restoring a 73 convertible. guidance welcome!

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restoring a 73 convertible. guidance welcome!

Post by TJs73Vert on Thu Jan 21, 2016 12:27 pm

hi all!

i'm pretty excited, just bought this:


this is my 2nd VW Super Convertible.  First one was like 25 years ago, but i worked for VW then and had lots of resources.  Now i'm old and geezery, and doing this in my garage. So I'm looking to make contacts with some air-cooled fanatics who might help me fix a few things, maybe have some NOS parts to sell, and just talk VW.

This was the first one:


I'm going to start by cleaning up what i can, fixing a few things i can do myself. But i'm hoping the GA Dubs community can help me out with a few decisions:

1. suggestions on exterior - you can see i took the Mars Red '78 a little into the custom look. I stripped some chrome, keeping it only on wheels, handles, and window frames.  SHOULD I DO THE SAME METHOD? OR, KEEP ALL CHROME AND INSTALL NEW CHROME BUMPERS to maintain the stock look?

2. suggestions on interior - i need to recover driver's seat. So, should I just get one black cover, KEEP IT ALL STOCK? OR, SWITCH TO WHITE (OR GREY)? i could get white front/rear covers in basketweave. i've also seen grey smooth on clearance somewhere.  (this is '73, so unique seats)  It also needs door panels, so I could replace with basic black, or get matching white (or grey) to match whatever i do to the seats.  It has a black carpet kit.  I could try to salvage, or just replace.  Maybe charcoal, especially if i switch vinyl color?

3. suggestions on wheels/tires - The Mars Red '78 had chromed 5.5" wides with Conti SuperContact 185/65s.  They handled nice!  I'm inclined to do the exact same package here.  But, something is tempting me to keep all the chrome on this Olympic Blue '73, AND DO WIDE WHITE WALLS ON GLOSS BLACK 4.5"? OR, KEEP THE SPORT WHEELS?  i'm inclined to sell all 5 of them since they're not original to this year anyway.

EDIT: i have gone to Pro-Flow in Hiram. Seems like a nice shop. Compression reported ok ~135s. Hopefully the rest of its checkup will result as well.
4. suggestions on where to go for work I can't do - Between these bugs, I got into motorcycles.  In hindsight, i should have stuck with VWs, then I probably wouldn't have broken as many bones (including spinal!). So, i can't wrench like I used to, and will need help to do the things I can't anymore.  SHOP REFERRALS NEAR MARIETTA ARE APPRECIATED, if you own it, or you're well experienced with going there. Nothing major: valve adj, shift linkage, heater and hood cables.

5. suggestions on where to hang with other VW fans!  Is there a local spot where the Dubs meet routinely?  I'd like to hang out and talk VW with like-minded volks. i mean, folks!

6. I also need this car completely buffed out.  If you're good with a wheel, and know how to use it without burning the paint off the creases in a VW's hood, then let's try to work something out.  The Olympic blue is original, and I'd like to bring it up to a shine without making it worse.

THANKS IN ADVANCE for all replies to this thread.  P.S. this car IS for sale.  I bought it to rescue from its P.O., bring it back to life, and pass it on to someone who will appreciate it another decade at least.  And of course, have fun doing it.

Nice to e-meet you,
Tj


Last edited by TJs73Vert on Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:20 am; edited 2 times in total

TJs73Vert
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Re: restoring a 73 convertible. guidance welcome!

Post by guytonbug on Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:29 pm

Welcome!
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Re: restoring a 73 convertible. guidance welcome!

Post by TJs73Vert on Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:52 pm

this car drove really well when i test drove it, then drove it home a few days ago.  after fixing a brake light socket, i took it today to tag office. now it's legal!
but i noticed a few new things:

1: an occasional bad shimmy in the front. at any speed, intermittently comes n' goes. it's been smooth as butter at 50mph down a hill, and wiggly like the wheel is loose at 25mph.  WHAT COULD THAT BE?

2. under the rear seat, the access plate is removed from the tunnel, and the linkage there has a strip of rubber wrapped around the linkage like an old field dressing. HOW LONG BEFORE THAT SNAPS AND I'M STUCK IN GEAR?

so with that band-aid fix i'm wondering how many others are yet to be found.

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Re: restoring a 73 convertible. guidance welcome!

Post by ggaagg57 on Fri Jan 22, 2016 7:09 am

steering shock and bushings and track arm bushings. good start ck tie rod ends too.


Last edited by ggaagg57 on Fri Jan 22, 2016 8:05 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: restoring a 73 convertible. guidance welcome!

Post by zabo on Fri Jan 22, 2016 7:11 am

keep it stock and it will be easier to sell. plus less work for you.  
the shimmy could be a bad tire or worn bushings etc... check out this article:
http://www.aircooled.net/vw-super-beetle-shimmy-death-shake/

replace the shift couple asap or at least remove the band aid so you can diagnose what is going on.

have fun
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Re: restoring a 73 convertible. guidance welcome!

