Daily Archives: June 11, 2012

Just beetling along

Today we worked on the Beetle, test fitting the replacement parts and smoothing the repaired places.

In the first photo the replacement hood and fender have been fitted to the car to check their fit. This fitment check performs two checks. The first is to make sure the replacement panels are properly made. The second is to check to make sure the car hasn’t been tweaked by the crash in some way. The hard part is knowing where the problem is if the parts don’t line up properly. Fortunately it wasn’t an issue on this car because the parts bolted  up with only minor issues.

After I was satisfied the new parts fit properly, we needed to clean up some of the repair work. Like all metal work, it is far quicker and cheaper to get the metal “close” and finish the smoothing with body filler. Trying to return the body to its pre-crash condition without using filler is possible, but prohibitively expense for most cars. Work like that is usually reserved for the 20 million dollar vintage Ferraris.

The last two photos show the car with a skim of body filler over the repaired areas. Body filler has received an unfair reputation from people using it improperly. Used properly, as I am here to apply the final smoothing to a repair, the body filler will last the life of the car.

In these two pictures the filler is still very green. After it hardens we will start the sanding and shaping so the little bumps and dimples are smoothed away and this bug is once again straight. Well, if a bug had any straight panels of course.

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