VW Cabriolet Project for the wifey



heat exchanger water lines - hopefully tomorrow
catch can - metal for it due today, probably finish it up over the next couple weeks
need to rework the rear brake line a little - tomorrow
final weld of exhaust once the real header flange shows up, due week after next
machine a firewall passthru / bulkhead for the heater core lines
heat shield for firewall


Shave fender and quarter marker light holes and antenna hole
fix drivers quarter panel
Firewall - shave clutch cable hole, speedo cable hole, and flatten out the RHD column feature to make more room for heat shield
3rd brake light mods
shave hood vents (probably)

Then I have to strip pretty much the whole body as whoever repainted it before me used a shit load of product I just cant paint over. That should be fun.


Decided to go ahead and shave the third brake light. Still unsure what Im going to do to replace it but for now its gone. Im considering two to replace it; one inside at the top of the rear window for when the top is up, and one on the roll bar for when its down. (obv would have a way to disable either depending on the top position). It would be cleaner and more visible, which is good given the size of this car and the distraction level of drivers these days.

Anyway, I didnt get any pics of it welded up but here we have the filler done and the first coat of primer blocked down. I have a couple low spots and some pin holes to deal with. In general though I think its damn close. A quick coat of glaze here and there and another coat of primer and it should be set. I was surprised that there seemed to be some filler under the OE paint. Perhaps Karman did something with them?

Between filler drying I started working on a fender. Everything is so filthy still.

Shaving the marker lights in progress. The screw holes are already weld up here.

Unrelated to body work, the clutch hydro line and banjo fitting showed. Fit nicely.

Welded the -12 bungs to the HX and got two of the hoses done. Still waiting on some support spring for the lower, suction, hose.



you gonna keep those fender badges?


They are already in the bin.


Blocked the deck lid, added some glaze to address the pin holes and other spots, blocked, and re-primed. It should be good to go know with just a quick blocking.

Back to the fender. Welded and brazed the antenna hole up. Shoudnt need any filler.

Got the first coat of filler over the marker light area. Probably just a light coat of glaze will finish it off.

And then I started cleaning up the other fender when I noticed some filler squeezed thru a hole at the front corner, surrounded by a little rust. So I went to town and found this.

Yup, thats like 0.1" of filler and a hole from a dent puller stud, sigh. Not sure what Im gona do about this one yet.



thinking you’ll fix that fender or source another?


Undecided. I think Ill try to fix it first and see what happens.

But at the end of the day its probably a coin toss to try and fix it , or get an aftermarket fender to fit right.

The only good thing about aftermarket is that they dont have marker light holes.



Trunk lid blocked out with 400 dry. Pretty happy with how it turned out.

Stripped the drivers fender of its many layers of paint. Its super straight and zero rust. Ready to prime tomorrow.



Damn dude. Loving the updates. Looks like (IG) the other fender ain’t that bad, either.


Its a lot worse since I tried to hammer it out. Ended up with 3-4 holes from the weld on dent pull studs and hidden rust. Its a mess.

Im likely going to section that area out and weld in a new formed piece. At least thats my current plan, hah.



Epoxy and 2k primed the fender last saturday. Turned out nice. I havent blocked it out yet, but it should be close, maybe just a little glaze around the area where I shaved the marker lights.

Then it was back to the trunk. The inside has just as much bad paint as the outside, along with a few dents. Spent forever stripping the inside and repairing the dents in prep for primers.

Sanded it out. Ready for the last coat of primer.

Just had to toss it on quick to see how it looks. Diggin it.

I was tired of sanding so last night I decided to focus on the hood latch. My oe one was a rusty mess so I sourced a German aftermarket one from Poland.

Years back I modded the oe one to release through the grille like the early rabbits. The job I did on it sucked so I fixed that up last night and mated it to the new latch.


Its basically just a tab welded to the release where normally the cable would hook to. I cut off anything associated with the cable and drilled a new hole for the spring.
Also added nutserts for mounting the base to the core support.


Naturally the safety catch hook hit the heat exchanger, which I knew would be close. Luckily it was just low enough a small clearance through the top plate gave it enough room. I also trimmed the catch a tiny bit for added clearance (not shown in the second pic)


Then I pulled it all apart so it will be ready for nickel plating.



man oh man the attention to cough OCD cough detail here is amazing.


I def have a problem

EDIT: I didnt show it, but I was sure to buff out any shear marks in the edges of the latch pieces and rounded over all the edges so one side wasnt sharper than the other from when it was stamped.


Primed the inside of the trunk. Its now ready for seam sealer.


Pass fender stripped. Didnt find any other surprises so I decided to fix the previously hacked repair on the front corner.


With the rest of the 1/8" of mud ground off it was a huge mess. The backside was quite rusty as well. Stupid dent pullers. You can see some leftovers of the one stud, top left of the damaged area. The top of the fender behind the damage was also pushed up quite a bit so I hammered that flat using a poster board template of the drivers fender.


Cut out the old repair

Hammered a replacement piece to shape.

Welded it in place and sanded it out.

Last night I shaved the marker light holes and got it glassed in. Its not a great shot of it, but you can see just how little filler the front repair I made needed. A little better than the original repair.



