Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mission Accomplished!

Tonight Isaac, Steven and myself set out on a mission to install the front end in the bug. We decided that Isaac would be the photographer, Steven would be the jackman and I would be the muscles to get the front end in. The mission went well and our goal was accomplished! The pictures that Isaac took show how it all went.

It only took us 20 minutes and it was done. The only problem is that the front end looks out of place in the old rusty bug!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Its all downhill from here!

Well, Its finally done!, The front beam is ready to install in the bug. Here the torsion bars are being installed

Here are the new Ball Joints that are going to be installed.

Here is the fun part, All the grease is being pumped into the beam. We use only Mobil 1, because its the BEST!

And then while I was getting the beam ready for paint, Steven and Isaac shook the paint and primer

Steven and Isaac painted it. It looks good and Dixie will be happy to know that no one got paint on our good clothes. (Even though we were wearing them)

Its all downhill from here. We just need to install the beam in the car, put the tie rods, steering damper, steering linkage, spindles, brakes, brake lines, gas tank, and wheels on and we are finished! Just another night or so. In all reality the hard part is done now. The boys(including me) cant wait for it to be back on the ground.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Things are looking up!

Well, Since the last post a lot has happened.
The wheels have been powder coated mercedes silver

The tires have been installed on the wheels. (They are very narrow) I will definetly have to be careful tailgating other people

My Friend welded up the last adjuster on the beam and made my whole week. I was as excited as a kid on Christmas day!

and so now the real fun begins. The plan is to assemble the front end with the torsion leafs, and new torsion arms with ball joints installed. (I chose the ball joints for a lowered front end so hopefully it will help the ride be a little softer.) I will then clean up the beam and paint it, and install the new tie rods, steering damper, sway bar, and front brakes. Hopefully with any luck the bug will be back on its wheels very soon. The way this week is looking it doesn't look like it will be done for the weekend but we will see. Thats it for now.

Friday, April 23, 2010

One step forward Two steps back!

Well, The powder coating didn't go as well as planned. I sand blasted the wheels and prepped them for powder coating. I coated them and baked them in the oven but they turned out looking like crap. I used some powder that I was not 100% sure of. I think it was the powder, so that created a bunch more work to get the bad powder coat off and prep them for new.

They are once again ready to coat and bake and hopefully they will turn out as good as the trailer wheels I did this winter. One thing that has changed is the wheels will now be silver. I know and trust this powder and there is plenty of it to do all 5 wheels. (5th is the spare)

On a good note, all the parts we need to get the front end put together have come and the tires are in at Les Scwabb. They are waiting for me to get the wheels done so the tires can be mounted.

Wish me luck tomorrow morning as I try a second time to get the wheels done!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Well, there has been some progress on the bug. It seems like we have 5 different things going on at the same time. The only problem is they are all getting worked on but not finished.

The front beam is going well. The top adjuster is welded and the lower one is ready to be welded. I have taken the front wheels to work and stripped the paint off them and they are ready for sandblasting and powder coating which will hopefully be done tomorrow. We have decided to powder coat the wheels white and then decide from there.

There is a ton of front end parts on order along with tires from les scwhabb. They had to be special ordered because of the odd size. Hopefully they will arrive and then the fun really begins. Its always nice to install nice new parts.

Well thats it for now. Lots of work being done but not a lot of progress can be seen.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Here Goes Nothing

Well, Here it goes. The moment of truth. We are going to cut the beam and we will be past the point of no return. After it's cut theres no turning back. It seemed to go well and the new adjuster fits good. You can see in the pictures how the adjuster gets installed. As I was cutting it the boys wanted to polish some brass I gave them so they were hard at work doing that. I just need to find someone to weld in the adjuster and then do it again to the lower tube. Hopefully if I did all my math correctly it should give the bug a drop of about 5 inches which should be about perfect!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Solvent Tank

My Dad gave this solvent tank to me back in my first house. I think it was when he was moving to Logan and didn't want to take it. I took it and never really did anything with it until now. My Dad made this solvent tank back when I was a kid. I had to buy some solvent for it and fix the holding tank. Luckily the pump still works great. I love being able to clean parts at home and not have to drag them to work. I can't believe I went so long without it. Simple pleasures.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cars of the past.

