My Beetle Restoration

Bracing the Door Pillars

by on Dec.30, 2010, under Disassembly

As I stated before, I want to brace the door pillars to maintain their approximate positions and also to support the bottom of the body and keep the roof from buckling. With the heater channels in such poor condition, I don’t trust that they will be able to provide adequate support once the body and chassis are separated and the body is supporting its own weight. I also want the braces to be adjustable so that when I am replacing the heater channels, I can adjust the position of the pillars if needed.

To accomplish this, I decided to use ½” EMT conduit, ½” conduit hangers, and 1” U-bolts. I attached a conduit hanger about 7” above the heater channel on each of the A and B pillars with a #10 self-tapping sheet metal screw. I then cut a length of conduit to go from the A to B pillars on each side. Before inserting the conduit into the hangers, I wrapped the areas going into the hangers with a strip of rubber non-slip shelf liner to help the hanger grip the conduit. I inserted the conduit into the hangers and tightened the clamping screws. I then cut a length of conduit to go from the left A pillar to the right A pillar, and from the left B pillar to the right B pillar. I attached these pieces to the ends of the previously installed pieces with the 1” U-bolts. It is surprisingly strong and the materials only cost around $12.


To lighten the body a bit, I removed the doors, the front hood, and the engine lid. I shouldn’t need them for a while and will reinstall them as needed. I am leaving the front windshield, the rear windshield, and the quarter windows installed for now to strengthen the body and maintain their respective openings. I’ll remove them when I get around to working on the metal in those areas.

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