Monthly Archives: January 2015

99.9% Done

Oil Cooler Tin InsulationOil Cooler TinsOil CoolerOil Cooler TinOil Cooler TinsCoil Wiring99.9% DoneI guess it’s safe to say that the engine is about 99.9% complete now. I need to finish the carb rebuild, add the sled tins and hose from the breather to the oil filler and that’ll be that. Three and a half months of cold weekend nights in the garage, watching Breaking Bad (for the 3rd time) and escaping the real world for a few hours each night. I’m happy with the end result. I’m confident that I could easily get a good return on my investment to this point if need be. Of course, for me, my time is free….my wife may disagree. lol Hindsight being 20/20, here are my tips thus far for anybody else starting a project like this. And this only covers the engine build, cleaning, etc.
1. Take lots and lots of pictures. Not only to admire your progress, but it’ll also help you when it comes time to put everything together.
2. Take lots of notes. I document everything I do, not only with pics, but lots of notes and diagrams.
3. Tools! Have the right tools for the job.
4. Patience! Temper tantrums, cussing and fist banging will ensue! Be patient…know when to walk away from the project for a while.
5. Budget. Know your spending limits. Don’t get in over your head!
6. Don’t throw anything away! What may seem like junk to you may be gold for a fellow VW enthusiast.
7. Aftermarket parts….Everybody will have their own opinions on aftermarket parts, for me, I’ll walk the fence. Buy your parts from reputable sellers, there are plenty out there, I have a lot of them listed on our web site. I keep track of every part I buy, where I bought it from and how much I paid for it. Hopefully this will help somebody else. Regardless, try to get your hands on as many original parts as you can. Nothing beats a working original part!
8. Do as much of the work as you can, but be smart enough to know when you’re out of your league and seek help when that time comes. When in doubt, don’t second guess yourself. There are plenty of books and web sites that have the answer you’re seeking. Take the time to look it up!
9. Have fun! For me, working on this project is an escape. A way to submerge yourself into something that you have total control of, even when the garage is freezing cold! lol
10. Be realistic. I’m in this for the long haul. I allotted 3 years for my project Beetle. That’s a realistic goal for me because I won’t have the time, money and knowledge to do everything myself. I’ll have to spread it out over the next couple of years, but still do as much as I can, when I can.

There….10 easy tips to get you on your way. Feel free to add your own input in the comments!

Little Here, Little There

New WiringNew WiringOil Cooler TinsHad some time this evening to start making new wires for the engine compartment. A much lesser task that it’s going to be when I have to replace the wiring harness, but at least it’s a start. Also got the oil cooler tins that I ordered from JBugs in the mail today. They’ll be installed tomorrow after work. Other than the sled tins and air filter, the engine portion of the project is complete. The goal was to finish the engine before the end of winter, so I’m a bit ahead of schedule. Now it’s time to re-focus on the body and chassis, work up a game plan and go from there. Still a lot of decisions to be made. I’m confident that I could sell the 1835 motor as it is right now and recoup all of the money that I have into the project so far. Of course, for me, my time is free. It’s easy to get in over your head quick, that’s why I’m trying not to be in a rush to get anything done. Plan, plan and more planning.

What A Difference A Few Months Can Make

EngineUgly Engine

Just looking back at some pics, the pic on the left is my engine in it’s current state, the pic on the right was taken on 11/07/2014 just before I removed it from the car. Lots and lots of elbow grease and tlc makes a big difference.

Air Cleaner?

Air CleanerAir CleanerRealized after I mounted my coil last night that I didn’t take into consideration the clearance needed for the stock air cleaner. Luckily. there’s no issue. But it does have me wondering if I should stick with the stock air cleaner or go for an aftermarket air cleaner.


CoilCoilI went ahead and ordered a EMPI 9044 air cleaner because I think the stock air cleaner just looks to much out of place. I’ll keep the stock air cleaner just because it’s an OEM part, but I think the EMPI air cleaner is going to look much better.

Coil Mount

Threaded Insert RiveterCoilCoilInstalled the coil mount tonight with the aid of a threaded insert riveter. If you’ve ever used a regular rivet gun, you can use a threaded insert riveter. It’s a great tool for adding mounting points to all types of sheet metal. You can pick one up fairly cheap at your local hardware or automotive store. I got mine for $19.99 and it included 45 inserts of various sizes and the tooling for those threaded rivets. I put together a quick little video (sorry for the SD quality, my GoPro wasn’t charged) to demonstrate how easy it is. Enjoy!

Devil Is In The Details

GrommentRebuilt CarbRebuilt CarbGot the parts that Tim from VolkzBitz sent me yesterday, was able to get the carb back together. Also finished install grommets on tins where needed. Since I had to relocate the dip stick tube, the pulley tin had to be modified to slide over the dip stick tube. With a grommet in place, looks like it was supposed to be that way the whole time.

Rolling Video

Created a rolling video of our Beetle project. The video is updated regularly….Enjoy!

Engine Progress

New BeetleAlternatorHoover BitNew ShroudEngineEngineSpent some time tonight installing the new dog house shroud, test fitting the rear tin and watching it snow outside. First real snow this winter. Pleased with the fitment of the dog house, especially around my new hoover bit, not so pleased with the rear tin. Like everybody else who has used these aftermarket tins, I have the same complaints. I’ve had a couple fit perfectly and a couple that have a lot to be desired. Mixing these aftermarket tins with OEM is not a good decision. Chalk it up as a learning experience. Also installed grommets in the tins where needed, along with a new throttle cable tube. Still awaiting some parts that Tim at Volkzbitz is sending me so I can finish with the carb rebuild. I’ll order the oil cooler tin, heater box tin, and sled tins some time soon and that’ll pretty much button up all of the engine work. Then it’ll be time to get back to the body.