Monday, 22 July 2013

Polishing rocker covers

A short while ago my best mate for about 30 years Stuart, took the engine out of his '71 bay so he could fix a small oil leak and make the finishing touches to the pipework on his home made turbo system. Stuart asked me if I could polish his rocker covers for him while the engine was out, and of course I said I would.
This is how the majority of VW rocker covers
look like. Due to their location they get all sorts
of road dirt and grime thrown up at them and
of course most are original, therefore they 
have had at least 40 years of abuse.

Actually Stuarts covers were not that bad.
OK they had a small amount of pitting and
they had lost their shine many years ago, but
there are worse ones out there.

From this angle you can see the true condition
of the rocker covers.

After a quick clean up with cleaning fluid to
remove the general road grime and grease 
they are starting to look better already.

Next job was to rub them down, I would have
normally used the sander but as these were
not to bad I used course, medium and fine
wet and dry until the minor imperfections had
all but gone and they felt nice and smooth.
Next job was out with the polishing kit. Starting
with the course cutting compound to remove
the pitting and any scratches, then moving onto
the medium compound to buff them up and
then finishing off with the polishing compound
to bring out the shine until I was happy with 
how they looked. This one cover took about
3 hours work.

Well worth 3 hours work, it's almost like new.
It is quite satisfying to do this sort of polishing

Nice and smooth and shiny, it's a shame they
will only be seen if someone gets on the hands
and knees and looks underneath Stuart's bay.

One down, one to go.

After approximately another 3 hours sanding,
cutting and polishing the pair are complete.

The finished items. Stuart was happy with
the result, which is all that matters. And I
have to say I'm also pleased with how
well they polished up.

By the way, in case anyone was wondering
what the plug is for on the left hand cover,
it's for an oil drain pipe for Stuarts turbo.
You can see how Stuart built his turbo
 system from scratch for his 1679cc, '71 bay
in his workshop by visiting his blog at:
Check out the blog archive menu on the
right of his page to see all his blog entries
about his turbo and other work he has
carried out of various vehicles.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Ace Cafe, London, monthly air cooled night

For those of you who read my blog regularly you will know that I occasionally take a drive into North West London on the 3rd Tuesday of the month to visit the world famous Ace Cafe where they hold hold an air-cooled VW night. Normally work commitments or other things to do stop me from going, but as the weather is so good at the moment, nothing was going to stop me this month. I put a message on face book to see if anyone fancied a cruise to the Ace, and before long a few friends had agreed to meet up. I met Stuart, and some of his family, Matthew and Caroline, Zoe and Spike, Andrew and Matt in the usual meeting place and after a quick chat we all set off on the 37 mile drive to the Ace Cafe.
This was Matthew and Caroline's first time to visit the Ace, so we hope they enjoyed the evening and hopefully they will come along again. The Ace Cafe have something going on every night of the week, so why not check out their web page and use the scroll bar on the calendar to see if you like the sound of anything else... providing your local enough to get there of course!
Matthew and Caroline in their lovely blue and
white '69 bay all ready to roll.

My '69 bay enjoying the lovely evening

Stuart, Tim, Ellie and Andy waiting patiently
in Stuarts very distinctive '71 bay.

Andrew in his beach buggy with Zoe riding
shotgun. Spike and Matt in another '69 bay
that The House of Dub have just sold. Spike
used the run to the Ace Cafe as part of the
running in process for the patina bay's new

Once at the Ace parking was tight, but Spike
managed to squeeze his bay next to mine,
with inches to spare.

This lovely smooth cal-look beetle was really
nice. I think those are Fuchs wheels.

From the side, this bug looks so cool. I love
stance this bug has.

Something a little different was this '72 beetle.
I do like the look of fender less beetles.

This lovely '64 beetle is a regular at the Ace.

This '70 beetle was one that I hadn't seen
before. Nothing flash or fancy about it, but
it still looked like a nice solid bug.

