Monday, February 16, 2015

I didn't get a large amount of work done directly on the Jetta, but I spent a lot of time this week making decisions and drawings for the interior.

There are too may pictures to upload everything, but here is a preview.  I marked up some photos with the stitch locations, the dash will be recovered in black synthetic leather with exposed teal threads in a few locations.  It won't be too loud, but will be noticeable up close.

I did spend some time at the shop this weekend, I bought a Sunex folding side tray for my toolbox and installed it.  The Snap-on version is $140, but the Sunex version was $24.  It wasn't a direct fit, so I had to drill new holes.

Installed!  This will give me a place to set tools when I move the box away from the work bench.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

I un-clamped the roof this weekend.  I left a few spots along the windshield without glue, it is recommended that some areas are welded in addition to the glue.

I kept the welds pretty cold, so they're not too pretty.  I didn't want to risk warping the skin, and it's only 22ga so they should hold just fine.

I welded two spots along each windshield, and welded all four corners.

Welds ground:

I started modifying the bumper rebar to fit around the 2nd tow hook I welded in a few months back. The holes are a little off, so I checked it against my factory body dimensions book.  It looks like I'm going to have to slot the holes a bit.  The upper rails are dead on, but the lower rails are a few millimeters wider than the spec.

In random project news, I had to re-wire the electrical connector on my friend's motorcycle trailer.  When I borrowed it a few months ago to take my interior to Maryland for a retrim, I smashed the electrical connector.

It's good practice to return items in better condition than before you borrowed them.  The factory wiring just had bare wires wrapped around the tiny screws, it's amazing that they held at all.  I crimped on some high-temp nickel plated ring connectors and rebuilt it properly.

I also picked up a few more new tools!  I picked up this stuff super cheap from Cripe Distributing on eBay and the Garage Journal forums.  Genius triple square set, Armstrong retaining ring pliers (for my work toolbox) and a few odds and ends.

I also had to re-arrange my wrench drawer to make room for the new Snap-on wrench set I bought last week.

There wasn't much room before:

And there certainly isn't much room after!  I think I can still re-arrange and pick up a few square inches, but it's getting pretty full.  Luckily I have just about every wrench I will ever need, so I won't be buying many more.

I also snapped an updated picture of my socket drawer.  It's also getting pretty full!

Whenever I hit "next" in photobucket and there isn't a newer photo, it reverts back to the oldest photo in the album.  This is a picture of my toolbox setup exactly 4 years ago!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

I've been sick for over 2 weeks with the Flu, I'm finally getting back to the Jetta.

When I'm sick I can't work on my car.  When I can't work on my car, I think about my car.  And my tools.  And how I can't use them... but I CAN use the internet.  So I buy new tools!

I bought two pairs (6" and 9") of Milbar reversible safety wire pliers, two spools of stainless safety wire, another 25-pack of 1/8" Cleco pins, and another $4 cheapo Cleco tool from Aircraft Spruce.  I ordered a set of SK 1/2" drive fractional sockets from 7/16" through 1-1/4", I took my Craftsman set to work so I had to replace my main set.  I also paid a visit to Snap-on Dan, I ended up with a 24" flex head 1/2" drive ratchet and a set of their high-performance 0º offset box end wrenches.

The box end wrenches are significantly longer than the regular combination wrenches, this is the 17/19mm size compared to the regular length Snap-on combination wrenches.

Here you can see the 0º offset compared to the standard ~15º offset.  This is handy sometimes in confined spaces.   Sometimes you need an offset and sometimes flat is better, so it helps to have both options!

Back to work!  After months of planning, most of which was sourcing a good quality donor roof, I finally glued the sunroof-free roof skin in place.

I forgot to take an as-welded picture, but I clamped and welded the forward support in place.  I decided to use the forward support from the first donor roof and the rearward support from the original car (I had to cut off the sunroof mounting brackets, but it was otherwise the same).

After a few test fits, I noticed that the C-pillar connector was slightly different between my donor roof (shown here in red) and the original car.  I'm not sure if this was a 1994 vs 1997 difference or a sunroof vs. non-sunroof difference, but it was preventing the roof from sitting properly.

I didn't want to cut out the entire crossmember, so I made a few cuts and tapped down the original piece.

I welded and ground the cuts lines, and the modified crossmember ended up a little lower than the donor roof crossmember.

Two caulks at once!  Fusor 112B for the bond surfaces, Fusor 800DTM for the seam sealed surfaces (crossmembers)

I laid down the 112B along the perimeter of the roof, and laid a tall bead of 800DTM (direct-to-metal) seam sealer on the crossmembers.

I left a few gaps in the bead, these are the areas I'm going to weld after the glue cures.

I also removed the crossmembers from the donor roof and laid another heavy bead of seam sealer where the crossmembers will land.

Then the moment of truth!  Fro came out to help me handle the skin into position.  It turned out great, I'm really happy with the result!  I think I bought my first 10-pack of clamps almost a year ago, I finally used them all!  I used 47 of my own clamps and had to borrow two.

After the glue cures, I'm going to weld in the corners and a few spots along the front and rear windshields, then the roof swap is complete.  It seems like it took forever, but I really only have about 10-12 hours into the swap itself including the construction of my wooden support frame.  I spent more time ordering clamps and sourcing a proper roof skin!