The BugShop: Reader Contributions
This page last modified- 11/3/01

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Another method to clear clogged heat riser tubes

From: Bill ?


        I just read your article regarding cleaning the carbon deposits
from a heat riser tube.  Last year, I used hydrochloric acid.  A
bottle can be found at almost any home hardware store and costs
about $10.  Just pour it in, wait a few minutes, and pour it out
again.  Rinse with water and you're done.  If the buildup is bad, you
may have to repeat a few times.


My comments: Thanks Bill.  Another good fix for a common and stubborn problem.


How to get late model Beetle front seats out

From: David?

 I found what I needed. so I'll forward it on to you.

 Type 2 70 onwards suberbug, L bug and brazil import. These seats are
 all similiar to the type 1 except they have a small metal tab on the outside runner.
 This is to stop the seat falling or sliding out like it did in the type 1. To
 remove do the same as the type one only when you kneel beside the beetle get
 a flat tip screw driver and lever the small tab on the outside runner to
 allow the front of the seat frame to slide forward. Once the front is past
 it the rest of the seat will happilly follow.

 The little tab is well hidden but once found the seats come out with some
 ease.  Giving credit where due Brad Connel of Queensland Australia provided this

 Thanks for your advice. Regards


My comments: I dug this out of my e-mail archives after years of people asking me this question.

Alternative to Roof Tar Undercoating

From: Wes Leitch

> John
> Thanks for the site.  Lotsa good information.
> In the section on sealing the floor pans, I would like to
> recommend, instead of using roofing tar, use a new
> product called "Herculiner" made to paint pickup truck
> beds instead of plastic liners.  Comes in gallon cans
> complete with brushes for corners and tight places and
> 2 -  4 inch rollers for the rest.  Dries hard fairly quick
> and easy to work with.
> Thanks again.
> Wes Leitch

My comments: A quick search and you guessed it, www.  Their site says that K-Mart sells this stuff.

Replacing the Shift Bushing

 From: Kurt Merbach


Thought you might be interested in another way to install a shifter bushing. A couple of months ago I read your write up on shifter bushing replacement. The shifter in my '71 was really sloppy, so I decided to replace the bushing. Also, around the same time, there was an article in Hot VW's magazine about shifter bushing replacement. The way you explained how to do it vs. Hot VW's way, was a little different. You said to put the clip on the bushing AFTER you put the bushing in and the rod through it. Hot VW's said to put the clip on the bushing BEFORE installing the bushing in the car. I tried your way first, and I could not get the clip onto the bushing after I had pushed the rod through it. I just ended up bending the clip. I ordered another bushing and clip, and tried to do it the way Hot VW's recommended. That didn't work either. I just kept pushing the whole bushing and clip right through its holding plate. What a pain to try to get the bushing and clip out once it had dropped down into the channel.

After allot of frustration, decided to try it a different way. I put the clip on the bushing and then shoved the bushing onto the very end of the shifter rod (with a lot of grease). I then put the rod, with the bushing and clip pushed onto the end of it, in through the front of the car. To my amazement, the bushing and clip popped right into place.

Kurt MerbachDeptford,

My comments: Good tip Kurt. Yes, people have e-mailed me for a while saying my way either worked or it didn't. I guess that they are all different. But at least the reader here knows now THREE ways try!

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    Setting/Adjusting rear spring plates

     From: George East/John Kelly

    {from the RAMVA newsgroup, George posted:}

    I have torsion bar and spring plate installation stuff in the 58 manual. It's all measured in degrees though, one notch on the torsion bar = 9 degrees. One spline on the spring plate = 8 degrees 10 minutes, there by allowing for adjustments to 0 degrees 50 minutes. Could scan the pages and send to you if you interested. No load spring plates should measure 12 degrees plus or minus 30 minutes.

    {John added:}

    The Bentley manual has the proper spring plate angle listed I believe. For my purposes, I've found that one notch either direction on the inside spline, and one notch the other direction on the outside spline equals about 1/8" difference in ride height. In other words, 6 one way and 6 the other equals about 3/4" difference in ride height.

    My comments: Thanks to George and John, people ask about this stuff all the time. I don't think that those specs are any different for the later years, but you might want to check.

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    Another Security Idea

     From: Jon Turner

    VW Beetles, especially the early models, are very easy to steal. Since there's no lock on the steering column, all that's required is to break out the vent window, pop the hood and connect the wires at the back of the key switch. Presto -- in under 30 seconds your precious Beetle is now a statistic.

