1970 VW Beetle Restoration Project

2017-03-11Both of us spent most of the weekend finishing up the dissassembly of the chassis. We've got it stripped down to almost nothing! The only things left to remove before we start cutting the floor pans and sandblasting, are the diagonal arms, and the spring plates (including the rear wheels).

Side-note, Dave discovered that the extraneous engine that we've been calling the "Thing" engine - isn't in fact from a Thing at all! After finally consulting the resources on TheSamba.com website, we've determined that it was a genuine "replacement" VW 1600cc engine. My guess is, somebody had a Bug which needed a new engine for whatever reason (back in 1972-ish), and they went to an official VW dealership to have a new one installed. The way TheSamba words it, is the "AM" code engines were "never factory-installed in a vehicle". The more you know! We plan to use it as a basis for an engine build later on.
2017-02-19Major restoration begins! Matt and Dave crossed the point of no return. We actually had no intention of doing this, going into the weekend, but we successfully separated the body from the chassis! Forty-seven years has passed since the two assemblies have been apart. The bad news: BOTH the pans are in worse shape than we expected. We thought we'd be able to salvage the driver side, but nope (see pics). The good news: we've seen Beetles in far worse condition, so we consider ourselves lucky. It's going to be an exciting project! Dave lives in Tallahassee now, and Matt and the Bug live in Middleburg. So I shall try to spend at least one weekend a month commuting to Middleburg to continue the restoration. -DL

2016-04-19Installed firewall seal and rear engine seal -ML
2015-01-16Removed rear fenders with intent to initiate body-off restoration. Decided not to do that quite yet. -ML
2014-11-24Removed the engine in preparation for installing firewall seal and rear engine seal. Cleaned up the rust that was in the seal track and dug out the rotted remains of the old seal. -ML
2013-12-26Removed and replaced the old, original windshield with a new one from Motorworks. -ML
2013-11-25Towed the bug to Matt's house. -ML
2012-02-02Took the fuel tank out to get to the toe-in adjustments on the tie rods. It appears as though I have successfully aligned the front end! The car no longer makes any noises up front, appears to track straight, and rides smoother than ever!

Next step is to put in the engine seal.

2012-01-30Been working on the front end for the last week. Removed and cleaned the torsion arms, used the shop press to replace the ball joints that we've had lying around for a couple years now. That was an excited task. I took my time to do everything correctly and besides a couple snags, it went pretty smoothly.

When removing the front passenger-side brake disc, Matt discovered the outer wheel bearing had broken apart. That would explain some noises. I pressed out the race and installed a new outer bearing set. I cleaned all relative surfaces with mineral spirits and fully greased up everything, including repacking both sides inner/outer bearings.

I'm calling it a night for now but almost everything is back together. Tie rod ends are not connected to the steering knuckles yet. Need to torque down the ball joints and spindle nuts after I obtain some Crow's Feet Wrenches from Harbor Freight tomorrow. Then will attempt to align the toe-in and camber. Yippee!!

- Dave L.
2011-12-16Worked on brakes today. Turns out that the last time the pedal assembly was installed, the brake pedal return spring was put in backwards. Therefore, instead of pulling the brake pedal toward the rear of the car, the spring was pulling it forward. No wonder we could never properly adjust the freeplay. I removed the entire pedal assembly, relubed anything that needed to be relubed, reversed the spring, and readjusted clutch pedal freeplay.

- DL
2011-12-15Replaced electrical portion of ignition switch. It now again starts when you turn the key! ;-)

2011-11-01Towed Bug to Macclenny (date approximate) -DL
2011-10-29Completely tore down and rebuilt the speedometer. Replaced the colored cellulose indicators with material cut from "colored plastic folder dividers". I think it turned out quite nicely. -DL

2011-06-17Spent a couple hours on the Bug today taking care of some odds and ends:

Fan belt was loose - tightened it.

Cleaned and gapped spark plugs. The #3 plug was not very tight in the spark plug hole (the other three were fine). Overall, all the gaps were consistent, but a little wide. Regapped all of them to .026 inches. Also, all had black fluffy residue on the electrodes - running too rich? The engine seems to run much better now.

