Tom's Baja Bug

VW Beetle Repair
and Photos



A brief list of all VW FAQs.
FAQ 01
Question: I'm running a Weber DFEV and 009. My weber carb seems to be jetted wrong. How do I adjust the DFEV carb? Should I keep my 009 distributor? If I go back to a 205 distributor, where do I connect the vac...
Answer: Before anything, you'll need to make sure your choke is adjusted.

I'm guessing that you have the electric choke (The E in DFEV is for Electric.) Adjust the choke with the engine off, and cold.

The... Read the full FAQ 01

FAQ 02
Question: - How do I connect my new alternator?
Answer: There was a note in the Sept, Oct, or Nov issue of Hot VWs and Dune Buggies. (I wrote an email in October in which I say "the current issue", but it's hard to correlate the magazine month since they ... Read the full FAQ 02
FAQ 03
Question: My floors are rusted out. Should I replace/repair them myself?
Answer: It is work, but you can do it. You'll have to buy a wirefeed or MIG welder. Don't bother with cheap stick welders - they burn sheetmetal. I'd recomment just getting a decent MIG (wirefeed with argon o... Read the full FAQ 03
FAQ 04
Question: Where can I buy parts in South Africa?
Answer: Rob D. kindly replied: "I buy parts from Volkspares in South Africa - they have outlets in most of the main centers. They have a web site but nothing to get excited about at

... Read the full FAQ 04

FAQ 05
Question: On a 1969 type 1 (Bug) Solex carb, I cant get it to idle. I soaked carb 2 times in carb cleaner and blew it out with compressor. How do I know that the idle circit is open from main jet area?
Answer: The person I wrote this review for emailed me back later: the electronic idle solenoid was clogged at the tip.

Thanks Dave!

If you can get air through the passage ways, then gas will flow there t... Read the full FAQ 05

FAQ 06
Question: Where else can I buy parts in South Africa?
Answer: Winston kindly replies: "I purchase My Spares At Berg Spares In Parow Cape Town South Africa Phone +27 021 930 45 81.

And Just Beetles Brackenfell South Africa Phone +27 021 981 4113. Just Beetle d... Read the full FAQ 06

FAQ 07
Question: What about other parts suppliers in Australia?
Answer: Wayne kindly replies: "Another supplier that I have used to supply a torque converter is

Vintage Vee-Dub Supplies
11/B Harp St.
Campsie 2194
Tel 029789 1777 Fax 02 9718 870... Read the full FAQ 07

FAQ 08
Question: What is the recommended total distributor advance?
Answer: Total advance is recommended to be no more than 30-32 degrees. You'll need a timing light and a degree ring on your pulley to do this accurately.

The less than accurate way, would be to get a protra... Read the full FAQ 08

FAQ 09
Question: - What size engine should I put in my Baja Bug? What kind of bolt on horse power can I get?
Answer: The most reliable, fuel efficient engine for a Bug will be a 1600 with some modern improvements (balanced crank, hydraulic lifters, oil filter, dog house oil cooler, electronic points, merged exhaust ... Read the full FAQ 09
FAQ 10
Question: My bug has intermittent electrical problems or smoking wiring or frayed wires.
Answer: Thing one: disconnect the ground side of the battery to completely disable the electrical system. This is a good idea to do right now. Fix the worst circuits, then see if you can put the ground termin... Read the full FAQ 10
FAQ 11
Question: What is the best English language VW magazine(s) in England/Europe?
Answer: Wayne Bulman says, "The best by far is Total VW I once would have recommended Volks World, but they lie about how good suppliers reall... Read the full FAQ 11
FAQ 12
Question: Where do I buy VW parts in England?
Answer: Euro Car Parts (0208 9565047)
Kingfisher Kustoms (0990 168109)
URO (0870 6060153)
Halifax Beetles (01422 331010)
Autocavan (01252 346810)[highly recommended for engines]
This info... Read the full FAQ 12
FAQ 13
Question: How to I open the trunk of my late model Bug? The lever in the glove box is broken.
Answer: The VW shop manual recommends cutting the luggage compartment handle (trunk lid handle) in three places. With it cut, apparently it can be removed, or twisted around enough to get the lid open

You... Read the full FAQ 13

FAQ 14
Question: Where is the timing mark on the distributor?
Answer: Remove the distributor cap. The mark for #1 is on the top edge of the distributor body. It is just a little nick in the metal. This is where the distributor rotor should point when the #1 piston is at... Read the full FAQ 14
FAQ 15
Question: I have purchased a 71 Beetle and the bumpers are unattached. What size bolts do I need for the reattachment and will regular bolts work or do they need to be a special type that is hardened or somethi...
Answer: I'm not sure of the size. You don't have the old ones?

They don't have to be hardened, but they do have to be stove bolts. These have a square shank just below the head, and the head is smooth and r... Read the full FAQ 15

FAQ 16
Question: Where can I buy VW parts in Australia?
Answer: Maja kindly writes:

"I have dealt with all of these people, and they have been really good. I recommend Australian Volkswagen Magazine, because it's virtually the only one and in my humble opinion,... Read the full FAQ 16

FAQ 17
Question: Where can I buy parts in New Zealand?
Answer: Suz kindly writes:

"I get my VW parts from:
VW Specialist - Parts and Repairs
PO Box 97-283 S.A.M.C. Manukau
Auckland, NZ
Ph 64-09-267 8871
Fax 64-09-267 0588
Mobile 02... Read the full FAQ 17

FAQ 18
Question: My Beetle has been sitting for years. How do it get it running again?
Answer: There are many tasks necessary to get an old car back on the road after sitting for many years. If the car has been more or less dry, the engine is probably fine. However, the fuel tank and brake syst... Read the full FAQ 18
FAQ 19
Question: Where can I get spare parts for my Bug?
Answer: Many common parts like spark plugs, brake parts, many suspension parts, hoses, fuel pumps, some bulbs, and filters are available at just about any auto supply store.

