PROJECT: Beetle Restoration

I will try to keep a running journal of my vws restoration on this page. Anything done to the car, or bought for the car will be mentioned on here, as well as any money spent on the car will be kept track of. (that could suck to see in a couple years ;- )

Note: Hyperlinks/Gallery links not all working. Go HERE for all Beetle Galleries.

  • September 22/2002 – Car was purchased in Simcoe Ontario for 2500$ cash, with a spare 1500CC motor·
  • September 23/2002: Washed/waxed and drove the car around for the first time (thanks mom for the cleaning!)
  • September 26/2002 – While driving the beetle, the rear tire fell off due to lack of cotter pin on rear drum. Minor damage. Scared the hell out of me. Hendersons towed me home. Cars off the road until it the restorations done.
  • October 5-6/2002: Started the interior gutting. All carpet, interior paneling, the running boards and rear seats have been removed. Front seats are still in as the people before me welded them to the floor. Time to find a grinder
  • October 11/2002 – Removed the front seats with help from Dad and his grinder. Removed the rear wheel, to inspect damage. Not TOO bad at first glimpse. As long as the rear hasn’t been bent out of shape, it should only need a small weld to hold the shock in place, and a new brake dust plate. Will know more soon
  • October 17/2002 – Was able to remove all the bolts which hold the floor pan in. Luckily only one broke off. Due to the patch work done on the floor, I had to get Alex to grind open a channel so that I could get to the last 4 bolts
  • October 19/2002 – Removed the battery and wiring from under rear seat location. Also removed the pedals (clutch/break/gas). She’s ready to go in…
  • October 29/2002 – Had car delivered to Marks Bugs Barn in Hamilton to have the floor pans and heater channels replaced. Currently waiting on quote
  • November 2/2002 – Got the quote and wasn’t happy. Looks like the heater channels are in need of replacing as well. 2500$ :- Calling Tuesday to give the reluctant go ahead
  • November 5/2002 – Had the bug towed to Marks Bug Barn to have the floors and heater channels replaced. He expected I would have the car back late November, early December. Driveway feels empty :-
  • November 26/2002 – Purchased a pair of grey bucket seats out of a vw golf. They appear to be in excellent condition, and I will be picking them up tomorrow.
  • November 27/2002 – Didn’t get the seats. It was a 4 door car, so I wouldn’t be able to put the seat forward to allow access to rear seat. Not good. Search continues
  • December 4/2002 – FINALLY got the bug back from body man. New floors are installed and painted up. Hopefully get it to moms house this week to continue inside painting.
  • December 6-7/2002 – Henderson towing dropped the bug off at moms place. After 2 hours of re-arranging, Alex and I got the old girl into the garage where we plot her mutilation restoration…..
  • December 12-23/2002 – Alex and I have made some headway with clean up. Fenders will be all off by end of weekend, and the only rust spots I have should be gone or near gone as well.
  • December 24/2002- Early Christmas Present to me. Got my adjustable beam for the front end. Also Pulled the gas tank out of the car and removed the front hood to allow access to the front end. Hopefully we can get this thing in over the holidays.
  • January 1-13/2003 – Lots of little stuff to report, even if we have slowed down over the holidays. All fenders have been removed, and will need replacing. All trim is removed (chrome). Alex has started cutting sheet metal to fill in the spots where the welding will be needed. This is going to be allot of work for the front apron as very little original metal exists in the nose. I have and will continue sanding the car down to a nice smooth finish. So far I haven’t came across to many surprises while sanding, which is a good thing. The roof is almost completed, and only 2 little spots will need attention before priming and painting. Sandblasting has started as well. Little bit done on the gas tank as well, Alex will likely be doing the front skirt/pan/frame so we can install the new front beam, and set the car back down on its wheels. (once they have been re-attached 🙂
  • January 13-February 20/2003 – Can you say mid winter shut down? Tiny bit more sanding done. Alex has some of the welding done in the front. Just been to damned cold to work in the garage. Hopefully we can have a couple full days on it once the snows gone. I’m hoping to get back into full production and have stuff start getting done (milestones) come end of March/Early April. With weather as it is, I just don’t see us getting much accomplished.
  • February 22-23/2003 – Finally got some stuff actually accomplished. Alex has almost the whole front end rebuilt, just about ready for the 2 new pieces, and ready to reinstall the new lowered front suspension. I have started priming the inside with a grey primer. Got about 65% done. Need to touch it up, make sure no spots missed, and also do the front foot area by the pedals, etc. Then sand and prep the insides of the doors. (the only parts which will actually be seen once the headliner and carpets are installed. Pictures to come
  • March 21/2003 – Alex has the front end basically complete. Tack welds holding in the bottom pan, and fitted pretty decent. Next up finish welding it in securely, and also put the outer pan in as well. Hopefully spring actually stays around, and we can get the car out of doors again, and do the sandblasting, so we can get the final welds complete, and get a good day of body work done.
  • April 12-30/2003 – Great weather + proper tools = productive weekend. I have the last wheel well almost completely stripped off the tar so we can see what needs patching before primering. Also, Alex has got on of the two inner rear wheels completely patched, sealed, and primed and looking good. One to go. Next up, other inner rear wheel well, cut out the windows and drop the engine so we can fix up the rear outer wheel wells
  • May 15/2003 – Big night. Bug is standing on its own four wheels again. Got the front beam in, and adjusted to the lowest setting (of course). Looks great. Steering linkage still not in, but the beams in, and brakes/wheels are on. Will need to disassemble and re-torque the bolts to spec before safety, but we know all the parts are there and it holds together nicely 🙂 Beam only required some gentle persuasion.
  • May 17/2003 – Removed the engine from the car and assessed the repairs
  • May 18/2003 – Alex welded up the two patches inside the engine bay, while I cleaned up and back passenger wheel well ready for a small patch and primer.
  • November 19/2003 – Long break since last progress. Essentially money ran out and the wedding plans took over. Picked up a piece for the wheelhouse side. Hoping to weld it in this weekend with Alex’s help.
  • November 22/2003 – Front end is completely welded in. Just needs some grinding, but that will be done this weekend. Tie rods have been ordered and will be in next week and installed. Then its ready for the body shop. We’ve taken it almost as far as we can. Everything else should wait till after the paint.
  • December 12/2003 – Front end and, steering is in thanks to Alex’s’ time and donor car, with the exception of two bolts which we can hopefully find this weekend.
  • December 20/2003 – bolts are in and car is now waiting to go to the Body shop.
  • August 22/2004 – Well April 2004 Came and went. No money. No time. Bug is now in its new home here at my new house. Work has started officially as of today. So far, the car has been cleaned out and is ready for work. Hopefully this will be no more breaks before completion. No chance she will be ready this summer, but if all goes as planned, It won’t be long.
  • November 14/ 2004 – Kevin came over and we started on the beetles re-wiring. All light wires have been removed. And all other wiring has been sorted and cleaned up. We have decided to go to a complete rewiring instead of using the factory stuff simply due to the horrible shape that the car has been left in by previous owners. Grounds and other miscellaneous wires simply not as it should be. Less work to do from scratch. In the end it will look better and should be much easier to maintain.
  • November 17, 2004 – started sanding down the front trunk. Wires all taped up and out of the way. Getting ready to paint with a flat black so we can continue on with the wiring.
  • November 21, 2004 – Thanks to Kevin’s help, the trunk is all tidied up. Wires are taped together to keep them out of the way, all metal was sanded smooth and cleaned. Coat of primer was applied to protect the metal and get ready for the black paint which is coming. Have yet to decide on flat black or gloss. Tomorrow I will touch up the primer.
  • November 29, 2004 – Trunk has been painted with a nice rust proof coat of flat black. Looks pretty good. Still a tiny bit of painting to do in there (couple places missed up under the lip and such) but it should only take 2 minutes to do it. I just need a bright day so I can see the spots clearly. It looks like Aaron has fuse panel for me. Hopefully I can get that from him soon and Kevin and I can start wiring.
  • January 16, 2005 – Been busy this week. I’ve got about 12 hours invested in the car. (6 with Kevin, 6 on my own). On my own time through out the week, I started stripping the foot wells, center tunnel, and dash board. Id say I’m about 75% of the way done. Hard stuff is cleaned up. Should only take another 1-2 hours to finish up. Kevin spent most of today with me laying out the wiring. We have so far ran both headlamps, front turn signals and parking lams. We have also ran a few lines back to the battery area in the back. Finished up by covering all wires in either 1/2″ or 3/4″ plastic tubing. Once done, this will look stock. Well.. Not 1974 Stock, but 2005 🙂

Break in updates but not in work. I have been tardy in keeping this up to date. Over January – through July Kevin and I spent many many nights cleaning, planning and running wires and testing everything out.