Inspected distributor cap and rotor. They look good but the rotor gave a resistance reading of infinity. It's supposed to be under 10k ohms, according to the Bentley. It doesn't seem to affect performance of the engine, but I will probably replace it soon.

Adjusted brake master cylinder push rod - shortened it just a tad. Will monitor to see if this has improved brake action.

Removed both taillights and cleaned the lightbulb contacts. (In response to getting pulled over the other night for the taillights "lighting up like a Christmas tree".)

Replaced door contact switches with the ones retrieved from the 1975 junkyard Bug.

Greased accelerator linkage around pedal - seems to have improved action.

Checked oil - reading was halfway between marks, so it must not be leaking too bad...

Added Shell V-Power to gas tank.

Inspected the engine overall, and everything seems to look good besides a light coating of oil on the case (likely due to oil cooler seals).

2011-04-28Upholstered the passenger seat today - it turned out great! Missing the two nuts that secure the back of the seat to the bottom, though...

Also installed the used back seat!

2011-04-22Scored a bunch of loot at the junkyard today! There were three Bugs there but the most complete one was a '75 standard Beetle. We got most parts from that one. The most important thing we got was the headrest foam needed to complete the passenger seat upholstery! Among other little trim pieces, we got a complete backseat, retractable seatbelts, a windshield washer tank, and a complete speedometer!
2011-04-14Although this is my first post here in a while, that doesn't mean I haven't done anything to the Bug all this time! I'll try to fill in later what I've neglected to blog about...

So today I changed the oil on the Bug. It was actually in pretty decent shape for used oil. I also lubricated the front axle beam, which also served as a reminder of how badly I need to replace the ball joints and do a nice alignment job on the front end. It then wouldn't be so bad on the highway...

I took a nice long gander at the engine bay today. I noticed the fuel line connected from to the input nipple of the fuel pump seemed loose. It just wasn't fitting snuggly onto the pump. So, I replaced it.

I also took the time today to unravel a couple of aluminum cans, cut them out into a circular shape, and then use the shop press to form them into a cup shape. Now they fit right over the fan shroud air outlets. With a nice big hose clamp, I no longer have air coming out into the engine bay. I think this will provide better cooling over the cylinder head fins until I can refurbish the heater boxes, and get the engine seal in.
2010-10-22So the front brakes pulsate when they're applied when coming to a stop. Today, I removed the front wheel to try to locate the cause of the problem. What I found was that the spindle nuts on both side were loose, allowing lots of play in the wheel bearings. This is a seemingly good reason for the car to behave the way it has been. When braking, the discs would wobble because they're not tightly secured to the spindles.

Well, it didn't fix the pulsating problem - I think that's warped discs - but it did seem to help the alignment of the car, naturally. It stays pretty straight while driving now, as opposed to wandering.

As a side note, I got 'er up to 70MPH today on Fred George Rd. It felt like I was going REALLY fast. It could still probably use an alignment but performed exceptionally well.

Also, I finished wiring the power outlet today. It turned out very nice!


And installed an inline ATM-style fuse holder to replace the one for the backup lights...now they work; imagine that!


Dang, I also realized I've put over 100 miles on the Bug since I've brought it to Tally. That's more than it's seen in over 10 years!

2010-10-21Installed a car power outlet today underneath the ashtray. Made sure to make it look nice and inconspicuous. Still have to wire it up though.

Tried to figure out why the reverse lights aren't working...found out the problem was the inline fuse holder in the engine bay. It's just so old and worn, the fuse inside it won't make contact with the...contacts. Bypassed the fuse to make sure, and they worked! Should be an easy fix, but have to purchase a new inline fuse holder.
2010-10-19Finished Reupholstering the Driver seat today! I have to say it looks damn good, seeing as how it's my first reupholstery job ever! They're TMI seat covers. I sanded and repainted both the seat frames. The bottom of the passenger seat is also done, but I need to locate a headrest pad for the back portion of the passenger seat before I can finish that one.