Every part is available for the ... Read the full FAQ 19

FAQ 20
Question: We are long time vw fans (my wife and I) and traded in our 86 wolfburg for a newer 99 cobalt blue bug, which we love.

I've been looking at it recently feeling like it needs a little something...
Answer: I've ordered a few BMW and classic Bug items from Rocky Mountain Motorworks. They also carry parts for newer VWs and for the New Beetle. They have trim items, and fun things like magnetic flowers.

C... Read the full FAQ 20

FAQ 21
Question: Just a couple quick questions about my 54 oval. First, my Oval has semiphores and I want to use them but I'm converting over to 12v. Are there any auto voltage drops on the market that I could use an...
Answer: I'm not the best resource for vintage VW stuff. There are big resistors for use on partial 6V to 12V conversions.

I'm guessing that the crimping tool is history, but a good substitue may be availabl... Read the full FAQ 21

FAQ 22
Question: I wanted to know if there is any chance and way to take off the roof and make it convertible, is this legal?

Maybe you know about a place in Israel where I can buy parts?
Answer: It is very difficult to convert a normal sedan to a convertible. Convertibles (VW and other makes) have specially reinforced frames to compensate for the missing roof. The roof of a car adds a large a... Read the full FAQ 22
FAQ 23
Question: I've done some welding and now I need to replace the floorpans and heater channels. How hard is this? What about international parts suppliers?
Answer: Floor pans aren't too hard, and can be done with the body on the Bug. Heater channels are quite a bit more work, and the body has to come off.

I recommend using a MIG welder. An experienced Bug body... Read the full FAQ 23

FAQ 24
Question: I am in the process of rebuilding a solex 34PICT-3 and pulled all the jets and volume control and bypass screws for a good cleaning. Unfortunately, I unscrewed the Bypass screw without checking on how...
Answer: I can't remember off hand. Usually the number is about 2 turns. However, there is a specific process for the carb adjustment. It's kind of long so I haven't typed it out. The reference for this proble... Read the full FAQ 24
FAQ 25
Question: I have a 1972 Beetle. First of all, how do I tell what size/type engine do I have? Secondly, how can I tell if the car is a SuperBeetle? Thanks.
Answer: I'm not quite sure how to tell Beetle engine sizes. There is an engine number just below the generator/alternator stand. I don't have a table of those numbers, but I think I've seen some online.

It... Read the full FAQ 25

FAQ 26
Question: My Bug is running sluggish. What can I do to find and fix the problem?
Answer: Many poor running problems are due to vacuum leaks in the intake manifold boots. These are the rubber connections between the center section of the intake manifold (the T shaped thing the carburetor i... Read the full FAQ 26
FAQ 27
Question: I am in desperate need of a easy to read wire diagram for a standard 1973 beetle. Something color coded. I've tried Muir, Haynes and the official guide. I just can't understand them. Please hel...
Answer: Wiring diagrams can be tricky. Color diagrams are online at:

The shop manuals also have diagrams, assuming that your Bug is cove... Read the full FAQ 27

FAQ 28
Question: Are all old vw bugs stick shift?
Answer: Not really. There is an automatic transmission called an autostick. I've never driven one, and I'm not sure I've ever seen one. I've had email from a couple of autostick owners who like it. Parts are ... Read the full FAQ 28
FAQ 29
Question: I'm installing 3 new gauges in my bug, temp sender, oil pressure, ammeter. I have no idea what wires to connect where because of how different a bug is than any normal car. do you think you could ju...
Answer: The Bug isn't so different. The oil pressure tap is on the side of the case, just below the distributor. There is a stock pressure sensor switch there. You need a sender compatible with your oil press... Read the full FAQ 29
FAQ 30
Question: I will be repainting my Bug sometime. What I am interested in is seeing a selection of custom paint jobs that I can use to get ideas.
Answer: You can get a rough idea of my magenta on silver zebra stripes at:

Look at the last few photos. I haven't finished t... Read the full FAQ 30

FAQ 31
Question: What size engine can I put in my Bug or Bus?
Answer: I think that the normal 1600 cc, late model dual port, dual oil relief engine will fit in nearly all Bugs and Buses. I'm not positive, so if you have doubts, or if you have an especially old or new ve... Read the full FAQ 31
FAQ 32
Question: How much does it cost to change the front brakes to disc brakes, and is it adviseable?
Answer: Price seems to start around USD for front disc systems. Rear disc with an emergency brake is seems to be more like . I only know from reading advertising in the VW magazines. The VW discs on Karm... Read the full FAQ 32
FAQ 33
Question: I've bought a load of parts for a restoration, but I'm not sure where to start. Is there a good book?
Answer: I'm not the best resource for resto info, but there are good books. Start with anything written by Keith Seume. Search Amazon and Banes and Noble.

I subscribe to both VW magazines, and each one has ... Read the full FAQ 33

FAQ 34
Question: I bought a 74 standard beetle last year and I'm learning a lot. I have a problem with the suspension. When I bought it the previous owner had the front replaced and said that the tough ride was becaus...
Answer: This sounds normal. The front end of the Bug is very light, but the suspension is kind of hard. Mine is like this but I only notice it on big bumps. Of course, mine has 27 years of wear on it.

