Monthly Archives: February 2015
So it didn’t get into the 40’s today, but at least the sun was out! Cold or not, she got a bath today, a much needed bath! Fixed all the issues I was having with the lights, now everything works like it should. Brake light issue was just a grounding/oxidation problem. Oil sending unit light was also just a grounding issue. Also freshened up the wiper arms with a new coat of paint and installed new wiper blades. Did some cruising around town, getting her ready for spring!
Finally got some sun today and got the Beetle out to play. Still too cold to wash it, but I did get the center caps cleaned up and repainted. Also tracked down a couple of issues with the electrical. Drivers side headlight would not work on high beam, high beam indicator didn’t work either. Ended up cleaning the fuse terminals to fix that problem, but I’m still having an issue with the brake lights not working. All other lights work fine. Will try to spend some more time tomorrow and get it fixed. Can’t wait to give it a proper bath!
UPDATE: Brake lights are working now!
Itching to do a little work on the Beetle, but winter still has a terrible hold on us. Just too cold to be working outside or even in the Beetle Cave. Added to the laundry list of things I want to change out on the Beetle, some to make it safe. It has the original seat belts (lap belts) that came when the car was new, but they’ve seen better days. I’ve ordered new lap belts for the front from Wolfsburg West. Also ordered a bunch of smalls from CIP1 yesterday, mainly cosmetic things. Tonight I removed the Porsche Fuch center caps. One of the four is brand new, the other 3 have seen better days, but paying over 200 dollars for replacements is out of the question. Therefore, the three that have seen better days will get cleaned and a fresh coat of paint applied. I also got the new antenna that I ordered for Chircoestore the other day, so I got it installed. The Beetle still needs a good bath! It still has the road grime from the 140 mile snowy road trip from Lexington two Saturdays ago. Hey, spring is right around the corner!
Received my roof rack today that I ordered from the Dune Buggy Warehouse in Hamilton, Ohio. Price was decent, looked like the same one found on every other web site that sells them. Build was easy, quality was good, fitment was excellent, those are some of the pros. Here are some of the cons. The kit was missing 14 washers (as per instructions) and 4 bolts. However, the kit did include 6 extra nuts. Guess the Chinese still have a problem counting. Anyhow, it’s as good as I expected, maybe even a little better. It gives me the look that I was trying to achieve and I’m satisfied. Even found a period correct cooler from a friend.
Ordered a few smalls from various vendors, this one arrived today. A new e-brake cover. Ordered from chircoestore.com. Impressed with the quality, but not even going to try to install it until is a nice warm day!
The clouds parted and the sun finally poked through. Temp right around 40 degrees, it’s a welcome sign. However, we have no water. Apparently, the city is fighting a few water main breaks, so it’s hard telling when it’ll be back on. So what to do while you’re waiting for the Daytona 500 to start? Work on the Beetle! Would love to get her out of the garage for a nice long bath, she’s still filthy from last weeks trip from Lexington in a snow storm. But no water and the wind still has a bite to it, maybe next week. I did notice that the bright light relay wasn’t working when I bought the car, the steering wheel was dirty and the horn only worked when one side of the horn lever was pushed. Lets start there. While nosing around, I found the original bill of sale. Seems I was wrong about the color, it is in deed zenith blue, not diamond blue. She was $2108 brand new. Wow! Disassembled the steering wheel assembly, cleaned it in the snow because we have no water. Polished the horn lever, cleaned the contacts for the bright light switch, now everything works! I’ll probably have to replace the turn signal switch. It’s original and very clean, but the plastic has deteriorated. Since the plastic pieces are riveted in, I’m guessing that they can’t be replaced without replacing the whole unit. But for now, the horn works properly, turn signals work and the bright light switch works….that’s a good start..
Well, technically not the first purchase. I ordered a e-brake cover from chircoestore.com the other day, so I’ll call this the first big purchase. Didn’t realize the roof racks were so expensive, prices range from $177 to $269 for the powder coated steel racks from EMPI to $400+ for some other stainless steel brands. I like the racks, I think it’ll add a bit of nostalgia to the overall appearance of the Beetle. I ordered mine from Dunebuggywarehouse out of Hamilton, Ohio via Ebay. Hope it’ll be here in just a few days!
