Mabel Gets Some Bling

OEM Rock GuardsOEM Rock GuardsOEM Rock GuardsOEM Rock GuardsOEM Rock GuardsOEM Rock GuardsOEM Rock GuardsVintage Flower VaseVintage Flower VaseI’ve had these OEM Rock Guards for a while, just never got around to installing them. So this past weekend, I took some time to finally install them. The install is fairly easy, I was going to do a tutorial on the install, but I think it’s to easy of process, anybody can do it. I will provide a couple of tips. Whatever fender you’re working on in the rear, remove the wheel, remove the bottom two bolts on the fender and remove the bolt that secures the running board to the rear fender, it makes the process much easier. No need to remove the front wheels or fender bolts. I did buy some edge trim off of Amazon just to dress the top of the guards, it blends with the fender gasket as well. I’ve been on the lookout for a vintage flower vase for ages, but never lucked into one. They go for big bucks on eBay and other sites, up to $300. M & T Manufacturing sells replicas that are spot on, real ceramic and mount included for $20.00. Very nice quality. I will do a tutorial on the installation as soon as I get around to it.

Mabel Maintenance

Mabel MaintenanceMabel MaintenanceMabel MaintenanceMabel MaintenanceThe other day when I updated Mabel’s fuel lines and performed an overall maintenance inspection, I noticed that most of her vacuum plugs were beginning to dry rot a bit. Nothing major, but something that still needed to be addressed. I also noticed that her drivers side low beam head light wasn’t working properly as well. A quick trip to Amazon, I found the necessary caps for all of the vacuum ports and placed the order. 11 dollars and 2 days later, the vacuum ports are fixed. As for the low beam on the drivers side headlight, a quick spray for contact cleaner on the back of the fuse box took care of that. She’s now road worthy and ready to put on some miles.

Updating Mabel’s Fuel Delivery For Safety

Fuel Delivery UpgradeFuel Delivery UpgradeFuel Delivery UpgradeFuel Delivery UpgradeFuel Delivery UpgradeFuel Delivery UpgradeFuel Delivery UpgradeFuel Delivery UpgradeFuel Delivery UpgradeFuel Delivery UpgradeFuel Delivery UpgradeFuel Delivery UpgradeThere seems to have been a rash of engine fires lately that really grabbed my attention. Common causes seem to be bad/wrong fuel lines, fuel inlet to the carb and fuel filter location. I’ve had 9 vintage VW’s over the years and I’ve always placed my fuel filter in between the fuel inlet on the carb and the fuel pump. Considering the amount of loss that I’ve read about recently, I’ve decided to make Mabel a little safer. New and proper fuel lines (hers were just replaced a couple of years ago), relocation of the fuel filter, new clamps and new threaded barb for the fuel inlet on the carb. The video is pretty much self explanatory, though my video skills aren’t the best. I’ve also provided a list and link to everything that I used. Hope you find the video beneficial.


Inlet that I used:

Inlet that I considered, but didn’t use:

Drill bit for tap, size C:

Tap that I used:

Fuel filter that I use:

Clamps for the fuel lines:

Fuel hose:

New Die Cast and Mabel

Getting Mabel Ready For SpringMore Hot Wheels For The CollectionMore Hot Wheels For The CollectionMore Hot Wheels For The CollectionMore Hot Wheels For The CollectionWe picked up a few new Hot Wheels to add to the collection that we didn’t already have. Been looking for the 50th Anniversary Camaro and Mustang for a while, but only recently found them on the pegs at our local Walmart. I really love the detail on these cars. Also picked up a Delorean that I’ve been wanting, but my favorite find is this Matchbox 50th Anniversary VW Bus. The detail on the bus is second to none, it really is a great casting. I was also able to get our own ’68 Beetle “Mabel” out and about for an early spring drive. After sitting for most of the winter, it was great to get her out for a drive. She’s still driving like a top! We’re looking forward to many more miles with her this spring and summer!

