About two years ago I bought a 73 super beetle.  It was a fire car, and the rear quarter panels by the rear windows are really getting rusted out.  A mechanic friend of mine said that we would never be able to stop the cancer.(That we could fix it up beautifully and it would get bad again in a year or two.)  Does anyone else have different opinions, and if so, how could i stop the rust from coming back.

 

Thanks for the help!

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MY72BUG
Hi BugLvr.  Welcome to the world of VW.    Rust is  enemy  #1 of  Beetles but don't give up all hope too soon !   A lot depends on how you do your restoration, what you do with your Beetle afterwards and what steps you take to preserve your completed restoration.
     MY72BUG is a 1972 Superbeetle convertible.  I bought it in 1999 and spent four years and about $6500 on body shops ( one for just the structural work and one for the finishing work) to bring it back from the grave and make it into a solid summer cruiser.  Yes, given the time, money and someone's skills you can work miracles with metal.  The big advantage of Beetles is that all of those repair panels are available and at very reasonable prices.  If your friend can do the necessary welding and fitting using new panels you can bring your car back to A-1 condition.  Now comes the tricky part - how to preserve it.  I don't know where you live but I am in snow country and my town, Goderich, Ontario has the biggest salt mine in the world.  That salt plus snow and road sand give cars up here a lethal chemical and sandblasting.  The answer - don't drive your bug in these conditions.  Likely next weekend, my 'vert goes into dry storage for the duration of the Ontario winter.  It never sees snow and rarely sees rain.  My car's body work was properly done so the story ends here right?  WRONG.  If you must expose your Bug  to the elements, do what I do to my Beetle and what I do to all of my vehicles and that is rustproofing by oil spray.
     I have a 1993 Grand Voyager that does all of the tough work.  It drives year round and unlike others that I see around here with rotted wheel wells and Swiss cheese rocker panels, it has no rust whatsoever.  All of those tar applications and spray on wax and such eventually dry out and crack.  The water and salt get in behind it and voila - the rust is happening.  Hot non-detergent oils sprayed by someone who knows what they are doing is the only solution to rust.  An annual application forms a near gel on the surface of the metal.  A sunny day bakes it into all of the tiny cavities in seams.  Annual application around September up here will allow any auto body to last indefinitely and as a bonus, when you crawl under your car to tackle some nut or bolt which hasn't seen a wrench in 20 years you have excellent odds that it will respond positively without resorting to a cutting torch. 
    If you do go ahead with that restoration and you have rust two years later, the restoration was not done right and no steps were followed to preserve the work undertaken.  The choices are yours.    Dan (MY72BUG) in Goderich




I'd rather have a partial bottle in front of me than a partial frontal lobotomy.
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