Monday 30 September 2013

Dismantling the front beam

I decided to dismantle the front beam this past weekend in preparation for cleaning, painting and possibly narrowing: 

First up was the removal of the grease caps, which popped out easily enough with some gentle coxing of a flat-headed screwdriver: 

Once the nuts and washers had been taken off of the greasy spindle the outer casing of the drum brake came away without too much fuss: 

After undoing the three inner bolts the drum brake backing plate came free. Both sides came apart without any drama: 

I then removed both shocks, which were simply secured by bolts at the top and bottom:

Another two bolts later I had the steering damper detached:

The tie rods required a bit more persistence and preparation. I found that wire brushing the nut and exposed thread followed by a liberal drenching of WD40 (penetrating fluid) was the best method:

The above approach worked for all but one tie rod end (why is there always one little stubborn bugger?!). Frustratingly the thread started spinning freely before I had got the nut off. I found that no amount of clamping with the vice grips would hold the thread tightly enough to that damn nut to turn again. After some time and perseverance I decided that I would sacrifice the track rod end as I was considering replacing them all anyway. So, out came the angle grinder:

I then cleaned up the treads of the steering box and removed the unit with ease:

After loosening the clamping bolts I was able to tap out the link pins, which allowed for the removal of the spindles:

After removing the outer nuts and cleaning out the accumulated crap inside the allen key cavities, I loosed the threaded pin which holds the torsion leaves in place:

The torsion arms were then free to be removed:

Just for fun I set up an exploded view of the individual components that make up the front beam:   

Tuesday 24 September 2013

Deck lid clean-up

This past week I have been stripping the deck lid amongst other odd jobs; such as improving the lighting situation in the garage because the days are getting increasingly shorter! As with the front wing the deck lid had been taken back to bare metal previously and left without any protection (I still don’t know what possessed me to do that!). Surface rust:

Freshly stripped:

....and primed:

As previously noted, it is all in good shape apart from one small area that will require a repair patch. I also want to weld up the three badge holes as I know that these are not original. 

I will also be switching the number plate light from the early ‘popes nose’ type back to one that is correct for the year.

The back of the panel took quite a while to sort out because of all the hard to reach areas:

Thursday 12 September 2013

Miscellaneous chassis parts

I have been feeling under the weather all this week, so i've not getting much accomplished. Having said that, I have still been popping down the garage and spending a couple of hours each evening on cleaning up some of the chassis parts. Here we have a comparison between an untouched spring plate and one that has just been cleaned and primed:

 and here is the right side stripped using a flap disc and wire wheel:


 A few more parts cleaned:

.....and primed to keep them fresh:

......and hung to dry:

Monday 9 September 2013

Fixing my old mistakes

I have now ordered a sturdy pair of Wolfsburg West floor pans and a few other miscellaneous chassis parts. Whilst waiting for them to arrive (think the store are waiting on a new shipment from the States) I decided to tidy up a few old errors that I made when I was young, foolish and uninformed. Basically all the parts that I hastily stripped at the beginning of the restoration I had stupidly left as bare metal. I don't know what I was thinking and it doesn't take a genius to know what happens to exposed metal over the years:  

This would be perfect if I was going for a 'rat look' bug, but I am aiming for something a little more refined! So, out came the wire wheel and various sanding devices and after a few hours I had the panel stripped back to fresh metal ....again:

I then applied a liberal coat of primer to prevent the surface rust reappearing:


Now I just need to do the same for the rusty decklid and bonnet *sigh*