Mabel Gets A New Battery

New Battery For MabelNew Battery For MabelNew Battery For MabelNew Battery For MabelNew Battery For MabelNew Battery For MabelNew Battery For MabelNew Battery For MabelI noticed a few months ago that if Mabel sat for a week or so without being started, the starter struggled a bit to turn the motor. I installed a hard start relay to see if this made any difference. The battery I was using was a Autocraft Silver 42-1 which is perfect for these cars, it has the protective cap over the positive terminal to keep from accidentally grounding out the battery if somebody is sitting in the back seat. Anyhow, I’d throw the charger on the battery for an hour or so and it’d be fine for a couple of weeks, then after she sat for a few days, I’d have the same issue. Voltage out of the battery without the car running was 10.8 volts, that’s low. Should be around 12.6. With the car running, I was getting right at 14 volts, so I knew the generator was working properly. That battery just wasn’t holding a charge like it should. I also tested for parasitic battery drain and everything checked out ok. The battery is almost 5 years old, time for a new one. This time, I decided to go with a Interstate MT-47. It got good reviews even though it cost a bit more compared to other batteries. It doesn’t have the protective cap over the positive terminal, but the case is built to prevent any accidental grounding. For added protection, you can always throw a piece of rubber, such as an old floor mat, over top of the battery as well. [Read more…]

Installing A Hard Start Relay

Hard Start RelayHard Start RelayHard Start RelayHard Start RelayHard Start RelayHard Start RelayHard Start RelayHard Start RelayThere are numerous reasons why you may want to install a hard start relay on your vintage VW. A hard start relay basically directs the electrical current from the battery, through the relay and to the starter motor instead of routing it through the ignition switch. This eliminates a path of approximately 15′ of wiring and potentially bad connections. Once installed, your ignition key simply activates the relay. You can pick up a 4 post, 12v relay at most automotive stores, Ebay or Amazon for around 5 dollars. I already had some 12 gauge wiring and terminals, so I only have about 5 dollars and 30 minutes invested in to this project. You can buy ready made kits, but they can be pretty expensive, up to 35 dollars. Mabel wasn’t exhibiting any syntoms that would justify the install of the hard start relay, but not knowing what the future may hold, I thought I’d go ahead and install one. You don’t have to be a electrical genius to install the relay, but it does help to have the right tools. It doesn’t require any cutting or splicing of the original wiring. Wiring will vary from year to year, so depending on the age of your VW, your install may differ just a bit, but for the most part, it’ll be the same. If you look at the first pic, you’ll see that I’ve labeled what connector goes where on the relay. Start by disconnecting the battery. Locate the wire that goes from the ignition switch to the starter solenoid. Unless your VW has had previous wiring changes, more than likely, it’ll be a larger red wire with a quick disconnect. This wire will go to pin 87 on the relay. Make up a jumper that will go from pin 85 to the ignition switch (quick disconnect). Next, you need to make up a ground wire that will go from pin 86 on the relay to ground. I grounded mine where I mounted it to the floor pan support. Now you’ll need to make up a cable that’ll go from the positive post on the battery to pin 30 on the relay. You can also run this from the B+ post on the voltage regulator if you don’t want to run it to the battery. Lastly, you’ll need to mount the relay. You can mount it just about anywhere that will ensure a good ground. I chose the floor pan support. Don’t forget to connect your ground wire to the relay.

Repair The Repaired Surfboard

Repairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardRepairing The Repaired SurfboardLenora acquired a Rusty surfboard for Mabel a couple of months ago from friends who had picked it up at a VW show in another state. I’d been looking for one for a while and if you’re lucky enough to even find one for sale around north eastern Kentucky, they’re very, very expensive. I’ve been told that this is an early 70’s board that had been damaged some time in it’s life and repaired. It’s supposed to be a quality board, honestly, I don’t know. It’ll probably never see water again unless Mabel is getting a bath, for the rest of it’s life, it’s just a prop. I decided to “redo” the repair only because whoever had done the original repair didn’t take a lot of time to camouflage it. It actually looked pretty bad. This time around, I’m not going to try to hide the repair, just make it look better. Just like Mabel, I want people to see all of the bumps and bruises, that’s what gives it character. I’d thought about having it repainted originally, but I’m sure it’s probably not worth spending anymore money on it. Again, it’s just a prop. I did print some new Rusty logos to put over the repair just so people could see what kind of board it is. I may clear coat it in a couple of days or may just leave it the way it is….I like the way it turned out.

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