2010-10-18I started on reupholstering the seats today. I got the passenger-bottom finished today and the driver-bottom and driver-back frames painted. I can't wait to finish! It's looking so good! I have to either locate the old passenger-side headrest foam, or buy a new one, or find one from a junkyard Beetle. Check out the pics!

2010-10-17I got the Bug up to 65MPH today on Fred George Rd...the fastest it's gone under its own power in five years! No problems to report! It performed with vigor!
2010-10-16The oil light's been on for awhile, but I've had a feeling nothing was actually wrong. I suspected it was just a faulty oil pressure switch for some reason. So today I finally bought a new switch, and how 'bout the oil light now goes off after the engine starts! Problem solved! Now both warning lights have been fixed! This is SUCH a relief! I was almost worried that I had a problem with oil pressure - and previously with the generator - as both lights were on while driving.
2010-10-12Replaced the fuel sender seal today - it doesn't appear to leak anymore! Hopefully this will eliminate the gas smell every time I get in the car. I looked over the rest of the tank really well and it appears that was the only thing leaking and that smelled like fuel. Though the tap on the bottom of the tank appeared to be wet the other day - will have to keep my eye on that.


A side note: the fuel gauge decided to start working yesterday. It may have had to do with me lightly tapping what I assume is the fuel gauge "vibrator" (behind the speedo).

Replaced the fuel filter today with what AutoZone said was supposed to be on the car: "FF3403". It's metal, and slightly larger than the clear plastic "lawnmower" type I am accustom to. Oh well, let's see how it works out!

Replaced the speedometer cable. Now the needle on the speedo doesn't jump all around! Imagine that!

Installed a couple of new black TMI sun visors. They are wider than the originals so when you open them all the way to the windshield, it hits the rear view mirror. :(

Installed the metal vacuum line that connects the distributor to the carburetor. This part was original to the car, but had not been on there since I acquired it, probably due to a PO installing a 009 mechanical advance distributor (as opposed to the stock 205T SVDA which I have reinstalled on the car). The metal line, shapes the way it is, prevents residual fuel from dripping down the vacuum line onto the distributor advance diaphragm, thus extending its life.

2010-10-11Received a good-sized CIP1 order today - should keep me busy for a while!

Got things such as an engine wiring harness, fuel sender seal, door panel stuff (window crank springs, finger guards, window crank bushings, etc.). I plan to take some time to almost completely rebuild both door panels: disassemble the window regulators, grease everything that should move, etc. Should be nice when it's done! Also got new sun visors! ;-)
2010-10-10Cleaned the oil bath out real good today with Purple Power. It surprisingly wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, although it hasn't really been driven much since Matt last cleaned it out and painted it. There was a lil bit of sludge on the bottom, but it was negligible.
2010-10-08The new rear and quarter window seals are in! I had my roommate, Andrew, help push on the outside of the windows while I pulled the string from the inside to seal the window to the car. It still wasn't a piece of cake, but in comparison to trying to do the job on my own, it was a breeze! Check out the pics!

2010-10-07Removed the rear and quarter windows today. To my complete amazement, there was almost NO rust...just very minimal rust around the drain holes in the rear window channel (at the corners). The windows just easily popped out (with a bit of firm pressure applied from the inside) after removing the chrome strips. The replacement seals are "cal-look" without the provision for the chrome.


I tried reinstalling the windows with the new seals for several hours, after cleaning everything up, but I have found out the hard way this is not a one-person job. It's getting dark and my hand hurt, so I'm calling it a day. I sure hope I can get them in soon.

Also changed the oil again today. It came out the way it was supposed to look, for a change. All the previous oil changes showed white, milky oil - most likely condensation (water) build-up from it not being run very often, or up to operating temperature.
2010-10-04Adjusted brake pedal pushrod - it still feels weird, though.

Installed wiper blades.

Made first notable trip today - about 4 miles roundtrip to Advance Auto Parts on Monroe. No problems to report!

