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Road side fix.....
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Joined: September 26, 2007
Posts: 87
Location: Arizona
marco_s is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A while back when i went fishing spot hunting and camping in my 68 in the middle of the AZ desert no one around dirt roads where real bumpy. my generator D+ nut came lose and got stuck in between my tin and the top molding of the engine case i couldn't get to it, i didn't have tools so i had to improvise and got a fishing hook a pair of tweezers to try to fish it out the nut, as i started to have a nervous breakdown i took a break and rub the hook against the radio speaker and got the hook magnatize. i finally fish the nut closer where i could reach for it whit the tweezers and sha bam! finally i got it Smile bolt the nut back and continue my journey. Caught me a 40 pound blue channel catfish that night. Shocked !!
Marco S.
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Location: Bella Coma Canada
Da TOW'D is offline 

PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I get the call from a young lady tree planter saying that her VW bus's oil light was flickering and then it stopped running.

She said that somebody stopped and told her that the motor was seized so she left the bus where it died and hitchhiked to town.

I met up with her and we discussed the problem. She offered to pay what ever it cost to get her baby back on the road.
She was pretty nice about it and said the bus was parked on a back road and gave me directions and a fist full of cash.
She had a job to go to so took a ride with the freight truck and left me with the job.

I loaded up my spare 1600 -tools - and all kind of parts I figured I'd need and had a buddy who was driving to Vancouver BC give me a ride to the bus.
We live a little above sea level and the bus was at 4500ft. Nice and mild weather here but at 4500ft it was sunny but freezing.

We got to the bus around noon and it wasn't too bad out except it was freezing. My hands felt like I had boxing gloves on everything was in slow motion.
After a hour of messing around I had the old motor out on the ground
but didn't have the bus high enough to get the old motor out- ended up pulling the fan housing and digging the frozen ground to get enough room to drag it out.
I could see that what I figured on being a few hour job was now a major undertaking.
No traffic at all on the dirt road and the nearest ranch was 10 miles away.
I built a fire and warmed up a bit.
I managed to muscle the "new" motor under and said that's it for today and slid into the little darlings camper bed-- too bad she wasn't there.

Wake up early next day freezing and look out and everything was white
with a light dusting of snow .
Sissor jack the motor up and in --real slow motion
then between working on it and standing in front of the fire I managed to
finally buckle everything up just as it starts getting dark
Got in and hit the key battery was dead-
I figured I better build something to stop any truck that might be passing so dragged a small tree across the road and put some reflectors out.
Jumped into the sack and went to sleep then around 9 oclock a truck load of "stick indians" came along and gave me a jump and offered a place to spend the night. I thanked them and I said I better just head home.
I should have hooked up the heaters as I froze on the way home that night.

BTW She still send us Xmas cards
'57 type 1 Blackberry
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and NUTS
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, not weird or unusual but happened to me last week.

After picking up my daughter from school I pulled out into traffic and felt "SNAP!!!!" My accelerator cable broke. I managed to limp into a side street, where I started looking at my options.

First, I didn't shut off the engine. The dual ICT's don't like to start without some throttle coaxing. I got no replacement cable on board (it was at home). So I have an upset 7 year old and three options.

1. Call a towing company. Not for what they charge!!!!!

2. Leave the bug there and try to get home to my pickup and towbar. That involves a bus ride, changing busses, and a 5 block walk. Plus leaving my beloved bug in an unknown neighborhood.

3. Try to limp home.

I took option number 3. I had a thumbwheel ratchet with 7mm socket on it in the car, so I turned my idle up to about 1900 RPM. Using the back streets i was able to get home at a whopping 23 MPH top speed in third gear. Didn't shut the engine off until I had it in my garage.
I'm not losing my hair, it's just retired and relocating further south.

