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Author: Subject: Respray of Beetle - the prequel - A pillar rust repair pics
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posted on February 3rd, 2004 at 10:13 PM
Respray of Beetle - the prequel - A pillar rust repair pics


This is the rust in the A pillar as I could first see it from under the LH guard. It doesn't look too serious from here.

[Edited on 9-5-2004 by Helbus]

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posted on February 3rd, 2004 at 10:14 PM


Once I had a look inside behind the carpet I got a bit of a shock.

[Edited on 9-5-2004 by Helbus]

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posted on February 3rd, 2004 at 10:16 PM


Proper way to tackle it was to cut out a decent size piece of metal out until the rust affected area was all gone.

This would show what was inside.

[Edited on 9-5-2004 by Helbus]

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posted on February 3rd, 2004 at 10:19 PM


A plate to repair the holes in the inner was fabricated. I was going very close to the wiring, so I was going to have to be extra careful here.

[Edited on 9-5-2004 by Helbus]

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posted on February 3rd, 2004 at 10:20 PM


This is the inner repair after grinding.

This was then zinc primed and an outer piece fabricated.

[Edited on 9-5-2004 by Helbus]

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posted on February 3rd, 2004 at 10:24 PM


This pic was taken after I put the fire out when the petrol tank overflow spilt fuel on the floor and burst into flames.

The rust was not as severe as some A pillars and did not incorporate the heater channel at all. I would say this rust was induced from small spillages of brake fluid over the years and being corrosive it has really eaten through at the bottom of this side.

When doing repairs like this if you take it piece at a time any rust repair is possible, epecially if it is small parts like this as the panels dont warp from welding heat.

Have fun!

[Edited on 9-5-2004 by Helbus]

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posted on February 3rd, 2004 at 10:45 PM
Grinding...


Am fine with the angle grinder and flapper discs, but grinding in the tight spaces, do you use a die grinder or what works best ?
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posted on February 3rd, 2004 at 11:00 PM


I have a 19mm pneumatic belt sander. Shinano 2800 model.

Cost about $500 but they are the only tool to use in these spots.

I only use the die grinder for holes now.




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sad.gif posted on February 3rd, 2004 at 11:04 PM


i have this EXACT problem with my beetle in fact it looks almost exactly the same except the rust continues back into the heater channel......how difficult will it be for me to do this myself if i have a guy who can weld for me.....is it even worth letting a non professional do it.......how much would it cost to be done professionaly?



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posted on February 4th, 2004 at 06:38 AM


what was your welder of choice ?
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posted on February 4th, 2004 at 06:57 AM


If you can weld panel steel you can do it.

I have no particular welder of choice.

I have used about 15 different welders, from a Crashweld to a Fronius.

Some are $500 some are up to $3000

I definitley recommend MIG instead of gasless

an SIP Migmate or Coppermate are good welders at a good price.




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posted on February 13th, 2004 at 04:19 PM


I, like antherion, have the exact same problem except my rust is on the heater chanell and the panel. but it's a common problem in beetles (or so i'm told). my A pillar is fine.

seeing that has given me the confidence to give it a shot myself. stay tuned for pics of the (hopefull) fix.




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posted on February 13th, 2004 at 06:37 PM
here it is


i apologise for the grainy pics but my digi cam isnt the best and i had the flash on.

the previous owner took the bug to frazer a couple of times in its life and it hasnt really had the best treatment. im not sure how bad this really is but im sure its pretty bad.




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posted on February 15th, 2004 at 04:59 PM


The pic is a bit dark and cant really tell how bad it is.

If it is in the bottom of the heater channel it will be a pan off job.




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posted on February 15th, 2004 at 05:58 PM


Peter is removing minor dents a job best left for the experts ?
I've just bought a notch and it has a few minor dents although their about 5" in diameter.
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posted on February 15th, 2004 at 06:08 PM


All of the work done by a panel beater or spray painter can be done by you.

The difficulty is obtaining access to the large equipment for the big jobs like chassis aligning and resprays.

For the small work, you only need smaller hand held tools and a lot of people do these at home.

If you have absoluley no idea where or how to start, my recommendation is to do a night Tafe course in Panel Beating.

You will learn more than enough to understand the principles and skills required.

You will usually be able to take your own panels to school to repair and the skills will be with you for life. :)




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posted on February 15th, 2004 at 06:20 PM


Good idea.

I want to do all the work myself so I might call on your advice and knowledge from time to time if thats OK.

What you've done so far is fantastic.....:thumb
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posted on January 13th, 2005 at 09:48 PM


Here (hopefully) is my A Pillar. What do you think?
http://members.dodo.com.au/~bry2/BUG/APillar.JPG

I have read about how bad rust is in the heater channels. Does this look like that? I will need to get it done. I can t the old suff out, but I can't weld (on account of not having a welder)
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posted on January 13th, 2005 at 10:38 PM


Bit hard to see, but if it is in the bottom of the heater channel, that is not good. It makes it a lot harder. As you can see what was done here was only on the top of the channel.



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posted on January 14th, 2005 at 09:06 AM


So the top of the channel can be fixed ok, it is just the bottom that causes the big issues. If it is the top and a little of the bottom, can you remove the top, remove the hole in the bottom and weld in a patch, and then replace the top (or infact just patch the hole from underneath?
As far as I can see, and long as the hole is smal, and doesn't reach the edge attach to other bits part of the channell, it could be patched without having to disconnect anything. Is that right.

I havent had a good look at mine yet from underneath, but the running boards are still firmly in place, and there are no huge holes.

What do you use to patch it with?
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posted on January 14th, 2005 at 09:49 AM


The bottom of the cahnnel is the hard bit as it is above the floor pan. To fix it properly you would have to take the body off the pan.

I used some 1mm thich panel steel I had lying around. You can use sections of old panels, as long as they are not Hyundai Excel panels, as the metal is a bit thin for the old Beetle.




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posted on January 14th, 2005 at 10:32 AM


so the channel bolts onto the pan and the side pannels, basically acting like an angle reinforcement, but from the bottom you only see pan, and from the outside you only see pannel. I should get under the bug and have a bit of a look.
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posted on August 9th, 2005 at 08:39 PM


working on this area myself - but I've got the body off as I had to replace the original floorpan! my welding isn't brilliant, but after a 6 month course in panel beating at North Sydney TAFE I'm happy enough doing it - just end up doing more grinding than a pro would, and I tend to stich weld rather than run continuous beads - especially when I'm upside down - but it was recommended as the simplest way to do it, and keeps the distortion down to a minimum

i've ended up patching the inner wheelarch, the heater channel, the bottom of the heater channel and I've still got the A pillar to do and some minor rust round the panel where the guards bolt on - then I can start the other side!!

I'm using a miniMig 120 - well happy with it - gas/gasless, and the bottle hire is only $9 a month from BOC

got a web gallery i'm using to record the process and give my mates a laugh

http://www.nb.au.com/battybat/beetle 

if you want a look




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posted on February 27th, 2008 at 11:12 AM



Hi Helbus

im a new user and this is my fisrt post

i have a rust problem on my bug also just behind the peddals, just wondering what you used to cut away the rust affected area in that tight space.

thanks mate, Cam


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