Checked oil pressure today: the reading I got was about 28PSI at idle and about 48PSI at ~2500RPM. It seems kind of high to me...going to look into it!

Fixed the rear-right turn signal today - it was a problem with the bulb-to-socket contact; just had to bend the metal out a tad so it would touch the bulb contacts.
2010-10-02Replaced the accelerator cable today. I thought this would fix the problem of the throttle not returning to idle under it's own power (I would have to physically pull the accelerator pedal up in order for the throttle to fully return to idle position). It didn't fix it, but probably wasn't a bad thing to do anyway. I did fix the problem another way though: I moved the throttle return spring on the carburetor up a couple rings to create more tension on it - it seems to have worked!

I also installed the rear deck lid seal (mounts onto body) and attempted to install the engine seal. I failed at the latter, but will reattempt with silicone spray soon. If that doesn't work, I may try to remove the engine. It would be good to replace the transmission mounts anyway...

The oil warning light has been on since I changed the oil and I don't want to drive it much with it on. My current plan is to check the oil relief and control valves. Or maybe just change the oil again?
2010-09-30Made the first real trip today! - involving going somewhere, turning the engine off, filling gas, and starting the engine again - everything went smoothly! Need to do the front-end alignment, though.

Took care of some minor things today - the major minor thing I took care of though was the generator light! All it took was to polarize the generator! Now it turns off a couple seconds after the engine is running - just the way it should be! Unfortunately, ever since I changed the oil though, the oil light has been on :/ Not good. Have to address this quickly before any more driving is done.

Another accomplishment was fixing the turn signals! I noticed previously that the culprit was the emergency flasher switch. At first, my first line of thought was, "just replace it!" But then I thought to myself, "why not try to fix it first?" Well, it sure paid off - I took the switch out, cleaned it up really well, wire-brushed the contacts, and repaired the damage: the top plastic part had become unattached to the metal housing. All it required was punching the metal tabs back down with a punch tool and hammer to secure the plastic part back to the housing. All done! The rear-right turn signal still doesn't work though - maybe just a burnt-out bulb?

Also reconnected the control knobs to the fresh air box in the trunk. It wasn't too hard to figure out. There's still some work to be done to get the fresh air system back together though.
2010-09-28Adjusted the valve clearance and changed the oil today. The right side of the engine was a tad more loose than the left. Nothing huge, though.

The oil came out milky white-brown. Hopefully this is just from condensation (it usually means water in the oil) and not water somehow leaking into the oil system! I'll see how it is next oil change, when it gets a chance to heat up to temp regularly.
2010-09-25Yay! I got the engine running today!

I confirmed by suspicions from back in May about the intake manifold having a leak:


So I installed a new intake manifold on 9/23 (I think), but still wasn't able to get it to run.

I had a feeling the problem was spark-related. Sure enough, I replaced the distributor cap, rotor, and ignition coil, and it started up! I don't think the ignition coil was the problem though, so I will be saving the old one as a spare.
2010-09-18Received new windshield from Mid America Motorworks.
2010-09-10Received a NEW 31-PICT-3 carburetor today from Chirco. One less thing to be uncertain about!

2010-06-18Cleaned and installed the fresh air box in the trunk - so no more rain enters through the louvers on the front hood.
2010-05-23Still trying to get the engine running the way it should. I read up a lil bit on carburetor jets, and determined that I had put the idle-air cut-off valve in the power jet hole, as opposed to the idle jet hole. So I took the idle-air valve out and put in a jet that was there when we last got the carb rebuilt. Of course, the battery decides to die, so there's not really any way I can test it :( I guess there's not much use trying to get it run anyway until the new distributor comes (ordered a rebuilt 205T from tasb on thesamba.com).

Fixed the rear-right taillight today. When Matt had taken it off to clean and paint it, he did a great job of labeling the wires, but for some reason neglected to utilize his labeling, and hooked the wires to the wrong places. Ugh. Oh well, at least it works again!

