View original topic: VW BugTuck??? Custom Build... Not sure the year Page: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
mas00 Mon Feb 08, 2016 7:55 pm

I apologize if this is long winded and the wrong forum, but I'm new.

So before my dad died he went out and bought this VW in the middle of Texas (I'm from San Antonio) from a guy who owned a VW shop in the 50's-60's. He sold his shop/closed it down and this was his only project/keeper. My dad bought it for like $1,500 started to restore it with help from my uncle his brother who was also a VW mechanic in the 60's.

One of the last times I went back home to visit it was up and running (somewhat). I drove my dad to the doctors and back, but the gas gauge doesn't work so he wrote down the mileage to keep track of the gas tank.
It died and we pulled over and waited a little, but it started back up and we filled it with gas ha.

My dad passed away (cancer) and my mother hated that it was in her garage because everyone stopped by asking to buy it, but my dad had given it to me. So I put in on a trailer where my uncle lives in the country and it has been sitting there under a tarp for about 4 years. ( I know I didn't have room to take it apartment living with no garage)

My uncle said the brakes leaked out all the fluid, it won't start and it is starting to rust - I have not seen it so I don't know. He told me it should only cost about $2,000 to get working again.

He can't work on it, because now he is too old, he has major heart problems. I work on my own truck and do everything myself but it's a 2004 chevy silverado, but I don't know anything about VW's and have never worked on one. I've got to do this one on my own.

I was wondering how much do you think it would cost to get Kermit (that is his name) up and running again. I really want to honor my dad and get this in pristine condition. I live in Los Angeles now, and I have a garage and a place to park it behind a gate so I would need to drive back to TX and drag it out here. I currently have $10,000 in cash saved up but I'm thinking it will need more?

If anyone knows a person in the Los Angele are that would help me, that would be amazing!Thanks for all your wisdom, help, and advice.

VOLKSWAGNUT Tue Feb 09, 2016 3:49 pm

Looks Kewl.. 8) I'd drive it..

Kermit's body started life as a pre 61 Beetle.. but it seems to be a hodgepodge of year parts..... not a bad thing. (note: doors are 65-66)

From the photo's ... to get it running, stopping, rolling and safe.. (if the engine is good).. .
$1000-1500 tops.
Buy some basic Vw's repair books

An air cooled VW is a slight step above a riding lawn mower.. less the blades.
If you can read, own metric tools, know how to use them.. and dont mind getting a little dirty..... you can fix it.

I understand fully why you want to revive it.. but air cooled old Vw's are not for all.
Get it going, have some fun.. and then if you find its not for you... sell it and pass it on to someone who will enjoy its uniqueness .

In California ... one things for sure.. you can find TONS of parts and plenty of supportive Vw enthusiast,



joeyk803c Tue Feb 09, 2016 8:55 pm

Updated pics of it sitting would help. I would start with the brakes and go from there. Flush the entire system, replace the master cylinder (seals from sitting for so long are probably gone) and replace all the rubber lines. There is a big VW following in California, so it should be easy to find help. I've met some really cool people through my bug and they helped me get it going!

mas00 Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:13 pm

Yea I don't have any photos of it sitting, but once I drive back to TX and drag out to LA I can take some. Thanks for all the advice.

If you know anywhere I can go for some VW help in LA I'm all ears.

I should say this isn't urgent, just trying to prepare. I will likely bring it to LA end of 2016.

andk5591 Thu Feb 11, 2016 6:35 am

Fortunately for you there are lots of VW resources in the LA area. I am sure that if you looked at the classifieds or shop listings, you can find someone good and reasonable. IF you have any mechanical inclination/abilities, go out and buy How to Keep your VW Alive by John Muir. Would be nice to hook up with a couple people to look over your shoulder, but doing the work yourself would be awesome if you can do it.

Looks like a fun project - And having a car your Dad owned is really cool.

eyetzr Sat Feb 20, 2016 10:39 am

Very cool project. Like the previous said, if you can read and have some metric tools, you are on your way. Check the classifieds here, check out some other build threads. You will probably need to replace the fuel lines and brake lines, wheel cylinders, brake linings, master cylinder, fuel pump, gas gauge, flush out fuel tank (small screen in the tank outlet ) . Get a repair manual (pm me, I have a spare ). Do not give up, I think your Father would be happy to see you bombing around in it. Cheers

andygere Thu Mar 03, 2016 12:16 am

Great looking VW, kinda of a Baja Bug-Pickup custom. Very unique and it looks like it was built with skill and forethought.

