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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So... Over this past summer I reflected on all the things that my parents have done for my brother and I over the years, sacrificed for us, and frankly, put up with.
Then I think of the cars my dad had years ago... A Triumph TR3 convertible.. A 65 or 66 LeMans convertible(luxo version of a GTO) bought new... Even a 69 Dodge Charger prior to the birth of my brother in 1970... Then ever since the birth of my brother, and a handful of years later came me, it was a slew of station wagons, econoboxes, minivans, 4 door sedands, etc.... The coolest thing they bought my entire life was when Ford introduced the Taurus SHO in 1989 with an at the time, awesome 210 or so HP Yamaha V6 and a 5 speed... But all along making sacrifices for the family(ie, my brother and I)... Even though my brother and I have long since grown up(and my brother passed away:( ) they have always put us first, themselves last...

Now that they are getting up in their years, I wanted to 1), show my appreciation for all they have done, which is more than I could fit in this post, and 2) give them something they would never probably get on their own... A vehicle to own for pure enjoyment.....

I have known for a long time my dad has had a thing for Karmann Ghias. So I started looking in May for one and couldnt find one that was a suitable candidate. About the same time, on a totally unrelated conversation which I wont bother going into, he made a comment that had me thinking by the process of deductive reasoning he might have an interest in Cabby's... So come August after a few months of looking for a decent Ghia, I rolled the dice and started looking for a Mk1 Cabby....

After a little over a month of searching, in mid September 2013 I found what I figured to be a suitable starting point.. Kid had an 89 Cabby that was a supposedly perfectly running car, and he was going to "fix it up"... Probably good for the Mk1 world his vision never came to fruition but I digress. The car was advertised as a complete but disassembled 89 Cab for like 600$...

Long story short we agreed on a price of $450, including a hardcover late model cab/rocco II bentley manual.

Idea would be classic Mk1 look, with modern reliability. Not going for speed, but dont want crappy CIS, or the contraption of brackets that makes up a Mk1 V belt assembly, so it would get a late model engine swap and EFI.

Here's the gem as it arrived home on the trailer on September 17, 2013...[/B]...



Gotta love the motorcycle turn signals hanging from the wires...





Had to wonder what this gay ass crap was for, since none of the wires were hooked up, especially to the head unit.. not that watching movies on a postage stamp is what my parents would be in to... Found out later..



First order of business was adressing its ****-eyedness on the passenger side...





The offending area was pulled straight, then new material from a donor was obtained...



Donor material cut out...


Area of body also cut out...



Two bodies become one..




Also... The donor for the engine, ECU, and accessories..



 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
With the apron work done, the rust had to be addressed... Took care of them with and sand blaster.





















Weld repair of the lip channel..






Lip channel weld repaired, and gas tank filler issues... Notice the donor material from Klockerholm up on top...



Patch panel profile marked out on the body...



Cut out and fitted prior to welding...



Welded in..



Then ground...



 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Blew some epoxy primer on these areas to prevent rust because I had to go out of town for a week.

When I got back finished up some rust repair in the ends of the rear window scraper area..





Sanded the entire area again, and re-epoxy primed..













Then more sanding.. and

Rocker repairs..


Some weld repairs the to the rear panel..




Quarter panel repairs.. There was a crease in the quarter that needed to be pulled out and shrunk with the Uni Spotter.. The area of filler(bondo) looks big, but its 1/16" thick max...



Onto the windsheild frame...












Tired.. 4 to 5 hours sleep a night will do that to ya...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So if you ever done body work, you know sanding discs wind up all over the place...
The Honey Dog managed to end up with this disc on her @$$ and not even know it..... LOL.... Shes awesome, my 3 year old Golden....









Anyhow, back to the build... Final coats in epoxy and filler work... so I thought..







There was no pics of a weld repair here, because there was no holes.. Just some minor pitting that a touch of filler took care of...





Final sanding of the epoxy.. Prep for the 2K primer...











And FINALLY primed with some 2K primer... For reference this was November 03, a month and a half after I started, with an unmentioned 2.0L top end rebuild unmentioned as well as a trip out of town for a week for work..

















The existing doors were crap... so I sourced some straight ones and prepped the jambs on them as well...

 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
SO...
The original idea was to keep the build very very mild... Nothing too flashy since this car is for my parents.. My dad is 70, will be 71 in April...My mom is 65, to be 66 in a few weeks.. So I bought Tornado Red.. would keep the white interior, do a white top, basic wheels...

My parents came to visit and my dad saw the car... I told him it was for someone else who was paying me to do the job. He was like "Man, this is so cool, maybe I should get you to build me one like it."

Then I got ideas..
Color changed a bit... Went with a yellow that I bought to put on my Mk2... Its 2012 Dodge Challenger color Stinger Yellow.. First thing was doing the interior and the door jambs..

Also at this point the pics get limited.. I counted on my memory stick in my camera, which long story short got lost, losing most of the
















Then the miserable job of degreasing an doing the engine compartment began...


Thank goodness for a tractor with a lift boom.. anyone need a good running JH motor, hit me up..










Engine compartment sprayed...






Wheels arrived on November 13th! Dub Felgen Classicos!



As well as a bunch of other stuff...



With all the new goods, it was time to get back to work... Had to smooth, epoxy prime, and spray the bumpers, as well as jamb the rear hatch, flares, and underside of the hood...











 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
So with the car jambed, engine out, I started looking at finishing up the exterior..
First problem.. While the car came with a rear hatch and a latch, there was no trunk lock, or mechanisnm, nor was the 3rd brake light present..Remember the silly @$$ video screen from the first post? When looking at the rear hatch and this unknown hole about 1/2" diamter it became apparant that it was for a backup camera, because the previous owner was a self appointed stereo expert who deleted the rear window from the top in favor of a huge subwoofer enclosure...

