Hints and Tips

On this page will be hints and tips I come across as I work on my beetle.

  1. Drilling bolt heads, use a centre punch every time and take your time, if it’s not central stop and adjust. It makes it so much easier when you come to drill out the rest of the bolt.
  2. Use cobalt drill bits, it speeds up the process and it easier to be accurate with them.
  3. Wear engineers gloves and a good pair of overalls because you can start and finish work quickly without having to get changed.
  4. Cordless inspection lamps are very handy.
  5. Pick jobs you can do with the family to keep them involved and let’s you do things for the project during family time at weekends.
  6. You can lift a beetle body on your own but it’s easiler with two.
  7. Jet wash and degrease before you start stripping
  8. Bath Bolts in WD40 before even attempting to remove.
  9. Use a flapper disc instead of a grinding disc to clean up welds where you can. Much faster!
  10. let the grinder do the work, reduces your fatigue.
  11. Wear ear defenders, goggles/face shield and dust mask. It’s not just health and safety, it’s comfort and being able to work longer without getting too tired.
  12. have lots of pots or bag to put things and label.
  13. get a good set of circlip pliers!
  14. Dont move house when doing a project!
  15. Make sure you can vent paint fumes away from inside your home (disadvantages to attached garage).
  16. rebuild gearbox and axels completely before fitting to chassis
  17. Use plenty of gear oil or rebuild grease when putting axels back in the gearbox or they won’t move.
  18. Keep the gearbox mounts loose until the gearbox is lined up on the chassis.
  19. Protect the chassis around the gearbox when fitting.
  20. Fit split gaitors with the seam facing to the rear but slightly raised. Don’t fit with seam top or bottom due to direction of flex.
  21. Tie wheel brake cylinders to prevent the pistons over extending when removed.
  22. Keep all the old nuts, bolts and washers because new parts won’t come with any.
  23. Fit handbrake cables completely first, when rebuilding rear brakes.
  24. Check your parts before buying, there are two types of everything and I always buy the other one!
  25. if you’re seam sealing, use a bit of masking tape for a good straight line and a thin seam.
  26. A engine stand will support the chassis on its side but to get the right angle you might have to remove the front wheels off the stand.
  27. when using new repair panels, add time in your planning for removing black primer and prepping for fitting.
  28. A pillar repair panels have two parts to them. Remove the spot welds to separate so each part can be welded in properly. It also gives you a chance to get some rust prevention in the right places.
  29. Lighten the doors by removing everything before using them to ensure your panel gaps are correct. The lack of weight will make it so much easier.
  30. The front bulkhead will be rusty when remove heater channels expect to repair.
  31. If you have long periods where you can’t work on your project then always protect the bare metal.
  32. Take time to degrease panels before welding.
  33. excess metal is normally due to panel bends being flattened in the post, don’t trim until everything is lined up!
  34. Remove the loom before welding the adjacent panels otherwise you’ll melt wires.