Dixie was talking to her Dad the other night and asked him about all the cars he has owned. I thought it would be a good time to list the cars I have owned and what happened to them before I forget.

1. 1973 Volkswagen Bug : I got it for 150 dollars (I think). I was 13 years old. It was down the street at a neighbors house. It was yellow with stripes down it like herbie. I spent some time working on that bug, but in the end it was just to rusty to be saved. I think it went to the scrap yard.

2. 1976 Volkswagen Bug : I also bought it for 150 dollars and it also was down the street at a neighbors house. (Yes I was the neighborhood dejunker, but it always ended up at my parents house.) I believe I was 14 years old now. It had been hit in the front and parked. It was in good shape other than that. My first bugs front clip was used to fix this bugs. I also used the front beam out of the 73 because we had installed the adjusters already. I spent the next 3 years working on this bug and this one was one of the rare ones I regretted selling.

3. 1967 Volkswagen Bug : This one was red with a sunroof and pop out windows. A pretty rare car nowadays. It would of been good to build now. This one was given to us by one of my Dads friends. It never ran and I cannot remember what ever happened to this car.

4. 1971 Volkswagen Bug : I traded the fuel injection out of my 76 bug, (Which I was not going to use) for this bug. I used some parts, sold others and me and my Dad cut the top off with a torch and looked to see how a roadster would look. It went to the scrap yard.

5. 1976 Pontiac Trans Am : I turned 16 and got my license. It wasn't 6 months later when I sold my bug and bought the Trans Am. It had a 455 and was a 4 speed car. It was the fastest car I have owned up to this point in my life. My Dad and I rebuilt the transmission and at one time I put a Nitrous Oxide system on it. I was never beat by another car on the street with the TA. Probably the funnest car I have ever owned. I got kicked out of my High School parking lot with this car! I got in a race almost daily . Back then you could. I sold this car to go on my mission.
This was another one I regretted selling. I found it after my mission and was going to buy it back but it was well abused and I couldn't get myself to do it.

6. 1969 Chevy Nova : This was actually my brothers car that I bought from him for 1 week. I then turned around and sold it to someone else. (I started early on buying and selling cars.) I got my first red light ticket in this car because the brakes were awful and I couldn't stop. (Never mind that I was going to fast to stop)I think my brother regrets selling this car.

7. 1981 Mazda 626 : I bought this for a run around car before my mission. It was a great car. It was ugly but fun. I drove the wheels off that car literally. The clutch went out and I sold it for the same amount I paid for it. I remember 4 wheeling and smashing snow banks with it. It would also backfire 10 minutes after you turned it off.

8. 1987 Isuzu Trooper : I don't really know what I was thinking when I got home from my mission. I bought this with dreams of going in the mountains and having fun. It didn't last and I sold it rather quickly. I have to say this was a hunk of crap for a car. It was in good shape, just poorly built.

9. 1969 Chevy Nova : I got my head on straight and bought this nova from my brother also. It was in good shape. I put a lot of time and money in this car. I figure around 10,000 dollars. It was an awesome ride when I got through improving it. I built a real wild 327 for it. I put a new rear end and disc brakes and a built trans in it also. It looked good and I had fun taking it to car shows and drag races. This was the loudest car I have ever owned. Amazingly loud and I loved hearing it. I sold it to buy my wonderful wife a wedding ring. I figured Dixie was way out of my league so I would impress her with a big ring. Ha Ha It must have worked! I miss the car but I never regretted selling it.

10. 1977 Ford F250 Camper Special : Ha Ha, this was a big truck. It had a 429 out of a mercury in it. It got about 2 miles per gallon and was a beautiful burnt orange. My Dad had to pull me off the engine once because I took a hammer to the air cleaner. I was trying put the timing cover back on and it just would not fit. I never did replace the air cleaner. I sold it because I was tired of taking out a second mortgage for gas and the engine was very tired. I saw this truck after I traded it in on the side of the rode with the hood up. I wanted to tell them to replace the spring pin on the distributor gear. For some reason it ate them up.