  • June 25, 2005 – Went to June Jitterbug. Checked out some cars and bought some new tires. 135’s baby. Nice and skinny and low profile enough to turn the wheels even when fully dropped.
  • July 2005 – Kevin has pretty much finished all the prep work and running of wires. Currently all exterior lighting is wired up and working. Need a new Hazard switch to complete the circuit, but its done. Windshield wipers are working using the stock switch. And a new headlight switch turns the whole system on and off. Starter is wired in and turning well. Basically just need to wire in the motor itself, and some accessories such as stereo system and of course some neons. Wiring needs to be cut to length, soldered and run through the tubing, but that should be done in th next week or so when I get home from PA with the rest of the parts we need.
  • HERE is a picture of the bare engine bay – no wiring
  • HERE are pictures of the wiring ran. Function over form. Soon the Form AND function picture will be taken. Stay tuned. 2 months from today will be the 3rd anniversary of the beetle for me. With some luck she will be back on the road for at least a test drive by then.
  • July 27, 2005 – Finished running and testing all the wiring. Everything is working except the motor.
  • August 5, 2005 – All the wiring harnesses are mounted and ready for the wiring to be re-routed and cut to proper length so that it will look as good as it works
  • August 7, 2005 – I got ambitious last night and tonight, and started routing the wires where I wanted them and making them fit properly. Looks much better if I do say so myself. I’m stuck now until Kevin comes back, as the remaining wiring needs to be adjusted for newer relays, and other such gizmos 🙂
  • August 10. 2005 – Kevin stopped by and installed some new relays to replace the ugly ones we currently had installed.
  • August 11, 2005 – Booked the car in for paint. As long as Shannon and I don’t go out on strike this month, the beetle will be going in for paint on August 29.
  • August 23, 2005 – Strike information came in, no paint for me. I find out for sure on the 29th, but that’s too late to make my appointments.
  • August 24, 2005 – Kevin and I finished putting the engine in and tried turning it over. Faulty connections caused failures and even though the smoke was cool, it didn’t help start the car. Think either the distributor and or ignition coil is toast. Need replacements.
  • August 26, 2005 – Picked up spare coil and distributor bits from Alex. Kevin built a Frankenstein distributor out of the parts. After a a very tiny bit of fiddling the BUG IS ALIVE. Took a few cranks to get the fuel in the system, but its running. Still need some tweaking and adjusting to keep it from stalling, but it was doing that before the motor was pulled out, so I’m not surprised about this.
  • October 23, 2005 – Slow on updates, fast on progress. 11 months of random evening and weekend wiring, the re-wiring of the beetle is complete. Today, Kevin came over and he and I spent several hours with some final cleanup of wiring, removal of the engine, and disconnecting/labeling of the wires which were to stay in the car while it goes to the body shop. Things are all working, and look good. Form AND function are in full swing here. Next up, off to Alex and Paul’s’ place for paint and body work. Hopefully in the next 3 months it will be back for final assembly
  • December 9, 2005 – I stopped by a local PPG dealer in Hamilton and spoke with their sales man. He was extremely helpful and was even willing to give me a paint book to look at on my own time. Best of all, prices are fantastic. I will be back to see my new friend Randy as soon as the paint supplies are needed. I’ve intentionally decided to keep the colour decision off this page until the car is back from paint.
  • December 11, 2005 – Well, the day is finally here. The day for the bug to be taken to Alex and Paul’s’ place for the body, custom, and paint work to be completed. Hopefully the job will go smoothly for them and I will have the car back in my hands in the not too distant future for reassembly. Not that I will be doing much assembly till it warms up. Its been way too long since I drove this baby. Didn’t bother me too much while it was in my parents garage, but now its in mine, and I walk by it every day, I’m getting impatient. Now I got a little bit of time to finish acquiring some of the stuff I will need to put this bad boy on the road. Pictures of the body work will be coming as they become available. Since Alex and Paul will be working on this car in their spare time I may see lots of work done over a couple weeks, and then no work done for a few. So patience will be exercised for a while.
  • December 22, 2005 – Went to Johns Bug Shop and did some part shopping. Picked up 4 new shocks, front and rear hood seals, door seals, and a used hood which is better shape then the one I had. Dropped it off at the body shop on the way home.
  • December 23, 2005 – Last checkup for the year. Paul and Alex have been pretty busy stripping down and cleaning up the front end. Lots of metal work already done. They will go back and do all the grinding and media blasting once all the fabrication work is complete.
  • January 8, 2006 – Some repair word, floor pan repair/finishing, and general straightening has been completed.
  • January 29, 2006 – Been a while since I’ve updated. Stopped by today to snap some pics. When I arrived, I found the rear apron has been re-skinned with a new pan which doesn’t have the exhaust tip openings; drivers door is shaved, passenger door has the patch welded in place and is awaiting grinding, and the circle in the nose of the car also has a patch welded in, and is waiting for the grinder. Looking very good.!
  • February 12, 2006 – I stopped by Paul and Alex’s place today to drop off Kevin’s old dead cd player for them to use as a template when cutting the head unit hole in the dash and much to my surprise, the beetle was outside getting a suntan after it enjoyed a morning of sandblasting. Engine bay, fenders all nose were all blasted clean of rust and paint. Not a lot of surprises, but some additional work was found. A couple seems will need some fresh metal welded in, and a couple of the smaller issues are slightly larger then we expected, but still, really not to bad.
  • March 4, 2006 – Dash board has been started. New hole for a standard size cd player has been cut, and some of the vents have been shaved. Also the mounting holes for the dash pad have been shaved. Some of the smoothing and finishing metal work has been started on the rear apron and doors.
  • March 12, 2006 – PRIMER! First coats of actual primer has been applied. Paul used some metal protecting primer which is pretty much bullet proof, and more importantly, rust proof. Some more finishing of the dash has been complete.
  • March 27, 2006 – FILLER! Stopped by today after getting home from holidays to see what’s new, and found the car with some new green sports. Some have been sanded down nice and smooth, others look like they have had the filler applied, but not got back to finish the sanding yet. Coming along nicely.
  • April 7, 2006 – Block sanding! Stopped by and seen Alex today. Him and Paul have been very busy. about 2/3’s of the body has been primed and is being block sanded. Coming along FAST. Finish blocking, primer the whole car, and a bit more sanding, and it’s ready to be prepper for paint.
  • April 30, 2006 – Slow updates. I checked on the car last night, and not much head way has been made this month. No worries though. This is expected when the body men are working on it in their spare time. Will check back in a couple weeks.
  • June 6, 2006 – MORE PRIMER. Alex has been busy over the past couple weeks working on block sanding the roof of the bug, and finish sanding the dash and base of the windshield. Time for hair more filler in spots, finish the doors, and on to paint.
  • June 17, 2006 – Doors have a bit more work done. One has the filler applied, and is awaiting sanding. The other has most of the metal work done. Needs to be flattened a bit more, and then on to filler and sanding too.
  • June 29, 2006 – Metal work on both doors is complete. Just need some filler/sanding and primer, and then they can be knocked off the list. Hopefully that will be done this weekend. So close, yet so far
  • July 18, 2006 – Doors are nearly complete. Sanding has been mostly done. Looks like they just need a finer grade of paper, and some primer, and they will be done
  • August, 2006 – Paul/Alex working regular jobs. Slow on updates this month.
  • September 3, 2006 – Found a shop to do my interior. Custom covered seats as well as will dye the headliner to all match. Pimp white, here I come.
  • September 15, 2006 – Spoke to Paul about a completion date for paint. I was told I would have my car back mid-late October.
  • September 25, 2006 – Doors are complete. Hood is in the process of being stripped and made fit correctly.
  • September 27, 2006 – Hood nearly complete. I stopped by pretty early in the day today. Paul is hoping to have the hood completed by this afternoon, and maybe even start on the fenders.
  • September 28, 2006 – Went and got some pricing info on the paint today. Costly but well worth it. Also stopped by Pauls place again. Hoods nearly finished. It was a bit rougher then he first thought, but its nearly perfect now. Pauls just finishing the sanding.
