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Re: front clip info/help needed (Looooong post...)


awsome explanation of "how too" on the clip, and great picts, I only wish I
had taken some pictures when  replaced mine.   I only had to replace the
front portion before the trunk area.   Not a hard job at all for someone who
loves their T-III.

Woody an owner of a fine VW Type-III Square Back
-----Original Message-----
From: David Yaghoubian <goob@dnai.com>
To: type3@vwtype3.org <type3@vwtype3.org>
Date: Sunday, June 21, 1998 7:30 AM
Subject: Re: front clip info/help needed (Looooong post...)


>{NOTE: I got way into this and ended up making a Web page devoted to
>answering the question. The text that appears here in this post is also
>included on the Web page with photographs to help the explanation. The page
>is at:  http://www.dnai.com/~goob/clip/clip.html   )
>
>
>>
>>So my question is this.  How hard is it to cut off a front clip???  Keep
in
>>mind I dont know squat about air cooled VW's, I grew up watercooled and
>>besides that, I've never used a torch or a sawzall or any other tool
required
>>to cut this clip off (except for a hack saw).  is it something that's
fairly
>>obvious once the fenders, hood, axels have been removed??  or should we
bring
>>along some help???
>
>Hello and sorry to hear about your accident.  I smashed up the front of my
>68 Square 3 years ago (we're original owners and it was a first... UGLY!)
>and did the work replacing the front clip myself. I took some very close up
>and detailed photos of the work, thinking that they might come in handy
>someday. Sadly, I guess the day has arived.... :(    The good news is that
>you (or someone who can work with some basic power tools) can do 90% of the
>job yourself, and then take the car to a body shop for the final welding.
>
>What I am about to explain will become clear after you see the photos of
>the process, but basically, here's what needs to be done: I am adding
>things I SHOULD have done, but didn't.... this will make the job easier for
>you.
>
>In terms of getting the clip from the other car: First off, you don't need
>to remove the axels, or even the hood!  Raise the hood, remove the fenders,
>bumper, trunk liner and gas tank. If the hood seal is good, pull it off
>carefully!! Same with the trunk liner. From under the car, you will find
>two large bolts that fasten the front of the clip down to the car chassis.
>These have to be removed. (SAVE THE RUBBER BUSHINGS!!) With these items
>removed you will get the picture pronto.  Clip from parts car needs to be
>cut with a saws-all (you can rent one... like an industrial strength
>electric turkey knife... ;) , being sure to get EVERYTHING, 100% of the
>clip from the very rear of the gas tank area forward.
>
>
>The reason you want to get as much of it as possible is because you are
>going to only cut as much of your original clip off as need be (leaving
>everything not damaged), THEN, (and only then, and hella carefully at
>that!) cut the new clip to fit with the remaining metal, LEAVING 1/2 inch
>or so overhang, then finish sizing the two up with a file or grinding
>wheel. Basically, if you mess up and cut too much off either piece, you
>will have to fill the space between with weld/sheet metal, and you DONT
>WANT THAT, hence the need to get as much clip as you can off the parts car,
>and leaving as much straight clip on your car.
>
>One, straight cut on each side from the top-back of the trunk area, on a
>forward/downward angle to the back of the gas tank area will do the job.
>When you pull off the clip (amazingly light) you will reveal the entire
>front end/suspension/steering box... everything. A great time to snab parts
>off the parts car, (and to clean the 20lbs of dirt off your own baby once
>you get the damaged clip off of it!)
>
>Now, I assume your hood was smashed in the accident. Mine sure was. For
>sizing up the clip properly, you will need to mount a farily straight hood.
>I got a THRASHED/rusted one for $10 that I wasn't even dreaming of using
>permanently, but that worked wonders when sizing up the new clip. Perhaps
>the parts car has a hood that isn't pushed in? If so, get it, because you
>will need it.
