Prepping the Beetle for a Paint Job

The past few days were quite hectic. Every little bit of time that I could, I was busy putting on body filler to small holes, sanding, trying to get a good foundation for the paint job that follows… I worked late at night, and started again early in the mornings.

I must confess. it is quite scary to attempt this restoration project, when I have no skills whatsoever. Between Youtube clips and Jim Tylers book on restoration, I try my best.  But I still don’t think Chip Foose or those guys at Gasmonkeys (Fast & Loud) will begin to offer me a job…

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I have bought the primer. I have bought some Arctic White paint. And a lot of water sanding paper for finishing first the primer layer, and then the paint. It took a while to cover the windows…  After everything was sanded as smooth as I can, I washed the car with car shampoo. But it sure looks in a sorry state…

Now… tomorrow I have to conduct a funeral service.  A man I have great respect for died on Monday. I have to see his widow and son in an hour’s time to make the last arrangements for tomorrow morning.

And then- the moment of truth arrives. I have to use a spray gun for the first time in my life… I really really hope I get it right! I don’t have the money to get professional help, and I really want to give my son this car as his 18 th birthday present.  Looking as good as I can get it.

Just a last thing- my father died in 1993. While I was busy fixing this car, I saw some of the things he have done for me, on this Beetle. I got a secondhand petrol pedal, and when I wanted to fit it to the floor vracket, I remembered why the petrol pedal was missing. The bracket was broken. My father has made another bracket, but it did not last. So I had to take it out, and weld a new bracket. I hope my bracket will last another generation…

When my grandmother bought this car new in 1968, she would not in her wildest dreams imagine that her great grandson would drive it one day. And this makes me wonder- how many more years of service will Jeremiah provide? My son wants to call her Betsie, after my grandmother…

 

VW Beetle rules!

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My son took this photo while we were working on the Beetle yesterday. I played with it a little bit on my phone’s editor. I just love how this hubcap turned out!

This week will be another hard one full of appointments and tasks needing my attention. But every now and then I will try to grab a piece of sanding paper and head to the shed…  My son’s birthday is just over 3 weeks away…

Will post if something worthwhile happens to Jeremiah… (the Beetle- so called because it was Lamentations driving it long distance at university…)

The original photo my son took:

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Good Friday- another view…

Today is Good Friday for us Christians, a very holy day for us. We went to church at 08h00 this morning, and I did not have to preach- it is good being more than one pastor in our church…

After church we went with our younger colleague, his wife and a doctor friend to our town’s Golf Estate for a hearty breakfast. So good so far…

Then, I was not wholly holy today… 🙂  My son is having his 18th birthday in less than a month. I want to give him my old VW Beetle. This Beetle is a very valuable Beetle. Not money wise, it is probably not worth any more than the scrap metal value. But my grandmother bought this Beetle brand new when I was 1 year old…I know this Beetle my whole life long so far.

So I have engaged my two eldest sons to help me today.  We have to repair years and years of rust. The problem: I really have NO mechanical skill whatsoever. Between Youtube clips and Jim Tyler’s fantastic book: “How to restore Volkswagen Beetle” we are stumbling along merrily…

Here is some evidence of the crime scene, My Lady… (someone has been watching too much Oscar Trail…)

In any case- here goes…  And yes, I am working hard on weight loss too for next year’s Argus Cycle race, lost 10 kg since February, still a lot to go…

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IMG_2335Damn, when I looked at the photos just now, I thought it was my father! He also worked on this Beetle for me, but he had more of an idea what he was doing.  But he did not have much skill in teaching his son…  Me neither, but me and the boys did have a very good Friday anyway!  Most probably the Beetle will disintegrate when we finally turn the ignition key… But it was fun so far…

Oh yes, while we are working on the body, the seats is being renewed elsewhere, I really hope the guy does a good job on the upholstery!

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When did the Beetle manage to get itself in such a sorry state? Slowly but surely it is coming back to life. The rate of restoration is directly equal to the drainage on my finances…  But it seems to be good for father and sons relationships!

I will post IF there is any progress…

PS- This is a LONG term project if you look at this links…
https://vosperdruiter.wordpress.com/2013/08/17/vw-beetle-restoration-is-the-devil/

https://vosperdruiter.wordpress.com/2013/05/02/old-die-hard-needs-new-life/

https://vosperdruiter.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/todays-project-vw-beetle-seats-for-my-barbeque/

 

 

VW Beetle restoration is the Devil…-

Number 2 is getting to the age where he can get a driver’s license, and be another menace on the road…

I am not in the position to buy yet another car.  So I must use what is available- my old VW Beetle. My son loves it!

There is just a few small problems. Like a little lack of money. And a total lack of mechanical ability. And the part between the front and rear number plates needs replacement.

