Engine out!

So last night a couple of good friends came and lent a hand to take the engine out of Ruy.

I began by labelling all the wiring in the engine bay and taking photographs of it all, so it will all go back together easily.

Over the past year the engine has been out at least once, if not twice.  So, it meant that the team managed to get the engine out and stored away within an hour, in the dark!

The fuel pipe was disconnected, as were the heater pipes and accelerator cable.  Then it was a case of loosening off the four bolts on the engine holding it to the gearbox before jacking up the body whilst holding the engine on another jack and wiggling it off the gearbox.  Simples!

The rest of the evening was spent tutting over the metal work and then discussing stages in the project plan.

My thanks to both Ian and Josh for all their help now and no doubt in the future.  I owe you both a lot!!


and so it begins…

Today marked the beginning of the journey.  Having spent the last week preparing the garage, with new shelves, tool chests and other stalling tactics, I bit the bullet and took Ruy’s interior out.

I painstakingly catalogued every part I removed, bagged each one and placed them in a nice big box.  It all went very well and I uncovered some very sticky original glue, found that a rear quarter panel wasn’t as bad as first feared and discovered that the rear view mirror twists off!

However, I also found some rather worrying rust closely associated with the rear inner wings.  This certainly needs further inspection.

These were taken before the removal of the interior.


This is after!

And here are the troublesome rusty bits!!!  (they are located in the rear corners of the bulkhead above- where the wheel arches meet the back wall for the engine bay.)

The next step is to empty the fuel tank and remove it, along with all the ancillaries in the bonnet, then to remove the engine.

Onwards and upwards!!

Have I taken on too big a job?

So, I had a chat with a good friend and fellow Splitterz member yesterday, who just happens to be building a Porsche 356 replica, so knows what he is talking about when it comes to builds and restorations.

I have a lot more things to think about then “just taking the car apart and putting it back together again”….

Where do I store everything?
How do I catalogue it all?
What about the electrics?
What if I can’t get things off the car?

And more importantly… what if my motivation suffers and I don’t get the work done?

I could have a perfectly serviceable car with just a few bodywork tweaks and a respray – I don’t need to take it all apart and start again…

It all boils down to confidence.  I am not sure I can do this thing!

The refurbishment roster

So I have gathered a list of all the areas that I think need work on RUY.  I wonder whether I am being overly cautious, or whether I haven’t considered everything!

  • Clutch, release bearing and adjustment
  • Re-wire with new loom and include trailer electrics
  • Replace gearshaft bush and shift plate
  • Replace oil in gearbox, clean gearbox and paint
  • Body off to cover all hidden issues, blast, re-paint and redo headlining
  • Blast and refurb wheels
  • Clean up all earth points
  • Waxoyl pan
  • Check over brakes, lines etc and replace if needed
  • Change over doors
  • Wing mirrors
  • Bumpers
  • Diagnose issues with running of engine and refurb if required
  • Replace heater control cables and re-attach to heat exchangers
  • Check alternator and replace if required (not sure it has full voltage)
  • Check starter motor and replace if required
  • Window, door, bonnet etc. rubbers if needed
  • Chrome trim for body work and windows if needed
  • Rubber grommets in all the places they should be
  • n/side A pillar
  • n/side top heater channel
  • N/side lower heater channel
  • o/side floor pan half
  • o/side battery tray
  • Front bonnet rim
  • Inner wings near to bumpers
  • Maybe suspension mounts
  • Missing jacking point
  • Brown carpet throughout (have sample)
  • Tan door cards as per original if possible
  • Repair/redo Upholstery if possible
  • Pedals

About RUY

So, RUY is my 1973 GT Beetle.  One of only 2,500 ever made.  He has been with me since 1998, and previous to that he belonged to a neighbour of mine.  I have known about him ever since I was a toddler.  He is part of the family and therefore a car I can never sell or scrap.

The GT Beetle was introduced by VW in the UK as a special edition made to celebrate the 300,000 beetle sold in Britain.  Every one of the 2500 was made in one of three colours- lemon yellow, apple green and tomato red.

The GT’s colours were divided up as 50% lemon yellow (L15M), 10% apple green (L64M), 40% tomato red (L30M).

The car was based on a European 1300s, had it’s own interior cloth material, gearstick ,tunnel tray, padded dashboard, large rear light cluster and 4.5J steel wheels.

It had a 1600 engine and upgraded gearbox which allowed the car to reach 80mph which was fast back in the day.

It also had front disc brakes and was lighter than the standard model. Being a deluxe model there was also chrome trim around the windows. When buying the car it came with a 1300S badge, the customer then had the option of changing the badge to either a matt black or chrome GT badge. Apparently this increased the car insurance.

The paint codes were to the best of http://www.gtbeetle.co.uk research originally (maybe Belgium paint codes):

  • L15M Zitrongelb (9510) Yellow (Lemon)
  • L30M Tomatenrot (9511) Tomato Red
  • L64M Apfelgrun (9512) Apple Green

The Confusion begins as on VW Birth certificates the colours differ, http://www.gtbeetle.co.uk believe these are could be:

  • L20A Chrome Yellow
  • L32K Phoenix Red
  • L61A Cliffe Green

The GT’s were made in a VW factory in Belgium, in Nov 1972. If the beetle has original glass then a “BE” water mark should be on the glass.