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Old 06-14-2012, 08:00 PM
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1969 V8 Convertible bug update- door repair & stainless hinges

First let me say sorry to taking so long for another update, and I also forget to take some pictures along the way. I haven't had a whole lot of time to work on the beetle lately, and when I did I didn't always remember to grab the camera.


Since the last update I got the two halves of the drives side door welded back together, got it stripped, epoxy primed, and installed some new stainless hinges, etc....

You can also see the update on my website at: http://www.v8beetleresource.com/vwbodywork8.html There are a few more pictures there, plus the rest of the project at: v8beetleresource.com


I started welding the door back together with just a few spot welds here and there to make sure it looked good, so far so good.
As you can see after getting a few welds on there I put them back on the car to make sure the profile of the door still matched the body.




I think it looks pretty darn good considering I cut two doors in half to make one. Now I just need to slowing start adding more small welds spread evenly across the door to try to keep warping to a minimum, this is where I forgot to take some pictures.....




Here is the inside after a little grinding, after grinding the welds I took the door down to bare metal to get a good surface for the epoxy primer.




Here is the inside of the door after I primed it with SPI Epoxy Primer. I have herd nothing but good things about SPI's Epoxy Primer and clear coat.......... I'm sold now, the primer sprayed great!




The ouside of the door turned out pretty good too, I just put a little bit of filler across the weld area because welding it cause a bit of a flat spot in the door. There is also a small low spot in the door handle area, but it won't take much filler to blend take care of that. While I was welding I also welded up the trim holes.
You may have also noticed that the hinges are no longer on the doors. They were rusty and sloppy so I decided to replace them with something else.




I decided to get a couple sets of Speedway's Stainless Budget Hinges, they are skinnier than the VW hinges so I also welded a little more sheet metal in to make the hinge holes in the door smaller and I welded up the extra hinge bolt holes too.
one leg on it is 1/4" think and the other is 3/16" think, I think these will work great for replacement VW hinges. The hinge slot in the door is about 3/16" wide, so that leg will be the one that gets mounted to the doors, It looks like this makes the hinges go on upside down compaired to what they were ment to be, so I will just put the hinge pins in the opposite way. It looks like they'll work great this way.


I used my dewalt 4.5" angle grinder with a cut off wheel to trim the hinge.




Now I just need to mark the holes to drill and tap, They'll look a lot nicer than the old rusty vw hinges.




After doing the top hinge I did pretty much the same thing to the bottom hinge, but again forgot to take pictures.....




The old hinges had counter sunk rivits holding them on, instead I'll be using high strength serated head Stainless bolts, and to strengthen the door where the hinges will bolt on I cut some 2" wide x 1/8" thick stainless backing strips.




And here are the Speedway Motors stainless steel budget hinges assembled on the door.




I think the stainless hinges really turned out nice..... Now I just have to do this process all over again with the other door, but atleast now I know what I'm doing...... LOL

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Old 06-14-2012, 08:40 PM
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Looks like you are doing some beautiful work. I would have never guessed that someone would be making stainless hinges for the old Bug, wild.

Brian
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
Looks like you are doing some beautiful work. I would have never guessed that someone would be making stainless hinges for the old Bug, wild.

Brian

Thanks Brian, they weren't meant for bugs, but I made them work, they are actually Speedway's stainless budget hinges, http://www.speedwaymotors.com/Budget...eel,56136.html
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:09 PM
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I guess I learned my study skills from Playboy magazines as a kid where the words just skip by you. You did a beautiful job fitting them to that door, just beautiful!

Brian
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Old 06-15-2012, 06:04 PM
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There have been plenty of times I've just scanned threads and looked mostly at the pictures......... no biggy...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
I guess I learned my study skills from Playboy magazines as a kid where the words just skip by you. You did a beautiful job fitting them to that door, just beautiful!

Brian
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Old 06-27-2012, 07:26 PM
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I Started working on the passenger side door a few days ago, and just finished doing a little welding and grinding. Just like the driver side door I cut the rusted out bottom out of the convertible door, and cut the good bottom out of a hard top door, and welded the two together to make 1 good door. I also welded up some trim holes and removed the hinges, etc...

Check the update out at: http://www.v8beetleresource.com/vwbodywork9.html for more pictures, below are a few of them.

Or check out the whole project at: http://www.v8beetleresource.com



The passenger side door wasn't rusted as bad as the driver side, so I didn't have to cut nearly as much of the bottom of the door off, this should make it a bit easier to repair. I started off making my marks at 4" on one side and 5" on the other side.






Then I flipped over the door and marked up the back side. Just like the other door I'll cut just above the mounting holes for the door panel.





Next I removed the hinges from the top of the convertible door, and the bottom of the donor door. They are rivited on so first I drilled out the rivits. I started with a 1/8" bit and slowly went up untill I drilled out the heads.





Then I pulled the hinges out. The rivits are countersunk into the hinges so it takes a bit to pull them out. I used a wide plastic pry bar against the hinge and the edge of the door. Later I'll flaten these spots out and then weld the holes up I won't use.





Next I started welding the two halves back together again. Use small welds spaced out to help keep from warping the door.





If you haven't done any body panel welding, the inside of the door is a good place to get some practice, since it isn't a big flat surface, it won't warp as easy.





Next I moved back to the outside of the door, and slowly and evenly added more and more small welds. You can also see a bondo surprise that I found on the lower right side of the door, it looks like someone dented in that part of the door and filled it with bondo. I took it all out and hammered out the dent the best I could, after I epoxy prime the door it should blend right in with a little epoxy filler.





Then I moved back to the inside of the door and started filling in the welds. And finally I got it all welded solid, now I just need to do some grinding and maybe touch up with a few more welds here and there.





Here is the front of the door all welded up, while I was welding I also welded up the trim holes, made the hinge holes smaller for my stainless hinges, etc... I also flattened out the old hinge rivit holes and welded up the ones that I won't need. After all the welding and grinding I'm left with a bit of a flat spot in the seem of the two doors. After spraying the door with some SPI epoxy primer I'll be able to fill that in with a little epoxy filler with no problem.


That's it for now, I'm hopping to get the door stripped, cleaned up, and primed with some SPI epoxy this weekend.
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Old 06-29-2012, 02:42 PM
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LOTS of good info here. and NO its NOT as easy as he makes it look. But its just metal; it can't beat you unless you let it. If you screw it up, grind it out and start over; lots of patience and work at your speed.

Awesome work! And I dig your hovercraft stuff
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Old 06-30-2012, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by AutoGear View Post
LOTS of good info here. and NO its NOT as easy as he makes it look. But its just metal; it can't beat you unless you let it. If you screw it up, grind it out and start over; lots of patience and work at your speed.

Awesome work! And I dig your hovercraft stuff

Thanks AutoGear, and no its not that easy........... If it was I'd be driving it by now.... LOL

I wish I had more time to use the hovercrafts, its just by the time you get everything loaded up, get down to the river, unload etc, then leave time to load back up you need to have half a day free at least. Hopefully in the next couple years we'll be able to get a house with some land so I can buzz around in the hovercraft without having to load them up and take them somewhere.....


Anyways Thanks again!
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