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    Thread: Mellow Yellow - 1990 Nugget Yellow Cabriolet Build Father buillding for daughter

    1. Member tinker6468's Avatar
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      12-29-2011 03:06 AM #1
      I thought it was time to start my build thread, I know I enjoy reading and watching the progress of other builds.

      LESSON LEARNED
      As noted in my signature, my first attempt at a build was a FAIL. Bit off more than I could chew, so I have learned my lesson. Don't take it all apart if you don't have the time, money, or ? to put it all back together.

      This is a build for my daughter (will be 15 in April) HOWEVER, I am building this car the way I would it to look and handle from a guy's point of view.

      HISTORY
      Been a VW fan since my first car, a 1984 GTI black with blue interior, purchased from Tonya Harding, yes that Tonya (even met Jeff) for $3500 in 1990. It would be years later that I finally figured out what happened to that missing tire iron

      Currently I drive a 2001 Audi A4 1.8TQ, but here a little car history ownership:

      1984 GTI black/blue - RIP totaled by some old fart, not paying attention
      1988 Jetta GLI - stolen, never recovered
      1984 GTI white/blue - drove it to death, sold to buy Audi
      2001 Audi A4 1.8TQ

      CURRENT PROJECT
      Purchased a 1990 Nugget Yellow cabriolet on 12/31/2010 for $360. Cabby was in a fender bender with driver side rear damaged as seen in the photos. Car was towed home, given a bath and then work in preparation for state patrol inspection. PO never retitled after accident, so inspection was required before I could get title and license the car for driving

      Take it one step at a time, don't tear it all apart!!! I want to keep it driveable for the most part in case we sell our house and it needs to go to a new garage.

      In the last year the following has been done to make it road worthy as we drove it all summer
      1. Replaced fuel tank - appeared to be damaged as it was stained from possible leaking
      2. Replaced power steering rack - old rack blew seals due to no fluid in rack and fried seals
      3. Rebuilt shift linkage with MissingLinkZ short shift kit
      4. New radiator, expansion tank, water pump and other odds and ends so car could hit the road

      BUILD DETAILS

      EXTERIOR
      Keep it simple, fix accident damage, shave side markers, shave rear hatch, upgrade to Corrado power mirrors (still considering) badgeless grill, crystal clear head lights, basically keep it stock for the most part.

      GOAL - finish all body work, spray primer and final sand by President's weekend in February so I can spray fresh Nugget Yellow over the long weekend.

      INTERIOR
      Not anything radical, I have a lead on a set of leather Corrado seats, install a decent stereo, and a few other things

      OTHER AREAS
      ENGINE - building a 2.0L 16V out of a Passat. Purchased car for $50, had an engine fire, so it was cheap (LESSON LEARNED - It would have been cheaper to buy a good running motor), already dumped $700 into redoing the block, port and polish the head, I still need to put it all together with all new stuff, gaskets, water pump, etc.

      Just purchased Autotech cams, adjustable cam sprocket, lightened intermediate shaft pulley, so looking for output to be 150-160 with new bottom end, port and polish, cams, header, exhaust, etc.

      BRAKES
      Upgrading to full 16V front and rear from the Passat

      TOP
      Thinking of staying with the white, can figure out another color that will look good with the yellow

      WHEELS
      Currently Corrado steelies, but I want to get a set of BBS RS and maybe do the center in Nugget Yellow or ???

      SUSPENSION
      In desperate need, currently the suspension has more bounce than hooker in Vegas

      This is enough for now, now onto the fun pics


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      You can see where the bumper is messed up. I got a new bumper support to replace the damaged one



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      I took the cabby to a local shop of a buddy, they put the car on the rack and pulled it straight with almost smoothed out all the rough spots, just a little body work to do. Already started.


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      The nasty stock seats before a cleaning job


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      For a little drooling entertainment, some motor progress - the engine bay of the Passat, fired caused by oil filler cap being replaced after oil was added


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      And on the stand, pistons before & after,


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      And what the block used to look like


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      The previous build project - RIP


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      Last edited by tinker6468; 02-01-2012 at 12:30 AM.

