The first modification I did in reviving the Bug was to replace/upgrade the rear tail lights. In this picture are the original tail lights affectionately known as "elephants feet" among VW enthusiasts.
Here is what I replaced the old worn out tail light with.
The Bug looks pretty good for such a low budget paint job.
The trick is in the preparation.
The drivers-side fender is next...
I finished painting the front fenders and front valance panel. I shot 3 coats of flat black primer then 3 coats of semi-gloss black top coat. I sanded with 220 between the first and second coat and with 400 grit between the 2nd and third coat of both primer and top coat. Now I have to repair the front light wiring which had been butchered sometime in the past. Fortunately the wiring itself looks like it's in good shape. I am going to use quick release connectors so it will be easier to remove lights and housings in the future.
The paint in these pictures of the driver's side fenders looks glossy, but it is really primer flat black. The paint was still fresh when I took these pictures.
I installed and wired the headlights and turn signals. I had planned to use quick dis-connect connectors, but I did not have any so I used the crimp type connectors. I made sure they were water tight. I really enjoy driving a project car. Between the thrill of wondering if anything is going to break and the looks you get from people who think your ride is cool looking, it's a lot of fun.
Prepping for paint on the quarter panels.
I rebuilt the carburetor, replaced all the flex fuel lines, and cleaned out the fuel tank. With fresh fuel, the engine runs really good now.
I replaced the passenger-side rear fender and primed it black, then top coated it semi-gloss black.
The passenger side quarter panel is next on my list to replace. I have a full quarter panel from a 1970 Beetle. I plan to weld it into place then body work it before I paint it to match the fenders.
Update on the Bug:
(Newest updates are at the bottom of this page)
The Bug has sat in our backyard for over a year and needed some work to get it back on the road. Due to the escalating gasoline prices, I am prepping it to become my daily driver. I am keeping my 4 wheel drive Tahoe, but will drive it only when necessary since it only gets about 14 miles per gallon in town. Since by my nature, I can't drive something that is totally stock, the Bug is getting some personal treatment. First thing is completing the bodywork where it was hit in a parking lot. I have replaced the passenger-side door, and will be replacing the quarter panel in the passenger-side. I have a quarter panel ready for it so it will be my next project with the Bug. The long range plan for the Bug is to paint it either Satin Black or Dark Blue. Right now I am leaning to the satin black since that is what I want to paint the Vette. I like the idea of "experimenting" with the black to make sure that is what I want for the Vette. Also, in the plans are to drop the suspension so that the Bug rides lower and handles better. Some minor mods to the engine are also in the plans, but I am not going overboard with that since the whole idea of reviving the Bug is to have an economical car to drive.
These are low profile tail lights.
Two factors played into why I bought these:
1, Price - The lights were about half of what the original replacements cost.
2, I think they look better.
One of the things that I have been working on is repairing the body damage caused by a collision in a High School parking lot. Here is the progress so far. I have replaced the door and knocked out the dents in the fender. Before I go to final paint I will replace both rear fenders with new ones. The quarter panel will also need to be replaced. I have the replacement quarter panel.
I finished the driver side fender install and primed and painted it. I also primed and painted the apron. The spot on the apron is a reflection of one of the halogen lights that are over my work bench.
I replaced the old fender with one in better shape. I got a late start so I was not able to complete the job. On this fender I used 80 grit sanding discs so I could use my pneumatic sander. That made the prep part a lot easier. I sprayed only one coat of black primer before I had to put everything up for the day.
I sanded the blue fender with 220 grit sand paper, then shot the fender with black primer. Once the primer dried, I sanded the fender with 400 grit paper, then shot it with semi-gloss black. For a 2 hour job, it turned out really well. there are some small blemishes in it which I will take care of properly later when I am working on coating the complete body.