Get this book and read it. It will simplify VW mechanics, it's easy to read and the illustrations will really help.

moondogi1 Sun Mar 06, 2016 12:50 pm

What part of LA area do you live in?

mas00 Thu Mar 17, 2016 9:32 pm

Sweet thank for all the advice! I really appreciate it. I say by the end of 2017 I hope it will be up an running, and I will post pics, so excited!

T Hollis Fri Jun 03, 2016 7:11 am

any progress to share?

mas00 Sun Jul 31, 2016 9:22 am

Ohh no way, a long ways away from anything. Being single, with rent in Los Angeles, and trying to have 2 cars with no garage - this is going to take some time. I turned my garage into an art studio so while I can sit it outside
it's not ideal.

Thanks to some samba members who messaged me I got some free VW repair books. Next thing I need to do is drive to Texas and then bring it back to LA so I can see what is wrong with it.

Unfortunately I don't have a place to store it except outside so I'll need a cover, and then non of my friends really work on cars, so this will probably be a solo job. Will hopefully be able to post some updates this time next year.

mas00 Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:12 pm

Update....So life got really crazy for me, and I'm back living in San Antonio Texas. My uncle said the back wheels are frozen locked. We pulled it with a tractor today and got it under the shed. I need a carburetor, but other than some cleaning my Uncle said it should start as the battery is still good and the tires are holding air. There are only 12,000 miles on the engine.

If anyone knows of any San Antonio Texas shops where I can get parts or any VW enthusiast near SATX message me. It's going to take a little work and a TON of body love. My uncle built a bunch of these back in his day and said he will guide me through the process but is too old to really do heavy work. He's got a sander and a paint gun so hopefully I can sand it all down and primer it and then go from there.

mas00 Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:41 pm

More photos. So I rebuilt the carb and distributor, going to re-do the lines, take out the gas tank and clean that out. Then I'll see where I'm at with the engine. The back wheels are frozen locked so those I need to replace. But hopefully the car will start with those replacements. I need to re-wire it cause as you can see my dad went crazy and added a CB radio and other shit that it looks like a mess.
I called around San Antonio and found a dustless blasting company who will do the inside and out for $600.

mas00 Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:31 pm

Work Update:

Past 2 weeks have been good. Broke down most of the engine except the block. Took pistons and cylinder heads off. Tried to clean and hone the pistons but 2 pistons were too bad, and I honed them down but were unsalvageable due to erosion and wear, which meant I had to purchase a new set of pistons.

Also cleaned out all the cylinder heads, and took out the valves cleaned everything but one of the cylinders needs new seats and a valve job. It's hard to find a place where I live so currently looking to purchase a head for my engine. It's about $125-150 for the machine shops in my area, which at that point might as well buy a new one... bummer.

Cleaned out the oil tank, filter and engine block with gas and gave it a good scrub, and I also sanded off the rust on the oil cooler and painted it black.

Having already rebuild the carburetor and got new points and a condenser all I need is the head and put it back together and the engine should turn. I also tore all the tar mats off and of course I have tiny rust where the battery sits. I will get a right rear floor patch quarter and weld it in.

Also my gas tank line is clear as I've ran the air compressor through the line but the gas tank still needs to be cleaned out 100%. It sat for about 48 hours with some WD-40 Specialist Rust Remover Soak, I had about 2 gallons sitting around and it almost cleaned all the crude out. Poured some Super Clean inside and hopefully will clean it out tomorrow. After that, I need to take the paint off and primer the tank. Of course I will coast the inside and seal it again.

Tomorrow I'm going to sand down a bunch of parts like a housing fan, plates, cross bar and paint them.

The next BIG step is to unhook the rest of the wiring I have left under the hood, lift the body from the chassis weld and seal with POR-15. Then I can get a better look at my drums, backing plates and brakes. I might replace my shifter but well see.

Eric&Barb Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:29 pm

If you are going to rebuild the engine, you should take apart the block also. Seen way too many times someone has done a top end rebuild and the tired old crankshaft bearings give out not too long afterwards from having more pressure/HP applied to them from the new top end parts.

Replace the non-stock air cleaner with a stock 1966 beetle one that will keep out the rain from getting down into the engine, causing rust or even possibly bending a connecting rod.

Eric&Barb Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:52 pm

Did you get the rear wheels unstuck?

mas00 Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:18 pm

The block has been looked into and all is good. This is a top build mostly because the engine and transaxle was fully rebuilt before it was sold. It was purchased with only 15,000 miles which currently has about 15,700 miles on the engine and then sat. A bit away from even worrying about the air cleaner, but thanks for a recommendation.