    I was thinking about theft prevention a few years ago... trying to come up with a non-intrusive (pun intended) way to help prevent the theft of my '66 Beetle. It just so happend that the Fox TV station was showing one of their "dumbest criminals" television programs and one of the segments dealt with car theives. It seems that the local police, in an effort to combat car thefts, placed a "booby trapped" target car in a high-crime area and waited for the car to be stolen. The cars were also equipped with hidden cameras, which detailed the theft. And here's the important part -- not one of the five or six thieves took the time to fasten his seat belt. Not once!

    So it occured to me that since theives don't use safety belts, this might make an ideal add-on to a theft prevention system. I propose using a latching relay, triggered by the "warning buzzer" switch in the driver's seatbelt. Once the belt is latched and the key turned, power is switched to the coil. Unless the safety belt is fastened, the car will refuse to start -- it will crank, crank, crank, but not fire.. And by using a *latching* relay, the belt may be safely unlatched after the car is running without killing the engine.

    It's no match for a complete security system, but it may just provide enough frustration to encourage the thief to "move on" and find another target.


    P.S. There are several good, easy-to-install security items available for the Beetle. The best is a locking steering column, which was an option on mid-1960's Beetles. They're hard to find, but they go a long way to securing a parked car. Additionally, a locking shifter is available for under $50.00 from the aftermarket.

    My comments: Neat idea. While the smarter thief might be inclined to try buckling thinking of a seatbelt interlock as found in newer cars, he wouldn't likely expect it in a 60s Beetle!!

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    Ideas for theft-proofing your Beetle

     From: James "the Berserk"

    Alarms cost some money, and are largely ignored by the general public. (Ask yourself, do you call the cops when you hear one go off? Neither does anyone else.) About the only thing I think they are good for is if someone is attempting to tow or trailer your car away. And all the their would have to do is drill a hole into the battery to disable it. Yes, a cordless drill is a tool of the trade to a car thief. The best form of anti-theft is to disable the car. My first choice is the gas petcock. You install one between the tank and the fuel pump in a discreet place. When turned to off, it will allow the thief to start your car and drive a half a block or less. The car will die due to fuel starvation, and the thief will abandon the car in the middle of the street, where someone will report it promptly and the police will handle it. Next best is to cut off the battery power, making starting your car impossible without the thief finding the cut off switch. Combining the two of them is most effective. Also, use a Club, or similar device. Don't rely on the Club alone though. Thieves will cut a section of the steering wheel off to remove it, or remove the steering wheel and put in the spare they carry for just such situations to drive off with it.

    I suppose the ultimate would be to obtain two "Denver" boots, one for the front, one for the rear. However, I have yet to see them for sale to the general public.

     -- James the berzerk aka "Kommandar Kombi and his Lost Planet Aircooleds"

    My comments: Well worth doing. Nobody who ever got their prize stolen ever thought "it would happen to them".

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    Plugging Fuel Lines During Repair

     From: Dave Tosi

    Chris Beckett wrote:

    > I decided to go ahead and do the tranny work myself, but I have one
    > problem (remember I am new to this stuff). How do I keep the fuel
    > line from oozing gas all over my arm and what do I stop it up with. I
    > am at the engine removal stage. Bentley says nothing and Muir says to
    > stick a pencil in it. The pencil sounds o.k. but will it break off
    > inside? Are there better suggestions for plugging up the fuel line?

    Hey Chris,

    I've used wood golf tees for years. They are tapered and strong, don't rust and have no chance of creating sparks. They also fit many different diameter lines: fuel, smog, brake, etc.

    '71 T1 daily driver
    '65 T1 unbder resto

    My comments: Good tip Dave, God knows it is more humane use of tees than what I do to them on the golf course!

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    Heater Channel Reality

     From: Jon Turner

    Well done. As you presumed, I am in total agreement. It will be a long time before I replace another set of channels-- it is hard work.

    Buying a Beetle with rusty heater channels is like buying a house with a crumbling foundation. Sure, it can be fixed, but it's serious work and if not done properly can cause more damage than before the "operation." Unless there's something really special about the car, or unless it's almost a give-away price, keep looking if the channels are rotten. Trust me, it's major surgery.

