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Zippy the dubhead
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23 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2001/2002 2.0 litre bug with a small cosmetic problem. While pulling up on a curb, I overlooked a large metalic drain and scraped my caps and rip (rib?) panel - what used to be the running boards on clasic beetles. Nice design feature, but I haven't found a definative answer as to how these panels come off. From VW, they run about $78. A detail diagram illustrating the "outer" rocker panel shows three integrated parts. The outer being more of a cosmetic piece to the other two. Apparently, the panel fits under the door and rear body panel with some body filler closing the gap, so I would assume that the seam under the panel and attaching to the other rocker panel components would be (at least) no more than tack welded on. Am I close? Does anybody have any experience with this previously - maybe on body panel replacement in a body kit? I just don't want to make a larger mess just trying to figure out the best way to remove it.

Thanks guys/gals!
NewBe, ImBuggin
 

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Premium Member
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3,650 Posts
I think they call the running boards "side skirts" or something now. No, Rocker panels. Thats it. Anyway, they are welded on. They can be unwelded and new ones put on, but be prepared for a sticker shock... I don't know what a weld job like that would run.
 

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Zippy the dubhead
Joined
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23 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Welder

Thanks for the response!

I think I can weld them to the bug, that is not my major worry, what is my concern is the way to take them off. There is a seam on the bottom of the panel, but it is covered in rubberized material and I can't quite see how they are attached. Are they simply tack welded or is the seam welded all the way down? I am just afraid of making a bigger mess. I guess I could take it somewhere, but I am a "tinker-er." I just didn't want to tinker where I didn't have some expertise. At least now I know that they are welded and I really appreciate that.

I can buy the panel and have a welder and body man at my disposal (for the paint booth), is there anything I need to know about the upper portion of the panel. It appears to be seamed with some kind of body filler, or maybe not, I really don't know.

Did you have your panel replaced? If so, what did it run you at the shop? I have not asked for a quote yet from my dealer or another local shop.

Thanks again,
ImBuggin
 

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Zippy the dubhead
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23 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Removal

So, if I remove the undercoating with a wire brush on a drill/dremel, I should be able to see the tacks on the pinch seam? Once I spot the tacks (tack weld?), I should be able to drill them out?

Help me out!
 

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Zippy the dubhead
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23 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Panels

I have had words with some body shops and have come to this conclusion: the cost to have the panel repaired (pulled and filled and painted) is $737.47, the cost to have it replaced is about the same...

I am not amused as the book allows for around 12 hours of labor for either.

To replace the panel, it takes some time, a welder, a power wire brush, a spot weld drill tool, some body adhesive, paint, primer, and a good day or two. I think I will try it and do my best to document it for those of you who have the same problem (stemming from the damage from inproper use of lifts). It probably won't be for a couple of months as the weather here in Ohio has not yet broke, but I will continue this endeavor for all those who want to know why they can bill so much.
 
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