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 Bella - 1958 Australian Beetle

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Shamrockez
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Female Number of posts : 2047
Age : 32
Location : Curry Rivel, Somerset
My Ride(s) : 98 New Beetle, 1958 Bug, 1966 Split, 2006 T5, 71 Bug, 72 Bay and 61 Split.
Registration date : 2006-11-21

PostSubject: Bella - 1958 Australian Beetle   Fri Apr 20, 2007 10:23 am

I thought I'd properly introduce you to Bella. In the easter holidays 2005 my Dad and I went to Australia for a holiday with the idea of bringing about 3 VWs back with us - we didn't know if we'd find enough suitable cars or not, but we were going to try.

We stayed at our friend's house and whilst looking at Ebay I stumbled across a 58 Beetle in Dandenong, Melbourne. The advert described the Beetle as solid and running, but rough. The Auction was to finish in a couple of days and we knew we wouldn't be able to view her before it ended. She was up for $400 AD which was £160. I had visions of the auction running high so tried not to think too much about this tatty little Bug, but we rang the seller to find out some more information. We were suprised to find out that Mark who owned the Bug actually came from Liverpool - small world, eh?? And he told us she was very solid but didn't run very well. This didn't bother me too much as picking up a 2nd hand 1200cc engine back in the UK wouldn't be a problem, nor too expensive. We arranged to call Mark back to arrange a viewing if she hadn't sold on ebay.

So the ebay auction amazingly finished with no bids! Surprised And we set off on 3 hired Harleys (we were going on a trip the next day) to have a look at her. She was being stored where Mark worked at a body shop repair place. Tucked in between smashed motors was this funny little Grey Beetle.






We hadn't brought a torch with us, so borrowed a very dull one off Mark to look at her pans and channels etc. A good prod with the screwdriver later revealed no nasties and no previous repairs - ace! She'd had some later lights fitted to her, and an awful tiny steering wheel, but for the most part she was unmessed with.

A few days before we'd offered a chap called Ted money for a 61 Split and a 73 Bay and he as quite attatched to the Split so we told him that he could think about the offer and we'd ring after we'd finished our bike trip to see if he'd made a decision. We didn't want to buy Bella without the other 2 so we told Mark that if Ted accepted our offer on the 2 busses, we'd be down to give him some money and strip Bella for shipping the next week.

Luckily (there seems to be a lot of luck in this story!) Ted accepted our offer for the Busses so we set of to pay Mark and take the bumpers, decklid and bonnet off Bella. We arranged for Mark to take her down to the docks when the shipping date was set, piled the parts we'd taken off her into our hire car and left, knowing the next time we'd see her, she'd be in the UK.

We went and collected the busses, stripped them down for shipping and drew out a container sized space in our friend's field. The reason we stripped them down was because there was (I think) only going to be 4cm spare in the container once they were all loaded. So we put the Split first so her front end could be nudged into the engine bay, then Bella, then the Bay who would hopefully be high enough to go over her engine slightly. Since Bella was being taken directly to the shipping yard, we had to measure the gap where she'd go:


What seemed like forever afterwards, my Dad recieved a call telling him our container had arrived. I picked up Dad at Gatwick Airport and met Mum with the Landrover and trailer at Tillbury docks. This is what greated us:


3 unharmed Volkswagens. We'd been advised on Volkszone that we must get 3 cars into the container. The reason for this, is that if one car breaks free, it will have a 'run up' to keep hitting the other vehicle. If you have 3 cars and only a 4cm 'run up' then they can't do much damaged if they escape the ropes. We'd paid Geoff's handy man to properly secure them into the container (as they were packed after we'd left for home) and he'd done a brillaint job Very Happy

This was the first time we'd been able to see Bella in proper light, so we had a good look round, nervous that the dark shed she was in may have hidden some nasties. Luckily (yep, again!) there was no rot








We then loaded Ted (the Split) onto the trailer and Mum and Dad set off to Leicestershire with him.




Skippy (the Bay) and Bella were coming to the South West via a transport company. The day before they were due to arrive I recieved a call from a lorry driver telling me he was 30 mins away! Shocked our contact in the docks had messed up their tranportation so many times it didn't really suprise us that they were arriving a day early! I rang Steve to tell him he needed to come home from work to recieve Skippy and waited for the lorry to arrive.
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Shamrockez
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Female Number of posts : 2047
Age : 32
Location : Curry Rivel, Somerset
My Ride(s) : 98 New Beetle, 1958 Bug, 1966 Split, 2006 T5, 71 Bug, 72 Bay and 61 Split.
Registration date : 2006-11-21

PostSubject: Re: Bella - 1958 Australian Beetle   Fri Apr 20, 2007 10:24 am

I'm not quite sure how it got down my road - he did it all in reverse too! The lorry was massive and it made Bella and Skippy look tiny:


The lorry driver helped me push her round to the garage to meet Joey and Bertie:


We then went on to Steve's house and dropped Skippy off with him.