>
>While I'm mentioning this I should just say this once and for all: save
>everything you can off the parts car. Body screws, the little rubber
>gaskets behind each, the rubber trim that runs the length of the fenders
>between the body, front gas lines/hoses. While you're there what the
>hell... grab the master cyl for the brakes and anything else you have the
>time to get. Trust me, you will probably wish you had later so "Just Do It"
> ;)
>
>
>On your own car, remove your damaged hood, fenders, bumper, trunk liner and
>the two clip bolts. Get the gas tank too, carefully noting where the gas
>lines travel and how they sit. NOTE: there are a few small pieces of thin
>fiberboard, custom cut to protect your gas hoses from getting crushed by
>stuff you put in the trunk. Look at where they sit as you remove the trunk
>liner and gas tank, and be sure to put them back in the right place when
>the job is done. (more on that later).  Also, remove the bolt holding the
>trunk release cable to the lower latch assembly, as well as the lower
>assembly (3-4 12mm bolts i think).  Also, take a moment and remove the
>identification plate from the front/top of the clip by the latch and save
>that for sure.
>
>IF YOUR TRUNK SEAL is in good shape (good shape means it didn't leak before
>the accident, and didn't get ripped badly in the acident - no matter what
>it looks like!!) do *NOT* remove it all the way. Begin pulling it up at the
>front of the trunk area, slowly and carefully up both sides of the trunk
>area JUST PAST the damaged portion a few inches. Because you are going to
>leave as much of your old clip on as possible, you will only be pulling the
>trunk seal a little bit past the damaged portion you are going to excise.
>(After the new clip is welded up, you will refit and glue the seal back in
>place. more on that later)
>
>OK, so you should be looking at the front end your car denuded of
>everything up front except your thrashed clip.  Inspect both sides
>carefully, marking where the damage (bending or tweakage of any sort) is on
>each side with a marker or screwdriver. UNLIKE the chop job on the parts
>car, you will only want to cut off as little as possible (I know I'm
>repeating myself, but just dig it :), so make your two cuts just an inch or
>so back from the damage.  YES the sides will be uneven, and this is not a
>problem. BE CAREFUL not to cut through the trunk release cable, gas lines,
>etc.
>
>
>Remove your old clip. BEHOLD! Your whole front end exposed to the light of
>day for the first time in 27 years! Lay out some newspaper, grab a plastic
>knife or scraper of some sort, and have at! You will remove no less than 10
>pounds of caked on dirt and grime on your first slice. "I guarantee it!"
>Clean up the front suspension and inspect everything (incl. brake master
>cyl, steering box etc) since you will never, ever again have such easy
>access to your front end (assuming you don't own a home lift ;)
>
>At this point, you really want to start paying attention to what you are
>doing, 'cuzz this is the critical part. You are going to be sizing up the
>clip for your first ROUGH cuts. I say rough because you don't even want to
>come within 2 inches of a correct fit on either side at this point. What
>you will be trying to do here is just lop off the stuff (from the clip! you
>are done cutting on the rest of your car!) you are *sure* is extra, as an
>initial step toward fitting. Work slowly and think about what you are
>doing: if you cut too much you are in trouble, so just get it roughly sized
>up with the sawsall.
>
>Lift the clip from the front of the car with two hands and and try to fit
>it over the two mounting holes as if you were going to mount it.  If you
>made your cuts right, you shouldn't be able get within 2 or 3 inches of the
>mounting holes, as there is still way too much metal on both sides (right
>and left, not clip/car! you are done cutting on the car!) to allow this.
>Now it will become clear to you what the rest of the job will necessitate.
>For the rest of this fitting portion of the job you will be taking your
>time grinding or filing away the metal from the clip, and then picking it
>up and attempting to mount it on the car. I say file or grind, because you
>can really mess up with a sawsall at this point if you hack too much, so
>work with a drill-mounted grinding wheel and work slowly.
>
>
>Grind, size up, repeat. Grind more, size up, repeat. Grind more, size
>up..... (my neighbors can tell you all about it. LOL! ;)
>
>OK, so you're finally getting close to where the clip will ALMOST fit over
>the front mounting holes before it bumps into the remaining trunk stumps.