If y... Read the full FAQ 34

FAQ 35
Question: I want to lower my Bug. Can you tell me how to do this? What problems should I watch out for?
Answer: This is a very common question, but I'm an off-road kind of guy, so I don't have much info. The VW magazines (Hot VWs, and VW Trends) often have articles related to lowering.

I know a couple of thin... Read the full FAQ 35

FAQ 36
Question: One of the first body mods I was thinking of was to get rid of both front and rear bumpers. Is there a way to fill the spaces? And second was to get the front turn signals off of the top of the fender...
Answer: Before getting in too deep, you should look at what people have done. Go to the VW car shows in your area, and subscribe to one or more of the air cooled VW magazines. I've got info about the magazine... Read the full FAQ 36
FAQ 37
Question: I have a 72 superbeetle. I had the engine rebuilt to a 1641, had a oil cooler installed, and had some chrome added. (chrome fan shroud, cooling tin, pulley) Since then I can go about 30 miles or so an...
Answer: Chrome doesn't cool as well as plain black engine tin, but people run chrome all the time with no problems. The VW has a reasonable excess of cooling built in.

I think the shop is giving you a run a... Read the full FAQ 37

FAQ 38
Question: Where can I find one of those pop up sun roofs? I'd like to install one in my Bug.
Answer: I don't know off hand, but they must be available. I've been warned that they often leak, so you should try to get a good quality unit.

Call a few of the vendors on my Parts Supplier's page. Even if... Read the full FAQ 38

FAQ 39
Question: Help! Why can't I find and oil pump for a 1994 Golf 4 cylinder at an autoparts store, or even on line?
Answer: Really? You tried Napa, Federated, or AutoZone? Some parts are just dealer only. It's not that odd, but I'm surprised that an oil pump is dealer only. Did you call Rocky Mountain Motorworks?

... Read the full FAQ 39

FAQ 40
Question: Almost every interior electrical system in my Bug doesn't work. All my fuses are good and I'm stumped.
Answer: There is a main power feed to the fuse block from the rear of the car. It is a fat red wire. One major branch of that wire goes to the fuse block to power things that work when the ignition switch is ... Read the full FAQ 40
FAQ 41
Question: I desperately need some help in how to repair a broken clutch tube on a 66 bug sedan.

I understand that their is three spots in the interior that must be cut open to find and repai...
Answer: Clutch tubes don't break often. Clutch cables break, and the clutch forks also break.

First jack up the rear of the car, put it on jack stands, and remove the driver side tire.

Get a helper to pu... Read the full FAQ 41

FAQ 42
Question: How do I remove the front seats from my 72 super beetle? I have tried for days and have asked everyone I know, and no one can get them out.
Answer: I've never looked at seats on older Bugs, but I read what is in the shop manual. Your 1972 probably has the older style seat rails. If there is a seat belt warning wire, disconnect that first. The sho... Read the full FAQ 42
FAQ 43
Question: I've put two pair of EMPI coilover shocks on my trike and one side is not up to its standard. I live in Derby. Do you now where I could get my torsion bar adjusted because that's the only thing left t...
Answer: I'm not sure where to find a shop. The rear suspension section of my site describes torsion bar adjustment. I strongly recommend getting that torsion bar tool if you're going to do it yourself.

... Read the full FAQ 43

FAQ 44
Question: Fuel getting through to one side of engine only. Lines are clear on both sides after the T to the needle valve. I can blow through the needle valve and run carb. cleaner through it. But the left side ...
Answer: I'm guessing carburetor needle valve, even though you checked it. Is the float level correct? How do you know the one side is dry? Look down the carb throat (engine off and cold) with a flashlight. Mo... Read the full FAQ 44
FAQ 45
Question: I need to replace both heater channels. I have a welder and all other necessities to do the job. Do I need to pull the body from the pan before I replace them? What other tips can you give me on it.
Answer: I don't know much about this. The body has to come off. I've seen some illustrations of the process in a 2 page tech article in one of the VW magazines. It's a big job, but doable.

It might be easie... Read the full FAQ 45

FAQ 46
Question: One day I'm driving along happy as can be in my 1975 Super Beetle with a 1970 engine, and the generator light comes on. I go home turn the car off. I try again the next morning....and its off. It's ha...
Answer: Intermittent problems are always the worst.

My first guess is a charging system problem, but I'm not sure how that could account for the oil light coming on. Is your Bug idleing too slow? Does the o... Read the full FAQ 46

FAQ 47
Question: I have a 1977 VW fuel injected convertible. I believe my problem is with the electric fuel pump and/or the pump relay. I can't find where these items are located in my Bug.

What h...
Answer: Those symptoms generally fit a bad relay or fuel pump. Could be plugged filter too. Pump and relay are pretty easy to test.

A warning before you start: gasoline explodes and it causes cancer. Keep s... Read the full FAQ 47

FAQ 48
Question: Can't seem to find any info on the gas heater, was wondering if you could send me in the right direction, or give me some pro tips on maintenance and repair. I currently own a 71 super beetle.
Answer: People are generally scared of these heaters. I've heard rumors that they can be reliable. I don't know anything about fixing them. I checked the late model Bug and late model Bus shop manuals and did... Read the full FAQ 48
FAQ 49
Question: Both the lights on my speedometer are not working and I'm wondering how to go about fixing them. I have John Muir's book but I have not found a section on repairing the lights themselves. Any informat...
Answer: This is a pretty easy repair. The light sockets pull out of the speedo housing. Just wiggle. The light socket comes out with the wire connection all as one piece. You can remove the wire first.