  • September 29, 2006 – The body work is complete! (All but the fenders). Stopped by today to find a freshly cleaned beetle ready for primer. It will be sprayed sometime this evening. Paul said to drop back in tomorrow to see the freshly sprayed vehicle. Gonna be awesome to see it all one colour again!
  • September 30, 2006 – Nearly ready for paint. Car and hood is completely primed and ready for paint. Need to do a quick block sanding to ensure 100% smooth, and then cleaned one last time. Shannon and I are going to get paint this week, and order some parts for re-assembly
  • October 6, 2006 – Fenders have now been stripped, sealed and filled. When I stopped by, they were drying in the warm October air, waiting to be sanded later that night.
  • October 10, 2006 – Fenders are completed and semi mounted onto the car. Gaps for the fenders, hood and doors have been made perfect.
  • October 12, 2006 – Car has been sprayed down with a light dusting of paint to allow one final sand before paint. This is the step which ensures all the primers/sealers are perfectly smooth and ready to be painted with the final colour.
  • October 19, 2006 – Picked up the all the paint and supplies needed to paint the car. Paul is hoping to be spraying the car sometime during the Halloween weekend.
  • October 29, 2006 – Well, this weekend didn’t work out. Paul must have been busy with something else. Majority of the car has been wet sanded to a perfectly smooth surface. Couple more small sections of sanding and I think thats it. Hopefully the paint will still be sprayed soon
  • November 20, 2006 – Not much to update. Still waiting for the wet sanding to be completed, rear decklid needs to be done, and the car is still waiting to be painted. Three weeks from now (December 11th) will mark 1 full year in the body shop. Heres hoping its done and home around then!
  • December 01, 2006 – Body work is completed. Unfortunatley Paul has to work this weekend, so no paint. Plan is next weekend, the Beetle will finally hit the spray booth. Stay tuned!
  • December 11, 2006 – 1 Year in the shop as of today. Still waiting for paint.
  • December 30, 2006 – Painting has started. As you can see in the pictures, the car started in primer grey, then onto an orange/copper colour, and then the candy red started being sprayed. These pictures do the car absolutely no justice. The lighting in the boot is ideal for spraying, but not for showing off colours. More pics to come soon. The car looks fabulous, and I really couldn’t be happier.
  • December 31, 2006 – Showed up this morning to find the beetle had been freshly wetsanded, and covered with yet another layer of the candy red. (4 coats in total!). The colour is looking much closer to what my minds eye had envisioned. I’m still looking forward to seeing it outside in natural lighting, but I have no doubt I will only be happier with the colour. I left the shop so Paul could spray the final coat of clear, let it dry and do some finaly wet sanding and buffing to make it super shiney and smooth. Tomorrow the old gal’ is coming home!
  • January 1, 2007 – Happy New Year. The Beetle is HOME! Car looks fantastic. Nice and deeeeep. A few minor hiccups when assembling the fenders found a bit of touch up work needing to be done. Also the whole car needs to be wet sanded and buffed, but that is going to be done once all the other work has been completed. I have some running around to do tomorrow, but Wednesday, I will be spending some time with my baby, and start getting things figured out. Thanks again Paul and Alex.
  • January 3, 2007 – Spent some time today cleaning the inside of the beetle getting it prepped for sound deadening. Got all the overspray/dust from the floor pans cleaned up and ready to lay the stuff out tomorrow.
  • January 4, 2007 – Floor pans and back half of the beetle are covered in B-Quiet Ultimate sound deadening material (Dynamat competitor). Kevin stopped by tonight to check out the paint job, and we removed the hoods and safely put them in the spare bedroom, so that we can work freely in the trunk and engine bay. He also gave me a hand re-assembling the door latching mechanism. Passenger side is done, and the driver side is nearly done. I’m missing half the unit, and will grab that from Paul/Alex tomorrow.
  • January 8, 2007 – Picked up some window rubber and seals for 2 doors. Hopefully I can get Paul to give me a hand installing them when hes over painting the engine bay and trunk. He’s done them before, and is a heck of a lot less likely to bugger up the paint during install. Who knows, I may try before then. With any luck he will be by this weekend.
  • January 11, 2007 – Shannon gave me a hand tonight, making a map of my wiring, removing each wire one by one, and putting a label on each one. Now I can clean up the area properly, re-paint the area, clean the wires, and reinstall.
  • January 12, 2007 – trunk is now fully cleaned up and ready to be painted. Maybe as soon as this weekend. Once the paint is done and dry, I will be cleaning each indivual wire, and placing them each back into the proper holders. I’m guessing the clean and install should only take about as much time as the removal and labelling did. Hopefully all the labels stay on 🙂
  • January 21, 2007 – Paul and Alex stopped by tonight with a big old can of sealer. Trunk, inside the doors and the engine bay are now all sealed up with some metal sealer. One more big F-U to rust. Garage has a nice scent of paint to it again 🙂 Once that dries up, Paul (and maybe Alex as well) will be back to lay a coat or two of flat black all over the engine bay and trunk area. Then I can get back to my wiring.
  • January 22, 2007 – I came across an excellent web site to help me re-assemble stuff. Looks like it was written by two enthusiasts, who have been very thorough and entertaining. http://www.vw-resource.com
  • January 25, 2007 – With triumph, there is failure. Nothing major, but tonight wasnt overly effective. I got the window regulator for the passenger side working well again. Driver side, not so much. For some reason, I can not get both bolts in at the same time. So I moved on to the progressing door. Outter window scraper. It fits, but the clips will not ‘clip’. Time for a frustration break, before I break something. I’m hoping I can get these doors figured out before Paul comes back. That way after he is here, I can go right back into the wiring.
  • February 12, 2007 – Outter window scrapers are in. For a part which is supposed to ‘just line up and press in the clips’, it sure was a bitch. Took about 45 minutes each side. As I moved onto the next step, I realized, the clips I need for step 2 of the door build were on backorder when I got the rest of the parts. Hopefully I can get them this week.
  • February 14, 2007 – Picked up the remaining door rebuild parts which were previously on backorder. Hopefully tonight I can get them closer to being done. Spoke to Brian, and booked him to come over and help do a brake job for me. As well as Paul should be here Saturday to finish off the painting.
  • February 15, 2007 – Productive, yet frustrating date. Finished off both outter scraper installs. (drilled and screwed in the final screws). Installed the clips for both doors to hold in the felt channels. Thats where things stopped going easy. I was able to get both vent windows in. Even got the inner scraper installed on the passenger door. I didn’t put the driver side scraper in, because I found an issue with the vent window. So I pulled it back out, and will need a complete rebuilt/replacement for this window. Back on the passenger side, after I installed the inner scraper and things seemed to be going very well, I ran into an issue with the vent. One of the pins which holds the channel along the inner edge broke, and the whole unit has to be removed. As well as the tough to install, and harder to remove inner striker. Essentially today was 7 steps forward and 4 big steps back
  • February 17, 2007 – Paul stopped by today, and did some more painting for me. The engine bay and the trunk area are now a nice shade of black. It’s currently shiney, but once that dries it will be a nice shade of flat, rod-iron black. While he was here, he also helped me get the striker installed on the driver door. So now, both doors open and close (latch) correctly.
  • February 18, 2007 – Brian stopped by today and gave me a hand with the brakes. We got the front brakes 90% done. They are all rebuilt and ready to go, but the drums themselves need to be turned. Brian has taken them to his work to get that done. He will be back with them when he gets a chance, and we will tackle the rears at that time. I’m waiting on some parts to do the rear anyways, so it may be a few weeks.
  • February 20, 2007 – Got the wiring roughed back in as it was before the car went to the body shop. Nice to see all the wires still there, and all the connectors in use again. Sometime this week, I will now be removing each wire, one by one, cleaning them up shiney and new, and re-installing them. Then its up to Kevin to work his magic and hopefully make some sense of it all. (yes, I used the same gallery for both the 18th and 20th. Deal with it)
