all. Rather, I only stated if he wanted to waste 100's of hours of his life to weld it back together, then have at it.

I've restored a bug that required all the metal that bug needs. I have the participation trophy too! Wink

I'd NEVER do it again unless it was a very rare bug or had decades of family ownership and emotional connection.
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 4:43 am    Post subject: Re: 1964 Beetle - not sure if it's worth fixing - rust (pic heavy) Reply with quote

[quote="Cali_Army_Guy"]Thatís a parts car where Iím from. Thereís so many options out here. I still donít understand why people waste years off their lives messing with junk like that. Buy something out here and ship it and youíre still ahead in time and money.[/quo

We like the challenge of building it. Mine had a childhood story so it was more a labor of love. The skill of working with rusted bolts, cutting and fitting will something you CA guys will never understand.
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 10:28 am    Post subject: Re: 1964 Beetle - not sure if it's worth fixing - rust (pic heavy) Reply with quote

carcrazed wrote:
The skill of working with rusted bolts...something you CA guys will never understand.

Nor do we want to. This should read more like "The major PITA of working with rusted bolts..."
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