The ... Read the full FAQ 49

FAQ 50
Question: What is the correct name of the transmission seal located right behind the throwout bearing on a 1970 bug? Looking in differnt parts books, Whitney, Rocky Mtn. etc. I dont see anything by what I think...
Answer: On the transmission side I'd guess it is the "input shaft seal".

On the engine side it is the rear oil seal.

Just phone Rocky Mountain Motorworks (or one of the other suppliers). If the sales pers... Read the full FAQ 50

FAQ 51
Question: If I install an ammeter I'll need an extra hot wire to the battery positive. What is the best way to add that additional wire?
Answer: I usually use battery terminals that have a screw clamp for the wire. Since I almost always need a second lighter gauge wire to/from the charging system, I just clamp both wires together under the cla... Read the full FAQ 51
FAQ 52
Question: I rebuilt my engine, and now the pushrod tubes are leaking. Is this normal?
Answer: VW engines should not leak oil. I think you need new pushrod tubes and seals. I seem to remember that there are little gaskets on each end of the tubes.

Important: put the seam of the tube up (towar... Read the full FAQ 52

FAQ 53
Question: For my 16th birthday I have inherited a 1968 volkswagen beetle. From the first time I turned it on a light on the dash has light up. It kept me guessing for a little while until the car died, at which...
Answer: First a little safety tip: disconnect the NEGATIVE battery terminal before starting any electrical repairs.

You need John Muir's book "How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive". It has step by step ... Read the full FAQ 53
FAQ 54
Question: I have a NEW weber progressive installed on a 1.7 type IV, in a 914. Had a hard time getting the car to idle, got that nailed now I have a huge flat spot just off idle. Runs great after you get thro...
Answer: I had a similar problem. I think the causes were:

1) Carb not adjusted by the correct procedure. See:


2) Timing advanced too much.
... Read the full FAQ 54
FAQ 55
Question: I bled my front brakes, and that went fine. The rear won't bleed. What's up?
Answer: You should start the bleeding from the rear first. If the front brakes are bled, the brake pedal may not go all the way down.

I ran into this. You can try opening a front bleed screw and a rear. Of ... Read the full FAQ 55

FAQ 56
Question: I have just purchased a 1974 VW bug and the engine is in a few pieces and I don't have a clue how to put it back together. Can you tell me the name of a good book? I don't have much experience with e...
Answer: I always recommend John Muir's great book "How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive" to every VW owner. My full review is at: Read the full FAQ 56

FAQ 57
Question: I have a great 89 Golf that I just purchased. It is in great shape all except the driver's seat. The fabric is in pretty good shape, but the seat is broke down to the left.

What is the best...
Answer: I'd replace. I made a trip to the junk yard and came home with 2 nice seats from a later Jetta, and a semi-rough GTI seat all for $75. I put the nice Jetta seats in my Golf and adapted the GTI seat (a... Read the full FAQ 57
FAQ 58
Question: I've got a heck of a mess with an alternator pulley on what I think is a 74 superbeetle. My son replaced the alternator . . . did a good job, except the pulley rubs against the face of the housing. ...
Answer: One of the spacers may be on wrong, or out of order, or the pulley is on backward.

As far as I know the Super is like all the other later Beetles. I say this all the time, but it's good advice: Get ... Read the full FAQ 58

FAQ 59
Question: What is the VW Bug firing order?
Answer: 1 4 3 2

This usually cast into the generator stand, and marked by the German work "Zundfolge" (or something like that). Read the full FAQ 59

FAQ 60
Question: I just bought a 69 bug, really good shape, except the front wheels started to shimmy between 30 and 40 mph. They feel like lose casters on a shopping cart when driving. I can push on the front wheel...
Answer: This sounds like ball joints or tie rod ends. I think somewhere in the 1968 time period, VW changed to ball joints from the older style king pins.

I think you need John Muir's book "How to Keep Your... Read the full FAQ 60

FAQ 61
Question: My Bug has a shake and shimmy. Usually it happens between 45 and 55 mph. What's up? This seems really dangerous.
Answer: It is dangerous and you should fix it right away. If you have a regular Beetle see:


If you have a Super Beetle (deeply curved windshield) then t... Read the full FAQ 61
FAQ 62
Question: How good is the HVLP spray gun you recommend? Does it have much overspray?
Answer: Even with true HVLP you'll have overspray. The usual figures for a nice HVLP is 80 to 90 percent of paint sticks to the car. That means 10 to 20 percent overspray.

The cheap Harbor Freight gun is pr... Read the full FAQ 62

FAQ 63
Question: I have a 70 VW Bug that I am using as my very first restoration project. I turn the key and hear a soft click when the two red lights come on. I thought it was the solenoid and starter (which I change...
Answer: That sounds like the ignition switch. When the switch starts to go bad, it doesn't even have a good enough contact to close the solenoid. With my 1973 I need to push the key in all the way, hold the k... Read the full FAQ 63
FAQ 64
Question: I hope you can help me. I own a 1970 1300 beetle. The problem is when you look at the car from the rear, it is tilting on the right side (a lot). I am unable to drive the car like this and i need the ...
Answer: It sound like you have a broken torsion bar. I've never seen a broken torsion bar, but I've had my bars out a few times. I can imagine that the car might slump a little from normal use, but a big diff... Read the full FAQ 64
FAQ 65
Question: Here's my problem. I have a 1969 Beetle that will turn over but it wont start. I thought it had to do with the fuel, so i went out and bought a new electric fuel pump. Once I put it on then it started...
Answer: Sounds like a bad carb. It runs with fuel from the accellerator pump, but not from the idle or main jets.

