Getting some decorations up for Christmas, took Mabel out for a drive around town. Something I’m considering is putting her back to stock. She’s 100% stock other than the narrowed front beam and gas burner rims. Inside, nothing has changed since 1967. So, here’s my question. The front beam is new, 3 inch narrow beam built by Rusty Bottom Garage with new tierods and German ball joints with CB drop disc spindles. What I’m considering doing is putting the stock front beam back on (1968). How much of a pain in the ass is this going to be?
Mid November, but still warm enough to get Mabel out and enjoy her. Actually, it was warm enough to give her a final bath for the year. Also gave Ruby (our Camaro) a bath as well. I usually don’t push products, but I have to admit, this Blue Magic tire shine is the best I’ve ever used. I’ve been using it on all of my cars since this past spring and I’m super impressed by it. Unlike others, it doesn’t wash off in the rain and keeps the tires black and shiny, love this stuff. Also got the Mabels valve cover gaskets in the mail today. This was the last item of her “tune up” that I wanted to replace, so I got those installed as well. Unfortunately, you can feel winter in the air and our days of 60 and 70 degree weather is coming to a slow end. I plan to get Mabel out and drive her as much as I can, she’s running better than ever!
Today was a good day to get Mabel out and take her for a spin around town. She got a fresh oil change, strainer change and gasket change. This is the best she’s ran since I bought her. It’s amazing what a good distro, carb and valve tune up can do for these Beetles. She’s happy and resting comfortably, looking forward to getting her out for a spin tomorrow.
So the carb kit that I ordered from Carb Junky arrived in the mail today. After work, I decided to throw in the float, new gasket and give her a try. As always, she fired right up and the anticipation mounted as I waited for the choke to release. Once it released, to continued to idle like her old self. I let her run for about 15 minutes, throttle was responsive and no more rich smelling exhaust. I still need to adjust the mix as she’s idling a little high, but I also need to get the oil changed again since so much fuel had seeped into the case. I’ll get around to that on Friday evening. So for now, she starts right up, cold or hot and idles like her old self. Thanks to everybody who chimed in with advice, especially the folks at thesamba.com.
May have found the carb issue with Mabel. I took the carb apart last night to clean the jets and tested the float. However, I tested the float in water which is heavier than gas, so it floated fine in water, but as you can see from the pics above, it doesn’t float in gas. These floats are notorious for absorbing gas over time and becoming too heavy to float. In the video below, you can see how rough it’s running and gas coming through the bypass. It’s not being cut off, therefore flooding the carb. Hopefully a new float will solve the problem.
Here are the preliminary results….drum roll…I took the carb off and pulled it apart…very clean looking, but I removed all the jets and cleaned them with carb cleaner, blew them all with 60 psi….all openings in the carb were cleaned with carb cleaner and blown out as well…float floated, so no issue there…As I mentioned before, I’m not a carb guy and while we can never be 100% sure, I’m 99.9% sure that this carb is clean…installed the carb, threw in a little starting fluid to get her going and of course, she fired right up…idled fine for about 40 seconds then began to spit and sputter, but not nearly as bad as before…she didn’t die…I began to adjust the volume control by first turning it all of the way in, then backing it out 4 turns, the bypass screw all the way in, the back out 2.5 turns. Idle was still rough, so I backed the bypass screw out 4 more turns and the volume control out 2 more turns….idle was better and she didn’t die…I let it run for about 15 minutes at idle, giving it some gas every few minutes….engine was good and hot…so, better than before, but here’s what I discovered…intake was still ice cold…heat riser on 3 and 4 cylinder was a little warm, but far from hot….heat riser on the 1 and 2 cylinder was very warm, but not extremely hot….main body of the intake was cold….so, that’s where I’m at…it idles (not ideally, but it idles)…so, what I’m thinking is that my vintage Abath exhaust may need replacing (possibly)….exhaust is still very, very rich smiling, I reek of carbon monoxide…lol garage is full of it and I have to open the door to breath….You can see in the pic above the exhaust residue on my leg, still very rich. I’m still confident that it’s running too rich, how to adjust that, I don’t know….I’m also confident that fuel has made its way into the case…I changed the oil about 200 miles ago and it’s already very thin….and a bit fuller than it should be…
