Getting the ‘57 beetle back on the road in 2024

Make sure you have a proper back stop if you use compressed air. Don't ask me about my near Mustang fender miss that might have rendered me divorced, lonely, and broke.
Thanks for the reminder. I recall the early days where a single piston from a caliper would launch across the room if I didn’t put a piece of wood to catch it.
 
Had another look at the wheel cylinder. Even if I can get the bleeder out I’ll need to rebuild them. Kits plus a cylinder hone will cost the same as one cylinder, so I’ve decided to order a pair of new aftermarket pieces.

Work smarter, not harder...
thumbsup.gif
 
IMG_2984.jpeg
IMG_2986.jpeg
IMG_2993.jpeg
IMG_2987.jpeg
Had another look at the wheel cylinder. Even if I can get the bleeder out I’ll need to rebuild them. Kits plus a cylinder hone will cost the same as one cylinder, so I’ve decided to order a pair of new aftermarket pieces.
Well I lied.😀. The cheap gene in me overcame my decision to buy wheel cylinders so I had a go at taking the one apart. The pistons wouldn’t budge with compressed air so I made an adaptor for my grease gun out of a brake line fitting and grease fitting. The grease pushed the pistons out and once removed it was no wonder they wouldn’t move. Decades of gunk had them bonded to the wheel cylinder walls. A bit of work with the Dremel tool and the pistons will drop through the wheel cylinder without obstruction. The bore of the wheel cylinder (where cups ride) was actually in pretty good shape. A polish with the Dremel too and some light abrasive (scotch brite like material) cleaned the bore up well. I may be able to borrow a wheel cylinder hone and clean them up further.

But… the broken bleeder screw was still stuck in there. Since the wheel cylinder was apart and clean, I drilled the bleeder to the appropriate size for a screw extractor, then poured on the heat (only a propane torch with Mapp gas). Several attempts and no go. I was about to give up then I thought I’d try it one last time. The propane torch doesn’t have enough heat to get the area red hot but it did get quite warm. I heated it up then doused it with water. I heated it up one last time and carefully worked the extractor and eureka - the darn thing started turning! Got the piece out now it’s nearly ready for a rebuild. Only three more to go but now I have a bit of experience with them.

I felt pretty good about this small victory and thought to myself is this fun? Maybe a bit and as I get further into it my interest and enthusiasm may increase.

IMG_2984.jpeg
IMG_2986.jpeg
IMG_2993.jpeg
IMG_2987.jpeg
 
Last edited:
Had this year model while stationed in Germany..... took forever to deice the windshield .... had to replace the clutch .... a couple of wires.. cable.... hoses... four bolts.. 15 minutes... easiest clutch job I ever did. Never got on the Autobahn with it.... couple years ago we picked up a 2017 VW Beetle ragtop... great car... 😎
 
Mentioned earlier I should dig out my oxy acetylene torch set to heat up some of the rusted bits, but sometimes a small torch may serve me better to pinpoint the heat in a certain area. I started looking on line and found this Chinese Mapp gas torch that apparently has a 3 speed transmission. lol

View attachment 255660
Yeah, Mapp works pretty good most of the time.
 
Viewing the detailed pics of your rear hubs / brake parts took me back to my youth. Lived and breathed Beetles for at least 7 or 8 years, until I discovered BMW 2002's. If I may suggest, break out that oxyacetylene set. Everything will come apart with a combination of heat and lubricant. I think you already know that, though.
I also think you should really consider a sandblaster, even the smallest possible cabinet. It'll make a world of difference to the finish of the parts you are working on. I made my first blast cabinet; a plywood box, a piece of plate glass on top, an extraction port connected to a small shop vac pulling through a dust cyclone, a basic siphon blast gun (Princess Auto, Amazon etc.) and a pair of long-sleeved gloves stapled to the front face of the box. Then again, there's probably a number of used cabinets on Marketplace in your area... The real trick is having a compressor to power it!
You may also want to consider an electrolytic rust removal tank. Very easy to setup (5-gallon bucket, re-bar electrodes and a battery charger) and very effective, just doesn't get you immediate results like sandblasting.
Good luck with the project!
 