Started to put on a new passenger side door panel, but the clips didn't seem to want to go in properly. Will look more into it tomorrow.
2010-05-21Installed a new oil pressure switch from O'Reillys; the old one was leaking from the electrical contact.

Noticed that ALL the fuses in the fusebox had some corrosion on their contacts, so took the time to remove the fusebox and give it a good cleaning with a wire brush. Ah, much better! Except now the turn signals and emergency flasher don't work (they did before though). I see some troubleshooting ahead of me...

Okay, here's the kicker of the day: the generator was wired wrong. The green wire (you'd think that would be ground) was wired to ground and the brown (now known to be ground) was wired to DF. UGH. So I swapped those back to what they should be, but the (G) light is still on :(
2010-05-18I had a few minutes to work on the Bug today. I had a feeling I had wired up the ignition coil incorrectly yesterday, so I obtained a drawing of the proper wiring route from TheSamba. Sure enough, I had miswired the coil (not terribly). This was obviously the reason it wouldn't start yesterday, because it fired right up today.

I didn't have any time to do much adjusting (had to get to class), but it seems to run better. I will have to tune and time it Friday (5/21/2010).
2010-05-17Replaced rear-left intake manifold stud and all four nuts. Reassembled intake manifold (replaced the metal o-ring gaskets) and everything else that was taken off to get to it.

Tried to start engine: it cranked but would not start. Doesn't sound like it's catching at all whatsoever.

I'm thinking maybe I flooded it. Since it was previously running so lean, we had probably adjusted the carburetor rich to compensate. So now that the air leak is fixed, it would be getting too much fuel and probably not enough air. It started raining anyway, so calling it quits for today.

Or it could simply not have any gas left. I really don't think it's electrical, as it was just running a few days ago.
2010-05-16Removed the intake manifold to find wetness around the seals. This definitely means to me that there was not an airtight seal. It would explain why the bug is running rough.

One of the intake manifold nuts just will not come off its M6-1.0x28mm stud, so will grab a new one at Furrin Auto tomorrow so I can reassemble everything. Installed new metal seals, though...
2010-05-14Engine is still not idling properly. It idles around 2000-3000 RPM. It sounds smooth at that engine speed, but it's supposed to be idling closer to 900 RPM. If I attempt to lower the idle speed by adjusting the ignition timing or the bypass valve on the carb, it just runs rough and eventually dies. It'll start right back up every time though.

Met a guy from TheSamba today, Kent, who stopped by and tried to help time it correctly, but to no avail.

I tried covering the air intake on top of the carb with my hand (not completely, but to restrict airflow a tad) and this seemed to make it run a lil smoother. This tells me there may be an air leak in the intake manifold: it's making it take in too much air and run lean. When I restrict airflow with my hand, it becomes closer to the air/fuel mixture it should be at.
2010-05-08Successfully towed the Bug behind my 2001 Ford Explorer Sport using a tow bar, from Macclenny to Tallahassee!
2010-05-07Made a trip to Macclenny today to work on the Bug.

Successfully bled the brakes using a combination of a homemade pressure bleeder, and the gravity technique. I think the master cylinder pushrod needs to be adjusted again though.

Prepped the Bug for its journey to Tallahassee.

Tried to get it timed and running smoothly, but couldn't. It idles really high, around 3500 RPM.
2010-04-20Matt finished installing the front disc brake conversion kit, and the new master cylinder (obtained from Advance for about $16). Just have to bleed the brakes now...
2010-04-18Matt started on the disc brake conversion kit, but after disassembling the driver-front drum, realized we don't have the replacement master cylinder we thought we had. Bought a new one from Advance and continued progress. When he went to put the new rotor on, realized new wheel bearing races had to be pressed into it. All local parts stores that could do this were closed (Sunday), so work is postponed.

Dave continued work on trying to get the engine running smoothly. Installed the newly-rebuilt "Frankencarburetor", and fired it up...it seemed to make a noticeable difference, but still ran rough and shook pretty violently.

