JBugs Video Series

1971 VW Super Beetle - Body To Chassis Installation:

Video Overview:

We’re finally ready to drop the body back on the pan of our 1971 Super Beetle project. We’ll install a new pan to body seal, and then with the help of some coworkers, we can set the body back where it belongs. Follow along as our Euro Look Beetle starts to come back together!

Vehicle prep: 0:46
Pan to body seal installation: 0:55
Heater ducts installation: 3:14
Floor pan prep: 4:05
Body to chassis installation: 4:25
Pan to body bolts installation: 5:08
Rear shock tower mounts: 5:58

Video Tips:

Tools used in this video:

Needle Nose Pliers
Masking Tape
Razor Blade
19mm Wrench
Impact Driver
3/8" Drive Bit Adapter
3/8" Drive Ratchet
3/8" Drive Extension
3/8" Drive 10mm Socket
3/8" Drive 13mm Socket
3/8" Drive 17mm Socket
3/8" Drive 19mm Socket
Phillips Screwdriver
Roof & Flashing Adhesive
Caulking Gun
Jack Stands

Video Transcript:

Hi! I'm Sam with JBugs.com
In our last video, we finished up the chassis assembly on our 1971 Euro Look Super Beetle. 
Now with our chassis complete, we can prep it by installing a new pan to body seal 
and we can set the body back in place on the pan.
We start with a new, uncut, pan-to-body seal and tape it to one side of the frame head. 
Once it's secure, we run it to the opposite side and cut it to length. From here, we have two options. VW originally held the seal in place with carpet nails. 
You can see the holes along the chassis, 
and we could use some nails to install them in the original holes through the pan seal. We installed new pan halves though, and don't want to punch new holes in them. So, we're going to opt to glue the seal in place for most of the install.
We lay a bead of "roof and flashing" adhesive along the edge of the pan, and around the body bolt holes. 
We lay the seal on top of that. 
We tape the seal in place while the adhesive cures 
and un-tape the opposite side of the seal and follow the same process there. 
Along the side, we trim the edge of the seal to line up with the frame head 
and then continue the process laying down a bead of adhesive and taping it in place.
At the rear of the chassis, the seal is trimmed at the back edge. 
Once both sides are done, 
we center up the remaining length of the pan-to-body seal at the chassis. 
A bead of adhesive is laid around the access plate 
and here, we'll use some carpet nails to hold the seal in place. 
Once the seal is secure at the center of the chassis, we run a bead of adhesive down the edge of the pan, 
we set the seal in place, and use some new pan-to-body bolts to help keep the seal centered. 
The seal is also taped down and then trimmed to length, 
a small bead of adhesive is used at the joint, and one more piece of tape is used to keep the seal in place. The opposite side of the seal is installed in the same way.
Then we can move to the body, 
and set the heater ducts, with hoses attached, in place under the rear luggage shelf. The ducts here can only be installed or removed with the body off of the pan. 
Once the body is in place, the torsion housing will be in the way 
so make sure these ducts are installed before the body is set in place. 
Inside the car, the heater outlet ducts, that sit under the rear seat on
 either side, are set in place into the heater channel and aligned with the body nuts. 
Back underneath the luggage tray, the bolts for the body ducts are installed and tightened down. 
Be careful not to over tighten the bolts as the ducts are made of very brittle material and can crack easily.
A few hours later at the chassis, once the adhesive has cured, 
we pull off all the tape that held the pan to body seal in place. We use a razor blade to cut out all the holes for the pan to body bolts, along the edge of the chassis and frame head. The rear shocks are removed and the truss bar is laid down on top of the transmission.
Then, with the help of some co-workers, we lift the body over the chassis and set it down in place. 
We concentrate on lining up the rear first. 
Then, at the front of the pan, we use a pair of needle-nose pliers to make sure that the cut bolts, for
 the front body nut plates that we repaired, 
line up with the chassis. This step is specific to our car as we had to repair the front body nut plates. 
Once both nut plate bolts are through the pan, 
we jack up the car at the front and the rear, 
and set it on jack stands so we can easily access 
all the pan to body bolts at the bottom of the chassis. 
We start at the front nut plate bolts and thread in a bolt so that the nut plate won't move, 
then we remove our alignment pin and thread in another bolt.
With both front sides done, we move inside the car and install the four bolts and body washers 
at the front of the luggage shelf to the rear of the floor pans. 
Back underneath the car, the pan to body bolts and washers are installed along each side of the body. 
The front chassis bolts are installed at both sides of the front frame head 
and note that there is not a pad on a Super Beetle, between the pan and body. 
Inside the trunk, at the back of the spare tire well, the two bolts are installed. 
Then back inside the car, the two pan-to-body tunnel bolts are installed.
Finally, we move to the rear shock tower mounts. 
VW offered two thicknesses of the body pads which install here, and if you have a standard beetle, 
at the bottom for the front beam body mounts. More often than not, 10mm pads are used. The thicker 17mm pads can be used as a body shim, on a convertible, to set the door gap. In some cases, you'll use them on the shock towers if you use a different year chassis and body. 
Since these are the last two bolts to be threaded in, 
once they are, they're fully tightened down along with all the other remaining body bolts.
Up next, we'll get the front suspension and steering installed 
so we can get our Beetle back on all four of its own proper wheels and tires.
That will be next week, in the meantime 
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and when you need parts or accessories for your vintage VW, 
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