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my sisterís thing
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Oldcardude
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:57 pm    Post subject: my sisterís thing Reply with quote

OK, that sounded bad. Sorry.

My sister and BILaw were given a 1974 Thing that has been sitting in a barn since 1986. She wants me to get it running. Iím a decent mechanic but not super familiar with VWs.

This is what I was going to do:
1. New fuel tank. It smells like varnish and Iím afraid itís rusted inside.
2. Soak carb and rebuild it.
3. Replace the plugs, coil, cap, rotor, wires.
4. Squirt some oil in the cylinders and try to turn it over by hand. Worried the rings could be stuck, cylinder walls rusted? Should I be worried?
5. What else should I do?

Also, the front end sags on the driverís side about an inch. Is there anyway to adjust this up or maybe the torsion bars springs are just weak? Is that a DIY job if the springs need to be replaced?

Thanks!
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Captain Spalding
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:45 pm    Post subject: Re: my sisterís thing Reply with quote

First let me say welcome to the forum. You will not find a group of people who are more kind, patient, and generous than the folks here.

Let's take them one by one:

New tank. Couldn't hurt, but you can get a good look inside by removing the fuel level sender on top. If it's just varnish you can deal with that.

Rebuild carb. Absolutely.

Plugs, coil, cap, rotor, wires. Yes, replace all, although I'd check the coil before replacing.

Squirt oil in the cylinders and try to turn over by hand. I'd do this first, before buying all the other parts.

I'm no expert on the suspension, but the stock front end ride height is not, strictly speaking, adjustable. The two large horizontal tubes that comprise the front beam are filled with stacks of long flat metal bars that serve as springs. They are packed with grease. Old grease. Before pulling the front end apart I would lube it and drive it for a while. Assess the shocks as well. Perhaps they are contributing to the problem.

Funny you didn't mention the brakes. I'd replace the rubber lines and change out the fluid. The rubber lines have a tendency to swell internally and bind the brakes.

Replace the fuel lines, both in the engine compartment and under the car at the fuel tank. Add hose clamps where there aren't any.

Repack the bearings.

Have a good look at the CV joint boots.

Check for rust under the battery.

Pull all the fuses, clean the contacts in the fuse box, replace with new fuses. It's a good prophylactic step that may save you many headaches.

I'm sure others will chime in with more suggestions. As far as the front end being a DIY job, the Thing is a relatively simple machine, and there are many here who have done it all themselves. It's all a question of your aptitude and determination.

In the technical section of this website you can find the owners' manual, parts manual, shop manual and wiring diagrams.

This website is a great resource:
http://www.vw-resource.com

These are also very helpful:
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If you have questions, don't be afraid to ask.
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Oldcardude
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:37 pm    Post subject: Re: my sisterís thing Reply with quote

Wow! Thanks so much for that thought, informative reply. I really appreciate the info on all the other areas I need to check out.

I was looking at the front end after I posted, and it looks like the sway bar brackets and bushings have slipped/rotated on the bar and I think that might be causing some of the front end droop.

I havenít gotten to the brakes yet, but like you said Iím sure they also need attention.

The inside of the ďtrunkĒ has some rust. If Iím install a new tank I was thinking about trying to prep that rust and repaint. What do yíall recommend to stop the rush and is there s correct paint to use? Is it too hillbilly to just treat the rust with Ospho and spray with Rustoleum? This is not going to be a show car obviously. 😬


Last edited by Oldcardude on Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:05 am; edited 1 time in total
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:48 pm    Post subject: Re: my sisterís thing Reply with quote

One of the things you are going to be up against is the poor quality of many replacement parts. Even Bosch which for decades was the standard of quality is today often better avoided. FWIW, I would not change out a thirty year old Bosch condenser with a new one unless the old one just looked like it was going to physically fall apart. I wouldn't change out the cap and rotor either unless they showed obvious signs of wear or aging. As far as Bosch points, they are good for making a short trip into town so you can buy a more dependable set of another brand, Bosch points are sadly anymore one of the crappiest parts on the market.

Avoid places like CIP1 and instead buy from a place like CB Performance. It is good to learn who can supply you with parts locally or who will get them to your door in less than a day via UPS or the US mail. It is always good to set up a good rapport with your suppliers, I still will often use the phone to call an order in just to get to know the counter persons. A lot of places are going to have parts available that don't show on their websites as well.

Stock or near stock is very often the best way to go, I strongly believe that the vast array of poorly tested aftermarket parts has long hurt the reliability of ACVW's. Little things like buying a larger oil pump in an attempt to up your oil pressure and get a cooler running engine are very often counter productive as ACVW's are just different from any other vehicle out there, which of course is part of the fun and the challenge. Wink
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CraigInPA
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:03 am    Post subject: Re: my sisterís thing Reply with quote

In addition to replacing the fuel tank, you'll want to try to blow out the hard fuel line from front to back with compressed air. If you've got varnish in your tank, you may find that you have varnish or debris in your hard line, too.

