Valance Mod

Really wanted to give the rear of the Beetle a different look, so I decided to black out the lower valance. Not a difficult mod, a little time consuming, but very inexpensive. Plastic Rivets The lower valance is held in place with 3 plastic rivets in the center of the valance and two metal torx on each side of the valance. You can fight the plastic rivets all day long, but save yourself a lot of time and just drill them out.  The rivet at the top of the picture is the one I drilled out, the rivet at the bottom of the picture is the replacement.  They’re readily available at any auto parts store for just a couple of dollars. Total time to remove the valance is about 5 minutes. Valance Removed Once the valance was removed, I washed it thoroughly and wet sanded with 2000 grit sand paper. You’ll appreciate the effort you put into this later. It’s very important that you remove any dirt, grime and wax before you paint. I spent about an hour wet sanding and prepping for paint.  Once I was convinced that it was prepped and ready for paint, I used a prep cloth to ensure that the valance was clean and free of any oil or wax. Wet Sanded The prep cloth is a necessary step, probably the most important step. If the valance has any oil, grime or wax on it, the paint/primer will not adhere. I then gave it a light coat of primer and examined for any imperfections. I ended up giving it two good coats of primer, then wet sanded until the surface was smooth. Again, not rocket science, just time consuming. Just when you think you’ve got it where you want it, do it again. Don’t be in a rush. After the final wet sanding, I let it sit in the sun (while the sun was out) for awhile.  Up until this point, I’ve got about 3 hours into the project. I didn’t want to paint the valance in the garage, so I was dodging off and on rain showers for a while. Once I was convinced that the rain was over, the painting began. Primer A total of 3 coats, letting it dry at least a half hour in between coats. After the final coat, I let it sit for about 3 hours. I was surprised at just how fast the paint dried. It was actually dry to the touch within an hour, but I didn’t want to rush. The car isn’t going to be driven anywhere today, so the paint will have plenty of time to cure before it hits the road. But after 3 hours, it was plenty dry enough to install.  Finished Project On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the hardest, I’ll give this project a 4. Not hard, but takes some patience and is a little time consuming. But hey, I wasn’t going to get the grass cut today anyhow, so I had plenty of time.  Total cost for the project (considering my time is free) was $10.79. All of these supplies can be picked up any any auto parts supply store.  Supplies That covered the cost of the paint, the rivets (pack of 6) and the prep cloth. I already had a can of primer.  If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

 

Here’s a much better pic after the Beetle got a good cleaning…New Valance Mod