  • Februay 21, 2007 – Spent 10 minutes working on the door. Even though it now opens and closes properly, there was a small catch when shutting it. I wasnt satisified. Looked deeper, and realized the door frame was just skimming the frame of the striker plate ever so gently. Enough to be a pain. So with grinder in hand, and my beautiful paint protected with a drop cloth, I shaved a millimeter or so of material from the striker. Door now closes to my liking.
  • February 28, 2007 – Order from CIP1 showed up today. Doesnt look like much, but theres a lot there.
  • March 1, 2007 – 4 new shocks installed. Not much of an accomplishment, but its a step. Only one knuckle buster the whole time.
  • March 2, 2007 – Despite still being sick, Kevin came over for a couple hours tonight to work on the wiring. After a bit of time trying to figure out what went where, and also, diagnosing some misplaced wiring, we were able to get the parking lamps, reverse lights, and front / rear turn signals. Pretty sure the brake lights are setup correctly, but they apparently operate on a preasure switch. And since my brakes aren’t currently hooked up, the brake lamps are not lighting up.
  • March 24, 2007 – Another evening of wiring with Mr. Fahey. Front turn signal assemblies are complete including the lenses. Rear lights are complete as well, again including lenses. Headlamps are both working now, but we couldn’t figure out how to mount them. I will figure that out this week. Lastly the hazard switch is now working perfectly, as are the freshly installed window wipers.
  • March 26, 2007 – Today I installed the new window regulators into both doors, as well as both vent windows are now installed. What a pain in the ass door rebuilds are.
  • April 2, 2007 – Stopped by interior shop today. Seats are coming along nicely. Gonna be a few weeks before they are done, which is fine, as the bug wont be moveable for at least a week or two.
  • April 11, 2007 – Been a quiet couple weeks with holidays and such. Wiring is ‘complete’ just needs some cleaning up. Kevin came over last night and got me started, and I have finished pretty much as much as I can until hes back. We also got the driver door working much better. Regulators are the suck. Tomorrow Mr. Mitchel should be over to help get the rear brakes apart, and do a shopping list. With any luck, at this time next week the bug will be back on its own wheels.
  • April 12, 2007 – Bryan came over tonight, and we removed the drums, and he made quick work out of rebuilding the rear brakes. Brakes are complete, I just need some flex lines, and bearings for the front, and then he will come back to do a final assembly on them. While he was there I continued my snip, trim, clip and shrink wrap task. Another dozen wires or so and it will be done.
  • April 19, 2007 – Got the remainder of my parts in today. New door panels (the right colour this time), new brake parts, and fuel lines. Bryan stopped by this evening, and got the new flex lines all installed, and the drums put on. Sadly, I failed to get the bearing seals for the front wheels, so they couldn’t be mounted 100%. However, since the brakes themselves were complete, we decided to bleed them. That was short lived. Started topping up the fluid, and within seconds, the line coming out of the resevoir started pissing fluid. I’m going to pick up some new hose for the resevoir, and bearing seals hopefully tomorrow.
  • April 21, 2007 – Huge day in the garage today. Kevin came over for a full day of bug stuff. We got a whack of stuff accomplished, and many tasks closer to being done. First off, we worked in the wiring in the rear of the vehicle. Shortening some wires to make them route much cleaner from one side of the engine bay to the other. Things look MUCH cleaner now. Just a bit more to do, and it will be completed cleaned. Wires are run in a loom from passenger side to the driver side where the distribution panel is. Once the panel is tidied up a bit, that will be done. After we finished up with the wiring, we jacked the car way up in the air and reinstalled the engine (with a little help from Adam who stopped in for a bit). Engine is in, mounted, and wired in. However, we had some problems starting it. Everything seems to be correct, but it wasn’t getitng any spark. Looks like the ignition coil is shot. Hopefully get one from a buddy tomorrow night, and try again sometime next week. Finally, we installed the radio antenna, side view mirror, 1 of the running boards, and the 2 little half moons which mount behind the rear quarter windows. Tomorrow, more clean up and possibly fit my cd player into the dash.
  • April 22, 2007 – Bit more work done today. Cleaned up the wires going to the relays, put wire looms around some more of the wiring, installed the speedo, and mounted my cd player after some minor trimming around the opening in the dash. Nice seeing the dash slowly getting filled in.
  • April 28, 2007 – Kevin stopped over today after going over last weekend in his head throughout the week, and we got the bug running in under 10 minutes. Sadly, the rest of the weekend was spent working on the MINI. However, during the day, my beetle wheels were deliverred. A nice set of Empi 8 spoke wheels, bare alluminum, with polished lips. I am pretty sure I will have the faces painted black
  • May 13, 2007 – Been a couple weeks since I’ve been in the garage. That 35 marathon adventure on the MINI’s was enough to keep me away from the garage. But I’m back. Drivers door is finally complete. Windows up up and down, all the parts are assembled, and working correctly.
  • May 16, 2007 – Booked the car in May 24th to have the headliner, and windows installed. The seats are complete and look awesome.
  • May 17, 2007 – Finally found the rear decklid latch assembly and mounted it. Its funny how a small piece of chrome can make a hood look completed. Now just need to finish the engine/wiring and mount the hood.
  • May 18, 2007 – passenger window is pretty much complete. Only thing left is the outter channel needs to be shoved in, but I need a second stronger pair of hands to help with that. Should be a 15-20 minute job once I have the help.
  • May 19, 2007 – Finished covering the centre channel with sound deadening material. Also took some measurements for RCA cables so I can get perfect length ones which wont take up too much space. I took 2 sets of measurements, as I am still not 100% sure if I am going to be mounting amps under the seats, or custom mounted onto the box.
  • May 22, 2007 – Hoods mounted. Heres the final pictures before the car goes to the headliner/window installer
  • May 30, 2007 – Beetle went to Standard Auto Glass in Simcoe today to have the headliner and windows installed.
  • June 6, 2007 – My exhaust system was deliverred in the mail yesturday. Good shape for a used setup. Hopefully it sounds nice. The Car is still in the headliner shop. Should be home sometime this week.
  • June 9, 2007 – Brian stopped by with the new brake line for the car. Too bad the car is still in Simcoe. There was some issues with the dye job that need to be worked out before I will get the car back. Hopefully early this coming week. Getting impatient, and running out of time to get this car done by months end.
  • June 13, 2006 – Beetle is finished at the headliner shop. Paul brought my baby back home today. Freshly installed headliner, and windows. Also, I brought my seats home from the same shop earlier this week. I’m quite happy with the outcome. It’s not perfect, but apparently the minimal wrinkles that are still present will go away once the material settles. I can already see a difference in the headliner from this afternoon.
  • June 17, 2007 – Removed the steering wheel, column, and wiper/turn signal switches in order to get at the ignition switch that is totally fubarred. Took a bit of time, but I finally figured it out, and got it all apart without breaking anything. Then, after it was apart, I sanded and re-painted the column, and plastic backing panel to make them look fresh and new again.
  • June 18, 2007 – Picked up a used steering wheel. Not perfect, but its in a heck of a lot better condition the mine was in. I may try and used the best parts from both and make one super wheel 🙂
  • June 19, 2007 – Kevin stopped in tonight. First, we put the new ignition switch into the column, re-assembled and installed it back into the car. Finally, a working ignition again! While surveying the wiring, and contemplating hooking up the brake light switch, Brian stopped by to help out. We then got the new hard brake line installed between the master cylinder and the rear hardline. Next up, brakes were bled, and then bled again. And then finally adjusted drums for just the right amount of resistance. I think the brakes should probably be bled one more time before hitting the road. Once the brakes had preasure, Kevin was finally able to make the brake light switch work (which makes the lights light up when pedal is pushed). Brian left for the night, and Kevin and I proceeded to put the rear decklid spring in. Thanks to a picture online, we got the orientation right, and now the hood will stay open on its own! Finally, we figured out the wiring for the horn (and scared the shit out of ourselves in the process). All in all a productive night. All the wiring is finally in order, next time out, we will have more clips and we should be able to finish the wiring completely, including the zip tie and tidy up 🙂
  • June 23, 2007 – Paul and Alex picked up the bug to go back to the body shop with it for some left over tasks