Porsche 356 Speedster. I had a good look
around this, and I think it was an original.

Now I'm no expert on 356's, but it looked as
though it had all the right trim, interior etc.

The thing that made me sure it was an original
was the transmission tunnel. I believe I'm right
in saying that the original Porsche's had a
square transmission tunnel, but if you used
a beetle floor pan, it would have a rounded
transmission tunnel... Of course I could be
totally wrong.!

I just love this early oval beetle, everything
about it is right. The colour, the stance, the
wheels, everything.

This really is a sweet looking car with a super
narrowed front beam.

How's this for a radical beetle. Fender less,
roof chop, lowered and riding on air suspension
with some old school wire wheels and painted
in a deep purple.

With the air suspension lowered it virtually
sat on the road.

Rear end is a cross between a hot rod and a
baja bug. Those very short cycle fenders add
a nice touch as do the Ford model A rear lights.

A very clean and straight notch back in deep
gloss black paint.

This was so clean it looked as though it could
have been brand new. The roof rack was a
nice addition, as were the US style all red
rear light lenses.

Tom, another member of the Wolfsburg Weed
Huggers VW Club was there in his gorgeous

There were a few beach buggies at the Ace,
but this caught my eye. The style looks very
1970's and I just loved it.

Interior is sparse, but when your open to the
elements you don't really need much.

A pair of '69 bay windows.

Spike drove this '69 lovely patina bus to the
Ace. In case your wondering why the solid
red painted rear panel has not got the patina
look, it's because it sat in the hot Californian
desert for something like 20 years with the
sliding door open.

Matthew and Caroline's super clean, blue and
white '69 bay.

Another beach buggy, this time in red and it
even had a roof! Those rear lights look
familiar but I can't think what they are from..

It was a very nice looking buggy. It's surprising
how many different body styles of buggy there
is out there.

I think Mark was trying to blend into his lovely
clean lime green T5 as he chatted to Tony who
brought his equally clean T25.

Tony's very clean and straight T25. Both
Marks T5 and Tony's T25 are such nice
clean straight buses.

Looking over at the Ace from the side of
Tony's T25.

Andrew's metallic coloured buggy is always
so clean.

Andrew's new exhaust got it's first outing. This
is almost a work of art.

No mistaking the chequered front of Stuarts
'71 bay.

Looking at the rear of Stuarts bay whilst the
turbo cools down.

Even without looking in Stuarts engine bay,
you can tell his bay has more power than
standard. The rev counter and the boost
gauge mounted on his dashboard almost
give the game away.

Joe, from the Wolfsburg Weed Huggers VW
club arrived in his gorgeous blue and white
bay, with a factory fitted steel sun roof.

Lovely looking early split screen. The weather
has been so good I bet the owner appreciated
the open safari screens.

Darren from the Dunstable Dubbers VW
club was there in his lowered bay.

Lovely looking RAT style late split screen.

For anyone who watched the Red Bull Soap
Box Race on TV on Sunday, this was one
of the participants. Unfortunately if I
remember correctly this replica split screen
bus fell at the last jump when the front wheel
came off. Shame because it was the best
looking soapbox racer in the competition.

I love the look of this late split screen. It looks
as though it's standard height, with hot rod
style red painted steel wheels with whitewall
tyres. The roof rack looked a nice period

Greta Garbo and Monroe, Dietrich and
DiMaggio, Marlon Brando, Jimmy Dean on the
cover of a magazine...
Zoe from the House of Dub striking a pose
on Matthew's bay.

This is a good photo. Zoe, the boss of The
House of Dub between 2 of their ex-buses.

I love this photo. Matthew's blue bay, The
House of Dubs red patina bay and my
green bay. All these vehicles were imported
from the sunny U.S. and sold by the House
of Dub.

So that was the July Ace Cafe meet. Overall
a very enjoyable evening with good friends,
in fact the Ace Cafe meet is becoming almost
like a club meet, with so many familiar faces.