Prior to removing the body I had to build a cart that could hold it once it was off. Because of limited space in the garage it had to be high enough that it could roll overtop the Bug’s pan but also low enough that with the body on top also clear the door opening as well. This presented a bit of a challenge to ensure it was still strong enough to hold the body and required a lot of measuring and re-measuring to make sure it would work. When the body was finally off, on the cart, and rolled in the first time I had less than an inch of clearance. I got ideas for the cart from posts on forums as well as the site and combined elements from a variety of designs to meet my needs. I designed it so that the heater channels would be resting their full length on 2x6’s as I felt this would be safer and distribute the weight better. (Other designs I saw had the channels only making contact with the cart in the front and rear.) The results were as you see at right. As a side note all of the materials I used to build that car (especially the wood) were brought home using my GTI. Photo at above right: The body cart sitting in the yard after I had finished building it.)

In late January 2008 on quite possibly the coldest day of the year two of my friends from RichmondDubs came over to assist in removing the body off the pan. And of course my kerosene heater wouldn’t light so it was a rather miserable condition to work in. The first order of business was to remove the last of the last of the bolts holding the body on the pan as well as disconnecting various lines and other things connecting both. When it was time to finally remove the body it initially did not want to come off and required a hard tug upward on both ends to break the weather seal between it and the pan. Once that was done it took the three of us four tries to lift it off before we finally found and disconnected (and in a couple cases simply cut) the last few cables and other things holding the two pieces together. Even with everything possible stripped off the body is still pretty heavy and we had to sit it down a few times before finally getting it into position and lifting it high enough to get onto the dolly. (Photo at right: The Bug’s body sitting on the garage floor just after removal. RichmondDubs member Geoff is in the background.)

There was slight damage done to the body in the process but compared to some of the risks in removing it this was relatively minor. The air louvers in the front got bent out of shape but this should be an easy fix down the road. Otherwise the whole thing went smoothly without problems. It’s a bit odd seeing the body separated from the pan. Over the years I've seen plenty of pictures of it but it's quite different to see it up close and in person. (Photo at left: Up on the cart and about to be rolled into the garage.)

Scroll down the page for more pictures of the body removal.

The body lying on the ground after we’d positioned it to lift onto the cart.

Lifting it onto the cart. Geoff and Toma are in front, I’m lifting the rear.

Examining it after putting it on the cart.

The pan supported on jack stands.

Inside of the Bug looking down on the pan after being put back in the garage. Note the blue painters tape around the shifter hole to mark proper position when it comes time for re-assembly.

And back in the garage overtop the pan.