miércoles, 18 de abril de 2012


Everyone who drives an air-cooled VW should know how to change their fan belt and should carry an extra in their car along with the tools to change it. The tools simply consist of a 13/16 or 21 mm wrench or socket (same as spark plug) and a medium screwdriver.If the fan belt/generator light ever comes on stop immediately to see if the belt has broken. Without the fan the motor will overheat in seconds and can be completely ruined in no time. To replace the belt put the notch in the back of the top pulley to the right of center and use the screwdriver to hold it still while you loosen the nut.


If you find that your Volkswagen is pulling to one side and not stopping very well you may have a rear grease seal leaking. This is usually pretty obvious if you look at the back of the rear brake drum. When the rear seal leaks it will usually ruin the rear brake shoes and get grease inside the brake drum. We have already shown you how to correct the brake problem and remove the rear drum in the Brake Maintenance tech article. So we will move right onto replacing the faulty seal.


"The squeaky wheel gets the grease." On your bug by the time the wheel starts to make a noise it is too late for grease. We are going to discuss front wheel bearing maintenance. About once a year it is good to pull the front drums and clean and pack the front wheel bearings. If you have neglected to do this you may hear about it. But it will be more than a squeak. A bad front wheel bearing can roar so loud in the car that some people have thought that the whole transmission had gone bad. By jacking up the front end of the car and spinning the wheels you can easily determine if you have a bad wheel bearing by the awful roar. To replace a front bearing or to clean and pack them the front drum has to come off. The wheel can remain bolted to it. On the older bugs the drum is held onto the spindle by a pair of 27mm nuts jammed together against a lock plate. From '66 on it was held on by a pinchnut that is tightened by an allen screw.

miércoles, 11 de abril de 2012


The air cooled Volkswagen is one of the last cars out there that still uses regular points and condenser in the ignition. Some see this as a disadvantage because they need to be replaced once or twice a year for best performance. The advantage is that it is easy and inexpensive. Another advantage that many of us vintage lovers like is that when we do have ignition trouble we can usually clean up the points with a small piece of sandpaper or a point file and make it home just fine. Not so with the new cars. When the ignition goes on them you better call a tow truck and prepare to dig into your wallet. The points in the distributor just act as an off and on switch to a flow of current in the coil. They are pushed open by the raised lobes on the shaft in the middle of the distributor as it goes around. .016 is the ideal gap. The condenser is attached to even out the current. The car would run without the condenser but not as well or as long. Normally the condensers are trouble free but they are inexpensive and it is common practice to replace them with the points. If they were to short or ground out the car would quit running. To replace the points remove the distributor cap by popping loose the clips. Examine the contacts inside for obvious excessive burning and look for cracks.


Changing the oil in your air cooled VW is one of the most important things you can do to make it last. Dirty, contaminated oil can ruin a motor in a short time. A well tuned engine with minimal wear can run safely 6000 between oil changes. Short trips, big temperature changes, or dusty conditions call for more frequency. Always use good quality oil and try to stick with the same brand if possible. I prefer to use a straight weight oil in stable weather conditions. Multi wt is good in climates that change drastically. 


When your rockers go from clickety click to clack clack it is time to pull that valve cover and take a look. Much of the time the problem is quite obvious.
One common problem is that an adjuster has come loose.

jueves, 5 de abril de 2012


In our last article we learned how easy it is to remove the body from the VW bug. With the body out of the way replacing the floor pans is pretty straight forward. But with just a little more effort they can be replaced with the body still in place. The first thing you need to do is remove the seats and floor carpet. 

domingo, 1 de abril de 2012


When we hear the term "Body off" restoration we think of a restoration job that has gone to the max. We also think $$$$. On most cars this is a project best left to the pros with restoration shops with lots of equipment. Fortunately for us VW enthusiast a beetle body can be removed in an afternoon with pretty basic equipment. The standard beetle body is bolted to the floor pan along each side with 9 13mm (head) bolts and two 17mm at the front.

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