November 2015 Posts

Vintage VW Running Board Restoration


Editor’s Note: A huge thanks to Joy Rabins for her contributions to This is one of the most complete articles we’ve ever featured. Our timing lights are pointed in your direction, Joy!

The running board project had been on my list of things to do since I purchased my bug the year before. The surface of the boards looked ugly. There were lumps and bumps of rust under the rubber mats which made it look like it had the worst complexion ever. After doing some research on the web, mostly through YouTube, I thought it was time to tackle the job. Somehow the YouTube videos always make a project look a lot
easier than it turns out to be. Many tend to skip over problems areas as I found out when I did my project.

My cars running boards are original and I wanted to keep them as original as possible. The only parts that I would eventually purchase and replace were the rubber mats, the rubber washers between the running board and fenders, and the clips that hold the molding to the running board. I was able to clean all the original metal washers, bolts and nuts and reuse them.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t until after I had started the project that Jay Salser suggested I write an article on my experience resurfacing my running boards. Therefore, I don’t have a photo of my old running boards attached to the car. I did take a photo of the rubber mat after it was removed from the board. The first photo, “top side of mat”, shows all the bumps where the rust raised the area of the rubber mat. The “Underside of mat” photo shows the rust attached to the underside of the rubber mat.

SOLD – L620 Savanna Beige ’67 Beetle


Just listed for sale here at This is a very nice L620 Savanna Beige ’67 Beetle, just waiting for someone to take it home. It would not take much to make this car perfect. Info from the seller, who’s also a reader of (Thank, you for following us!)


I’m the original owner of this 67 Bug bought in Fresno, California in August of ‘67. It’s been my daily driver until a few years ago when I retired. Now my wife and I are planning a move to England and I can’t take it with me. Too bad, I thought they’d bury me in it. It’s been a California car except for three years when I lived in Utah.

I think it probably has around 400,000 miles on it but, honestly, the odometer broke about 25 years ago and I never replaced it. In the 80’s I installed a 1600cc engine and it’s been very dependable. It drips a little oil, the brakes and clutch will need adjusting. The electrics work with the exception of the radio. It had a paint job (same color) and also the entire pan was replaced in the 90’s so not much rust. A ding on the front left fender and on the roof above the rear window (Ran into a garage door before it completely opened)

Tom Husband

Status: SOLD
Mileage: ?
Location: San Jose, CA
Price: $4,500 OBO
Contact: Tom  |  (408) 724-5415

Vintage Volkswagen Deftost System Rebuild


Editor’s Note: Having never done this job on any VW, I was at a loss how to counsel Richard Diaz. My main job was to act as his cheering section. Richard’s solution to this problem is brilliant! Thank you, Richard, for persevering despite your VW War injuries!


Maybe it is a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but owning a vintage Volkswagen seems to bring out that trait in most of us who own a vintage VW! Living in Southern California there aren’t many days that a heater, windshield wiper, or a defroster are needed, but to not have them work just drives me up the wall and over time I have dedicated a lot of time to making them work as they were designed to work.

When I bought my “Papa’s Slugbug”, about three years ago, two of the long list of things I wanted working before I picked up the car were the heater and the defroster! To close the deal, the seller agreed! Well, he installed the wrong heater boxes, bus heater boxes, and didn’t attach the heater cables from the lever controls at either side of the emergency brake back to the flaps under the rear seat. Then he used a three-way splitter connection, from a 1968 Bug, for the defroster on the passenger side, using the large size hoses for that splitter, which made the passenger side barely work and the driver and center vent not work at all! I fixed the heater by installing the correct heater boxes and connecting the cables! But the defrost system required a little research to figure out, since I did not have a clue that I was missing the two Y-splitters, nor was I aware of how the system was designed to work!


