We had to record the introduction at CollisionMax headquarters in Trevose, PA because Hurricane Sandy prevented us from getting into South Jersey. Minerva and The SuperCenter were both undamaged but we lost a few days of progress due to the storm.
The outer metal on Minerva’s doors were not salvageable (this seems to be a recurring theme) so we had to give her brand new pieces. The door is comprised of a frame and outer sheet metal called the “door skin” (the process or installing a new one is sometimes called “skinning”). One of the good things about Minerva being old is that her doors don’t have all the modern amenities like side impact airbags, electronics, sound/weatherproofing and mechanics – this makes the skinning process a bit easier and faster.
In addition to getting door skins, we replaced the “business end” of Minerva (her front nose).
If you look in the teardown video, you will see Pat Beavers prying out body filler that had been slathered in the upper portion of the nose piece… over time, the filler (being porous) held on to moisture and rotted out the metal underneath. The actual nose piece is not identical to Minerva’s body style – The part label read “Front Panel Type 2 – August 1971 to May 1979 (High Front Indicator Models)”.
One noticeable difference in the replacement part is a raised circle portion that holds the VW emblem… Minerva did not have this, so we’re going to knock that down flat… the VW emblem may or may not make it back on Minerva depending on what we decide to do with the artwork. We ended up welding shut the WONDERFULLY EFFECTIVE front vent since Minerva will have her own “real” air conditioning
Used for both the doors and front nose: One of the methods of bonding two panels together is what’s called resistance welding (or spot welding), during which high electric current is passed through two metal pieces at a singular spot – the electrical resistance generates a great amount of concentrated and momentary heat that fuses them together (demonstrated in the video).