Monthly Archives: March 2015
Was going to wait and do this tomorrow, but not really tired, so it got done tonight. The OG turn signal switch had seen better days. The plastic pieces had started to disintegrate years ago. I ordered a replacement from CIP1 last week because their having a huge sale the whole month of March. Pleased with the price, pleased with the quality. As you can see in the first pic above, it was certainly time to replace the switch. The new switch can be used in other VW’s besides the Beetle, so not all of the wires will be used. You can cut out the ones you won’t use, making it easier to get the wires through the steering column. Then it’s just a matter of splicing everything together. All of the wires are color coded, so it’s hard to get them wrong. I soldered all of my connections to ensure good contact. Put everything back together, then tested…works like a charm!
Installed the new lap belts that I purchased from Wolfsburg West. Would love to have found real retro replacements or a good set of originals, but for now, these will be fine. I’m pleased with the quality and look. I probably hang on to the originals for now, but will probably sell them some time down the road. I spent yesterday evening rebuilding the donor ’69 speedo for practice and to use while I rebuild my ’68 speedo. I was very pleased with result and couldn’t wait to put it in the car. So the temps were high enough today and the garage was warm enough today, I headed out early to swap out the speedos. An hour or so later, the ’68 speedo was out and the ’69 speedo took it’s place. Gave everything a quick test and it looked wonderful. Nice bright gels, very clean looking speedo. Still don’t know if this is going to cure the speedo whine that I experience. Roads were still to nasty to get the Beetle out. However, this setup is only temporary. I immediately began to break down the ’68 speedo. Only thing I really notice that differed from the ’69 speedo was the bezel. The bezel on the ’69 was aluminum and easy to lift the lip to remove it from the housing. The bezel on the ’68 is probably made out of brass and it was a bit harder to lift the lip. It didn’t want to bend nearly as easy as the aluminum. So a little more time and patience and it finally decided to come off. Did the same cleanup procedure that I did on the ’69 speedo, repainted the speedo needle and fuel gauge needle and repaired the house on the fuel gauge where it was cracked. The gels on this speedo are in a lot worse condition then the ones on the ’69. I’ll be heading to Office Max tomorrow to try and find colored folder tabs that I can use to replace all of the gels. All in all, a very productive day!
Here’s a quick video of the ’69 speedo being tested after it was installed.
I just finished rebuilding this 1969 speedometer that I’ll put in the Beetle while I rebuild the 1968 speedo. Since I had never done this before, this was good practice to prepare me for rebuilding the ’68 speedo. Total process took about 5 hours and wasn’t that hard at all. I now look forward to making my ’68 look and perform like it did when it was new! Click here to read the tutorial I put together, hopefully it’ll help you rebuild your own speedo!
Got some goodies in the mail today despite the nasty weather outside. Got my lap belts from Wolfsburg West and an assortment of goodies from CIP1. I opted to go with the European tail light lenses just because I like the look a bit more. Also swapped out the OG turn signal lenses. Was skeptical about the quality and fitment of the aftermarket lenses, but I’m actually very satisfied with them. Plus CIP1 has a really nice sale going on right now, so the price was right. Also got some bulbs and sockets for my speedo that I’ll be rebuilding once I get the ’69 donor in the mail. Last but not least, a new turn signal assembly. The plastic pieces in my OG turn signal assembly are beginning to crumble. After being awake for 34 hours and working 19 of those, I mustered enough energy to swap out the lenses. The lap belts will have to wait until the weekend.
Since we’re not doing anything major to the ’68 Beetle, there are a few things that I want to freshen up on it. The car has a brand new interior, dash, carpet, rubber mats, seat padding and covers, etc. Last week I freshened up the wiper arms with a good cleaning and fresh coat of correct paint and new blades. I’ve also got a new emergency brake boot to install, but I’m dreading it because I remember what a pain in the butt it can be. All of the light lenses are original and suffer the fading and cracking of 47 year old lenses, so I’ve got replacements on the way along with a new turn signal switch. I’ve also got new lap belts on the way from Wolfsburg West. Can’t wait to get them installed! The speedometer is in really good condition, other than the gels needing replaced and the infamous speedo whine. This speedo really sings and it is annoying! The speedo and cable are original to the car and many times, oiling up the speedo cable will take care of the whine. I’ve oiled it up twice now and it hasn’t had a positive affect. And since most aftermarket speedo cables are crap, I really want to keep the original. So what’s left is to pull the speedo, take it apart and grease the gears. It’ll also be a good opportunity to replace the gels. Buying a ’68 speedo is an option, however, the ’68’s are a one year only speedo and they can be hard to find and very expensive to replace, so my best option is to rebuild and freshen up the one I have. In the meantime, I’ve purchase a ’69 speedo to put in it’s place while the ’68 speedo is being rebuilt. The ’69’s are much easier to find and much, cheaper. You can see the differences in the speedo in the pics above. The ’69 donor I purchased is on the left, the original ’68 in the car is on the right. So hopefully, this will be next weekends project if I get the donor speedo in the mail this week.
We haven’t had the opportunity to do this for the past few years, but now we think it’s time to get it started again. Each year, before Christmas, we donate diecast cars to the U.S. Marine Corp Toys For Tots Foundation. The last year we collected for the die cast drive, we donated over 4800 die cast cars and even a few Barbie Dolls. Each year we sponsored the drive, it was very successful, even landing us a spot on the local evening news. We’ve had collectors from as far away as Germany and Australia donate to the cause and we’re hoping that this year will be just as successful. We accept die cast cars in all shapes and forms, any manufacturer, etc. We only ask that they remain in their original packaging, no loose cars. If you’re interested in donating, please download this form for shipping instructions. We’d love to add your name to the growing list of people who have donated over the years. Help us make the 2015 holiday season the best ever!