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1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave.
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MACJELLY58
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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2019 3:37 am    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

Did a little pin hole filling at the previous patch at the rear window sill.
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Then I saw/remembered the metal where the window Scraper attachment holes were rusted out. I cut out three sections and welded in patches.
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Here, you can see my magnets holding the patch pieces in place.
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One more section right at the end before the corner. All finished up.
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Here's some finished photos.
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Then for comparison, next to the unfinished passenger door.
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I left the holes for the door stop hinge pin thingy. This area has the interior reinforcement bar that we talked about earlier. I will most likely install the Bear Claw Latch here, so I'll patch those holes as needed later.
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MACJELLY58
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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2019 4:05 am    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

At this point I think I'm ready for some scrubbing. I made a "Scrub Tub" outta some pallet wood that was previously used to make my "Body Dolly".
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I lined it with some 6mil. plastic sheeting and hung the door with some .024 welding wire left over from the end of an empty spool. The Baling wire that I was using was too thin and would break. I had to modify the BBQ grill wire brushes, as they were a little too wide to fit between the door skins. I had to smash them in a vise then cut off one side so that they would fit. Then I gave the door a Hydrochloric/Muriadic Acid Bath.
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Even with that, it was very difficult to get to all the places that I would have liked. I did the best I could, but after all the cuts to my hands really started to burn real bad, I conceded defeat.
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After a water/Baking Soda rinse, I did a concentrated KBS "Klean" wash to remove any grease and dirt. Then a KBS "Rust Blast" metal prep-Zinc/phosphate acid treatment.
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Well, that's where I left off today. Tomorrow, hopefully, I can do a little touch up cleaning and apply the POR15 to the interior panels and the Door Seal channels.
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MACJELLY58
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 1:54 am    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

Sorry for the time-off. I suffered an injury that prevented me from the project. I know you got the time so, sit back and let me tell you all about it!

Well, I was sitting at my desk at work...when all of a sudden....I decided to stand up. That's about it..I stood up and my back seized up. Not terribly but, it would spaz when I sat, stood, or bent. It sure sucks getting old. If you have a choice, don't do it!

It didn't keep me from work but, I took some meds that pretty much made me sleep a lot so, not much of anything really got done at home. It's better now and I started to get back to working on things.

I got a question about what gauge sheet metal I was using for my repair patches. I don't know if VW used the standard measuring gauge, I assume they did. I bought a sheet metal gauge, "Gauge".
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You just slide the sheet metal into the notch and it tells you what gauge it is.
I found that the "Skin" panels or, outer body metal comes out to 18 ga.
The medium reinforcement items are a little thicker and came in at 16ga.
The heavy reinforcement items, like the front body mount box area came in at 14ga.

I was able to use my donor beetle for most of my repairs but, I also had to buy some sheet metal at the hardware store for certain patches. If you are just starting out or if your just "cheap" like me, you don't have to have a whole bunch of metal forming machines or tools. If you have a bunch of patience and time, you can get along just fine. Don't get me wrong I would love to have a Metal Brake, Stretcher/Shrinker, etc... That would make it a lot more fun, quicker and easier. Laughing

To give you an idea, here is my Metal Forming "Station". All I have is a few different Hammers and Dollies. A 6 lb. broken Anvil and a 4" Vice. This little rolling desk also serves as the Drilling Station, Grinding Station and all other stations. But, doing is the real fun, right? Well, maybe or maybe not.
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MACJELLY58
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:26 am    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

I finished stripping the repair panel for the passenger side lower door skin.
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I thought I had saved the old Running Boards. They were kinda bad but, I was gonna use them to make sure the lower line of the door, front and rear Quarter panels all line up before welding the repair panels in. It would suck to weld them all in and then find out the line is off or the door scrapes on the Running Board. I ordered some German made replacements that sound pretty good but, still waiting for them to come in. I was hoping to finish off the Passenger door but, I gotta wait for the Running Boards. So, in the meantime, I went to work on the Driver's side door.
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I was hoping that the second time around would be easier. I began by measuring the other door and cutting out the area for the 1/8" reinforcement bars. Then, this time I would clean out the inner skin area while I got the big hole to work in.
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There was some wide spread surface rust under the paint/sound deadener in there.
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After some grinding, It was pretty decent except for just a little pitting in one or two places. The metal treatment oughtta take care of that.
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MACJELLY58
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 2:52 am    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

