Thursday, September 16, 2010

Geneva 2010: 2011 Volkswagen Touareg sports some-more facilities as well as curves, reduction weight

We could contend Volkswagen was tired of making an SUV which ended up being rather expensive – for the VW – after you stuck a couple of options on it. So in addition to the mislaid weight, the new Touareg has lost some of a four-wheel drive apparatus that done the last one so spendy. This asingle comes standard with the Torsen limited-slip differential, as well as afterwards you can sequence a Terrain Tech Container which adds the differentials and critical off-road capability which once came standard. That takes fuel ec onomy upward, an boost also helped by the increased curve as well as lower Cd. VW sold 500,000 units of a previous-gen Touareg as well as it should do even better with this one. Follow the burst for info upon all a Touareg’s new flavors as well as have the demeanour during it in a gallery of high-res photos below. Show full PR textShow Premiere WE: Brandnew Touareg Guides SUV Idea into the Future
Touareg debuts with hybrid expostulate and high-tech TDI engines Volkswagen SUV is 208 kilograms lighter and 20 percent more fuel fit
Wolfsburg/Geneva, March 2010. In a uncover premiere at the Geneva Engine Uncover Volkswagen is unveiling the utterly redeveloped Touareg ? and with it a most technically innovative Volkswagen given the brand has been in existence. This Touareg is reinterpreting a fasci nating thought of the multipurpose SUV in a contemporary approach – thanks to the up to 25 percent some-more fuel fit engines and a large accumulation of brandnew assistance and safety systems. The Touareg will be the initial Volkswagen to be offered in a hybrid version (V6 TSI plus E-motor).
When a V6 TSI and E-motor work simultaneously (boosting), this produces a combined power of up to 279 kW /380 PS as measured on a dynamometer, and a torque of maximum 580 Newton-metres. The Touareg Hybrid sets standards between fully off-road capable SUVs with petrol engines with its fuel expenditure worth of just 8.2 litres fuel per 100 kilometres. It can be driven at speeds of up to 50 km/h in purely electric mode ? emissions-free.
Fuel saving as well as emissions values of the conventionally powered Touareg versions were significantly softened. Consider the V6 FSI, a direct-injection petrol engine with 206 kW /280 PS: With the fuel econo my of 9.9 l/100 km, the absolute 360 Newton-metre 3.6-litre engine consumes a substantial 2.5 litres les s than a prior indication. This total fuel expenditure corresponds to CO2 emissions of 236 g/km. As well as that is exactly 60 g/km reduction than prior to.
The diesel motor fuel engin es were done some-more f uel efficient as well. With courtesy to power, an advanced chronicle of a successful V6 TDI w hich continues to have 176 kW/240 PS (European version) right during marketplace launch, outlines a entry turn into the world of the Touareg; a 550 Newton-metre clever turbo-diesel consumes the pioneeringly low 7.4 l/100 km (equivalent to 195 g/km CO2), which is 1.9 litres reduction than prior to. CO2 emissions were markeddown by 49 g/km compared to the prior Touareg V6 TDI and the respectable 24 g/km compared to a already very good previous indication with BlueMotion Record. Utterly brandnew to the Touareg programme is the V8 TDI with 4.2 litres banishment as well as 250 kW /340 PS.
A total fuel consumption here – intensely great considering the energy as well as extraordinary limit torque of 800 Newton-metres – is 9.1 l/100 km (equivalent to 239 g/km CO2). Engines offering, both diesel as well as petrol, will change depending upon a specific nation.
Brandnew era SUV – lighter, some-more aerodynamic as well as fuel efficient As has already been accomplished on the globally successful, smaller SUV, the Tiguan, Volkswagen is systematically striving for means ability on a brandnew Touareg aswell. The first precondition has been met: A weight of a base indication Touareg has been markeddown by 208 kilograms.
THE quantum leap. Yet, the physique has 5 percent larger torsional rigidity, that creates it the leader in the competitive class. The second precondition has also been achieved: Designers attained a significantly softened Cd value. It was markeddown from 0.38 to 0.35. Along with aerodynamic refinement measures, another factor during work here is that this Touareg sits reduce to the belligerent than a previous indication. This, to gether with a front end in a character of a brandnew Volkswagen Design DNA, results in the notasbig frontal area. A third precondition: All engines, now offering with a standard 8-speed involuntary transmission – a initial in this market shred – denote significant fuel saving advantages over the previous model; in some cases the advantage is far greater than two litres per 100 kilometres.
SUV for all trails – all-wheel drive in two versions Another element that has been modified in the quest for reduced fuel expenditure is the Touareg’s customary all-wheel expostulate. In the bottom version (4MOTION), all brandnew era Touaregs have all-wheel expostulate with Torsen limited-slip differential (4MOTION; 31 degree rock climbing incline. Like the Tiguan Track & Field, the Touareg additionally has an “Offroad driving programme”, which ? during the press of a button ? tunes a ABS, EDS and ASR for off-road avocation, activates Hill Skirmish Support as well as adjusts a involuntary gearshift points.
Instead of the Torsen differential, the V6 TDI can be ordered with an optional “Turf Tec h Parcel” which has an even m ore rugged send box written for off-road driving. It includes rebate gearing and centre and rear differentials, any with up to 100 percent locking (4XMOTION; 45 grade climbing incline. Similar to a complement on the first Touareg generation, this “4XMotion” also has a rotary switch the motorist now uses to conform a car to specific conditions over 5 levels:
1. “On-Road”; 2. “Off-Road” Similarto “Off-road driving programme” plus automatic control of the automatic thatch; 3. Low Similarto “Off-road” and activation of reduced gearing, higher change points, no automatic upshift in primer mode); 4. Addition of centre differential lock; 5. Addition of back differential lock. Versed like this, a Touareg can conquer a far-reaching range of a Earth’s terrains.
SUV for bland life – more space, more innovations Volkswagen has not only made the brandnew Touareg lighter, some-more fuel efficient and an agile actor; it has also done it into an even some-more versatile, all-round vehicle. The new interior was done more organic, the seats some-more comfortable as well as leg room in a rear is increased thanks to the 41 millimetre extension of the wheelbase to 2,893 milli metres. Now the rear dais seat has 160 millimetres in longitudinal adjustment, as well as a backrest point of view can be altered. Electrically unlatched during the press of the button as an option, it folds down in seconds and frees up 1,642 litres of load space. Already standard equipment in a base version is the radio-CD as well as info system, that is intuitively controlled via the 6.5-inch touch-screen. The radio-navigation system in a tip version offers a 60 Gigabyte hard drive as well as 3D office building illustration.
A parking brake is rightaway activated by pushbutton. The engine (V6 versions) automatically shuts off at traffic lights as well as restarts as soon as a driver releases a brake pedal (Stop-Start system). A V6 versions gather profitable kinetic energy during braking as well as coasting and store it.
The oil dipstick has now been retired: The engine oil level is displayed electronically in this Touareg. As an choice, a tailgate can be non-stop and sealed automatically. A Touareg can also be specified with the large breathtaking sunroof – a largest ever used on an SUV ? to yield maximum light in the cabin even upon overcast days.
There have been brandnew facilities in the vehicle’s assistance systems aswell. The innovative “Area Perspective” utilises 4 cameras situated around the car to broadcast an accurate perspective of the Touareg’s surroundings to enhance reserve. A lso charity protection have been up to 9 airbags. Lane Assist ensures which the car does not wandering from the right trail; meanwhile, Side Support warns of vehicles coming from a back when changing lanes. Adaptive Journey Carryout (ACC) and Front Assist can stop the automobile to the stop in an puncture. active occupant protection, also utterly new, networks the assistance systems and ensures that in box of an collision not usually have been a belts tensioned, though the windows and breathtaking sunroof have been closed as the function of a vehicle’s transverse dynamics.
An comprehensive world’s initial: Bi-xenon headlights with Dynamic Light Assist. This camera-based tall beam headlight essentially “sees” oncoming traffic and automatically adjusts – around the curve lighting procedure and individually for each headlight ? the high beam to discharge unwanted glare. The extended reserve as well as convenience offered by Energetic Light Support is as significant as the key of Xenon technology itsel f once was. In the sum of the properties, the new Touareg is not only one of the many tolerable SUVs in the world, but definitively additionally one of a safest passenger vehicles of all times.
Touareg – the most appropriate of dual worlds About 500,000 car drivers chose to buy the initial era of the Touareg. It is a oppulance sport utility vehicle that offers a tall turn of joy, sporty driving properties, avant-garde styling, glorious quality as well as total speed capabilities – essentially the best of a passenger automobile and off-road worlds one in one concept. This bequest is now being one after another in the brandnew Touareg – a high-end and versatile all-round car which brings these two worlds together even some-more perfec tly. A Touareg will be available during dealers as soon as in Apr of this year.