11. 1987 Chrysler Lebaron : This was actually Dixies car but we were married and so I figured I would include it. This was a beautiful car. It had a 4 cylinder with a turbo. It was fun to drive. The battery blew up on it once when I was waxing it. I never had seen that before or since. It blew the cam cap off once and lost its oil. My father in law replaced it and I asked a friend who worked at a Chrysler dealership about it. He said it was caused by blow by and there was costly repairs ahead. We sold it after that.

12. 1987 Honda CRX : This was the first car Dixie and I bought after getting married. It was a little 2 seater and was an absolute blast to drive. Me and Dixie did some doughnuts in the snow one night and I went to drive it to work the next day. The hubcaps were so full of snow it about wobbled me off the road. Luckily it melted and all was good. I regretted selling this car. It was a good car.

13. 1991 Chevy S-10 Pickup : We sold the lebaron for this truck. It was a fun, fast little truck. We put wheels and tires on it and that was about it. It was a good truck for a long time. I sold it to buy my Dads truck

14. 1967 Pontiac Firebird : I bought this from a friend who had it and a lot of parts with it. This car had a 400 with a powerglide trans in it. I did a huge burnout in front of my friend vances house with it. I swapped it for a 4 speed and drove it a little. I sold it to a buddy from work. It was pretty rusty.

15. 1967 Pontiac Firebird Convertible : This car came with the other one and a whole bunch of parts. The car was in pieces when I bought it. I actually owned this before I got married now that I think about it and sold it, then bought it back. I sold it as a complete car but in pieces shortly after.

16. 1992 Chevy Silverado : This was my Dads truck. He bought it brand new while I was on my mission. I think it was one of the best looking trucks out there. It had a tonneau cover and was in excellent shape. It had a v6 which was its only downfall. I traded it in on another truck. If I didn't need an extended cab for my family I would still own this truck. I regret selling it.

17. 1995 Chevy Monte Carlo : This was red and sleek looking. It had a wild engine in it was was a royal pain in the butt to work on. We had an alternator go out in California. The shop took half the day changing it and said they lost their butts doing it but they stood by the price they quoted me. This was another one of my vehicles I saw on the side of the rode with the hood up. It was loaded with leather and 6 disc CD changer. It was a fun car.

18. 1987 Jeep Grand Wagoneer : I bought this from my old boss. It was the first jeep I owned and what an experience. It never did pass emissions and everything broke on it. My first and last jeep product. I traded this jeep for some cement work in my first house. The best trade I ever made. It was also the best cement work I had ever seen.

19. 1999 Chevy Silverado : This is my current truck I still drive. I really like it and it has been a good truck. I have looked at many other trucks but I still like this one.

20. 2000 Honda Accord : We bought this one brand new after a hard time in our lives. It felt good to buy a new car and was a great car. We ended up selling it for a mini van. Ha HA. Dixie loved this car. She regrets selling it. I think the van is growing on her though.

21. 2004 Honda Odyssey : Our first mini van. It is a nice van and we still currently own it. I insisted on a DVD player if we were getting a mini van. That was worth every penny and would highly recommend it to others. Our kids love the space and it is comfortable. The only down side is you have way too many scouts to haul around when you drive it to YM.

22. 1996 Mitsubishi Galant : This car was what my wife commonly referred to as our piece of junk car. It was bought for a commuter car for me back when gas went up to 4dollars a gallon. It had 210,000 miles on it when I sold it and was still running. I put ball joints in it and 5 alternators. At least they were easy to change and lifetime warranty from good ole Auto Zone. I sold it not long ago. There is a possibility I saw it on the side of the road with its hood up also.

23. 2001 Pontiac Bonneville : I couldn't pass this deal up. I bought it from a coworker. I kept it 2 weeks and ended up selling it for a profit. It had its issues. Ones that I didn't want to deal with. I have to say I was not very impressed with this car.

