Tips Posts

Selling a Vintage Volkswagen

Selling a Vintage Volkswagen
Here’s a wealth of information in regards to selling a Vintage VW, from our good friend Chris Vallone of Classic VW Bugs in NY. One of the many things Chris and 1967beetle.com agree on is the lack of photos and information in current market listings. When selling a Vintage VW, it’s an up front investment. Chris explains below.

Let’s also talk a bit about the different types of sellers.

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.

Vintage Volkswagen Speedo Removal

Vintage Volkswagen Speedo Removal

There comes a time when the original speedo in your vintage pride and joy needs to be restored. But, before bringing it back to its former glory, you actually need to remove it. No need to bite your nails and get anxious, it’s a simple task. Here’s how its done.

  1. Remove the wiring cover.
  2. Disconnect the positive battery terminal.
  3. Unscrew the speedometer cable knurled nut.  Pull the cable out of the speedo back.
  4. Make a diagram of the wires–colors and placement.  Just draw yourself the “circle of the back of the speedo”.
  5. Remove the wires–may need to use needle-nosed pliers to do this.  Some of the bulbs holders may come out with the wires; that’s okay since you need to remove them anyway and check to be sure that they are good bulbs and bulb holders.
  6. Put a large towel around the hood spring and opening down into that deep recess that gobbles all screws, nuts and bolts–to keep the speedo screws from falling into it.
  7. Loosen the two screws at the speedo “ears”.
  8. Slightly turn the speedo to clear the screws (or remove the screws completely) and the speedo will come to you.
  9. You can have the restoration shop to turn the speedo to zero across the board or to leave the mileage.
  10. Purchase a new speedo seal (goes around the bezel to seal between the speedo and the dash when you replace the speedo.  It buffers the metal-to-metal contact.
  11. Secure the speedo using the two screws.  It is self-centering.
  12. Check all bulbs to be sure that they are viable.
  13. Reattach wires as per your diagram.
  14. Reinstall the speedo cable.
  15. Reinstall the wiring cover.
  16. Remove the towel.
  17. Reattach the battery cable.

Vintage Volkswagen Bulb Repair

Vintage Volkswagen Bulb Repair

A couple of months ago, some of us were having a VW photo shoot. As my wife, Neva, drove away in our ’67 Beetle, someone exclaimed that one of the brake lights wasn’t functioning.

“Again?”, I thought and remarked to those present that I had serviced the offending brake light on more than one occasion. I added that to my list of VW Things To Do.

A couple of weeks later, I had a moment to work on the problem. But, in the intervening time, I had thought of a possible solution. It derived from something having nothing to do with VWs. In fact, this possible solution had nothing to do with anything automotive!

I removed the car’s cover, removed the lens and the offending bulb. I tested it to be sure that it was a functioning unit. Sure was. Sigh. Not as easy a fix as I had hoped. Wouldn’t it have been nice to just replace a burnt bulb?

Usually what I have done in the past is to remove the bulbs, then to remove the bulb holder itself. This is an easy operation requiring the removal of the lens, then the use of a Phillips head screwdriver to remove one short screw at the bottom of the bulb holder. The holder lifts out of its slot and there it is.

Vintage Volkswagen Oil Leaks

Hello from Austin, TX. Just a quick mention about fixing oil leaks at the rear main seal, from our good East Coast pal Chris Vallone of Classic VW Bugs.

We all know that VWs mark their spot when it comes to some oil dripping. If you don’t have a drip, consider yourself lucky, or maybe you do not have any oil in your motor! I came across a product recently that can solve the notorious “rear main seal” drip. This is probably one of the most common areas to drip on a VW air-cooled motor.