This motor trade expression (which the author picked up from Terry Ball) basically describes putting the collection of largely trim components back into and onto the completed bodyshell, and it can be a time of great frustration or equally ofjoy, depending on whether you can remember where you placed each item for storage and how it fits!
Do remember that freshly-applied paint stays relatively soft for some time — and that it can easily be damaged until it hardens in perhaps two week's or so time. When you are leaning over the front wings and working in the luggage compartment, for instance, remove any sharp objects such as keys from your pockets to prevent damaging the paintwork; if you wear a belt, then be aware that the buckle could dent or scratch the paint surface. You can obtain specially made padded protectors for wings to prevent this damage from occurring.
Although the restoration is almost at an end, don't rush boxing up. Apart from the risk of damaging paintwork, you could also risk damaging the items of trim.
Carefully ex*Amine every component which is to be fitted for signs of your own or previous over-spray. This can be removed with a rag wetted with thinners, mild cutting compound or, alternatively, it may be gently scraped off. A resprayed car looks so much better if all of the external chrome and rubber is free from paint that you cannot be too careful when cleaning these components. Pay especial attention to the chrome strips and badges. and to the wing beading.


A word of caution: some of the cheaper items of trim which are widely available can turn out to be very poorly made. Don't be surprised if your 'bargain' bumpers are ready-scratched and rusting, and don't be surprised if they are so poorly shaped that fitting them is at best a nightmare and at worst an impossibility. Anticipate finding that bolt holes are in the wrong positions and that extra holes must be drilled. If you can afford top quality trim, then buy it
An alternative to buying cheap bumpers is to have your own re-chromed, but here again the quality achieved by some chrome plating companies is very poor. Find a company which is recommended by previous customers whose chromework has stood the test of time, and always deal with the actual company which carries out the work—some 'chrome plating specialists' turn out to be no more than agents.
Remove the bumper brackets from the bumpers, fit the brackets loosely to the car and then re-fit the bumpers — if you try to fit the whole assembly in one go, there is a strong chance that the brackets will scrape new paint from their mounting•plates and from the apertures in the wings through which they fit, and you don't want the car to begin rusting before the
restoration has finished! If you have new bumpers, then firstly drill holes in the front one for mounting the number plate. There is some degree of adjustment in the bumper bracket mounting holes, to allow careful placement; check that the bumpers are parallel to the ground and square to the bodywork before final tightening. If a bumper is not central when fitted (if it sticks out further one side than it does the other) check the mounts then the symmetry of the mounting holes in the bumpers. If no explanation can be found, then the problem could be that the two wings have different shapes!
The chrome strips along each side of the car and down the centre line of thc bonnet simply clip onto their fastenings; if any seem loose, they can be gently pinched up with heavily padded mole grip jaws. If there is paint on these or other items of trim, wipe it off with a rag dampened with thinners, and allow the thinners to fully evaporate before they are fitted. It is best to allow the paintwork to harden for at least a day or two and preferably for a fortnight before the chrome trim is fitted.
The longer you can leave the paintwork to harden before fitting the lights — especially the headlights — the better. If your car has replacement front wings then you might find fitting the headlight units difficult and only possible after the bowl rim has been gently re-shaped with a padded planishing hammer.
The engine lid seal can be fed into its retaining strip, using Swarfega as a lubricant if necessary —don't use washing up liquid as a lubricant, because this normally contains industrial salts! The luggage bay seal is more difficult to fit; push the three moulded rubber fixings per side into their holes and pull from below using long-nosed pliers until they are securely fastened —ensuring that the strip across the back is not twisted! Then ease the strip into its retainers, using a small (blunt) screwdriver and taking care not to puncture it. With both seals, leave plenty of slack at the corners so that the seal is able to lie flat, then trim off the surplus.
Before fitting the luggage compartment handle, ensure that the release cable is doing its job properly: if you close the bonnet without checking this, you could discover that the only way to open the lid is to grind away the handle! You will need to adjust the catch using a screwdriver and spanner so that the lid is gripped firmly but not so firmly that the release lever in the glove compartment cannot exert enough pressure to operate it! Start by screwing the catch fully downwards, then screw it back in stages until the lid is held firmly and the release lever operates without too much force being needed.

Under the wings

The areas underneath the wings are subjected to flying mud and stones when the car is on the move, and so tougher coverings are usually favoured. Underseal can be applied by spray or brush, along with 'stone chip' and other tough paints which absorb some of the knocks and help keep rust at bay.
Still with the wings, the author favours primering these off the car and applying stone chip or similar protection to the inside before bolting them up, using small spacers to hold the wings just off the body. The primer is then flatted and the topcoats applied.
When the spraying has ended, careful examination of the car will usually reveal many small areas which have been missed, or perhaps small blemishes in areas which were not sprayed. These can be dealt with by brushing on paint. On the author's car, the bottoms of the A and B posts, the visible section of heater channel within the door step and various blemished areas on the doors were all hand-painted in this way.
Steel wheels may be stripped (usually they will have plenty of rusting which needs to be laboriously removed) and painted, using a variety of paints. Because the author was building a car to be used rather than for show, he chose to remove loose rust and apply Smoothrite paint — white first as an 'undercoat' followed six weeks later (after this had fully cured) with silver. For show and custom cars, the wheels are best shot-blasted and sprayed with specialist paints, although the after-market offers a wide range of custom wheels which many will find preferable.


The quality of the paint finish is wholly dependent on the quality of the preparation. The entire area which is to be sprayed should be flatted using increasingly fine grades of wet 'n dry, used wet (except on bodyfiller,
which would absorb the water). Begin using a coarse grade of 400 grit then progress through to 1200 grit for the final finish. The surface to be sprayed should be perfectly smooth with no ripples. Use a flexible straight edge to check for unevenness in filled areas. When the finish is acceptable, begin masking off. Masking tape and newspaper is quite acceptable. Avoid using plastic sheeting. because the paint will not adhere strongly to this and will quickly dry to a powdery dust which can be blown around the workshop and on to the painted area before it has dried. Large plastic (dustbin liner) bags are, however, ideal for quickly masking off wheels.
When the masking off is complete, damp down the floor. Clean the metal using a tack cloth, which will remove all traces of paint and filler dust, then finally use spirit wipe to remove any traces of oils or greases.
All types of paint have to be thinned before they can be sprayed. The paint manufacturers produce data sheets which will give the correct concentration for the paint being used. Stir then strain the primer before thinning it, because even 'new' paint can contain stringy Lumps which clog the paint spray gun. An old stocking can be used to strain the paint. After adding the appropriate amount of thinner, stir the mixture well before pouring it into the spray gun. You can obtain special cups which you can use to gauge the paint/thinner solution viscosity by allowing a set amount to drain from a hole in the base of the cup and timing it, and one of these could prove worthwhile for checking the paint/thinner mixture, because the viscosity of the mixture will vary according to temperature. More experienced sprayers can judge viscosity by lifting the stirrer out of the paint and gauging how excess paint runs off. In the case of cellulose, aim to get the solution just weak enough for the paint to come off in droplets, rather than in a continuous flow.
You can now set the spray gun controls. There should be one for controlling the air flow and one for the paint needle. Set the output pressure from the compressor tank firstly to 30 psi, then open the paint and air controls fully on the spray gun. Make a rapid pass with the gun over a test surface. If large spots of paint can be seen, increase the air pressure at the tank in 5 psi increments until the rapid pass produces a suitably fine and even spray. Now adjust the spray gun air and paint controls until the correct sized pattern is achieved.
When using the spray gun, the technique is to keep the gun at a constant distance from the surface. Too close and the paint will go on so thickly that runs will develop immediately, too far away, and some of the paint will be air dry before it reaches the surface. Keeping the gun at a constant distance also gives a even spray band width. The gun should have a two-stage 'trigger pull', where stage one allows air to pass through and stage two opens the paint needle and allows paint into the airflow. The two stages can usually be felt through the trigger, and at the end of the first stage of travel there will be a discernible stop. Further movement of the trigger introduces the paint.
The technique which is preferred by the author is as follows. When making a pass over a panel, begin to one side of it and start moving the gun with the trigger at stage one, then press it fully home just before the edge of the panel is reached. Move the gun over the panel in a single, clean movement, and release the trigger back to the first stage when the far end of the panel is reached, to clear paint from the nozzle. Then repeat the exercise until the panel is covered.
Beware the 'dry edge'. This is when a band of sprayed paint is allowed to dry before the next band is applied. It could occur if, for instance, you were to begin in the middle of the roof panel and work your way outwards. By the time you came to spray the other half, the first paint to be applied would be thoroughly dry and a visible edge would result. Always begin spraying the roof at an edge, and do not spend too much time moving around the car when you have reached the middle.
When you have sprayed your first panel, allow it to dry and inspect it. You are looking especially for signs of contamination. Small dark spots surrounded by lighter circles of up to % in, in diameter are caused by oil/water contamination from the compressor, and another oil and water filter will have to be placed in line. If the surface has paint runs then you could be moving the gun too slowly, the air pressure could be too high or the paint could be too thin. If the paint begins to wrinkle before it dries then the underlying surface is contaminated, and the primer will have to be removed completely and the surface properly cleaned.
Look closely for scratches, dents and hollows which are in the underlying surface but which the primer may highlight. The problem with matt primer paints is that they can make a rough surface look quite acceptable, even though the final gloss will make every little blemish stand out like a sore thumb. Filler-primers are high-build primers which can be used over areas with small scratches, and they place such a depth of paint on the surface that flatting off afterwards can remove many scratches.
The majority of people spray on primer, flat it off and then immediately spray on the topcoats. A friend of the author, Em Fryer, questions the wisdom of being in too much of a hurry to get the topcoats onto the primer. Like all paints, primer does not harden fully for some considerable time after it has been sprayed on and, in
the casc of cellulose, this usually takes two weeks. If you spray the topcoats onto the primer whilst it is still 'soft',
then the thinners will have a much more marked effect on the underlying primer than they do after the primer has hardened. This manifests itself as marks in the topcoat which show the outline of any bodyfiller used.