The back wheels are unstuck, woohoo!

Eric&Barb Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:38 pm

Good to hear!! You should consider getting an oil filter/pump to get all the crud out of the oil that with the stock sump strainer goes into the bearings wearing them out sooner than later.

Do get get oil pressure and then oil temp gauges. Those have saved us from 5+ times of needing to rebuild the engine suddenly.

mas00 Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:30 pm

April 12th Update:

It's been about a month since I found out the engine wouldn't crank. I broke down the engine. I basically wire wheeled every part to death. What couldn't be wire wheel'd and stripped of rust and paint, I glass blasted it in a blasting box. I purchased new jugs and had some major complications with headers. I needed a "1300cc" head per a sheet of paper with the OG information/specs from the original builder/owner until I got a pair of great 1300 heads and found out that my engine was in fact a 1500/1600 single port. (good lesson look up parts before going out and replacing). I purchased a 1500 head from a samba member and they gave me a horrendously bad head with the valve pushed out the wrong way and the top of the valve cut off. It's like someone was trying to replace it but did a horrible job. It is also missing a spark plug ring/insert on the exhaust valve side because it is stripped so I ended up getting the great pair of 1300's fly cut to 1500 specs which fit the new 85.5 jugs perfectly.

I took apart the generator, cleaned up the generator coil, the brushes are good. I had some small holes on the passenger side heater box so I bondo'd, primered and painted them. I purchased SCAT - NEW STYLE LARGE DIAMETER HI-PERFORMANCE ALUMINUM SPRING-LOADED PUSHROD TUBES cleaned the rocker bars, and valve covers. I purchased a new set of wires, and found out my coil was bad so got an old but good used bosch coil. I also got new points and condensor, and fuel pump.

I've painted everything on the engine black. I think I'm going to paint the body black as well, but not sure. Where I'm stuck is my 30-PIC-1 carb is still bad. The pump on the inside is sporatic, sometimes drips, sometimes sprays to the side not consistent enough to start the engine. Sprayed carb cleaner and the engine started, but then quickly after died so I know it is the carb.

I also set all the torque specs: Cylinder Heads = 23lbs, Spark Plus Gaps, .024-.028, think I did .026. Valve Clarence for intake/exhaust at .006. and points gap at .016. Also purchased new spark plugs. Good news is my starter is still good!

Engine doesn't look too bad at this point and to even hear it run for 5 seconds was rewarding (damn this thing is LOUD! :D ). Just need repair and get a good carb which I want to keep at 30-PIC-1 via the chart and research done on this site. Once the engine starts and I will run it flush out some things. Then I'm going to pull the engine, wrap it up and move onto Phase 2.

Pull the body off the chassis, which all the bolts are already off and go to work on the pans, front/back axle, drums, plates etc. Again plan is to paint everything black. Probably going to go with the Master Series AG-111.

Also: My fuel tank was bad so I poured about 5 gallons of vinegar inside it, forgot about it and let it sit for about 9-10 days. Almost all the rust is gone except where top where there was no vinegar. It has a tiny amount of flash rust, but got to it soon enough and poured some ATM and diesel inside it to coat. I plan on flipping it upside down and doing the same thing. (no photos of the fuel tank yet).

My Tio/Uncle has been a big mentor in this, but also a great teacher. I'm 34 but I'm learning so much about VW's and air cooled engines. It's been a ton of hard work, some frustrating moments, but it's also been rewarding. I just hope on my small budget I can finish her off, make this thing run and look good. I have an internal deadline for June but realistically probably August. (Photos below)

Eric&Barb Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:58 pm

Guessing you mean you cleaned the commutator of the gen armature. If so from the image, hopefully you cleaned between the copper pieces of the commutator.

Have you removed the accelerator nozzle to really clean out that passage??

Pretty sure you have the push rod tubes installed backwards. Oil need to drain from the heads down to the sump, and having the push rod tubes that way will cause oil leaks.

Set valve clearance for .006" to avoid burning up valves...

Once you get it running, you need to set the dwell. Setting the points to .016" is only for getting some spark. More than likely you will need a smaller gap. Then you just check dwell over the next tune ups, and as long as it is within specs you do not need to do anything to the points. When dwell is out of spec you need to either replace the points or take the used ones out and sand flat, and reuse.

You really need to get the holes in the HE welded up instead.

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