1969 VW convertible, "Heidi"
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yesterday (friday) i was walking to my bug afterwork to go home, when i hear someone yell out "u know anything bout engines?" I said sure, whats wrong? the engine (its a 1999 mitsubishi galant) won't run. it will start and run for a second and die. So i check the oil, and it about 1.5 inches over the full line. He buys a pan and wrench, and we drain the oil. so we try to start it, and it still won't run, but i notice that the engine is jerking around, but the intake wasn't. turns out the intake manifold broke at the flange where the throttle body bolts too. so i take a rag, and wrap it around the manifold, and tie a knot. then i soak the rag with water to create a better seal, and to it won't catch on fire. So i tell him to stop every 2-3 mins to re wet it. and he made it home no problem.
1974 Super Beetle: Custom resto in progress
1972 Super Beetle: Daily Driver
1971 Std. Beetle w/ 1929 Mercedes Benz Gazelle kit
1960 Baja Bug
1969 Baja Bug
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Sand Rail- FUBAR

Aircooled Airheads

Why the hell do they call it a gland nut. its obviously a big fat bolt!!!
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was out on a first date with a cute little blonde back in high school when my '76 Blazer lost the alternator belt. She happened to be wearing pantyhose under her skirt. I talked her into giving me her panyhose, cut one leg off and tied it around the pullies. We made it back to her house about 35 miles away. I had to explain to her dad where her panyhose were. He slapped me on the back and said good thinking kid, now make sure you bring your own damn panyhose the next time ya'll go out. I never got into her panyhose again, but it was fun while it lasted.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 8:19 pm    Post subject: breakdown Reply with quote

many, many breakdowns but always made it home. so....i was heading home from a bug show and noticed the gen light came on, rev'd it once to see if maybe the brushes just needed cleaned or replaced. noticed it rev'd up way to quick and realized it was the fan belt. i usually always carry an extra but not this time. I pulled off the side of the road and immediately began thinking of what to do next. i swear, less than 30 seconds, i see some headlights in the rearview. an early bus pulls up in back of me, a guy jumps out and says he saw the fanbelt fly out a quarter mile back and has a new belt in his hand. we pop open the decklid, slide the belt around the crank, and with the car in 2nd gear roll it onto the gen. fixed in less than 2 minutes. now i always carry extra parts,(extra belts, sets of points, wire terminals, and usually an extra coil, not a new one, just 1 that you usually have laying around the garage). i've managed to help 3 or 4 dub drivers over the years get going again. guy never wanted money for the belt, just said what ive always felt, "WE ARE JUST A BIG EXTENDED FAMILY OF VW DRIVERS, WE HAVE TO WATCH OUT FOR EACH OTHER"
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tonight (like 2 hours ago) i was out with four other friends (5 people in my bug, it can be done Laughing ), and i went out a cylinder. So i pull over, and see what happened, and the plug cable came off. no biggi, i plug it back in, but it doesn't do the snapping noise we're all accustomed to. So i look inside, and the clip thing in the plug boot came out of place. When i replaced the wires last (being the neat and tidy person i am), i threw the old wires in the backseat floorboard. So i grab the longest wire, rip the broke one off, and put the old one running on top of the alternator, and clip it on. and ALL BEFORE THE LIGHT TURNED GREEN Laughing
1974 Super Beetle: Custom resto in progress
1972 Super Beetle: Daily Driver
1971 Std. Beetle w/ 1929 Mercedes Benz Gazelle kit
1960 Baja Bug
1969 Baja Bug
Sand Rail- Homemade
Sand Rail- FUBAR