    2. Member nicktcfcsb's Avatar
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      12-29-2011 08:21 AM #2
      ahhh the joy of the nuggets...I kinda wish it was for you SON... but heck I drive a chick car i guess

    3. Member kamzcab86's Avatar
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      12-29-2011 02:00 PM #3
      Looking good! Love the yellow ones!

      Quote Originally Posted by tinker6468 View Post
      This is a build for my daughter (will be 15 in April) HOWEVER, I am building this car the way I would it to look and handle from a guy's point of view.
      Now, hold up... just who is this car really for?
      Cabby-Info.com -- Your online guide to the VW Cabriolets
      Old Blue's Blog -- The adventures of a 1990 Westfalia
      "Fashion is a waste of money that could be better spent on, say, maintaining your car." ~James May

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      12-29-2011 02:12 PM #4
      Great writeup and progress so far. Looking forward to the finished project. Just started my build for the wifey

    5. Member tinker6468's Avatar
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      12-29-2011 03:10 PM #5
      Now, hold up... just who is this car really for? [/QUOTE]

      Dang! Was it that obvious??? She better keep the grades up, or I will be driving it. She might have a summer long grounding coming up

      Its too funny to watch her and her friends just sit in the car for an hour or more talking and acting as it they are already driving around town.

    6. Member tgibson's Avatar
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      12-30-2011 08:55 AM #6
      What are the motor plans? Slap a fuel rail on the 16v and run it on the existing Digi 2 fueling?

      Your daughter is gonna rip around in that thing

    7. Member tinker6468's Avatar
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      12-30-2011 11:36 AM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by tgibson View Post
      What are the motor plans? Slap a fuel rail on the 16v and run it on the existing Digi 2 fueling?

      Your daughter is gonna rip around in that thing
      That is the plan for now, although I keep thinking Megasquirt. For now the plan is bodywork, new paint and make sure everything is working (dash lights are a little iffy) by spring so we can enjoy the car for the summer again.

      Thinking the motor will be build and done in time for winter next year and do the swap then, clean up the bay, repaint and slap that 16V in.

      UPDATE
      WARNING - if you are good at welding, the following pictures may be painful to view (I really do suck at welding)

      Here are a few shots of last nights work. Our house has the flu, so I only had about 1-1.5 hours to do any work. At least I got one side marker hole filled.

      Not sure what to do with the small screw holes, try to weld them shut, or cut small piece of metal to fill. Since I am so bad at welding, I am thinking small piece of metal


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      Metal purchased from Home Depot, 22 gauge, cut square is 1.5"x1.5"


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      I still have a few places to weld as I can see light from the back side when I shine a flashlight on it.


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    8. Member tinker6468's Avatar
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      12-31-2011 10:58 AM #8
      Well if anyone has some good welding tips or links to videos to watch, I sure could use them, I really do suck at welding!!!

      However I got it done. I did use a small piece of metal in the smaller screw holes held in place from the back side with a magnet. This just seemed to help fill the hole better. I tried the first one without a small patch piece and with my lack of skills it was a struggle.

      1 down, 3 to go, then body filler. Goal for this weekend
      *Shave all marker lights, body filler and sand smooth
      *Loosen top cable that goes secures top to chassis so it can be moved out of the way
      *Have driver side prepped and ready for primer


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    9. Member Toolman's Avatar
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      12-31-2011 01:07 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by tinker6468 View Post
      Well if anyone has some good welding tips or links to videos to watch, I sure could use them, I really do suck at welding!!!
      First off what are you using to weld it up? I assume MIG but are you using gas or flux wire? It's been some time since I last fired up our MIG. I'd say that you did not have enough heat when welding or too much wire coming out. I'd take some of you scrap and try different setting to see what works best.

      You started out good with the patch panel though but I would have started with the screw holes. Then you could place a piece of copper on the back through the large hole to the back side of the small hole and weld it up. The copper will help form it better when welding for a novice. I have never used this method but other have with sucess.

    10. Member tinker6468's Avatar
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      12-31-2011 10:27 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by Toolman View Post
      First off what are you using to weld it up? I assume MIG but are you using gas or flux wire? It's been some time since I last fired up our MIG. I'd say that you did not have enough heat when welding or too much wire coming out. I'd take some of you scrap and try different setting to see what works best.

