I used to really dislike these on Beetles, but they’ve sort of grown on me. Maybe I’m getting older. Anyhow, I thought I’d give them a try on Mabel, if I didn’t like them, I’d just re-sell them, but after getting them on, I really like them, so for now, they’re staying. I ordered these from Chircoestore and had read horror stories about installing them. These were easy, fit well and I had them installed in about 15 minutes.
So I got the parcel tray secured, kicking around ideas about securing the UE Boom bluetooth speaker. Just so happens, the speaker comes with a really nice carrying case that when open, fits nicely between the center supports of the parcel tray. So for now, it’s just going to sit in there, that way, I can take it out when I want. I’m using my Nokia Lumia Icon as my headend and so far, I’m pleased with the results. Will probably do some tweaking, but at least for now, I’ve got some good tunes filling the Beetle.
Got the new bamboo parcel tray that I ordered from cip1.com. Happy with the quality of the build, came with necessary hardware that I’ll have to figure out. Two screws and pretty self explanatory, but a large black rubber band that I’m not too sure about. Did a quick dry fit before leaving for work, love the look.
Put the finishing touches on my 12 volt aux/USB connection for my bluetooth speaker and phone charger. Happy with the way it turned out. Also started making the template for my trunk liner. I decided to try and make my own not only to save costs but it’ll also be more durable than anything I can buy. I’m using corrugated plastic, then I’ll cover it with a heavy duty vinyl. I finished my first template this evening and I’m very pleased with the results. Still some tweaking to do, then I’ll try to cover it. So far, so good. I also got my UE Boom bluetooth speaker in the mail today. Love the sound output, it’ll be perfect for the car. The parcel tray should be here tomorrow, hope to get everything mounted and in place this weekend.
You can see the finished prototype here!
One thing the ’68’s lacked was a cigarette lighter. Since I don’t smoke, I have no need for a cigarette lighter, but I do have a need for a 12 volt aux, better yet, a USB connection to charge my phone when needed since I’ll be using it as my radio/mp3 player. I was at our local auto parts store this morning looking for a license plate cover for my wife’s motorcycle and came across this 12 volt aux/usb input. I immediately thought it’d fit perfect underneath the ashtray and it was only 8 bucks, so I figure what the heck. I needed to clean up the nasty ashtray anyhow and since it had the autostick shift pattern decal that needed to come off, I thought it’d be a nice little project this afternoon. I was going to be cleaning up my fresh air box anyhow. The 12 volt aux/usb bracket fit perfectly underneath the ashtray just as I had hoped. I used high durable double sided tape to secure it after I cleaned up the ashtray a bit. Ran the ground wire into the ashtray which made for a perfect ground, one less wire to run. The hot wire runs through an existing hole that used at one time to mount a radio or CB, just made the hole a little bigger, inserted a rubber grommet, worked like a charm. I ran the hot wire to the back of the fuse panel to #2. It’s only hot when the key is on. I was going to have it continuously hot, but the USB unit has a little l.e.d. light that would stay on all of the time. Buttoned everything up, tested it and it’s perfect. Finished with a little cleanup of the fresh air box, then took her out for a drive around town, enjoying this nice spring weather! Waiting on the arrival of my bamboo parcel tray and bluetooth speaker. That’ll be next weekends project!
I’ve given a lot of thought about installing a radio in the Beetle. Unfortunately, most of today’s radios will not fit into the metal dash opening in the old Beetles. You can retro radios that will fit, but they’re very, very expensive. So I’ve opted to use my phone as my radio/mp3 player and I bought a EU Boom bluetooth speaker. This is a rechargeable, 360 degree speaker that has excellent sound quality. It’s design will allow me to place the speaker in the parcel tray for easy access. I was leaning towards a Boze bluetooth speaker that was actually a little cheaper, but the sound quality and design of the EU Boom changed my mind, plus it was only 20 dollars more.
Had some time this afternoon and concentrated on getting the trunk area cleaned up a bit. No rust, but a lot of dust. Got the spare tire area cleaned up and washer fluid reservoir hooked up. Also installed a new wiring cover on the back side of the dash. The old one had seen better days and was cracked. I plan to make my own trunk liner just to make everything look a little cleaner. Have a couple of ideas floating around, once I commit to the project, I’ll put together a how to. I also dressed up the wiring on the new fog lights, they look a lot cleaner now. And I also moved the fog light indicator in the speedo opposite to the bright light indicator. Now, when the fog lights are on, the left side blue light is on, when the bright lights are, the regular right side blue light is on. Hope my bamboo parcel tray will be here Monday or Tuesday so I can get it installed.
So I’ve been thinking for a while about what to do about this. Some time, probably back in the 70’s, somebody had installed a CB radio in the Beetle. I remember when it was cool to have a CB radio installed in your car, way before texting and cell phones. Anyhow, somewhere along the line, the CB was removed, leaving a hole in the hood where they had mounted the antenna. The hole was plugged with a solid rubber grommet. When and if I ever decided to get the Beetle painted, I’ll probably have the hole welded up and forgotten about. Until then I thought it’d be a cool place to mount a tachometer. Not many places on or around the dash for a tach, so I figured why not. Since it’s something that I’m not totally sure I’ll keep, I got a cheapo Bosch tach at Autozone to fill the bill. Easy enough the hook up. One wire to the coil, one hot wire, one to the light dimmer and one ground. The hardest part was getting the wire from the front of the car to the coil. I know this probably isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but I’m digging it so far, whether or not it’ll be a permanent fixture is to be determined.