24. 1969 Volkswagen Bug : They say everything comes around to a full circle. I guess they do. I am back to bugs. We bought this one to work on as a family project. I may end up using it as a commuter if gas prices still keep climbing. This is the bug I started this blog for so I guess just watch and see what the outcome of it is :)

25. 1958 Mercury Camp Trailer : I figured I would mention our camp trailers also. This was bought as a project. One of my big ideas. I had high hopes of restoring it and it spent 2 winters in our garage but it just proved to be to much work and I was way to busy in life to get to it. I ended up tearing it apart and scraping it. I kept the flat bed part of the trailer and ended up selling it to a guy who wanted it for his 4 wheelers. I feel bad for killing off a historic trailer like that but I wanted my garage back.

26. 1988 Mallard 22 Foot Camp Trailer : We bought this one for a good deal because it needed work. The front end had damage. I fixed the front of it and powder coated the wheels. I sealed the roof a few times and I am still chasing leaks in it. We have enjoyed lots of camping trips in it with our family and have more planned in the future.

Well as far as I can remember that is the list. Lots of cars for one family. I guess the only advice I would give is dont buy a car from me. I always have a reason I am selling them and I usually wont tell you what it really is :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Old Flame

Well, I got searching in my toolbox at work and found some pictures of my first love. She was 3 years younger than me and in pretty rough shape when I found her. I was 14 she was 11. We spent the next 3 years together and I find myself thinking about her now and then. I have searched for her but to no avail. At least I have the memories. When we parted we were both better for knowing each other. Ha Ha(If your wondering what I am talking about listen to Alan Jacksons song First Love)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Pulling the Beam

Well, The boys and I started out pulling the front beam on the Volkswagen Saturday. Soon their friends came over and I was left all alone pulling the beam. The reason I am pulling it is to weld in adjusters so I can lower the front end. In my opinion a bug is only cool if it sits in the weeds.

When I was 14 years old I removed, installed, removed, installed, removed and installed beams in my bugs that many times. I never remembered it being too tough and wondered why my Dad would look surprised to see them in and out when he came home from work.

I figured this project would only take a few hours and would be a piece of cake. All went well until I pulled all the bolts and it came to the point of removing the beam from the car. I started lowering the jack and the beam had its own set of plans and decided to get out the fast way. It dropped to the floor with a BANG. I then proceeded to tell my boys (who returned just in time to see it fall) that that was how you removed the front end of a bug. They didn't seem too impressed and quickly went back to playing.

I have contemplated why this beam didn't seem to be as easy to pull as when I was 14. I am sure I wasn't stronger back then and I know I didn't have help. I think I just had more enthusiasm and not much bothered me. Well the fun has begun and I think I will get some help when I go to put it back in the car. For now I think I will go put ice on my shoulder and maybe take a nap!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Let the fun begin

I guess I am trying to get comfortable with the whole cyber space thing. I told Dixie I was going to start a blog and she was very encouraging. Why not, I can rant and rave and talk about whatever I want to with the best of them. So here goes. At least this can help me feel OK about failing miserably at writing a journal. Anyways this will most likely be all about the new project me and my 2 boys are working on. It is a 1969 bug.
I have always liked bugs. Mostly because when I was 13 years old I bought my first one. It was a 1973 and had been sitting in a guys driveway for as long as I could remember. When I turned 16 I had owned 4 bugs and with the help of my Dad we made a pretty nice one out of the 4. It was lowered and built "california style". Anyone into bugs knows what I am talking about, they are basically lowered, no chrome, no door handles, and it was painted BRIGHT GREEN. It was a cool car. I always liked that car and today I regret selling it. I have bought and sold many cars in my life and there are not many I can say that I regret selling. Less than I can count on my hand. If I could find it I would buy it back in a heartbeat.
I think I am having a midlife crisis or something because I feel like a kid again working on the bug. I guess its bringing back memories of the many, many, many hours I worked on them in my early teens. I bought this bug with the intention of getting my boys involved and interested in cars like I was. I have to admit I already thought about selling it once to buy a 4 wheeler but I couldn't break my boys hearts. They are already in love with it and dont want to part with it. They were all for buying the 4 wheeler until I told them the bug would have to go.
So let the fun begin! We have already started tearing into the bug and we drove it around the neighborhood 2 or 3 times. If you drive by and hear anything that makes your ears burn coming out of my garage, don't be alarmed, Its just the 3 of us having FUN? ( Dixie knows when those words come out she leaves. For some reason the tools like to fly at that same time.)