Tips Posts

The 1967 Beetle Fuel System

fuelsystemheadlinerphoto-67bug-gasstation-1
The Fuel System of an air-cooled Volkswagen is not a complicated System.

But, there are some Fuel Issues which continue to plague the VW Community—some of them easily resolved with a little bit of thinking and work. These are things which most of us can do ourselves.

First, rather than running to all of the forums on the subject, it’s time to sit down to consider how the Fuel System of our Beetles works.

CAUTION: When working with Gasoline—ALWAYS work outdoors and away from any source of flame or spark!

The Fuel Tank:

Complaints about Gasoline Fumes are common. Two things usually contribute to Gasoline Odor in the Trunk. This Odor often penetrates to the Cabin area.

Let’s talk about the Tank Filler Neck. Note that there is a tiny Tube coming off the Neck
pointing towards the left side of the car. By removing the Gas Cap and looking into the Filler Neck, we can see the Tube protruding into the inside of the Filler Neck. Where it protrudes, it is slightly pinched. This is to limit the amount of liquid gasoline which can escape through the Tube. A tiny Rubber Vapor Hose (N203531—ID-2.0 mm/OD-3.5 mm) is pushed onto the tube where it exits the Filler Neck. It needs no clamp since it fits tightly and there is no pressure upon it. (Note: Vapor Hose also may be marketed as Vacuum Hose.)

The Vapor Hose loops back towards the driver, then back again to the front of the car where it is pushed through an opening and allowed to dangle several inches beneath the car. Thus, any Gasoline Vapors will exit beneath the car and will not escape through the Trunk area and into the Cabin. If the Vapor Hose is missing or improperly routed—Gasoline Vapors will permeate the Trunk area and pass into the Cabin. Be sure that the Hose is present and routed through the hole to beneath the car. 2 Hose Clips (111-201-261) keep the Vapor Hose stabilized on the Cowling Loop.

If the Tank Filler Neck Tube becomes plugged, gasoline will not flow properly from the Tank Outlet. Also, make certain that the Vapor Hose is not pinched or plugged.

Are My Vintage VW Front Fenders German?

Are My Fenders German?

Not a week goes by here at 1967beetle.com without someone sending photos of their vintage pride and joy, fresh from bodywork and paint. More times than not, their car has an aftermarket front fender. If you didn’t know, the ’67 Beetle front fenders (German) are another one of those fantastic one year only items. If you look at the vintage market, you’ll see plenty of folks claiming, “high end restoration.” However, (sadly) people often use cheap parts for max profit. The power is being able to tell the difference. I’d like to explain how can you tell if you’re dealing with genuine German VW metal. Let’s discuss below, with photos to help illustrate how simple the difference really is. I’d love to know how many readers actually go outside and look at their cars after reading this.

Turn signal holes
This is by far one of the easiest ways to distinguish the real deal from aftermarket. On the right we have a genuine German VW fender. If you remove your top turn signal assembly, the hole punched should be round. On the top of the hole, if you looked close enough you’d also see that the fender is stamped with a VW logo mark. Over time, these are often worn away. However, they are there from the factory. Also, the metal of German fenders is much thicker. On the left, we have an aftermarket fender with a goofy oblong hole. Why the folks making these did not use proper tooling to produce something that matches an OE fender is beyond me.

Are My Fenders German?

’67 Beetle Fuel Hose Clamp Tool

’67 Volkswagen Beetle — Fuel filters
When talking about working on the Fuel System of our Beetles, one of the greatest concerns we have is Fuel Spillage.

Gasoline is a wonderful “invention” but one which we should respect because of its evaporative and, thus, flammable qualities. We must use great care when working with gasoline. My number one rule is to work with gasoline outdoors so that gas vapors cannot accumulate

I frequently am asked by fellow Volkswagen enthusiasts what to do about gasoline spillage. This is a valid concern. When changing the fuel hoses, there always is the possibility for some gasoline to be spilled.

THERE IS A BETTER WAY!

While talking with my good 1967 Beetle friend, Frank Salvitti, of Long Island, New York, this past weekend, the subject of fuel spillage came up.

Says Frank—“Oh…that’s no problem! I use Line Clamp Pliers.” Now, Frank is a seasoned mechanic and knows things that a lot of us DIY-ers don’t. I asked Frank to explain his process and he told me that he would send some photos to illustrate his tool of choice.

Over the years, I have seen screws inserted into the ends of hoses, pieces of whittled wood, and other variations, in order to avoid the loss of gasoline while the person is working to change fuel hoses. But it takes time to insert something into the hose. In the meantime, the gasoline is draining. I laugh now, but I recall the many times I was beneath a VW, working on a fuel hose, and had the fuel to drain right onto my face or clothing. Not much way to avoid it if you are working with the fuel hose over head!