Aircooled Airheads

Why the hell do they call it a gland nut. its obviously a big fat bolt!!!
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Had kind of a dumb one today. Was heading into town with a couple friends, took off from a stop light and started to hammer on it under a bridge (i have a stinger and love the echo it makes under bridges) When all of a sudden it started popping and banging and lost power. I thought great my engine's screwed, well i made it a couple blocks and pulled into a parking lot. Friends went into a business to use the bathroom and said to have it fixed when they came out Laughing So i start checking to make sure i got plenty of fuel to the carb, dizzy cap looked good and points are opening/closing as normal. Then i notice the coil wire popped off Embarassed I felt stupid but i had it going before they came back out and away we went haha.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Driving the '69 Mustang my brother had given me for christmas one year, the engine started to stumble and eventually quit. Let it cool a bit and it would work fine again. Sometimes for 5 minutes, sometimes for a week. You can see where these occurances were so frustrating. I replaced just about everything in the ignition system, only to be stumped when it would do it again some random amount of time later. At one point, I found that putting ice on the intake would help too. Finally, after having it quit one night on I15 in Rancho Penasquitos and having to get it towed home, I removed the fuel filter, which is screwed into the carb, and found a huge buildup of fine dirt and sand. Bought a new one the next day and it was fine for about 4 months when it did it again. Didn't have to get towed that time, but it took longer than usual for it to get running again, long enough to make it to the parking lot of my apartment. I had to push the beast the last 30 feet into its stall. I think it was mocking me. Went out and bought *2* filters, one for a spare to keep in the car, cuz I was too stupid (and poor at the time) to have the tank cleaned. The bastard ran fine for another year on that filter before I sold the car, the spare still in the glovebox.
Had a '70 Bug while living in Sacramento. Worked at a copy shop on Howe Ave and the employees parked in the back. Had to work late one night, went to leave and saw the driver's window down. Got in, looked around a little, breathed a sigh of relief that the (cheap) stereo was there, then was mystified when my right hand swiped nothing but air when making sure the car was in nuetral. Someone had stolen my shifter. I somehow managed to get a set of vice grips on the shift rod and was able to get home in 1st and 3rd (I had to push it backwards out of the parking space I was in). One strange part was having to remember that first was away and back, not to me and forwards like normal. The shifter that was stolen was some Bugpack or Scat shifter, so I still had the stock one at home.
'66 Bug in San Diego, had dinner with my brother in Leucadia, and was driving back to San Marcos to my apartment. Pulling away from a stop sign the engine just starting revving away. Thought I had broken the trans. Was still close (ha!) to my brother's, so walked back and we came back with a tow strap and pulled it back to his house where I just spent the night. The next day I pulled the engine in the driveway and the center of the clutch disc had broken away from the hub. When I pulled the PP, it just kinda fell out in 2 pieces. For some reason, they had gone somewhere so I was left alone. Not thinking ahead, I had nothing to clean up with, and I was COVERED in black, greasy dirt up to my elbows. I didn't dare even open the garage door leading into the house. I had to sit on the driveway leaning against the side of the garage for 2 hours until they came back and my brother was able to go buy a new clutch.
Got a call at 3AM one night (morning?) from a girl I knew that said that her car died on the way to work (She worked at UPS). Drove 15 some odd miles where I found the car on the offramp, about 500 feet from UPS. She had said she left the keys with the security guard, so I walked over and got them. Got back and found that the wire from the ignition to the coil was burnt from one end to the other, the wire to the choke had fallen off and was touching the gen body. THAT wire didn't have a mark on it.. Rigged up a temp, and drove it to the parking lot across from the guard shack (more light and less chance of getting run over by cars on the offramp), then had to walk back to get MY car and drive it over there. Did a little more permanet repair and tested to make sure other stuff worked before returning the keys back to the guard with a message to the girl that it was "fixed". Never got any 'payment' out of that deal. Smile
'63 Bug rebuild here.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Road side fix..... Reply with quote

busfreak_71 wrote:
What is your most unusual, unbelievable, best roadside breakdown...

Here is my breakdown story. Click here
When it opens to the page, click on the black arrow pointing to Breakdown. You will hear a 30 sec. story.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Camping in Gettysburg PA in 1992 in my 77 Westy. I had shop replace my leaky push rod seals then took the bus camping that weekend. Oil started leaking on the drive (maybe 3 hour drive from Scranton to Gettysburg). When I got there I checked oil and had only a drop on bottom of dip stick.

I put three quarts in that evening and it all drained out overnight. Luckily there was a little store in the camp ground that had some basic automotive supplies mostly for campers. I bought 8 quarts of oil and 2 tubes of silicone sealant. Also borrowed some tools from a fellow camper.

