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October 52 Zwitter
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esde
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2020 9:47 pm    Post subject: October 52 Zwitter Reply with quote

A few months ago, a friend messaged me that this car had just been listed here. Some phone calls later, a deal was made and I drove down to Captain Rob's place in Annapolis to pick it up.
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I stopped to see my friend Jon on the way home, and he joked that now I had to sell him my 50 split.. as I would never be able to finish both projects. And, after a few days that deal was made too.
The zwitter back in NJ.
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The back story as far as I know:
found in Massachusetts by Grayson around 2014. Sold to Robert, who planned on making it into a race car. It went to Cookers for the metal work, which is where it was separated from the pan and rear clip. I called Cookers and those parts are long gone. Rob lost storage, sold a house and now it's mine.
I got some small parts with it, nice ribbed doors, and the correct front beam. It has the half the ashtray, but the part you can remove is missing. Starter button and interior light MIA. As I had been collecting parts for the 50, I have much of what's missing. Here's a 55 rear that has the parcel tray and firewall
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Apron
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I do have a 56 pan already blasted with fresh pan halves for it to reside on. Also have a lead on an early pan, for the future.
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Look: wheels!
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three wheelin
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Hood
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Removed the rear firewall out of the other clip, it's not nice but the only other option his the guy in Poland and I've struck out trying to contact him, so I'm using this
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Rear big spring lid thats been a wall hanger for 6 years will finally get a home
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And took a ride to horse trade some parts for this batwing
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For now, the goal is to get this thing back welded back together, and all of the parts fitted. Then it will come back part for media blasting and next stages. So I've ordered all of the mounts and gaskets to get it bolted to the pan, and then fit the doors and fenders, and bolt an engine in to help line up all of the rear panels.
Here I have the new rear crossmember parts from Wolf rough trimmed and sitting loose to see what the next steps are.
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The Wolf panel has some of whats already been repaired, so some more trimming is needed before I can get it lined up exactly
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I've already trimmed it, but you can see they still overlap a bit
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There's a backup reinforcement part that goes under this coming from Virtanen, and the new rubber pads from Wolfsburg West
I'll throw updates as time allows.There's more in the works, I have torn down all of my 36hp engines, cherry picking the best parts to rebuild a stock engine to get this around while I work on it.
SD
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2020 10:41 pm    Post subject: Re: October 52 Zwitter Reply with quote

Very cool! I will be following along! Nice to see a build thread on it!
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esde
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2020 5:50 pm    Post subject: Re: October 52 Zwitter Reply with quote

Here are a few details of what was repaired by Cookers. I'm curious for some feedback on the work; whats correct/ incorrect/ etc.
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both front quarters and lower hinge pillars have been repaired, I've seen pics of the car with doors mounted, but I'm going to be nervous until I get mine bolted up. Also have to get some upper hinge plates as these are missing.
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Dash is uncut and just rough. I have the inner half of the ashtray, but the outer oil gone. No switches or speedometer Sad
You can see that it's been painted a few times, but they never repainted the dash. Heater channels have been replaced with Klassic Fab, the burned spots down low are where I had to heat and straighten a bend in the inner channel flange. There's still dent on each one to pull out.
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trunk area has had the panel above the tank replaced. Looks like Cookers made it, and it seems to fit well. They do a nice job keeping the welds flat, with minimal distortion. The tank is from a 55 I parted out, whenever Cip1 gets the reproduction zwitter tanks back in stock I'll get one of those.
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The nose is a hot mess. As it was intended to be a race car, it got the crappy Klokkerholm nose, grafted into the early finger area. The bumper mounts are gone and the bumper holes have been welded up. Not to mention the missing tire well, and giant chunk cut from around the steering box access panel. Ugh, where to start? I've emailed Virtanen about bumper brackets, will have to cut the holes back open and weld in the tire well. My friend Jon has an oval clip that prob has the missing parts from around the steering box.
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The rear quarters seem well done, really no distortion so it'll need minimal filler. Again I get nervous about door fit, but I know Cookers builds everything on jigs, so hoping it all lines up and fits as I fit it back together..
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This entire rear missing drives me nuts, as I can't believe it was cut off on purpose Shocked
I'm hitting a few yards this week to look at some cars that are stripped but might have enough donor metal to get me started. Nobody makes a repair part that's big enough, so I'll have to piece it together. For the time being I'm concentrating on getting the rear crossmember and parcel tray/ firewall tacked in. Preliminary measurements show a lot of fine tweaking in my future to make it all happen. Looks like I can bolt the two rear fenders on, and the deck lid, and use that as a guide to help make sure it all lines up nicely. I'm all ears for suggestions or advice.
SD
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geneL3c Premium Member
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:05 pm    Post subject: Re: October 52 Zwitter Reply with quote

