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 Hello from first time beetle owner (Maryland Heights, MO) 
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Post Hello from first time beetle owner (Maryland Heights, MO)
Hello all,

Name is Joe, I'm a first time Beetle owner. Although I'm handy, I'm not a mechanic - even though my dad and all of my uncles are, it skipped over me I guess. I bought this beetle because I love Volkswagen and have always owned one in some form or another (Rabbit, Fox, Jetta, Routan). We've always had them in the family also, my Mom drives a water cooled beetle, aunt has a Toureg, Grandma had a rabbit.

Anyway, I have a 1971 super beetle that I bought off craigslist. Had no brakes (zero brakes, interesting ride home with lots of down shifting) and ran pretty terrible. Over the past few weeks I've been getting it road and safety inspection ready. Here's what I have done so far:

- New rotors, shoes, springs, hoses all the way around. Basically everything but the master cylinder which I have and am ready to replace.
- New muffler and tail pipes.
- Oil change.
- Valve adjustment.
- New spark plugs and wires.
- New rear shocks.

Not too bad for a non mechanic. Been studying the bentley manual and checked out a couple of the bugme videos.

Still to do:
- Still needs new front shocks as the steering wheel sort of turns back and forth an inch or two if I hit any turbulence during a wide turn with some speed.
- Need to adjust the carb. After changing the plugs, adjusting the valves and changing the muffler it needed it, but I think my messing with it made it worse.
- Need to adjust timing, I don't have the proper notches in the wheel to tell me the right degree, so I've been delaying that.
- The vacuum gauge doesn't work, not sure what it's for.
- The temperature gauge doesn't work.
- The fuel gauge is way off. Might need a new sending unit. Might go w/ a whole new tank because I fear the current one is leaking.

Anyway, not sure I was supposed to go so in-depth, just wanted to let everyone know where I was at. Hope to meet up with you guys some time in the near future. I met Al and have been out to his place (bought some seats off him) and I was like a kid in a candy shop!

Image

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edit: forgot to mention, the car did pass inpection, just need to get plates and I'm set!


Wed Jul 18, 2012 1:55 pm
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Post Re: Hello from first time beetle owner (Maryland Heights, MO
Great bug Joe. Welcome to the group. Get historic plates, then you won't ever have to go back to DMV again and no more inspections.
Pat from Lake Saint Louis.


Wed Jul 18, 2012 3:06 pm
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Post Re: Hello from first time beetle owner (Maryland Heights, MO
jyoseph wrote:
Still to do:
- Still needs new front shocks as the steering wheel sort of turns back and forth an inch or two if I hit any turbulence during a wide turn with some speed.
- The fuel gauge is way off. Might need a new sending unit. Might go w/ a whole new tank because I fear the current one is leaking.


Super Beetles almost always have that shimmy in the steering. Even if you replace all the steering components. And VW fuel gauges are rarely ever completely accurate.

Welcome to the site and VW driving/owning. A super beetle was my first VW. Not sure how I stayed with it after that car. I hated/loved it. :D


Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:15 pm
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Post Re: Hello from first time beetle owner (Maryland Heights, MO
mowerman wrote:
Great bug Joe. Welcome to the group. Get historic plates, then you won't ever have to go back to DMV again and no more inspections.
Pat from Lake Saint Louis.


Thank you sir, I will do that! Failed inspection once because I went to the official state highway place on Page. Then went to a local Mobil and passed with no problem. The guy at the other place was running me through the ringer.

Willeye wrote:
Super Beetles almost always have that shimmy in the steering. Even if you replace all the steering components. And VW fuel gauges are rarely ever completely accurate.

Welcome to the site and VW driving/owning. A super beetle was my first VW. Not sure how I stayed with it after that car. I hated/loved it. :D


Well that's nice to know! Scared the heck out of me the first time it happened!

And yeah, being a guy who is just now learning to work on cars I have had some frustrating moments, particularly when trying to get the new muffler on. From start to finish I spent 7 hours on it. I was so mad!!