So I poured 3 more quarts in and went underneath with a flashlight, my tools, and the sealant. I cleaned everything up and started tracing leaks. I first got to whatever leaks were dripping with the engine off, then moved onto the ones that only leaked with the engine on. Burnt my arms a few times, had to remove two ticks from my legs but the sealant kept me going until I could get back to Scranton for a proper repair.
57 Panel http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=453943
62 so34 http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=533160
76 Westy http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=520076
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I had just gotten my 64 beetle running and had taken it out for a test drive and its first full tank of gas. After filling up I hopped in and tried to start it up. It would crank but not turn over. Well I had only gotten it to run earlier that day so I was having a minor freakout. I'm running back and forth from the key to the engine trying different things. I'm so focused that I'm not really paying much attention to what's going on around me. Finally I start to realize that someone is yelling. Then it dawns on me that they are yelling at me. So I look up and see this balding guy with missing teeth and a faded AC/DC shirt on and I realize he is asking me if I want to sell it. All the while his kids are in the back of his car making an awful racket and his wife is yelling at him to shut up and get in the car. I was frustrated and not in the best of moods at this point, so I told him yeah sure if he could give me $8,000 on the spot it was his. He didn't seem to think this was fair and was trying to talk me down. Well it was only a little crud stuck in the carb so during all this I got it started up and drove out of there before I said something that wasn't nice. Now a word to the wise. If you see some one who's having trouble starting there car, it might not be the best time to ask them anything other than can you help.
67 Beetle - Amy {RIP, gone but not forgotten}
64 Beetle - Ruby {on the road to recovery}

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Big Bill
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This happened to me about 10 yeasrs ago. I was in my 63 Bug on the way home from work( about 35 miles) at a stop light before I got on the freeway the engine starts to miss real bad and is running really rough. So I pull over to the side of the road and start trouble shooting the problem to see what it is. It still will start and run but not very well, so after a bit I figure out the #3 cylinder is dead. I have spark but still wont fire, so what the hell I decide to limp home, I was able to run at maybe 45 or so MPH until I got home. When I got home after checking a few other things, I pulled the valve cover and both pushrods for #3 had some collapsed and were just laying in the tubes. I put in two new pushrods and adjusted them and it run great for many more years. Pretty awesome that it could run on three cylinders for 30+ miles to get me home. Smile
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

About 15 years ago I was eastbound on I80 in Nebraska in the middle of summer in my '70 Ghia. Had my twin daughters with me who were almost 2 at the time. Probably about 95 degrees or more & somewhere between Kearney & Omaha the throttle pedal drops to the floor. I knew the cable was broken & I was just coming up to an off-ramp so I pulled off, slipped it into neutral and coasted to the bottom of the ramp. From the bottom of the ramp I could see a small truck stop/restaurant. I shut the engine off, put it in 1st, started it in gear & idled into the parking lot.

Got REALLY lucky. There was a family there with a bay window with an alternator problem & the guy was fixing it in the parking lot. He had a universal VW throttle cable & he sold it to me for $5 & I was on the road in less than a half hour. Smile

Last edited by SBD on Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fred69vert wrote:
...so I turned my idle up to about 1900 RPM. Using the back streets i was able to get home at a whopping 23 MPH top speed in third gear. Didn't shut the engine off until I had it in my garage.

I have totally done this, in a bus.
you just have to shift real fast Laughing

my best fix ever has got to be when I drove my 71 ghia to Guadalupe canyon hot springs in baja, mex. guadalupe canyon is at least 30 miles down a--washboard--dirt road about 1/2 way between tecate & mexicalli on mex hwy 2. it's really out in the middle of nowhere and in a not-so-great part of Mexico. I guess they used to start the 1000 in the dry lake that the road follows.

ghia does awesome through the states, mexican traffic, long dirt roads, creek crossings the whole bit.

on the way back somewhere on the dirt road I got a little overzealous on the washboards and she just quits. some of you know the sinking feeling, the pit of the stomach pain you experience as you realize that you are in the middle of the middle of nowhere: this better be something simple.

7-8 years ago I was not a working VW mechanic but being 'borninabus' I was able to figure out pretty quickly that the dist rotor was turning freely; as in, not engaged. the clamp stud had rattled out of the engine case because the case was stripped out. there was no way it was gonna hold.

