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BirgerBuilder Reader
2/12/19 7:01 p.m.

Those mud tires look noice

AAZCD Reader
2/12/19 8:53 p.m.

Problem: I'm starting to really like this car.

I cut away some of the broken and excess fender and mounted them back on the car. I had wanted to make funky-beefy fender flares with old tires, but that's not what happened. First I started reinforcing the base of the broken fender with some plastic weld. Slow process and I couldn't quite envision where I was trying to go with it. The cut tires are very heavy and difficult to work with. I decided to use some riveted sheet metal instead of plastic welding and remembered my stack of license plates - nice little rectangles of sheet metal. The more I did, the more it evolved, and the more I liked it. I don't plan to use the cut tires now. It still needs a little refinement, but not much.

This car has always sounded loud for a New Beetle, with a nice burble when you let off the accelerator. Now it finally looks like it sounds. Next on my list is lights. The left headlight and taillight are broken. I have no love for the original style, but it's easy to just stick with them. I may go to the junkyard tomorrow and see what they have.

Laters: Skid Plate, Brush Guard, Spare Tire Rack, Removable Rear Hatch, What to do with the Interior? Some paint (Chalk Board the doors and hood)? ...Maybe winch and snorkel.

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/13/19 5:25 a.m.

In reply to AAZCD :

Oh, that turned out perfect!

captainawesome Reader
2/13/19 7:33 a.m.

This is getting more awesomer.

Have you tested out the ride yet with the new spring setup?


jfryjfry HalfDork
2/13/19 8:39 a.m.

And with each post, the thread title becomes less and less relevant

Racerjiggs New Reader
2/13/19 9:29 a.m.

I assume the transmission is on bench. Just cut the remains of the bolt flush with the transmission housing, center punch the bolt and drill it out. Start with a small sharp bit and then go up in size as far as possible with out destroying the threads in the housing. If you damage the treads in the housing, either go up 1 bolt size and retap the hole or install a threaded insert. It appears that you don't have much metal to work with, so 1st option is probably best.

Not hard to do but just takes some patience.

Gerald Elliott

AAZCD Reader
2/13/19 10:03 a.m.

In reply to Racerjiggs :

I appreciate your post, but the problem with the bolt was fixed about a year ago. That is exactly it was resolved. Nothing else worked for me.

Floating Doc
Floating Doc GRM+ Memberand Dork
2/13/19 1:47 p.m.
Racerjiggs said:

I assume the transmission is on bench. Just cut the remains of the bolt flush with the transmission housing, center punch the bolt and drill it out. Start with a small sharp bit and then go up in size as far as possible with out destroying the threads in the housing. If you damage the treads in the housing, either go up 1 bolt size and retap the hole or install a threaded insert. It appears that you don't have much metal to work with, so 1st option is probably best.

Not hard to do but just takes some patience.

Gerald Elliott

Looks like you called it! Welcome to the forum!

tux424 New Reader
2/13/19 3:36 p.m.

It's really starting to come together, and it looks great!

I'm also very interested in your review of the budget lift. I need to go buy some sawzall blades!

AAZCD Reader
2/13/19 10:20 p.m.

I went to my favorite junk yard today, Cagle's Salvage, just a little south of Muskogee.

It's an old-school kind of place, full of junked cars haphazardly spread across the yard. Wear boots. Bring tools. Sign in and stop by the office with cash on your way out.

I found a couple clusters of New Beetles, but all the lights were either broken or gone.

Then I just wandered for a while to see what there was to see...

When I was about to give up and head home I saw a lone beetle with pristine taillights and a decent headlight. Tomorrow I'll mount all the lights and make the car roadworthy again. Driving around the block it felt pretty good, but I only went about 25 mph. Tomorrow evening, I should have a more thorough report.

AAZCD Reader
2/15/19 8:28 p.m.

The wheel spacer instructions said to torque check after 25 miles...

As I was driving the bug today, there was a clicking noise similar to a ball joint or CV bearing going bad. I know that the LCA bushings are shot, so at first I just made a mental note to check it all later. I continued to drive and it seemed to get worse. Finally decided to pull over and do a good walk-around. The right rear wheel could be wobbled a little by hand and two of the lugs were half-way off. Not good. I tightened it back up and torqued it when I got home. One of the front  wheels was also slightly off torque, but not loose. The noise went away. I had only driven the car about 10 miles. Lesson learned: When installing new spacers triple check the torque.

As far as I know, the car is fully street legal here in Oklahoma now. At least I have seen plenty of other cars around town that look a lot less roadworthy. The ride reminds me a lot of my old Samurai; tall with a short wheelbase and stiff suspension. With normal driving it feels very stable and actually balanced. I still need to find a good place to drive it where I can feel what happens when I push it too far. The construction site I had used before is no longer available.