Viewing the detailed pics of your rear hubs / brake parts took me back to my youth. Lived and breathed Beetles for at least 7 or 8 years, until I discovered BMW 2002's. If I may suggest, break out that oxyacetylene set. Everything will come apart with a combination of heat and lubricant. I think you already know that, though.
I also think you should really consider a sandblaster, even the smallest possible cabinet. It'll make a world of difference to the finish of the parts you are working on. I made my first blast cabinet; a plywood box, a piece of plate glass on top, an extraction port connected to a small shop vac pulling through a dust cyclone, a basic siphon blast gun (Princess Auto, Amazon etc.) and a pair of long-sleeved gloves stapled to the front face of the box. Then again, there's probably a number of used cabinets on Marketplace in your area... The real trick is having a compressor to power it!
You may also want to consider an electrolytic rust removal tank. Very easy to setup (5-gallon bucket, re-bar electrodes and a battery charger) and very effective, just doesn't get you immediate results like sandblasting.
Good luck with the project!
Thx. I have an ok compressor that could be used with a small blast cabinet but space for the cabinet is a challenge. I’ll have a look to see what I can rearrange to make things fit. The electrolytic rust removal tank is interesting. I’ll research that too.
 
A wire wheel on a bench grinder also makes pretty quick work of rusty parts.
Yes, I just dug out my grinder today that has a wire wheel attached. I keep that one “portable” so I can use it outside the garage because of the airborne debris. I’ll make a base tomorrow so I can attach it to my Black and Decker Workmate, same as my buffing motor.

Is it this simple:
 
IMG_2692.jpeg
IMG_0055.jpeg
Heres my buffing motor attached to a 2x12. There’s a 2x4 underneath that is clamped by the Workmate. Pretty stable set up and when not in use is taken apart and I hang it up in the garage (Upper right, last pic). My small 6” bench grinder with the wire wheel is on the second shelf. Larger 8” is mounted to the wall.
 
Yes, I just dug out my grinder today that has a wire wheel attached. I keep that one “portable” so I can use it outside the garage because of the airborne debris. I’ll make a base tomorrow so I can attach it to my Black and Decker Workmate, same as my buffing motor.

Is it this simple:
Yes, its that simple, although there are a few details that could be approved upon. Electrolysis works by line-of-sight, so you want your part to be surrounded by cathodes (the sacrificial steel in the video). My setup is in a 5-gal. pail, with 5 pieces of rebar the full depth of the bucket attached to the inside perimeter with a zip-tie. The cathodes are then all wired together, so iron oxide is drawn from the part all around it. I use a piece of PVC to suspend the parts from. Works great. The vinegar bath at the end is just a neutralizing bath; it doesn't require immersion of the part, IMO. The power supply matters, as I believe the power requirement is a function of the surface area of the part. I haven't done any further research, as a battery charge is what I have and is what works for me!
 
Yes, its that simple, although there are a few details that could be approved upon. Electrolysis works by line-of-sight, so you want your part to be surrounded by cathodes (the sacrificial steel in the video). My setup is in a 5-gal. pail, with 5 pieces of rebar the full depth of the bucket attached to the inside perimeter with a zip-tie. The cathodes are then all wired together, so iron oxide is drawn from the part all around it. I use a piece of PVC to suspend the parts from. Works great. The vinegar bath at the end is just a neutralizing bath; it doesn't require immersion of the part, IMO. The power supply matters, as I believe the power requirement is a function of the surface area of the part. I haven't done any further research, as a battery charge is what I have and is what works for me!
This for me requires further research and understanding. Questions I have:
- what is the ideal concentration of baking / washing soda to water?
- I know it uses 12V but what amperage is needed? I trust that too low amperage will result in the process not working at all (or too slow) but what happens with too much amperage?
- if the part is left in too long, is it damaged by the process?
When I have a chance I’ll Google some intel. This looks quite interesting.
 
Back
Top