I was able to reseat the distributor properly and I stuck the stud through the clamp & into the case. I then tied the dist down to the oil pressure switch & fuel pump with some electrical wire I had in the trunk.

she cruised home probably 400+ miles all in one shot. no issues.
71 Bus - 71 Ghia - 86 Van - 88 Van - 87 Syncro Adventurewagon
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 7:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Road side fix..... Reply with quote

We were driving our 62 bus to rocky point Mexico. We were driving down the freeway going 75 mph foot to the floor going to spring break. We broke a rocker arm stud. We floated the valves and punched a hole in the top of the piston on the number three cylinder. We pulled over pulled the valve cover off removed the rocker arms and pushrods on number 3 along with the spark plug and ignition wire and proceeded to drive down the road... At 40 mph we drove all the way to rocky point. We drove around until we found a vw repair shop where i bought a used cylinder head and piston. I pulled the head off on the beach while drinking beer and eating shrimp cocktails i used an sos pad to sand out the cylinder vote for no other reason than it seemed like the thing to do. We bolted everything back with no torque wrench (we had the far superior torque arm!) i think it was pretty accurate because we made it home and it drove that way until the day i sold it.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 5:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Road side fix..... Reply with quote

So I replaced the positive battery to starter cable. Big deal right? I'll back up a bit first...

Driving home yesterday I noticed a shooting pain in my right hand, then a couple seconds later it happens again. Jeebus, I'm getting shocked!? Only when my hand touched the shifter. What the..?

I looked at the speedometer and noticed the generator light was on, very dim.

No loss in speed or power, but I pull in the nearest gas station to have a look.

Everything looks good, nothing disconnected in the engine compartment, no burnt electrical smell, so go to start the car and...nothing.

Battery has a full charge, try other lights, nada.

I take another close look underneath and noticed the battery cable was hanging down, broken at the starter connection.

Dial 9-1-wife and get a lift to Canadian Tire for a new cable. Few minutes later and sporting a nice bump on my head from a heat exchanger, I'm on my way again. It could have been worse.

I think that would make a great anti-theft mod, if not a fire hazard.
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Fastest VW Belt Changer

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2016 9:06 am    Post subject: Re: Road side fix..... Reply with quote


I try to do anything I can to prevent paying a tow or out of town shop bill.
Knock on wood.. yet to have to surcome to that... Pray

We all know that the worst case burned up trans or bad in tank fuel pump are up on the list of bad ones to happen on a trip..

I've had a few times over the years that had to make some quick repairs to get me home or to a parts house.
ALWAYS carry tools no matter what Im driving.
My pop taught me preventive mantainence is the key to vehicle dependabiltiy

First car.. 64 Beetle.. yeah had some times I can remember.
Pushed it over a ditch to lay in to change a starter.
Used my girlfriends fishnets as a generator belt..
Used fishing line as a through the window throttle cable..
Gum wrapper for a fuse
Wiring repairs by yanking speaker wire to use accordignly.

Im sure there were more in that car...Im forgetting

Over the years..
Used a 16 ounce water bottle to transfer fuel from one car to another to make it 1/2 mile to the fuel station. (not my car)
Heater hoses spliced together to fix a coolant leak.
Overhauled a carbueretor at a car show.
RTV to seal a radiator from the outside.. (still gong after 10 years)

And.. the ineveitable.. water in the fuel 600 miles away from home.
Pumped it until clean in a Pep Boys parking lot via the in tank fuel pump, aaded tank drier and 3 fuel filters later...made it home..

Thats just a few.

My Pop has some good ones some from his younger days and some from my grandfather..

Shoe leather as a main bearing, permatex head gaskets, ....stealing a drive shaft from a car lot in the middle of the night just to get another 500 miles home... and yes some fuel too.

Do what ya got to do... thats the bottom line.
Stay on the main routes.
Carry some emergency tools, supplies and Good RTV, as it can seal lots of things... even from the outside in.

aka Ken {o\!/o}
Its your vehicle- stop askin' for approval-do what YOU like for cryin' out loud
Better to roll em' how you want and wear em' out-than lettin' em' rot out
Its about the going not the showing
Rebuilt to drive not decorate
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