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Thread: beetle restoration. Rusty drip rail repair??

  1. #1

    beetle restoration. Rusty drip rail repair??

    Hi all i was looking for some advice. Basicly im restoring my 1972 1200 beetle. Ive done the engine its looking good and running nice, now im moving on to the body to replace panels and do the larger jobs before i take the shell off. My biggest problem is the drip rail which runs from the front to the back of the car on both sides along the roof. On my car its very rusty in places along the drivers side ( bits falling off where the metal folds over) . I was hoping maybe some body had done this kind of repair and could shed some light. Cant find any info on the net. Other cars must have this problem.
    I cant see how it would be best to repair it properly. The only thing i can think is to de-seam the car which i dont really want to do, i would rather have the rails to stop water getting in the door seals plus the roof rack option. I have seen very few beetles with it removed and figure theres a reason for that. Any info on ways to repair sections or opinions on having a de-seamed bug would be much appreciated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark1980 View Post
    Hi all i was looking for some advice. Basicly im restoring my 1972 1200 beetle. Ive done the engine its looking good and running nice, now im moving on to the body to replace panels and do the larger jobs before i take the shell off. My biggest problem is the drip rail which runs from the front to the back of the car on both sides along the roof. On my car its very rusty in places along the drivers side ( bits falling off where the metal folds over) . I was hoping maybe some body had done this kind of repair and could shed some light. Cant find any info on the net. Other cars must have this problem.
    I cant see how it would be best to repair it properly. The only thing i can think is to de-seam the car which i dont really want to do, i would rather have the rails to stop water getting in the door seals plus the roof rack option. I have seen very few beetles with it removed and figure theres a reason for that. Any info on ways to repair sections or opinions on having a de-seamed bug would be much appreciated.

    I see no problems with a de- seamed bug - new door seals are good if you doors are hung right - mine lets no water in at all. Its not deseamed but the seams will not make it rain in really. Depends if you are going down the custom route or not. The best way to restore the seams if you wish to keep them is to grind them down with a wire brush on a grinder, get rid of all of the rust, cut away the worst part of the seam if they are in bad holes and keep as much as you can to weld some 2/3mm flat metal bar in to replace it. if you welded it in on the flat sides you would be able to grind the welds down and then seam seal the sides that you hadent welded with stika flex sealant and then skimm over it to get the original shape with filler. I have done this on my bug on the seam in front of the door hinges and you cannot tell!!! Works really well

  3. #3
    Thanks metalflakedave. My car has had so many mods over the years i had no problem with it being a custom bug just didn't no if it was a good idea to de-seam, but like you say aslong as the doors are hung well with good seals hopefully wouldnt be a problem. Ive got lots of panels to replace and rust to remove but this job had been playing on my mind for some time. Thanks for the idea about using a thin bit of flat maybe on the real bad sections aslong as i can maintain the contours. Thats the way forward im thinking. The passenger side isnt too bad at all just lost a bit of the seam where the upper door hinge is through rust.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark1980 View Post
    Thanks metalflakedave. My car has had so many mods over the years i had no problem with it being a custom bug just didn't no if it was a good idea to de-seam, but like you say aslong as the doors are hung well with good seals hopefully wouldnt be a problem. Ive got lots of panels to replace and rust to remove but this job had been playing on my mind for some time. Thanks for the idea about using a thin bit of flat maybe on the real bad sections aslong as i can maintain the contours. Thats the way forward im thinking. The passenger side isnt too bad at all just lost a bit of the seam where the upper door hinge is through rust.
    well that area above the hinge is fairly flat - im sure you would be able to mould a bit of flat bar to fit and then french it in - would look perfect once you had done the bodywork - not a stressed area at all so a couple of small tack welds would do fine, then you could grind them down with ease. Nice job - i do prefer the seam to be honest and if its only a bit that has perished it will be saveable - make sure you get loads of kurust into it and then it shouldnt cause you any problems for 5+ years. Have fun mate.

  5. #5
    yes ill do what you said with the flat. passenger side shouldnt be a problem will require a bit more work on the drivers side but i think i should be able to save it. i would rather keep the seam than get rid of it. By the way love your bug real cool.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark1980 View Post
    yes ill do what you said with the flat. passenger side shouldnt be a problem will require a bit more work on the drivers side but i think i should be able to save it. i would rather keep the seam than get rid of it. By the way love your bug real cool.
    cheers mate, glad you like it!!!

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    Must say i am with dave on this one! Even though i love the deseamed/smooth look!

    Its going to be much easier to repair the drip gutters than it would be to deseam the whole of the car roof i would have though!

    Once you have done the rust repairs though make sure that you get plenty of yellow cavity wax behind the repairs though!

    Pete

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