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AAZCD
AAZCD Reader
3/9/18 3:15 p.m.

***Just a note to anyone reading this thread for the first time: When I started this in 2018, I just wanted to fix this car and get rid of it. Eventually I did. Almost a year later it came back to me after being in a roll-over accident. That's when it DID become a build.***

About a year ago my youngest daughter was getting divorced (walking away with nothing) and needed a car. We found a 2000 Beetle that had recently had some good maintenance done. Manual with the 2.0, nice interior except for the door panels, and 'sporty' enough that it was fun to drive. We bought it, insured it, and let her have it.

The car was lowered and the seller said that he'd rebuilt the whole suspension. Very quickly we found out that these things weren't so good. He had somehow forgot to put bump stops on the shocks and with the car being more than an inch lower than stock, it was painful to drive on Oklahoma roads.

It also had a cat delete and custom exhaust. Basically a resonator and no muffler. My daughter loved the sound and we liked hearing of her pending arrival from a 1/2 mile away. My 6 year old grandson called it "Mommy's race car".

I promised to install the bump stops and put stock spring back on, but always had a few too many more pressing projects. Then one night, she tried a u-turn over a curbed divider. On these cars the oil pan is the lowest point on the car and this one had no guard, or plastic tray. She tore the bottom off of the pan. After the terrible bump and crunch, she kept driving. She called me at 11 pm from an hour away and explained, "Don't worry dad, I didn't drive it long. It stopped running about a minute after the oil light came on." ...I was speechless.

I trailered it home. Figured there was nothing to lose cranking it for a moment. It was not seized, sounded smooth. I didn't expect it to last long, but an oil pan and gasket is under $50. Ordered one and said she could borrow my tools. She replaced the pan, and the engine seems no worse for wear.

A month later the new pan had been scraped on a rough road and was cracked just enough to seep. No more delays, as a good dad and car guy, I had to put the stock springs back on and install the bump stops.

Over the next several months she drove it with no problems. Reliable, good gas mileage, and a little character. One day she noticed it was leaking oil and not from the pan. It turned out to be the oil cooler o-ring. Very common and not too hard to fix, I told her to drop the car off and let her borrow one of our Porsche Cayennes (This one was purchased salvage for $1,500 thinking I would keep it as a parts car for my other. When it arrived, the problems were fairly minor, so fixed for about $1k and decided I didn't need a parts car yet.). While I had the VW, I noticed that the clutch was starting to slip. It had been releasing high when we bought the car at about 135k miles, so not a big surprise. About the time she borrowed the Cayenne, she was also starting a new job. She was going from a minimum wage restaurant job to a career type job at a loan company. SWMBO thought that the Cayenne was a more fitting car for our daughter now. We parked the VW and let it sit, pending clutch replacement and eventual sale.

AAZCD
AAZCD New Reader
3/9/18 3:18 p.m.

Now, a couple months later, I have started on the clutch. Not a very complicated job, but a long sequence of procedures. I don't have a manual, so I printed up the procedure and also followed along with a YouTube video by 'EXOVCDS' There is a point in the video where he says, "Factory Lock-Tight on threads... (bolts snap quite often)" referring to the left transmission mount.

I can't get them to budge with my pneumatic. With some penetrating oil and carefully turning a little at a time, I got two bolts out ...then broke the third off in the transmission. I'm pretty much Berkeleyed. Can I get the broken bolt out? Can I just put it all back together with two bolts and call it a day? Can I trailer the car to a boat ramp and see how long it floats? For now, all I'm sure of is that the car is in the garage and I'm just not ready to go back out there with it.

Patrick
Patrick MegaDork
3/9/18 3:24 p.m.

Remove vin tag, put gas can in hatch with lit candles in front seat, push off cliff.  Take video

dherr
dherr Reader
3/9/18 3:34 p.m.

My daughter had one as well..... worse car ever, cute but constant problems.  Was so happy when she traded it in on a new Jeep!

Stampie
Stampie GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
3/9/18 3:47 p.m.

Pull engine and rear suspension. Put RWD IRS subframe in back. Put your choice of V8 in front. Connect the two.  Enjoy. 

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
3/9/18 4:17 p.m.

