Air Cool VW (Beetle)

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How to Keep your Volkswagen Alive by John Muir

ISBN 1562614800

Every VW Bug/Bus/Ghia etc. owner needs this book. Many of my email replies start out "Your questions are answered in 'How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive'. This is the great book by John Muir."

This book is great for all air-cooled VW owners. It has a good section on buying a VW, so I also recommend the book to prospective Bug lovers.

The book is illustrated with numerous drawings of the internal workings. Chapters: Using the book, How the VW works, How to buy a VW, Tools and parts, Driving tips, Flat tire, Engine running (or not) problems, Charging system (generator or alternator), Low oil pressure, Common Adjustments and tune up, Brakes, Front suspension, Clutch, Transaxle (aka transmission), Engine rebuild, Data and torque values, Light and electric, Performance mods, Changes for editions 1981 thru 1989, Long term stuff, extra ideas/recommendations, Index. The wiring diagram is only a single page, and is general enough to cover all Bugs. Muir is a genius in giving normal people instructions, step by step, to complete a repair. He includes a number of common pitfalls, and throws in some humor. He includes sections for the Bus (Type II) and occasional notes on the Type II, IV, and 411. There's even a diagram of the fuel injection system.

The book tends to be weak on the later models, although they aren't ignored. Many sections will have a note for different year models even up to 1979. You won't find details about trim and body work.

Muir passed away in 1977, and I think he liked the earlier models better. On the other hand, I personally favor the later models due to a few refinements like the larger brakes dual port 1600 cc engines, and fully independent rear end. Muir covers these later refinements, and offers sage advice about the strengths and weaknesses of the various improvements.

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