>NOW IS WHEN YOU NEED THE STRAIGHT HOOD. Mount the hood and adjust it so it
>makes a nice, even fit around the top right and left hand corners when you
>"close" it. [Remove either the upper or lower latch assy so you don't lock
>yourself out in a really wierd way!] What you are trying to do here is get
>the hood in the position it will be in when the job is done, so that it can
>serve as a second point of reference (the first being the bottom mounting
>holes) as you determine how much more filing from the clip is necessary.
>File, place the clip over the mounting holes, and lower the hood.  Repeat
>as necessary. If unsure of yourself, leave more clip, rather than less. You
>see, the hood can be adjusted OUT, but can only be adjusted so far IN. If
>you cut too much you will have a hard time fitting the hood/fenders...
>everything.
>
>Eventually, what you want to end up with is a nice fit on both sides, where
>the clip fits perfectly over the mounting holes, meets both sides as flush
>as possible, and fits with the hood. Run your hand over the edges on the
>top (along the trunk seal path) and check for a nice, smooth arc. If there
>is a sudden change of angle, note where you need to remove more clip metal,
>and file it back again.
>
>Contrary to what I've been saying all along, NOW is the time it is OK if
>you accidentally go an 1/8 in too far in some places. You see, ultimately
>these two sections will need to be welded inside and out, so it is OK if
>there's a few gaps here and there. As long as they are very small, the weld
>will fill them in nicely.
>
>
>Once you are sure you have a perfect fit on both sides, you're not done!
>Mount your fenders with a few body screws and see how they fit. You might
>notice one side or the other needs to be shaved back a bit more. If so,
>grind it. Again, if you notice that somehow you went just a bit too far in
>some spots, don't freak out, just note where, and be sure to mention this
>to the welder.\
>
>If you've been doing the work at home, now you have to get the car to the
>body shop. I put the clip bolts and both fenders on (which hold the clip in
>place) re-hooked up the gas tank, reattached the hood release cable and
>latch assy., temporarily unfurled my trunk seal, and closed the hood. Your
>clip, although loose, is pretty solidly connected, so you can now drive to
>the body shop.
>
>At the welder/ body shop, explain exactly what you've done. Explain that
>you need them to weld up the clip. They should know exactly what needs to
>be done, since they do what you just did every day to the tune of $1000 or
>so... :)  My body guy offered me a job when he saw what I did with a
>hacksaw and 1200rpm drill/grinding wheels [I didn't use a sawsall!!! 8-0]
>but I digress......
>
>If the shop is cool (or you pay them enough :) they should weld it solidly,
>apply some sealer paint (it won't show so matching isn't an issue) and some
>underbody protectant on the wheel-well side. Now the fun begins!! Drive it
>home and put the parts back on yourself.
>
>-Bolt back in gas tank if not bolted down already (it should be!! Dont
>drive to or from body shop w/o it bolted!!)
>-Replace protective boards over gas hoses and then replace trunk liner.
>-Adjust fenders and mount.
>-Reglue trunk seal. Adjust hood again.
>-Attach your old ID plate somewhere! It's your V-dub's doggie tags! :)
>-Mount bumper and lic. plate
>-Roll a cigarette and SMILE  (John Muir's suggestion... ;)
>-Go drive your Sqbk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
>
>The last step (which I'm still on!) is to save your money for a paint job!
>I know this as a mouthful and sounds horiffic (wait until you see the
>photos! Scary...) but it really isn't that difficult!  I think I must've
>saved at least 1200 bucks doing this portion of the job myself. You can do
>the same and you will love bonding with your squareback in its time of
need...
>
>I just decided to make a Web page featuring the photos and this text, so
>anyone interested should go check it out at:
>
>http://www.dnai.com/~goob/clip/clip.html
>
>Hope this helps! Best of luck.
>
>Dave Y.
>1968 Squareback (Ying)
>1965 Cadillac Convertible (YANG)
>
>
>
>
>
>
>




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