Damn... your daughter replaced the oil pan on her back in a driveway?  That's awesome.

Otherwise, not sure about getting the broken bolt out.   What are these bolts holding on?  As far as leaving the 3rd out, Germans are not known for over-engineering these things that much.

barefootskater
barefootskater Reader
3/9/18 4:32 p.m.

Cut the body off and graft it onto a classic VW for all the ugly of the new and all the slow of the old combined into one.

The0retical
The0retical UltraDork
3/9/18 7:44 p.m.

What grade are the bolts? Typically I'd suggest drilling the body and trying an ez-out it but there seems to be a lot of thread and Loctite left in there.

Blue Loctite will break down in the neighborhood of 482 degrees. So if you can weld another nut to it, torch the fastener, and disassemble hot, it'll come out when the mechanical bond releases.

That sucks because blue Loctite is supposed to break loose with hand tools.

lnlogauge
lnlogauge Reader
3/9/18 7:53 p.m.
The0retical said:

Blue loctite will break down in the neighborhood of 482 degrees. .

That's a strangley specific neighborhood number.

The0retical
The0retical UltraDork
3/9/18 7:59 p.m.

In reply to lnlogauge :

Margin of errorwink

I wrote 500F initially but then opened a new tab and actually looked it up.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/9/18 8:01 p.m.
lnlogauge said:
The0retical said:

Blue loctite will break down in the neighborhood of 482 degrees. .

That's a strangley specific neighborhood number.

Not a very populated neighborhood, either.

482 Degrees Ln, Jacksboro, TX 76458

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/9/18 8:22 p.m.

I feel your pain. I bought one of these piles - and I'm a VW fanboy - for our older daughter a few years ago. Then promptly sold it a month later before the problems started getting worse. 

Agent98
Agent98 Reader
3/9/18 9:04 p.m.

Questions:

1.Isn't this a rebodied Golf? Then why doesn't the golf have the same bad rep?

2.Is the new beetle any better or just newer...

3.How many threads on that broken bolt? 3? Hmmmm...back in, with maybe with even more loctite...Loctite RED this time.

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
3/9/18 10:40 p.m.

1.Isn't this a rebodied Golf? Then why doesn't the golf have the same bad rep?

It does? People who work on their own cars and post on the internet about it have definitely expressed opinions about early-00's VWs.  

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
3/9/18 10:42 p.m.

The golf is also easier to work on, at least in the engine compartment, due to amount of room available since it isn’t constrained by the cutesy styling.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
3/10/18 7:55 a.m.

In reply to Vigo :

Agreed.  As an owner for some 15 years, I generally like the Mk IV - better than many newer VW models - but I wouldn't claim them to be a high-water mark for reliability, even by German car standards (which isn't exactly a high standard).

Patrick
Patrick MegaDork
3/10/18 8:08 a.m.

Seriously though, you’re deep in the flood car, this thing is worth what?  200 in scrap or 800 after you break your back and buy the clutch kit?  Law of diminishing returns, crank it up on the trailer and scrap it.  Work on something you enjoy, life is too short for new beetles with broken bolts.  

Maybe it’s because i’m in a get rid of everything mood lately, but that’s what I would do.  

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/10/18 8:54 a.m.

In reply to Patrick :

The stick probably hurts value a bit, but a mostly functioning NB seems to be a $2k car minimum around here. Probably due to the cute factor.  

AAZCD
AAZCD New Reader
3/10/18 9:26 a.m.
Patrick said:

Seriously though, you’re deep in the flood car, this thing is worth what?  200 in scrap or 800 after you break your back and buy the clutch kit?  Law of diminishing returns, crank it up on the trailer and scrap it.  Work on something you enjoy, life is too short for new beetles with broken bolts.  

Maybe it’s because i’m in a get rid of everything mood lately, but that’s what I would do.  

I have been very close to doing that for the last couple months as it sat, but in December I installed clutches on a Honda Element and Del Sol. It went so smoothly I figured the VW would be a piece of cake. Clutch, flywheel and bolts are already in hand. I'm going to give the bolt a quick try "in the neighborhood of 482 degrees" and see what happens. There's got to be a kid or single mom out there that needs this car for $1,800 or maybe trade it for a riding lawn mower.

