Not that I was really expecting problems, its just a little nerve racking when you first hook the battery up to a car you just rewired. Luckily everything went very well. The ONLY problem we had was I wired up the headlight relay with two wires crossed. The stamps on those relays telling you what is what are mighty small and I mistook 56b for just 56. We tested every operation and they all work. Its a big relief. We also installed the door windows, the outer window scrapers and the moldings. We also cleaned up the quarter glass moldings and chrome trim. We were on tap to install the quarter windows but Murphy and his laws showed up. One would think that if you purchased a “body rubber KIT” it would include everything you needed. Well, it doesn’t. So, we have a few more tid bits of rubber parts on order. Yesterday we bleed the braking system and checked for leaks this morning. All is well with that too. Tomorrow we will install the gas tank and if all goes well, maybe a short video of the first start up.
Today we installed the upper dash pad that we rejuvenated this week and the new lower one. The freshly painted defrost vents look really nice against the dash pad. We also had to black out the area around the vents to give a more finished and cleaner look. The hands free microphone looks right at home beside the gas gauge. We also buttoned up a couple things with the wiring and installed the new throw out bearing. We have a quite a few parts on order that should get us really close to finishing this project up. We can’t install the engine until these parts come in, but I did get notification that they have been shipped and are on the way. Im looking forward to getting the engine back in and bringing this Ghia back to life.
Today we rejuvenated the original dash pad for the Ghia. I really wish I had thought to get a before picture. The transformation was really impressive. I used a product from a company call CarWorx. This product is supposed to last for years. We started by thoroughly cleaning the pad with a degreaser. We then went back over that with a milder soap. Once it was dry, we applied the CarWorx per the instructions. I couldn’t believe it! It really looks brand new. Now for the engine. A complete tune up was done consisting of points, condenser, distributer cap, rotor button, plugs and wires. The valves were adjusted and the oil was changed. A new header and clutch and pressure plate rounded out the engine work. While all that was being done, we painted the engine tins to clean things up a bit. The new header will allow for a little performance upgrade while offering a slightly deeper sound over the stock muffler. After all this work was done, it was test run to be sure it all worked like it was supposed to and now its ready to go back into the car.
We had a pretty prosperous day on the Ghia today. We were able to get the wiring pretty well wrapped up. The back up lights were wired up today and the switch tested. Its about the only electrical part that hasn’t been replaced so we tested it to be sure its working properly. Sure enough its working so the back up lights should be fine. We still need a few parts so we moved on to putting the doors on. It took 3 people to make sure they went on without any bumps or bruises but we were able to get them on just fine. They lined up pretty well. Once all the door rubber is installed we may have to tweak a few things but so far so good. The switches have been mounted and looking good in the dash. That lowered stance really looks good on these VW’s. We hope to get the engine back next week from getting a tune up and new exhaust. If we do, we should be able to hook the battery up and start testing all of the circuits. We have gotten many compliments on the color. The owner had a great vision on that. Stay tuned.
I was able to do a little more wiring today on the Ghia. We installed the early front turn signals for a much cleaner look than the big bulky original ones for this ’71. We also installed new headlight buckets. The old ones were in really bad shape, rusty with broken adjusters and springs just wasnt worth trying to fix them. I also snapped a shot of the wiring thus far. We are still waiting on an emergency flasher unit and a headlight relay so we can finish up the spaghetti system. The new voltage regulator came in today so we wired that up too while we were at it. Its been a long road but this Ghia has come a long way and is looking really nice.
As you can see, we have been able to devote some time to the Ghia this week. All of the sound deadener is in and the steering column was painted and installed. We also painted and installed the e-brake handle and cleaned up the heater controls. The stock gauges were polished up and installed and awaiting the rest of the harness. We have a ton of parts on order, they should be here next week. Once we have those, this will start shaping up pretty quickly.
Today was a big day! We painted the Ghia today and as you can see, it turned out very nice. We started this morning by masking off the floors, transmission, headliner and behind the area behind the gauges. We do this to both to keep paint off of these areas but also to keep any dirt out of the paint that may be hiding in there. Because the car is now lowered, we had to remove the wheels to and get the car up on stands to make access to the lower front end and the rockers a bit easier to paint. Once the car was wiped down and ready to spray, we applied a coat of sealer and after that was dry, we sprayed several coats of color followed by 3 coats of clear. Because we couldn’t fit the hood and deck lid in the booth with the rest of the car and doors, we must paint those next week. Once that is done we will start the re-assembly. The color on this car is very classy looking, Its going to look great all back together.
The prep on the Ghia is coming along very well. The car has been fully block sanded and most of the outside has had its final sand. We do have a little more sanding to do in the trunk and engine compartment before we are ready to pull the trigger. We only have a coulple of small areas to reprime and a couple more hours of final sanding before paint hopefully on Friday.
The Ghia is in its final coat of primer! Pretty big day today for this little car. For the past few weeks we have been going over this one with a fine tooth comb to prepare it for primer. We started by setting it up in the booth first thing this morning. We jacked it up on stands to get it up off the floor some to make priming the rockers a bit easier. We then masked off the areas that were not getting primed and wiped the car down with wax and grease remover. A full coat of epoxy primer was sprayed first to ensure good adhesion to the bare metal areas. Once that was dry, we applied 4 good coats of PPG urethane primer. We did find about 3 areas that will need a little more work, which is not uncommon. As thorough as we were, we are still human. Luckily, they are pretty easy fixes and wont take all that long. Next we will start blocking this out one last time in preparation for paint
I know. We have been gone for a while. We have been slammed with work over the past 8 weeks or so and its been a quite a few late nights and here at the shop and writing posts just hasn’t been top priority. We did find a couple of guys to work part time hours for us and are really thankful for them. They have helped us out tremendously. We reached a pretty big milestone with the Ghia this week. As you can see its back on all fours. But lets back up a bit to see what all as been done. We ordered a narrowed and adjustable front beam for this Ghia. The owner wanted it to sit lower than factory and an adjustable beam is the best way to get it there. The reason its narrowed too is because when you lower them, the tires sometimes rub on the fender wells. You narrow it to move the wheels in some to allow for some clearance there. This also opens up more options for different wheels and tires if she desires. We also replaced the tie rods, tie rod ends, new leaf springs, new steering damper, sway bar and master cylinder. We also installed the newly rebuilt pedal assembly along with a new clutch cable and throttle cable. While we were at it, we also replaced the heater box cables. On the dash, we did away with a few holes that will be no longer needed and added one for the Bluetooth microphone. We also had to clean up the radio hole a bit. It was cut a little too large the first time, so we added some metal and reshaped it for a nice fit. While working on the dash we also added a lighted accessory plug to charge cell phones or plug in a GPS. A new pan gasket between the body and pan is held into place with all new body bolts. Our agenda holds this car getting primer on Friday or at least by the first of the week if Murphy shows up with that law of his.