      You started out good with the patch panel though but I would have started with the screw holes. Then you could place a piece of copper on the back through the large hole to the back side of the small hole and weld it up. The copper will help form it better when welding for a novice. I have never used this method but other have with sucess.

      I have a really cheap welder from Harbor Freight (110V, 90amp). It only has two settings for temp, 80 amp or 60 amp. I have found that even on low, 60 amp, it blows hole in the metal. I made up an outlet with a dimmer switch (ya I know, hack job fix) so I can lower the temp, and it works better.

      It uses the flux core wire, I just picked up .035 wire, but it is currently set up for .030 wire. Good idea on the copper, might be easier than trying to hold a small patch piece in that small of a hole. I have some scrap copper pipe, maybe I can smash it flat and use it. Thanks for the tips, will give it a try tonight.

    11. Member Toolman's Avatar
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      12-31-2011 11:26 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by tinker6468 View Post
      I have a really cheap welder from Harbor Freight (110V, 90amp). It only has two settings for temp, 80 amp or 60 amp. I have found that even on low, 60 amp, it blows hole in the metal. I made up an outlet with a dimmer switch (ya I know, hack job fix) so I can lower the temp, and it works better.

      It uses the flux core wire, I just picked up .035 wire, but it is currently set up for .030 wire. Good idea on the copper, might be easier than trying to hold a small patch piece in that small of a hole. I have some scrap copper pipe, maybe I can smash it flat and use it. Thanks for the tips, will give it a try tonight.
      As far as the dimmer switch on the welder. What ever it takes to dial it in works. Sounds like a plan on cutting the copper pipe.

    12. Member tinker6468's Avatar
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      01-02-2012 02:16 PM #12
      UPDATE
      Removed front bumper, driver side body kit, most of passenger side body kit, both front fenders, power sprayed the front fender wells in prep for new undercoating and shaved the rest of the side marker holes.

      UNEXPECTED
      On my driver side fender along the fender flare the paint seal had broke and the fender had started to rust. I knew something was up as the body line did not flow from the door to the fender. For one the gap between the door and fender was not consistent and you could tell the door was rubbing the fender.

      Beyond this the fender was slightly angled away from the chassis and not straight like it should be. I think it is still good. I put a little muscle into it while the top fender bolts were still in place and it appears I worked it back straight. The door/fender gap looks good and the body line is straight.

      As I am trying to keep this a somewhat of a budget build (spending the $$ where it counts) I didn't want to get another fender unless really needed. I know new would be about $125 give or take and a junk yard I assume would be around $25.

      Here is my problem, I am somewhat of a perfectionist. I knew about the fender going in, so no problem here unless I find it is so tweaked I can't work it straight. However the front apron is ugly looking and mangled from a previous accident.

      I knew the car had some front end damage at some point as the passenger side fender and flare, hood, front apron, and bumper were all slightly off on the yellow, well a little more than slightly, thus my motivation to repaint the car.

      So do I just not try to ignore it or go full bore and order a new front apron to weld in place? I can see in the pics below just under the front grill the body line is not straight, but the rest of the apron will be covered by the bumper. Thoughts?


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      A little naked getting a spray down



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      The rusty fender area - I think in the front end damage, this fender was mashed against the tire, the other side must have been nasty looking.



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      Last edited by tinker6468; 01-12-2012 at 10:43 AM.

    13. Member tinker6468's Avatar
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      01-05-2012 02:23 AM #13
      Having to take a little break this week as I have to study up for a state insurance producer exam this Saturday. After this it is back to work. Looking to pick up a TT exhaust and 16V intake with TB on the driver side for future use.

      Should have my Autotech stuff soon and looking at a pair of leather Corrado seats and power mirrors as well.

      New goal - by March 31st (noticed a local cruise in at the end of March in the PNW forum)
      finish the body work and spray new paint
      install new suspension
      install new top
      install a stereo system for the drive to the event

      I think this is doable as my goal was spraying paint by mid-February, heck I might get crazy and finish the 16V build and have installed (well maybe not!)