Post by TJs73Vert on Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:06 am

Thanks for those suggestions. I'll check those bushings first.

I spent most of last night researching parts vendors last night. I price compared "fleabay" vs. Aircooled dot net, Airhead, Chuck's, Texas aircooled, MaMo, Wolfsburg, Chirco, and a few others.

Fleabay at first seemed most competitive. Very good prices there when you include wholesalers for more basic items like replacement signal lenses.

Airhead has some very good prices on some unique little items, but it was CIP1 that was the price leader by far. Especially right NOW, because through the month of January only, they are having a moving sale with an extra 20% off. I emptied my eBay cart and put together a shopping cart of about $200 worth of critical items to replace. Free shipping too!

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Re: restoring a 73 convertible. guidance welcome!

Post by TJs73Vert on Wed Jan 27, 2016 8:38 am

hi all!

i need to replace a driver's seat cover and the front door panels. Currently the interior is black, but i'm considering a color change. i just spent the entire night researching online, and prices are all between $225-325 depending on which color i go with and taking advantage of bits on clearance.

what would look best with the Olympic Blue, with Black roof/white liner as pictured?

1. black seats, black panels, black carpet - as it is
2. black seats, black panels, CHARCOAL carpet - lighten the floor up
3. grey seats, grey panels, charcoal carpet - lighten it all up, for a 'cooler' tone
4. tan seats, tan panels, OATMEAL carpet - lighten it up with a warmer tone
5. off-white seats, off-white panels, charcoal carpet - blending more with the headliner.

thanks everyone for your experienced opinions!

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Re: restoring a 73 convertible. guidance welcome!

Post by TJs73Vert on Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:57 pm

hi all!

here's an update:  i'm up to my neck in VW parts.

I've been stripping all parts to prep the body for paint.  It's become clear that it needs a respray. I'll be doing a single stage of the original color.  

If anyone can recommend a decent painter for cheap, please contact me!

I also just finished repairing the floor with POR15 and fiberglass.  Here's a pic:

that's two pints of POR15 and 3 layers of fiberglass under the battery tray and right rear floor. Feels pretty solid now!

See that right heater control lever, how it's sitting lower than the defrost lever on left? It keeps dropping down on its own. How do i tighten that up? Is it just tightening the nut at the lever, very easy? Or do I do something else too?

I want to replace the speedo backlight bulbs with blue LEDs to match a nice radio I put in.
Anyone have experience with the latest generation of LED bulbs? Are these "BA7s" i've seen on fleabay a direct replacement?

The radio I bought is super cheap, but super perfect.  It looks very basic and has two round knobs, like most old school styles. But it's BT ready and pairs to any phone!  Streams Spotify! I paired it to kicker panel speakers and a little subwoofer in the well.  I'll install all after paint.

I need to replace covers for driver's seat only. Unfortunately they seem only available in a full kit.  Anyone have suggestions for repairing just the one seat?  Spare pieces anyone?

I need one right rear outer window scraper, so I bought the kit to replace the rubber only.  Holy crap does it look like a PITA to replace! No wonder the molding WITH chrome is so much more expensive.  Any advice on this?  i'm not looking forward to messing with it at all.

Anyone have a spare hose, that runs from the spare tire to the valve by the washer bottle? Mine cracked, and the hose on the bottle cap is too short to go directly to the tire.   Msg me if it's something i can obtain from you for reasonable price. Otherwise I'll convert to electric.

I went with all black interior.  Trying to keep inside my budget and running out of money earmarked for paint because i keep buying parts!  haha

Thanks for any replies to this thread.  I'm doing this by myself so talking to any VW fans really helps.

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Re: restoring a 73 convertible. guidance welcome!

Post by cherrydub72 on Sun Feb 19, 2017 5:05 pm

So what finish did you choose? My mother's  73' beetle was also Olympic blue and the interior was completely black. But I can say for sure that the white seats in my bug are much cooler to sit on during hot days.
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Re: restoring a 73 convertible. guidance welcome!

Post by TJs73Vert on Mon Feb 20, 2017 5:24 am

cherrydub72 wrote:So what finish did you choose? My mother's  73' beetle was also Olympic blue and the interior was completely black. But I can say for sure that the white seats in my bug are much cooler to sit on during hot days.
Thanks for asking! I restored it to original. Here is its photo album: http://m.imgur.com/gallery/tKlBB
But I sold that last year, it went to TX.

This is the one I'm finishing up now, it's a 77.
. I'm going to do its photo shoot and advertise it for sale this week.

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Re: restoring a 73 convertible. guidance welcome!

Post by ASBug on Mon Feb 20, 2017 11:35 am

WOW, that is quite a change. Looks great!
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