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Old 18th January 2008, 10:27   #16
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Suspension Rebuild
(Partly a repeat from the BBC thread)

Rear Suspension:
The beetle rear suspension was sagging at the rear right and it has been like this for a while. I comtemplated doing it myself, but then took it to the local VW mechanic. I showed him the factory manual and how it should be done, but he said he has his own way. With some misgiving I left it with him (including some new bushings). When I got it back, the car now sat too high and the right side was still not level. So, I decided to redo it myself. First I picked up some tools from JC road including 3.5ton jack, stands, wheel not socket, breaker bars, and an inclinometer.

Then proceeded to remove the rear suspension:


Then carefully lowered the spring plate of the perch and measured it. Sure enough, it was way off spec:


Also, found the bushings were installed incorrectly. So, reinstalled them correctly, adjusted the spring plate to factory setting and reassembled the suspension to ensure the alignment was set correctly. (the mechanic had told me that rear alignment cannot be set -- wrong!!!)



Much better. Car sits level now and I the camber and toe-in check out (actually, the left toe in is 0.25deg more than spec - not too bad for setting without toe-in measuring equipment -- will correct it sometime)

Front Suspension:
THis car suffered from the typical Super Beetle shimmy (steering vibrates above 60km). My recollection was that his problem has been there back in the late 80s as well -- so for about past 20 years. When I measured the front, I noticed the wheels were set with toe out and negative camber -- when it requires toe in and positive camber. So, set about measuring camber with my inclinometer and adjusted it. Then eyeballed the toe-in adjustment to roughly straight ahead. Took it to a small alignment shop that allowed me to go into the pit and help adjust. Once we got the wheels balanced and the toe-in set correctly all vibration went away. The steering wheel is a tad off-center now. There is a special tool (a modified bolt) that can be used to hold the steering gear at dead center while adjusting toe-in. I think I can modify a bolt to act like that VW tool and then go back to have the toe-in reset.

But first I'd like to get some new tires. The ones on this car are over 8 years old are hard and dry-cracking. Any recommendations on tires? The original specs are 155R15, but I think the amby spec 165R15 are the closest avail. Are these avail in tubeless? Brand?

Thx,
Byas

Any


PS: Nitin, Many similar communities in Bangalore. This one is Palm Meadows.
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Old 18th January 2008, 10:34   #17
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me like what you done to your car and great machine you got there
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Old 18th January 2008, 10:40   #18
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Amazing job. I can see that you are extremely passionate about restoration and the result shows.
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Old 18th January 2008, 10:51   #19
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Byas, The car looks like a dream!

What shape are the mechanicals in? You've mentioned something about getting them back into shape?
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Old 18th January 2008, 16:08   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superavi View Post
Byas, The car looks like a dream!

What shape are the mechanicals in? You've mentioned something about getting them back into shape?
In much better shape now. Suspension/steering/brakes are all excellent now (front brake discs should be replaced in the next 2-3K -- I have those, and I want to replace the hoses from the reservoir to the master cylinder -- I've got the original blue hoses). I had been concerned about the "shimmy" as that could have been cost above $1K if there were multiple things to replace. Was very glad to have fixed that issue.

Interior and electricals are in great shape as I've redone both.

Body has a little rust in 5 areas -- rear pan on both sides -- these were fixed locally but I'm not happy with the quality of the fix; bottom of the rear qtr windows (both sides); and some small spots on the rear shelf (this should be easy fix). I plan to pick up replacement panels for the first 4 areas in March.

Gearbox had seemed like a problem as it would not shift into second and would sometimes go into reverse instead. Mechanic had said it was 2nd gear synchro and required gearbox rebuild. But, when I installed a new shifter bushing and adjusted the shift mechanism, all the problems went away.

Engine:
* The 34PICT-3 carb is a no-name replacement. I rebuilt it, but the auto choke valve sticks and the butterfly throttle shaft is worn (I've done a temp fix with some o-rings) -- I've found a source who will supply me with a rebuilt/rebushed Solex German carb which is better than the Bocar versions.

* The fuel pump is functional but the wrong type and leaking (but there is also an electric back up pump).

* There's a small oil leak from the main seal.

* Another small oil leak from pushrod tubes for the #3 cylinder.

* I've adjusted valve timing

* The oil pressure light comes on when hot. I've cleaned out the pressure and relief valves, but if the pressure problem is real, then it could be weak springs in the valves, or weakened oil pump, or perhaps just the sender is faulty. I'm looking for a good oil pressure gauge to confirm the situation.

I've not been able to get my compression gauge on to test compression, though the car runs well and does not consume oil in the 1.5K km that I've driven.

I plan to drop the engine and remove, repaint, and reinstall the engine tin as I suspect all parts of the tin have not been installed correctly. Plus while I have the engine off, I can refresh the engine compartment and install new heat shields. Properly installed engine tin is important for cooling on these aircooled engines. Will redo all the engine seals at that point and perhaps replace the oil pump.

So, nothing major, but I need to plan it out so I can do the remaining stuff in the right order. The biggest thing left is to redo the top and headliner which will be a major undertaking.

My plan is to do drop the engine and do the body work at the same time. Once I get both done and some repaint/touch up, I will do the top.

I need to find someone who will come to my house and do the body work -- or I will have to trailer the car to a body shop once I get the engine off -- not sure if this is feasible here. Or I've got buy some welding equipment and HVLP spray & compressor and do the bodywork myself. On that note... are there places that rent equipment?

