Reader Kevin Cook inquired about which Bolts to use with the Coil Bracket on his 1967 Beetle. Not having a ready answer, Eric and I began to ask some questions. I went to my bolt bins. I also made a call to David Brown of Pennsylvania. He and I discussed the possibilities, sorting bolts as we talked. Then, I recalled that another Reader, Richard Marcoux of Nebraska, has an unmolested ’67 Beetle. Richard and I spoke by phone and he agreed to take some photographs. Here’s what we concluded after much talking and searching of parts, etc.
The bolts are of the following dimensions:
10mm (head) X 9mm thread length (measuring from the bottom side of the washer to the tip of the bolt) X 6mm diameter
These bolts have two applications:
1. Coil Bracket Fastener (2 bolts)
2. Generator Backing Plate Fastener (4 bolts)The Coil Bracket Bolt has a captive washer which measures approximately 16mm in diameter. The washer is this large so that it will more than cover the hole of the bracket. The large holes of the coil bracket allow for some adjustment on the shroud.
Our collective finding is that the majority of bolts with this larger captive washer are either plain-headed (no brand name) or of the Knipping Brand. This is not to say that another brand might not have been used. But, we can say only that this is what our limited study uncovered. Interestingly, I found that the no-brand bolts were self-starting, whereas the Knipping bolts were not.
Photograph #3 is an illustrative photograph from an unmolested 1967 SunRoof Beetle showing the Coil Bracket Bolt in place.
The Generator Backing Plate Bolt has a small diameter captive washer which is just larger than the 10mm bolt head. There is no need for a larger washer because the hole is quite precise on the backing plate—it needs no allowance for adjustment.
Again, as an indication of this finding, I post here an illustrative photograph from an unmolested 1967 Beetle. Photograph #4 shows one “ear” of the backing place with its bolt.
Our collective finding is that the predominant brand of bolt for this application is KAMAX. The other brand which we found is Ribe. Again, with a larger study, other brands might be discovered.
Here’s an example of my study for the Generator Backing Plate Bolt: I removed 35 bolts with captive washers from a bolt tray. I found 27 to be KAMAX and 8 to be Ribe. No other brand was present.
While we were at it, we thought about other possible applications for this bolt. One could be the ends of the Fan Shroud where it affixes to the cylinder tins. However, the Official Volkswagen Parts Manual calls for the straight slotted screw (commonly called “engine tin” screw or “cheese-head” screw). Although it is much more convenient to use one of the 10mm bolts described above, due to the limited space on either side of the engine (difficult to get a screw driver into that narrow space and still be able to turn it), the screw is the fastener of choice.
To illustrate this feature, I post here photograph #5, taken from an unmolested 1967 SunRoof Beetle.
And, by the way—the original sheet metal screws did not come with captive washers. Today’s replacement screws seem always to come with the captive washers.
Several of us discussed the KAMAX “pot-of-gold at the end of the rainbow” theory. Why did VW use some KAMAX… seemingly “scattered” amongst other brands? Was there a pattern which this use of fasteners followed? When did restorers begin to attempt to install all KAMAX bolts on their VWs? Why is KAMAX so “revered”?
I fear that the answers to these questions may never be resolved. Here’s where you, the Reader, have the opportunity to impart some wisdom!
In the end, we do the best that we can using the information available. Beyond that—the choice is ours. It’s the American way to restore the German Volkswagen!
My thanks to Richard Marcoux of Nebraska for his input and photographs of the applied bolts and shroud screw. Richard conserves a 1967 SunRoof Beetle in original condition. He also owns one of the finest (if not the finest) 1967 Beetle Convertibles in the USA.
David Brown, of Pennsylvania, supplied me with ideas and information from his extensive background with VWoA and his own independent VW career. He and I batted ideas back and forth in order to come to conclusions registered in this article.
I thank Kevin Cook, who plied both Eric and me with bolt questions which we could not, off-hand, answer. We were spurred to do research which has, I believe, resulted in some basic conclusions.
And, to my wife, Neva, and to our daughter, Janeva Sulman, I own a debt of gratitude for their patience with my photographic demands.