The author would recommend that primer is left to harden for two weeks before being flatted and covered by topcoats.
When it has hardened, the primer may be flatted down with very fine wet 'n dry. Small scratches in the surface which now become apparent may be filled using body stopper, which should be allowed to cure then primed. Not even the tiniest scratch should remain if the car is to be painted in cellulose, because this paint shrinks, and the final gloss will show every little flaw—however tiny — in the preparation. The author prefers to remove all masking materials and re-mask the car at this stage, because over-spray on the masking materials can enter the air as a fine dust which will contaminate the final finish. Before final masking-up, go over the primer with 1000 or 1200 grit to get the primer surface really smooth, then examine it minutely — this is the last chance you get to put any tiny defects right!
Clean the entire surface again, using a tack cloth to pick up any paint and filler dust which lies on the surface. The topcoat paint should be strained and thinned, then the surface should be given a last wipe over with spirit wipe before the first of the topcoats is applied, ensuring that there is enough thinner in the paint to allow it to flow by test spraying a piece of scrap hardboard or similar. The number of topcoats will vary according to the type of paint being used. With synthetic paint, two coats will be sufficient to give a good gloss. With cellulose, you could almost add as many coats as you wish although three coats should give sufficient depth. Each extra coat should be applied around twenty minutes after the preceding one with cellulose, to allow the thinners to evaporate. You can obtain slow or fast thinners for use in warmer or cooler conditions.
Remove the masking materials as soon as the paint has dried. If you remove them too soon then dry paint dust which is unsettled will land on the still wet surface of the paint. If you remove them too late then the paint could have cured to the point at which the paint which has settled on the masking material rips at the paint on the car.
The preferred order for spraying the car is to do the roof first, followed by the roof pillars on one side of the car, then the bonnet, followed by the other roof pillars and finally the sides, engine bay lid and valances. If the interior, engine bay and luggage compartment are also being sprayed. then it is best to complete these before starting on the outside of the car.
Car spraying is too vast a subject to be coveredcomprehensively in a book like this, and so the reader is advised to seek out further reading material such as 'How To Restore Paintwork', published by Osprey Automotive. It is also worth seeking specialised advice from your paint supplier when you buy the paint.
The best advice for the person who is restoring just the one Beetle and who does not intend to make restoration into an on-going hobby is to have at least the final stages of preparation and the application of the topcoats carried out professionally. The costs of purchasing paint and reasonably competent equipment can by a wide margin exceed, that of a reasonable quality professional respray, and the potential for things to go badly wrong for the first-time DIY car sprayer is immense. Even if you cut the overall outlay by hiring good equipment, you could still spend almost as much as a reasonable professional respray would cost, but with all the attendant risks of DIY.

Types of paint

Earlier Beetles were finished in cellulose paint. This is quite a good choice for the novice to use, because it dries fairly rapidly and so lessens the chances of dust falling on to the still wet fresh paint surface and spoiling it. Another advantage is that the thinners used will soften existing paint, so helping blend in any future touching-up.
Another beauty of cellulose is that, as long as there is sufficient depth of paint, the surface can be flatted with 1000 or 1200 grit wet 'n dry then cut and polished to give a superb finish. Even brushed-on cellulose can be cut and polished to give a top-class finish, provided that there is sufficient depth of paint to allow all of the brush marks to be flatted out! Against these advantages, with cellulose there is rather a lot of wastage. The paint has a low pigment content and so a fair thickness of it is required to produce a luxurious finish.
Most body shops today use either synthetic or two-pack paints. Synthetic paints can give an excellent finish but they tend to look at little 'plastic' if used on an older car. Synthetic paints have a fairly long drying time, and so there is a greater chance of air-borne dust being able to settle on the surface before it dries. Only two coats of the paint are necessary to produce a gloss finish.
Two pack paints have a high pigment content and so produce a deep finish. Unfortunately, some of the ingredients of the paints are highly toxic and so they should only be used with proper breathing apparatus, which in practice really means an external air supply. The two pack paints are therefore used in the main by well equipped professional spray shops.

Equipment and facilities

There are three types of equipment which could be considered suitable for painting cars. Small electric sprayers have a very low output and although they might prove ideal for re-touching a small area of
damaged paint, they will prove inadequate for spraying whole cars or even whole body panels. The recently introduced warm air sprayers offer a high volume of low pressure air, and are claimed to reduce paint wastage (high pressure compressed air wastes a lot of paint in the atmosphere) and give good results. Unfortunately, no example was made available for testing whilst this book was being prepared.The traditional equipment consists of an air compressor and spray gun. Air compressors for spraying range from tiny units which have so short a duty cycle (the period of continuous operation) that a roof panel might have to be sprayed in two goes, to giant floor standing units with huge air tanks. In between there are a number of compressors which are popular with DIY restorers. The minimum acceptable compressor for serious work would have a litre air tank, although 50 litres is far better and a 100 litre tank would be by far the best option. Small air tanks rapidly run out of 'puff' when the air pressure drops and this has to be
replenished by the air pump. This places warmed air into the tank, which can dry the paint in the air before it ever reaches the panel!
In addition to the compressor, you will need at least one and preferably two water/oil traps for the outlet connection, When air is compressed, water droplets form in the tank and can be blown through the spray gun to mix with your paint and ruin the painted finish. Also, tiny droplets of oil from the pump will contaminate the air within the cylinder, and both this and the water will have to be filtered out before the air reaches the paint gun.
Most spray guns work rather like a carburettor, because as air is forced past a jet of sorts at high velocities (and hence at low pressure) paint is drawn up to mix with the air in exactly the same way that petrol mixes with air in a carburettor. Other guns have a gravity paint feed and are characterised, not unsurprisingly, by the paint container being mounted on top of the gun. You should buy the best spray gun and compressor that you can or alternatively,hire them.
You will also need a mask, Paint which dries in the air forms a fine dust which you should avoid breathing in, and because the fumes from thinners are also to be avoided, a respiratory mask is needed rather than a simple dust mask which cannot provide sufficient protection.
It is possible to spray a car out of doors given favourable conditions. The weather should not be too hot nor too cold, it must not be wet or windy. A still day is essential, and the temperature should be somewhere in the range 10-20 degree C. A warmer day may appear a better prospect, but warmer days see greater activity from winged insects, which appear to be fatally attracted to wet paint! However, it is far better to apply paint indoors if this is possible, because it allows you some control over the conditions.
The paint should be applied in a clean dry atmosphere which has reasonable ventilation. The corner of the workshop in which you recently rubbed down bodyfiller is no place for paint spraying unless it is scrupulously cleaned firstly. The floor should also be lightly damped down with water to prevent dust from being kicked into the atmosphere by your own movements. You will require good, even lighting so that you can see which areas you have covered and which you have not.
The temperature and humidity at the time of spraying are important factors. If the temperature is too high, much of the paint can dry in the air before it ever reaches the panel, giving what is known as 'dry spray'. If the humidity is too high then water contamination will be apparent as 'bloom'. The surface will be very dull. Avoid very windy days if your workshop has a lot of ventilation.


