Gute naf.

Discussion in 'Station Wagon Projects' started by Bsquare, Oct 8, 2015.

  1. Bsquare

    Bsquare Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Frostbite Falls, MN
    So I wasn't actively car shopping, but...

    My 71 Squareback, reliable as it had been in 7 years of daily service (I parked it most winters), was too rusty to feel safe driving anymore.

    I'd been saying so for a few years, but it kept going with minimal maintenance so I kept driving it. I was more-or-less waiting for some catastrophic failure as an excuse to say "screw it" and walk away from it with my thumb out.

    One front tire blowout (It still steered remarkably well), and a stripped out oil sump plate stud (I shut it off before much drained out, but had no way to catch it as it drained. So I brought a bag of Kitty litter when I came back to fix it later in the day. A dab of JB weld, a new stud and nut, and the engine still lives 5 years/20,000 miles later) were the only things that managed to break it for even a little while.
    The Master cylinder went out, too - but the Parkway, shifting, and the parking brake got me the few miles home.

    [​IMG]


    Last Autumn, a friend tipped me off to a 68 near Madison, WI.

    According to the owner, they bought it in Colorado used in 1975 and drove it until the engine blew in 1985. They moved to South Central Wisconsin soon after and brought the car with them. He'd planned to rebuild the engine so his wife could keep driving it (it was her first car, and she loved it. She cried when I towed it away). Instead, life happened, and it got stuck in the barn.

    Fast forward to 2014 -> The old barn was deteriorating, and needed to be torn down before it tore itself down. With no covered storage for it, and never realistically going to actually revive it, they decided to sell it.

    after talking to the owner for just a few minutes, I committed to buying it based on the few pictures from the CL ad.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Bsquare

    Bsquare Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Frostbite Falls, MN
    That Sunday, I left Minneapolis about 3:15am. The car was just North of Illinois, South and West of Madison.

    As luck would have it, it happened to be game day...
    I stopped at a small town bar/cafe for some eats before going to pick up the car.
    I'd noticed several green jerseys entering the bar, just thought "It's Sunday in Wisconsin, people are gathering to watch the game".
    I'm not a football fan, so I had no idea that the Packers were playing the Vikings that day.
    Waitress -"You're not from around here..."
    Me - "No, I'm from Minnesota, just passing through town..." All eyes on me.
    Somebody - "You've got some guts, coming in here on game day."
    I looked at the TV screen, and saw who was playing.
    Me - "Oh, I don't follow the NFL. Minnesota doesn't have a professional football team to cheer for"
    Got a few chuckles - the people were really quite friendly, despite the ribbing.

    A few wrong turns and a bunch of backtracking later, I got there.

    [​IMG]

    I swapped the tires to roll it onto the trailer, strapped it down and took off.
    It was the first time it had worn radial tires.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It was after dark by the time I got it home, and I hadn't really even looked at it yet.

    [​IMG]

    With that, my 65 and 71 tucked away for the winter, it was too crowded to do anything.

    [​IMG]

    Winter set in soon after getting it home, so I just shut the garage door for a few months.
     
  3. Bsquare

    Bsquare Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Frostbite Falls, MN
    This Spring, I unceremoniously cut up my 71 Square. It will donate some parts and the engine to my 68.

    [​IMG]

    It put a few bucks in my pocket and, more importantly, freed up some valuable Real Estate in the garage.

    Finally got the chance to actually check out the car, after owning it for about 6 months.
    It has a few rust spots (far less than you'd normally find around here), some bumps and scratches, and is generally really filthy.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    the worse of the rockers, a common rust point.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Bsquare

    Bsquare Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Frostbite Falls, MN
    To get motivated to work on the rest of it, I cleaned the exterior - except the frunk lid - The paint shined up pretty well,

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    With a reasonably shiny car to look at, it's much easier to look at individual projects - as opposed to looking at a car that I don't even know where to start...

    I stripped out the old interior to clean up under, behind, and inside everywhere I could reach. The carpet might be salvageable, but I'm not going to bother trying to save the seats or panels.
    I've parted out another 68, a 69, a 70 and 3 71s - putting together a decent interior won't be an issue.