With the increased access, It was also easier to get to the inner jam to clean up the welds from filling the spot-weld holes as well.
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MACJELLY58
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2019 4:10 am    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

After getting the question about the gauges of the sheet metal, I thought I would share my experiences with chemical paint stripping. My mentor on YouTube that I mentioned earlier in the thread, used Aircraft Stripper and a technique of laying Saran Wrap over the application to help with the chemical reaction. This looked like a little too much work and mess for my laziness. So, here is the way I go about it.

First off, I found in my experience that the Aircraft Stripper was pretty expensive. In Hawaii, a Gallon of this stuff is about $60. Secondly, I found that it did not do a great job of curling the original VW paint. It worked really well with the later layers of modern paint but, on the original color, not so great.

I was at the hardware store and they did not have the Aircraft Stripper. They had some general purpose kinda paint stripper. It was only about $38 bucks a gallon. I was thinking this stuff is probably worthless junk but, I'll give it a shot. Plus, I was too lazy to go to O'riellys anyway. In my opinion, this stuff worked a lot better then the Aircraft Stripper on the VW paint.
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First, I like to clean the area with a little soapy water and paper towels to let the stripper contact the paint real well. Then I like to score the paint. I use the scraper to make scratches in the paint, down to the metal, if possible. I noticed previously, that the stripper worked better on the edges of the paint to lift it off. So, I try to make more edges with the scratches.

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Then I brush on a thick coat of the stripper, making sure that the coat stays wet. Sometimes, the paint will soak it up really quickly if the coat is to thin. Here is the first application.

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The latest layer of paint pretty much really soaks up the stripper. After lightly scraping up the loose paint curls and wiping it down with some paper towels. I apply the second coat. Again, with a nice thick wet coat, not dripping though...don't wanna waste this stuff.
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It's amazing to find all the rust under the painted surfaces. The "Spider" rust especially. I guess it's my "O.C.D." but, it would kill me to know that all those "Spiders" were there. That's why I'm a bare metal kinda guy.

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After the two coats and a little scuffing with the MMM Rust Remover disc, I ended up with this. The areas that still have paint are areas that I will be cutting out. I did not want to waste time and effort stripping those. I spent the rest of the day cutting plugs for the spot-weld holes and such for the other jam. Then my back started to complain and called it a day.
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MACJELLY58
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:30 am    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

**** On a follow-up ***
Just for kicks, I measured the gauge of the inner door skin. It came out to 20 gauge. I guess that kinda explains why the door flexes so much without the reinforcement plates.

Okay, I finished making the "plugs" for the spot-weld and screw holes for the other side jam. I make them by hand with Tin Snips and shaping with the Dremel grinding wheel. That patience thing again.
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That's a lot of holes..... I know right?!
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Here's a shot of my little Hobart hobby welder. I made the little welding cart out of scrap wood that was laying around and some spare caster wheels. it's a 115v and can weld up to 1/8" mild steel. It works well, I guess. I really don't have much experience with other welders.
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On the lower corner where the reinforcement bracket for the bottom hinge was, are the last two spot weld holes. The area around that was a bit rotten and I decided instead of trying to work around that, to just cut that area out.
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Welded them plugs in using the magnets. The magnets really help when working with little, itty-bitty pieces like these.
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In larger areas, I usually use the 4" grinding wheel to knock down the tops of the welds. But, in a small area like this I go to the Dremel. When I use the 4" grinder in tight spaces, I really make a mess of it. Just a little slip or a little too aggressive and I end up with unintentional deep gouges and holes. I start off with the Dremel cutting wheel. They are cheaper and faster than the Dremel grinding wheels. Then finish off with the Dremel grinding wheel.
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superstarvw
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 10:56 am    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

mind-blowing. definitely following this thread!
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MACJELLY58
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2019 1:19 am    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

Thanks SuperStar! I appreciate any and all support. It gets hard sometimes to muster up the enthusiasm to get out there. Especially, when I'm working on the same area for a long time. Like these doors! They're killing me. Every time I fix something, I look and there is another issue to fix/repair.

