When I bought my bug, I expected some electrical issues. I’ve had a few. From issues with my headlights to some issues with basic grounds. You can come to expect these kinds of things on cars approaching 45 or more years old.
Another issue I encountered on my own beetle was an intermittent starter issue. In this post, I’ll break down how the starter system works electrically and mechanically since this topic has come up a few times with a few friends in recent days.
On the classic VW air-cooled engine, a few things typically go wrong. Since there were so many Beetles, we have a pretty big sample set of potential issues. One thing that commonly goes wrong – engine fires. Continue reading “DIY: Engine Fire Prevention”
I’ve started a new project for my bug this winter. I think I’ve committed to building a new engine. It’s a costly project, and to save some money where I can, I’d like to be able to re-use some parts from an engine that I acquired.
In the ’66 beetle I own, the 6 volt battery sits on the metal floor pan under the rear seat, passenger side. Since I have owned the car (1971) I have performed a bi-annual maintenance on this area. The following describes the procedure.
This weeks article is a rather short technical idea than a full fledged project. It’s about keeping your brakes adjusted on your Bug, Ghia, Thing, Buggy, etc. If you’ve ever adjusted your brakes before, you are aware the the issues of the brake adjustment stars. The stars typically corrode in place, so we remove them, clean them up in the wire wheel. We typically apply grease or anti-seize compound to ensure they remain free (for a while at least). The next step is to adjust the brakes so they just slightly drag on the drums. Take it for a test drive, feels great doesn’t it! But wait a minute, by the second time you drive it you need to adjust your brakes again – whats going on here!?
So – this weeks article is a pretty basic repair, but pretty much necessary these days on the older Standard Beetles and early Super Beetles. The original glove boxes are made with a paper fiber material that hasn’t held up well over the years. On my Beetle, staying original isn’t all that important. More important to me, is the car being functional.
Locks on your VW bug are pretty simple to work on. On my 1975, the door locks didn’t match the ignition lock. Since it was a used car, I only received one of each key for the vehicle. I had a blank for my ignition, but I had no blank for the door key. I needed to re-key the doors to match my ignition. Apparently, this is the way to do it, as you can not re-key the ignition even if you wanted to.
People say that VW’s have a lot of electrical problems. I’m not sure thats really true. Cars are certainly more complicated than they used to be. This is sometimes driven by convenience or style. I wonder sometimes if the designers and engineers consider the end user experience, or is the vehicle designed to simply minimize manufacturing costs and maximize service revenue. This becomes relevant as you read on. Continue reading “Repair: Jetta MK4.5 Trunk Wiring Repair”
What’s in your toolbox? That’s probably a very personal question to some folks. Over the years people amass a pile of tools for working on modern cars. I know this to be true because I have a lot of fairly specialized tools for vehicles I own or have owned. Yes, I even own a cam belt tensioner adjustment tool for a MKIV vintage Jetta 2.0 Litre.
The beetle is different though. Elegant simplicity. Only a few hand tools are really required to work on them. I’m going to start a list below for those folks that are just getting started in the hobby, or want to do a spot check on their bug toolbox and mention some spare parts that you might like to have while traveling.