    Replacing the channels _porperly_ (that is to say, making it appear as an original factory installation) can take a several months of evenings and weekends. As with any restoration process, it will consume as much time and money as you want to give it. Anyone who has completed a total "as it left the factory" restoration will back me up on this. "Right" = "expensive!"

    Alternatively, there's the "good enough" approach. Cut away the old channels with a reciprocating saw and a grinder and buttweld the new channels in place without worring too much about appearance. This can be accomplished in a weekend or two. No, it won't appear factory, but it will restore the structural rigidity of the vehicle and the heat. Frankly it's just fine for street cars.

    John's point about rust forming on the backside of welds due to the heat baking off the paint is an _excellent_ one. Keep in mind as you weld that every bead will result in the bare metal backside of the panel exposed to the atmosphere. Unless you can coat that surface, it will rust eventually. Weld only where required -- a full bead front-to-back isn't necessary -- an inch-long weld every few inches is plenty and will result in minimal rust.

     Jon Turner

    My comments: Bill furthered the (cautionary) text on heater channels in my "Dealing with Rust" article that I posted over at the newsgroup. He has done this job an knows what he is talking about.

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    Heater Channel Replacement Tip

    From: Bill Berry

    When doing a "body on" heater channel replacement, jack up the car on the side you're working on by the bottom door hinge pin.This will align your body perfectly. You'll only be able to open the door a few inches to check the alignment of the door. I usually tend to keep it a little tighter toward the top of the door(but not too tight).I use the VW jack but you have to be careful about opening the door too much, it will slip. I've often wanted to try using a bottle jack with a small pin welded to the top of it that could fit into the bottom of the hinge, but I continue to make due with the VW jack. Oh, and make sure you support the car with jack stands, unless you have all four wheels on the ground. Once I have the heater channel into place and supported, I jack the door hinge until I get the alignment I need. Enter the car from the opposite door and spot weld a few areas, then check the door alignment.(it works for me).

     Bill Berry Orange, Mass

    My comments: Good one, Bill.

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    Even More Fuel Filter Stuff...

     From: Eric Schumacher

    Hi John

    Nice page, finally got around to checking it all out. On the bug tip regarding the location of the fuel filter there is a problem.

    The reason the fuel filter is always placed after the pump is to avoid cavitation in the fuel (an extreme example of this is vapor lock) When you reduce the pressure on the fuel (by sucking on it) you lower its boiling point, when you pressurize the fuel you raise its boiling point. The filter likes to have fuel forced thru it rather than pulled thru it. Note that on FI vehicles like CIS/CIS-E injected cars that the inlet line to the pump is larger than the outlet line just to avoid this effect. The strainer in the tank is plenty fine enough to remove stuff that will muck up the pump. Those VW guys usually have valid engineering reasons behind their designs.

    Lotsa Luck Eric
    85 GTI with VR6 Power

    My comments: I thought I heard something "cavitating" when I drove......

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  • Assessing an Engine

     From: Jay Fleming

    John, I just stumbled onto your website tonight, and have enjoyed your work. I've owned a '70 Beetle, and am hoping to find another (of same or earlier vintage) to restore. One tip for use in examining the motors I learned from a brother-in-law who used to repair VWs is to grab the crank pulley (engine not running, of course) and pull/push it back and forth. A good, tight motor will have very little play. I have seen some motors which sounded strong, but had up to 1/8 inch or more play. Thanks again for an excellent site!

    Jay Fleming

    My comments:

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    More Fuel Filter Location Stuff

     From: Charles Nemrac

    Here's a contribution--there is one in there by Jon Turner (I believe) about the fuel filter and why it should be located before the pump and he explains it well. It was finally determined at the end of that thread that the reason for the filter between the pump and the carb was to filter out small bits of the pump's diagram that may start to detiorate and break off. The most thorough method then is having one before and another after the pump, but I believe that just using one filter after the pump will catch both the junk from the tank and the pump diagram chunks (I mean, you should clean the screen on the fuel pump regularly anyway, right?).

    Charles Nemrac

    My comments: I'm sold, mine have always been "after" the pump.

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  • Quick Engine Removal Summary

     From: Jim Mais

    With a 17mm box wrench you can remove the two nuts at the bottom of the engine. Then with a 17mm socket and a long extension, remove the bolt that is up by the clutch lever. Finally, with the 17mm wrench, remove the nut behind the fan housing that holds the starter on.