To ride, we had to fix a broken fuel cable. I have waited patiently for a friend for 6 weeks, who have promised to help. The last was: early next week- and it is now 3 weeks later… So I decided to try and fix it myself.  How difficult can it be? Youtube has such awesome teaching clips. Or so I thought. Look at this one:

3 minutes 7 seconds worth.  And the dude takes 2 minutes of that to take his hotrod out of the garage, and then drive his old Beetle into the garage. Can’t he just post: “Look at my F******** hotrod!”   And then in the remaining minute he gives absolutely no practical advise that can help me…

Bummer. I broke the circlip when I tried to put the new cable in. So it was off to the parts shop. I bought 3 circlips, but fortunately ran into a young man of our church, who said I can call him if I do not get it right. I should have asked him there and then.  But the man in me wanted to prove I would survive in the Ice Age- I tried putting that circlip in myself. It is a very small one. And my reading glasses are missing. My Petzl headlamp got new batteries, but no joy- it has gone through the river Jordan…  I have a circlip pliers, but managed to launch all 3 circlips into near earth orbit- I suspect that the digital signal from our satellite telly  will end soon… due to foreign object impact or something- must be the Russians…

So I sent my wife to the spare shop to go and buy another 5 circlips, (it wouldn’t do my ego much good to appear there as a loser…) and i was covered in 45 year old German grease anyway. I called the young man to please come and help his pastor. Well, he got that circlip in place in 30 seconds… took me more than 2 hours before I dared ask for help…

He also pushed the cable through all that impossible corners that the German engineers thought up to make my life a misery- have you ever tried that? Getting a fuel cable from the pedal through to the back at the carburettor on the Boxer engine? It must be easier delivering a baby… Much bigger space to work with…  🙂

After he have left, we tried to go for a little celebration cruise. But another problem has hit us. It will not go into any gear at all. When the engine is switched off, no problem- smooth into any gear. When the engine is going- no gears available at all. And all the websites says it sounds like taking the engine out time…

I have reached the end of my patience. And I still have to get to a sermon for tomorrow morning, it just is not happening at all at the moment. And my wife is looking very angrily at me, she hates it when I lose my patience…

So not a happy ride today…  😦

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The Devil…

Change- Today’s Project- VW Beetle seats for my Barbeque

After 3 long days of working with tons of meat, today was finally my day off.  I should be working on 2 sermons for Sunday. But there was an idea that was building up in my dark and stormy subconscious.  And the matter is like this:

Years ago I got an extra set of seats from a friend for my VW Beetle. But they didn’t fit- the seats was from a model a year or two later than my 1968 1500 model. And the rails on these seats were more than 15 millimeters narrower than my Beetle’s. So these seats were just laying around under the awning in my backyard.

This morning, when I woke up, I just had this inexplicable urge to create something. There is lots of old scrap iron in my back yard as well, maybe I am a hoarder. So this afternoon, seeing that it is my day off, I decided to put an old plan into action.

This is the state of the old VW Beetle (Bug) seats: Image

They were just looking for the junkyard. So I started cutting some scrap metal up with my angle grinder, and this time I used the necessary eye protection!  And then I started welding. A Professional welder would weep at the quality of my welding!

ImageI also had some seat covers I bought a while ago for my Pickup. They didn’t fit so good. So I welded 2 base sets for the Beetle seats, one with little castor wheels and the other without, that I can sit on the grass next to my barbeque fire- a true South African dream- and here is the end result of this afternoon’s efforts:

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Seat # 1 has little wheels to move around between the fireplace and the table…
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Seat #2 does not have wheels, to sit comfortably next to my bbq fire on the lawn…

These seats were test driven tonight, better than Top Gear style! And they passed the test! What a barbeque! And the Boerewors we made yesterday tastes great! (Sausages! )

So today was creative, and now I am more than extremely tired after 3 hard days of working with meat, and today’s working with iron.  I think it is now time for bed! Enjoy your weekend!.

I indeed changed something worthless into something extremely valuable for me,.,, Change!

Daily Prompt: Freaky Friday

by michelle w. on August 16, 2013

You experience your own Freaky Friday, and switch bodies with someone you love/hate. Tell us what happens.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us CHANGE.

Old Die-Hard needs new life!

Let me introduce you to my very first car.  Image

This is my 1968 VW Beetle 1500 (a Bug in the USA?)

I have known it for all my life, as my grandmother bought it brand new when I was 1 year old. My grandmother suffered from diabetes, and in the last chapters of her life became blind. So when I got my drivers license in Matric, she gave this car to me.  Here it is, standing outside our dormitory at University. (Circa 1986)  Bumper stickers were HUGE in those days. The car’s name was Jeremiah, as it was a Lamentation to get it to start in winter, and to keep it running with my limited mechanical skills…

I had this beautiful little car as a student car, but my mother became worried I would roll it, as Beetles are prone to do with young drivers behind the steer…

She gave me her car to go to university with, and for a few years used this Beetle to pendle between home and work.

After my father died, I got my Beetle back. It still (at the moment!) only have about 90 000 km on the clock. But from years standing in the rain, the body is in serious need of attention.

Now my son, aged nearly 17, is falling in love with my Beetle. My grandmother would never imagine this car would still be around in the 4th generation!

We now need to fix the accelerator cable, which has broken in 1992, and I fixed it then with a piece of wire laying next to the road. That wire was untangled to remove the engine at the end of last year, when some gaskets needed replacement, due to such a long time standing still.

I think I also need to replace the fanbelt, as it is nearing 30 years old.

This car would be a very good project to do with my son, and then I will give it to him.

There is only one problem: neither of us has any technical skills whatsoever!

I had a look at a Youtube video just now on how to replace the cable, but even that guy broke down in tears, and began sniffing the fuel fumes instead.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFaZ0JKZsGs

So- I smell the beginning of a new adventure. Can this Beetle still be fixed? And can we get it to do a Road Trip?

Watch this space…

Wheelbearings being replaced earlier this year