After pulling the #1 and #2 wires from the distributor (independently, while running), and noticing that the sound of the engine did not change when I did this, it got me wondering if I had wired them up correctly. Sure enough, #1 and #2 were swapped on the distributor! How the hell this thing even ran at all on only the right two cylinders is beyond me!

It runs unbelievably smoother and doesn't smell like unburned gas anymore. Though the idle is still really high and stalls if it is lowered too much. I'm thinking the Frankencarb is the culprit. Matt says he will buy a new carburetor tomorrow.
2010-04-17Finished prepping engine for its first start in a while.

Bought and installed new Bosch spark plugs, wires, distributor cap, and V-belt.

Changed the oil, but did not replace strainer yet. Water was obviously in the oil, and it had not been changed for a while, so intend on changing oil again soon, and replacing strainer.

Reconnected all wiring to engine. Installed ignition coil, carburetor. Replaced fuel hose in front of engine, and in engine bay (to and from fuel pump).

With assistance of a jump-start, engine turned over on first try, but would not start. Poured a few drops of gas into the carburetor throat, and engine sounded like it wanted to catch, but did not. After some hard thinking, tried to narrow down what could be wrong. Had a feeling carb was not getting fuel, so looked up a picture of an engine bay online - sure enough, the fuel pump hoses had been connected backwards.

Swapped hoses to fuel pump, and after a little bit of encouragement, the engine started!

Was running pretty rough, would not idle less than ~2500 RPM without cutting out, and was shaking more severely than had ever noticed before.

I'm thinking the carburetor might be the problem...who knows how old it is. So I rebuilt it, but it's getting late, so will try it out tomorrow.

Enough work for today; I'm tired!
2010-03-20Dave took a trip from Tallahassee to Macclenny to put the engine back together, and reinstall it into the Bug.

Went through boxes of parts, discarded things we don't need, and prepped everything for the Bug's trip to Tallahassee (hopefully soon, once we get the engine running smoothly and the brakes working).
2009-09-19Been working on the Bug again off and on.

Took care of some bad rust spots with a pneumatic wire brush wheel. Painted those spots with two coats of primer spray paint.

Removed passenger taillight housing, cleaned, wire-brushed to bare metal, and primered.

Cleaned the heads on the dual-port Thing engine.
2009-08-21Dave moves to Tallahassee for school at Florida State University.
2008-08-26Decided it's been way too long, so we're working on the Bug again. Last week, we bought push rod tubes, engine gasket set, and an oil change kit.

Today, we bought push rods, two more oil change kits, and two oil strainers.

Changed the oil, which looked really bad. Will change it again after driving it around a bit.
2005-09-07Washed and WAXED the Bug!
2005-09-06Finished with the carburetor. Downloaded a Solex tuning manual and have now tuned the carb the RIGHT way.

The engine idles nice and smoothly, and doesn't seem to smoke anymore!
2005-09-03We had three carburetors sitting around, so we decided to take parts from all three and build one super-fine carburetor.

Found the "original-to-us" carburetor which I had previously cleaned up, and decided to use it as a basis for the project.
2005-08-25Actually started working on the Bug a few days ago. Cleaned it out really good.

Worked on the pedal assembly.

Checked distributor point gap - it was good.

All four cylinders seem to be firing.

Changed oil; added Marvel Mystery Oil.
2003-11-12Another long lapse in progress, but we're finally doing something again.

We completely tore the dual-port Thing engine apart. We got it down to the case, crank, and connecting rods.

2003-03-06It's been awhile since we've done anything to the Bug, but we just got a few things done within the last few weeks.

After attempting to bleed the brakes four more times, we realized the front brake drum we bought from Suncoast Bug was for a Super Beetle! So we finally got the right one from Buggy World.

We also successfully bled the brakes and got them all adjusted.

The thing's almost ready to be driven on the road!
2002-05-15Started bleeding the brakes, with the passenger-front first. It started out okay, but went downhill from there.