    Aside from some rust through around the wheel wells, a few pinholes on the rear deck, and two holes under the battery; the rear is pretty solid, structurally.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Bsquare

    Bsquare Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Frostbite Falls, MN
    The previous owners sent a couple photos from when it was new-to-them in 1975

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Bsquare

    Bsquare Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Frostbite Falls, MN
    So, after letting it sit over the winter to kill off any living things that might have taken residence in it, I dug in..

    The pan is pretty solid.
    The tar boards pulled up well, only really sticky in the front foot wells.
    Two rust holes under the battery, which was still connected when I got the car.
    Two other small holes, which look to have been drilled, in the rear foot trap.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I replaced the battery tray area.
    It only had a couple holes, but the entire area was thin.
    The last rib before the kick panel in the rear passenger foot trap was rotten, too.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Still need to finish grinding my welds on the underside,
    but, otherwise, the topside of the pan is ready to be painted.

    I'll have to remove the rear subframe to get the full underside of the pan.
     
  7. Bsquare

    Bsquare Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Frostbite Falls, MN
    On first glance, the rust traps in the front wheel wells didn't look too bad

    [​IMG]

    However, that area is mostly enclosed and unpainted, but they left openings for road spray and dirt to collect inside.
    They may as well have put a bowl full of salt there during assembly.
    A little poking around to reveal the full extent of it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It extends inside the cabin, in front of the dashboard, too.

    [​IMG]

    The interior patch will be relatively easy, but the compound curves over the fuel fill will be a bit more challenging...
     
  8. Bsquare

    Bsquare Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Frostbite Falls, MN
    As anticipated, the hole under the dash was a fairly easy fix.
    Shine a light through from the other side, trace the light on paper, transfer the shape to metal, flush it, weld it.
    The slight bend about 1/3 of the way across wasn't too much of an obstacle.
    Bend it almost enough, tack one side from the corners to the bend, then push the other side into place.

    [​IMG]

    Started on the other side of the same rust hole, where it extends inside the Frunk.

    I already had it cut out, descaled, treated the metal with rust neutralizer

    [​IMG]

    I mocked it up in 3 sections, to get the contours to bend the way I wanted them to

    [​IMG]

    Once satisfied with the fitment, I cut it back out, and painted the inside to delay having to revisit this spot.

    Let the paint dry overnight, and welded it in this morning.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. ModelT1

    ModelT1 Still Lost in the 50's

    Joined:
    May 18, 2011
    Messages:
    22,123
    Likes Received:
    1,414
    Trophy Points:
    808
    Wagon Garage:
    1
    Location:
    Central Illinois
    You are a brave brave man! I had an almost new one many years ago. Don't remember the year it was and am still trying to forget I ever owned it. One of the worse cars I ever owned.
    Yet realistically they all couldn't been lemons.
     
  10. Silvertwinkiehobo

    Silvertwinkiehobo "Nothing is foolproof as fools are ingenious."

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2014
    Messages:
    12,460
    Likes Received:
    2,097
    Trophy Points:
    560
    Location:
    Seguin, TX
    This is sooo cool. It seems like every American has a Volks story to tell. Mine is the '66 Bug Cabriolet Mom and Dad bought new at the port of entry in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania (we lived not far from there at the time). Dad told me it would've been a standard Bug if he hadn't taken Mom for a ride in the Cabrio with the top down. And when Dad was in Viet Nam, we lived in Tigard, and the Bug was our only car. So when he got home and was stationed at NAS Sandpoint, Seattle, our entire family piled into the Bug and drove the five hours on the new Interstate freeway from Tigard, OR to Mountlake Terrace,WA...all seven of us! Dad drove, Mom in the front seat with me on her lap, my two oldest brothers sandwiching our sister, and my brother Geoff in the cubby under the rear window. Unfortunately, by the Spring of '75, my oldest brother Fred got the Bug clobbered making a left turn. Because Dad had retired and was out of work at the time, he had to sell it, and it went to the owner of Humphrey Volkswagen in Everett, where we lived after Dad retired from the Navy.
     
    ModelT1 likes this.
  11. Silvertwinkiehobo

    Silvertwinkiehobo "Nothing is foolproof as fools are ingenious."