Anyway, I continued work on the DRIVER'S DOOR....AGAIN! It's mostly a repeat of the previous work on the Passenger door. If you want to wait for more interesting posts, I'd understand. I wish I could.

So, I finished up the lower Seal channel from last time.
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Then, I moved on to welding in the Reinforcement Bars for the hinges.
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This time I hopped around more to keep everything cool. After putting a few welds in spaced apart, I moved to setting up for the Horizontal Reinforcement Bar.

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Finish all the welds.
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Then some grinding. Thank goodness, that at least I could use the 4-1/2" Grinder. So much quicker but, still no fun.
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MACJELLY58
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2019 2:19 am    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

Then like the Passenger door, the window scraper area inside the window channel had some rusted out holes.


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I cut them out with the Dremel using a small used cutting disc. A new one was too big to fit in the channel. I try to save all the ground down cutting and grinding discs for use in tight spots. I got quite a collection going on.

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Made the patches and welded them in.

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Then used a small worn down Dremel grinding disc to clean them up.


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While doing that, I saw my next item. The Door lock Pull hole and "hump". If you remember, this is also where I attach the top Reinforcement Bar to the top of the door.
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I cut out the "hump" and gouged out some holes to apply the welds to attach the Reinforcement Bar.
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I was able to harvest a patch form the donor door like I did on the other door.
All welded in. Then cleaned up.
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Like I said, it just goes on and on and on..... So, I cut out the indents for the window crank and door pull. As you remember they are too far in and may interfere with the window operation. Also, I will use the holes to further clean up the interior of the door skin and apply the POR15. I did some cleaning before quitting. Although I think I'm getting better at taking more pictures, I forgot to take a picture of that.

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Buggeee
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:29 pm    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

Well ordinarily I'm standing in the back row with my jaw dropped wide open staring at this thread and I finally see one thing in common between our two builds, we both use Klean Strip paint stripper! (I bare-metaled my bug on a lark one day, pouring gallons of that all over it and using a pressure washer to blow all the paint off). Works great. Enjoy the process of this lifetime achievement. Thank you for sharing.
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MACJELLY58
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:47 am    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

Hey Buggee,
Yah, I read all about when you stripped that bug and I know how you feel. I had to re-sand the whole rear end of mine. Ha,Ha, Ha...Fun, fun, fun! I'm learning daily...haven't set anything on fire yet though Pray
Thanks for looking!
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MACJELLY58
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 2:12 am    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

Sorry for the break. I haven't been slacking...okay..maybe a little bit.
As you remember, I was gonna test fit the doors with the Running Boards to ensure the gaps and body line of the rear Quarter repair Panel and the Door lower repair Panel.

Apparently, the Running Boards are on Back-Order. Pretty much everybody's waiting for them to be available. So, in the meantime, I've been doing some cosmetic hole filling, cleaning and sanding of sharp edges. That kinda stuff is not really Post Worthy.

But, here it is.


Filling in the small gaps form the Reinforcement Bars and on the Rear Door Jam.
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I read somewhere on the Samba about how the "Karman's" were built. Something about they had taken sedans and cut the tops off to make the convertibles. The early years anyway. But on the doors, where the sedan posts would be, there is an awful lot of "Leading" and Brazing. You can see it here and the cracks that go along with it. Welding around these areas is really funky. The spark fizzes and sputters. Then the Lead starts melting, causing Lead "Runs". But, it worked out alright.
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Then, I cut replacement patches for the bent areas I had cut out to remedy the bending of the door fiasco and welded those in place.
Now I'm welding slow, like I'm supposed to. A few spots and then time to cool. Then a few more...SO MUCH TIME!
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Test fitted the door. I'm doing that more nowadays.

The fit was fine but, that pesky foul up I had was still not good enough. That "Bow" in the window channel, where I had bent the heck out of the door was still not acceptable.
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I had really yanked on that thing and could not get it to conform to my wishes. Then I looked down into the door interior and found out what might be the problem. Not only did I bend the top, but the recessed portion of the interior door panel also. You can see how the area just below the patch weld is bowed inward.