    Before you loosen the last nut, have the engine supported on a jack or dolly. You'll need to figure out how you will get the car high enough to snake the engine out from underneath.

    Don't work under the car without jack stands supporting it.

    Pinch off the fuel line so it doesn't drip and don't use a trouble light anywhere under the car where fuel could drip. Many a mechanic has been disfigured for life from gas dripping on a hot bulb!

    Everybody has his own trick for getting the car high enough when pulling the engine. Here's mine when you only have a floor jack...

    I have a very low wheeled dolly to drop the engine into. Jack up car enough to pull the rear wheels off. (You can jack at the tanny front mount or under the tunnel with some supports added.) Lower the car so the engine is just sitting on the dolly. Loosen the last nut and slide the engine back. Check that distr will clear. Make sure engine doesn't drop suddenly before the tranny shaft has cleared the clutch. You may have to raise the car slightly as you're doing all this to make clearance. When the engine is fully clear of the tranny shaft, raise the car as high as it will go and slide the engine out on the dolly.

    To re-install it's important to rotate the engine pulley slightly as you slide it in so that the splines slip into the clutch. Have the tranny in gear with the e-brake on.

    As I said, there's lots of ways to skin this cat; but that's mine!

    Speedy jim

    My comments: An excellent quick summary. My sound ominous to a first-timer, but it really ain't that bad. But make sure you have a good floor jack, it is the key....

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    Easy Brake Bleeder

     From: Dave Hall

    I guess there are some occasions when these gadgets are needed, or quicker, but I've never needed more than a tube that fits the nipple well, with a bolt to plug the other end, a razor-blade slit in the side near the bottom and a small jar with string. The slit acts as a simple valve,stopping fluid going back in.

    Unless you bleed the brakes often, it pays to run a fair bit of fluid through them anyway. By this time, the tube is full of fluid, and if a little fluid gets back in, no harm is done.


    My comments: Cool, gotta try it myself sometime!

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    Valve cover gaskets

    From: Jason Stambaugh

    I was reading your FAQ on valve adjustments. I agree that adjusting the valves is very important to the VW. But I was thrown off when you were talking about silcone and gaskets. I use new gaskets at every valve adjustment, and I never use any glue, silicone or grease to put it back together. They don't leak. You shouldn't have to worry about any adhesive if the mating surfaces are clean, straight and the springs are good.

    On the other hand, I am kinda of wierd about the oil gaskets (under the engine). Since I buy mostly paper oil gaskets, which are pretty much designed to leak, I coat them with a penetrating, high temp, sealant. This prevents oil from soaking into and through them. They clean up easy, and work well.

    From one idea to another....Jason

    My comments: This just reinforces one of the points I mention all of the time. The stuff in my FAQs is just the way I have always done it, not necessarily the right way. I guess my only comment would be that the silicone would at the very least hold the gasket in place on the cover while you put it on. But surely if you are replacing them every time, you'd save yourself some effort by using nothing as Jason says.   Jason is referring to the oil strainer cover gaskets (usually grey cardboard) in the second paragraph. Seems like another good idea.

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    What years are best?

     From: Dan Epperly

    Years don't matter as much as the individual bug--how has it been cared for how many miles on it, etc. Normal stuff. Of course, the older a car is the more worn out it tends to be, and the more expensive are the parts. 1960s on down are expensive to fix if they have the 36hp or the earlier 25 hp in them, but they have the look that many people like.

    61s through 65s come stock with a 40 horse (66 have the 1300), but most have been converted to 1600s somewhere down the line, and are great values cause they look "vintage" but were produced in large numbers. However, there seem to be fewer and fewer of them, even here in So Cal. Plus they have more modern nicities.

    '67s are expensive cause they are one offs, so body damage can get expensive 'cause of one year fenders, aprons, etc. Plus interior pieces are one year, adding even more expense.

    68-70s are run-of-the-mill, with 1600 single port motors, padded dashes, funky bumpers. They are good values though, 'cause the collectors and restorers don't buy them...yet.

    71-74s have the dual ports, a bit quicker, more refinements--forced air via a fan, bigger brakes, etc. Also are good values. Few people want them, except people in search of cheap least so far.

    Cabrios are always more expensive, and more work, what with the windows and rubber not to mention the top, but well worth it. They hold their value and are a true joy to drive (not that me owning one skews my opinion).

    Good luck in your search, but take you time, and investigate the different "looks" of the different years so you buy what you truly love.