You can test this because you may be able to keep the car running by constantly tapping the ... Read the full FAQ 65

FAQ 66
Question: I have a 1975 super beetle with fuel injection. My question is that it take me anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes just to get my bug to idle good, after that it runs fine. If it sits for about an hour I h...
Answer: Fuel injections (FI) systems all have a temperatoure sensitive switch to make the system enrich the mixture when the engine is cold. The Bug FI systems have a thermo-time switch (temp and a timer toge... Read the full FAQ 66
FAQ 67
Question: My door lock is messed up, and the linkages are apart. How does this work? What about a diagram?
Answer: I don't know of a diagram, and there isn't one in the official shop manual.

The best I can do are the photos I took of the inside of my door:

http:... Read the full FAQ 67

FAQ 68
Question: My son bought a dune buggy but the bolts that hold the rockers arms to the engine were broken a long time ago & repaired by screwing these self tapping things into the the head. Well those aren't hold...
Answer: I think your heads are kaput. If helicoils have been put in the heads, and now those have pulled out, it is time for new heads. I doubt the nut and bolt solution would work. Any failure of the head(s)... Read the full FAQ 68
FAQ 69
Question: I've got a 1974 bug thats lowered with spindles and beam in the front and I've adjusted the torsion bars in the rear. I recently bought some of those adjustable spring plates (they look identical to ...
Answer: I haven't measured my rear torsion bars, but they are stock for 1973. You need to have spring plates designed for the late model longer torsion bars.

Getting those spring plates on can be a chore. I... Read the full FAQ 69

FAQ 70
Question: I have a 1999 New Beetle. On the drivers side of the car i have had to replace the bulb three time in the last 2 years plus once on the other side each time it has cost me $80.00. The dealer claims it...
Answer: I haven't seen the headlight assembly on the New Beetle. Most newer cars have easily accessible headlights. Usually, the bulb base just twists, and out it comes. It is a bayonette base. Be sure NOT to... Read the full FAQ 70
FAQ 71
Question: I see that you have emphisis on Bugs, but maybe you've heard of this particular problem in the Rabbit/cabriolets. I have a 1985 that has got me into a nut-roll. When I bought the car; (I am now the t...
Answer: My advice on this question wasn't very specific. Below my reply, see the excellent solution Chris found. Thanks Chris!

My answer:

You may need to get a shop manual to know what kind of voltage... Read the full FAQ 71

FAQ 72
Question: I have a 1973 Beetle and the brake pedal had no pressure. I changed the rear brake line, the wheel cylinders and the master cylinder. When I bled the line it appears all of the air is out of the line ...
Answer: You have to bleed all the lines, even if you only work on one. Start with the rear right, then rear left, the front right, and last the front left. Do not allow the brake reservoir to run dry or you h... Read the full FAQ 72
FAQ 73
Question: Any idea why im getting fuel in the crank case?
Answer: Typically this is a leak from the bottom of the fuel pump. Remove the fuel pump and look for fuel in the spacer underneath. It is normal for there to be some oil in the spacer.

Follow the usual prec... Read the full FAQ 73

FAQ 74
Question: Can I convert my Baja Bug back to a regular Bug? It was a Baja when I got it but I would like to convert it back. Is that posible? If it is do you know any books or web sites that could help me?
Answer: This would be difficult. The front and rear aprons were cut off, so you've have to do some very tricky body work (welding) to replace the aprons, and then you'd have to refit the trunk lid and engine ... Read the full FAQ 74
FAQ 75
Question: Great Web site!!! I Purchased a 74 Baja Bug from an individual. Every thing is in good solid cond.and the Baja kit although off another car, and has been installed pretty well. My problem is ... it ha...
Answer: Why change the fuel injection (FI)? The Bosch FI is solid, gives more power (than stock) and better fuel mileage than any carburetor. It should be totally immune to flooding from bouncing over rough t... Read the full FAQ 75
FAQ 76
Question: My flasher stopped flashing so I got a new one. It was the closest thing Kragen's had and it looked the same as the one in my 1969 beetle so I put it in and it doesn't work at all. Exactly how am I ...
Answer: I don't have a 1969. The wiring diagram is "interesting". It seems to indicate that:

Flasher connection:

KBL connects to a blue wire with a green stripe

+49 connects to a black wire

49a conne... Read the full FAQ 76

FAQ 77
Question: I have a 1960 baja Bug. I think it has a Bus transaxle with gear boxes at the wheels. It sits at positive camber. Do you know how or know someone who knows how to fix this. My Bug has knobby tires on ...
Answer: The only fix for too much rear camber is to lower the rear until the camber is normal. There are camber limiters, but all they do I keep the wheels from dropping too much when the Bug flys over bumps.... Read the full FAQ 77
FAQ 78
Question: I was reading your info on the 009 and recomendations to keep the stock vacuum advance distributor. My 76 Australian beetle has had a 009 put in it by the previous owner, with stock 34 PICT 3 carby. ...
Answer: John Muir in his fantastic book "How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive" reports that the 009 makes the Bug a little harder to drive. He isn't very specific there, and I always assumed that he mean it had ... Read the full FAQ 78
FAQ 79
Question: I recently inherited a 1971 beetle, and the G light comes on in the speedometer. I'm assuming this is the generator light. What is the difference between a generator and alternator? And how do you rep...
Answer: Alternators are newer, and are more efficient (that's the short answer). Switching is not too hard as things go, but if you switch you want to get a complete kit with instructions. There are some peop... Read the full FAQ 79
FAQ 80
Question: The fuel tank sending unit on my 71 SB has a "melted" mounting board in the reostat. The wire wound plastic board has overheated and melted to the point that the wiper arm does not contact the wire a...
Answer: I don't know how the SB fuel sender works, but yes, if you apply 12V constantly to a circuit that is only rated for 50% duty cycle, the circuit will melt.

