PARTS – Floor Pans

Received new floor pans today. I ordered these from a supplier on eBay (eBay ID: CarParts) for $62.55 each, shipping included. Jack points and cross braces are included, and are welded-on. Seat brackets are also included.

The price was quite low, so my expectations were, too. Shortly after paying for them, I noticed that eBay had marked their userID as “No longer a registered user”. CarParts had a feedback rating of about 37000, so they were selling a lot of stuff. Perhaps they had some billing issues? Not sure. I was a little worried, and sent some messages to the website (carparts.com) and found out the pans had already shipped. That was a relief. Pans showed up a day or two later.

Pans are made in Brazil. They look OK. I’ve never installed floor pans before, so I have no idea how they should look/feel. Will know more when I put them in. Everyone talks about the thickness of the metal, so I put the caliper on it — .061 or thereabouts. According to this UNC web page that works out to 16 gauge metal. Other sites, users, and suppliers refer to 18 gauge metal for floor pans, so maybe that’s what these are. I’m not sure how much thickness is added by the paint, and how that affects the gauge.

I cut my hand pulling the pan out of the box — the sheet metal is sharp. I hope that’s not one of those lessons that take a lot of ‘experience’ to learn.

The company still has them on the website (here’s the passenger side: Floor Pan, P/N:113-701 060), albeit at a little higher price ($104.99).

REPAIR – Driver-side door panel

I picked up a piece of 4’x’8’x1/8″ Masonite (hardboard) from Lowe’s today. A 4’x8′ sheet of hardboard is enough to do all four panels and then some. About $7.

The door panel, laying on the piece of hardboard
I’m going to use this to repair my driver-side door panel, which has a warped and torn and decayed backing, but still has some vinyl with a few years left (maybe). So first, I’m going to separate the vinyl from the hardboard, and use the hardboard for a template to cut out the new door panel.

What is left of the driver-side door panel backing.
There’s the vinyl, then there’s a trim piece (like beading) that goes around the perimeter. There are staples all around the perimeter holding on the beading, but the staples don’t go completely through the door panel. They’re not bent like normal staples — just stuck in a little.

The vinyl (back view), after it is separated from the hardboard.
Because my panel’s hardboard backing is in pieces (and some pieces are missing), I have to re-assemble it. But it’s also warped badly, so I’m going to try to flatten it before I try to put the pieces together. My approach is to wet the hardboard, and lay it out flat with some heavy weight stacked on top. At the Vanagonauts website someone name Chris talks about this very thing.

There are only three cuts to be made — the rectangular pocket opening, and the two circles for the window crank and door latch handle. Then, I will need to drill the holes around the edge of the backing (and NOT through the vinyl, of course) for the press-in fasteners that hold the panel to the door itself.

PARTS – Heater Vent Covers

I bought some heater vent covers and retaining clips off of TheSamba.com. Getting bug parts in the mail is just like Christmas. A rustier, dirtier Christmas.

Heater vent covers and retaining clips. From a 1965 Beetle.

Not sure what color they should be. Black? Gray? Should they match the carpet? Pearl White, like the body? Don’t know yet.

Add $40.75 to the Bug Bill.

Door Panel – Exam

Three of the four interior panels look ok, and re-usable. But the back of driver side door panel is broken and flimsy. I think the vinyl could be cleaned, and would probably still have some life in it.

The backing looks like masonite. If I can safely separate the vinyl from the backing, I think I could get a piece of masonite from Lowe’s or Home Depot and use the existing backing as a template for making a new one.