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Zee June 27th, 2006 06:31 PM

Hello, I'm Chris, AKA Zee. Currently live in the suburban blights of Portland, Oregon.

Grew up in the desert of Southern California (Barstow), joined the coast guard before I graduated and spent 10 years roaming around with them. Currently work as a computer dude. Found the site shortly after reading about Pistol Pete's accident. Registerd in April after a lot of lurking.

VW History: Spent my high school years wrenching on all sorts of cars but especially bugs. First car was a '66 'Cal Look' Baja (Featured as a 'Pile of the Month' in VW Trends circa 1988). The front had been lowered by removing a couple leafs from the stack, the rear was cut and had huge dumbo ear baja fenders. Motor was a 1958 36hp with a 12v Porsche generator (ooohhhh!). Problem with that is it doesn't line up the pulleys so I could only use worn out belts (which was a bennie for my friend with the '71 bug, trading new belts for worn in ones). Cut up the bug the rest of the way and put a fresh baja kit all around, double tube bumper and rear cage, lifted those swings as high as was safe and put coil overs on the rear corners, updated the interior, new front beam, 31x10.50 in back, 285/78/15 up front and ran the hell outta that 36hp. Sold it before joining the military.

Currently I lack a garage or place to work on any toys, but someday soon hope to have a garage and land a good pre-67 bug to rod up. Barring that if I come across a nice notch, that will become the project.

I like to weld, mostly make sculpture stuff out of scrap using mig, tig and oxy. I play guitar (although I've been pretty lazy the last few years), listen to most music but especially dig rockabilly and bluegrass.
Cal-Look Baja '66
Shortly before selling it

Zee November 13th, 2018 10:52 AM

Re: Zee
Well, better 12 years later than never. Just bought a '69 standard that I am going to do....something with. It is pretty straight and stock - was a delivery car for a Portland area pharmacy. The bad - I blew the engine without even trying - it popped into gear while towing it home on a u-haul dolly and I didn't notice until a huge plume of smoke came out as it fried. I haven't assessed the damage yet but pretty sure it is locked solid and probably borked the trans too. Planned to update from the 1500 but sucks I have to start from scratch (and can't move it up into the garage without some muscle power).
Hopefully I'll update this now as I progress.

Zee November 14th, 2018 08:41 AM

Re: Zee
Pulled out most of the interior yesterday, had a 'new' carpet kit just set in but it's a crappy kit with fraying edges so that will be trashed. Passenger heater channel is see-through so I will be pulling the body eventually. Tried turning the engine over via the crank pulley and it is frozen solid so I borked that for sure. Also has gear oil cacked all over so it likely dropped into second while towing at 50mph and roasted both engine/trans.
Next up is pulling the engine and doing a teardown of it to see if the case is salvageable ('65 case and supposedly a 1500 so I'll see if it's too bored over or not). I'll shove it in the driveway while I mess with the engine/trans then push it inside when it's time for the body removal. New pans but crappy welds so I want to touch those up and fix a hole they missed with them then have the whole pan sprayed.
I wanted a winter project and boy do I have it now.

Zee November 19th, 2018 09:58 AM

Re: Zee
Got it pushed into the driveway this weekend and as I took off the tin to prep for pulling the engine I was greeted by a huge hole above #1/2 cylinders. The wrong kind of knock knock joke. Pulled the engine and tore it down most of the way, it was a single port 1500 so not much worth saving to begin with but definitely not now. Engine must have come from an autostick bug - funky oil pump with pinched off tubes on each side (not a full flow pump). No core for you! I'll finish tearing it in half just because I want to be amused by crescent shaped rods and do something with the pistons. Going to degrease and power wash the transaxle and remove it next.

Zee April 26th, 2019 11:53 AM

Re: Zee
Engine was a complete loss - beautiful carnage. Transaxle is a maybe but probably toasted too. It only puked a little gear oil. I have stripped quite a bit down - fenders, bumpers, windows, interior (minus tar boards, still working on those), wiring. Really mostly a shell now and I can see I have not only heater channels but maybe the Napoleon hat to replace. Front beam is bent or way out of alignment but I am looking at a narrowed beam so no biggie - car got punched hard in the front. I do need to verify if the frame head is bent or not, not sure I want to put a new head on but if I have the body off might as well.
It is now inside the garage resting on four Harbor Freight furniture dollies and that is the best thing since I can shove it around as needed for space. I need to upload pictures.

Zee September 23rd, 2019 09:43 AM

Re: Zee
End of summer update. Didn't get a lot done (story of most project cars) this summer. All bodywork is now removed, tarboards are mostly gone minus some on the tunnel, going to hit the remnants with acetone soon. Ordered heater channels this weekend and I have an "H" welded in to keep the body from flexing, going to add two more square channels across the door opening before lifting the body. Hoping by end of October to have the new channels in and the body ready for blasting, going to hit the pan with POR-15 while the body is off (after I finish tacking in the floorpan on the driver side that wasn't done).

Zee September 30th, 2019 12:02 PM

Re: Zee
Pulled the body off this weekend, ordered two new heater channels from CIP1 and I am going to need them. Flappy channel on the passenger side. at least I was able to lift the body myself up on the sawhorses, one side at a time. Dropping it back down to align the channels may take some help but for now I am going to concentrate on power washing the pan and seeing what condition the frame head is in. I'm afraid it is bent and if that is the case I am not sure if I really want to deal with a new head as well.

Zee October 27th, 2019 01:48 PM

Re: Zee
Sadly I'm going to cut my losses with this one and call it a learning experience. Stripped the pan down to just the spring plates in back. The front clip is swiss cheese, napoleon hat is rusting through, front beam needs a full redo. If I replace the clip, the pans need replacing as they were stick welded in a few spotty places. Sigh. Guess I will know what to look closer at for the next one. Time to part out what is still good and the new heater channels.

Zee October 31st, 2019 01:04 PM

Re: Zee
So the last few days have been an emotional roller coaster with the bug. I've decided I'll keep the body and work on making it a rat rod with a home built 2x3 frame, probably go the lazy route and use a junkyard V8 for it unless I get a wild hair for an oddball like a slant 6. I'll use the pan to lay out frame 'wings' for the body to sit on. Already have the heater channels so if I'm not using the VW pan I can just get them in and not worry about exact line-up with pan holes at least.

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