– install door seals
– have headlight brackets put in
– mount driver side running board
– paint underside of fenders black
– seal underside of car
– touchup paint and paint dash trim
– wet sand the entire car

  • July 1, 2007 – Paul got most of the stuff done and dropped the car back off to me today. It looks incredible. Door seals, headlights, running boards, black paint under hoods/fenders done, underside of car sealed, painted, welded up, dash trim completed (painted white for now). Only thing not done yet was the wet sanding, which will be done when the cars driveable. Hopefully in a couple weeks.
  • July 2, 2007 – Torqued down the rear axle nuts and put in cotter pins, mounted the horn, zip tied the wires running underneath the car, mounted the fuse block and fuse holders under the hood.
  • July 6, 2007 – My first Friday off for the summer, and man what a busy and exciting day. Kevin was nice enough to take today off as well, and we spent the entire day in the garage working on the beetle. We finished off the wiring (yes, its all functional now), and cleaned up roughly 95% of it. There are still a couple wires around the speedo area that i’m not happy with, but they can be fixed as time permits over the next couple months. After the wiring, in went the gas tank, filler neck, in-line fuel filter, and 5$ worth of fuel. Turned the key, and the engine actually pulled fuel, on its own, with no further intervention from us. Kev adjusted the carb with a ‘quick and dirty’ tune, so it now runs somewhat smoother, and actually idols somewhat. Once the engine was working, we promptly put in the driver seat, mount the hood, and I took the maiden voyage. It drives ok. Steering leaves a lot to be desired. Pretty sloppy, but she does drive!
  • July 14, 2007 – I took the bug for its first real drive : to cayuga. Dennis will be replacing my balljoints for me (both upper and lower). It wasn’t the fun and exciting drive I wanted, thats for sure. Slow, and steady. Anything more then 60km/h and she would weave pretty badly. Hopefully once these balljoints are in, steering box is tightenned up, and the linkages are all adjusted it will be smoother on the way home tomorrow. On my way home from dropping the car off, I stopped at Paul/Alex’s place to pull some stuff off Alex’s parts car. Hold downs for the fuel tank, seatbelt bolts, speedo clips, and some nuts to hold the light switch to the dash. I also picked up a spare headlight switch, which I am hoping I can make work for the neon lighting.
  • July 15, 2007 – Ball joints did not help. They needed to be done anyways, but steering is still as sloppy as can be.
  • August 8, 2007 – Slow month. Stupid being swamped with work. On the upside, money helps finish this project. On to updates. Kev came over tonight, to try and help solve the wanderring steering. Sadly, after several attempts to tighten and adjust, it still steers like crap. Gonna do some more reading, but I have a bad feeling the steering box needs to be replaced
  • August 10, 2007 – Called Johns Bug Shop. He basically confirmed that the box is dead. So I drove up to Niagara Falls to the shop and picked up a shiney new steering box.
  • August 11, 2007 – Removed the old steering box. It came out with little aggravation. Time was tight, so the new one didn’t get put back in yet.
  • August 12, 2007 – New steering box went in. Unfortunately, the the coupler which connects the steering column to the box is junk. One last piece of the front suspension puzzle. On the upside, one I replace it, that will be a complete new front end. Beam, breakes, spindles, brake lines, box, coupler, tierods, dampner. Everything. If it still shimmies, I will likely burn it to the ground 😉 Or more likely get used to the shimmy
  • August 14, 2007 – Dad went to Johns Bug Shop, and picked up the new pieces for the coupler. I did a quick assembly, and fit it all together. I have one clamp that just doesn’t seem to wanna tighten down enough to make it solid. Friday I am going to pull it apart, and see if i cant find a better clamp. Hopefully this weekend, I will finally be driving straight.
  • August 18th, 2007 – Went and visited Paul yesturday with my steering column. 5 minutes, a bit of torch work, and the coupler now fits nice and snuggly as it should. I went home, quickly threw it all together, and low and behold, 50mph, and no more death shake. It still isnt super tight, but I havent went through and torqued everything down 100% yet, as well, the front end is still in need of an alignment. On the down side, on the way home, I was getting quite a bit of backfiring. This is a new problem. Quick google shows me its likely air/fuel/or timing related. Only thing thats changed is the amount of fuel is likely down, and possible the dizzy came loose enough to loose some timing.
  • August 19th, 2007 – Removed the gas tank to get at the steering. It was essentially empty. I’m pretty confident that is the source of my backfires. Once removed, I loosened each of the bolts in the steering system, and applied a dab of loctite to each of the bolts. (not the alignment related ones though). Should be nice and snug now. I’ve decided I want to add a little longer fuel line between the tank and the hardline before putting the tank back in. Hopefully I can find some this week
  • August 25th, 2007 – New fuel line was put in. My confidence was shot down. Lack of fuel was not the problem, or was a loose distrubutor.
  • August 30th, 2007 – Kevin came over tonight to help trouble shoot the backfires. Made some adjustments, but it still backfires. Further inspection found fuel leaking around the throttle linkage. This carb is shot. Luckilly, I have an old spare one. So we cleaned it up, and put it in. No fuel leak around the linkage this time, but it still backfired like crazy, and added some new additional problems. So, it looks like I need a new carb. Thats not all though. While tinkering, I finally got down under the car and checked what was leaking under the engine. The leak is definately getting worse, and its definately oil. So after talking it over with Kev, and realizing its now basically the end of the summer season, we are going to pull the engine out, and I will be taking it to Dion in Fort Erie to have the engine and carb rebuilt, and possibly even upgraded a bit. Cost will dictate just how much I can do.
  • September 15th, 2007 – Paul picked up the car today. It’s going to stay at his shop for a little while so he can clean up some little issues and finish it off. Couple areas need touch up/fixing and the entire car still needs a good wet sanding/buffing to finish the exterior off. Also, seat rails need to be lowered .5 – 2.0 inches to make it easier to drive.
  • December 2007 – Paul removed the engine for me, and dropped it off at my house.
  • January 3rd, 2008 – Paul has completed all the work, and the car is sitting in the shop under a cover waiting for Alex and I to come and install the carpet kit. We figure its much easier to do this in the warmth of the shop. Hopefully get that done in the next few weeks, and then bring the car home.
  • January 5th, 2008 – Took the engine to Dions place (TheModShop) to have the engine rebuilt. I had a brief discussion with Dion on what I want out of the engine, rough budget to work within, and tossed some ideas back and forth. We decided before I buy any parts, or make concrete decisions, that we would wait until he has the engine disassembled so that we have a better idea of current status, before we dive in to deeply. Hopefully here back from him soon.
  • January 9th, 2008 – They don’t mess around at The Mod Shop. Dropped the engine off on the 5th, and Dion already has the engine completly broken down into a pile of parts. From the sounds of things, he will have all the parts washed down, and checked out by the weekend, ensuring everything is in solid conditon for the rebiuild. Once thats done, we can decide on what route to go. How big, how much to spend, etc.
  • February 2008 – Dion has all the parts for the rebuild and is assembling it as he has time.
  • June 9th, 2008 – Alex and Paul finished installing my carpet kit and seats for me. I’ve been swamped with other projects, so thankfully they were able to help out. Also, Paul delivered the bug to Dions house where it will have its fresh engine installed, rear end lowered, and hopefully he can get my door windows working better then I can. Once thats done, the rear seats go in, as do the door/rear panels and shes road ready… I think 🙂 Been a while since it has been home. Hopefully another week or two and she will be back in my hands and solid enough to drive finally.
  • June 20, 2008 – Dions been busy working on the bug. The car is now lowered, and the engine is nearly done. Sadly, the engine went in, and we found out the trans mounts were shot. So it has to come back out, new mounts put in, and then the engine goes back in for final tuning.