When I moved the charcoal canister, it blocked the right tail light from being installed. After playing with some options I decided to lower the lights to the bumper. For now it is mostly foam and duct tape, but I really like how the repositioning worked out. Next week I hope to give that a better finish and build a more solid radiator support - driving it around, I remembered that the radiator is just held on with a few wraps of wire.

Crackers Dork
2/15/19 8:32 p.m.

Ha! That's great!

AAZCD Reader
2/24/19 7:26 p.m.

Just a little update.

I tried some welding and made a new radiator support and started on the brush guard. I didn't have a detailed plan, but its coming out functional if not elegant. I used 1/8" angle iron and my welder seems to do well with it. Most of what I know comes from reading the box the welder came in and use of the chart that they conveniently put inside the flip up door of the welder. Nothing pretty, but it gets better each time I try.

Here's the radiator support with front brush guard tacked together for test fit.

The brush guard installs on the bottom of the original bumper. I cut away some plastic on the bottom of the cover, but I think that most of it will remain. My wife has renamed the car The 'Dung Beetle'. I painted a license plate for the front; A little sketchy and rough, like the car.

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/25/19 5:39 a.m.

In reply to AAZCD :

I like it! And the front plate is perfect. :)

Professor_Brap GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
2/25/19 10:59 a.m.

Enjoying this to much


Indy-Guy UberDork
2/25/19 11:09 a.m.

Be careful, it's been my experience that once you name a car, it sticks around for a really long time. BTW, I really like the name, very fitting.

AAZCD Reader
2/27/19 5:47 p.m.

Around here in Eastern Oklahoma, people don't really care much about my Porsches. I hardly ever see any sort of euro or Japanese tuner cars. On Friday nights, the kids all drive up and down the 'Four Lane' in their diesel trucks and a few Mustangs, spinning tires and rolling coal. Of all things, everybody loves the Dung Beetle. People roll down their windows at stop lights and comment on it. People come up to me in parking lots asking if I put the VW body on a Jeep, or just walk by with a big grin and wave. I'm really not one to seek attention, but I have to admit, this car is a lot more fun than I expected.

GoLucky New Reader
2/27/19 6:06 p.m.

Looks amazing! Possibly my favorite New Beetle. 

Mezzanine Dork
2/27/19 6:08 p.m.

The Dung Beetle. This is amazing. Please carry on.

AAZCD Reader
3/13/19 9:16 p.m.

Skid Plate

I've had a little less car project time than I expected. With a week of warming weather I ended up building bird houses, climbing up ladders with my chainsaw to trim branches, and doing some yard clean-up. Add to that some maintenance on my daughter's car and wife's car and the toys had to wait. While doing all that, I kept thinking about the Dung Beetle. A vision of the skid plate became clear.

Weld a brace from tubing and angle iron. Bolt it to the frame.

Cut up the old wheelbarrow and flatten it out.

I didn't finish final assembly today, but the test fit looks good. I have to add a couple more pieces of metal to reinforce and stiffen it - a generally triangular frame around the edge of the plate. Maybe finish up tomorrow.

accordionfolder Dork
3/14/19 8:12 a.m.

Just read this start to finish, fantastic. Glad you're having so much fun with it!

Agent98 Reader
3/14/19 8:38 a.m.

Of course : you GOTTA take this thing to CarMax and get them to make you an offer...just to see the look on the guy's face.

The only thing I'd say when you hand him the keys is..."can't remember if it has the premium sound system or not..."

3/14/19 1:10 p.m.

What I think of when you said "Dung Beetle" lol


AAZCD Reader
3/16/19 8:07 p.m.

The skid plate is done. I found some mud puddles to test the car out in and had some fun. Dung Beetle loves the mud.

After I got back home and checked everything over, I figured out a couple small things to focus on next:

  • It needs a bit of a grill or stone guard for the radiator - I'm thinking 1/2" hardware cloth.
  • The AC condenser is gone. I'm going to want AC.
  • Bolt, screw, or zip-tie EVERYTHING that may come loose while I'm out playing with it.
  • Add a light trailer hitch to the back so I can use it as a Tug to move things around the yard.

Some parts just arrived for the '91 Golf VR6, so I think I'll shift primary focus to that until I get it together and running. The Gambler 500 Kansas Rally isn't until the end of April, and the Dung Beetle could probably run it just fine as-is.

AAZCD Reader
3/16/19 10:07 p.m.

One of my co-workers just told me about the Big Meat Run next weekend at Disney, Ok. It's a big annual Rock Crawler event. I have always wanted to go there to watch and I have the weekend off. I have mixed feelings about this; I'll feel really stupid showing up there with the Dung Beetle among all the serious rock crawlers, but I'm sure it would be fun to play in the mud and on some of the smaller rocks. 90% chance I'll go for at least a few hours and bring a camera. 20% chance I'll show up in this car.

Big Meat Run:


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