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This revelation was unfortunate, as I had JUST welded in the repair patch. So, I put three relief cuts down the bend. I know, I know...but I'm making this up as I go!!

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I made some pullers out of some 1/4" round stock I got from that discarded bed's box spring.

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Put the door back into the opening and inserted those "pullers" and yanked(carefully).

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This worked pretty well. I got the window channel a lot closer. I'm just under 1/16" outta wack now. I think I can live with that. Embarassed

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Now, I gotta weld up those relief cuts. Evil or Very Mad I hate making mistakes of this magnitude. So, I welded those up real slow.

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Etc..etc...etc...

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Last edited by MACJELLY58 on Sun Jul 07, 2019 2:26 am; edited 1 time in total
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MACJELLY58
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 2:25 am    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

I continued with cleaning up the inside of the door and little tweaks waiting for any word on the Running Boards. I decided to tack some of the other Tabs for the door fitting.
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As I was taking a picture of this, I thought I don't really take any pictures of the whole car, you know, In Progress.

I always enjoyed when others would do that. Kinda get to see how the project as a whole is going. I look at it all the time trying to imagine. Cool

So, let your Imaginations go wild.


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MACJELLY58
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:25 am    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

Well, I had some good news. The Passenger side Running Board arrived. Apparently, only the Driver's side is on back order. I think it might be a Right-TWIX/ Left-TWIX kinda thing. The Left Running Board factory is running slow.

I think I mentioned that I ordered the "Made in Germany" one. It was a little more expensive, like $20 more I think. I'm very happy with it. The quality is refreshing, after some of the After-Market junk I had gotten before.

I measured and it comes out to 16ga. The matting is thick, pliable and fits well.
The trim molding is also thick and sturdy. I got the 18mm thicker one for the earlier VW. I'm going with that size all around. I think it will match better with the robust body of the Super.


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The fit was great! I thought, now we're cooking. I can finally move on to getting stuff on the Bug! So, I got out the lower door sill repair panel and fit it the best I could. Then tacked it in to check the gaps with the Running Board.

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The gap on the lower sill was pretty good. The gap got a little bigger towards the front of the lower sill, between the Running Board and bottom of the door. The Running Board mounting bolts have a little room for adjustments so, it worked out fine.

I refitted the repair panel and clamped it all in. Then, I ran a heavy score along the edge. The flanging tool has a 1/2" indent so, I trimmed the excess and put a step in the door panel to accept the repair panel.
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I don't usually Lap-Weld. So, I finally am going to get to use my Cleco set. First, I used the Flanging/ Hole Punch tool to put some spaced out holes to plug-weld through. Then drilled some 1/8" holes to accept the Clecos, using a bunch of magnets to try to keep everything tight.

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Then of course, another test fit. I think I've learned my lesson to test fit often, from the last time.
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Looked okay. I started to put some welds in. I went real slow, hoping not to warp anything or have it go on crooked.

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MACJELLY58
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Joined: September 26, 2014
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:59 am    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

I was excited to be working on moving forward. I can now get the rear door support/reinforcement going. It goes at the bottom-rear of the door jam on convertibles. But, before I can get that in, I gotta put in the rear Quarter Panel repair piece. But, before I can do that, I gotta fit the door into the jam to set the gaps for good. So, tabs need to welded in to secure the door in the jam so that it maintains that position. To do that I needed to shave the door front seam a little to secure the tabs, like I did on the single tabs I made to just hang the door. I'm gonna put in four tabs to fix the door's position when I weld the hinge pockets back in.

What I did for the previous tabs was to cut off the raised seam then weld the two panels together. The previous seams I cut were only about 1-1/2" to 2" long. They seemed okay. You can see them here from previous pitures.
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I started to cut another 2" section to weld in another lower tab and true to form...I thought, might as well just shave the whole seam while I was there. I left a little bit of the seam so, that I had a little meat to put a good puddle in there. I was going slow to avoid any warping. I think that the quarter panel is only 18ga.
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After welding this section and grinding it down. I went back to fill some pin holes and kept blowing through. There just wasn't much metal there after grinding. Apparently, the two panels do not actually come together at the seams the way I thought. They bend up towards each other to create the seam.