  • July 10, 2008 – Dion’s finished with the car, and Paul towed if home for me today. After about 2 minutes of checking things out, and seeing what Dion had done, I couldn’t wait anymore and took it for a spin. Car runs quite well. Quite peppy for an old bug. Still needs new carbs, but it should get me through most of the summer at least, and i will look at a pair in the fall. Over the next week I will be nut and bolting the entire suspension, finishing looming all the wiring, putting in the rest of the interior and getting an alignment done. Should run like a champ once its all sorted out.
  • July 12, 2008 – Ordered a pair of front drop spindles for the bug. Hopefully by putting the beam up and lowering it with the spindles, I can get some ride quality back. I also order the engine tins that I am missing. Should finish off the engine bay nicely.
  • July 13, 2008 – All engine bay wiring and under car wiring / looming is complete. Everything is ziptied and where it belongs. Next up, under the rear seat, and the wiring harness under the front decklid.
  • July 18, 2008 – Rear seats have been temporarily installed to make sure everything fits and lines up. Took a littler persuasion, but they are in, and look good. Sadly they need to come back out next weekend, so I can install the rear quarter trim on the inside.
  • July 20, 2008 – Started working on the door cards. I’ve got all the rubber grommets installed on both doors, and also put the metal retaining clips on the one door card. I would have installed them, but I realized my door handles had over spray on them. So they have been removed, sanded, and painted black again.
  • July 23, 2008 – Today I removed the rear seats again, installed rubber gromets for the paneling, and installed the rear panels. They look pretty good! Finally something which fit the way its supposed. That’s not saying they were without issue. Prior to installing them, I had to re-glue (read: duct tape down) the vinyl to the back sides of the cards. Wasn’t a big deal, but aggravating just the same. I also took some time and put the clips onto the other door card as well. Finally, I put the back half of the seat back in. I would have put the bottom in as well, but I need to install some seat belts and a new battery before doing that. No use putting it in and out more often then necessary
  • July 24, 2008 – Progress! Got the back seats in, and bolted down in the CORRECT spot this time. Door panels are pretty much complete. Only thing missing is the arm rests. White on red was an awesome choice. Later in the day Paul and Alex stopped by and found me busy in the middle of swapping my front spindles for some lowering ones. After an hour or so, they were on, and the front beam was adjusted so the ride height was good again. Took it around the block to find an incredible difference. I actually HAVE springs now, so the ride quality is sooo much better. I do wish I could have set it a bit lower, but I value my fenders. Looks like a narrowed beam is my my future as well. Maybe this winter.
  • July 29, 2008 – Finally got my front end aligned. Seems to go down the road much straighter now. Still need to yank the gas tank, and make sure everything is 100% tight, but I should be good to drive around finally. Picked up some new seatbelts for the rear, and will be picking up some front belts tomorrow. Yay safety !! Then its time to go over the old girl, one more time with a fine tooth comb to make sure its good before I put on any serious miles.
  • August 18, 2008 – Been slacking a bit on the updates again. Since the alignment, I have pulled the gas tank, and tightened every single bolt on the front suspension and steering components. Basically, and thing which could be loose has been checked and re-checked to ensure safety. Fuel tank is back in and plumbed correctly. I have also installed a new speedo cable as my original one was shot. Lastly I have removed the piece of shit [tm] running boards and put on a sexy pair of aluminum ones. These thing are hot. Big solid chunk of polished aluminum with powder coated black tops. Finally, something which cant rust out like the ones I pulled off.
  • August 21, 2008 – I went to Alex’s place and grabbed a pair of front seat belts from a parts car. Once they go in, I will finally be able to drive the car beyond my block safely and legally. Hopefully I can get them installed this weekend, and do some successful trial runs. There is one final TurboTuesday VW meet this coming week, and I would love to have the car there.
  • August 22, 2008 – Finally, a drive that felt good! First time in 6 years, i’ve got in, drove arond for a decent amount of time and the car felt solid, suspension worked as designed, brakes stopped me, car stayed idling at intersections without input from my foot.. Not all gold, as I found a couple more items to address. Lack of lights on the speedo at night make speed a guess. Regardless that the speedo is finally correct, not seeing it sucks. Also, the turn signals need an indicator light on the dash. Given how loud the engine is, listening for the clicker is not an option. So getting the signal cancelling working and indicator are on the to do list. Both issues however are small problems. Still, a major step in the right direction.
  • August 2008 – Donna, Shannon and I took my first short road trip to Hewitts for ice cream. Got many smiles along the way. Car felt pretty good at 80km/h. Maybe Tuesday we will go further.
  • August 26, 2008 – Went to my parents place in the bug today for my first wash and detail job. Half way through waxing, Alex stopped by and gave us a hand buffing the wax off. Thanks Mom! Thanks Alex! Car looked like a million bucks. Once she was all clean, Shannon and I set off to our first REAL road trip: To burlington for a VW Turbo Tuesday Get Together. The car worked perfectly all the way. Handled speeds of 80-90km/h pretty much the entire way, handled curvy back roads, and also went down, AND up the mountain with no problems. I was very relieved and stoked when we got home. Nice to finally get some seat time driving the old girl after all these years. I’d also like to thanks vwjoem for the pictures he took at the get together. He has a real nack for night photography. HERE ARE the pics he took.
  • May 2, 2009 – Put the battery back into the bug and took it down off the car dollies. Turned the key, and after a couple cranks, she fired right up. I toed the throttle for a couple minutes to let it warm up and then she idled all by herself.  All was good till I went to back out of the driveway, and realized, my brakes no longer had much stopping power. I suspect the master cylinder is gone. It’s the only part of the brake system not replaced.
  • May 5, 2009 – Dropped the car off at Smouts Garage. Jeff topped up the brake fluid which seemed to help a bit, but he agreed its likely the master cylinder causing my grief and ordered me a new one.  Providing it shows up tomorrow, he will swap it out in the morning, and do an oil change, and I will be in good runnin order again.  Prior to taking it to Jeffs, I got some new stickers and made the old girl legal again.
  • May 6, 2009 – Car is home again, and stopping MUCH better.  No new master cylinder. Turned out to be something else, which just needed adjusting.
  • May 10, 2009 – Alex pulled out a spare wiper assembly. Hopefully it works better then the broken one I have.
  • May 19, 2009 –  Dropped the bug off at Johns Bug Shop in Welland to finally have the door windows installed correctly so that I can roll them up and down. I should have a price sometime tomorrow, and the bug back a day or so after that, providing he has all the parts he needs.
  • May 22, 2009 – Picked up the car today. Windows rolling up and down much better now. One new (used) regulator and a few hours labor and she is done.  Also had John show me how to adjust the windshield wiper assembly so I can install it this weekend. Hopefully have a water resistant car by the end of the weekend.
  • May 23, 2009 – Kevin stopped by and helped me figure out where my battery drain was coming from. Looks like it may be the fuel indicator. I’ve unplugged it and should know in a few days. With some pointers from Kevin, I was also able to hook up a backlight for the speedometer, and also a turn signal indicator so I can tell when the blinkers are blinking
  •  June 24, 2009 – Over a month, and still no dead battery. Looks like problem was solved
  • August 15, 2009 – Took the car to Paul to have the paint chip touched up. Next to impossible to see it now, unless you know exactly where it is, AND you are looking for it.
  • August 22 – Finally put proper license plate bolts on the rear decklid. No more cheesy zip ties holding the plate on.  Also picked up the new hoses for my fuel filler. Hopefully I can get rid of the gas smell in while driving.
  • August 2, 2009 – Put the new hoses on the fuel filler. Sadly will take a week or two to figure out if the smell is gone due to my accidentally spilling a bit of gas. Should know soon though. Turbo Tuesday tonight, so the old girls getting a wash and night on the town.

