66 Beetle "Bella"

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66 Beetle "Bella"

Post by ping349n on Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:23 pm

I completed the trade yesterday and acquired a little ugly duckling that we have named Bella. She may look rough around the edges, but she has some pretty strong bones. Her channels are pretty solid and package tray are very solid. Gonna have to replace her pans, but I got a set in pretty good shape from the trade. Only major rust area I have seen so far is the bottom of the rear quarters on both sides. Will probably have to replace the hood, but will address that later. I have a laundry list of items that I will need to get her ship shape, but looking forward to it. I have all the glass except the windshield. They did throw in a (new in the box), one piece window set for the dooes. I think I will try to sell them and find a set of vented windows when I get to that point. First order of business is to get the body off the pan and get to work. Hope to be able to start that in the next week or two. I did keep the 1500 SP out of the 69 I traded to put in her later. Wish I could figure out the original color of her, but will all the colors, I am not sure. I was told that she was blasted, so I am not sure what is left of the original paint, and the color tag under the wiper reservoir is long gone.










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Re: 66 Beetle "Bella"

Post by 60andslow on Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:41 pm

Looks solid good score.
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Re: 66 Beetle "Bella"

Post by sploval53 on Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:13 pm

Nice. Score. Can't wait to see it on the rd
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Re: 66 Beetle "Bella"

Post by zabo on Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:01 am

I'd guess L41 black
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Re: 66 Beetle "Bella"

Post by ping349n on Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:28 pm

Thanks guys. I do have a question about the rims that are on her. I have not been able to dig in yet, and have NO clue about the PO, but I need your thoughts on what is on there? Didn't 4 lugs start in 68? If that is indeed what is on mine, how hard is it to go back to the old 5 lug wheels? Also, as far as the doors are concerend, how hard is it to go from the single window back to the original vent window?
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Re: 66 Beetle "Bella"

Post by Grifspop on Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:38 pm

ping349n wrote:Thanks guys. I do have a question about the rims that are on her. I have not been able to dig in yet, and have NO clue about the PO, but I need your thoughts on what is on there? Didn't 4 lugs start in 68? If that is indeed what is on mine, how hard is it to go back to the old 5 lug wheels? Also, as far as the doors are concerend, how hard is it to go from the single window back to the original vent window?

4 lugs started in '68, do you have disc brakes on the front? Sometimes when people changed to discs on the front, and went to 4 lugs, they would put 4 lug wheels on the back too.

Or, you might be sitting on a later pan- check the serial number under the back seat, where the access plate to the shift coupler is , and check the Samba for chassis dating http://www.thesamba.com/vw/archives/info/bugchassisdating.php

Converting back to wide 5 isn't that difficult, you just need to figure out what you have. You're not running any wheel adapters, are you? that could also be the case

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Re: 66 Beetle "Bella"

Post by ping349n on Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:07 pm

Well Grif, I looked when I got home before it got dark, and verified the VIN on the tunnel and it is a 66 (built between October and November of 65). I also pulled off the caps and did not appear to be disc brakes up front. Will have to wait till the weekend to pull the wheels off and see what is going on. So the mystery continues!!!
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Re: 66 Beetle "Bella"

Post by Grifspop on Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:23 pm

That's good news that you've got a '66 pan, shouldn't be that hard to swap back to wide 5- depending on what brakes are on the car
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Re: 66 Beetle "Bella"

Post by ping349n on Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:29 pm

Over the weekend, I was able to spend some time in the carport and clear out some space for Bella. I was also able to build a simple table to work on her engine. Tonight I started the tear down and was pleasantly surprised with what I have found so far. Granted a majority of the tin and valve covers are rusted to hell and back, she still turns very smoothly by hand!! Over the next few days, I will hopefully find out if my 1500 can still be used in Bella. Wish me luck!

On a side note, I may be rubbing off on my father in law and he may be catching the bug as well!
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Re: 66 Beetle "Bella"

Post by ping349n on Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:38 pm

Took Bella's front fenders off tonight and it appears that she had a little front end damage sometime in the past. The front right wheel well has a little crinkle in it. In comparison to the beam, it rides closer to it than in the passenger side. Need to figure out how to pull that out in the future. Good news is that there is not any rot in there at all. Will have to weld in some new fender nuts, but thats about it. I do however think it might be a good idea to replace both front fenders if I can. seeing as the ones that are on there are not original to that car, it might just be easier to replace them than to try and repair them.
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Re: 66 Beetle "Bella"

Post by ping349n on Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:50 pm

After going to the show in Dallas, it motivated me to get my ass in gear and get some work done on Bella today. While the kids were down for their nap, I got out and separated her body from the pan. All in all, it was not very difficult and only took a little over an hour. I did break off 4-5 bolts in the process. Evil or Very Mad Guess I will getting an easy out set in the next few weeks! I am woring on prepping the new pans to go in and learning how to weld at the same time! Here are a few shots of what all we did.