    My comments: Dan had replied to a post over at the newsgroup about what years are the best. I thought he did an outstanding job in summarizing the years in just a few paragraphs! Took me 8 pages.

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  • Bugtricks: Bill B

     From: Bill B

    When installing a clutch cable, tie the cable onto the pedal assembly hook with a bread bag twist tie.

    Also , when installing the engine mounting bolt over the starter, use putty or Playdough to keep the bolt from pushing out. This way you won't have to bother your wife to hold them for you!

    Bill B

    My comments: Play Dough. Better than "Honey!? Can you come out here for just a sec!?"

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    BugTricks: Jim Mais

     From: Jim Mais

    My Favorite VW Tricks

    It's often wise to test run an engine on the floor before installing it. Can save a lot of grief. I whacked off the bell housing from an old tranny and keep a spare starter motor on it. It's then a simple matter to loosely bolt it up to an engine and crank it over.

    When re-painting a Bug, the ideal situation is to have all the glass and rubber moldings removed so as to leave a clean line between rubber and paint. But on many jobs, the extra effort and expense is not justified. Masking the rubber is tedious and rarely leaves a good result. I found that a sheet of plastic (like cheap, thin drop cloth material) can be inserted between the molding and the body and wrapped around the glass area to produce a perfect mask. I use a wide blade drywall taping knife to push the plastic into the crevice. It takes a little skill but, once learned, the masking goes rapidly. And because the plastic sheet pulls the rubber away from the body slightly, paint sprayed on actually gets behind the rubber. The result is a paint job that looks just like the moldings had been taken out. Replace the plastic after spraying the primer; if you don't, the dried primer will flake off the plastic into the color coat. Note: This trick doesn't work quite so well on the door glass

    Here in the rust belt, it is difficult to keep the electrical connections on the stop light switches from corroding. And changing a switch in the dead of winter is no fun! Any time I replace one I solder new, long pig-tail wires to the terminals. Then pot the assembly in silicone rubber to keep the moisture and salt out.

    This last trick I can't take credit for. I saw it in a repair shop. What do you do when you have a swing axle car in the shop with the tranny removed. Tough to maneuver the car around without tying up a floor jack. The owners of this shop had built a small bracket that bolts to the front tranny mount studs. At the bottom of the bracket was a single hevi-duty swivel caster. The car would roll around the shop like a baby carriage!

     Speedy jim

    My comments: Jim is a "regular" over at and obviously has LOTS of practical VW experience.

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    Testimonial: Intake manifold torch trick

     From: James Lafflam

    [From my FAQ article "Clearing carbon clogged heat riser tube]

     So trick #1 is this. Remove the manifold and carb. Now, using and oxy acetylene torch with a very small tip/flame and the manifold secured in a vise (ie. not holding it with your hands), heat the inside of one of the riser tube openings until the black carbon glows red. Not too hot as to get the metal glowing; you don't want to deform the tube. Then quickly cut the acetylene on the torch and boost the oxygen when the flame goes out. The pure oxygen will fuel the carbon burn all the way into the tube. You may have to do it several times, alternating end to end until the tube is clear.

    I did this once. But I also used an air compressor blowing across the opposite end to draw a vacuum in the tube. When I hit it with the oxygen, all that carbon blew out of the tube like a volcano! It was so cool at the time, but I'm lucky I didn't get burned or get any of it my eyes. RECOMMENDATION: WEAR EYE AND FACE PROTECTION!



    My comments: YES! There is unsolicited evidence that I am not a crackpot!

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    Difference between bugs, beetles, and supers

     From: Rob Boardman

    Kristofer wrote:
    > What are some of the major differences between bugs, beetles, and
    > super beetles?


    Bug, Beetle, Kaffer, Dakdak and others are all generic names for the Type 1 VW - the rounded body sedan with the 'upright' engine with the fan mounted behind the generator/alternator. (type 2s are buses, Kombis etc; type 3s are the sedan, variant, fastback with the 'pancake' - flattened - engine.)

    The beetle came with MANY modifications over the years (I have a comprehensive list I'm compiling which will hopefully be available on John Henry's pages at soon, and there are several other sites on the web with these lists in various forms) but a few of the major ones are the rear suspension changing from swing axle (pivoted only at the gearbox end) in 1968 to double joint rear axle (which has a joint at both gearbox end and wheel end so the rear wheels bounce straight up and down). In some countries, the double joint rear axle did not come in until a year of two later. These axles are sometimes erroneously called Independant Rear Suspension (IRS), where in fact ALL beetles have IRS. You'll see lots of references to swing axles and Double joint axles.