For what it is worth, my impression is that... Read the full FAQ 80

FAQ 81
Question: From what I can find on the net, it seems you've been working on this the most. I have a 1972 Super Beetle that I recently bought, and it has a post-production lower dash on it that has a built-in sq...
Answer: Somewhere there is a switch, probably with 2 connectors. The third wire is probably ground. There are wiring diagrams in the shop manual, and you can find them online at:

... Read the full FAQ 81

FAQ 82
Question: I'm a little confused trying to fix some problems with my Bug. I have a lot of (probably) small questions. What can I do?
Answer: You need a good reference book or two, since you have to diagnose problems and diassemble/reassemble various parts of your Beetle.

I recommend John Muir's "How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive" to ever... Read the full FAQ 82

FAQ 83
Question: I just bought a 1973 super beetle. It looks good and is said to run good. The only thing is the key is lost. So I will have to change the ignition cylinder out. I know that the steering wheel will hav...
Answer: I haven't done this repair, but the lock has to come off the steering column. Then there is a hole in the side of the ignition switch. Push a thin punch (or very stiff wire) in there, and the lock sho... Read the full FAQ 83
FAQ 84
Question: Great site. I have restored a bug or two and now my son wants his first project. We have the cab and chassie. he wants to chop the top I can not find any info on this can you point me in the right ...
Answer: As far as a project, get a rust free car. Body work is a time consuming bear of a job, it requires special tools, and the car will almost certainly be off the road for the whole time. A car project is... Read the full FAQ 84
FAQ 85
Question: How do you get to the fan in/under the dash of the 1973 Beetle Custom? It is making a loud noise and I think it needs to be lubricated.
Answer: Do you have a Super Beetle? I think only the Supers have a fan.

If you mean the only fan I can think of, yYou get to it from the front trunk area. Carefully remove the pressboard trim.

I suspect y... Read the full FAQ 85

FAQ 86
Question: Just sold my last sandrail and am wanting to get into a Baja that is built, pretty and ready to party. Any suggestions?
Answer: I don't know of any Baja's up here in Virginia. Get something rust free, and not too radical. The more radical machines probably won't hold up as well off road.

I like later model Bugs with the IRS.... Read the full FAQ 86

FAQ 87
Question: Hi there Tom..i have a question...i have a 74 Beetle convertible,,when i got it..the condensor wire and the wire on the inside of the distributor...was burned it grounded out and got real warm ...
Answer: I'd suggest tracking down what DOES have 12V with the key in the on position, but not in the start position.

It sounds like a bad ignition switch.

I'm guessing that the starter turned over when yo... Read the full FAQ 87

FAQ 88
Question: I'd like to get off road in a Baja. What do I need to do to build my own Baja?
Answer: The list is long. There are a couple of good books. The fastest way to get off road in a Baja is to buy one someone has put the work into. Bajas are available in all parts of the US, but especially in... Read the full FAQ 88
FAQ 89
Question: I own a '74 super beetle and recently I've noticed that my oil light keeps coming on no matter how many times I check and fill the oil. When i've pulled over to look and see if something is amiss I fi...
Answer: Uh. Oh. It sounds like your engine is ready for a rebuild. Rebuilt engines are usually about $1200. On my parts page I list info for Wayne Dittmann. He does great rebuilds at a much lower price than l... Read the full FAQ 89
FAQ 90
Question: I just purchased a 66 Baja from friends. Unfortunately they are mechanically challenged and know nothing. Well, when I got into it I found a crack in the block and now it will run, as it back fires,an...
Answer: That's a sad story, but I think it will have a happy ending.

The cracked block is probably scrap. Even if it could be welded, they aren't worth the cost to fix. VW Bug engine cases are a magn... Read the full FAQ 90
FAQ 91
Question: I've got a Devillbiss (sp?) 3/4 horsepower compressor and wonder if you have any experience with a touch up gun that would run off this? If there's not enough air - I would get specks of paint?
Answer: Interesting question. I am far from being an expert on sprayers and compressors.

My guess is that a 3/4 (0.75) horsepower compressor is for air brushes and filling tires, so it probably doesn't hav... Read the full FAQ 91

FAQ 92
Question: My neighbor looked at the car yesterday and said it may have either a broken rod or broken piston, and that was a big problem. I don't doubt that, but why? Just trying to avoid replacing the whole eng...
Answer: A common Bug engine problem is a dropped valve. Very messy, and often cracks the piston, and may crack the cylinder head as well.

You need the Muir book, and maybe the shop manual. That Muir book is... Read the full FAQ 92

FAQ 93
Question: How to remove rear windows.
Answer: George sent this hint:

"Just happened upon your site. I have successfully removed both side and rear windows along with saving the rubber gaskets. From inside, pull back the edge of the rubber and ... Read the full FAQ 93

FAQ 94
Question: My son and I are restoring/building a baja bug. I'm having trouble finding a lift kit. I'm not sure what to use and body lift kit or a suspension lift kit. Any advice?
Answer: There are two kinds of lift for a bug: suspension mods to push the wheels down and the body up, and a body lift which is a steel channel that goes between the body and the pan to raise the body.

You... Read the full FAQ 94

FAQ 95
Question: I've read about Baja suspensions, but I'm still confused about what options to choose, and the costs of things like longer trailing arms for the rear. Why don't you recommend SAW (Sway-A-Way) spring p...
Answer: Complex questions. Look at the photos of the SAW adjustable spring plates.

