Wow, I didn’t realize how long it’s been since I posted to the site. Hope everybody had a great holiday season! The past couple of months have been very busy. Unfortunately, my mom fell and fractured her neck on New Years Eve and has been in the hospital and rehab ever since. We’re hopeful that she’ll be able to go home this coming Friday. I’ve spent a lot of time at our other two websites, Kentucky Old Volks Home and Kentucky Hot Wheels. I sold our ’74 Beetle project last week (still have the motor) and within two weeks, we drove to Winston-Salem, NC, Cincinnati, OH and Lexington, KY to look for another old Beetle. We finally found one in Bowling Green, KY and the gentleman we bought it from met us in Lexington and drove it the rest of the way home. It was an experience, total white out conditions, snow and ice, but she got me home safely as Lenora followed behind in her car. Certainly a day we’ll never forget. Anyhow, 2015 has been interesting so far, we’re ready for spring and warmer weather. I promise to post more as time permits!
So, between cutting the grass and trying to make room in the garage for the Beetle, I managed to start the tear down process. Sorting and separating what is trash and what can be re-used. The process sure brings back some old memories of evenings after school when Robert Love, Terry Diamond, Charlie Greene, Ray Roe, Rodney Salyers and myself would spend hours upon hours working on our old Beetles. No big surprises so far, the body is very solid on this car. Not much to look at, but a great foundation to start with. I’ll be posting pictures as I can and documenting the entire process. You’re all more than welcome to join in on the fun and get your hands dirty… You can check out all of the photos here!
Thinking about doing a new mod. This one should be fairly easy once I figure out if the lower part of the rear clip is separate from the upper part. The part in question is outlined in read. If this part is separate from the upper part of the rear clip, I’d like to paint it a satin or flat black as shown in this photoshopped pic. I’m hoping that this part of the rear bumper is separate for the upper part. From what I can tell, the bumper cover is two separate pieces. I’ll have to do some research, but it looks like it’s totally possible. A quick look underneath, doesn’t look like a lot of work to remove the valance. Three plastic rivets and two torx screws. I think it’ll add a whole new dimension to the rear of the Beetle.
Weather be damned, these eyelids were getting installed today. The added benefit of having a garage free of enough clutter to actually park a car in. So, after getting both eyelids prepped, painted and polished, the last step of the project was the installation. As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve opted to adhere the eyelids to the headlight assembly using 3M VHB tape. This stuff is very strong and used on door trim and molding to hold it in place for years. Before I applied the tape to the back of the eyelids, I had to do some prep work. I sanded the back of the eyelids with a 800 grit sand paper, used a 3M prep cloth to clean it, then rubbed it down with rubbing alcohol (as per the instructions). Then I started laying out the 1 inch tape to the back of the eyelids, covering about 90% of the surface. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. And I’ll be damned if I’m taking them off to get a pic. I also cleaned the headlight assembly and rubbed it down with rubbing alcohol as well. After that, it was just a matter of peeling off the back of the tape, aligning the eyelid to the headlight assembly and pressing it into place. I’d recommend that you dry fit the eyelids before you pull the back of the tape off and use something to mark reference points before you finish. It’ll make installing them much easier. Keep in mind, once this tape touches a surface, it sticks! So here’s the finished product. Overall, I’m pleased with the results. A more aggressive looking headlight assembly. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the hardest, I’ll give this project a 7. Only because the prep, paint and polish requires a lot of patience, which I don’t have. I had to muster a lot of patience for an acceptable outcome. Would I do it again? Probably, but only after the price of the eyelids drop! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!
Some additional photos:
We gave the painted eyelids all night for the paint and clear coat to cure. So today consisted of wet sanding and polishing. First was a good wet sanding using 2000 grit sand paper and lots of water. The key here is to take your time and keep the painted surface and sand paper wet. Too much friction can cause many issues. Sand evenly with slight pressure. All in all, I’d say that I spent at least 20 or 25 minutes wet sanding each eyelid. The process wasn’t hard, you just need to pay attention to what you’re doing! The end result was very pleasing. The eyelids had a nice, smooth surface, ready for polishing. After the wet sanding was complete, I began the process of polishing. I actually dreaded this part, thinking that it was going to take forever and that somehow, I’d screw it up. Fact is, it wasn’t hard at all. Time consuming yes, but not hard. I used a buffering disk that fit on my variable speed drill and Turtle Wax polishing compound. Again, patience is virtue. Take your time, use even pressure. Keep plenty of rubbing compound on your buffering disk. Every once in a while, you can wipe down the eyelid to check out your progress and to find any spots that may need more attention. You’ll be amazed at just how easy this is. I really took my time and spent about an hour on each eyelid. All in all, I’m very satisfied with the finished product. I figured that I’ve got about 3 hours total into the project and about $45.00 worth of supplies. Don’t know exactly how much a good body shop would’ve charged to paint these for me, but I’m sure it would’ve been more than $45.00 dollars. Unfortunately, mother nature is not playing nice today, so I won’t actually install them until tomorrow. Stay tuned!