Eric and I commented to Ken Jones, the new owner of the Ruby Red ’67 Beetle which was advertised here at 1967Beetle.com. I wrote to Ken, congratulating him on the purchase. Since I had seen a photograph of the engine compartment of the car, and noting the screw clamps on the air breather hoses, I mentioned that he could find some nice reproduction hose clamps from our good friends at Wolfsburg West.
Ken responded telling us that, after having taken possession of the car, he discovered a sack containing several pieces, including those original wire clamps!
In subsequent correspondence, I mentioned that original wire clamps are difficult to find. You know the reason? For the lack of the proper tool, I tossed all of mine back in the ‘70s and installed screw clamps. Here’s how this worked.
Every time I wanted to do my 3K mile service, of course I removed the air cleaner. This involved removal of those wire clamps. Now, it takes a fair amount of pressure to expand the clamp so that it can be removed from the paper breather hose. Invariable the standard pliers would slip. Oops! Slipped again and—ruined another hose! After so many slips and squashed hoses, I just discarded those onerous clamps. And, I suspect that a great many other people did the same, given the scarcity of original wire clamps today.
Somewhere along the way, I came into possession of a pair of generic wire clamp pliers. They sat for a long time because I now had no use for them—no wire clamps!
Fate has a way of changing things. While sorting buckets of nuts, bolts, washers and other miscellaneous Volkswagen bits and pieces—I found 3 original wire clamps! Oh, joy! Now, my clamp pliers came in handy.
Much later, I ran across an eBay sale for a pair of Hazet wire clamp pliers. The price was right—I could NOT pass on this one. They are much superior to the generic clamp pliers which I had in my tool box! Because they are made specifically for those breather hose clamps!
I have done a bit of research on VW tools. I found depictions of the clamp pliers used by VW certified Specialists at the dealerships. The clamp plier which these technicians used was of much stouter construction. Another grace which they possessed was a locking mechanism. Once the clamp was squeezed, the plier could be locked into the clamped position. When the work on the air breather or carburetor was completed, the plier could be retrieved, clamp still in place, and the clamp refitted onto the breather hose.
I was just doing some research. It seems you can still get this handy tool!
Sure enough! But…I am glad that I found mine on eBay when I did–they were about half the Euro price. Sometimes a guy just gets lucky. jay
Yeah, good find and great article.
Seems it would be really easy to take a pair of cheap plyers and cut two notches to DIY one.
Also.. A few on eBay. Yep, they are expensive for sure.
Love specialty tools to get the job done right. Nice Article. Seems I have some new vintage tools that have been restored in my garage these days as well! :-)
Restored tools! Awesome!
Hello, Timm…Yes…Volkswagen had a tool for EVERYTHING! I found a nice Matra tool for removal and installation of the fuel pump securing nuts. I purchased it not because I needed it but because it is such a nicely engineered tool–and so simple. I told the person from whom I purchased it that i was going to sleep with it under my pillow! LOL jay
Jay, Where in the world would someone get “buckets” of VW Parts? :)
Dustin…Of course you know WHERE I get most of my “buckets of”… nuts, bolts, washers and other interesting VW small parts! From Don’s Bug Barn in Athens, TX of course! (firstname.lastname@example.org). For those of you who don’t get the connection, I am personally acquainted with Dustin and Cassie Carter who operate Don’s Bug Barn. I have bought, wheedled traded, and finagled, literally, buckets of those small throw-away parts that end up in buckets. I NEVER over-look a bucket or box of such misc. They sometimes hold “treasures”. I missed the gold mining days, but…LOL jay
This is great reading!
Looking at your car spawned this article, Ken! How ’bout that! jay
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