But.... Then I went out the next morning and saw that beautiful car in the driveway and all was well. :)


Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:42 pm
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Post Re: Hello from first time beetle owner (Maryland Heights, MO
^^^
welcome, joe - u might try replacing just the steering dampner, a small horizontal
shock-absorber-looking-item located under front beam, if it seems easy to move,
for your shimmy - it fixed my son's super w/ same problem :wink:


Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:32 pm
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Post Re: Hello from first time beetle owner (Maryland Heights, MO
Welcome Joe.

Nice looking bug. Have fun with it, The more you learn about it the more awesome time you will have with it.

SeeYa. Ted.


Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:33 pm
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Post Re: Hello from first time beetle owner (Maryland Heights, MO
Welcome Joe, nice bug and you're doin a great job on your bug, replace the steering damper and will probably fix the rest of the shimmy 8)


Thu Jul 19, 2012 5:12 am
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Post Re: Hello from first time beetle owner (Maryland Heights, MO
Welcome Joe....nice super and a sunroof too...sweet!

Roy from O'Fallon, MO


Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:06 am
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Post Re: Hello from first time beetle owner (Maryland Heights, MO
Howdy from Memphis! Welcome to the site Joe!


Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:41 am
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Post Re: Hello from first time beetle owner (Maryland Heights, MO
Welcome to the site. Shawn from troy.


Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:14 pm
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Post Re: Hello from first time beetle owner (Maryland Heights, MO
Thank you guys, so glad to be here. Can't wait to shake hands and share an icy cold beverage. I'll be sure to come out to the next meetup (first Wed of each month right?)


Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:26 pm
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Post Re: Hello from first time beetle owner (Maryland Heights, MO
It's not usually the steering dampener/small shock absorber. It's usually this thing on the left side of this pic next to the passenger side strut. I think it's called an idler arm or something. See if it has any slop. From what I remember they aren't that expensive, or at least weren't back in the 90s. But even with a new one and a bunch of other new steering parts, still have a shimmy at 60ish mph. Dumb design in my opinion, the extra truck space of the super isn't worth the redesigned suspension.

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Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:31 pm
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Post Re: Hello from first time beetle owner (Maryland Heights, MO
did you say "frustrating" moments while working on the muffler Joe? LOL, that's normal for VW owners, its the Love/Hate long term relationship we have with our VWs. Flat screen sunroof super is one of my favorite yr late bug. Nice.


Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:23 pm
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Post Re: Hello from first time beetle owner (Maryland Heights, MO
Welcome to the site! I'm fairly new to the VW world myself, and I can already tell you how much I like this group of people. (At least those I've met!) They're always helpful, and full of good advice.
Hope to see you at some of the events.
Tim from Washington.


Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:46 am
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Post Re: Hello from first time beetle owner (Maryland Heights, MO
Willeye wrote:
It's not usually the steering dampener/small shock absorber. It's usually this thing on the left side of this pic next to the passenger side strut. I think it's called an idler arm or something. See if it has any slop. From what I remember they aren't that expensive, or at least weren't back in the 90s. But even with a new one and a bunch of other new steering parts, still have a shimmy at 60ish mph. Dumb design in my opinion, the extra truck space of the super isn't worth the redesigned suspension.

Attachment:
MacPh.jpeg


Thanks for the heads up! I'm going to be readjusting the brakes and will have the front jacked up (on jack stands of course, learned once already the hard way on that). I'll be sure to check it out then. After quickly checking part costs if it's a bushing only then that's a pretty cheap repair, might not be a bad place to start! I had Ted drive the car and of course couldn't get it to really act up.

mid_mo66westy wrote:
did you say "frustrating" moments while working on the muffler Joe? LOL, that's normal for VW owners, its the Love/Hate long term relationship we have with our VWs. Flat screen sunroof super is one of my favorite yr late bug. Nice.


Thanks! Yes I was mad at the car while I was working on it, the muffler holes would not line up even after several hours of raging and torking on it :evil: All that went away when I actually got to hear the engine purr - didn't really hear it over the muffler since it had a lot of big holes)

Timfromwashmo wrote:
Welcome to the site! I'm fairly new to the VW world myself, and I can already tell you how much I like this group of people. (At least those I've met!) They're always helpful, and full of good advice.
Hope to see you at some of the events.
Tim from Washington.


Thanks Tim!


Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:40 pm
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