Every person who sprays paint at cars has or has had disasters at one time or another; even the most experienced professionals get it wrong from time to time and, in some cases, there is no alternative to removing the topcoat and primer — and starting off afresh on bare metal. There is greater potential for things to go seriously and expensively wrong during the painting of the car than there is at any other time during the restoration. The whole process involves a considerable investment in paint, and all this outlay can be wasted due to mistakes during preparation, due to there being the tiniest particles of silicon in the atmosphere or dust blowing through a gap in the door, or to the paint being contaminated by water and/or oil from the compressor. There is a thus strong case for having the spraying and paint preparation of your Beetle carried out professionally, and the majority of people who do restore their own cars appear to take this option.
Some people prefer to carry out the preparation work themselves and to have just the topcoats sprayed by professionals. This approach is fine as long as the preparation is of the highest standards, because any shortcomings in the preparation are equally as serious as problems with the application of the topcoats. If you choose to prepare the car for spraying yourself and have the topcoats sprayed at a professional spray shop, it is worth asking the person who will be doing the work to carry out the final preparation for you.
Before starting spray preparation, do stop to consider whether the existing paintwork can be salvaged. If there is a good depth of paint then it is often possible to flat then polish the most unpromising finish and end up with good looking results.
The primary object of painting a car is to prevent the steel of the bodywork from corroding, which paint achieves by insulating the metal surface from the atmosphere. In order for the paint to achieve this result, it must be applied on to corrosion-free, clean, dry and grease free metal. If paint is applied on to metal which has started to corrode, however slightly, then that corrosion will spread under the surface of the paint. If paint is applied on to a contaminated surface, then one of two things can happen. Either the contaminant can react with the chemicals in the paint to cause blistering
or one of a dozen different problems, or the paint can fail to adhere properly to the metal, In both cases the paint will sooner or later lift from the surface of the metal and allow corrosion to begin.
The first stage of paint preparation is thus to remove all traces of rust from exposed metal, and to remove any contaminants (including earlier paint of types which are incompatible with the paint which you now wish to spray). In other words, the shell should be taken back to clean, bright metal. This can be achieved using emery paper and much energy, although the modern dual action and orbital sanding devices speed and ease the process so much that there can be few who would nowadays carry out this work by hand,
Previous layers of paint and primer do not necessarily have to be removed, so long as they are sanded down to provide a key for the new paint and to remove totally any traces of silicones or other contaminants which may lie on the surface. Also, the previous paint and primer must be of a type which will not chemically react with the paint which you intend to use. Problems can arise if you attempt to spray cellulose over other types of paint, because the powerful cellulose thinners will soften and possibly lift the underlying paint. Before buying your paint, therefore, ascertain which type of paint has previously been used and ask the paint mixing specialist which paint type can be used over this.
It is best to remove all chrome trim and windscreens from the car, and to thoroughly mask off the interior before you begin to spray paint. Screen removal is described elsewhere in this chapter; to remove the chrome trim, gently prize away one end with a blunt screwdriver or similar, then use the shaft of a small screwdriver to ease the trim off the clips.


Carpets are generally glued into position along the footwell sides and around the parcel shelf area. The author has tried using non-impact adhesives but found that an impact adhesive was essential.Before re-fitting the pressing which lies under the pedals, check that the pedals are correctly adjusted; that the throttle pedal has a full range of travel (it won't if the hinged base has been welded into the wrong position on a new floorpan), that the brake and clutch pedals both have reasonable amounts of free travel. The pressing itself hooks into two slots on the toeboard and is held by a single self-tapping screw. This and the edges of the footwell side carpet are then covered with the rubber mat.

Flitch top rail repair

When rot under the luggage bay seal retaining strip is left unattended, it results in rot in the underlying flitch tops. Repair panels do not appear to be available for this area so. if practicable, rot can be dealt with by cutting away the weak metal and letting in a strip of
If the rot extends very far down the flitch on torsion bar cars, a replacement flitch panel is the best (although very difficult and fairly expensive) option. On
McPherson strut cars, the flitch tops are the location for the strut top mounting; the replacement panels are very expensive and very difficult to fit.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Luggage/engine bay seal retaining strips

It is usual to discover slight rusting of these thin strips, but don't be fooled — more serious rust will be lurking underneath them. The recommended option during a full restoration is to drill out their spot welds and remove them, clean the underlying metal and apply weldable zinc paint, then to spot weld on new strips.
These strips really do need to be spot welded in — they are so thin that a MiG will be very inclined to burn through, and cleaning up surplus weld without damaging the lips will be verging on the impossible.

'A' and 'B' post repairs

mounting point), or whether you can get away with the shorter version and still find clean, sound steel to weld to on the post. The hinge mounting point must be sound if you are to use the shorter panel and, in this instance, it is as well to take the opportunity to clean and hand paint the mounting point before covering it with the repair panel.
Prise the folded edge of the old panel from the flitch lip. The rot is best cut out using an air hacksaw, although patience and a junior hacksaw will also do the job — don 't use a chisel or air chisel, because both will distort the remaining edge and, because the join will have to be butt welded, it will prove difficult to true up the edge sufficiently to get a good result.Some tailoring may prove necessary to get the repair panel to fit the heater channel properly. If you are fitting the larger panel, have an assistant hold the door whilst you ensure that the mounting built into the repair panels matches the hinge bolt holes, then tack the panel into position and carefully fit the door (supporting the door so that the repair panel does not take any weight) to einarc not only that the hinge holes are aligned but also that the door shut lines are correct.
If all is in order, butt weld the top join, scam weld the bottom join to the heater channel and spot weld (if possible) the outer edge. The inside upright joint can be butt welded or overlapped — the former looks neater. Use weldable zinc paint prior to welding, then clean the outsides of the joints and apply a good rust-retardant primer.

Re-fit of bodyshell to chassis

The first stage is to remove and throw away any of the old sealing strip which may be stuck to the floorpan edges and to clean (and if necessary true up) the edges. Many people seem to try to glue the new seal into position on the floorpan edge, but glue cannot not hold the seal strongly enough once you start to manoeuvre the bodyshell into the correct position, so affix it with pop rivets instead.
Don't make the mistake of cutting the new seal up into pieces, but begin by laying out the seal along one floorpan edge, starting from a front corner, drilling and pop riveting it in place as you go. When you come to the corner at the rear of the floorpan, cut the seal only part­way through. This allows you to fold the seal around the bend and to keep a continuous bead around the outside to keep out water.
Work across the back, then make another cut at the opposite corner, and start drilling and riveting up the other outer edge of the floorpan. Then you can cut off the remaining section of the seal, which will be fitted across the front.
Terry Ball cuts the edges of the front seal strip, then lays one seal partially across the other to give a good seal. The remaining section of the seal is riveted across the front of the floorpan. To improve the sealing qualities, Terry then applies a generous glob of windscreen sealant to the four corners of the seal.With some lifting gear and a great deal of ingenuity, the bodyshell can be manoeuvred onto the chassis by one person, but it is far better to have two strong adults and preferably three or more (two, three or four to lift and one to check that the mounting bolt holes are aligned). Before lifting on the bodyshell, check that there is nothing lying on the top of the seal and nothing lying on the frame head to prevent the body from seating properly. Align the rearmost holes first (those on the rear damper bracket); fit the spacers into position and bolt the bodyshell loosely (remember to use copper grease on all of these bolt threads) at this stage. Then move to the front of the car and try to align the two long bolts at the front edges of the frame head. Fit the bolts with new Ml 0 washers, then fit the four (two per side) smaller bolts which locate further back in the frame head.
If any of these bolts do not align correctly with their respective holes then running a tap through the threads can help, but do not force anything at this stage, because you will only be rewarded with a crossed thread if you do. If you cannot even get a tap through a hole, then try gently levering the bodyshell in the appropriate direction and try again.
Finally, fit the small bolts which run into the sill/heater channel assemblies and, when all bolts are in position, tighten them all. As the heater channels rot, rust spreads up to the bases of the A and B posts. If these have previously been repaired or welded onto new heater channels at some time, rusting will usually be found to have started at the actual weld. Either way, the bases have to be repaired and, as usual, both long and short repair panels are available.
Remove the door. Clean the old paintwork from the post base, so that you can determine the true extent of the rot, then decide whether you will have to fit the larger repair panel (which incorporates the lower hinge The quarter panel is the panel which runs from the rear of the door to the rear wing, and the lower area is very prone to rot. Both large and small repair panels are available; fit the smaller of the two if possible and, if you have to use the larger panel, cut it down to size rather than fit the entire panel. The author has seen quite a few full large repair panels needlessly welded into position where they could usefully have been cut down, so that the next time the panel rots out, the hapless owners have the option of patch repairing or going to the considerable expense of acquiring and fitting a full side panel,
Furthermore, the full repair panel edge runs right across the centre of the panel where welding-generated heat will almost certainly give corrugations; always cut the repair panel down to the smallest practicable size.
To fit the repair panel, either cut it slightly oversize and use a joddler to set an edge which can tuck underneath the edge of the existing panel or, alternatively, spot weld a strip of steel onto the hack of the repair panel to give the same effect. In addition to helping cut the chances of buckling from occurring, this also pulls the two panels into line. Fix the two panels together with pop rivets or self-tapping screws, tack weld them at in. intervals then join the tack welds together with continuous seam welds. By placing so many tack welds on the join and then welding only a short length of steel at a time, you reduce the chances of the panels bucking.