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So when I cut off the seam, there is a bit of a gap between the two panels.

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I decided to cut out the section completely and weld in a patch piece to better solidify the area and make it easier to bodywork later. Here is a pic of the cut out that I had welded into the gap. You can see just how much the two panels are apart. The pic is from the inside of the panel.

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Here I go again embarking on another journey. I began to cut out the previous welds and make patch pieces to go in. Still going slow to avoid warping. I did a section at a time to keep the integrity of the panels and keep their position.


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Then I came to the lower hinge mounting indent/hole. Make a patch and fill. There is a thick metal mounting plate that floats in a cage that allowed the the old door hinge to be adjusted. I could not get that out and I did not want it jiggling around in there making a rattling sound. So, I welded it into the cage to keep it quiet.
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I liked this a lot better. the panel was very solid and No blow through. But, it sure ate up the day!! Especially because I had to redo it. Running out of time, I decided to clean up the welds before I got too tired.
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Then of course...another test fit. The jams looked acceptable. The plan was to get rid of the seam with the decision to go with the Suicide doors. I thought it would look out of place with the shaved door handles and the suicide doors. I'm going to leave a little of the rain channel that goes up the windshield posts for strength. Also, the front top of the door sticks out and hides behind the channel. So, the top of the door will determine the amount that is kept. I'll see how that works out in my next session.
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MACJELLY58
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:56 am    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

I woke up early today and could not fall back to sleep. So, I thought I might as well bang out a couple of hours on the seam. I continued on up the jam, skipping over the mounting tab. One strip above, one below and then the little bit at the very bottom.

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Then, on my knees for that little bit on the bottom. There is an anchor down at the bottom inside the quarter panel. Like a rubber ball/bumper with a rod going though it to anchor to the bottom right at the jam. Anybody know what that's all about. I'm guessing it's a structural "Stiffening" point for the Macpherson Strut type of suspension? I couldn't get a picture. It's really tight in there. I'll try and get the Endoscope later and take some pics.... It might just be something I dropped down there! Wouldn't that be embarrassing.

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Then on to the hassle of the top hinge indent/mounting patch. Again, I welded the floating hinge mounting plate in place. Then Fabbed the patch. I had to put some relief cuts in, so as to get that bend at the top.

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Again, welding slow and cooling it down as best I could. A lot of welds for a small area.

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In this photo you can see a bunch of rippling in the quarter panel near the shaved gas flap. Unfortunately, a collision with a fully loaded Recycling Bin and some frustrated/angry banging made that mess awhile ago. I try not to look at it until I'm ready to get into that hassle.
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A little cleaning up and I had to call it a day. I just gotta finish up the top of the hinge patch and then the strip to the quarter panel. all in all, it looks as though it should pass. The test fit photos.

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jeremy.g
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 3:44 am    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

Coming along!
This is quite the endeavor.
Can't wait to see these doors finished and functioning!
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Bashr52
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 5:43 am    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

I may have missed this somewhere in this thread, but since you have removed the window cranks and door handles, I'm assuming door poppers and maybe an electric window conversion is in order?
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MACJELLY58
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 12:25 am    Post subject: Re: 1975 Beetle Convertible Resto/Mod Build-Chop,Dash,Suicide,Shave. Reply with quote

jeremy.g wrote:
Coming along!
This is quite the endeavor.
Can't wait to see these doors finished and functioning!



Hello Mr. G,
Tell me about it. I really wanna see these doors finished too! I'm really sick of working on the same thing for sooo long. But, I can't really move on until these are in.
I've been watching your Saga as well. Looking good! Have you ever watched a "Bug Me Video"? The father sets everything up, explaining and putting it all together. Then, he hands it all over to "Wade". I always tell my wife that I would really like to have a, "Wade". You know, to do the Grinding and all the sweaty welding stuff. I know you call yours "Minions" but, you got yourself a couple of "Wades"!! You got a lot of us really jealous.
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