Byas
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Old 18th January 2008, 17:42   #21
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Quote:
I need to find someone who will come to my house and do the body work -- or I will have to trailer the car to a body shop once I get the engine off -- not sure if this is feasible here. Or I've got buy some welding equipment and HVLP spray & compressor and do the bodywork myself. On that note... are there places that rent equipment?
Am sure you can tow the car engineless on a quiet sunday since there is no power brakes etc.

Am amazed at the level of detail you go into and the time required - knowing that you are juggling new born babies, PST meetings etc! Has your wife threatened to chuck either you or the car or both out?

I used to see this car parked around Airline hotel around the early 80's. What was amazing was that there was another identical convertible that used to be parked behind Airlines - belonged to Shankar Nag

Last edited by ajmat : 18th January 2008 at 17:43.
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Old 18th January 2008, 17:45   #22
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Great job Byas,

Astonishingly great location to shoot such a great car.

Good pics, keep it up.

Amazing, Great, Superb.....I am running out of words.
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Old 18th January 2008, 18:13   #23
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The chassis of the car looks quite well maintained. did you got it repaired or it is still stock.
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Old 18th January 2008, 18:22   #24
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Congratulations Byas !!!

Great car, and fantastic job. The before and after photographs tell the story better than any words. You still need to get the carpetting fixed, and is there some rust below the footboard?

Wish you many happy moments in this lovely beetle.
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Old 18th January 2008, 19:17   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
Am sure you can tow the car engineless on a quiet sunday since there is no power brakes etc.

Am amazed at the level of detail you go into and the time required - knowing that you are juggling new born babies, PST meetings etc! Has your wife threatened to chuck either you or the car or both out?

I used to see this car parked around Airline hotel around the early 80's. What was amazing was that there was another identical convertible that used to be parked behind Airlines - belonged to Shankar Nag
Both!!

I've remember seeing that car in Airlines. Didn't know it was Shankar Nag's. Was an earlier model -- I'd say pre-67 (if I remember it had a radio antenna that was on the side). Wonder what happened to it?

Low-bass -- it's still stock -- just washed it clean
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Old 19th January 2008, 08:54   #26
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WOW. Lovely looking beetle you have there 71Convertible.
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Old 19th January 2008, 11:16   #27
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Originally Posted by 71Convertible View Post
Low-bass -- it's still stock -- just washed it clean

That is some nicely maintained car. What ICE are you gonna add ?
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Old 19th January 2008, 12:12   #28
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better thing is to get to the tin shop, down the engine and ferry it back for you to work
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Old 28th January 2008, 20:17   #29
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Engine Overhaul – Part 1


The engine on this car has tended to run hot for the past 20+ years now. Typically the mechanic says it needs a rebuild and I think the most recent has been a few years ago. I want to determine what the problem is and fix it properly. I've checked & corrected valve clearances, carb settings, and timing. Then next thing on my list to check is the oil cooler. Since oil plays an important role in cooling this engine, the oil cooler is critical. Getting to the oil cooler requires removing the entire upper half of the engine including the engine deck lid and it's mounting brackets. I also took the opportunity to replace the manifold gaskets.


So, I removed the following:
Decklid & mounting
Carb & Distributor
Fanhousing, belt, and generator
intake manifolds
Oil cooler & cooler mount flange


Here's a pic of the engine bay after removing all the above (except the last two)




There was some oil, but not a lot and most looked old. I removed the oil cooler. There was gasket sealant underneath the seals partially blocking the passages and the seals were hard and old. (though this was probably not a big cause of the overheating). More importantly, the foam that's supposed to be there around the oil cooler (you can see the adhesive marks on the cooler) was missing. Also missing was a small but critical piece of metal which attaches to the bottom of the cooler called the “hoover bit”


Without the foam and the hoover bit the air sent by the fan towards the oil cooler goes around the cooler in the gaps between the cooler and the engine tin and not thru the fins of the cooler itself. This is one of the major causes of overheating (but not the only).


So I cleaned up the engine and cooler. Installed fresh seals. Torqued it down to spec. Then installed some foam around the cooler and some more where the hoover bit would sit (I do need to get a replacement). While I had access I check the torque on the engine nuts only to find that none were to the correct specs. So, I corrected all those I had access to.


Pic of cooler with new seals.


Pic of cleaned engine without manifold and cooler.


I then installed the cooler and then the manifold along with new gaskets at the manifold/head interface and new rubber connecting seals connecting the 2 parts of the manifold.


Pic with cooler and manifold reinstalled.



Then proceeded with reinstalling the other bits and finally the engine lid. The lid gave me the most problems – took me a couple of days before I finally learnt the right way – then it took me only all of 10minutes (Aargh!!)


Anyway, drove the car to work today and the oil light did not come on and the engine was noticeably cooler. Return journey in the afternoon would be the better test and it passed that as well. Typically the light begins to come on at lower rpms by the time I hit Marathahalli bridge, but is stayed off all the way home. So far so good. Want to see if this holds up. I am concerned a little about the durability of the foam I've used. But, if it lasts a couple of months, then I will replace it when I remove the engine in March or April. This exercise also got me much more comfortable with the idea of dropping the engine myself.
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Old 28th January 2008, 21:03   #30
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This is a great Do It Yourself thread. Its almost like going through a manual. Fantastic. Keep it coming buddy.
One thing please resize future pics to the 800x600 format as against the present fromat so that they fit in one frame.
Its a pleasure to go through this thread

Last edited by V-16 : 28th January 2008 at 21:06.
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