A couple days later I met Jim for the first time and we thought it would be fun to fill Bella with petrol to see if she worked. We'd never seen her start as she didn't have a battery when we looked at her. So I nicked the petrol can from the lawn mower and added a bit to her tank. We put in a battery and after the fuel had started to go though, she spluttered into life. Mark wasn't wrong, she did run rough, but at least she ran!

Chuffed with ourselves we decided to see if she moved.... she did - and again Mark was right - it was rough! She wasn't what you'd call smooth Wink Kangaroo hoping and shuddering was the only way she'd move forward or backwards.

I replaced all the fuel pipes to be on the safe side and bolted her panels back on and took some pics:












The only real problem (other than the running) was a bit of accident damaged where she'd been reversed into something:


Not the end of the world by any means.

She was a little on the high side tho...


Put it this way - both at standard height - look at the height of the roofs!
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Shamrockez
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Female Number of posts : 2047
Age : 32
Location : Curry Rivel, Somerset
My Ride(s) : 98 New Beetle, 1958 Bug, 1966 Split, 2006 T5, 71 Bug, 72 Bay and 61 Split.
Registration date : 2006-11-21

PostSubject: Re: Bella - 1958 Australian Beetle   Fri Apr 20, 2007 10:25 am

Right, now where was I? Oh yes, we'd got her running, pumped the tyres up and accessed the accident damage. It was around this time that Luke decided he wanted an old Bug, so I suggested that he should have a go in Bella to see how he got on. If he managed Bella he could cope with a 'better' Bug really well.... she was spluttery, untuned, kangaroo'd everywhere and had a habit of opening the passenger door when you put her into 2nd Surprised

Then Tom was introduced to Bella and he and Jim told me off by saying she was the easiest project in the world and should be roadworthy in about 6 weekends worth of work..... a year on she still has no MOT ;D

Anyway, after rather a lot of faffing round doing bits here and there, thing started to progress. The tyres she came with were really wide and had no tread - so along came some shiny new ones in different izes ready for lowering...

New and old:


Seriously need to do something about the ride height tho!


So that was next. Tom narrowed the beam by 3.5 inches for me:


and welded in some adjusters and cut of the shock towers because she’ll need custom ones due to the amount she’s been narrowed:


We lowered her off the jack and this is what we got:




I don’t like the nose down stance so the next thing to do was lower the back end. Currently down 3 splines with no interior or engine, so we’ll probably have to raise her one spline to just get her to move!



Spring plates were notched for extra travel


We then put her on the roller to paint her pans and channels with POR15:


All painted up and shiny:


We found the problem to the kangarooing – if you look on the right of this pic there is a round hole. In that hole (and the one on the other side) there should be a thread and bolt there. Instead they’d welded the mount to the chassis – so the gearbox was just moving about as the rubber stretched – hence the bizarre driving!


So the gearbox was removed, oil drained, cleaned up and painted:


So the mount was taken off and Tom welded on some studs for me, the gearbox went back in and she was put on her wheels again – check out the camber!


In the meantime I’d welded in the 2 rear bumper hangers to get rid of the accident damage:






I also did a 12v conversion on the 1200 engine I’d picked up for £50 as her original one was eating oil a bit.


I cleaned the carb up and painted all the tinwear with POR15:


After that I decided to see what she looked like underneath the primer – I sanded her down and this is what I was left with:


So she’ll look like this soon:


After we’ve lowered her a bit more using dropped spindles:
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Shamrockez
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Female Number of posts : 2047
Age : 32
Location : Curry Rivel, Somerset
My Ride(s) : 98 New Beetle, 1958 Bug, 1966 Split, 2006 T5, 71 Bug, 72 Bay and 61 Split.
Registration date : 2006-11-21

PostSubject: Re: Bella - 1958 Australian Beetle   Fri Apr 20, 2007 10:27 am

I've done quite a bit of sanding on her:




Then couldn't resist trial fitting her Alberts - so shiny!


Also undid a few old brake cables and started cleaning up the framehead area ready for some POR-15. Half way through:






Almost ready for paint Very Happy
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Shamrockez
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Female Number of posts : 2047
Age : 32
Location : Curry Rivel, Somerset
My Ride(s) : 98 New Beetle, 1958 Bug, 1966 Split, 2006 T5, 71 Bug, 72 Bay and 61 Split.
Registration date : 2006-11-21

PostSubject: Re: Bella - 1958 Australian Beetle   Fri Apr 20, 2007 10:27 am

Almost finished all the sanding - just got a few bits to do by hand - under the handles etc.