Been a long break. The summer of 2010 I simply drove the car. Not much due to weather and time, but I got some seat time finally.  At the end of 2010 I parked the Beetle knowing I wouldn’t have it on the road summer 2011 due to my wife being on maternity leave (aka no money for insurance) and also, I spend the summer riding my motorcycle for the first time.  After 1.5 year hiatus the bug is finally going to get some more updates, and get back on the road. The planning phase is currently going on (date: Feb19/2012).  Goals are to narrow the beam 3-4 inches, re-drill the brakes to 5×100 so I can roll on Mk4 GTI wheels. I have been in talks with a local shop to have the above parts fabricated. Just going to take time to find some money and rip the parts off the car. Catch is, I need to get it done before May 15th. If I can’t get it done by then, I will leave it till fall. I want the car on the road this summer. Even if it means suspension stays as it is now. On top of the above plans, I’m also looking at finishing some interior items, finally sort out the fuel smell, and some other little touches to make it more mine. Soo.. Once the weather warms a touch, I will be on with the updates…….

  •  February 22, 2012 – picked up a new master cylinder and brake line to fix my leak.
  • April 28th, 2012 – removed the gas tank to gain access to the master cylinder. Looks like the one I bought IS the correct piece, so when I have time, I will work at swapping it
  • May 20th, 2012 – Mounted the new master cylinder and hooked up the sensors. Sadly the brake sensors seem to have given up and are throwing false positives. Lights stay on. New sensors ordered
  • July 28th, 2012 – new sensors installed and wired in. No more phantom lights. While I was at the shop picking up the sensors, I also picked up all new hoses for the fuel tank.
  • August 4th, 2012 – Master cylinder completely hooked up and ready for fluid. Spoke with mechanic today, hoping he will be able to stop by sometime and help me bleed the system and get it all up and going. Also looking at having the car appraised while he is here.
  • August 14th, 2012 – haven’t bled the brakes yet, but I did manage to FINALLY mounted the head unit into the dash and get it all snugged down. May need adjusting in the future, but seems solid for now. Need to grab some wire this week to allow me to wire the head unit in. The joy of adding a radio where there wasn’t one before – there also isn’t any stock wiring to tie into. Time to hard wire it in to my harnesses. Need to wire in a ground, 12v constant and a 12v switched power. Should be pretty straight forward if I have slots to tie them into.
  • September 15, 2012 – Spoke with mechanic. Going to put on bleeding the brakes for now. First were are going to remove the front beam and drums for modification this winter. Once parts return, I will have him back over to help reinstall and bleed
  • November 17, 2012 – Bryan Mitchell stopped in for a couple hours and gave me a hand yanking the front suspension beam out of the car. Also removed all 4 drums.  Emailed VDubEngineering about setting up a time to have the machining done. Hoping to hear from them early in the week. Can’t wait to get the work done.
  • November 18, 2012 – Spent about an hour in the garage stripping the beam down. Removed the bearings from the front drums and degreased them all. Next up, removed the ends from the tie rods so that they can be narrowed. Lastly removed the control arms from the beam and bagged it all up. Beam, brakes and tie-rods ready to go!
  • November 25, 2012 – Dropped beam, drums and tie rods with Aaron in Burlington. He is going to be seeing the guys at Vdub Engineering and offered to drop the parts off for me. Thanks Aaron!
  • November 26, 2012 – Picked up new upper ball joints as my old ones are pretty much done. After work I popped the worn parts off the spindle/arm and cleaned the grease up. Finished off by dremeling the mounting surfaces in the spindle/arm so that new ball joints will go in smoother. Now to find someone with a press to pop them in so that I’m all ready to throw it back together when the beam/drums are done and back home. Realized today that if my 18’s are ‘too wide’ I wont have any rollers to put the car back down on when it comes home. May need to find a plan b just in case.
  • April, 2013 – Picked up a new set of wheels for the beetle. BBS RXII wheels from the 03 Jetta Wolfsburg. They are a nice 2 piece wheel. Lots of refinishing to do, but they are gonna look great.
  • April 13, 2013 – Lanner from VDUB Engineering stopped in today with my parts! Beam has been narrowed 3″ and is now reinstalled and ready for action. Next up, reinstall the drums, and bleed the master cylinder.
  • April 15, 2013 – Bryan Mitchel stopped in tonight and gave me a hand and helped me sort some stuff out. Got the beam all greased up with his grease gun and reinstalled in the car. Front bearings have been repacked with grease and installed and the drums have been bolted back up. Rear drums are on, but need to be torqued down to spec. Need the wheels mounted to do that. Tomorrow I pick up lug nuts and a block off plate for one of the grease nipples as I need to remove one before I can bolt the steering box in as they want to occupy the same space now that the beam is narrowed.
  • April 16, 2013 – Modified the grease fitting, filled it with solder to seal it up, and then installed it. Once installed, a few minutes with a grinder made it look look it was never there. Very happ with the result. Quick splash of spray paint and I was able to bolt down the steering box. Next up, tie rods and steering damper bolted back into place. Gave the tie-rods a minor adjustment to try and square up the suspension. Should be good enough to drive it up town to be realigned in a few weeks.  Lastly, I took the two dust caps which cover the spindles and ground the outer lips down to match the drums. Now my new wheels can be mounted cleanly up front without interference. Tomorrow, I pick up my new lug nuts and hopefully get a set of temporary wheels mounted up.
  • April 17, 2013 – Mounted Katie’s winter wheels up to the bug so I have something to roll around on and get the old girl off the jackstands. Looks like my front end alignment is way outta wack. Camber is a bit toooo positive to the point of the top of the tire touching the outer fender lip. Should be a minor adjustment and will be rolling good enough to keep from rubbing. Hopefully 😉
  • April 18, 2013 – Adjusted the camber on the driver side so the wheel sits closer to where it needs to be. Still no chance of driving it until I get some smaller tires, but its moveable now.
  • April 19-23, 2013 – Wheel #1 and #2 have now been completely stripped and sanded 120 and 220 grit. Wheel #3 has been stripped and starting to be sanded tonight. Once all 4 are stripped and sanded to 220, I will begin painting the inner hoops, and finally start polishing the lips. Lots, and lots of work.
  • April 25, 2013 – Bryan came over one more time to help finish up the brakes. Master cylinder has been filled, lines flushed and all 4 corners bled. Feels like it may actually stop now 😉 Once fluid went in, the brake lights now work. Guess the new brake light switches were all I needed.
  • April 26, 2013 – Reinstalled the fuel tank, and put in 10L of fuel. Also, re-plumbed the filler neck and tank vents. Hopefully this will finally solve the smell of fuel in the car. Once done with the fuel tank, I put the charger on the battery at a slow charge. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to get the old gal to fire up for the first time in over a year.
  • April 27, 2013 – After a shot glass worth of fuel down the carb, the old girl fired right up. A bit of extra smoke on start up, and a little coaxing, the idle settled down, and it ran like a champ. Now back to the wheels….
  • April 28-May 5, 2013 – Been busy working on the wheels. All 4 wheels completely sanded down 120, 220, 400, 800, 1000, and 1500grit. Picked up a new buffing kit and mated it up to my drill. As of this evening the first round of polishing has been completed with the heavy buffing pad with the red compound.
  • May 5-23, 2013 – Had the centers powder coated black by local shop in Caledonia. Finished polishing the lips + assembly bolts. Resasmbled the wheels and had Smouts Garage mount a set of tires. Through the wheels on the bug and test drove around the block
  • May 27, 2013 – took the beetle up to Tim’s Tires and had the front end aligned. It’s not perfect, but it is as close as it can get with the parts that are on the car now. Hoping to pick up new cam-bolts and shims to get it even closer later this summer.
  • June 15, 2013 – Plate stickers,  insurance and appraisal done. The bug is BACK on the road.
  • June 29, 2013 – Car is rubbing at tight turns.  I’ve lifted it up about .5″ so far. Better but not great. Going to go another .5 – 1″ later this weekend. Should be better to drive then.
  • July 10, 2013 – Picked up an early fuel tank sending unit to work with my early gauge. Will be nice to finally know how much fuel is in the tank. Or at least have a rough idea. Removed the rear bump stops and chopped them in half to hopefully remove some of the bottoming out / banging I get when going over big bumps. Will know pretty soon if this is the root of the issue or not. While under the car to remove the bump stops, I realized that the J tubes which go into the headers are a bit short almost certainly causing a leak. Could be while the car is slightly louder then anticipated. Will have to see if I can tighten it up later this week.
  • July 12, 2013 – Removed bump stops seems to have mostly cured my rear end banging noise. Will need further driving to know for sure. Also, installed the sending unit for the fuel gauge and plumbed it in. Working well enough to do its job. Finally got the front end lifted back up a bit. MUCH better now. Still sits pretty low but not slammed. Will have to tweak further, but for now i’m happy enough. Still have a slight rub at full right lock, but can’t figure out where it’s coming from. I shortened the steering lock to stop the rubbing. Won’t know if its going to be an issue driving until I put some miles on it. I think I will leave the car together for a few weeks and just drive it now. See what needs adjusting and do it after I’ve fully appraised its performance.
  • December 25, 2013 – Santa brought me new shiny bumpers for the bug! Pair of the cal-look smoothie bumpers should finish off my exterior nicely.
  • June 25, 2015 – Had to fix a couple loose bolts. Seat belt bolt for the driverside and the seat adjuster on the passenger side. Two loose bolts mean I should spend a day nut-and-bolting the entire car again. It has been a few years on the road now, so better safe then sorry.
  • August 23, 2016 – Met up with Kevin for coffee and got talking about the bug. Did a little troubleshooting and got the signal indicator working again, and also a likely solution for the oil pressure indicator as well. Will test that in the coming days. Also started making a checklist of things I’d like to fix/finish/adjust over the winter months. Got me excited to work on it again tonight!
  • August 25, 2016 – Backed the bug into the Subaru. Dented rear fender badly. Going to need a new rear fender and pray the paint work matches at least somewhat close. Harsh reminder why I wish I had gone standard base/clear.
  • August 26, 2016 – Dropped the beetle at Pauls place to get the bumpers mounted. Clearly should have done this before yesterdays ding, but that’s my luck. Bumpers now, and then home for many little “finishing jobs” to be done over the coming months. Then with luck, get a new fender and re-paint it sometime next year
  • October 1, 2016 – Picked up the bug today. Bumpers are on and look fantastic. Really finishes off the exterior of the car. While Paul had it, he also took the time to cut/buff the car. Can’t thank him enough for the extra work. Really happy with the outcome. Just need to fix that damned fender and do the rest of the winter projects listed below.