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2014
    Messages:
    12,460
    Likes Received:
    2,097
    Trophy Points:
    560
    Location:
    Seguin, TX
    Truly, VeeWees were a weird sort, and in no way could ever be compared to any American car. Its air-cooled engine could burn up if lugged; you always had to use a gear that kept the engine in the RPM sweet spot (which wasn't very wide), it was noisy, cold if it didn't have any of the tricks to warm it inside, carbon on the spark plugs could strip out the threads, and of course its association with Adolf Hitler and the Nazi German regime. But when you remembered these things and drove within those constraints, it was a very good subcompact.
     
  12. Bsquare

    Bsquare Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Frostbite Falls, MN
    I took the rear quarters off and managed to keep all the fender beading in tact - it's practically impossible to replace.
    All pieces are accounted for, even the lower left piece under the bumper where the apron is mangled.
    Looking at the apron/quarter joint, I didn't think it was even there

    I started on the left side. The tubs aren't in terrible shape, but needed patching in a couple spots.

    Inside the air intake vent

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I made a "comb" out of the inner piece and made a radius in the "teeth", to help it match the contour of the tub better.
    I think it turned out OK, and will be hidden under the vinyl arch pieces once I reassemble the car

    After grinding:

    [​IMG]

    I found that the left side rear wheel tub was rusted through below the armrest.
    A fairly easy patch, once I removed the Pork Pie and repositioned the armrest, having no compound curves, at least in the area that needed replacing.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Also hit the area below the deck in the engine bay and in the cooling air intake.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I'm just flat-topping all my welds. None will be exposed once the car is reassembled.
    I didn't grind on that lower patch at all. Just tried to make it pretty.
    It's enough of a bitch to get both hands in the cooling air intake with a gun, never mind a grinder.
    This is, after all, supposed to be relaxing and fun.

    Same area, underside:

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Silvertwinkiehobo

    Silvertwinkiehobo "Nothing is foolproof as fools are ingenious."

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2014
    Messages:
    12,460
    Likes Received:
    2,097
    Trophy Points:
    560
    Location:
    Seguin, TX
    Think you could get your hands on some Ziebart spray?
     
  14. Bsquare

    Bsquare Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Frostbite Falls, MN
    I've owned several Air Cooled VWs over the years, and only one was problematic - my Mexico-built 1982 Bus. I managed to break just about everything on it. It was my first ACVW, which probably had a lot to do with it, more so than build quality.

    All my others, with proper maintenance and driving technique, have been very good cars.

    Agreed.
    Many owners bought and drove them like the cars they were used to driving. Low RPM for better gas mileage, longer interval oil changes (it has no oil filter), etc. On top of the added strain of working the engine outside of its torque range, the cooling fan isn't moving enough air at lower RPM to adequately cool it. Add to that, owner neglect and/or "mechanics" thinking they could out-think a team of German engineers, and they developed a reputation for being finicky and/or unreliable.

    A big part of VW's appeal was the simplicity in its engineering - which can also be its downfall. People who really had no business under the hood of a car seemed to think they could bodge-job things together to keep it running, and it worked. I've never seen that, to the same degree, with any other type of car I've owned or worked on.
     
  15. ModelT1

    ModelT1 Still Lost in the 50's

    Joined:
    May 18, 2011
    Messages:
    22,123
    Likes Received:
    1,414
    Trophy Points:
    808
    Wagon Garage:
    1
    Location:
    Central Illinois
    I was only referring to the one square back VW I and the VW dealer owned. Seemed they had it in the shop more than I drove it! Almost everytime I drove it something broke or burned up.
    The two older Beetles we owned were fun dependable cars for many years.
    The first a 1957 with the power of a pedal car but we filled it with three kids and camping gear many times and drove Rt 66 and others getting around 35 MPG at 25 cent a gallon. I learned to get up to speed before climbing hills and kept the RPM up. The kids loved riding behind the rear seat and watching fireworks thru the folding top.
    VW Beetles in central Illinois in the 60's and 70's were rare. Several friends brought new ones home from service costing under $2000.
    The biggest thrill I got with the blue 57 beetle was towing a new Corvair out of sugar sand that was stuck while a dealer was demoing it!
     

Share This Page