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Thread: Volkswagon Mechanics Talk To Me

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    14,367

    Volkswagon Mechanics Talk To Me

    I recently acquired this 1967 VW dune buggy knowing that it would be a bit of a project before I could get it on the road. It runs good just needs a tune up but I will need to replace some parts here and there to get it where it needs to be. Most of the parts are on order, new brake shoes, stuff for the shifting linkage, engine tune up parts and a couple new high back seats. The original fuse box needs to be updated and the wiring is a mess, some lights work and some don't

    Once the mechanical work is done it needs a new paint job and interior which I will farm out to local shops.

    1967 Buggy.jpg

    I owned a 1966 Beetle, a 1972 Beetle and a VW van in the past so I have some minor experience working on Volkswagon's but it has been many decades ago.
    Friendly advice is welcome! I have questions...
    Last edited by Keith Outten; 03-07-2022 at 7:54 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2021
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    Columbia MO and Howard County MO
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    770
    Keith, That is going to be fun! We have lots of experience riding in and learning to drive in VWs. Doreen's family had, Beetles, A Square Back and a Karman Giah. We had Karman Gihas and Beetles. I Learned how to fix stripped spark plug threads with a Heli Coil and to replace the clutch. My brother is a crack VW mechanic and still has some sleepers. I have been looking (dreaming) at the kits from Scotland for converting Beetles and Karman Gihas to electric.
    Last edited by Maurice Mcmurry; 03-07-2022 at 8:43 AM.
    Best Regards, Maurice

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    McKinney, Texas
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    Fun - just sold mine a few years ago. I miss it terribly. Was a complete basket case when I got it, but after restoring it, took first at the TX VW Classic once. Put a 2276 in it. Sold it when the kids started doing wheel stands in the high school parking lot with it.

  4. #4
    In an impetuous moment I cut 100% of the old wiring out of a ‘72 BMW 2002. Impetuous is the best I can give myself on this as all the other descriptions, well, you know. Anyway. If a wire wasn’t cracked when I grabbed it it was when I let it go. Once it was all out I took a wiring diagram to kingco and had a 3x4’ blow-up on the garage wall and went at it. I bought wire and a “Painless Precision” (it wasn’t)modern fuse panel from Summit to run things. The new wire was very nice to work with and the job turned out well, but it took the whole winter to finish it, but it was winter and I couldn’t drive it anyway. Make sure you source good connectors prior to starting. I had a problem tracking them down. I learned a lot and the car was reliable electrically and I got a lot of ooo’s and aaah’s at the car shows.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Friendly advice is welcome! I have questions...
    The hardest question to answer is the one that isn't asked.

    My VW experience was years ago, a few bugs, a few busses and a fast back. Helped a lot of friends fix or maintain theirs.

    Got tired of changing the oil and adjusting the valves all the time.

    Everyone thought I was crazy with my 1957 buss with the 40 horse engine. They all told me it would only get 30,000 miles before having to replace thee engine. It got over 70,000 before the speedo cable broke and went another year or two before selling it. It was always driven gently and was serviced regularly.

    The guy it was sold to didn't take care of it and killed it within a couple months.

    Everyone else tried driving them like a race car or a V8 truck and blew their engines with low miles.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    I can build a VW blindfolded with one hand tied behind my back. What do ya need to know?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Virginia and Kentucky
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    I have a Ghia and owned several bugs. The book you want is "How to keep your Volkswagen alive" by John Muir. He was an engineer/hippie and it's the best book to help you in any endeavor.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malcolm Schweizer View Post
    I can build a VW blindfolded with one hand tied behind my back. What do ya need to know?

    Oooh...and you're nearly local to Keith, too. Sounds like a good opportunity to commiserate in person.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
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    Just took my 78 convertible beetle for a spin. Mine is all original except I replaced the front drums with discs. They are fairly easy to work on but adjust the valves before you do any other work on it. You definitely need two books: the Muir book and the Bentley manual (the blue one). And join us on the samba forum, there are folks with incredible knowledge on there.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Allan Dozier View Post
    Just took my 78 convertible beetle for a spin. Mine is all original except I replaced the front drums with discs. They are fairly easy to work on but adjust the valves before you do any other work on it. You definitely need two books: the Muir book and the Bentley manual (the blue one). And join us on the samba forum, there are folks with incredible knowledge on there.
    To adjust valves on my beetle, I used to back it up on ramps, using fan belt for a lifting loop, lower engine out the bottom. Then pick it up (by myself) and place it on a work bench to adjust valves.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Wrenn View Post
    To adjust valves on my beetle, I used to back it up on ramps, using fan belt for a lifting loop, lower engine out the bottom. Then pick it up (by myself) and place it on a work bench to adjust valves.
    That sounds like a lot of work for a job that usually took me about 15 minutes.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Hayes, Virginia
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    I suspected that there would be plenty of VW expertise here, its good to know I don't have to go elsewhere for advice.

    1) I recently viewed a video that had very bad reviews of the EMPI disc brake upgrade. It seems that there is about 30 thousands of flex in their casting. I have just about decided to replace the brake shoes rather then to do the disc upgrade. What I have found is the the front end of the car is so light it doesn't make a lot of sense to change the front to disc brakes even though almost all cars rely on front wheel braking the most. If I decided to upgrade the rear brakes to discs I am not sure how that will affect the master cylinder or if it needs to be replaced. I have not determined if I should replace all of the flexible brake lines yet.

    2) I would like to replace the existing fuse box. The old style ceramic fuses are probably ok but it seems to me that the new style fuses are more reliable. I found a new style replacement fuse box at CarolinaDuneBuggies but it is listed for $123.00 which seems a bit expensive. I expect I could cruise the junk yards here and fine a suitable fuse box pretty cheap from just about any model car or truck. I haven't been in a junk yard for decades so I don't know what to expect these days

    3) the rear shocks are currently air shocks. They seem to be holding pressure ok but at higher pressures they raise the back end and force the wheels to turn in at the bottom. I won't know any more about the suspension until I get the car in the shop on a lift and remove the wheels so I can get a better look. I'm pretty sure that there will be suspension parts that will need to be replaced. More later when I get more information.

    4) I ordered am EMPI shifter, its a clone of the orginal Hurst shifter I had in my 66 Beetle. I am waiting on the parts to replace the rear shift coupler and I already have the front (Heavy Duty) bushing kit replacement in hand. This should totally tighten up the shifting issue.

    More later with pictures as I move forward and incorporate your comments/advise.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
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    NC Piedmont
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    Just my opinion but changing the rear drum brakes to discs is overkill. Plus if you stay with drums there you don't have to change parking brake. Supposedly if you change to discs just in front you can keep the same master cylinder. However, I needed to replace my MC so I went with the larger one. I think even though the front end is light the weight shift when braking still is very biased to the front. Having said all that, the original drum brakes are plenty adequate for about town driving especially in flat geography.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Allan Dozier View Post
    Just my opinion but changing the rear drum brakes to discs is overkill. Plus if you stay with drums there you don't have to change parking brake. ...
    Channel surfing, I saw a recent auto fix-it network show on upgrading to discs. They used new rear disc that preserves the parking brake function (a mini drum machined in the hub of the rotor?). Presentation of this feature was 3-5sec long, so details are sketchy - but they exist.

  15. #15
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    Keith - that looks like a lot of fun. Curious in '67 if the MC is single or dual-circuit. Might be something to consider if single-circuit. I don't think the modification would be that hard.
    Regards,

    Kris

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