Esde,
Looks like you've got your work cut out for you, but the work done by Cookers seems to be well done and accurate.
I have a '55 Sunroof project at Cookers waiting to be started after wasting two years and too much money at another body shop and to add insult to injury, some of the work that was done may have to be redone.
One suggestion that you might consider is when you get to putting the back end together.
I had the rear apron on my '50 Standard replaced by a shop that was supposed to be experienced with Beetle repairs.
When I got the car back and was re-installing the engine, the apron had been installed 1/2" too far forward and I had no choice but to cut the rear engine tin to fit.
You might want to have the engine in place when you start fitting the panels back in place !
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esde
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2020 10:14 pm    Post subject: Re: October 52 Zwitter Reply with quote

geneL3c wrote:
Esde,
Looks like you've got your work cut out for you, but the work done by Cookers seems to be well done and accurate.
I have a '55 Sunroof project at Cookers waiting to be started after wasting two years and too much money at another body shop and to add insult to injury, some of the work that was done may have to be redone.
One suggestion that you might consider is when you get to putting the back end together.
I had the rear apron on my '50 Standard replaced by a shop that was supposed to be experienced with Beetle repairs.
When I got the car back and was re-installing the engine, the apron had been installed 1/2" too far forward and I had no choice but to cut the rear engine tin to fit.
You might want to have the engine in place when you start fitting the panels back in place !


Ugh, I think I heard about your car, it had been at acme right? Sounded terrible, hopefully cookers gets you on the right track. Wonder of they'll be able to salvage any of whats been done?
The suggestion to install an engine is good, I've actually started bolting up an empty case with some beat cylinders and the worst heads on the shelf. Just enough parts to bolt the tins on, right?
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allsidius
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2020 12:51 am    Post subject: Re: October 52 Zwitter Reply with quote

That is one tough project, but judging from the story so far, it seems probable that it has a lot of potential to be a great car! And, second to getting that pristine "driven to church on sundays" car, building a car up from a shell must be very rewarding!
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2020 7:49 am    Post subject: Re: October 52 Zwitter Reply with quote

Esde,
Yes the car had been at Acme for two years and promised last January to be done this October, NOTHING had been done in 9 months and Cookers agreed to take it over with the understanding that whatever did not meet with their standards would have to be redone. $9500 for maybe 15% of the questionable total work agreed upon.
Cookers is enthusiastic about the project and I'm confident they will be true to their word.
The ongoing projects in their shop were all first class.
I'm sure when you get into the nitty gritty of your project you'll find their work
to be top line.
Good luck and I look forward to following your progress.
My project is a clone of a Typ 87 Kommandeurwagen, sort of a Mutt !
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 7:42 pm    Post subject: Re: October 52 Zwitter Reply with quote

Any future plans on this build ?
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esde
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 9:08 pm    Post subject: Re: October 52 Zwitter Reply with quote

type4split wrote:
Any future plans on this build ?