Seems weird to see her with a decklid on again!


I wanted to see what her new wheels would look like:


Only problem with having no shocks is that you have to jack her up sooooo high to get the wheels off the floor!




Strange seeing 2 'whole' looking cars in the garage too!
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Shamrockez
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Female Number of posts : 2047
Age : 32
Location : Curry Rivel, Somerset
My Ride(s) : 98 New Beetle, 1958 Bug, 1966 Split, 2006 T5, 71 Bug, 72 Bay and 61 Split.
Registration date : 2006-11-21

PostSubject: Re: Bella - 1958 Australian Beetle   Fri Apr 20, 2007 10:28 am

Fitted rear bumper and rear lights:






She looks like a 'real Beetle now!
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Shamrockez
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Female Number of posts : 2047
Age : 32
Location : Curry Rivel, Somerset
My Ride(s) : 98 New Beetle, 1958 Bug, 1966 Split, 2006 T5, 71 Bug, 72 Bay and 61 Split.
Registration date : 2006-11-21

PostSubject: Re: Bella - 1958 Australian Beetle   Fri Apr 20, 2007 10:29 am

Carefully balanced...


Wonder what's going on here...


Rubbed some G3 into the bonnet - guess which bit! ;D











Then I fitted something I never thought I'd buy! I've never really been a fan of eyelids and I've always thought they were quite girly... but then again all the cars I've had before have been boys - Bella is the only girl. I've recently seen a few nice Bugs with them on which seem to have really suited them. So I got a set of Flat4 ones and trial fitted them when i did the wheels.










At the moment, I quite like them, so they shall stay on her for a bit methinks. Only take a minute to remove if I decide I don't like them anyways Smile



Sorry about the massive long series of posts - I appear to have written a lot of crap over the last year or so Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Bella - 1958 Australian Beetle   Fri Apr 20, 2007 12:47 pm

great read ive managed to catch up with bellas thread now lol!


well done guys she looks hard as and the wheels look gorgous on her Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Bella - 1958 Australian Beetle   Fri Apr 20, 2007 12:53 pm

Great story! So how far are you away from the MOT?
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Shamrockez
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Female Number of posts : 2047
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Location : Curry Rivel, Somerset
My Ride(s) : 98 New Beetle, 1958 Bug, 1966 Split, 2006 T5, 71 Bug, 72 Bay and 61 Split.
Registration date : 2006-11-21

PostSubject: Re: Bella - 1958 Australian Beetle   Fri Apr 20, 2007 2:16 pm

Cheers guys!

MOT list is massive Sad

Rewire
Fit engine
Hope engine works
Fit all new acc, clutch, handbrake etc cables
Completely redo brakes
Get Tom to make up shock towers for beam
Fit new shocks all round
Hope everything electrical still works
Fit in new relay to make semaphores work with hidden indicators
Fit dropped spindles
Refit interior
Fit seatbelts

And there's probably loads more I've forgotten about lol
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PostSubject: Re: Bella - 1958 Australian Beetle   Fri Apr 20, 2007 3:43 pm

Brilliant. More pics lol!
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PostSubject: Re: Bella - 1958 Australian Beetle   Fri Apr 20, 2007 3:51 pm

Excellent work dude, looks the dogs mate Cool Cool
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Female Number of posts : 2047
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Location : Curry Rivel, Somerset
My Ride(s) : 98 New Beetle, 1958 Bug, 1966 Split, 2006 T5, 71 Bug, 72 Bay and 61 Split.
Registration date : 2006-11-21

PostSubject: Re: Bella - 1958 Australian Beetle   Fri Apr 20, 2007 8:38 pm

Cheers peeps - more pics will be up after the weekend once we've put a few layers of satin laquer on her to protect her a bit from the elements - not that she'll be seeing many of the elements, but still Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Bella - 1958 Australian Beetle   Sat Apr 21, 2007 6:38 am

very very cool indeed afro
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PostSubject: Re: Bella - 1958 Australian Beetle   Sat Apr 21, 2007 7:09 am

I love this Bug, top work Lucy...

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PostSubject: Re: Bella - 1958 Australian Beetle   Sat Apr 21, 2007 8:37 am

looks good keep up the good work
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PostSubject: Re: Bella - 1958 Australian Beetle   Sat Apr 21, 2007 11:29 am

Lucy i'm fully in love with the bug she's looking sweeeeeeet afro
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PostSubject: Re: Bella - 1958 Australian Beetle   Sat Apr 21, 2007 7:31 pm

Wow Lucy she is looking really good.

Have been keeping up with the thread but just not got much time to reply.

But well done you should be proud!!!!!!!

