It’s been very busy around the shop for the past few weeks. We have had tons of collision repairs which hasn’t left us much time to work on the restoration cars. We did manage to squeeze in a few hours here and there to get these parts ready for paint and while we were waiting on parts we we decided it was the perfect time to spay them. I’m not sure it this is an actual factory color, the owner had already picked this color before we started the project but I do really like it. We started with a coat of sealer followed by 3 coats of DBC base coat and 2 coats PPG’s 2021 clear. The body work on the rest of the car is coming along great hopefully we can get into the booth soon.
While Jordan and I worked on the VW, Paul was busy sanding and prepping about a dozen or so interior trim parts for the ’57. Most of these parts were stripped because the factory only applied a couple of coats of paint and did so directly over the bare metal. This isnt going to cut it for todays quality. When trying to sand these parts the paint just flakes right off so stripping them wasnt really hard, just a bit time consuming because of the number of parts. Looks like he has them pretty close. We hope tomorrow evening they will look as good as the car does.
A week or so ago we ordered a whole slew of parts for the Bug, They came in Monday and after going through and making sure we had everything we started putting the car back together. We started by disassembling the vent windows. These have to come completely apart to replace 2 of the gaskets that keep the wind and rain out. We are missing one of those rubbers and dont really have answer yet on when they will arrive but we went ahead and disassembled them. Once apart they were cleaned and polished up and the black frame was repainted. Now, when all this goes back together it will look really nice. We then installed the outer window scraper and the clips that hold the felt channel in place. Yesterday, before we left we set both of the door latch mechanisms in some degreaser to minimize scrubbing today. It worked beautifully. We rinsed off the latches, let them dry then lubed them up before installing them. We also installed the door handle as well as the door rubber and check rod. Before we installed the window regulator we applied a little sound deadening material to help with noise inside the car and to help make the doors sound really solid when closing them. This is about as far as we can go with this door until the back ordered rubber parts come in. Tomorrow we will do the same for the other door.
Last week while we were spraying so much bedliner, we thought we would go ahead and spray the fender wells on the 70 Beetle we’ve been working on. This is so much better than undercoating because its tougher, looks better and is a true urethane product. We started by sanding the areas with 80 grit paper that we wanted to spray. We then masked off the areas that didnt get liner. Prepped it all up, and sprayed 2 coats of liner on here. Once it was dry, we untapped it and as you can see, it looks great. This car is really starting to look good.
Today was a good day for the Beetle. We knew we would be finished up with our collision work on Thursday this week so we took some time to finish sanding the Bug and started prepping it for paint. This morning we slid it in the booth wiped it all down and started spraying it. After a good coat of sealer, several coats of base coat was sprayed inside and out on the body. We then let that all sit and dry thoroughly until after lunch. Once back, we followed the base with a couple coats of PPG’s high solids clear coat. As you can see it turned out pretty nice. We still have to find fenders and paint them as the original ones are just a bit too far gone to fix and a couple of other little parts need spraying. Once this body is good and dry it will go back on the chassis. We hope that happens late next week.
Its been a long time coming, but the FJ is really starting to take shape. The left rear door has given us a little bit of trouble so we decided to just remove that part from the equation. The lower part of the door had been patched a couple of times and they were not really getting along so we cut out the whole section and replaced it. The body work portion of that repair is almost complete and should be in primer tomorrow. The paint work on the body is now complete as well. We shot some color on this on Tuesday and it really looks nice. A coat of sealer was applied to create a uniform ground coat for the color. We started with the white masking it off for the Freeborn red once it was dry enough to tape on. We then unmasked the white and applied the PPG urethane clear coat. This thing really stands tall now. Today we installed the head lights, left rear side marker and tail lights, new body to door gaskets, stripped the grill and bumpers. The bumpers have served their purpose. Lots of dents and body work were hiding under several layers of paint. All that was removed today and bodywork will start on them tomorrow. We will paint the doors, grill, head light doors, side vents and bumpers next week if all goes well.
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.
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.