When we got to the rear brakes to bleed them, no fluid or bubbles came out. After posting the question on ShopTalkForums, the responses stated we should have started bleeding with the wheel cylinder furthest from the master cylinder. So we have to start over. It's always something!
2002-05-07Reinstalled the rear brake drums.
2002-05-06Took the rear drums to Tire Kingdom and were informed they have maybe one "turn" left on 'em. Took them to NAPA and had them turned.
2002-05-05Dave was able to get the rear rubber brake hoses off and we finished reassembling the backing plate, with new metal brake lines. Will take the rear drums to NAPA tomorrow to see if they are salvageable.
2002-05-03Went to Suncoast Bug for rear metal brake lines. Put some penetrating oil on the threads for the rubber brake hoses because they won't budge...
2002-04-06Sanded off the undercoating from the passenger-rear wheel well, and then painted it.

Stalled up on the passenger-rear backing plate because having trouble removing the adjuster star.
2002-03-30Finished sanding and painting the passenger-rear backing plate.

Removed the rear seat support bar to sand and paint.
2002-03-17Finally were able to remove the rear axle nuts. The brakes look bad.

Dave removed the brake components, and Matt removed the backing plate to sand and paint.

Finished installing the glove box and trunk release handle.
2002-03-16Installed the quick shift kit today.

Installed interior dome light today.

Can't find the bolts for the glove box...they gotta be around here somewhere!

Plan to change oil once we get the bug back on the ground...
2002-03-15Went to the Orlando Show and Shine today and bought several parts: glove box, quick-shift kit, interior dome light, oil change kit, and brake/clutch pedal pads.
2002-03-06Picked up and installed the metal brake line today.

Attemped to remove the rear axle nut, but it wouldn't budge...
2002-03-05Reinstalled the fuel tank and the engine started after the third or fourth crank.

It seems to be running a lil rough and we can hear the valves tapping, so we shall try to time the valves tomorrow.
2002-03-04Took the culprit brake drum back to Suncoast Bug to inquire about the crack. The owner of the shop informed us that where the crack is should not be a problem.
2002-03-02Disassembled the driver seat today.

Had the front drums turned today. Noticed when installing the new drum, a crack where the dust cap goes.
2002-02-20Returned to Suncoast Bug for a brake drum. Dad got us some seat padding a couple days ago and will have Mom get some denim to fashion some denim seat covers!
2002-02-12Went to Suncoast Bug and bought two rear hoses, inner bearings, grease seals, and blue brake line. They didn't have the correct size metal brake line, so still need that.
2002-02-10Matt installed the new master cylinder and hooked up all but one of the lines. Front brakes are reassembled with the exception of the drums.
2002-02-03Painted around the fuel tank area.
2002-01-27Removed the master cylinder and cleaned around it.
2002-01-18Removed the fuel tank and started the clean-up underneath it. Gettin ready to replace the master cylinder.
2002-01-14Reinstalled the front backing plates. Bought a fluid reservoir.
2002-01-07Bought four new wheel cylinders at Buggy World (in Clearwater) for $55.60.
2002-01-06Finished sanding and painting both backing plates. Plan to buy four wheel cylinders tomorrow.
2001-12-26Matt took off the driver-front backing plate and started cleaning and sanding it. Still need to buy new shoes, wheel cylinders, lines, fluid, and bearings.
2001-12-12Found an ad in "The Flyer" (a local mass-mailing) for some Bug parts, so we went to check it out. Bought a 1600cc Dual-Port Thing engine and a box of parts for $50!
2001-11-19Noticed a burning smell while driving a few days ago. Removed the driver-front wheel and discovered the drum was hot to the touch. It turns out the brake shoe is stuck up. Also, the passenger-front brake isn't even working. Plan to remove both front backing plates, clean 'em up and refurbish.
2001-11-17Removed the passenger seat and its upholstery and padding. Matt painted its frame. Also removed and disassembled the rear seat.
2001-11-02Removed the turn signal switch and replaced a contact that fell out. This did not fix it, so Dave bought a used switch from a '70 Ghia on eBay for $7.25. Waiting for it to arrive...
2001-09-28Dave cleaned and rebuilt the carb.

