Yak about stuff. Just stuff.
24 posts Page 3 of 3
January 1989

The bumpers and fenders as well as the running boards came off like a charm!
I soaked the bolts with some penetrating spray. Then - to my surprise - I was able to loosen all
bolts with a wrench and simply unscrew most of them with my fingers. :shock:

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The engine ran all right on my way home but was very leaky. Everything looked pretty much stock.
Only little tinkering - if any - happened here. Good! I'm confident that this is the original engine.

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Raised eyebrows at the front end too. Everything came apart without any problems!
Virtually no rust on first sight. One would not expect this from an 18 year old car that ran in Germany with it's salty winters.

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MacPherson strut removal went off without a hitch.

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The same area but cleaned a bit. Only surface rust here and there - even at one of the bug's weakest spots
at the lower rear section of the wheelhouse! I didn't find any repair panels or other additionally welded-on
sheet metal on this Bug :!: :shock:

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Finally here's a close up of the steering knuckle (spindle) and the tie rod after some basic cleaning.

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Well... I would never have dared to dream that this Bug was in such a well preserved condition.
So at that point I started to seriously reconsider the direction of the project...
VW 1302 S
February 1989

After a good deal of thought I came to the decision to dismiss the Speedster idea.
I simply didn't have the heart to assault that Bug and chop off its roof.

The odometer read 12.000 km. I assume the actual mileage of the car was 112.000 km (69.600 miles) which is
not that much but I was still puzzled that there was no perforation corrosion.

That's why the aim of the project changed to a basic overhaul of the car with only little irreversible modifications.
But there will be modifications - so purists be aware! ;)

Back then I wasn't interested in the Bug's history at all but this changed over the years.
Below is a summary of what I spotted so far.

In 2015 I was able to get back to the PO after some research. Unfortunately he couldn't provide Bug related pics
or documents but he was able to clarify why the car was in such a good condition.

His uncle - the original owner from whom the PO got the car - lived in Berlin during summer and on Tenerife (the
largest of the Canary Islands) during winter. Because of the island's mild winters he used a VW Bug convertible to
cruise around there while back in Berlin he relied on the white Bug sedan. So the car was never exposed to salty
roads until 1986 when he handed it over to his nephew.

The production date of the Bug is 17 AUG 1970, proved by a sticker in the trunk as well as the "birth certificate".
Look at the lower right corner of the second pic below for a glimpse of the sicker.
According to that the car was produced within the first few weeks after the introduction of the new Super Beetle model.

But contrary to expectations the production plate reads 33-2-0455 which decodes to 11 AUG 1970. :?
It seems not everything went swimmingly on the assembly lines during the early stages of the production run...

Regarding the engine number "AutoMuseum Volkswagen" confirmed that the bug still has its original motor. 8-)

During dismantlement of the body I found some indications for car burglary. The frames of both vent windows as well as
the doors and the chrome trim had typical scratches and dents. The glove box showed signs of "undue force" too.
Moreover I found quite a few glass fragments under the floor mats besides some French and Swiss coin money.

Now for a few pics...

Dismantlement of the bug continued while some workshop equipment was added to the garage:

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Brake fluid - what an awful disgusting stuff!!
I suspect this mess was caused by pressure bleeding the brake system with a devil-may-care attitude... :roll:

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Interior largely gutted:

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Quite common corrosion caused by a boiled over or leaky battery:

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VW 1302 S
March 1989

Dashboard and foot-well area...

One of the POs enlarged the dash opening to fit a standard DIN size stereo unit. I decided to leave it this way and go
with sort of a modern stereo. In retrospect I'm still of two minds about this decision.

Back in '89 technical up to date retro-style stereos that fit the original dash cut-out were not available. At least I wasn't
aware of any... Today there are plenty of choices.
On the other hand I learned that some stereos from the 70s require a larger cut-out (e.g. Becker Grand Prix).
But that's another story.

I also decided to leave the retrofitted cigarette lighter. Slightly modified it served as volume control for the Discman CD
player later.

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Floor mats and carpets, rear seat back board, trunk liner, engine bay tar boards...

Most of that stuff was in fairly good shape. Only some in-depth cleaning was required before these parts were reused.

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Suspension and steering parts waiting for power brushing and sanding after first clean up ...

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Front suspension parts ready for assembly...

New VW front brake rotors, new progressive lowering springs (Kerscher) and new Monroe strut inserts (oil filled).
The reconditioned parts were finally coated with synthetic resin varnish.

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Assembled McPherson strut and stock ATE disc brake...

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VW 1302 S
March 1989

Started to take care of the rear end... Engine bay and transmission after thorough cleaning:

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Only surface rust could be found on the rear suspension parts. Therefore there was no need to remove the transmission.
I decided not to dismount and adjust the torsion bars at that point too. Thought it would be a better idea to wait and check
the stance of the recovered/completed Bug with the lowered front end first.

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Finally - after hours of wire brushing and sanding - the primer was spread:

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Underbody cosmetics... :D

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VW 1302 S
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