    14. Member tinker6468's Avatar
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      01-05-2012 11:57 PM #14
      NEW PARTS
      All from Autotech
      Adjustable cam gear
      Lightweight intermediate shaft sprocket
      10mm plug wires
      16V cams
      28mm rear sway bar


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      01-06-2012 03:01 AM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by tinker6468 View Post
      NEW PARTS
      All from Autotech
      Adjustable cam gear
      Lightweight intermediate shaft sprocket
      10mm plug wires
      16V cams
      28mm rear sway bar


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      Nice looking parts!!!

    16. Member tinker6468's Avatar
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      01-07-2012 09:19 PM #16
      OK let's play - "What's wrong with my fenders?"

      I noticed a difference between the fenders, the driver side has a lip that goes over the chassis rail, kind of creating a seal. The passenger side doesn't have this lip and almost looks like it was cut off. I am thinking the passenger side should have this lip as well???

      Should I not worry about it or look to get a new fender as the lip is vital for sealing the panels??? Thanks in advance to everyone that replies.


      DRIVER SIDE



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      PASSENGER SIDE



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    17. Member tinker6468's Avatar
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      01-12-2012 10:50 AM #17
      Anyone have any idea on the fender situation listed above?


      Here are a few shots to keep the thread fresh
      Driver side is almost done - my goal is shoot primer down the driver side and the rear hatch area this weekend, most likely Monday

      You can see the pile of bodyfiller, the rear quarter panel has been a real PITA, this is where the body buckled from the rear end damage (see pics above), getting the metal to go back into shape wasn't easy and it wasn't perfect. I kepted getting high spots etc. I think I got it worked out, plus most of the arch will be covered by the fender flare anyway.



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    18. Member CajunSpike's Avatar
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      01-12-2012 12:04 PM #18
      I'm driving my car today..at lunchtime I'll see if my car is like yours in the fender area.

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      01-12-2012 01:41 PM #19
      i have seen both fenders never gave it any thought.. i think the one with the lip might be factory and the other aftermarket.
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    20. Member laface96's Avatar
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      01-12-2012 02:04 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by nicktcfcsb View Post
      ahhh the joy of the nuggets...I kinda wish it was for you SON... but heck I drive a chick car i guess
      Me too, I would like a Mk2 GTI...

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      01-12-2012 02:10 PM #21
      The VW factory fenders have a inner and outer lip. Some not all after market fenders do not have that extra re-enforcement lip.

      I have one of each on my car.
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    22. Member CajunSpike's Avatar
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      01-12-2012 03:05 PM #22
      Fresh pic taken of my 91 Etienne, fender side rails.
      Passenger side.

      Drivers side.

    23. Member tinker6468's Avatar
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      01-12-2012 03:34 PM #23
      Thanks Cajun and others, that explains why one lip and not the other. The passenger side without the lip was most likely replace from previous accident, however it was red in color so it tells me it was used on another car. Might have been aftermarket to being with anyway.

    24. Member tinker6468's Avatar
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      01-17-2012 01:53 AM #24
      Made some progress this weekend with an extra day off. Did a final sand on the fender and rear quarter panel. The wheel arch where the major damage was is finally straight. Took forever to get the right body curve as well as pitch from body to fender flare.

      I did notice after primer a small ripple in my door (insert curse words here!!!), not sure how I missed it but I guess I was too busy fixing the door handle area from someone breaking in. Might have to sand the primer down, add a little body filler and shoot again. I take the motto, if something is worth doing, do it right the first time

      I couldn't figure out how to remove the rear pull knob that releases the back seat so I taped it up the best I could and worked around it. In the end the primer laid out pretty good and shot a quart for the fender, door, door jam, rear quarter panel and rear end.

      Next up is weld up the hatch to delete the emblems, start on the passenger side quarter panel as it has a nasty crease dent and work towards the passenger fender. Hoping to have at least the rear hatch rear for primer for next weekend. The wife is gone all weekend so I should be able to get some good work done.


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    25. Member CajunSpike's Avatar
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      01-17-2012 11:43 AM #25
      I love the smell of primer in the morning......