Bulkhead panel (toeboard) replacement

For Beetles with torsion bar front suspension a third party bulkhead panel is available, but for cars with

McPherson strut suspension there is only a VAG panel, which is very expensive. The third party panel can be modified to fit McPherson strut cars.
If this is a first-time repair, begin by drilling out the spot welds which hold the old panel in position, then splitting the welds. if the car has been 'got at' and the panel is plated or has been replaced previously and MiG welded into position, grind away the welds until the panel comes free.
Offer the new panel into position and tack weld it, ensuring that the lower line of the panel matches the profile of the chassis front end. When it is correctly positioned, seam weld it in, starting along the top edge, down both sides. When you come to the lower portions, weld a little, let the metal cool, then weld a little more before again letting the metal cool, to prevent heat build­up from destroying the belly pan gasket. It is preferable to carry out this work as part of a full. body-off restoration and, if this is the case, tack the bulkhead panel securely into position with the body on the chassis for correct alignment, then seam weld with the body raised to improve access.
If you wish to weld the torsion bar version of this panel into a McPherson strut Beetle, then firstly dolly the edge lips so that they lie flat, then position it correctly and measure the gap between the panel edges and the flitches. Cut strips of steel to make up the gap and weld these to the panel before offering it for final welding into position. It is also necessary to weld in plates to cover the gaps from within the front wheelarch.

Frame head replacement

This becomes necessary usually on cars which have been left standing in long wet grass for some years, or cars which have suffered heavy front-end collision. In the opinion of the author, it is not a task for the DIY restorer. because the precise positioning of the replacement frame head is critical; if it is a fraction on then handling and road-holding will suffer.
If you must attempt this repair. then the author This framehead looks rather sad, and in fact a few stabs with a sharp implement showed that it had extensive rot which substantially weakened it. Normally, this would be cut off and a replacement grafted into place — not a job for the amateur — but the owner decided that it had to be repaired instead.
recommends that you begin by making up a welded steel framework (in effect, a crude but accurate jig) which passes from the floorpan to the framehead and which has holes drilled through it to align with the various holes in the existing frame head. This will allow the new framehead to be bolted firmly into the correct position prior to welding.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Frame head

The frame head is the primary location for most of the front suspension/steering mounting points and, if this assembly is rotten then the car's handling will be unpredictable and dangerous. The base tends to suffer from rot long before the top section. Because the cost of a replacement frame head assembly is almost as much as that of a new chassis assembly complete with
framehead, repair is an attractive alternative. This is far from an easy task and would normally only be undertaken during a full body-off restoration. Access to a spot welder is almost vital.
Strip the car to a bare chassis, then clean off the top of the frame head to check that it is passable before turning the chassis upside down. It is as well to pull the fuel pipe out of the spine before you begin cutting steel.
Clean off the lips of the two halves so that you can see the spot welds, centre punch then drill these out, taking care not to drill through the lip of the top pressing. Split the join as you progress. Cut across both sides of the track control arm pressing, drill out the spot welds holding this to the frame head lower pressing, grind away any MiG or gas weld you find and finally prise off the pressing.
The repair panel should have captive nuts for the anti-roll bar fixings, intended to replace the two internally threaded rods per side of the upper frame head pressing. If possible, clean, re-tap and use the original fixings, and grind off the captive nuts on the repair panel. The original fixings spread the loadings from the anti-roll bar between both pressings of the frame head, whereas the captive nuts on the repair panel place all of the strain on the repair panel itself if they have to be used.
Clean up the inside of the top frame head pressing and apply a good rust-proofing primer, then offer the lower pressing into position and bolt it down as shown in the photographs. It would be possible to plug or seam weld the two panels together, but strength here is so vital that the author would urge the use of a spot welder, even if it has to be hired for the day.

Heater channels replacement

Heater channels are normally covered with carpeting and the first evidence of rot might be the fact that the windscreen stays permanently misted-up because no hot air is reaching it! It is possible to renew the heater channels without taking the body off the chassis, but this will mean fitting new belly pan gasket strips under the heater channel ends where they would almost certainly be damaged by the heat of.welding, and this usually spells water leaks at the end of the strips, which accelerates new rusting. Far better to remove the body and fit a complete belly gasket as already described, but if you cannot lift off the bodyshell, read on.
If the heater channels have rotted badly, then the floorpan edges will usually be found to have also rotted, so attend to these first.
The rear seat brace should be kept in position throughout. Cut through the old heater channel just ahead of the B post and behind the A post (take care not to cut into the floorpan edge), then part the welds to the flitch and the inner quarter panel. If the lower part of the flitch is also rotten, then cut this away, and weld in new steel after the new heater channels are in place. Cut the rear up to the lower inner wing flange.
Depending on whether the channel has been replaced before, you might also find weld between it and the flitch inner surface and bulkhead panels; this must be ground off, though in many such cases you will have to cut away the base of the flitch. Carefully cut around the bases of the A and B post. Remove the remaining sections of heater channel; if no welded joints remain then a (controlled) clout from a hammer will usually do the trick.
Bolt the new channel into position on the chassis assembly; a replacement length of belly pan gasket should have been obtained but not yet be fitted, because welding at the ends of the heater channels would burn it away! You may require an assistant to push the floor edges downwards as you push the heater channels into position. Then re-fit the door and check that the gaps are correct front and rear. Tack weld the bases of the A and B posts into position, remove the door, then knock down the inner quarter panel and seam weld this to the heater channel, and seam weld the flitch.
Undo the heater channel to floorpan bolts, push the floorpan edge downwards and try to work a new length of belly pan gasket into position.

Combined floorpan halves/heater channel replacement

The complete floorpan pressing is by far the better option, though fitting it is really too advanced a task for all but the most experienced DIY restorers. If the floorpan has rotted then it follows that the heater channels will also have rotted and need to be replaced, and it is essential that the work is carried out in the correct sequence. This is as follows.
1. Internally brace the bodyshell.
2. Lift the shell off the chassis assembly, then clean off all traces of old belly pan gasket.
3. Cut out and replace the floorpans.
4. Bolt the new heater channels onto the floorpans.
5. Cutaway old heater channels from shell.
6. Lift shell back onto chassis. 6. Weld shell to heater channels.
7. Remove shell, fit gasket, re-fit shell.
To begin with, strip the interior of the car. Weld braces across the door apertures and between the two A posts so that the shell will keep its shape after the old heater channels have been cut out. Lift off the shell and clean all traces of the old belly pan gasket from the chassis assembly.
To cut out the floorpans, an air hacksaw is ideal, but an air chisel could also be used if you can stand the noise! Take care not to cut into or distort the flange between the spine chassis top and base sections. At the rear of the floorpans, take care not to damage nor distort the bracket from the damper mounting.
Then, using firstly a % in. followed (if necessary) by a % in. bit, drill out the spot welds which fasten the old floorpan edges to the spine flange. These occur approximately every 3/4 in. on original floorpans. Expect to have to grind out weld at the corners. Clean the flanges.
Prepare the new floorpan by cleaning all edges which are to he welded, then spray a coat or two of weldable zinc-based paint on the internal faces of the joint. Offer the floorpans up, and bolt them only at the rear damper mounting extension bracket, and offer up the heater channels then bolt these into position. The two large bolts which pass through the heater channel into the front of the chassis are then fitted to bring both the floorpans and heater channels into the correct position.
Expect both the floorpans and heater channels to be less than perfect; some tailoring of the floorpan edges might prove necessary, although the most common problem is poor alignment of the bolt holes. On the heater channels fitted to RVJ 403H, the closing (bottom) plate holes did not align with the internal captive nuts, and the metal surrounding three of the holes partially obscured the nuts!
Your typical DIY spot welder will probably not have enough grunt to weld through the two thick spine flanges plus the floorpan edges, so don't go investing large sums of money on very long arms until you have tested the welder on similar thicknesses of steel! The alternative is to continuously MiG weld the joints — not so pretty as spot welds, but no one will ever see the joints anyway! Clean all paint from the parts of the heater channels which are to be welded, and apply weldable zinc paint before welding.
Now cut the old heater channels out from the bodyshell; this is made far easier if the shell is rolled onto its side, with plenty of padding to prevent damage. Check firstly that your internal bracing is still firmly welded so that the shell cannot distort. Cut carefully along the flitch base, around the A and B post base flanges, and below the rear quarter panel. Some 'persuasion' with a lump hammer may be needed to get the heater channels free!
Lift the bodyshell onto the chassis (which now has the new heater channels bolted in place) and carefully manoeuvre it so that the two rear body mounts align with their holes on the damper brackets and the shell sits correctly. Fit the rear body mounting bolts, check again that everything is in line and fit the doors temporarily so that you can see whether the door gaps are right (you may have to remove the cross brace at this point), then gas or preferably MiG weld the shell to the heater channels.
When all welding is completed, lift the shell from the chassis and then fit the belly pan gasket. Some people glue this in place using impact adhesive, but manoeuvring the shell when re-fitting it can rip the gasket out of position unless it is securely held by the recommended fixing method of pop rivets. (See 'Re-fit Bodyshell to Chassis' later in this chapter for more details.)
Re-fit the shell. The accelerator pedal base has to be welded to the floorpan: it is best to leave this until the engine, clutch/brake pedal assembly and accelerator cable have been attached. This will allow you to check that you have full accelerator lever response to the pedal. travel—if you weld the pedal too far away from the
lever, then you could end up with only a fraction of the available throttle lever movement!