Soooo, I've been collecting more parts while pondering the next few moves. And working on an engine, because just being able to move something around the shop under it's own power is incredibly rewarding, and means I'm more likely to keep at it. It's a 36hp, because I have several. If/when I find a correct 25hp maybe I can make it more correct..
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amazingly this crank cleaned up well and the journals polished up to within a thou of standard.
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Mains grooved for improved rod oiling
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NOS FEBI rods
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test fitting
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this is where I left it for now, while waiting on my heads. Not sealed yet
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2 pounds off the stock flywheel
I also assembled a dummy engine, that I can have installed in the car. This will give me some reference to measure to when fitting all of the rear body panels. Right now it's wearing all of my blasted and primed tin
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I looked high and low here on the east coast for some rear quarters that went all the way to the apron, but everything was too rusty to use. Ended up buying a set out of Cali and having them shipped out to me on the dog (greyhound).
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I have the correct early bumper brackets from Wolf, and a nice early apron to make it work. I'm actually going to move my beetle outside under the carport, so the zwitter can come home to the barn. Right now it's at my shop, and a little too far to go work on after dinner.
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So then here is the craziest part.
Finding split parts is hard, and zwitter stuff even more so. Just by chance a few guys I know asked about some doors that I had, and I mentioned that I was hunting for a late 52 25hp case and some zwitter parts. To make a long story short, I ended up getting the actual speedometer that goes to the car! And a very nice starter button.
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This was a car that came from the estate of Richard Borchers, and it's changed hands a few times. If I can get some of the original pics I'll post them, it's pretty sad how complete it was and how much stuff has gone missing in just 9 years.
Whats likely to happen in the next year, is that I get the rear sorted, the body blasted, epoxied, and shot with 2k surfacer. Then I'll build the car slowly getting the mechanicals sorted/ doors and panels fitted, etc. At least that's my plan for today.
SD
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esde
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2021 9:43 pm    Post subject: Re: October 52 Zwitter Reply with quote

I did get some pics of this car, that were taken in 2012 when it had just been bought from Richard Borchers collection. Looking at them, it appears that the original color was Azure Blue. I say this based on the color remaining under the dash, the hood hinges, and inside the engine compartment. Though, some of the faded color on the outside does appear as Pastel Green. I would think its pretty unlikely that the dash or engine bay were ever repainted though, and the outside most certainly had been.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 4:09 am    Post subject: Re: October 52 Zwitter Reply with quote

Azure Blue is such a great colour!

Any progress?

Cheers, Dave
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esde
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 4:51 am    Post subject: Re: October 52 Zwitter Reply with quote

Dave, coming out of 2020 I landed a big contract that has zapped all of my attention and spare time so the zwitter has been sitting. However, I have made some huge progress as far as hunting down and acquiring more of the correct parts. Right now it looks like this job wraps in mid January, at which point the car moves from my city shop to the barn at the house, where it will get some love this winter. I'll post up some pics later to show off the interior and other bits.
SD
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 4:58 am    Post subject: Re: October 52 Zwitter Reply with quote

Thanks for the update. Great news on the big contract.

Scoring parts is a huge part of a project like this so please do share your updates.

Iím looking forward to more work updates early next year 😊

Cheers. Dave
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 9:54 pm    Post subject: Re: October 52 Zwitter Reply with quote

So, I took a few minutes to upload some pics of what I have managed.
Last winter I was looking around to see who actually made the correct interior for these cars, and I realized that there were few choices. I know that it's putting the cart before the horse, but I ended up ordering the entire correct interior from Marcus Raeke (beetlekey) in Germany. I could not be more pleased with everything. Really, he is a master at what he does.
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He stitched the pads in place for me
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headliner
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close up of the back seat
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door panels
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I did have a chance to compare this to some original split seat covers and a door panel, and I do not think Marcus could have matched it any better. I've since rewrapped everything. My seat frames are currently getting some welding and love before paint. I probably won't see this stuff again for a year or so, but I'm happy to have it.
The contract I'm working on is outfitting a 32,000sf manufacturing facility, and part of the buildout was installing a 75hp screw compressor and a sandblast booth with automatic media reclamation system.
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rusty beetle parts seemed a logical test subject
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this package tray is pretty bad, but it's all I have so we will fix it
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also some rear inner fenders I've salvaged. They aren't the correct year, but after I change the bumper bracket and modify them I think they will work.
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And some other parts..
I did get a pair of OG hearts
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but I settled for a reproduction zwitter gas tank. I have an original, but it's just SO BAD. Maybe someday I'll try to fix it, but the new one seemed so much easier, for something that you really can't afford to have leaking.
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My friend Sean found these 36hp heads on the shelf of a close shop, already rebuilt, and flycut with the first fin cut. SCORE!! These will cap off the motor thats on the stand.
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Another friend is trading me an early pan for my 56 pan, so I will have the correct style heater knob, frame head, and brake handle. And I traded some stuff for the correct zwitter hood handle, and scored the ever elusive ashtray from fellow in Portugal. I'll post some pics of that when it gets here.
So, lots of acquiring, but very little actual work.
But, after finishing my current job and putting the final touches on our kitchen, my family knows that I intend to spend some long weeks concentrating on this car. Fingers crossed
SD
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 10:48 pm    Post subject: Re: October 52 Zwitter Reply with quote