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      01-17-2012 12:13 PM #26
      wish i had body work skills like this. looking good
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    27. Member Spokane Pepe's Avatar
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      01-17-2012 12:19 PM #27
      What kind of primer are you using? Look great by the way.

    28. Member tinker6468's Avatar
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      01-17-2012 12:23 PM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by gtidaddy View Post
      wish i had body work skills like this. looking good
      Hey GTIDaddy - my skills are all self taught. Never took a class or had someone with skills come over. Just watched a ton of videos on youtube, read/scanned a few books and threw cation to the wind.

      I figured if I did it wrong, that is what a grinder is for, remove it and start over. I am not the fastest, but then again, I am not paying myself either. Grab some tools and jump in. Many a threads on this forum is what inspired me to give it a try. I figured if other guys/gals can rip a car apart to a shell, I could figure out how to lay a little body filler. Cheers.

    29. Member tinker6468's Avatar
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      01-20-2012 12:23 AM #29
      Small update - prepping the rear hatch for emblem shave, will weld up the holes this weekend and fix a few dings. Ran into some rust around the 3rd brake light, treated with rust conversion solution, but unsure if I got it in all the nooks and crannies.

      QUESTION - Should the two pieces of the hatch around the 3rd brake light be sealed? Or how did it come from the factory? It just seems like something is missing after all the paint was removed and most of the loose rust. Thanks.


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    30. Member Spokane Pepe's Avatar
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      01-20-2012 01:01 AM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by tinker6468 View Post
      I have a really cheap welder from Harbor Freight (110V, 90amp). It only has two settings for temp, 80 amp or 60 amp. I have found that even on low, 60 amp, it blows hole in the metal. I made up an outlet with a dimmer switch (ya I know, hack job fix) so I can lower the temp, and it works better.
      I have the same welder and agree. It was a bit tricky even for me and I was certified to weld on submarines back in my youth. The trick is to keep the tip of the gun out about 1.5" - 2" away and stay as steady as you can. I use both hands to hold the gun and lean on the car with my shoulder just to make a solid base.

      The only weak spot in the Harbor Freight welder is the wire coming out of the tip in an unpredictable manor. I contribute this to the poor quality of the wire and respectively the tip. You may have noticed that when you wanted to tack weld at a particular place the weld would drift off tangent from the desired location.

      The setting I am using is High, and wire speed up over a 1/4 dial range.

    31. Member nicktcfcsb's Avatar
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      01-21-2012 09:16 AM #31
      so when this car is totaled can I have salvage rights?

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      01-21-2012 12:47 PM #32
      the passenger fender could be aftermarket.

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      Poulsbo, WA
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      Vehicles
      2001 A4 1.8TQ, 1990 Cabriolet
      01-21-2012 09:07 PM #33
      Sure Nick, might be a long trip to trailer it back though! Sure would be a shame doing all this work and then have a teen driver mess it up. Hmm may have to rethink this. Maybe I keep it and give her a beater Cabriolet to drive Updates coming tonight

    34. Member tinker6468's Avatar
      Join Date
      Feb 2nd, 2006
      Location
      Poulsbo, WA
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      2001 A4 1.8TQ, 1990 Cabriolet
      01-21-2012 09:32 PM #34
      Pull the car out and turned it around so I can access the passenger side, fix the dents and get ready for primer. Then onto the front end and hood. and fixing the clipper kit.

      Here are a few shots of the hatch, welded up, shaved and ready for sanding of the filler


      Photobucket


      Photobucket


      Photobucket



      I can feel a high spot on this end even through the body filler, may have to get a body hammer out after sanding



      Photobucket


    35. Member tinker6468's Avatar
      Join Date
      Feb 2nd, 2006
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      Poulsbo, WA
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      Vehicles
      2001 A4 1.8TQ, 1990 Cabriolet
      01-21-2012 09:46 PM #35
      QUESTION

      Forgot to ask - I pulled the gas cap off and noticed it has a rubber gasket, I assume to help seal the gas cap. So is this gasket required? Can I remove it for body work / repainting or should I plan to install a new one later? Is this item available new?

      Also anyone know where to find the rubber gasket that goes around the push button to open the rear hatch? Mine is cracked in several pieces. Thanks.

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