Friday, October 3, 2008

Part 1 - Putting it all together--restoring the original fasteners

In times past, I've found myself going to some extraordinary lengths to collect original Volkswagen fasteners and miscellaneous hardware pieces. I've always avoided the lure of using stainless steel fasteners on my restoration projects, choosing instead to restore the original hardware. I feel that properly restored original fasteners have a lot of good reliable life left in them. The hardware on my Type 34 was originally supplied by KAMAX, Knipping and Verbus. All were originally good old German companies that offered the German automotive industry a quality product for their time. With some careful hardware restoration choices, I believe this same level of quality can be maintained.

Most original and unmolested Volkswagen parts books have a section labeled 'ST - Standard Parts', which is a generic fasteners and miscellaneous parts section that provides a lot of detail regarding hardware referred to throughout the rest of that parts book. For example, a bolt with a part number of N10 023 2 is described as a Bolt, hex, hd M 10 X 45/25 DIN 70 613 galvanized. That's a lot of great information for those of us looking for missing hardware. This tells us exactly how the hardware should be restored when replated to maintain both strength and authenticity. And after the replating process, it's really nice to have an idea where that big bucket of bolts out in the garage could possibly and properly be used, particularly when it comes time to put it all back together.

If you need a bolt for a particular purpose, all you need to do is reach for your Type 3 or Type 34 parts book for the details on the fastener. Don't own a parts book? Finding one can be a hassle, but you can access portions online on der Samba. Unfortunately, the online references often don't contain the 'ST Standard Parts' section. I guess all the gut wrenching gory detail is just too much to wrap a mind around...ok, not really. Perhaps it's better described as the third to last appendix in the parts book and is about 4 pages of stupifying boredom. Regardless, scans of it are now presented here, just for completeness. Because boring detail is never in short supply on this blog.

If you should find yourself in the market for a good parts book, know in advance that you won't be alone. A lot of us enjoy the portability and funkiness of a grease and coffee stained orignal shop and parts manual. I contend there's just is no substitute for the real shop literature. So you know what you're looking for, the Type 14 and Type 34 Ghia books are usually bound together. Though you may not own a Type 1 Karmann Ghia, there's a lot of good value in the Type 14 parts book because it allows you to cross reference between parts shared between the two Ghia types. There is, after all, the slim potential that your investment in the shop and parts manuals could actually pay for themselves.

I recently discovered that the Type 14 parts book has a slighly different version of the 'ST - Standard Parts' listing. I will publish this alternate 7 page version in a future blog post.