Last November 30, I was supposed to help out a friend to make his VW Beetle start. The carburetor was of the manifold and the starter was not mounted. This has been in storage for a bout a year and it was decided that the fuel tank would have to be brought down to be cleaned. Gasoline will become stale in about three months. And the brakes would have to be serviced just to make sure they were not stuck up. Unfortunately he had to cancel that day because of possibility of cleaning of the gas tank may bother neighbors and his folks. Well, I would understand that part but the reason was he sort of got worried that I may not fit or would have trouble going under the car. I told no problem with that… I was supposed to bring a three-on jack and four jack stands. My main concern was if I still knew my way around a VW Beetle. I haven’t worked on a Beetle since the mid 1990s. Then I remembered that when I was selling my collection of VW magazines, my friend got a whole lot of them and he also got a book (idiot manual) on how to fix you air cooled VW. I asked him if he still had it and, yes, he still did. That would make my life easier, although I still have another book that cover car maintenance of early 1970s cars, I would still be nice to have a book dedicated to VWs.
Now a week after that, we spoke again and the idea of bringing the car here to my house was becoming an option (YAHOO!!!). We were thinking of having it towed but we don’t have the budget as of the moment. I can’t wait to have the Bug here in my garage… am already thinking of upgrades to make it more dependable. Upgrade to a Pertronix ignition system to for go the contact point and condenser… he, he, he… the list could go on and on. The beauty of a VW Beetle is that they very simple to maintain. With a set off tools and some mechanical know how, you will be able to fix it all by yourself. I used to do the oil change, valve adjusting, setting ignition timing, changing the spark plugs… adjusting the rear brakes was done by a mechanic simply because I did not have the tools needed to remove the retaining nut for the drum brakes. Electricals??? I have burned a few harnesses trying to trace a problem. If you’re that adventurous, you could even take down the engine and take whole car apart with just the basic tools. If you like old cars and would want to learn how to tinker around, this would be nice car to learn on. Parts are available from VW parts specialist, for a stock look all the way to full-blown drag car or highway cruiser. And the history of this car is well documented, from development to worldwide success. And the car club scene is very active, you would be surprised at the number of car clubs around the world and the number of VW’s still running around.
If I am able to get the Bug in my garage soon, I’ll try and share with you some pictures and work that will be needed to be done to get back on the road. It’s the season for giving and sharing. Give yourself a chance to own and take care of a classic or vintage car, and share the knowledge you gain in building them so you could have happy memories to share with your loved ones.