    All beetles with torsion bar front suspensions (two horizontal tubes under the front carry the torsion bars). These are known as STANDARD beetles.

    The biggest change came in the 71 model - the so called SUPERBUG or just SUPER - this has McPherson Strut front suspension, which means vertical coil springs on a strut behind the front wheels. These models have a more bulbous nose, with the spare wheel flat in the front instead of vertical, and from 73 they have distinctive curved windscreens.

     The Standard beetle continued to be built after 71 too, and I believe that the current Mexican beetle is a standard, rather than super model.

    My comments: He refers to his L O N G reference list, see the index.

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    Reading your spark plugs

     From: Rob Boardman

    There have been a number of posts recently about spark plugs, and since I recently got an information sheet from NGK about reading spark plugs, I thought there would be lots of VW owners out there who are interested, so here it is.

     Although it's about NGK plugs, I'm sure it would be useful in reading other brands of plugs too.

    Other useful tips from the same publication Platinum plugs are ruined by leaded fuels (which is still available in some countries)

    Gold Palladium plugs can run on any fuel, and are ideal for race engines.

    Thanks NGK

    Looks like (in general) plain old steel plugs are best for VWs!

    Hope you find this useful.

    My comments: Yet more data from Rob.

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    Putting the window regulator back in

     From: Barry Templeton

    With the help of your FAQ and dogged determination, I finally have my window back in. The key point that is not mentioned anywhere is that, at least on a 67, the vent window assembly must be removed to remove or reinstall the regulator. The regulator "snake" must be between the inner door skin and the channel that makes up the back of the vent window assembly. When you stop and think about it, this is obvious but it is not obvious when you are out in the driveway trying to put it back together.

    My comments: Barry had struggled with getting a regulator back in his '67 door. He's right, it reminded me of some cussing in my lifetime....

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  • Single point lift regulator works with 1 piece window

     From: Doug King

    Hi John,

    Great write-up. I read it through the first day. Just a couple of points for you...

    I have a '69 bug and it has the single point lift regulator. I've had a couple of 69's and they've all had this type of regulator. I have installed one-piece windows with this regulator (the instructions seemed to be for this type of regulator). On my first one, the windows worked perfectly. But on my current bug, one of the windows tilts forward badly when rolled up. I have to pull it back manually. The instructions imply that I've don't have the balance right. I haven't tried changing it yet. It works well enough that I haven't gone through the trouble of installing the two-point lift regulator. I was told that I'd have to make some mounts or drill some mounting holes. Don't know for sure though.

    Hope this helps.
    Thanks for the great write up.

    Douglas King

    My comments: Regarding my "Doors" article. Never seen it work, but hey, if he says so, I believe him!

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    Where is YOUR Fuel Filter?

     From: Jon Turner

    [I posted this on the newsgroup]

    Someone replied to my e-mail about my "Fuel Path" article. He said "Don't you mean the fuel filter goes BEFORE the pump, not between the pump and the carb?". He cited some decent reasons why it should go there (lower pressure line, less likely to leak).

    But every beetle I have owned or seen, had the fuel filter between the pump and carb. (I know that at least up until the late 60s, VW never put a filter down back, they always relied on the tank screen. I'm talking about the "aftermarket" fuel filter that most people use)

    What do you do (think)?

    John Henry

    Hi John,

    Bob Hoover, in his Sermons, addressed this issue. He recommended, and I concur, placing the fuel filter *before* the pump, never after (i.e. betw. the pump and carb). The reasoning being that a neglected, heavily clogged and unclamped filter could cause enough pressure so as to be "blown off the line" resulting in a massive fuel discharge and certain fire.

    Now, that assumes a few things, each of which is a problem: 1) someone would allow their filter to get really, really clogged. 2) someone would place an in-line filter without clamps. Very dumb. 3) The fuel pump could produce enough pressure to blow the filter out of the line without the pump diaphragm rupturing. Doubtful, but I wouldn't be surprised if this has happened.