We installed the carb, and started the engine. The idle was really high, around 2000 RPM. Adjusted it to around 860-880 RPM. Dad noticed the choke butterfly valve was loose, so we're going to look into adjusting it.
2001-09-27Got the used carburetor that Matt ordered from eBay today. Bought a rebuild kit and a large can of carb/parts cleaner.
2001-09-18Got the new shocks Matt ordered from JC Whitney yesterday. Installed them today and the ride seems much nicer.

Installed the new side mirror, also purchased from JC Whitney.
2001-08-21Changed the oil today and finished painting and reinstalling the last fender.

A new problem though: Matt tried putting the shifter in reverse and the engine died. It started right back up, but are perplexed as to why that happens...
2001-08-20Checked out the distributor last night. The points looked bad, so bought some new Bosch ones and the engine started up on the first try!
2001-06-29Matt bought a new Bosch blue ignition coil and we tried starting it - still no luck.

Matt also reinstalled the last fender (driver-front).
2001-06-28Dave suspects we bought a bad ignition coil (it was off-brand).
2001-06-23Matt cleaned and repainted the insides of the front fenders/wheel wells.

The starting problem is "starting" to aggravate us. We've replaced the coil, condensor, spark plug wires, fuses, and even the voltage regulator. No idea what it could be.
2001-04-20Discovered the fuel filter was leaking and replaced it. Need to relocate it out of the engine bay...
2001-04-11A couple weeks ago, Matt removed the rear fenders. Cleaned off the undercoating and Dave repainted the inside of the fenders while Matt painted the wheels wells.

Bought a new ignition coil as part of troubleshooting the starting problem, but that did not solve it. What could it be?
2001-04-10Found a broken fuse in the fusebox, but that did not fix the starting problem.
2001-03-17The engine won't start again. Bought and replaced the condensor for the third time, but it still won't start.
2001-03-10Bought Bentley repair manual.
2001-03-05Removed the spark plugs to inspect them. They're black as could be. Dave suspects improper tuning of the carburetor.
2001-02-28Engine would not start now for some reason. Replaced the condensor again and it started right up.

Bought four new Bosch spark plugs.
2001-01-13Fiberglassed the rear luggage rack, and it seems okay - not bad for our first attempt at fiberglassing. At least the holes are patched; it just needs to be sanded down now.
2001-01-11Finished painting the rear luggage rack with silver hammered Rustoleum. The next step is to fiberglass up its little holes once the paint dries.
2001-01-03Bought some fiberglass resin and cloth.

The luggage rack is half painted and will finish it up soon.
2000-11-17Spent the whole day trying to fix the reverse lights and finally got them working!
2000-10-15Started sanding the luggage rack area and driver floor pan.
2000-09-29Dad seems to think that a cylinder isn't firing.
2000-09-29Timed valves and it seems to run smoother now, though it still seems like a cylinder isn't firing. Maybe new spark plug wires again?
2000-09-28Dave attempted to fix the previous wiring SNAFU, and was able to get it started again!
2000-09-22Installed front sway bar. Seems to drive a whole lot better.

Dad cut a wire under the rear seat that seemingly was related to the old A/C install, but now the engine won't start.
2000-08-22Bought front sway bar - plan to install tomorrow.
2000-07-21Greased and installed the shifter and shifter rod after installing the new bushing. Reinstalled shifter rod access covers.
2000-06-28Matt painted the running board track to prevent rust.

Dave re-worked the connections on the generator (soldered them to make a better connection).
2000-06-06Ordered brake master cylinder from OneStop.

Removed gas tank in anticipation of replacing the brake master cylinder
2000-06-03Changed oil & replaced strainer.
2000-06-01Removed and cleaned shifter rod, and removed, cleaned, and painted shifter and parking brake handle.
2000-05-29We started the engine. It wouldn't stay running, so we timed the ignition and adjusted the idle speed. Seems to run fine now.
2000-05-28Replaced spark plug wires, replaced condensor. Need to get ignition timed...