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After I (more or less) finished my 1966 Volkswagen Fastback the "Volksback", it was time for another challenge, here it is!

Samstag, 11. Februar 2017

New beam: done!

Yesterday afternoon I started to prepare the donor beam. The tabs to attach the front bumper had to be welded on and more important, I literally flooded the whole inside of both domes with cavity wax. This beam should last forever!
As the manuals say, re-assembly in reverse order, which was a doodle with exception of inserting the leaf springs (a highlight, every time again) and I also struggled to re-install the speedometer cable! Somehow the rubber plug in the spindle didn't allow to feed the cable deep enough, then it didn't move at all. A lot of pulling and swearing resulted in this:

The first ~15 cm outer "skin" ripped off! Using it in this condition would result in almost instant death of the cable. Well, I always have a lot of spares in my garage, but a speedo cable isn't something you expect to need now and then. So I had to fix it. Luckily I have several rolls of heat shring tubing material in different diameters available, why not give it a try with this. It should seal in both directions, no water can ingress and no grease can egress.

Here is the cure for the cable:

In the background you can see the remains of the rubber plug. This is something I had in my spare parts stash:

The rest was done real quick, the beam got another coat of wax from the outside, then I just checked if all screws were properly fixed, the grease nipples were used to press out any old grease and a final visual check if everything looked good.

This is the result of all the work - nothing looks different than before, but now all is safe and rust free again!
On the bright side, none of the involved tools will catch any rust soon, as this was a messy, greasy affair!

Mittwoch, 8. Februar 2017

Organ donor

Donating an organ is always a generous gesture - of course, in real life even more important than in a hobby, but, I am thankful to receive a really perfect condition donor beam from the "Blaumann" project!

Currently I am removing the tar-like coat, which helped this beam to survive without any issues!

And the transferred money is for a good cause - An investment in the "Blaumann"-stance. A win-win situation!
Oh, and seriously - get one of these!

Samstag, 4. Februar 2017

Never trust anybody - at least if someone sells used car parts...

One of the very few items I did not overhaul by myself during the restoration of the Streaker is the 
front beam.

At that time, a used original VW beam showed up on the Bugnet and I bought it for a reasonable price. It was painted already and appeared to be in good nick, so I added another coat of paint, assembled the whole thing with brand new VW disc brake spindles + all new ball joints and new seals

 and thought everything is fine...

Just 1 year after completion and some street use, a bad rust spot caught my eye. I poked a little and it got bigger. No chance, the beam needs to be fixed right away!

So, today I dismantled everything and removed the beam from the Streaker. The stainless steel clamps for the stabilizer bar came handy, they can be removed and re-attached easily. Besides the standard work procedure, the front bumper with fog lights had to be removed as well:
This is what the beam looked like after removal from the vehicle:

At that tme I was expecting that a few patches and some hours of welding and grinding should do the job.
A wire wheel brush was used to remove all paint and discover the ugly truth:

A totally shot dome, paper thin material and too much rust to trust in a repair job. In addition to the damage on the front and the side, this is the rear of the right dome:

At that time it was clear: This beam is dead - but, just for fun, let's check the other dome as well:
front side of left dome:
 rear side of left dome:

A new beam is the only way to fix this. I already cut off the mounting tabs for the front bumper:

Those need to be welded to the new beam, then, cavity wax will be used to make sure no corrosion will destroy the domes of the new beam again...

Another lesson learned: Buy new or check thoroughly before any used parts find the way onto your ride!

 A said sight... awaiting new beam soon!