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General VW Discussion This is a place for General VW topics (the company, not your vehicle). General topics about a specific vehicle should be posted in the General TDI Dicussion Forum sections for that vehicle platform. A4, A3 & B4, B5, etc.

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Old January 8th, 2017, 05:12   #1
aja8888
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Default Going back in time, or how I am re-living my youth! (1971 Beetle)

Some of you know I have been "around" the Forums for nearly 10 years and have acquired and driven a good number of VW diesels spanning three model generations.

I recently turned in a 2014 Passat to VW under Dieselgate that I bought from our good friend Chris in NJ just before he passed. The reason I turned it in was I retired last year and just don't drive it much anymore. I also have a 2003 Jetta TDI with 306,000 miles on it that was a resurrection project last year and I can't part with the thing. We also have a Hyundai Santa Fe that my wife drives. But neither of us really drive "a lot" anymore so the cars are gathering dust. Our big trip last year was to the 2016 TDI Fest in Wisconsin and we also stopped on the way back to visit family. That was 3,000 miles. But most of our driving is local now and that doesn't warrant a late model TDI sedan or wagon.

Just last December, I fell into the purchase of a 1971 Super Beetle that was in a trust of a deceased friend's father-in-law. It was the last asset to sell and I picked it up for the tidy sum of $1,000. The car has been sitting for a year in the hot Texas sun and doesn't currently run. It's history is unknown except that the last two registrations were in Texas and I assume it has been in these parts it's whole life.

Condition-wise, she has had a partial (?) refurbishment and many repairs and replacement parts. There is some new sheet metal behind the engine (firewall) that still has the shipping sticker on it, and it's unpainted. So someone has had the body off this car at one time not too long ago. The car has new seat cover, new carpets, what looks like a new or rebuilt transaxle and hs been totally repainted. That all sounds good, but it doesn't run and 1/2 the lights are not working.

The car was towed to my garage the other day and I am ready to dig into it and "bring it back to life". I am not planning a "rotisserie" rehab or anything like that, although many people do just that and pour $thousands$ into these Bugs. My goal is to get it all sorted out and then drive it (sometimes).

So this is where we start this thread. Please feel free to comment and suggest things, etc. I do have the Bentley manual for this Bug.

Trailing home:




In the garage:



The first thing to address: The hornet's nest of wiring (no computers or circuit boards here)



She's not running but I did get it to fire!

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Old January 8th, 2017, 05:49   #2
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Ha! This brings back memories. I inherited my mom's '72 red bug late in High School days. I remember skimming it like a flat rock across a river ford numerous times with friends (that flat bottom, rear engine weighted body kept it bouncing across!). It just ran and ran for years. She got an orange Thing! No kidding, so it's not like she had given up on the air cooled boxer four. It was a convertible tank. It was easy to spot in traffic.

I also had a '69 a few years later. The emissions controls were simpler, and it got better mileage.

You may need to pull the wiring harness out, check it and re-install the thing. Our Red bug got a shorting problem after someone pulled out in front of me and the front end got damaged. We fixed it, but could never find the bare wire. It needed a charge periodically after that.

If lucky, an ohm meter will suffice to track down the wiring problems to get the lights working again. Have fun!

By the way... after an Uber driver took me out just before Thanksgiving (and totaled my 2014 JSW TDI), I found an '03 ALH wagon in good shape, but needs a new engine. I DO like a project!

NOTE: The Wolfsburg ALH wagon smells like my old VW Bug smelled. I think it is the seat cushions. Distinct aroma caused me to instantly link the TDI with my old BUG!! Wow.
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Last edited by dubStrom; January 8th, 2017 at 14:41.
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Old January 8th, 2017, 06:44   #3
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You know VW built a diesel prototype of the beetle in the 50's?

This brings back memories for me as I have probably worked on a thousand of those in my long career. Wiring issues were often self induced by stereo and other installations, or just plain unfamiliarity with the breed.

That one has the look of nearly all of them I see anymore. Take your time and put it all back to stock form and don't overdo it by any means. I have seen many restoration projects on them where someone has taken the thing all apart and lost half the fasteners and forgotten how to put them back together. Do small projects one at a time completing each one is my best advice.

I can show off my baby here too, 68 beetle survivor car I found. Purchased from original owner 69,000 miles. Garaged much of it's life.



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Old January 8th, 2017, 07:50   #4
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pdq, nice looking Beetle. On the wiring issues, you can't see it because the white flex hose is in the way, but the "add on" horn button power wire stripped end is twisted onto a hot lead spade on the fuse box and held on the spade with a spring type wooden CLOTHESPIN.

Yes, the key will be doing one project at a time and I don't plan on pulling off the body or anything as drastic as that. Right now, the new battery that was in the car is being charged and I have read several threads over at The Samba where a wealth of knowledge on these Bugs exists.

First order of business is wiring and lights, plus pull out the aftermarket radio and then find out what some of the unattached wires go. Also, that ugly looking thing in front of the wiring mess is the defrost blower.

More later.
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Old January 8th, 2017, 09:29   #5
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Thanks, I have been looking for years for just such a find, and I am in a position where I might encounter them more than most and yet it has taken 20 years to stumble on one I could or would afford. And no, I am not going to put a common rail in this one.

Samba is a wonderful source.