Floorpan repair/replacement

You have to determine the extent of rot and so begin by thoroughly cleaning the floorpan/chassis assembly top and bottom. Be quite brutal when probing for rot (use a pointed panel beaters' hammer), because a sound‑
looking spine can in fact be very weak if it has rotted out from within, and floorpans covered with sound-looking underseal can be heavily rotted underneath that layer of underseal. If rot is found to extend up into the chassis spine then perhaps it is best to scrap the chassis and either use a new one (available from Autobarn) or to take one from another Beetle.
The decision whether to patch repair or replace the floorpans should be taken according to the extent of the rot and, more importantly, according to whether you wish to have to repeat the repair at some time in the future! If you patch it, then sooner or later more patching will be required. Bear in mind that repaired panels usually rot out first along welded seams and, if you elect to turn the floorpans into a kind of welded patchwork quilt then they will rot all over in double-quick time! Replace the lot, properly rust-proof it and the floor should last as long as the car itself.
If the engine has been stripped from the chassis (as it should) it is little problem to turn the chassis onto its side so that you can get at the underside of the floorpans —drain the transaxle oil firstly on swing axle cars. If money is very tight and repair is the only option, begin by cleaning both floorpans back to bare metal so that you can find every trace of rot. If possible, make use of proper repair panels and, for the sake of strength, use an overlapped joint continuously seam welded both top and bottom. Rot most frequently occurs at the floorpan outer edges, for which complete, front or rear half repair panels are available.

Removal of bodyshell from chassis

This task can be accomplished single-handedly, but it is recommended that four strong adults are on hand to do the lifting, plus an observer to shout out if you forget to remove or disconnect anything during the preparations. The most common reason for parting the body and chassis is floorpan repair or replacement and, if the floorpan is thus rotted then the heater channel/sill assembly is certain to have also rotted — and vice-versa. It is vital that the heater channels are welded to the body shell only with the heater channels bolted to the chassis, so that the bolt holes of the two are correctly aligned. Bolt or weld in stiffening braces across the door apertures and between the A posts to prevent the shell from distorting as it is lifted. Leave the rear seat support in position throughout.
Remove the seats, battery, fuel tank and wings, then bleed the entire braking system dry before removing the flexible brake hoses. On McPherson strut models, support the framehead and remove the strut assembly from the wheelarch. Disconnect the wiring in the engine bay, including the oil light, ignition and reversing light wide if fitted, and disconnect the speedometer cable.
Underneath the fuel tank there are two holes in which you'll find 17 mm headed bolts; remove these and also disconnect the brake master cylinder pipes. Remove the nuts and bolts from the steering column bottom flange (early torsion bar cars) or the clamp bolt on later cars.
Remove the 17 mm headed rear body mounting bolts from within the rear wheelarch, the two from the front of the heater channels and the 8 mm headed bolts which run along the heater channels. It is likely that some of the captive threaded plates which the 8 mm bolts run into will break free from their position inside the heater channels; grind off the heads of the bolts concerned. Some bolts will shear; leave these until later, when the bodyshell is off. Even if you are replacing the
floorpan and heater channels, be sure to keep the shaped outer washers from the heater channel/floorpan fixing bolts.
From inside the car, remove firstly the rear seat (leave the support in place to help brace the body), then the four bolts from the front end of the spine. Disconnect the heat exchanger ducts. Disconnect the starter solenoid wires and the red/white wire running from the battery to the regulator, Disconnect the earth strap. On the 1302/3 series cars, remove the steering stabiliser bolt under the spare wheel and also the two adjacent 17 mm headed bolts which run into the frame head and, from inside the car, the two bolts at the top front of the tunnel. Split the track rod end ball joints and tie the track rod ends out of harm's way.
Before attempting to lift the body it is a good idea if you have not already done so to internally brace the bodyshell before lifting it, by welding in lengths of box section steel across the door apertures and between the two A post bases.
The less you have to lift the bodyshell skyward the better, so always remove the front seats and seriously consider also removing the engine. Removing the engine obviously lessens the chances damaging it when the body is lifted away. Rather than moving the bodyshell away from the chassis, you can make up supports (BSW use plastic milk crates) so that the one end of the body at a time can be lifted and beams fitted between the supports. The chassis can then be wheeled out from underneath the bodyshell.
As a matter of course, it pays to renew all brake pipes and the fuel pipe with copper/nickel alternatives while the body is off the car. The steel originals do rust and burst brake pipes or a leaking fuel line present obvious dangers.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Spare wheel well

The spare wheel well will often be found to be rotten, due to water being allowed to lie in the base for long periods. Small areas of rot in the base may be patch repaired (remove all wiring from the vicinity, plus the fuel tank and line), and a full repair panel is also available for cars with more widespread rot.
However, if a full spare wheel well panel is required, the chances are that one or both flitch panels also require replacement or repair; the author would recommend that these are attended to firstly, and the spare wheel well/front valance left in situ throughout to help locate the flitch or the flitch lower front repair panel. There is a temptation to cut everything away to improve access and then to try and reconstruct the front end using the bonnet and wings to help locate panels; the author has seen more than one lop-sided Beetle, which should serve as a warning to those so tempted!
Remove the fuel tank and all wiring from the vicinity. Drill out the spot welds from the original spare wheel well panel edge flanges, then part the joints as gently as possible, to avoid distorting the metal to which the new flanges will be welded. Because the original seam spot weld lines are easily visible, locating the new panel should pose no problem. Seam weld the new panel into position, working a short length at a time, then allowing the steel to cool to avoid buckling.

Flitch repair panels

The flitch panels (inner front wings) often rot out at the lower front ends, and repair panels are available for this. Remove the front wings, fuel tank and any wiring in the vicinity. As ever, firstly clean the affected area so that you can determine the extent of the rot in the existing panels before deciding whether to fit the full repair panel or to tailor it. Gently drill out the spot welds holding the luggage lid seal retaining strip and remove this the chances are that the flitch steel underneath will show some signs of rusting, so clean and later treat this area with weldable zinc paint before fitting a new seal retainer strip.
Drill and part the spot welds to the valance and spare wheel well — the flitch end should now be free and can be cut away. Most people favour an overlapped joint between the flitch and the repair panel: it could be butt welded, but the extra strength of an overlapped joint favours the latter.
Tack the repair panel into position and check the wing and bonnet fit (adjust the position of the repair panel if necessary) before welding up the flitch, using continuous seam MiG welds.