The adjustment isn't... Read the full FAQ 95

FAQ 96
Question: Here is my dilema I feel that there may or may not be a short in the wiring somewhere in the car you tell me. I was able to start the car let it run and it would run for about 15-20 minutes then just ...
Answer: My first guess would be coil. When the spark coil is going bad it often will work cold, but stops working when it heats up a little.

If the fuel is fine for 15 minutes, it'll almost always be fine f... Read the full FAQ 96

FAQ 97
Question: I just bought a 69 Beetle with a BMW engine installed in it. There is a roar in the left rear of the little thing...especially when I put it in neutral. It comes and goes but mostly this a ...
Answer: A BMW engine? What kind of BMW engine?

Bad wheel bearings roar, and it gets louder with speed of the car. It should not be effected (much) by what gear you are in, or by the engine rpms.

CV joints... Read the full FAQ 97

FAQ 98
Question: I just found a Bug that I'm thinking of buying. How much should I pay, how can I check out the car, and what should I watch out for?
Answer: See my FAQ18 about getting an old bug running again. Much of this applies to any car you buy that is 25 or more years old.


I have a BMW pre-purc... Read the full FAQ 98
FAQ 99
Question: I want to remove the fuel injection from my VW Bug, and change to carburetors. Where can I find out how to do this? Is it difficult?
Answer: I don't know of any books, but there is probably a description somewhere. There is probably a back issue of "VW Trends" or "Hot VWs" that describes the process. Sadly, my back issues aren't indexed an... Read the full FAQ 99
FAQ 100
Question: I'm considering buying a 1990-1993 VW Cabriolet. I was wondering if you have any advice / caution about this model?

Are they generally reliable?

Do they make a good buy? Do they age ...
Answer: Good questions. My girlfriend and I bought a 1991 Cabrio. It is a great car, and has aged pretty well. She drives the car every day and loves it. Her 1991 is still the Rabbit body style, although it s... Read the full FAQ 100
FAQ 101
Question: Maybe you can help me, I tuned up my bug and it is firing in all cylinders, however it wont start. The starter is not dragging and the coil seems to be ok. Any ideas?

Thank you
Answer: Two things (in general) make the car run: spark and fuel.

If you have spark at the plugs, then there are only two spark related issues: plug wires in the wrong order and the timing being off ... Read the full FAQ 101
FAQ 102
Question: I need to replace my steering box in my 1974 super beetle. I was wondering if you could pass on any instructions prior to me diving into the project, I heard rumors that you have to remove the gas tan...
Answer: I can't imagine doing with the tank in. I'm not familiar with the steering box on the Super Beetle, but I think most of what follows applies to all Bugs.

Removing the tank is not too hard, but can b... Read the full FAQ 102

FAQ 103
Question: I have a friend witha 76ish beetle and he wantsw to get new seats. are there any better seats from another car that would bolt in instead that are better than the ones he has?

Answer: Some off road seats bolt in, but they don't adjust or recline. There are kits to replace the padding and upholstery. Recaro may make something, but those are usually expensive (more than ?).

I bough... Read the full FAQ 103

FAQ 104
Question: heres my problem? I have a 1972 super beetle that never gives me problems until now. Last week I started it up and it was running but a little rough,then it back fired and would not idle. I looked at ...
Answer: If the oil is coming out of the crank case breather hose, then yes, you probably have a serious problem. Normally, there is a gentle puff of somewhat oily smelling air that comes out of the crank. Whe... Read the full FAQ 104
FAQ 105
Question: I have a 74 bug and am having problems with it slinging oil. I have been told that the problem could be the PCV?

I have to constantly put oil in this thing. What to do?
Answer: PCV valve is not likely on a Bug. Where is the oil come from?

Most likely causes:

- Loose oil cooler, or bad oil cooler gaskets. This can put oil mostly over the left half of the engine.

- Engin... Read the full FAQ 105

FAQ 106
Question: Where can I find wiring diagrams (circuit diagrams) online?
Answer: There is a great VW Bus site with color wiring diagrams:

An online wire diagram is handy for many electric circuit problems. Read the full FAQ 106

FAQ 107
Question: What lubricant should I use on the windshield gasket when installing a new windshield?
Answer: Hi Tom,

I was reading your tips on installing a volkswagen windshield. Using a soapy sloution or glass cleaner is good to lube the gasket and area before installing.

However, silicon spray is not... Read the full FAQ 107

FAQ 108
Question: Hi Tom,

Hope you can help, my Mum has a 1974 12 Beetle and the release lock inside the glove compartment will not open the bonnet (also know as the hood or luggage compartment lid). The comp...
Answer: This is not a very detailed answer, but sketches out the solution.

Try to pull what part of the cable you can reach. Sometimes if a second person pushes down on the bonnet (hood) handle, the latch r... Read the full FAQ 108

FAQ 109
Question: I am a new bug owner. I have a kit car with a 1974 bug engine. There is an oil temperature gauge installed and it will reach 230 degrees F. Do you believe this is too hot? I checked the fan, control f...
Answer: My first reaction is to say that 230 degrees F is high, but I'm not sure. If it is high, it isn't very high.

I've never been able to get my gauge to work (I haven't tried too hard). Mounting my temp... Read the full FAQ 109

FAQ 110
Question: California Imports has the Worst customer service I've ever had to deal with. I bought a brake master cylinder and they sent the wrong one... Well. I called and told them I was sending it back because...
Answer: Thanks for the note. RMM has always done right by me too (although I can't recollect that I've needed to return anything).

I list contact info for RMM and others at:

... Read the full FAQ 110

FAQ 111
Question: How-do!