 

To Do List for Winter 2016/2017

  • straighten steering wheel
  • tighten headlight switch
  • replace battery
  • battery tie-down
  • battery tender lead
  • seal under car wiring
  • check suspension – re-torque bolts
  • remove sticker rear window
  • tighten fuel gauge
  • red LED underglow –
  • replace license plate bolts
  • Speakers and kick panels
  • loom all wiring with tesa tape
  • Headunit
  • install glove box
  • E-brake knob
  • seal rear seat foot well
  • replace air filter
  • multi LED interior lights
  • back seat bracket to keep seat up
  • E-brake handle cover – pending
  • wire in back-lights for gauges – on order
  • Finish the trunk wiring – pending
  • fix license plate lights
  • carpet trunk area
  • Oil change
  • seal fuel sending unit or replace tank
  • Smouts Garage:
  • fix / replace starter
  • Xtacy – Wiring help?
  • troubleshoot blinker ghost
  • troubleshoot oil pressure light
  • wire in add high-beam indicator?
  • Body Shop
  • Mount bumpers

 

  • February 22, 2017 – Started shopping for parts needed for coming projects and added part numbers to checklist above.
  • February 24, 2017 – Stopped at the Bug Shop in Welland and grabbed the nut for my second light switch as well as a few spare light bulbs for the gauges.
  • February 25, 2017 – Ordered red led lighting for the underside of the car. Also, ordered lights for the interior. They include several led strips which can be set to 7 different colours
  • March 2, 2017 – Picked up the lighting kits from mailbox. Look to be nice quality. Inquired with local shop on price for head unit.
  • March 4, 2017 – Ordered kick panels from Glass-Action. Should have in a week or so.
  • March 5, 2017 – Bought Kenwood KMM-BT315U mechless heaunit.
  • March 10, 2017 – Received kick panels from Glass-Action. Another piece of the puzzle for installation.
  • April 2, 2017 – Spend some time on the bug today. Old car didn’t want to start. Installed some charging leads onto the battery cables, and let it charge for several hours. Long story short – 18 year old Optima finally died. New battery to be bought ASAP. While car was charging, I took the time to remove and straighten the steering wheel. Small steps but nice to knock a couple items off the list.
  • April 3, 2017 – ordered some sound deadening material to pack the kick panels and doors with – will have in mail by Friday.
  • April 4, 2017 – Picked up some Kenwood component speakers at a good price for the front of the bug. Also grabbed a new battery as well. Used, but 1 year warranty.
  • April 5, 2017 – Replaced the ugly chrome license bolts with a nice set of stainless bolts. Much more low profile and less ‘cheap crappy tire add-on’ looking
  • April 8, 2017 – scored a couple used parts today. Picked up a new glove box as well as a couple panels for under the rear seats. Not bad for 20$.
  • May 30, 2017 – Removed the wheels and double check all suspension nuts/bolts. Give them all a quick check with a wrench to ensure all is still good. Started installing LED underglow lighting.
  • May 31, 2017 – Finished the install of the LED underglow. Need to replace the front bulb. It’s 36″ and I have a more appropriate 24″ bulb on the way.
  • June 14, 2017 – Removed the 36″ bulb, and installed the new 24″ bulb. Finished tidying all the LED wiring, and task is complete with exception of the switch – coming soon with other wiring. Also removed the inlet tubes that normally bring heat into the car, and made patches to cover the holes. Finished up by seam sealing all the openings under the rear seat. Long over due job, complete! Couple more small task under the rear seat and then its onto the dash!
  • June 24, 2017 – Installed the foot-well panels to block the backseat/battery area. Also, removed all the plastic wire looming from the back wiring. Re-wrapped the wiring with the recently  bought tesa tape. Also, I was able to shorten the rear wiring harness nearly two feet and cut out an extra plug that was not needed.  Finally, removed the bar which went through the seat back. Now I can fabricate a new method of keeping the seat up. The OEM way just wasn’t working properly.
  • June 26, 2017 – Picked up a new negative battery terminal, and replaced the one currently in the car. Quick 5 minute job which drastically improves the connectivity to the battery. Later this evening, I drilled a couple small holes in the rear seat bracket and started to install the LED in car lighting. So far, I have the rear lighting mounted, and the mid-lighting ran to the bottom of the front seats. They need to  be stuck in place with some velcro but they are in place. Just debating whether or not I want to run additional lights to the front foot-well area. Lastly, I placed an order with CIP1.ca for a couple items needed to finish the glove box install.
  • June 27-28. 2017 – Remove plastic tubing from all wiring harnesses and replace with tesa tape for cleaner look. About 30% complete. Also, received package from Cip1 with some needed parts for the interior
  • June 30, 2017 – Nearly finished the wire looms. All taped up and looking much more professional. I hated those black plastic tubes. I’d say about 90% done. I just have to add the stereo system wires and loom them and I can call it a job done and move onto the next step – actually installing the stereo.
  • July 2, 2017 – Soldered up the Kenwood wiring harness. Mounted head unit in the car and also adjusted the glove box opening. Cleaned up a few more wires, and also wired in the ground for both the LED lights and the headunit. Started probing for power and shorted something out. Looking like I popped some fuses or possibly the light switch. Luckily I can easily swap both. Fingers crossed doing one/both of those fixes my freshly broken turn signals or headlights.
  • July 3, 2017 – Did a bit more wiring. The head unit is all wired in and working. Just need the speakers installed to finish the job. I believe I sorted the gremlin issue with the turn signals. For now, they are working. Fuel gauge tightened up, light switches installed ans snugged down. Dash looks “complete”. Finally, I lenghthend the front interior LED cables to reach the power source under the rear seat. Nothing like soldering 20 x 22 gauge wires. Tiny buggers. Wrapped it all and tested. Tomorrow I’ll route the cable under the carpet and consider it done.
  • July 4, 2017 – Looks like one of the little plugs is broken – the wire pulled out from the end. New ones on order. Routed the wires under the carpet anyways. Will attach new ends when they are on hand. Also routed speaker wires to appropriate sides of the car. Lastly, I got the holes for the speakers cut into the kick panels.  Going to have to get some metal screws this week to install them, and also add some of the recently purchased sound deadener to the backside of the panels, as well as re-glue the carpet down over the kick panels.
  • July 5, 2017 – Cut the holes for the tweeters cut into the kick panels. They are nearly ready for carpet and installation. I loomed and tidied up the remainder of the under-seat wires while installing the new battery positive terminal.
  • July 7, 2017 – Speakers and kick panels are installed and working! Not the best fitment – specifically the carpet. It fit fine on the kick area, but the extra side of the fiberglass has mad the carpet a bit short. Going to have to find some patches to cover the open areas at some point. All in all, I’m happy. Afterwards I reinstalled the rear seat cushion, and reinstalling the vent/water catching thing under the hood. Then after a month or so of sitting on stands, I got the car back on it’s tires and Joe and I took it around the block for a quick trip. Ran as well as it will with the current carb. It’s good enough to run the car, but not that much more. Hoping it will survive one more summer as I don’t have the funds to replace it this year. Stickers and a wash, and it’s back on the road!
  • July 13, 2017 – 0rdered a new air filter, wiring cover, hood vent gasket and ebrake handle. Should have on hand by Wednesday the 19th.
  • July 18, 2017 – ordered LED bulbs to back light the gauge cluster. Also received previous order from Cip1. Quickly installed the new air filter on the engine, and put the remaining parts aside for install this week.
  • July 19-August 16, 2017 – Got the LED lights finished for the interior. Backlight bulbs have been received. Picked up a used stock carb. Hoping it will solve running issues. Got stickers for the plate and took the car for a ride!

 

Winter 2017/18 Plans

  • Replace Rear fender – VWC-133-821-306-A – WINTER
  • new carb(s)
  • new exhaust

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