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Old 06-17-2009, 02:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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1959 VW Beetle Conversion/Build Thread

Hello folks. I've been a long time lurker and a recent poster here. This is my first EV build so please bear with me if I sound stupid from time to time since all my knowledge about EV are all purely theoretical and research from the net. Im a little familiar with bugs that's why I chose it to be my donor car.

I have been slowly building my project since last year when I bought my donor car. It is a 1959 VW Beetle Ragtop, totally stripped down but 80% of the parts are there but not installed when I bought it. It did not came with the engine so its perfect since Im not going to need one. Some people will say I paid too much for a piece of junker, but I guess I have a weakness with aircooled vw's since I was in high school a long long time ago.

This is how it looks like when I bought it last year.



Funny! It does look like a piece of crap.... Imagine when my wife saw it the first time being towed in to our garage.

So to all air-cooled heads out there or to people who have EV's like mine, I will be picking your brain from time to time. All help will be appreciated.

I will be adding more info soon...

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Old 06-17-2009, 07:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Even though I started this last year and have made a lot of progress since then, I will just try to post here as much as I can to catch up where I am right now. I mean, if you want follow with my adventure in building this EV. Also I want to ask permission if I can bore you from the details of rebuilding my car, though not EV related but a major part the rebuild of the whole project. This will include, from cleaning the car up to painting and finishing the car.
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Old 06-17-2009, 08:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Lets continue,

Here are the pictures of the car before i started cleaning it..... lots of cleaning....
What a mess...



and another one...



and another...





I think, this is way over my head.... When I first saw it, i felt very excited, and cant wait to bring it home... Now that it is home and you have plenty of time to examine the car... Oh crap! What is the return policy on these things? Oh well...

This will be going to be a lot of work... I should have gotten a running condition one like Paul (from this build) did.

Well, what can you do but to continue... (hey is that a buyers remorse?)... Nah!



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Paul & Sabrina's Controller (never used)
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Old 06-17-2009, 09:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Know what: I would love to see someone convert a Thing - I saw one in the background of your first pic. That's a neat vehicle.

I love that your '59 has the sliding roof though. I have to admit I occasionally wish the ForkenSwift's host had more character. It's practical, and light, and cheap, but that's about it. I'd love to do "fun" and light and cheap.

And I'm happy to see you're considering trying poor man's regen with an alternator on the tail shaft. It's one of those things everyone talks about ... but not too many do.
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Old 06-17-2009, 11:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I had to join and comment. Because I purchased a Bug to convert also. Although mine is a bit rougher as it is a partial Baja build that someone never finished. I'm hoping that with a fiberglass front and fiberglass rear fenders and no rear - the weight will be significantly reduced.

A couple things that I found amusing...
Quote:
Originally Posted by ev59rag View Post
Imagine when my wife saw it the first time being towed in to our garage.
I imagine it was the same look when I brought home my 69 Beetle to convert.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ev59rag View Post
This will be going to be a lot of work... I should have gotten a running condition one like Paul (from this build) did.
Mine is dismantled also. And every time I work on it, I think the same thing.

As things worked out the only day I could pick up my "Project" was on Earth Day. I have vowed to get it finished for our county fair which is in Sept.

Your Bug looks great. Keep going. It also looks mostly rust free. I have some very rusty areas to attend to on mine.

Last edited by gc-steve; 06-17-2009 at 11:59 PM..
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Old 06-18-2009, 01:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Between last year when I bought it and today (still working on it), I had this feeling where I want to throw the towel and quit. You want to fix a small part, then by the time you open it up, you will learn that the area to be fix is bigger than what you say in the first place...

to all, thanks for subscribing, i really thought people here doesnt want to hear anything except EV stuff. We will get there, but for now, much of the work is getting this bug a bit presentable even if its the same level as a "RATLOOK" i will be happy. It really depends on the skills i have for DIY....


Lets continue,

a picture where we start cleaning and sand blasting all the hard to get areas. This is my friend (expert with aircooleds) helping me. We are using cheap harbor freight sand blasting gun and using ordinary play sand. Make sure that you filter it with screen or something so you dont clog up your gun. I learned the hard way....



If im going to do it again.... I wont do it again.... this thing is so messy, it will cover everything in dust! period. I mean everything as in the whole garage. The plastic you see does not help... and you need a respirator to do this... plus a whole body cover including your face. The media will bounce back to your hands, neck, face, everything... and this one hurts.... so yes i wont do it again....



what a mess....

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Parting out my EV.
ES-31C D&D Motor
Alltrax 7245 Controller
Paul & Sabrina's Controller (never used)
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Old 06-18-2009, 03:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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After several days/nights (after office) of sand blasting the car, here are some pictures after spraying primer.







and this one (the grills) turned out alright. Im a happy person....



Since this one will not be a "SHOW CAR" quality project, I opted out from the expensive car paint, instead i will be doing the "50 dollar car paint approach". If thats too long to read then this one will do....

But instead of roller, Im using spray. And yes Im using Rust-oleum enamel (oil based) primer and final paint for the car.


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Old 06-18-2009, 05:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
Know what: I would love to see someone convert a Thing - I saw one in the background of your first pic. That's a neat vehicle..
Me too, but the THING is, he is asking 4500 for it. Running condition, totally restored.... But I guess its too much for a donor car.... I like it a lot though...

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Old 06-19-2009, 02:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ev59rag View Post
to all, thanks for subscribing, i really thought people here doesnt want to hear anything except EV stuff.
Hey, I love cars, so as long as the site owners don't mind the storage and bandwidth, I like build logs.

Oh, and I'm now subscribed as well.
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Old 06-19-2009, 03:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I hope they dont mind me posting my build here even though im on the car stage still and not on the EV side of it.... But with regards to storage, i dont think it will add that much, since im hosting my own images, and with regards to traffic, you are my third subscribber so far.... hahaha... Im so popular....

Well, lets continue... while i was working on my car, I already ordered the parts to create my own coupler. So I bought a used clutch disc from a swap meet for 5 bucks. And went here to buy the sprocket from. Since I know my shaft size which is 1-1/8" the next deciding factor is for the outside diameter. I chose this one since I got the idea from here in the first place but did not anticipated that the outside diameter he used is big for what i need. Well if your building a similar project like mine then you can use a smaller outside diameter sprocket.



And since I dont have drill press and probably wont be able to drill the sprocket like LEMON did, I decided to just weld it like this...



and now it looks like this....



Im a bit worried since there is a play between the sprocket and the clutch, this might pose a porblem in the future... we will see... For now, we will stick with this one.



.

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Parting out my EV.
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Alltrax 7245 Controller
Paul & Sabrina's Controller (never used)
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