ABT Eyelid Installation

So after a two week wait, I finally received my ABT eyelids. It was a hard decision to pay the $179.00 for them, but once I got them, I understood the price. However, I still believe a $60.00 price tag would’ve been sufficient (come on GTS, get on the ball)….Anyhow first impressions were good. They were very well packaged, even UPS would have a hard time destroying them during shipping. The finish was good, they were already sanded, primed and pretty much ready to paint. ABT is stamped in the top of drivers side eyelid and there were a couple of pinpoint air pockets there, but other than that, I was impressed with the finish. If you wanted to, you could easily fill in the ABT stamp with a minimal amount of bondo. They also came with a sticker to place in your door jam or under the hood indicating the ABT product and part number in case you’re ever in a collision. Of course the first thing I did was to do a quick dry fit. Dry Fit Overall, I was satisfied with the fit. They’re not perfect, but better than the GTS eyelids I had on a 2001 turbo that we used to own. After a few days to dwell over whether or not to have these painted at a body shop or to do them myself, I decided to give it a go myself. Our Beetle is Candy White, so matching the Dupli-Color was easy and a quick trip to AutoZone allowed me to get everything I need to start this project. Supplies One thing that I’m doing a little different than what ABT recommends is instead of “gluing” the eyelids to the headlight lens, I’m using high bonding automotive tape. If you choose to glue your eyelids to the headlight lens, you’ll need to order the two part adhesive from your local VW or Audio dealership. Audi Ag article number 00A 071 785.  Just keep in mind, if you use the glue, the eyelid will become a permanent part of your headlight assembly. So anyhow, I gave the eyelids a quick once over with some 2000 grit sand paper, wiped them down with a prep cloth and let the painting begin. First Coat First coat was a very light coat just to ensure that the paint was going to adhere to the eyelids with no issues. You really need to make sure that your surface area is prepped properly. I gave the eyelids light, even coats, letting them dry for at least 30 minutes in between coats. In total, I gave each eyelid 3 good coats of paint. The paint dried evenly, leaving me a nice smooth surface to apply the clear coat to. Same process with the clear coat, but instead of 3 coats, I gave each eyelid 4 coats of clear coat. Paint and Clear CoatI haven’t decided whether or not they’ll require any wet sanding before applying the polishing compound, but if they do, I’ll use a good 2000 grit sand paper to go over them lightly before applying any polishing compound. That process will have to wait until tomorrow.

 

Continue to Part II

Nearly Complete

Busy couple of days working on Colby’s car to get it ready for him to take his driving test. We had to replace the driver side door handle with a new one. Sounds fairly easy, but it was really difficult. We spent about 5 hours, many curse words and scuffed knuckles just getting it replaced. But it was worth it, truly a learning experience in patience. We also replaced all 4 speakers in the car with new ones. The sound system now rocks! We also finished prepping the hood and getting it primered. Many hours of wet sanding and wet sanding and wet sanding….however, if he ever decides to get the front clip and hood painted, it’s ready!

Back From The Body Shop

Picked up Colby’s car from the body shop this evening. They did a really nice job fixing the bumper support and installing the replacement bumper, bumper cover, new headlights, windshield and wheel wells. No way we could’ve gotten all of that done in one day. Really wish we could’ve had the bumper cover and hood totally finished before taking it to the body shop, but that’s hard to do when you don’t have any power…So, we’ll spend some more time finishing the bumper cover and hood to get them one color. Tomorrow, we’re putting in new spark plugs and taking it easy!
And in case you forgot, this is what we started with….not bad progress for 2 weeks considering how busy we’ve been!

Colby’s Car Off To Body Shop

So, the plan was to have Colby’s replacement hood and bumper prepped and ready for the body shop on Monday. We were to deliver the car tonight so they can get started on the installation early Monday morning. However, we’ve been without power since Friday evening due to storms, working on the car Friday evening and Saturday was a bust. We had to spend the night at my mothers house last night because our house was just to hot to stay at. Luckily, we had power restored at 10:30 this morning and were about to get as much of the car ready as possible. The hood is just going to have to wait until we get the car back from the body shop, but we were about to get the bumper about 95% complete. Still have a bit of wet sanding to do, but it’s almost complete. The body shop is going to straight the front cow of the car, install the new bumper support, bumper cover, new headlights and new windshield. After that, we won’t be in as much of a rush to finish everything else. The car will be road worthy and ready for Colby to take his drivers test in it….

Prep Work Continues

Had some time this evening, so Colby removed his driver side front wheel, sanded and painted it, then re-installed with the reconditioned hubcap. It really turned out nice. We’ll do the back two wheels once we get the other two hubcaps sanded and painted. We also prepped the new bumper support, so now it’s ready to be installed by the body shop. As for the bumper cover, we still have a lot of work to do before it’s delivered to the body shop. We got it about 90% stripped, so now the prep work begins. It has a couple of spots that need to be repaired and we’re hoping to get that complete by Sunday evening. If all goes well, we’ll be delivering it to the body shop early next week. Hopefully it won’t be as hot this weekend and we’ll be able to get a lot done. Lenora picked up the two new wheel wells, but the body shop will be installing them……the work continues!!

Colby’s Project Car

Had a little time this evening, so we removed the right front wheel from Colby’s car, sanded it and painted it. We also removed the damaged wheel well liner. It will be replaced with new ones that should come in tomorrow. Wheel was replaced with the reconditioned hubcap and it looks so much better! We’ll have to remove it again to install the new wheel well liner when it comes in….trying to make progress every day so we can get it in the body shop soon…

New Headlights

The new headlights for Colby’s car came in today. Not going to be able to do any work to the car today, but at least they’re here for when we’re ready. The originals were damaged and not worth trying to fix. As you can see the attached pic, the new headlights look much better than the originals. Hopefully it won’t be too long before we see them on the car!