I kicked about different options to remedy the situation... Then after the inspriation of a fridge full of good German bier...



I went out to the parts New Beetle and played around with the hatch popper... I found a way to attach that popper to the cabby mechanism, which unfortunately the pics are on the previously mentioned lost memory stick... But once I got the latch to operate reliably, that determined the course of action on the sheet metal.. SHAVE!!!
A patch panel was made to fill the 3rd brake light, as well as fill that stupid @$$ backup camera hole, and the pushbutton hole... While I was at it, I shaved the emblems..









Primed and ready for paint faster than I could find a fellow Vortexer to butt rape me for a 3rd brake light LOL...



With that left me with another issue.. Now that the hatch was shaved, the side markers which look like heck in the first place would look even more out of place now. Not to mention that every side marker I have is cracked and dried out... And best deal I could muster was from a texer who would sell me some for $20 each plus shipping... Eff that, an hour with a welder...

Typical before...


Patches...




Spot welded..



Fully welded..


Grinding..


Ground and low spots identified...


Unispotter employed to pull low spots and shrink expanded metal...






What side marker??


Time to put the doors and hood back on, mask again, and do final block sanding as well as smooth out the hood...















Primed....
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So with the body sanded with 220, then 320, and finally 600, it was time to make a failed attempt at a paint booth...

Put 4 mil visqueen on the rafters, an area about 12x20'.....


The walls were permanently anchored to the rafters at the top... and at the bottom were attached to a pipe so they could be rolled up when not in use...


Put 2 air conditioner filters, 25x20 on the "back wall" as air inlets..


Put a fan up on the "front wall"... and proceeded to spray the base coat...


BIG FAIL... Even with the two inlet filters, even with the single fan on low, it would suck the walls in and lift the pipes up off the floor sucking the bugs in...



 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Long story short, and a lot of cussing later, I stopped after spraying the base coat and attacked it next morning before the bugs got heavy... Grey scotchbrighted the bugs out and resprayed base with PPG DBC 2000 and then did the clear with Southern Polyurethantes clear...







Fetched my FK smoked headlights, the badgless grille, and grille spoiler for some trial fitting...



Put the smoked tails in, fitted the rear hatch, etc...



Friend came by to help install the top..



This is December 12th, slightly less than 3 months from beginning the project...
 

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ripping apart one girl car just to build another girl car :p. nice work. good luck with the rest of the build.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
The next few weeks was getting ready for Christmas, which this car was supposed to be part of it..
To get the car ready required pulling the donor motor, and making the conversion engine mount for the internal water pump Mk4 engine...





After that, was a bunch of wiring.....





As well as new brakes, new axles, new wheel bearings....New clutch, making the radiator fit, making coolant hoses, and FITTING A/C... Yep, an internal waterpump engine swap with A/C...

Also had to trailer the car into town for an alignment..


After that, finally got to take the first ride on December 28th!



Installed the smoked turn signals a buddy did..





Another ass shot because I can...


Late night on Dec 28th, after spending most of the day wet sanding the body with 1200...


Went to bed that night at 2am to wake up at 5:30 am to respray the door and hatch where I accidentally sanded through the base coat..


After spraying, took a break to get some breakfast. Then back at sanding with 1500...


Late at night, finally done wet sanding, then buffed with cutting compound then polishing compound..


It was a long night Sunday the 29th.... During Christmas I told my parents I ordered their gift online. On Saturday I told them it was here and I could give it to them monday the 30th.. Still had a lot of interior and trim to put on when I woke up that morning..
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So here are the final(at the moment) pics...
Got up the morning of the 30th. finished installing the interior... Got the side trim on, etc.



OBDII port, LOL...


Engine..






Exterior...





Then the camera battery died and didnt get a chance to charge till my parents showed up...

But heres the totally thrilled new owners!






Although they dont actually have the car just yet. They got it registered so I can look for any issues with the car and I have been driving it.. So far I have about 300 miles on it with no issues.. Fires right up, runs strong. But I need to sort out the suspension, and un-ghetto the exhaust. Plan is to give it to them in a few weeks..

My dad is on the hook for the interior.. Trying to talk him into a charcoal with suede inserts...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
ripping apart one girl car just to build another girl car :p. nice work. good luck with the rest of the build.
LOL.. Don't have a good come back for that, LOL... But I will say I have been messing with watercooled VW's since around 1992..And always hated Cabby's.... Until I drove this thing.. Now as much as I hate to admit it, I want to build one for myself..haha...
 

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I'd love to build something for my dad someday. Good for you :thumbup: , and I hope your folks enjoy it!
 

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I hate you... You make me look like a slacker...

Great job man!!! They must have been so excited! And that car came out beautiful, I will be there next week so we can paint mine :)

Edit- please remove this thread before my wife sees it and realizes how all my projects "could" be built!
 

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:thumbup::thumbup:

Just read through the whole thread.
Awesome work and an awesome gift.
You gave me a lot of ideas and probably saved me the time trying to make my own plasti-booth disaster.
Very nice, thanks for the details and pictures.

I'll have to show this to my 2nd daughter, that has mentioned wanting a yellow cabby.
Well done :thumbup:
 

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LOL.. Don't have a good come back for that, LOL... But I will say I have been messing with watercooled VW's since around 1992..And always hated Cabby's.... Until I drove this thing.. Now as much as I hate to admit it, I want to build one for myself..haha...
haha, ive never been a fan of cabbys but im just bustin your balls. ive always thought cabbys were embarrassing cars to be seen in but after driving an all white mk3 cabriolet for a day with the top stuck down a cabby doesn't seem so bad haha.
 

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great job:beer::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:
 
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