Success In Small Strides

Some times, success is measured in small strides. So tonight I got the gratification of removing a stubborn, broken bolt from the heater channel. While I was removing the twenty something bolts that secure the floor pan to the body, I discovered one that had previously been broken. Of course, like any classic Beetle owner, you’re never sure of the condition of the heater channel until you can get under it and take really good look at it with the floor pan separated. It really wasn’t no surprise to discover the my heater channels are as solid as a rock, even after years of sitting on the floor pan. Absolutely no holes and a very minimal amount of surface rust. Another testament to their condition is the fact that I’ve practically lifted the body off of the floor pan with vice grips attached to the bolt to try and loosen it. Even after 3 days of constant spraying and soaking with Blaster Penetrating Catalyst, this bolt would not budge. I had eaten enough of it away with the vice grips that I was sure it was bound to break again at any time (just look at the pic) or at a minimum, the nut inside of the heat channel would break free and I’d be left with a gaping hole. Not wanting to get into anything hot and heavy tonight, I decided to give it one more try. This time, I applied some heat with my propane torch to the area around the frozen bolt for about 30 seconds. Then I tightened the vice grips around what was left of the bolt with all my might. And with one swift hit with the palm of my hand, SUCCESS! That little SOB of a bolt was finally free. Some times, it’s the small successes that matter the most!

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