I have been studying the defroster system to figure out how to fix it! What I have learned is that it is a very basic system, but the parts are a little difficult to find. After a Google search on tips to fix the defroster I was emailing my good and knowledgeable friend Jay Salser. Jay and I had a lot of discussion and he offered referrals to locations where I might find the correct “Y” splitters and hoses! Jay is always willing to help any vintage Volkswagen enthusiast and share not only his knowledge, but his resources. Many times he will share parts right out of his parts pile! Jay also is an advocate of keeping the restoration process as original as possible, so he quietly rejected some of the inventive ways others fixed their defrost systems. When Jay’s parts pile came up empty for the Y-splitter, I knew I was in trouble!

After his first referral for the Y-splitters didn’t pan out, Jay referred me to an advertiser on The Samba, Avery’s Aircooled Auto, located in Kelso, Washington. Soon two Y-splitters were ordered and delivered. The Y-splitters have three different hose sizes. The upper defroster hoses; one for the corner defrosters (1-1/4″ inner diameter fits over the corner defroster tube) and one for the center defroster (1″ inner diameter fits into either side of the center defroster tube) were found at Airhead Parts in Ventura, California. The third hose, the largest of the three (1-1/2″ inner diameter fits over the heater channel pipe flange), runs from the bottom of the Y-splitter to the heater channel, was more elusive.

Thanks to Jay’s persistence to find a single source for the three hoses he finally called and talked to Mark at Wolfsburg West. In a pretty excited phone call from Jay on a Friday morning he told me that Mark went out of his way to guide a search of their product site! You see Jay, and I had been trying to navigate the site by typing in what we were looking for in the “search” window and coming up empty.

Other vendors I searched online either did not have them, or only had the defroster hose from the heater channel to the Y-splitter, or the hoses from the Y-splitter to the corners and center. None had all three! None of the main sites I frequent sold the two-way splitter, either new, nor did they have used ones! And, one vendor who specialized in used parts took all my information and never got back to me! Another, who specialized in used parts never got back to me and after my third try to communicate on the phone I realized I had dealt with this vendor before and had a similar, but more serious, experience, so I abandoned further attempts!

Jay and Eric, of, are proponents of documenting system restorations and resources for parts for future restoration work that many of us will be involved in as we keep these fine cars on the road. For that reason I have submitted this article.

My opinion/theory of why Volkswagen Engineers used the varied hose size configuration is to increase the pressure of the warm air pushed by the engine fan to the front of the car to the Y-splitter. Reducing the size of the hose from 1-1/2″ to 1-1/4″ to the corner of the windshield, a relatively short distance, decreases the volume, but increases the flow pressure to blow the warm air into each corner (Venturi Effect) . The distance to the center of the windshield defroster is greater in distance and the reduction to a 1″ diameter hose further increases the flow pressure to travel the increased distance. But, because of this competition for warm air, the center defroster must receive warm air from both heater channels.

’67 Volkswagen Beetle – Insurance Coverage

IMG_0965We have a reader of that’s currently dealing with an insurance issue. I’d like some feedback from the ’67 Beetle community on this topic, as I know he currently has some struggles getting an agreed value for the car. We all know that these gems are rising in value each year. Your comments will help document for future readers. What’s your ’67 Beetle insured for? Have you had insurance issues in the past? Let’s keep it to facts, if possible.

I had a back fire which caused fire on my baby. Fortunately, the fire department was close by and no damage to engine; just parts as seen in pictures. I had comprehensive insurance with _ _ _ _ and they are evaluating value of VW bug before fire at $4,000 and repairs at $2,500. I need help to evaluate value and cost of repairs. If ratio of cost of repairs divided by value of bug is greater then 70% then considered a loss. The purpose of comprehensive insurance was to be able to restore her.

Chris Vallone’s L000 ’67 Beetle (Update)

An update from the earlier mention of our good friend Chris Vallone’s ’67 Beetle build. I need to catch up with him, but I believe he’s going the correct ’67 L518 Java Green. It looks like the build is coming along nicely.

This car was found in north NJ in Mid 2012. This baby is rock solid and should need little body work.  This is a numbers matching Body, Chassis, Motor, ’67 Beetle.  This is a very solid DRY car, worth putting some bucks into to make it killer.