Took a break from sanding and started on the catch can.

Naturally I couldnt just make a square box. I wanted the one corner to be rounded.

Bent up some 0.090" to a 1.5" radius on our little Baleigh brake at work.

Then cut and fit all the other pieces and got most of it tacked up. Im still waiting on the top panel that a guy I work with is cutting on his cnc for me. Should have that tomorrow.

Ill try to explain how this is going to work. The large oem vent in the block is going to attach to a tube in the chamber with the rounded corner. The air will travel up over the first wall, under the second, over the third, and then there will be an opening in the bottom of the front most chamber. The whole thing will be filled with ss wool to capture the vapors. The bottom is angled to funnel the captured oil where there will be a drain. Its hard to see but the first interior wall is flat at the bottom allowing oil to go under it but most of the air to be directed over it. The third interior wall follows the contour of the bottom panel so I can seal it to hold the oil within the first three chambers. Phew. It should make more sense as it comes together.



Realized wed am that I welded the damn mounting flange of the tank on upside down. UGH. Last night I cut all the tacks off, cleaned up the panels and flipped it over the right way. Took about an hour, so not SO bad.

Then added a bung for the drain and the inlet tube and welded it all up.

Welded a piece of rectangle tube to the side of the HX to attach the tank to. The tab out the side should make sense now.

Up next was the drain. The drain will double as a secondary mount for the tank, I still need to weld on a mounting tab that will bolt to the frame rail. That groove in the frame rail was meant to be there I guess. It took me a while to get the bends right for the drain. I also had to trim the tube sleeves so Id have enough room for the flare tool dies but I think it worked out pretty slick.

The inlet tube is 1.25" to match the oe breather on the block, and is angled to go under the upper radiator hose. Ill connect the two with a 1.25" silicone 90.

Drain will get a male plug.

I now have the top plate back from my CNC buddy so I should be able to get that welded on this afternoon.





Catch can lid welded on (note groove for sealing o-ring), output slot cut in the bottom, and a mounting tab for the drain line welded on.

I also tweaked the drain line spacing to the frame rail for all you that were super concerned.



Will drill the frame once the motor is out next time.

Next I need to decide if/how Im going to fit a breather line or two to the valve cover.



Silicone 90 for the crank case vent trimmed and in place. Itll sit straighter once clamped (not that youll ever see it again).

Ive been hating the fuel press regulator cup on the end of the fuel rail for a while now. The original plan was it would be simple, “cheap”, and require less fittings. But now it just annoys me and I feel that Id prefer to have some control over fuel pressure if needed.

So last night I hacked the cup off and welded a -6 fitting on. Its so much cleaner. Im going to mount the small Fuel Lab FPR under the fram rail. Sure it wont be the easiest to access but it should be a set it and forget it deal.





Big update:

Finished up the catch can. I decided to add one breather to the valve cover. Not so much for the vent but that I needed a place to fill oil since I shaved the oe fill cap. haha

Fitting welded and smoothed.

To keep the hose as long as possible to compensate for engine movement I welded a piece of tube to the catch can the hose slips over, vs a bung and fitting. Also did a little bump in the hose. I did use silicone hose I had lying around which is not lined correctly so Ill need to either source some lined hose or just use standard pushloc hose when it comes to the final install.

Finished up the hood latch mods. Originally the pivot for the safety catch was staked in. I needed to remove it in order to be able to nickel plate everything so a new pivot was required. I sourced a internally threaded shoulder “bolt”, drilled it out from 8-32 to 1/4-20 and turned the knurling / labeling off. Not shown: drilled out the hole in the safety catch to fit the shoulder bolt and welded extra material to the edge to compensate for the larger hole.

Original pivot ground off

Shoulder bolt before

Everything modded and assembled complete with ss ARP 12 point bolt.

Next was to finish up the revamped fuel system. The Fuel Lab FPR fit nicely under the frame rail. I just needed to make a little adapter plate to mount it to and redo the lines quick. Ill rivet this in after the chassis is painted hence the temporary clecos

And last but not least FINALLY got the header and down pipe fully welded.

First time welding a header like this. It was a total pain trying to do it all in one piece, but I thought I could without separating the runners and I wanted to try and minimize warping by keeping it on the jig.

Thankfully the Monster 14 cup didnt disappoint and I was able to have huge tungsten stickout while maintaining a clean weld.

All welded up. It probably took me a good 5 hours of welding 3/4" , re-position manifold, weld antoher 3/4", repeat infinity times. Its not the best job ever but itll certainly pass.

It did pull a tiny bit on the jig but nothing to worry about. The head flange was also pretty flat. Nothing I cant sand out quick on my big belt sander.

Then it was the down pipe’s turn. Had to make a jig to weld the turbo v-band flange. Both to hold it flat and to be able to purge it properly. I was quite pleased with this weld.

For the saddle O2 bung the fit wasnt quite right so I welded the sides and then used a hammer and punch to adjust the edges for a tight fit.

All done.

Still fits!

And with that i THINK im done with the motor / turbo fabrication. Tonight Im going to do a once over everything an then it should be time to remove the motor and get cranking on the body!