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Old 17th January 2008, 09:56   #1
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Default My DIY Beetle Restoration Saga

Taking Santosh's suggestion, I've decided to move this to its own thread...

My objective with the restoration is to return the car to period correct stock condition. I also try to actually fix as many of the parts as I can vs. replacing them. Sometimes it is cheaper to buy (perhaps even smarter), but I get greater satisfaction from getting the old part working (or looking better) -- this quirk does suck up a lot of time though, but that's just ok with me. (Though I forgo this on all safety related parts)



I'll post in separte sections the different areas that I work on. Some may be repeats, but for the reference of other enthusiasts, I'll repost.

Byas
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Old 17th January 2008, 12:00   #2
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i think this car has been posted on the forum sometime back not sure if its the same
its the one with black convertible roof right?
i remember seeing this car on road many times

does it have any traces of rust on the body,i mean below the rear door or something?
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Old 17th January 2008, 12:11   #3
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Byas,

Waiting to see your car on 20th.

Great looking car man.

Post some more pics.

Pls go through my Restoration thread available on this forum.
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Old 17th January 2008, 12:25   #4
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WooaaaaaoW, she is a beauty. Please post more pics of the side and rear profile.

Thanks Byas, for starting this thread on my request. Will be following this thread closely.
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Old 17th January 2008, 15:52   #5
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i have been meaning to ask this for a long time, assuming you guys have been rechroming? where do you get your parts rechromed? the quality of rechroming in and around mumbai has just been abmysal!
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Old 17th January 2008, 16:12   #6
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We have lot many guys doing this in Bangalore.

No 1 spot belongs to Vijayalakshmi

No 2 spot belongs to Mr Naveed near J C Road.

There are still so many guys out there who do a decent job,

But you need to be very specific in getting your job done the way you want it, Not the way they want to do it.

100% of my car chromes were rechromes.
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Old 17th January 2008, 19:17   #7
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(with corrected links)

Interior & Seat Upholstery:


The seats are still clad in the original black basket weave upholstery and are rundown. Actually, the drivers side is really bad, but the other seats are tired, but “ok” (as in not torn). See picture below, which does show the full extent of the tear on the drivers seat. I also planned to paint the gear shift and e-brake handle. The door panels are also pretty worn with the door pocket elastic pretty stretched out, the panels are missing the vapor barrier behind it and missing many clips. The original floor covering is a combination of carpets around the edges with molded rubber floor mats over the front and rear. The one in the rear has broken up into 3 pieces, while the one in front is in better shape though still with some tears. The top and headliner need to be replaced, but I intend to do that last – once I get the car mechanically into shape. The speedo has dust inside and the switches/knobs have faded and the fan switch is missing. The convertible also has a special rear view mirror which has an interior light integrated and the mirror can be raised to get better view when the top is down. This has been missing since we got the car in 75.


Pic of interior:



The simple things to do were cleaning the switches, grab handles etc and then repainted the faded markings. Later on I was able to get new inserts with markings for the switches. I used the ones for the fresh air, but kept my painted ones for the headlights and wipers as they looked better.


Switch knobs before/after:






Grab handles before/after:



I cleaned out the interior door panels, reglued them with 3M #77 spray, put in new elastic for the sagging side pockets, new door clips and seals, installed a vinyl vapor barrier with 3M #75 spray which gives a “post-it” like tackiness that allows the barrier to be removed an replaced without tearing (very useful product).


I then moved on to seat covers. I wanted to get exact replacements so I called around. There seem to be only 2 manufacturers remaining TMI and Topline (Both in the US). However, since my beetle is a RHD Euro model, the seats are diff from the US ones where the seats had headrests starting in 68. So, I had to special order it. Santa brought me the replacement covers for Christmas.


I started with the driver side seat:



On pulling off the covers, I discovered that the frame/springs for the back rest on both front seats were broken and distorted. So I had to straighten out, find a welding shop and have welds put back in.





I had not ordered replacement foam, so I intended to reuse the foam (actually a rubberized horsehair like material). On the seat bottoms, I used some burlap to prevent the springs from cutting into the foam and added some more foam using sheet foam. After some trial and error, they came out looking pretty good. For covers that only cost about $120 for a set, I think the results were great. While I had the seat apart, I took the opportunity to clean and repaint the adjsut mechanism and to install new plastic slider bushings, etc.


Here's a pic of the interior with the new seats, painted gearshift & e-brake, redone door panels etc.



Pic of the Dash



Some other pics











Byas
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Old 17th January 2008, 21:11   #8
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Fantastic job my friend and a great car I might add. Looks like a 1975 Karmann Convertible with Fuel Injection. There should be a Karmann Badge on the front fender, which it has. These cars also came with only one tail pipe as against the customary Beetle twin pipes on either side.
One question, was this bought from Bombay as it seems quite like the one I saw some time ago. If it is then I know whom you bought it from and also it had a lot off bird poo marks (acid) and paint drops on the red paint. Thank God you bought it and restored it to this level if it is that car. If not then anyways your work is commendable.
This is what a car enthusiast is all about. Kudos brother.
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Old 17th January 2008, 21:22   #9
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V-16,
Thanks! It's a '71 1302LS. The 75 (actually 73 on) would have had curved windshields. My father bought it thru STC from the first owner in 75 -- a german lady. I came back to India about a year and a half ago and took on this restoration in Oct 07. Color is the original Iberian Red (a repaint from several years ago I believe).
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Old 17th January 2008, 22:03   #10
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Wow, lovely job byas!
'hope there are more people as dedicated as you (& Pavan Kadam) as far as restoration goes!

OT: Also interested in the 3M products you talk about...will send you a pm pertaining to that.
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Old 17th January 2008, 23:34   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 71Convertible View Post
V-16,
Thanks! It's a '71 1302LS.
Byas
Of course its a 71, your Handle suggests it!! Thats really dumb of me.
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Old 17th January 2008, 23:59   #12
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Excellent job,byas!
Some TLC,and the car has come a long way with the interiors looking so much better. Good work,I must say!

OT: Just a bit curious..Being from B'lore,I'm quite impressed with the neighborhood that you took the pics at. Looks quite a bit like the ones here in the US.
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Old 18th January 2008, 02:04   #13
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Arrow enthusiasm

@71Convertible: I have to admit that when I began reading this thread, I thought to myself - here's another DIY-enthu chap all set to work on an old family car, who's soon going to get bored, frustrated, give up and finally scrap the car.

However, on reading the rest of the thread - it's clear you really are passionate about it! Excellent job, especially on the interiors - the restored car looks beautiful!

Most people would hand the job over to a shop and have them work on it but putting your sweat & blood into it gives satisfaction like no other.
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Old 18th January 2008, 02:50   #14
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Nice job. Which villa no do you live in?
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Old 18th January 2008, 10:22   #15
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Lovely car. Definitely among the most desirable of the bugs in bangalore.

And thats a lovely meadow you live in.
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