Flitch replacement

This is not a job for the faint-hearted; even on a Beetle which has not previously suffered any welded 'repairs' to the footwell side panel area, the heater channel, front panel or in fact any of the panels in the vicinity, the job
can be very tricky. On a Beetle which has been bodged in these areas, the job can be soul-destroying. It is advisable for all but the most experienced (and
hardened) DIY enthusiasts to hand this particular job over to a professional Beetle restorer.
You will need an air hacksaw, although you might be able to get away with a pacisaw if you have several days to spare cutting out the old Hitch panel. The use of air chisels and any other brutal devices is ruled out because they'll damage the lips of adjacent panels.
Disconnect the battery. Remove the front bumper. Remove the fuel tank and push the fuel line well out of the way. Disconnect the lower ends of the bonnet springs and use a prop to hold the bonnet up (remove the bonnet if you prefer, although if you do so then it will have to be re-fitted to check flitch alignment at a later stage), remove the front wing(s) and remove the spare wheel. According to the model being worked upon and which side of the car is being attended to, remove any wiring, piping and components from the vicinity.
Strip the front suspension and brakes. On McPherson strut cars, support the frame head from under the car and remove the strut complete. Remove the three large bolts which hold the steering box. Before starting to hack away at the offending Hitch panel, make up a measuring device with which you can fix the distance between two suspension strut holes (McPherson strut models) or two fixed points on the flitches, to help later with correct alignment of the new panel. The ideal measuring device is a length of box section steel with holes drilled to correspond with the McPherson strut holes in the flitch or alternatively, for torsion bar cars, holes which you drill (accurately measuring for the hole placement in the new flitch) and which can later be filled with weld. You can run nuts and bolts through these holes, which not only positively locate the flitch but which also hold it firmly in position whilst welding up taking place. Alternatively, a series of measurements could be taken. The flitch panel should be cut away in stages, starting at the top and working slowly downwards — at all times, taking care not to hack through the various lips of adjoining panels. The photographs illustrate this process. As sections of the old flitch are removed, compare them with the replacement and salvage any fittings which may be absent from the new panels.
The flitch is generally joined to adjacent steel by spot welds, which have to be partially drilled and then split. Try to avoid drilling holes right through any lip which is visible from within the luggage compartment, because the holes will later have to be filled with weld and ground down. Prise open the A post folded seam to remove the flitch rear lip. When the panel has been removed, examine all newly exposed metal, particularly enclosed box sections, the A post base, heater channel and front panel. If these show signs of bad rusting then they should be replaced, otherwise, take the opportunity of applying rust-preventative measures and clean the edges to which the flitch will be welded.
Offer the flitch into place and check that it is accurately positioned by using the measuring device you made earlier and by lowering the bonnet to check for any gaps or misalignment. Be prepared to spend some time getting the flitch in the correct position, because even the best repair panels can offer problems. Clamp
the flitch tightly into position. lower the bonnet and check that the two align correctly.When you are satisfied that the flitch is in the correct position, clean the areas which are to be welded and preferably apply weldable zinc paint. Fold the A post seam back over the flitch rear lip with a hammer and dolly, and check that the curvature of the flitch is correct. Then begin welding the flitch panel into place. If you don't have access to a spot welder and the appropriate arms then you could use plug welds in their place — as many and as close together as the originals — or preferably continuous seam welds.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The front end

The pressings which make up the Beetle front end differ to some extent between the torsion bar and McPherson Strut versions; in practice the two are quite similar, consisting of the dashboard/A post/roof pillar assembly, flitch panels, luggage bay floor, spare wheel well and valance. A complete assembly is available from Autobarn; the author would recommend that this is fitted professionally.
To completely rebuild a front end on a piecemeal basis —flitches, luggage compartment floor, spare wheel well and valance — is approaching the limits of economic and practical DIY restoration; not only is the chance of ending up with a lop-sided car disturbingly high, but there is also a strong possibility that more serious rot will be discovered hi various adjacent and underlying panels. When this happens. von should give serious consideration to using a better or a new bodyshell.
If you do decide to carry out any front-end repairs, don't weld any panel finally into position until you have offered up the wings and bonnet, to check that the lines are all correct. Even after taking this precaution, you could discover that panels are not correctly positioned only after fitting the bumper and getting the car back on its wheels.

Rear bumper mounts

Like the rear body mounts within the rear wheelarch. the rear bumper mounts tend to catch lots of mud and water thrown up by the road wheel and consequently to rust out, resulting in a loose bumper (and an MOT failure even if the bumper doesn't move). Repair patches for this panel are widely available, though rather difficult to fit.
Begin by removing the bumper, then the rear wing, then scrape away the accumulated gunge from the vicinity of the mounting points so that you can see clearly enough to judge the extent of the rot. Then fold back the retaining tabs and remove the sound deadening material from the engine bay side, taking care not to spear yourself on any stray lengths of wire protruding from the material. A remove the engine bay seal.
If you're not sure how strong the steel in the vicinity of the bumper mounting is then clean it bright and any rust hill be all too apparent. Cut the repair panel down to the smallest practicable size, so that, if you ever have to do this job again, you will be able to cut back to sound metal without exceeding the area of the repair panel.
Drill out the spot welds which hold the bumper bracket, and part the seams. Then offer up the repair panel and scribe around its edges before cutting out the rot. The author would recommend that the bumper is temporarily re-fitted to the fixed bracket on the other side of the car and to the repair panel. to ensure that the new bracket is positioned so that the bumper sits level to the rest of the car.

Rear inner wing (bodywork mount reinforcing panel) repair

Within the rear wheelarches. the prime rust spot is the reinforcing panel which contains the rear body mount and (on souse cars) the 'Z' or anti-jacking bar. It's the old story: mud (sometimes salt-laden) is kicked up from the wheels and settles in any suitable cranny, such as the folded pressed steel body mounting. If this area is not well protected, then it will succumb to rust quite quickly and, in the UK, fail its roadworthiness test.
The first step is to raise the rear of the car and rest it on axle stands, then remove the roadwheel and clean up the area so that you can establish the extent of rusting. Also clean the bumper bracket bolts, the wing bolts, the damper bolts and the body mounting bolt and apply penetrating oil to them in order to make removal easier.
Disconnect the battery and the wires leading to the generator, then remove the tail lamp lens, remove the wires from their terminals (use masking tape tags to remind you which is which) and pull the wires back into the wheelarch. Remove the bumper bracket bolts and When welding up the nearside rear bodyshell mount repair panel, do remember that the wiring loom runs very close to the line of your weld. It is advisable to remove the rear half of the loom before undertaking this task — new loOms are quite expensive.
Remove the rear wing bolts and place the wing and filler strip to one side. This improves access, and it may be wise to double-check the inner wing condition at this stage, including the bumper mounting areas.
Using a hexagonal socket if possible, undo the 17 mm body mounting bolt. This might prove very reluctant to start and, if you resort to brute force you can easily shear off the bolt head, so clean out the recess and then apply more penetrating oil and leave it until later. If you do manage to shear the bolt head then try putting a blob of weld on what remains of it; this can break the seal (by the heat from the welding process) and give you something to grip with a mole wrench. If this fails then you have no alternative to drilling out the bolt. Remove the rear damper, again, if the fittings are too tight, apply penetrating oil and leave this to soak well in.
Locate and drill out the spot welds which hold thereinforcing panel in place then, using if possible a 'chisel'fashioned from a 1 in. hacksaw blade, part the welds.You may discover that the lower trailing edge is MG orgas welded if this panel has (as is likely) been replaced atan earlier date, and any weld should be ground down.
Clean the newly exposed and surrounding metal bright. As ever, it is not necessary to fit the entire repair panel and, in fact, it may be preferable to cut down the panel provided that you can find sound metal to weld to (see illustration). Any future rusting is likely to occur around the area of the welded joint, and by fitting in effect a smaller panel, you then have the option to fit the full repair panel if rusting occurs. Trimming the repair panel also gives you less welding to do!
inside the car, remove the rear seat and any combustible material from the parcel shelf, plus any combustible material on or near the inner rear wing. If you have a fire extinguisher then place it inside the car, and if you have an assistant then ask him to assume the role of fire-fighter! If you are working alone then you
will have to check for (and possibly deal with) fires inside the car every few seconds, which will make the welding process a protracted one.Clean the edges of the panel which are to be welded (then apply weld-through paint to all the newly exposed bright metal if you want the repair to last), then bolt the panel onto the damper top mounting bracket. Use a self-tapping screw to pull it roughly into the shape of the inner wing. then push it further inwards, tack it and beat it until the panel edges touch the inner wing. It is as well to tack weld the repair panel edges perhaps as close as at 1 in. intervals, and to check during the welding that the repair panel is not bucking away, which would increase the chances of burning through. Continuously seam weld the repair panel edges, grind down surplus weld then apply plenty of paint to slow the rusting process.
On the inside, the panel has to be welded to the parcel shelf panel, but all too often this will be found to have rusted away at its edges. If so, make up an 'L' shaped repair panel and continuously seam weld this into place.
Don't forget to use copper-based grease or similar on all bolt threads when you come to reassembly. Remember to test your rear lights before taking the car out onto the road; if there are any problems and the wires are connected to the correct terminals, then clean all of the spade connectors and retest. Any faults remaining will either be due to bulb failure or, more commonly, poor earthing.