    Anyway, this is an interesting combination of events. It seems to be a sensible conclusion that they could result in a fire. The precaution of placing the fuel filter before the fuel pump is, IMO, a reasonable one to prevent a catastrophic fault, and it is also a change that comes without cost-- that is to say that you lose nothing by placing the filter before the pump, but you gain a bit of additional safety.

    That's my 1 cent's worth, after taxes. :)
    Jon Turner

    My comments: Very sound "lower risk" rationale.

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    How much heat CAN a VW engine put out?

     From: Rob Boardman

    From an old book on the development of air cooled engines (now back in the Library). The general rule (as I remember) was that for any horse power, about another 40% comes out the exhaust.

    60bhp (VW 1600 for example) x 40% = 24hp out the exhuast. About another 40% heat is lost through the heads/cylinders, another 20% or so through the oil, and another 10% lost through friction etc.

    So your 60hp engine actually uses about 130hp, or, to put is another way, your engine is maybe 45% efficient in turning the heat in the fuel into available power at the flywheel.

    BTW that's 60hp SAE, which means WITHOUT any extras like cooling fan and generator attached. The european rating is 47hp DIN, that is, in road condition - everything attached. Interesting isn't it?

    When you take into account loosing maybe half of that again through the gearbox, axle bearings, tyre flexing, wind resistance etc - it's remarkable how little power is actually needed to go 80mph!!!

    My comments: Rob has gained a reputation with me for being able to spew all sorts of (sometimes relevant) numerical data. But this one spoke in favor of the stock heating system.

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    Blasting Abrasive, cheap as dirt

     From: Larry Ditizio


    I made some calls and here is the Scoop... Robinson's hardware stills sells the Black Beauty silicon carbide for $7.98 per 100 lb. bag. In fact they have three grits to choose from: MEDIUM, FINE, and EXTRA FINE, which all cost the same.

    They get the stuff from Reed Minerals, owned by Harsco Inc. which has plants in New Hampshire, New Jersey and West Virginia. The plants also sell the stuff retail at each site. The one closest to me is in Kearny, New Jersey (about 2 1/2 hr. drive). I have relatives that live about 30 min. from there. I will probably make a family visit and take the sport utility and pick up about 400 lbs. since the plant sells the the stuff retail for $5.30 per 100 lb. bag.

    This is truely a well kept secret if the stuff works like you say it does. I use one of those inexpensive "blast out of the bucket" units to work on my stuff, but have only used kids play sand which does not work very well.

    Anyway, thanks for the info.

    Take care,


    My comments: :arry had responded to a post I put out on the newsgroup about being able to buy Black Beauty locally for $9 per 100 lb. bag. Eastwood sells it- $79 for 50 lbs; and you get to pay the shipping.

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    Reader Contributed Page Introduction

     From: ME! (John Henry)

    Welcome to the Reader Contribution section of the BugShop. One of the things I like so much about sharing VW information on the web is that some much more comes back to you. I get a lot of e-mail from the site from enthusiasts all over the world. Lots of encouragement, thanks and questions. But I also get some good advice and suggested changes to my article content, much of which comes from people with more experince with Beetles than me. I try to save that feedback and incorporate it into my stuff when I revise it.

    But a lot of stuff is just good ideas, much of it standing well on its own. So in the first 3 months of the BugShop's existence, I decided to establish a "Reader Contributions" page. A page that I would control what got on and what didn't, but as much as possible leaving the person's own thoughts and details intact. In fact, at one point I asked for "favorite Bug tricks" in the newsgroup and on my main page. I got many good ones.

    So this page will grow, I will index it at the top, so you don't have to scroll down, new entries will be added to the top. It will be a "live" index that you can just click on and jump to that text within this document. This explanitory text will exist at the top of this page for a month or so, then later it will get dropped to the bottom so that the first thing you see is the latest entry.

    This is not a "chat room" or "wall". It is a piece of my information based site that I give to people who contribute stuff that I think is valid and correct and useful. I am pretty open minded, I stress continuously that I don't know everything. I have already posted things here that differ with my recommendations but that I feel are a interesting and well based suggestions and ideas. But if someone sends me a suggestion that I believe is incorrect or out of line with what I am trying to convey, I reserve the right to decline posting it.

    Because it's my site, that's why.

    So stop back often, I have a dozen or so messages to post to get it started. I will try to keep the reader's unedited text when ever possible. Unedited text will appear in GREY text. My text will be black. Feel free to contribute, send me E-mail but please be concise, complete and brief.

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