3rd Brake Light

Third Brake Light ModThird Brake Light ModThird Brake Light ModPlaying around with the 3rd brake light to make it look more vintage. May keep it this way, may not, still undecided. Click here to see how this project started a couple of years ago. I’d eventually like to find an authentic vintage light, but they’re really hard to find and if you do find one in decent shape, they’re very expensive. I believe I purchased this light from Speedway Motors for around 12 dollars. It was originally clear.

Product Review & Planning Ahead

There are many necessary tools needed for the repair and/or regular maintenance of your vintage VW. I thought it’d be a good idea to share some information on those tools from time to time that may help others out.

Titan Magnetic Parts TrayTitan Magnetic Parts Tray

This first is a must have for working on any car. There’s nothing worse than losing nuts and bolts when it’s time to put everything back together. I use this Titan Magnetic Parts Tray that I believe I bought on Amazon for a little over 7 dollars. It has a magnetic base that allows it to hang securely from your toolbox, car hood, etc. They come in various shapes and sizes and they’re a great to keep your parts organized while you work.

 

13mm Half Moon WrenchNext is a Half Moon Wrench, size 13mm and 11mm. If you’ve ever tried to remove your carburetor or generator stand without one, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Yes, it can be done with a regular open face or boxed wrench, but this 6 dollar investment makes things so much easier. I picked this one up on Summit Racing for about $3.50. It’s a must have!

 

Carb Rebuild KitNew Fuel LinesI had planned on doing some regular maintenance on my carburetor before it got too cold outside, but since the Beetle is running fine, I think I’ll wait til spring. I had it apart last fall to replace the float, but I didn’t clean or replace the jets as I had planned. I also think my accelerator pump diaphragm isn’t working as well as it should. Ethanol in today’s fuel is hard on the diaphragm and it’s probably a good idea to change them every couple of years or so. I’m also going to relocate the fuel filter to underneath the car and away from the engine bay. I know that there’s much debate on this, but I still feel that it’s a good idea. I picked up this rebuild kit and new fuel line from the Dune Buggy Warehouse a while back, it has everything I need for the carb rebuild. I believe the rebuild kit was around 12 dollars and 1 meter for fuel line (the good stuff) was around 13 dollars. You can never have too much spare laying around.

New Door Handle Seals

For Christmas last year, Lenora got me all new seals for the doors, door windows, etc. She ordered the kit from Jbugs.com, all German rubber except for one thing, the door handle seals. I couldn’t be more pleased with everything we received from Jbugs.com. The new door window rubber was spot on, fit perfectly and was fairly easy to install. The only thing I was disappointed in was the door handle seals. The seals that came with the set were a hard plastic instead of a hard rubber. I installed them in March of this year and by September, they were already deteriorated and falling apart. Everything else has held up well. When I decided to install the Aussie trim and removed the defective door handle seals, I ordered new ones. I ordered them from Ebay user scorpion562. They were described as hard rubber, not hard plastic. They were only $4.85 so I decided to take a chance and ordered them. When I received them, I knew they were so much better than the ones that I received for Jbugs.com. They were flexible, fit the door handles so much better and fit perfectly. As you can see from the video above, they were a much better quality than the ones that we received from Jbugs.com. I installed them this evening and couldn’t be happier. They look so much better.

New Door Handle SealsNew Door Handle SealsNew Door Handle SealsNew Door Handle Seals

 

 

 

 

After the install, I did quick walk around of Mabel. Very pleased with the results.

Set Timing On A Vintage VW

I’ve been wanting to put a video together about setting the timing on a vintage VW for some time, but recently came across this video by Chris Vallone that pretty much sums it up. Two of the most important things to remember are the type of distributor you have and the type of pulley you have. The circuit tester like the one used in this video can be picked up at most auto parts stores, I purchased mine at Amazon.

Just Some Pics

Our 1968 VW Beetle MabelOur 1968 VW Beetle MabelOur 1968 VW Beetle MabelOur 1968 VW Beetle MabelOur 1968 VW Beetle MabelOur 1968 VW Beetle MabelOur 1968 VW Beetle MabelOur 1968 VW Beetle MabelOur 1968 VW Beetle MabelOur 1968 VW Beetle MabelJust some pics of Mabel that I took today. Would love to have attended more local car shows this summer, but I just didn’t make it, mainly because I forgot about them. I think she’d do good in her category of all original, slightly modified. She’s a great conversation piece!

Mabel Oil Change (repost)

Ready For Oil ChangeDirty EngineOil UsedOil Change KitClean EngineToday was the day for Mabel to get her oil changed. There’s always a huge argument about which kind of oil to use in these old cars, but we won’t get into a debate about that, I’ll just let you know what I use and what works for me. I always start with getting the car as level as possible, running the engine long enough to get the old oil nice and warm so it’ll drain easily. I remove the oil drain plate (10mm) and let the oil drain into the oil catcher. I’ll let the oil drain for at least 30 minutes or so. This is also a good opportunity to tidy up the bottom of the engine, removing any oil and dirt from the cooling fins. I also like to give the oil drain plate a fresh coat of paint, just to make it look nice. Oil changing kits are readily available and pretty cheap. Most will come with new copper washers, gaskets and a oil strainer. If you’re re-using your oil strainer, just clean it good with a degreaser and make sure there isn’t any sludge in it. I usually use the strainer twice before replacing it with a new one. When you put your oil drain plate back on, make sure you use the correct washers and have the gaskets in the correct place. Do not over tighten the nuts that hold the plate in place. Just hand tighten them. My engine requires 2.65 quarts of oil, your engine probably requires the same amount. I use 2.15 quarts of Rotella T 15w-40 and .5 of the STP oil additive. I use the oil additive for its zinc content. Your air cooled engine will love this combination!

J C Higgins Cooler Update

Corona CoolerCorona CoolerCorona CoolerCorona CoolerCorona CoolerI’ve been wanting to do this for a while and finally found a company in Virginia to reproduce the proper graphics for me. Last year for Fathers Day, Lenora got me a vintage J C Higgins cooler for the Mabel. Of coure, no vintage Beetle would be complete without a Corona cooler (which you can still buy)….I took a short cut on this one and purchase the graphics separately. Very pleased with the turn out. 🙂