Yesterday afternoon I stayed out of the garage and split some firewood by hand with a maul. The VW did come to mind... Planning to get back to it this afternoon.

Crackers
Crackers Dork
3/10/18 10:23 a.m.

Are you going to split the VW with the maul? LOL

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
3/10/18 10:53 a.m.

There's got to be a kid or single mom out there that needs this car for $1,800 

 

Why do you hate kids and single moms? devil

Dirtydog
Dirtydog HalfDork
3/10/18 11:53 a.m.
AAZCD said:
Patrick said:

Seriously though, you’re deep in the flood car, this thing is worth what?  200 in scrap or 800 after you break your back and buy the clutch kit?  Law of diminishing returns, crank it up on the trailer and scrap it.  Work on something you enjoy, life is too short for new beetles with broken bolts.  

Maybe it’s because i’m in a get rid of everything mood lately, but that’s what I would do.  

I have been very close to doing that for the last couple months as it sat, but in December I installed clutches on a Honda Element and Del Sol. It went so smoothly I figured the VW would be a piece of cake. Clutch, flywheel and bolts are already in hand. I'm going to give the bolt a quick try "in the neighborhood of 482 degrees" and see what happens. There's got to be a kid or single mom out there that needs this car for $1,800 or maybe trade it for a riding lawn mower.

Yesterday afternoon I stayed out of the garage and split some firewood by hand with a maul. The VW did come to mind... Planning to get back to it this afternoon.

My wife once stopped me from swinging a Sledge hammer away on a mid 80's Dodge Caravan  I know the feeling.  Curious.  Is the mount a stress area?   Does the bolt catch?   You may have enough threads to secure it.   If not, welding a nut to it may be your option. Sometimes, just applying the hot wrench might free it up with a vise grip.

jfryjfry
jfryjfry HalfDork
3/10/18 12:02 p.m.

Get some reverse cut drill bits and start the process!

Crackers
Crackers Dork
3/10/18 2:44 p.m.

Is this bolt in an aluminum housing/block? 

That's a lot of thread engagement,  and 482° is also in the neighborhood of aluminum's forging temperature. To get the full length of the Loctite treated bolt up to temperature you'll run a very real risk of melting something if you're not being methodical. 

If you do attack it with fire, heat for 30 seconds or so and stop to let it soak for a minute, then repeat. Otherwise you'll melt something before the heat reaches full depth. 

AAZCD
AAZCD New Reader
3/10/18 5:30 p.m.

It has been a kind of odd day. I covered part of a shift at work (Helicopter EMS Pilot) this morning from 7 am 'till about 1 pm. As I was clicking 'Post' on my previous post we were sent out on a call to a car wreck. Single car roll-over with ejection. The patient ... my guys worked hard to keep her alive long enough to get to the hospital. It was a quiet flight home. Not a big deal overall, but it effects my mood.

After some lunch I got back to work on the car. The transmission was unbolted, but still in position with the engine when I had stopped. I finally lifted, twisted, pried, pulled and lowered it out of the car and got a good look at the bolt. There was enough left to weld a nut onto. I tried, using my old HF $99 flux core welder, but it was useless. I tried a propane torch, but the aluminum is too big a heat sink and there is a rubber gasket nearby. Vice-Grips? They gripped enough to take the threads off the bolt.

Thoughts: I don't like this car or have any attachment to it. I have plenty of other projects I want to work on. Finishing the job isn't going to be fun even if the bolt was fixed. I don't want to sell it to anyone if I haven't done the job right. The money from selling the car isn't really significant anyway. ...on and on. Time to call it, and 'pull the plug' on this one. Peace.

What next? I don't want it sitting around for weeks. I have never scrapped a 'good' car before, but that's what I'm thinking. Trailer it up and drop it off with One-eyed Ted, and Jimmy Nine-fingers at the scrap yard. Keep the engine? wheels? ECU... It's hard to throw away. I'm NOT going to buy another NB, but maybe a Jetta. Are they okay? I'm going to let it rest until Monday. My mind and the garage are a bit too cluttered at the moment. Beer or Coffee, that's a better question.

I need to buy a real welder.

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