You'll want to replace the flexible fuel lines at both ends of the car. 1986 pre-dates oxygenated (alcohol added) fuel. Likewise, you'll probably be replacing the fuel pump diaphragm for the same reason.
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Oldcardude
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:05 am    Post subject: Re: my sisterís thing Reply with quote

CraigInPA wrote:
In addition to replacing the fuel tank, you'll want to try to blow out the hard fuel line from front to back with compressed air. If you've got varnish in your tank, you may find that you have varnish or debris in your hard line, too.

You'll want to replace the flexible fuel lines at both ends of the car. 1986 pre-dates oxygenated (alcohol added) fuel. Likewise, you'll probably be replacing the fuel pump diaphragm for the same reason.


Ok. Thanks. I was wondering about the fuel lines and the new fuel. I saw a fuel tank replacement kit on The Thing Shop site where I found the new tank that came with fuel new hoses, filler hoses, clamps etc. I guess those new parts in the kit are for new fuel.

Was wondering about the fuel pump. Iím sure itís the stock pump.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:28 am    Post subject: Re: my sisterís thing Reply with quote

Oldcardude wrote:
I guess those new parts in the kit are for new fuel.


Don't assume anything when it comes to fuel hose. You want either Gates Barricade 30r14 rated hose or 30r9 fuel injection rated hose, there are European equivalents as well.


Went in to Autozone the other day to get a piece of fuel line. Told the old fogey at the counter exactly what I needed and he commented that it didn't matter the brand and he came back with a roll of hose without any mention of 30r14/30r9 or fuel injection on it. I took the numbers off the hose and check them on line. Turns out he brought out a roll of transmission cooler hose and not fuel hose. It's your car and your family's life, make 100% sure you buy the correct stuff.
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doublecanister
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:26 am    Post subject: Re: my sisterís thing Reply with quote

About the fuel,

I've been running my 73' on 89 or 93oct with some seafoam or marvel mystery oil in every tank.

I first did it due to the condition from the prev owner, carb was mucked up.,
was running on stale gas, would cut off at every stop sign.

Since then, old carb and gas tank were replaced, due to rust and pre ethanol gas tank sealer slowly melting and being consumed thru the carb, (fuel was turning purple), gas tank had a big buggar of rust and melted tank sealer in the bottom, it was a mess.

I've slowed a bit and do maybe every other tank for upper cyl lube, gas treatment, etc.

I was amazed, when I pulled the old pict 31 carb to go back to the original type pict 34, that carb was the cleanest used carb i'd ever seen, there was NO black carbon in side it at all, the seafoam and marvel treatments really did the job over time.

The marvel mystery oil is way cheaper than the seafoam but they both do seem to clean pretty good.

You "May" get what you got running, like I did on my dad's old 51 ford pickup, that thing sat for about 20 years, took 3 weeks with seafoam and a coat hanger to clean the fuel line tar out.
Rebuilt the carb and used the same method I did on the 73 Thing with rotating tanks of seafoam and marvel, then just the marvel. so far so good!

Good luck with your project!

T
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51'- Ford F1 pickup Flathead V8
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Oldcardude
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:22 pm    Post subject: Re: my sisterís thing Reply with quote

Hooking up a new battery. What are the three small wires near the positive cable for? This car didnít have a battery in it so I donít know where they go, and I could not make sense of the wiring diagram.

One is solid brown, one is brown and white, and one is yellow and red.


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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:53 pm    Post subject: Re: my sisterís thing Reply with quote

Oldcardude wrote:
Hooking up a new battery. What are the three small wires near the positive cable for? This car didnít have a battery in it so I donít know where they go, and I could not make sense of the wiring diagram.

One is solid brown, one is brown and white, and one is yellow and red.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


VW's of that era came with special batteries with electrolyte level sensors plus had ground connections at the battery for the factory diagnostic . You can see the three wire here in current track 23 in the below drawing. You can just tuck the wires out of the way or cut them off and tape over the ends.


https://www.thesamba.com/vw/archives/info/wiring/181_Current_Flow_Diagram_4-73.pdf
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Oldcardude
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:12 pm    Post subject: Re: my sisterís thing Reply with quote

Ah yes. I see them now. Thanks!!
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kubelmann
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:10 pm    Post subject: Re: my sisterís thing Reply with quote

Here is an old list of VW wire color code with circuit number
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vwwestyman
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:25 pm    Post subject: Re: my sisterís thing Reply with quote

Good luck getting it running!

My Thing had sat for 25 years when I got it.

As you're talking about, I replaced the entire fuel system, including the gas tank. I rebuilt the carb, and blew compressed air and carb cleaner through the main fuel line that runs through the tunnel. For that, I filled the line with carb cleaner, let it sit, and blew it out with compressed air. I did that a few times and blew from both ends. I think I was able to clean up the fuel sender and reuse it.

I also replaced almost all of the brake system, except for the drums and metal lines.

I got all the stuff from The Thing Shop.

I didn't even pull the engine for that round! I drove it for over a year before pulling the engine, due to the ancient oil seals leaking.

Periodically while working on the other stuff, I did pour a little marvel mystery oil down the intake to break up any rust that may have formed in the cylinders. I also gently turned the motor over at the crank pulley.

Before starting it, I drained the sludgy oil, and even scooped out as much of the sludge as I could with my fingers. Set the valves and all that.

If you check the My Thing link in my signature, you can see more info on what I did.
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