So what do you think about this one? Ever seen this before? It was sealed up with silicone caulk and what appeared to be roofing tar!
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Re: 66 Beetle "Bella"

Post by sploval53 on Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:47 pm

They did it to get to the clutch cable most likely. I have had a few that have been cut like that
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Re: 66 Beetle "Bella"

Post by bumblebuggy on Mon Feb 27, 2012 6:35 am

Yea. They cut holes like that in the tunnel to get at the clutch cable tube for repairs.
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Re: 66 Beetle "Bella"

Post by ping349n on Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:13 am

Thats what I figured it was for. I just have to decide if I should weld it back up or cover over it just in case I need to use it in the future.
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Re: 66 Beetle "Bella"

Post by bumblebuggy on Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:32 am

I'd weld it back up after you determine the tube is intact.
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Re: 66 Beetle "Bella"

Post by ping349n on Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:19 am

Started to tear the pan appart this weekend but got sidetracked and built a cart to roll the body around on. Mostly, this was to keep the wife happy so that she could park the Tahoe in the carport since I was taking up two spaces! Very cheap and very easy to make and will make my life a lot better while working on her.
While trying to breakdown the pan, I have run into a small bit of a problem, I can't seem to get the pedal assembly removed from the car! It seems to be held up by the rod that goes into the master cylinder. I have loosened the clutch cable at the tranny housing, but does not seem to help. I can't get it pulled out enough to disconnect because of the rod. And to make matters worse, when the PO put this master cylinder on, the bolt closest to the tunned seems to be recessed into the cross member and I can't even think about getting a wrench on it. scratch I will try to get a picture of it if anyone can't picture what I am talking about. Any advise on either? Thanks!
Here are a few shots of the cart I built.







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Re: 66 Beetle "Bella"

Post by buggin70 on Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:23 am

very nice design i may need the specs for that lol
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Re: 66 Beetle "Bella"

Post by fluxcap on Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:38 am

You should be able to remove the pushrod from the pedal assembly. It's usually held on with a C-clip, or some other type of clip. But once that is removed, and you have the pedal cluster loosened up, you should be able to wiggle the cluster a little bit and remove that push rod from the pedal assembly.

The framehead where the master cylinder is bolted to is hollow. There should be a metal sleeve on each bolt inside the hollow section of the framehead. This metal sleeve acts as a spacer and keeps the frame head from collapsing inward when you tighten the master cylinder bolts. Sounds like whoever put your M/C in left the sleeve of that bolt and the result is the bolt gouged its way into the metal when they tightened it down. I know you said a wrench won't work and I'm guessing you meant a regular open ended wrench, but what about a socket wrench with an extension???

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Re: 66 Beetle "Bella"

Post by ping349n on Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:02 am

Eric - I tried a socket and everything. The one that I am having trouble with is the one closest to the tunnel. This thing is almost counter sunk into the framehead. I know it's not right because looking were the bolts come out of the other end of the MS, the one that I could get out was only sticking out about a 1/4" and the one in question is sticking out almost an 1"!!!
Kyle - probably overkill using all 4 x 4's but didn't want to take any chances.
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Re: 66 Beetle "Bella"

Post by fluxcap on Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:17 am

Dang! Well if it's sticking out almost 1" on the master cylinder side is there any chance you could hit the hardware store for a couple of nuts (insert joke here) and double nut them on the back side so they lock together, and then "tighten" them from that side to work the bolt out? hopefully that made sense.

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Re: 66 Beetle "Bella"

Post by ping349n on Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:17 pm

FINALLY got the pedal assembly out tonight. The pushrod is still attached to the cluster. This thing is in pretty bad shape. Will soak it for a while in some mean green and see if I can get it apart to see if it can be saved. Still have to try and figure out how to get the MS out! Eric, not sure if I have room to try the double nut thing.
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Re: 66 Beetle "Bella"

Post by DiggerD on Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:15 pm

Just saw this.....

Nice work on that cart!!
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Re: 66 Beetle "Bella"

Post by ping349n on Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:16 pm

It has been a pretty busy last two weeks around the Boudreaux household so not a whole lot of work has gone into Bella, but I am trying to do something small everyday. Tonight, while outside having a cold beer and a cigar, I decided to get out a wet sanding block and see what was underneath the primer. Was pretty surprised with what I found. Too bad my fenders, hood and deck lid aren't original to the car.



Now a few questions for you folks. Here are a few pictures of the stud that I was talking about that is holding the master cylinder on the frame. It is in so tight, I can't seem to get anything on it to get it loose! Any thoughts???




Finally, anyone seen this before on the rear fender bolts? Not sure I have ever seen studs coming out. I always thought there were capture nuts all the way around on both sides!

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Re: 66 Beetle "Bella"

Post by ping349n on Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:21 am

Got quite a bit done (at least I think a lot) on Bella this weekend. I got all the old nasty & crusty pans cut out and got BOTH sides of the frame prepped for the new pans! I donít have a large enough compressor to run an air chisel, so I had to do it all the old fashioned way, with a hammer and chisel. Needless to say, I am glad to be back at work to get a little rest. Overall, it was not that hard and didnít run into any major problems. I also was able to finally pressure wash the whole frame and get all the years of gunk and grime off. Next weekend, we will be headed to Senoia for a family trip, so not much will get done. During the week this week, I plan on getting the replacement pans prepped for welding and try to get the old master cylinder out (not looking forward to that one).

Pans all cut out and edges cleaned up nicely


All of the crap that came off!


Fits like a glove! Can't wait to start welding these in!


Not perfect, but much cleaner than before.
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Re: 66 Beetle "Bella"

Post by robjams on Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:25 pm

Looking good!
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Re: 66 Beetle "Bella"

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