Tips Posts

Vintage VW Sunroof Rebuild

’67 Volkswagen Beetle — Sunroof Rebuild

This article was submitted by reader and ’67 enthusiast Jeremy GoodspeedThank you very much for your contributions to 1967beetle.com.

Starting in 1965 VW changed the sunroof design for deluxe Beetles from a sliding ragtop design to a metal sunroof which requires a crank of a handle to open and close.  Although the sunroof was smaller in overall size, it was much quieter, smoother and more secure than the older design.

As with any rebuilding project, preparation is vital for a successful rebuild.  Although very difficult to find today, I was fortunate enough to have purchased just about every part necessary for the rebuild many years ago.  NOS sunroof parts are just about extinct today, and if you’re lucky enough to find a part, you will pay a heavy price.

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!

1967 Vintage Volkswagen Beetle Z-Bar


Jay Salser does it again, folks. Many many ’67 Beetle owners around the world appreciate the fruits of your labor. – ES

At some point, I accumulated some Z-Bar (Equalizer Spring) Components. I decided to sort these and at least learn their Names and Part Numbers. There’s not much future in calling parts—“the thing-a-ma-jig”. You get the picture.

I know that a lot of 1967 Owners won’t be excited by all of this, but there are some who enjoy knowing about the “minutia” of their cars. For those—I decided to post the information which I have accumulated. Thanks to David Brown, I have been able to acquire those VW Part Numbers which I could not find on my own. And, Neva Salser whipped out her Digital and snapped a multitude of photos from which to choose some for this exercise.

Note: The Z-Bar continued into the 1968 Production Year for 1968 Beetles so that the Z-Bar is not a one-year-only part.

In Europe, the Z-Bar took a different configuration. Also, somewhere in there, the replacement for the Z-Bar with which we are familiar was superceded by the one in the photo below.

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.