Well my daughter and I are almost finished with our restoration.  It has taken us a total of 13 months.  Will about 9 of them seriously working on the car.

I was new to the whole Aircooled VW thing, and my daughter wanted a bug.  That in itself is an interesting story.  During the restoration I found some really good products to use and some not so good products.  I will share as much of that information as I can remember.

First off, buy the best car that you can afford.  This really applies to any restoration whether is a mustang, VW or other car.  The better shape the car is the less work and money it will cost you.  The more of a basket case the car is, the cost and time of restoration goes up exponentially.

I bought a one owner, 71 SuperBeetle that was sitting in a Barn and hasn't been registered since 91.  It had 39k on the speedometer.  Now I thought that this was too good to be true and that is was more like 139k.  After the restoration I believe that the 39k is probably pretty close.  The lady received it as an engagement present from her husband and it was her Sunday play car.  She said that it got to hot here in Georgia to drive it during the Summer.  Also, there were far to many original parts on the car with little wear.  This was my third restoration, the first two were mustangs and were one owner cars with less than a 100k miles, and the door hinges brakes, electrical components etc on this Bug were in far better shape that the other two.

Anyway, I had to weld in a new panel on the back package shelf, and weld in part of the floor pan where the battery sits.  The car was running where I bought it, and I drove it 30 miles or so just playing with it before I tore it down.

I will post more later, however here are some initial pictures.
71 Super Beetle
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For the restoration we performed the following:

Changed the color of paint - inside and out
    1 new front fender
    1 new rear fender

    New Running Boards

New Cylinders, rings and pistons
New Seals (I did not crack the case open)
Reseat Valves
Treated and painted cooling tins
Cleaned and restored Brake system

We removed all windows, regulators etc.
Replaced all seals - window, body, etc.

Cleaned and prepped gas tank

New Front Window
New Upholstery
New Seat padding
New Headliner
New Dash
New Steering Wheel
New Carpet
New Seatbelts
New Door Panels
New lights (front turn signal, tail lights)
New Bumpers

Added Rear Package shelf, and stereo system
Added Right Mirror

71 Super Beetle
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Changing the color on these cars is an absolute pain.  Trying to get the new color under the dash, or up inside the window chanels or under the fender was pretty difficult.  We actually painted in multiple stages.  I found rattle can paint, that matched the paint that I was going to shoot the car.  We then removed the fuel tank (treated, cleaned and painted it) and used the rattle cans to paint behind the dash and under the fuel tank.  We also removed the fenders and used rattle cans to paint the underside of the fenders, as well as the car where the fenders attached.  While We had the fenders off, We used truck bed coating as a first coat to protect the underside of the fenders, then We rattlecaned over it. 

We removed all the windows, to include the door windows as well as the cranking mechanism for the door windows.  (You do not need to remove the cranking mechanism for the windows and on hindsight, I would have left them in).  Then we taped of the fuel tank and back of the dash.  Trying to get a LVHP gun under the dash to paint it was difficult.  On hindsight, I might have spraybombed first, then shot it with the gun, so I would not have had the coverage problems. 
71 Super Beetle
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I pulled the motor, since I read that it was easy to pull it out.  I actually stored it in the house, until the car was painted.  Anyway, I was going to replace the rings and re-seat the valves.  I found a cracked piston in the process and ended up putting new cylindars, pistons and rings.  I rebuilt the stock carb and was driving the car before we completely tore it down.  We are going to stay with the stock carb for now.  I repainted all of the cooling tins.  I think cleaning them was the hardest part.

71 Super Beetle
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As far as if you are going to tear down your engine the best thing to do is send the short block out to be rebuilt.  As long as your engine is a running engine it is not going to be as bad as if it locks up and you have to replace everything.
The short block is for the most part the most expensive part but it is the heart of your engine and if you don't know exactly what your doing the best thing to do is have someone else do it for you.  We do short blocks they take roughly 4 hours to rebuild so you pay $200-$250 for someone else to do it.
If you are going to tear your engine apart the things to remember you want to change is the following (I have listed our prices to give you an estimate on how much you are looking to spend)
Main Bearings - 38
Rod Bearings - 12.99
Cam Bearings - 9.99
Camshaft - Stock - 65 (Late) / 44 (Early)
Lifters - Stock - New - 40
Engine Gasket Kit - 13
Case Studs - (Check to make sure it's a single port or dual port before ordering these to ensure you get the proper ones) - $37
Piston & Cylinders - Stock - 89
Complete Dual Port Heads - New - Stock - 129 Each
Complete Single Port Heads - New - 169 Each
As long as you don't have an auto stick shift the other great improvement to add to your engine is a oil filter pump.  You will have to shave down the case a little bit for clearance with the pump but your looking at $69 for the pump & 5.50 for the filter.
Also an Alternator instead of a Generator if you don't have one $149 (Bosch)
Gland Nut & Washer - Scat Chromoly - $24.99
And if you have your engine sent out make sure you have them put on the flywheel this way you pay a couple bucks for shipping b/c the flywheel is heavy but you don't have any worries.

When we have an engine come into our shop this is what we do to all of them to help ensure reliability.

If you have any other questions reguarding this you can call us at (570)371-6667 & ask for Misty

If you also need help with something you get stuck on in your restoration we can help.  Just ask to speak to Dennis.
Need VW Parts? We Stock New & Used for bug & buggies.
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Good Information to have thanks....

Products I liked and recommend:

Eastwood Rust Converter:  I wire brushed the big parts, and then used the rust converter. 

Eastwoods Rust Encapsulator.  I used this mainly on the floor pans and on the underside of the fenders.

Kleen Strip Rust Restorer (approx $2.99 @ Wal-Mart)  I used this in a container and shook it with the bolts.  Then I rinsed the bolt and took a wire brush to them.  It worked very well.

I used many venders including JBugs, CIP1, and So Cal Imports mainly.  I always checked amongst the different venders looking at cost and shipping costs, to determine which one was the lowest.

Note on VW parts:  They are not all created equal - I know Duh...  I purchased a lot of Mexican and Brazillian parts, economy wise.  I have seen some sites bash them for fitment, however I did not have a lot of problems.  I did buy a more expensive dash, however it did not fit well, so I am thinking I should have gone with a German one or just a cheap one- if I were going to have fitment issues.  I did find some parts on eBay for good prices, again beware of shipping costs.
71 Super Beetle
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I also bought new running boards, and polished aluminum for the car.

I used NASON paint to shoot the car.  The paint seemed to go on well, however I used their activator and reducer in one.  There was too much activator in the paint and it dried too quickly.  So the paint is a little grainey.  I am not complaining since the paint cost me about $170 total for a gallon of red and a gallon of clear.
71 Super Beetle
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Note:  I never realized how touchy the shifter was.  Put a mark where your shifter is before you pull it out.  I have had a time tryeing to get it all synched back up.

I have driven the car around my neighborhood, but last night it went on its first post restoration voyage around town.  It went really well.  I still have some tuning to do, however I am really happy with it.  My daughter is also - she is the important one.
71 Super Beetle
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