Getting the Beetle back in shape!
It’s springtime, things are thawed out from a couple months of freezing and snow. It’s now warming up and a perfect time to clean out the garage, fire up the Beetle and let the engine get some oil pumping through it’s veins. What a great day that is!
It started up great – all of the electrical work and carb rebuild from last year really paid off, as it started right up. and it kept starting up – apparently, the accelerator cable got stuck on the carpet and the engine kept on revving up. Immediately, my first project for this year presented itself. Figure out why the accelerator cable is sticking. Then replace the emergency brake – that broke in the fall when I closed up shop on the Beetle.
I got the engine under control, let it run for a while, and then took a nice long ride in the Springtime sun. I stopped to fill up the gas tank on the way home. But later that night, my wife mentioned a strong smell of gasoline coming from the garage. i checked and there was a nice steady drip coming from the engine compartment. I started looking around and attempted to work the fuel line behind the engine compartment, where I saw the drips emanating. Unfortunately, that’s when i realized that there was a completely different problem – old hoses.
I had drained the fuel over the winter, and in the dry weather, the old hoses had cracked and some had deteriorated – to the point that one completely fell apart as i tried to work it into a better seating on the fuel line. I had to work fast! the hose came off, fuel spilled out, and now a steady stream! I found a bucket, siphoned the rest out of the talk and into some (thankfully) empty gas cans. That crises was averted, the new situation was getting new fuel lines installed, as an inspection of the old lines revealed that they all needed replaced. I’m not sure how long the old ones were there – i hadn’t replaced them in the 4 years that I had the car, who there was no telling how old they were.
After cleaning out the garage (again), this time with degreaser/cleaner to remove the gasoline smell and residue, it was off to get fuel line at the local automotive store. I simply bought a 5 ft length, enough the fit as needed and use where ever there was a need for new hose. It didn’t take long at all, and worked out very well. I feel much better knowing that the lines are fresh, tight and sealing the fuel line. After filling the tank again, and running the engine I knew it was working fine – no gas smell, no leaks.
So, what have we learned today?
Check your fuel lines, especially if you drain your fuel over the winter.
Project list for this year:
Stop accelerator from sticking
Fix emergency brake
Install a new headliner (old one is black, ripped and improperly installed)
Change carpet from black to lighter color.
maybe new seat covers? and seat cushions? I’d love to get rid of the old horsehair cushions)
I think I’ll be doing well if I can replace the whole interior this year, but it is definitely something to work for…