Excellent update! Donít under estimate (or under sell) the amount of work required to source all those parts - having them will also make the build so much more enjoyable 😊👊
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2021 9:16 pm    Post subject: Re: October 52 Zwitter Reply with quote

finally got time to send everything through the blast booth. I've had blast cabinets, and I've used a 400lb pot to sandblast stuff, but this is my first time doing it in a dedicated booth with dust control and a fresh air supplied helmet. It was not fun by any stretch of the imagination, but I was at least comfortable and relatively clean. Still exhausting to be holding that heavy hose for 4 hours.
I was really careful with the roof, using low pressure and keeping the media at a low angle to avoid creating any distortion. Check it out:
I did the front and rear fenders last week. The rears are really rough, and I'm thinking of using some old reproduction dimpled fenders that I have saved for my 57 ragtop. The fronts are from a 58 sedan and have a lot of pinholes to weld up
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Brought the car down today, and the other set of rear fenders.
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I hadn't gotten to strip some things off the car, but it's all junk that needs to be replaced anyway. The dash grill and trims, and a turn signal that was still on the fender were all junk. When the stars finally aligned, and gave me some time off and a helper, I want going to waste it fussing over little stuff. The doors are actually really rust free, but the one I got a few years ago from Kochs had a solid 3/8" of filler on the skin, under 10 Coates of read paint. It's really, really bad. I'm going to look into replacing the entire skin if I can find one
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Hoping that can get some epoxy on it this weekend, and then transport the whole thing home where it will be easy for me to work on this winter.
SD
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2021 5:54 am    Post subject: Re: October 52 Zwitter Reply with quote

After several false starts, the Zwitter got primed. I purchased some epoxy primer locally but wasn't happy with how extra thick it was and decided not to use it. Did some research and decided to order some from SPI. Supposedly it sprays on better with a smaller tip, and it sands well without clogging up the paper. I found that my old paint gun was in poor condition so I ordered a new Sharpe FInex with a 1.4 tip.
For starters, the sand was everywhere. Not surprising, but I was still amazed that after an hour I was still blowing and vacuuming sand out of corners and blind pockets.
Anyway, I got it clean, and sprayed. I had just installed a spray booth for a client, so it was used for a shakedown run. I like the SPI epoxy, and the Sharpe gun. If I had more experience with spraying I probably would have gotten better results, but as this is just to seal it from moisture I'm happy. Theres a bit of lint and trash stuck in the roof, but it needs work and will get sanded out.
Got it loaded up the next day and unloaded into the barn at my house.
I have a tentative deal for a "more correct" 55 and earlier style pan and will hopefully bring that in the next few weeks, and get busy over the winter working on this puzzle.
SD
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2021 9:27 am    Post subject: Re: October 52 Zwitter Reply with quote

Looking great! It cleaned up really well!

Bet you that feels AWESOME!
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Jimone
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Joined: August 01, 2021
Posts: 277
Location: Kansas
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2021 10:39 am    Post subject: Re: October 52 Zwitter Reply with quote

wow. this project has come a long way since its days as a tricycle. look forward to more updates!

esde wrote:

three wheelin
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november 1952 ragtop
november 1954 single cab

i am looking to buy a roof for the 1954 barndoor pickup.
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esde
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Joined: October 20, 2007
Posts: 5369
Location: central rust belt
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2021 4:38 pm    Post subject: Re: October 52 Zwitter Reply with quote

VW_Jimbo wrote:

Bet you that feels AWESOME!


You know it.
It's such a refreshing change of pace to not get filthy every time I touch it. This is the first time I've completely blasted a car bare, instead of spending 20-40 hours running a dual action sander and covering my shop in dust. I'm hooked, no doubt I'll be "borrowing" the sandblast booth again.
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modok wrote:
Bent cranks are silent but gather no moss. I mean, ah, something like that.
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