I have a '72 Superbeetle that I built from parts three years ago and got rear ended in yesterday. I was ably to pry the sheet metal out of the main pully and limp it on home, but now ...
Answer: Supers can be made into Bajas. Raising the front is different, but I think you can get a few extra inches. Besides, more ground clearance is not a requirement for a Baja. There are tons of street Baja... Read the full FAQ 111
FAQ 112
Question: Well I am here wondering what brand your roof rack is. I have looked at them on, and, but there is no special model for my Beetle. Actually, I don't want to force the gutter foot ...
Answer: Jonathan,

I am pretty sure that is it a Yakima (a friend gave it to me.) The distance between the supports is adjustable, and the rack locks. The clamps are rubber coated, so there is very little da... Read the full FAQ 112

FAQ 113
Question: Great site, thanks!

A little un-related but am considering purchase of VW powered trike, 1600cc OEM new engines. Can see at They are in process of developing automatic tr...
Answer: I like shifting, and the manual VW tranny is solid.

Are they going to offer a VW autostick auto, or an aftermarket auto tranny? I'd love to hear more about that.

The autostick from VW is a manual ... Read the full FAQ 113

FAQ 115
Question: I recently purchased a 1776 performance engine from Mofoco with hydraulic lifters and 1.25 scat rockers. I've got about 900 miles on the engine and have had to adjust the rockers 2 times now to keep t...
Answer: Below is my reply, and a later response from Bill. Thanks Bill!

-- Bill, I'm not an expert in hydraulic lifters. I seem to recollect that when I did the head on my '64 Mustang, the lifters took an h... Read the full FAQ 115

FAQ 116
Question: Where should I order my fiberglass Baja kit?
Answer: There is only one answer: Mark V Fiberglass. I recommend that you get their extra thick kit. They also carry Baja kit accessories. Mark V is the only quality kit.

... Read the full FAQ 116

FAQ 117
Question: I just hooked up a nice defrost system in my beetle. I have my how to here, thought you'd like to see it. I just finished it and took it for a spin. Works great.

Answer: Thanks Rob! That looks like a great solution. Barney's includes a two or three speed switch, and I think the kit has two blowers, but the price difference is still not worth it in my book.

p.s. Nice... Read the full FAQ 117

FAQ 118
Question: Jenny wrote with this (paraphrased) message...

"This morning, before starting her up, I thought I'd just quick check the valves, cuz I didn't on the last tune up. Well, they were just fine, s...
Answer: My reply wasn't too useful, but Jenny tracked down the problem and writes:

"I had a super old distributor in the car, probably the original, and it's cap was loose, and so its timing was going out a... Read the full FAQ 118

FAQ 119
Question: My New Beetle electric windows have stopped working. What can I do?
Answer: Pam writes with the same question, and kindly found the answer. Thanks Pam!

VW has just recently issued a recall on the window regulators. At the time mine broke I was not happy with the treatment a... Read the full FAQ 119

FAQ 121
Question: How good is the single, center mounted Weber IDF carburetor? Has anyone has experience with this setup? What about cold weather? I'm worried because we have Winter where I live, and the IDF doesn't re...
Answer: I am now recommending the Weber IDF. I don't like the DFEV on the Bug (although it is a fine carb.)

Marvin from Albuquerque very kindly sent several emails and photos of his new Weber IDF setup. So ... Read the full FAQ 121

FAQ 122
Question: My bug will not turn over and will not start. I have replaced the battery and starter. All I hear is a click near the carb when the ignition key is turned to the starting position. The starter does no...
Answer: The starter not turing over (when you know it is a good starter) is usually not enough juice (current) on the small red wire. That triggers the solenoid which closes the battery-to-start connection an... Read the full FAQ 122
FAQ 126
Question: Hi Tom. Can air conditioning be installed in a vintage VW Bug? I have serious problems with the heat, and I desperately need air conditioning in my car.


Answer: Cathy, It is possible. Aside from cost, people don't often do it because the Bug doesn't have a powerful engine, and a/c will slow you down. Of course, around town speed isn't an issue, and you can al... Read the full FAQ 126
FAQ 126
Question: I get my license in 4 days! I need help custom: message: Ok my bug is running great and everything is working and ready for me to drive. But of course no defrosting! I dont have much time left, and i ...
Answer: Chris,
The cigarette lighter thing probably won't do much.

If the heat exchangers are in good condition, and all the tubing that carries air is working, then you'll have "some" defrosting. After ... Read the full FAQ 126

FAQ 127
Question: Where can one purchase Bug parts in Sri Lanka?
Answer: Rameez very kindly replied:


BRANCH: 503 KANDAWALA RD, R... Read the full FAQ 127

FAQ 139
Question: Andrew writes with a few questions (edited):

When I turn the key to turn the engine, all I get is very fast clicks.

If I have a charged battery and then I go for a drive and the batt...
Answer: We corresponded and Andrew determined that the battery was weak/dead.

Running hot and not charging could be as simple as a loose fan belt. The fan/alternator are both driven by that belt.
... Read the full FAQ 139
FAQ 175
Question: I'm removing the engine from my Bug and I thought I had all the bolts removed. Why won't my engine come loose?
Answer: The upper starter bolt also holds the engine to the bellhousing (transmission). Read the full FAQ 175
FAQ 216
Question: I'm having a difficult time removing the rear axle nut in order to remove the hubs to replace the brake shoes and wheel cylinders on a 1969 VW Bug. Any suggestions on removal?
Answer: Both nuts are normal thread - turn counter-clockwise to remove. I checked the Muir book to be sure (and that's what I remember although I've only had mine off once).

Before removing the nut, mark it... Read the full FAQ 216

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