Still having some issues with Mabel that I’m struggling to figure out. Hope to get some input from somebody reading this. I’ll do a quick recap then explain everything I’ve done up to now. About a month ago, I was out for a ride, nothing out of the ordinary. About 10 minutes into the trip, I stopped at a red light and the engine died. I fired it back up only to realize that the car would not idle, it’d just bog down and die. So I finished my trip with one foot on the gas and one foot on the brake. When I got to my destination, I opened the deck lid and heard a percolating sound from the carb and the base of the carb was very, very cold to the touch. Almost freezing cold. The car sat for about 30 minutes before I returned home, so it was fairly cool. It started right up and initially idled fine until a few minutes into the return trip, the began to do the same thing. Got home and discovered the same percolating sound and cold base of the carb. I did discover that the wire to the idle shut off valve was in bad shape, so I replaced it hoping that it was the cause of the problem. Unfortunately, that did not fix the issue and the car continued to do the same thing. It was fine as long it was a cold start, but that would only last for a few minutes. On another note, this car has always seemed to have a very rich smelling black exhaust. So a couple of weeks ago, I started digging a little deeper. Thinking that the heat risers were clogged with carbon, I ordered a new intake and also decided to do a tune up. Over the last couple of days, I replaced the intake and completed the tune up, but I’m still having some issues. When the car is cold, it starts right up and runs fine for a minute or so, then it’s all down hill from there. I’ve made a video to show exactly what it’s doing, I’m hoping somebody can help shed some light on the issue. Any input is greatly appreciated.
What has been replaced…
1. new intake
2. new spark plugs (gap .025)
3. new condenser
4. new rotor
5. new distributor cap
6. adjusted valves (.006 clearance)
Note: when I shot the video, the car had just been running for a while and was hot. If it were cold, it would’ve started right away. It really struggled to start this time.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I ran into some trouble with Mabel. First thought it may have been the idle shut off valve and that still could’ve been part of the problem due to a loose connection, but it had nothing to do with the issue of the carb freezing and the car not idling after the motor was hot. Cold, the car would start right up, run fine for about 10 minutes or until hot, then it would not idle at all. I could hear a percolating sound coming from the carb and the base of the carb was freezing cold. That made me take a long look at the intake. Though the intake looks fine (fresh coat of paint when I bought it), it does appear to be the original intake and it is possible that the intake tubes are clogged with carbon. So, I decided to go ahead and order a new intake from CIP1.com. And while I’m at it, I thought I’d go ahead and order some new points, rotor, condenser and distributor cap from JBugs.com. As I began to dismantle the top end to replace the intake, I pulled the distributor, removed the cap and rotor button and proceeded to put the points. That’s when things when down hill. Unlike newer distributors and models, these points slid down on a shaft that was part of the VAC plate. Long story short, the shaft that the points sit on, pulled out of the plate. Hey, it’s almost 50 years old, but still a bummer. So the search began for a replacement distributor. Luckily, I found the same exact distributor on a forum and had it in hand in just a couple of days. So all the new distro gadgets that I ordered from JBugs.com, went on that distributor. I’m going to sell my original distributor, somebody with the know how can rebuild it or use it for parts. The intake I ordered from CIP1 shipped with that God awful metal protecting black paint. I spent a good 3 hours stripping it down and painting it with gray engine paint. Looks so much better. So that’s where I’m at currently. I still need to strip down enough of the top end to remove the intake which is just sitting on the motor, bolts have already been removed. Once that’s done, I’m go ahead and put in new plugs and wires and adjust the valves while I’m at it. Hope to get a lot done Friday after work. I plan on keeping the original intake, cleaning it out and eventually using it again.