Frank emphasized the simplicity of the Line Clamp Tool and how to use it. The beauty is that if anything at all spills, it will be a couple of drops which remain at the end of the hose after it has been clamped. A paper towel can be placed there when the hose is disconnected and will take care of such a small amount.

The Clamp is applied appropriately—THEN—the fuel hose is disconnected.

30 PICT 1 Main Jet Configuration

NOS Solex 30 Pict-1 Carburettor

A Volkswagen friend in England recently e-messaged me about a situation with his carburetor. His is a 28 Pict-1 but the situation is identical to that of the 30 Pict-1 carburetor.

The proposed problem deals with the Main Jet of the carburetor.

When my friend experienced some carb problems, he began to search the Internet for helps. He discovered a video and watched it and followed the instructions.

When the video came to the Main Jet installation, the mechanic pointedly explained that the hole in the Main Jet Carrier Bolt should align with the hole in the bowl of the carburetor.

My friend attempted to get the holes to align but was unable to do so. Now, he thought that he had a problem. He asked me if he should not tighten the Carrier Bolt, but leave it a little loose so that the holes would align.

carburetormainjetseries-5a

By not tightening the Main Jet Carrier Bolt, gasoline will seep to the outside of the carburetor, resulting in the problem of raw gasoline in the engine compartment—a problem which none of us wants.

In the Carburetors mentioned above, the brass Main Jet Carrier Bolt also serves as the Plug for the bottom of the Carburetor Bowl. (Later carburetors have a simple steel or brass Bowl Plug. The Main Jet was separated from the Carrier Bolt and moved to a new location but has the same function).

With the Main Jet Carrier Bolt in hand, note that the area which has the holes is recessed—of a smaller diameter than the rest of the Bolt. There are three holes drilled on opposite sides of one another. This is so that gasoline can pass through the hole in the bottom of the Carburetor Bowl and enter the recessed area where the Main Jet Carrier Bolt resides. With the Main Jet Carrier Bolt installed, gasoline in the Bowl can freely circulate around the Carrier Bolt and enter the 3 drillings in order to pass to the Main Jet.

Undercoating Vintage Volkswagens

Undercoating Vintage Volkswagens

Digging in the archives here at 1967beetle.com, we wanted to put this article in the spotlight once again.

Foreword: Rather than to address “undercoating” as a general topic of discussion, I’ve tried to keep the focus upon undercoating as it related to Volkswagens through 1979 and as it relates, now, to the vintage Volkswagen hobby.

Undercoating has around for years and years in the world of vintage Volkswagens.

The theory behind undercoatings is that a barrier could be created to prevent the infiltration of moisture. Undercoatings themselves had no rust-inhibitive qualities. They simply have been intended as a barrier.

VW dealerships sold the service to new car buyers as a preventative measure to guard against rust. It was a money-making operation and dealers loved it. Especially was it offered in the colder climate States and especially where salt was used on icy roadways.

Recently, I spoke with a former VW trained specialist. He described the undercoating procedure as he observed it. He said that the dealership where he worked had one bay with a lift, “in a dark corner”, where the “nasty” undercoating took place. He told me that it was part of a money-making effort by dealerships in the make-ready department. Undercoating was applied using a hose and gun working from a 30 gallon barrel of material.

I have had my doubts over the years about its effectiveness in sealing the undersides of a vehicle as a moisture barrier. Here’s why. I was in the painting industry for almost 30 years. If there is a coating, I likely have seen it or read about it. In my experience, despite all claims to the contrary, coatings will fail. There is no “eternal” coating. I’ve heard claims that “you’ll never have to paint again”. Why can’t this be true?

Undercoating Vintage Volkswagens

It can’t be true because of expansion-and-contraction problems. When the base material—wood, metal, plastic—expands or contracts, the coating is going to suffer, eventually. Some coatings are better suited than others. But the fact of the matter is that coatings fail.

Metals, especially, are given to fluctuations from heat and cold. They will expand and contract more, and more quickly, reacting to weather and usage conditions.

What’s another problem? It’s the fact that the underside of a vehicle is not a continuous sheet of metal. Not at all. The undersides of vehicles are composed of pieces that have been fitted to form a unit. This could be through a continuous weld or spot-welding or with nuts and bolts and washers. There are joints. Every place where there is a weld or a nuts-and-bolts joint, expansion rates will differ.

As well, the application of undercoatings must completely encase all of this in order to form a viable covering—it must be seamless. This doesn’t happen.

The next issue is that undercoatings historically were shot onto factory painted surfaces. In order for a coating to adhere, there must be the possibility of adhesion. Slick surfaces will not offer such adhesion possibilities. As a result, I have been able to remove portions of undercoatings on Volkswagens simply by using compressed air. Sometimes, I have been able to remove it in sheets, simply because of the lack of adhesion. I can imagine that vibration over the years helps to loosen poorly adhered coatings.