So, in our quest to find a regular Beetle, our week started last Friday with a viewing of 3 Beetles in our local area, all within 40 miles of each other. The first one, a 1970 Beetle, the owner was asking $7995 for it. The guy had too much sentimental value on the car. It was decent, but certainly not a 8000 dollar Beetle, more like a 3000 dollar Beetle. The other two were within 5 miles of each other, so I checked them out before work. A ’73 Beetle with the asking price of $3996. And it was on a used car lot. I didn’t even talk to the owner, I took a quick look only to discover that this Beetle was ate up with rot. It needed to go to the scrapyard years ago. The other was a ’74 Beetle that didn’t look bad in the ad pics, but up close, it was in pretty bad shape. Lots of bondo, lots and lots of bondo! The owner was asking $4900, I thought it was worth $2000 at best. So I spent the weekend checking out ads within 300 miles of home. Corresponded with some, shifted through the BS of others and found one in Winston-Salem, NC. Owner was asking $6500 for the car and from what I could see in the pics, it looked promising. Asked a ton of questions, determined it was worth the trip, so our Tuesday started with a 556 mile round trip from Ashland, Ky. to Winston-Salem, NC. We were there by 10:30am and back on the road by 10:40am. Again, from 10 feet away, the car looked great. The owner was less than honest with the answers he proved to my questions. Bad patch jobs, bondo, etc. Certainly not a 6500 dollar car. At best, maybe a 4000 dollar car. And the quest continued. I had been corresponding with the owner of a lowered ’68 Beetle out of Bowling Green, Ky. Pics looked good and being the VW person he was, he posted the right pics, fender wells, spare tire compartment, all the typical places vulnerable to rust. This Beetle looked nice and clean. Not perfect, but a daily driver with great potential. He was just a bit too far away to make plans until warm weather. Also found a ’69 Beetle in Cincinnati that looked nice as well. However, the owner had a hard time answering questions, that was a red flag, even though he was asking $6500. But it still warranted a visit so I could see for myself. I spoke with the owner of the ’68 in Bowling Green and he agreed to trailer the car to Lexington, Ky. and I’d drive it the rest of the way to Ashland, Ky. if I bought it. So at 6:30am this morning, we headed to Cincinnati to check out the ’69 Beetle. Arrived by 9:30am ready to talk business. At first glance, I was impressed. Somebody before the current owner had put a lot of work into this car or either paid somebody to put a lot of work into the car. I drove it. Very strong 1600SP, NO BRAKES, but a very strong runner. Paint was nice, interior was beautiful. Lowered a bit to make it look nice. Then I took a peek underneath. No rust, at least I couldn’t see any rust. But something just didn’t look right, so I started feeling around and soon found all of the typical rust had been filled with tar. Perfect parade car, not a daily driver. I was disappointed to say the least, the outside of this car was beautiful. Most I’d consider giving would’ve been $3500, but I didn’t even offer. Not looking for something to redo somebody else’s piss poor work. So we hopped back in the car and headed to Lexington just in time to meet up with the 1968 IRS Beetle. This is a very dry car from Oklahoma that only has 63k og miles and its original bill of sale from the dealer and the original owners manual with dealer stamped oil changes. It has a 3 inch narrow beam built by Rusty Bottom Garage with new tierods and German ball joints with CB drop disc spindles and new rotors and drums drilled for Porsche pattern with all new brakes. New tires front and rear on repop Gasburners with real Porsche 3 prong caps 155/60 Conti front and 195/65 Conti rear. All connected to a rebuilt 4 speed IRS tranny also built by Rusty Bottom Garage. The motor is a very strong 1600SP with a fresh top end starting with new rod bearings, new Brosol carb and a rare nos 4 tip muffler from the 70’s that they don’t make anymore. The gas tank as been lined and professionally painted black has a new nos German VDO sending unit. The inside has a new dash with all the vents, along with new TMI seatcovers on lowbacks with new padding and new carpet along with oem rubber mats. Lots of new German rubber and new German running boards. All original glass. This was the car that I was looking for. Screw the fact that it was 29 degrees outside and starting to snow. I test drove the car, talked with the current owners for a bit and bought it on site. The wife and I had a Valentine Day lunch at Ted’s Montana Grill (owned by Ted Turner and an awesome place to eat), gassed up and started the 123 mile trip back to Ashland. About a third of the way home on Interstate 64, near the Frenchburg exit, total white out, road completely covered in ice and snow. For the next 100 miles, I was all over the road, slipping and sliding across both eastbound lanes numerous times. If you’ve ever watched the movie, “The Spirit of St. Louis” with Jimmy Stewart and remember the part when the plane ices up over the Atlantic, that’s what it was like for me for about 100 miles. White knuckles all the way! But we finally made it home just in time to meet up with a guy from Circleville, Ohio who wanted to buy my ’74 Super Beetle project, minus the motor. He already had a motor, just wanted the body. So in the frigid 28 degree blowing snow, we loaded up the ’74 onto his trailer and he headed off into the sunset. Now our “new” ’68 occupies it’s space in the garage. Now it’s time to relax and enjoy what’s left of Valentines Day then get some well deserved rest!