The teardown has begun. The interior is removed and the trunk stripped all the junk in there. Sadly the lack of trunk seals and the mat in the bottom trapping water have caused the trunk to rot pretty bad. Luckily we have a plan.
The interior floors and structure look great though. The front floors arent rusted, that's the factory primer.
A little trimming
Wasnt entirely sure where to post this, technically its bodywork, but its also the *new* engine bay.
Chris holds the dead bits for display.
Lightening the Load
Well, time to get this ball rolling. The MTR crew is coming this weekend with the hopes of getting the body off the frame. In order to do that I figured I'd get a head start by making things a bit lighter.
Those crazy Germans, the front clip was bolted through the firewall, 7 bolts per side, but noone had ever heard of captured nuts apparently. That's right a nut and bolt going through the firewall. Not a simple process to remove them all without assistance but in the end I was able to get it done. Thankfully the bolts didn't put up too much of a fight.
Built a quick dolly to put the body on when we pull it off. This is the last update in the body section for awhile. Jump on over to the chassis section to see what's happening now.
Let the fun begin
Jan 7 2010 - My descent into madness begins.
Ok, here we go again, I know this is what alot of my GRM friends have been waiting to see. As the now defunct pontiac once said "Wider is better" That can only mean one thing....its flare time.
Started by prepping the fender. The old paint on this thing is very reactive to the resin, even with mold release applied so I've just taken to covering all the parts with tape to ensure a simpler release.
Sorry for the tease but that's all for now, need to let this "blank" cure up then I can start the flare design.
The astute among us may have noticed that I glassed over a portion of the wheel opening yet neglected to glass the metal in front of the wheel opening. That's what happens when you add 12 inches to your wheelbase
I started the day with a bad feeling this "simple" project would take me all day. Sadly I was right, but its mostly done now and that's the important part.
Closing up the tunnel
As you may have noticed in the body on photos we had to take a large chunk out of the floor to fit our new center tunnel where there wasn't one before. So today's task was to get it all buttoned back up.
To start with, before our sacrificial subaru left yesterday it had one more bit to give.
We took her roof for lots of free shetmetal.
So first the basic layout
Then lots of marking and bending
And finally all welded in place
This was all done with hand shears, a drill and an old 4x4 for bending over. You don't need fancy tools (but boy do I wish I had them)
Ok, so when we cut off the rear of the frame to make room for a transaxle we lost the rear body mounts. Lucky for us the VW torsion housing has some mount points built in. We welded 1 inch bar stock to the fender wells where it ran over the mount and placed some mount material (hockey puck) between the bar and the mount then bolted it down.
This was done a few weeks ago, so in my effort to button up all the holes I made cover plates tonite, these were "designed" to also add some addtional support to the mount.
Time for rear fenders. We moved the wheelbase so the fenders didnt fit at all.
Much to everyones disappointment I realized if I pulled the stock Porsche spacers out of the rear hubs I wouldnt need to flare the fenders.
Time is short and the fronts tuck under nicely so I couldn't envision a wildly flared rear with stock fronts.
The stock wheel arch extended into the rear door so first I cut that piece off the door.
Next I welded it to the rest of the arch and cut that section away from the fender
Here we see how much further the arch needs to come back
I removed the metal behind the wheel and moved the whole arch back and tacked it in place.
Rear view, things are going to be tight, but we will put a fender roller on the whole thing once the filler pieces are welded in and bring the arch out by about an inch or so.
Filling the rear door
Of course now I've hacked up the door so tonite I went and filled it back in. I was able to use the piece that was cut out behind the wheel to match the contour pretty close and require little reworking.
The trailing edge was folded under so when its all cleaned and painted it will look like a factory door skin crimped in place.
For the final part of the evening I mounted the door and did a quick alignment so I could have a line to work with on the filler piece required at the front of the fender. Had to stop there for the night, needed to do some things around the house.
Filled in the gap in the fender and did a quick mount. Need to play with panel gaps a bit but its close.
Clearance is tight, but its there. I'll hit this with a fender roller once its mounted solid and give it some breathing room.
We stretched the wheelbase at both ends so on to the front. Not alot of step by step here, same as the back, cut out the arch, mark it, cut away forward of the fender, weld it back in place. Just need to fill in the backside now.
Front mock up
Started modifying the other front fender tonite. To do so I had to put together most of the front end for measurements and just couldn't resist tossing the hood on to see how it looked. Looks a little more stubby or blunt in the front with the wheels forward but kinda interesting.
More interior metalwork
When I closed of the center tunnel you may have noticed I had left the back part open. Our cooling and fuel lines still had to be run and they passed through this section so I wanted to wait until they were finished to close it in.
Also since our brake junctions and shift coupler are under here I wanted this panel to be removable not fixed like the front tunnel. For now its held in with some sheet metal screws but when the time for "prettying up" comes I will switch to dzus fasteners or at least rivnuts in the floor with button head screws.
The final difference is this piece was made from a heavier gauge steel than the front tunnel. Since we eliminated the trunk the back seat area is the only place we have for luggage, tools, etc on the BABE rally so it needed to be able to support some weight.
The final push
This is just 2 weeks prior to go time. I still dont know how we made it to be honest.
Much of the bodywork still needs finishing and much of it will be completely redone for 2.0 but somehow we slapped it all together and made it look like a car.
Logo goes on
It never quite feels like a BABE rally car until the door logos go on. We made these up special to commemorate the Trifecta of Crap run and its 3 events.
Of couse this milestone would have felt much more reassuring had we been applying graphics to a door that was actually installed on the car....eep.