See you tomorrow sunny
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Female Number of posts : 2047
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Location : Curry Rivel, Somerset
My Ride(s) : 98 New Beetle, 1958 Bug, 1966 Split, 2006 T5, 71 Bug, 72 Bay and 61 Split.
Registration date : 2006-11-21

PostSubject: Re: Bella - 1958 Australian Beetle   Sat Apr 21, 2007 10:05 pm

Cheers guys - hopefully this year you'll be able to meet her!

Masked up for laquer:


Laquer on:




Weird spooky dark pic:
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PostSubject: Re: Bella - 1958 Australian Beetle   Sat Apr 21, 2007 10:25 pm

Looks wicked.. Where did you get the satin laquer from Question
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Shamrockez
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Female Number of posts : 2047
Age : 32
Location : Curry Rivel, Somerset
My Ride(s) : 98 New Beetle, 1958 Bug, 1966 Split, 2006 T5, 71 Bug, 72 Bay and 61 Split.
Registration date : 2006-11-21

PostSubject: Re: Bella - 1958 Australian Beetle   Sun Apr 22, 2007 7:45 am

From Steve! Very Happy


But that doesn't help much, does it? He got it from Hickley Valtone.
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PostSubject: Re: Bella - 1958 Australian Beetle   Sun Apr 22, 2007 7:57 am

Shamrockez wrote:
From Steve! Very Happy


But that doesn't help much, does it? He got it from Hickley Valtone.

Cheers young lady Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Bella - 1958 Australian Beetle   Sun Apr 22, 2007 9:18 pm

God your bug has a double hard bastard stance!!!

I love it!!! afro afro afro afro
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Shamrockez
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Female Number of posts : 2047
Age : 32
Location : Curry Rivel, Somerset
My Ride(s) : 98 New Beetle, 1958 Bug, 1966 Split, 2006 T5, 71 Bug, 72 Bay and 61 Split.
Registration date : 2006-11-21

PostSubject: Re: Bella - 1958 Australian Beetle   Tue May 01, 2007 1:45 pm

Stance has just got harder - the engine's gone in!


It was very weird last night - I took the carb off my 71 Bug who's standard height at the back (and on somehome made boards to move him round the garage) and I was kneeling on the floor, with my arms going upwards to undo the carb bolts. I then walked round to the 58 and realised just how low she actually is - when standing her top wheel on the engine doesn't even reach my knee - and I'm not tall! Shocked and when putting the carb back on, I was knelt down again but leaning down to do the bolts up, instead of up, like on the 71.
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Shamrockez
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Female Number of posts : 2047
Age : 32
Location : Curry Rivel, Somerset
My Ride(s) : 98 New Beetle, 1958 Bug, 1966 Split, 2006 T5, 71 Bug, 72 Bay and 61 Split.
Registration date : 2006-11-21

PostSubject: Re: Bella - 1958 Australian Beetle   Tue May 01, 2007 1:53 pm

Just gonna copy and paste the latest update from VZi:

Gave in to temptation and ordered some shiny bits which I've wanted for ages:


Got the starter motor wired up and bolted in from the new loom... then thought it would be a good idea to pop the engine in cos it's always in the way... so we did!




And fitted the dual mount ariel:


Steve fixed the closing problem on the pass side door (it wouldn't stay properly shut).

All in all - a good day's progress I think Very Happy

We also replaced the accelerator cable (that one's bizzare, didn't expect it to come out on the other side of the tunnel!) and reconnected the clutch cable. Think i might have to put in my new one tho cos the old one seems a little stretched cos it's not adjusted quite enough yet, and i'm nearly at the end of the thread...

Also connected the gear linkage back up - almost had a very despressing thought that we'd have to remove the box to get the linkage to line up, but then Steve remembered that we should put the stick in 2nd to join it up - and hey presto, it went into line nicely Very Happy

And a list!

Things which need to be wired in:

* Engine

* Ignition switch

* Rear lights

* Front lights

* Indicators

* Dip switch

* Speedo

* Headlight switch

* Horn

* Semaphores



Bits which need bolting/putting back on:

* Headlights & Eyelids

* Alberts

* Chrome trim

* Chrome trim into window rubbers

* Windows into Bug

* Front bumper

* Rear bumper

* Roofrack

* Striker plate on driver's door

* Dropped spindles

* Beam shock towers

* Fit front shocks

* Fit drivers rear shock

* Set tracking to what looks like roughly straight



Then test all the electricals and hope the engine still works!



Brakes:

* Front flexis

* Rear flexis

* Front solids

* Rear solids

* New front shoes

* New rear shoes

* New front cylinders

* New rear cylinders

* POR-15 the drums

* Add fluid and bleed system

* Adjust brakes



* POR-15 the front inner wings

* POR-15 the remaining running board

* POR-15 the insides of the wings

* POR-15 the frame head





So much to do..... so little time to do it in!
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