Here is how it is supposed to look under the hood. This picture was taken right after I towed it home and opened the hood for the first time. Since then I have cleaned it up a little and gotten a matching spare to the car.
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Old January 8th, 2017, 09:45   #6
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Didn't someone here put a CR in one recently?

Thanks for the view of the wiring cover. I'll have to buy one and also the trunk cover.

This 1971 Beetle is a "1302" designation right when VW elected to build the Super Beetle. This is a one off transition model as it has the flat laying spare (unlike yours), flat dash and flat windshield like yours . It also has the 1600 CC engine. The later Super Beetles had the curved windshield and larger padded dash.
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Old January 8th, 2017, 10:12   #7
pdq import repair
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Red face

I don't know who would be crazy enough to put a CR in a beetle chassis.

I have mocked up a 76 with a mechanical pump diesel engine and it would fit and the hood would shut if a person made a bump that kinda followed the shape of the license plate light. I figure you could mount the plate on the bump to hide it somewhat. Or a 2" body lift might just work instead.

I remember the first of the flat window supers, they were about the pinnacle of the beetle development in my opinion. Everything worked well, still good seats, highest stock horsepower, etc. If only they didn't have the rust vents on the rear side pillars.

They look so much better with the wire covers and liners. Hopefully someone still has them available.
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Old January 8th, 2017, 10:31   #8
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Originally Posted by pdq import repair View Post
I don't know who would be crazy enough to put a CR in a beetle chassis.

I have mocked up a 76 with a mechanical pump diesel engine and it would fit and the hood would shut if a person made a bump that kinda followed the shape of the license plate light. I figure you could mount the plate on the bump to hide it somewhat. Or a 2" body lift might just work instead.

I remember the first of the flat window supers, they were about the pinnacle of the beetle development in my opinion. Everything worked well, still good seats, highest stock horsepower, etc. If only they didn't have the rust vents on the rear side pillars.

They look so much better with the wire covers and liners. Hopefully someone still has them available.
Speaking of parts, I was looking at the usual crowd of online vendors for a rear tail light bulb holder panel as one of mine is cobbled together and literally junk. I could find tons of lenses but no entire tail light assembly or just the bulb holder. I could find entire tail light assemblies for standard Beetles, but not Supers. I may have to find a used tail light or just fabricate a bulb holder out of sheet metal.
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Old January 8th, 2017, 11:56   #9
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Old January 8th, 2017, 12:33   #10
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..............a 1970 Type 1 - with the spare tire psi for the windshield washer - was my grad school buddy.

Calc'd 41 MPG SF to state capitol one time (the #3 exhaust valve finally got me - - - - my bad for being lazy with the .006 feeler gauge...................

Thanks for the memories (B. Hope)

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Old January 9th, 2017, 19:40   #11
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Did some troubleshooting today as some of the lights don't work. When checking a ground, I saw a spark??? Took my circuit test light and saw that ground was alive!! ***??

Checked the battery and saw that the seller put the new battery in backwards! Positive lead to ground!! So I reversed it and then things got somewhat better. Started the car (Ignition switch actually worked when power was applied to the right contact) and ran it for a few seconds, then it shut down. Also started to smell something burning.....smoke was coming out of the voltage regulator. Shut it off for the night and took battery cable off.

I do have a new regulator and will change it out tomorrow as I have the battery on trickle charge for the night. I also need to verify the generator was not fried.

Well, I said I wanted a winter project.
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Old January 10th, 2017, 06:20   #12
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I have seen backwards battery generator cars come in running, usually they charged the battery backwards by mistake.

Had a 190 Mercedes come in after long storage with a no start. Battery was charged backwards. Killed it an recharged it and all survived but the radio.

Take off your generator belt, unhook the wires, hook 12v to the armature post ( I just use the carb solenoid power), ground the field post ( I usually use a test light in case of short) the generator will run as a motor if ok. Might have to give it a spin to start it motoring if using the test light, but it will run if ok.
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Old January 10th, 2017, 12:16   #13
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I have seen backwards battery generator cars come in running, usually they charged the battery backwards by mistake.

Had a 190 Mercedes come in after long storage with a no start. Battery was charged backwards. Killed it an recharged it and all survived but the radio.

Take off your generator belt, unhook the wires, hook 12v to the armature post ( I just use the carb solenoid power), ground the field post ( I usually use a test light in case of short) the generator will run as a motor if ok. Might have to give it a spin to start it motoring if using the test light, but it will run if ok.
Thanks for the tips. I replaced the voltage regulator with a new Bosch solid state one and also polarized the generator successfully. Those old generators must be pretty tough as it survived the ordeal and smoke was coming out of it when the battery was in backwards.

I got it all sorted out and the ignition switch is still not working so I jumpered the starter solenoid with the key on and got it to start. The battery is charging like it should and nothing is getting hot.

It needs a valve adjustment badly and probably points and plugs. I did move it around a bit and the clutch catches near the top of the pedal travel. So the clutch is either shot or needs to be adjusted.

More to do, but a good day on it.
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Old January 10th, 2017, 19:46   #14
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Tony, that thing looks pretty good in that first pic. Good luck on your new project.

Sincerely,
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Old January 10th, 2017, 20:16   #15
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Tony, that thing looks pretty good in that first pic. Good luck on your new project.

Sincerely,
dweisel
Thanks, it's dirty as all get out. Hasn't been washed in a year or more. It's a 10 footer for sure. It originally was orange. Like my 2003, I'll work on one thing at a time with the goal of getting it into a good daily driver.
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