My Beetle is a '73 body on a '70 chassis. This
is because of a tax law in the Netherlands. We (my 2 brothers and I) took
it in 1995 apart and placed the body on another, 3 years older, chassis.
Now, we got a good solid chassis and don't have to pay road-taxes anymore!
Below, I will describe what we did by showing pictures of the operation and tell
something about it.
This is how the beetle looked like before operation
"BODY-SWAP". The picture shows 009 on
a mission in Belgium. The mission's targets where the beaches of Belgium.
The first thing to do was, of course, get the body seperated from the chassis.
We removed the tank, chairs, backseat and battery. After that we unscrewed the
steering-colomn, loosened the electric wires which are attached to the engine
and about 17 bolts that hold the body to the chassis. Some of
the bolts gave that "hmmm, something has rusted"-feeling when unbolting
them. When we tried to lift the body it didn't go off the chassis, because at
some places the body was welded to the chassis... This was because the beetle
had some repair patches between body and chassis welded in. So, we had to hammer
that loose.. Then we
tried to lift the beetle again.
It got loose from the chassis but something
at the back kept it from totally lifting it. After making the back of the car
subject of intens research, we discovered that the extra Z-torsion bars, that
our beetle was equiped with, had to be unscrewed for lifting the body.
With 5 people we lifted the body and placed
it on piles of tires.
The body appeared to have 2 badly rusted heater channels. The underside of the
left heater channel just kept lying on the chassis when we lifted the body.
Ironically the chassis was in a better state than the body, it looked like we
were going to replace the wrong part of the car...
After we examined the amount of damage the body had, we ordered 2 new heater channels and
welded them in. This sounds much easier than it is, it took us a cople of months to
get them in properly, and weld the other rust-holes around the heater channels.
While working on the body it looked like bad fortune was following us. Once the
body almost bended through while moving it, the interior caught fire after welding
something and (but that was our own, beginners, fault) the doors didn't close properly when we had
the heater channels welded in. A piece of the interior is still missing but we
did fix the door-problem, they close good now.
The two-headed creature on the right in this picture is me with my younger
brother on my back.
We wanted to store the old chassis at a place that was about
5 kilometers away. My older brother came with his VW Golf (Rabbit in US) to take
the chassis away. But there wasn't a trailer available, so there was a problem.
my 2 brothers started thinking and came up with a solution. They removed the front
wheels of the chassis and tied the front-beam to the trailer-nob, and towed
the chassis to it's storage area.
The new (read: other) chassis missed some things. The chassis was somebody's
unfinished project. When we bought it it missed an front axle, almost all
break pipes, rear shocks and pedals. We reassembled it with an adjustable front
beam, which appeared to be very low even in it's highest position..
When it was finished, we placed the body on it and bolted it together. After
that we had to install all the things we had removed, but because the chassis
had a different layout for attaching the chairs, we installed 2 recaro chairs
on a home made carriage.
Now the beetle was finished it ended up with a very nose-down stance, which gives