Running boards

The running boards are each secured to the sills by four 10 mm bolts, and to the wings by nuts and bolts. To remove the running boards simply undo these.
Brazilian or other third-party running boards are usually made from much lighter gauge steel than the more expensive German ones, and it is worth paying extra for the longevity of the German items if you can afford them. Also in the name of longevity, the author would recommend the use of a good corrosion-resistant paint.
As supplied, the running boards' rubber covers are not always fitted, so begin by stretching the rubber over the steel and fastening the other edge. Then slide the chrome trim clips into place in the trim strip, and push these through the run of fixing holes in the running board. Grab each tag from the.other side with a pair of pliers, pull and twist to secure.

Wing replacement

If the olf beading is in reasonable condition then it can be re-used. If it has been painted during a general respray then thinners can be used to get the paint off—Beetles look so much sharper with nice black wing beading! If it is damaged. renew the beading and if possible use new wing fixing bolts, with plenty of copper grease or Au toline Aluminium Anti Seize on the threads to make ,,uh'equent removal easier. If you are using new wings then be warned that some cheaper varieties will be of dubious fit and that their holes might not align perfectly!
Begin by fixing the top centre bolt, but fit this and all other bolts loosely until all are in position and you are satisfied that-the wing will mate well with the shape of the car. Then begin to tighten to bolt which is adjacent to the 'corner' to ensure that the wings pulls properly into shape. Work down each side of the wing, then fit the beading and tighten the bolts.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Wing removal

Disconnect the battery. If the existing wing is to be scrapped, then you can make its removal rather easier by cutting the bulk of the wing away with an air chisel or air hacksaw so that you can get a socket onto the bolt heads.
All four wings are bolted into place (yippee!) but the bolts are often seized to the extent tlnit they shear or the captive nuts break free (hiss!). Begin by cleaning the dirt away from the bolt heads then apply penetrating oil and leave this to do its work for as long as possible before attacking the bolts. Also apply oil to the bumper bolts, because these too will have to come out.
While the wing bolts are soaking up the oil, remove the light clusters, taking great care not to break the plastic rear lenses, which become brittle with age. The rear lamp reflectors (which hold the bulbs — remove these now to avoid breakage) can be fastened in a variety of ways: remove the screws and lift off the lips according to type. Disconnect the wiring from the terminals, and feed the wires back through the wing. Put tabs on the wires to remind you where each goes if necessary.
Remove the bumper mounting bolts from both sides of the car and pull the bumper and its brackets away. Remove the wing fixing bolts, starting with the nut and bolt to the running board and the bolt at the rear, then work your way upwards to the centre top bolt. Use brute force sparingly; not only can you shear bolt heads off but you run the risk of losing the captive nuts. If you manage to shear any of the bolts then you can either

154 drill them out afterwards and re-tap the captive nuts or try using a proprietary screw extractor.
Tip: if you can obtain longer bolts with the same thread as the original wing bolts, use these with spacers to hold the wing away from the bodyshell during the respray.

Door rebuild

Start by fitting the lock mechanism. Feed the small rod upwards through the aperture in the door top and push the catch into place, which will hold the unit while you secure it with screws. Then fit the winder mechanism, ensuring that it locates under the door top lip. Use the handle to wind the mechanism down and carefully slide the window back into the door before fitting the window aperture trim.
The window trim has a number of spring clips which locate into holes in the door; at the top it is affixed with a small screw, and the side and top are partially held in by the clips which affix the window channel. Fit the clips.
It may prove difficult to get the quarter-light assembly back into position. Offer it at an angle to begin with, then push it downwards whilst and forwards simultaneously into position. If it won't go then use a piece of softwood to spring the window aperture open slightly. Then fit the window channel.
Bolt the window to the winder mechanism. Check that all fastenings are tight, that the window opens and closes and that the quarter-light opens and closes with no sticking before replacing the door trim.

Door panel repairs

The economics of repairing Beetle doors are to a great extent affected by the wide availability and attractive prices of second hand doors — go to any major Beetle show or autojumble and you should be able to acquire a pair of doors in good condition at a reasonably low price. Against this, door skins and repair panels are far from cheap, and far from easy to fit.
Moreover, the main part of the door panel is large and susceptible to denting when being manhandled and fitted and, if a door skin is rusted then it would be very unusual for the base to be good enough to weld to, so that the repair would consist of replacing the base then removing the old skin and fitting the new. The cost of the panels would represent over 60 per cent of the price of a new door and could never be as good — sooner or later other rust would start to bubble through.
However, most doors rust firstly at their base and in the lower portion of the door skin, for which repair panels are available at not too high a cost. The repair sequence is to cut away and replace the base firstly, and to leave the existing skin bottom in situ to help position the repair panel correctly.
In cutting away the door bottom edge. you will also have to cut the skin panel partially; this will still leave the skin attached sufficiently strongly to allow it to be used as a guide for fitting the bottom repair panel, which is best MiG butt jointed.
Because the main outer door panel is so large, it is very prone to buckle if you attempt to gas or MiG weld it, no matter how careful you are. The best method of carrying out the lower door skin repair is to cut away the rotten metal, to clean it and then to spot weld a strip of steel on the back. The repair panel can in turn be spot welded to this, to give a neat butt joint ready for body-filler.
The door panel is also prone to rot out in its centre, because water which gets past perished window seals can lie trapped underneath the patch of material stuck to the inside of the skin. Very few people will have access to the long spot welder arms which would be necessary if a repair patch were to be let in and, from personal experience, the author can vouch that the most careful attempts at MiG welding in a patch will buckle the panel. If a door skin is rotted in the centre, GRP and bodyfiller repair might be a short-term solution — better to obtain a good second-hand door.

Door stripdown

Begin by prising out the inside door pull cover to reveal the fixing screw, and undo this. The window winder fixing screw is situated under either a plastic plug or, on some models, under the one-piece trim cover. Prise out

the plug or lift the cover and remove the screw and handle. On early models, the door pull and winder are fixed by a pin which should be drifted out.
Remove the armrest (where fitted) by undoing the two fixing screws. These screws are angled on some models, in which case better purchase will he obtained by angling the screwdriver.
The door trim panel can now be removed. This is secured by spring clips which can quite easily be broken, so work carefully, starting at the bottom of the door and using a flat implement to prise the spring clips out, On later models, a spring situated behind the window winder mechanism will conic free, so try to catch it before it disappears into the dark recesses of the workshop! If the door trim won't come away from the door, give the grab handle a sharp tap upwards with the palm of your hand to free it from the bracket.
Before progressing further, it is as well to support the window by taping it to the top of the door frame using wide masking tape. Remove the winder mechanism fixing bolts, then pull the mechanisni from the door. The glass may now be lowered and removed through the lower door aperture.
Gently ease out the window surround trim, which is held by spring clips which can easily be damaged. Use a small flat-bladed screwdriver for this. Undo the screw at the top rear of the quarter-light pillar and remove the quarter-light assembly. The chrome door trim can now be removed.
The external door handle is secured by a single cross­head screw situated in the door rear edge. Remove this, then tap the handle assembly free, The internal locking mechanism is held by one screw in the door frame and two in the edge. Remove these, then remove the bolts which hold the remote pull. The assembly can now be removed from the door.
Make a note of any components which need replacing, and be sure to obtain the necessary spares before you begin the rebuild. The spring clips which hold the window channel are especially prone to breakage when you try to re-fit them, and it is a good idea to obtain a few spares.

Door removal

There are two ways of removing the doors. The simplest (though you'll have to remove the running board first) is to remove the check strap pin and then to drift out the hinge pins from below. This method has the advantage that if the same doors are to later be replaced then the hinges will be correctly aligned. During a full restoration, in which the doors are probably to be repaired or replaced, the answer is to remove the door complete with hinges.
Each hinge is held by three large set screws with a Philips type cross head, best tackled using a large Philips screwdriver or similar. The author uses the bit and 1/2 in. square drive adaptor from an impact wrench in combination with the speed wrench from a socket set, which gives great purchase on the set screw head. Have an assistant handy to help manoeuvre the door, because a Beetle door with full furniture is rather heavy.
Before you re-hang the door it is as well to remove the striker plate (ignore this if you only removed the hinge pins) first. Fasten the hinge set screws lightly, with just one off each hinge tightened sufficiently to take the weight of the door. Adjust the position of the door until its lines match that of adjacent bodywork, then tighten all hinge screws and refit the striker plate.

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