Off to the clinic!

Since my last update, things have been progressing slowly.  As I have previously mentioned, the cleaning is something I hate doing and it has been hard work to get motivated.

The torsion leaves were removed from the old beam and put in storage.  I then began work on degreasing the chassis and removing the original sound deadening material ahead of sending it off for welding.

As you can see from the photos, the chassis cleaned up well and the tunnel is in very good condition.  After a pressure wash (thanks to Mark for helping to lift the chassis outside!!), I was able to remove the pedal set plate and under seat heater cables and that meant everything was ready to be welded!

After a short tendering exercise (I do work in Procurement after all..!) I chose to send the chassis to the Speedster Clinic, Kenilworth for the welding.  Not only is Gary providing excellent value for money, he also has the jigs to weld the framehead properly and spends all his working day welding beetle chassis for customers who want to create their own replica Porsche 356.

So, today Ian (him of the comments on this blog and 356 build fame) and I took a trip to see Gary.

Whilst the chassis is with Gary, I have lots more work to be getting on with but I hope to have a fully welded chassis back with me by mid-May!

And in case you don’t think a 356 replica man has the VW history, Gary showed me a number of his original 1970s VW sales brochures!!  Fantastic!


Beam me up!

Now everything is tucked away, my focus has moved to cleaning up parts and assessing what needs replacing.

I am incredibly impatient, which means this phase of the restoration is going to be difficult.  I hate cleaning stuff up and would prefer to buy everything new but that is incredibly expensive and I won’t learn anything!

So, the last couple of days have seen me clean up the front beam, scraping off grease and dirt, using a wire brush and paint scraper and basically making a mess.

I degreased and pressure washed the beam to clean that last remnants of grease and then had a good look around.  Unfortunately I found a couple of holes around one of the torsion bar ends, which means the beam is not worth saving.

So, I stripped everything else off the beam – steering box, track rods, spindles, torsion arms and shock absorbers.  Every ball joint was a pain and both shocks needed grinding off but everything is stripped and can then be either re-used or sold on.

The only thing left to do is remove the torsion leaves.  A very messy job!

I have decided to have an adjustable front beam, as the stock ride height was a little high.  But that is for another day..!