Community Posts

1967 Vintage Volkswagen Beetle Z-Bar Update

Russ Keller, a reader and good friend of 1967beetle.com sent the following information with photos to back up his studied position. His thesis called for “loading” the Z-Bar by altering the travel space at the bottom end of each Operating Rod. With the space filled, the Rods are “loaded”. They are not “waiting” for a “loading moment” when the Z-Bar will be activated.

Russ Keller says:

Because the Z-Bar was active only in harder turning as an anti-sway, it was too little too late.

On our ’67, we engaged the Z-Bar all of the time by installing a polyurethane bushing to take up the 2 inch slack prior to engagement. In this way it was always ready in play and we didn’t have the delay in rear suspension stiffness when needed. It was there right away and really improved the cornering and over-steer. Here are a few pictures we took when we installed the z-bar bushings. It was a cheap and easy improvement and the urethane came in black so it matched the look. It was a big improvement for little $$.

After a few hard test drives we experimented with the length of the test bushing.

Because we bought an extra long piece of the hollow material from McMaster-Carr, we could cut test samples. These ranged from 3 1/2″ down to 2″.

The 2″ was the pick by the drivers–my son, “VW Gary” (Gary Drennen from Gary’s Aircooled Service) and me. As I remember, since the 2″ bushing did not quite fill the space on the Operating Rod, that little bit of “slop” prevented the back (of the car) from feeling springy or bouncy. Springy is a technical term of art…..”Federnd” in the original German.”

Thank you, Russ, for sharing your experiment with us!

Ron Waller — Window Scraper Replacement

This fantastic tech tip style article comes to us from Ron Waller, a loyal reader and part of the ’67 Beetle community. Jay and I appreciate everyone that contributes. Without YOU, there would be no 1967beetle.com. Lastly, let’s pause for a moment to thank Ron for his service to our country. Semper Fi.

I have replaced the window felts and scrapers a couple of times now. There are some excellent sources out there on how to do this. However, I found most of them do not provide enough information it get it back together – right. Make note of how you take the door apart. Pictures are a great backup. When you put it all back together some of the reconstruction is counter intuitive. Those notes and pictures will help. My objective is to help you complete the process with as little aggravation as possible.

After the spilling of considerable blood and using language I haven’t used since my time in the Marines. Jay Salser encouraged me to make notes of what I did hopefully help others who decide to go thru the process.

My outline is only meant to help you get it all back together. You may like their ideas better. Do read them, as they definitely help you especially with the removal.

The SambaRob & Dave’s

The scrapers are fragile and sharp. There are also sharp edges on the inner door – be careful. Before you start keep this in mind. From inside out, you’ll have the inner door panel, regulator, vent window upright, then outer door panel.

The scrapers. One of the hardest and most frustrating parts of this process is getting those little clips which hold the scraper in place into the rectangular holes in the door. It is hard to line them up both vertically and horizontally.

Be generous with the use of painters tape. I put it on all “exposed” surfaces to help prevent an accidental scrape.

Before I even try, I mark the position of the holes with a non-permanent felt pen. Trust me, this will save you a lot of frustration. If you “miss” the clips may be ruined and the parts will need to be replaced.

Next, place just a little bit of candle wax on the end of the clips. Don’t overdo it. I have tried other lubricants, but this was by far the best (thanks Jay!).

Install the outer scraper. Hold it in place with painters tape. It is very thin aluminum and tends to “flap” around. That little bit of tape helps keep it out if the way.

Install the felt clips which help secure the outside scraper.

Some aftermarket scrapers have a screw hole at the top front. The one from WW does not. You probably had to remove a small sheet metal screw during the removal. Before you go to the next step, you will need to drill a hole to help secure the outer scraper. It’s not a big deal, but it definitely helps in lining up the scrapers, vent window, etc. (photo 3)

Install the regulator. Make sure it goes under the top part if the inner door. I missed and had it installed incorrectly. It must go under this lip. This is when you need a third hand as you position the scraper! Do not ask your wife! Look down through the window opening, you should not be able to see it. If you do, you missed. I missed, and what is not an easy job become impossible. You can then install the bolts around the crank and the one needed at the top “left” corner. Install them loosely. Just enough to hold the regulator in position.

When I removed my regulator I thoroughly cleaned it with brake fluid cleaner. Fifty years of grime adds up!

I then placed axle grease in the channels to lubricate the “spring.” When you have the regulator off you will see what I mean.

Insert vent window, but leave it loose. I use painters tape to hold it in place. Reinstall the Phillips screw at the top of the vent window. 

You have to work the front of the scraper rubber into the vertical vent window rubber. I use a bicycle tire tool and dish soap. You need to get the aluminum on the outside of the rubber.

Install the glass.

Put some tape over areas that the glass might rub.

Pull the regulator towards you.

’67 Volkswagen Beetle Hubcaps

Hello, ’67 Beetle community. I wanted to share a great tech tip style video from our good friend, Chris Vallone over in NY. As some may know, we (Lane Russell) do offer the correct hubcaps for your ’67 Beetle. Installing them the right way is equally important. Nothing is more frustrating than dented hubcaps.

Of course, we are here to help if needed. Please comment below if we can do anything for you.

Challenges of Vintage Car Ownership

Challenges of Vintage Car Ownership

An older article we wanted to put in the spotlight again, as we’ve been receiving a lot of emails on this topic.

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.”

Vintage Volkswagen Keys

Jody is a friend of 1967beetle.com; as he’s been reading since the early days. Again, it’s the community that makes 1967beetle.com what is is. Thanks again, Jay for shining your timing light on another one that makes a difference.

Hello, fellow 1967 VW Beetle connoisseurs. My name is Jody Sauvageau (that’s sav-uh-joe). I’m 44 years old, live in Cumberland, Rhode Island, and have been addicted to Volkswagens since receiving my first Matchbox VW Bug “Dragon Wheels” at the age of 4. I still have that first Matchbox today. I always have owned at least one VW since my first car, a 1977 Rabbit, that I purchased at age 15½. I bought it 6 months before receiving my license so I could “fix her up” in time for that special day. Since then, I almost can’t count how many VWs I’ve owned and brought back to life in one way or another.

One car that never has left me, nor ever will, is my 1967 Sunroof Beetle Deluxe Sedan that has been highlighted here on 1967beetle.com in the past. Finished in L633 VW Blue with Platinum interior, it’s been a labor of love for the last 16 years. I fully restored her myself, aside from paint, from top to bottom, trying to replicate factory standards as best as I could. I have won numerous awards and trophies and was featured in the July, 2014, Hot VW’s Vintage Special Magazine, a dream come true. Now it is retired from judging, but I still take it to a few shows a year.

Besides buying and selling all things VW to feed my addiction (I mean hobby) my newest VW adventure has been cutting VW Keys. It started last year when a friend purchased a VW Beetle project car that had no Keys. He tried contacting a local guy who’s been making Keys “to Code” for VW’s for years, but had no luck getting in touch with him. Every VW lock has a Code stamped on it which represents its Key Cut, but more on that later. Eventually my friend located a locksmith who still could perform the task of cutting an “antique VW Key” by having just the Code, but this came at a premium cost. It was then that it occurred to me: “Maybe this is something I can do!”