Jay Salser Posts

Vintage Volkswagen Windshield Washer System

FOR SALE: '67 Beetle Washer Bottle Reservoir Decal
One of the features which the Volkswagen Beetle has retained since 1962 is the windshield washer system. Though it has varied in some details, it has remained a pressure operated system. The fluid bottle was to be filled with clear water or a windshield washing fluid which could consist of an anti-freezing-cleaning solution for winter months or for colder climate zones.

This bottle was also marked with either a yellow or red decal. Both are correct. It just depended on what the factory had on hand.

Pressure in 1961 was generated by a diaphragm—the switch was pulled to activate a diaphragm which pulled water from the unpressurized fluid bottle and pushed it through the washer nozzles onto the windshield.

For 1962, the bottle was changed so that it could be filled with liquid, the cap screwed shut and the bottle pressurized by use of a tire pump or some other source of compressed air. The washer hose, of course, changed to accept this pressure. The hose was routed around the gas tank to the passenger’s side and then to the washer switch. The bottle cap (in the Owner’s Manual illustration) was white and knurled.

Helphos was a major manufacturer of the washer bottle (perhaps the sole manufacturer). In the photo below, Logo and other identifying information has been highlighted in black for illustrative purposes only.

Magura vs VDO Gas Gauge

Magura vs VDO Gas Gauge

Recently, fellow creator of 1967beetle.com, Eric Shoemaker showed me the Magura Gas Gauge from his 1967 Beetle. He has cleaned it to look like new. He reports that his sender unit (in the gas tank) as well as the cover for the sender, are a coordinated set from Magura.

Through production year 1967, Beetles in the USA came with a “grill” to the right of the speedometer on the dash. The mechanical gauge was located there.

My experience with VWs has been limited to living in Texas—mostly in the Dallas, TX area. I have seen Magura gas gauges but never fully investigated them. Most cars which I have seen had the VDO gas Gauge and related parts.

Frankly, I believed that Magura was a replacement gauge. End of story. That “story” now has been shown NOT to be ended! We need Reader response and input about the gas gauge and related parts in your 1967 Beetles! Let’s see what our combined experience tells us.

Here’s some more information to put into the hopper.

The VDO gas gauge for 1967 part number is 113-919-031A (the one which I am looking at is date-stamped 12/66). The cable is always silver colored. The VDO gauge is clearly marked on the face as VDO. The country of origin also is clearly marked as being Germany.

The VDO sender cover plate part number is 113-919-137A. The cover has the VW Logo and a raised VDO. This cover is probably a zinc coating.

I do not have a part number of the VDO sender itself.

The Magura gas gauge (this one date-stamped 6/66) part number is 113-919-031. The cable always is black in color. The Magura gauge face is clearly marked Magura.

The Magura sender cover plate is stamped with the VW Logo and the part number 113-919-137. The Magura crest-logo also is stamped into the cover. The cover is a gold colored coating—possibly cadmium.

Challenges of Vintage Car Ownership

Challenges of Vintage Car Ownership

Before I knew “Jonesie” (not his real name), he had purchased a Beetle which, by all logic, should have gone to the crusher. Never had he revived a car, much less a Bug. But, he had disassembled the car, removed the body from the chassis and proceeded to cut and weld and renew the car.

By the time we had met and become better acquainted, he was driving the vehicle but experiencing some major difficulties due to poor advice which he had received and some poor workmanship from a shop which rebuilt his engine and did some front end work.

I took Jonesie under consideration and introduced him to a bonafide VW mechanic and engine builder. Almost immediately the mechanic identified some of the problems. Together, we began solving and drawing the car out of its slump. It was gratifying to see Jonesie driving and enjoying his car. He talked about it, joined a local club, went on cruises and even was joined by his wife in his forays onto the highways.

I wasn’t surprised when he asked for help to build an authentic engine for his year of Beetle. After considerable expense, he soon was cruising with an engine to-kill-for—a real German engine from ring gear to crank pulley.

When he talked to me some months later and announced that he was selling his Beetle and all of his VW things, I was shocked. He told me that he had experienced a problem with his speedometer. Then, there was some other minor problem. These distractions bothered him and resulted in his disenchantment with a vintage vehicle. He plainly told me that he had not expected these things to happen. Clearly he was under the impression that once “restored”, the car was going to run without a hitch.

His has not been the first case I have observed! A person spends thousands of dollars and countless hours laboring to “get it right” only to have little stuff happen—usually when it is least expected and least appreciated—in terms of money, time and inconvenience!

I am a diehard VW fan who doesn’t like break-downs and other mechanical distractions, but I am in there for the long haul! I never have been under any delusion that a restored vintage car is going to be like a brand new car off the assembly line. Nothing is going to work exactly as it did in those days long past. Never!

In an article in the September-October, 2014 Saturday Evening Post, Jeanne Wolf interviewed Jay Leno—known the World ‘round for his vintage car collection and now-famous garage (pp.38-41 and 82). When but a boy, Jay was given a ’34 Ford Pickup to work on. His dad told him that if he could fix it, he could have it. Jay met the challenge and eventually had the truck running. He said about that first challenge: “You sort of learned to respect the machine and how to make it work. That’s probably what really got me into cars. And that’s what has kept me involved in creating my own collection and building the garage.”

’67 Beetle — One Year Only Parts

’67 Volkswagen Beetle — One Year Only Parts

Nothing says it like pictures. The old adage that “a picture is worth a thousand words” applies here!

1967beetle.com daily receives many many requests about one-year-only parts (commonly shortened to “OYO”). It makes sense to maintain a photo library of these parts for everyone to access at will.

We’ve added a new feature under “ARTICLES” in the site navigation. Simply mouse over, and you’ll see the new addition. One Year Only Parts.

OYO

One of the great benefits of such will be to those who are considering the purchase of a 1967 Beetle. A check of 1967beetle.com’s OYO parts photos can help to confirm whether the car in question really sports period correct parts—or not.

Another use of this new resource will be the ability to compare parts when searching for a correct replacement part. All of us have had to scour the Internet looking for the proper part, often coming away empty-handed because we didn’t know exactly what we were looking for. Or because incorrect parts were being posted as being the correct parts!

Rear VW Axle Maintenance

Rear Axle Maintenance

Not long after I had reassembled Baby, our 1967 Savanna Beige Sedan, I noticed that the passenger’s rear axle was seeping fluid onto the backing plate. “Rats!” I thought.

And, sighing, I got out the tools and began the task of replacing the axle seal—what else could it be? I had done the “taste test” (not recommended for the weak of stomach). It definitely was not brake fluid. Now, folks, I don’t actually imbibe what I taste—it’s an immediate knowledge and I rinse my mouth of any possible residue. It’s the humble chemist’s unfailing test! Some people get a dab onto the forefinger and by rubbing between forefinger and thumb can sense what type of fluid they are dealing with.

Sure enough…after getting into the bowels of the axle, it was a leaking seal. I fetched a new seal pack from my supplies.