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Taking Care Of Your Bug
Recently the last Classic Volkswagen Beetle rolled of the assembly line. If I had to pick the one greatest car ever built it would be the Beetle. It was versatile, durable and fun to drive.
More of this Feature
Part 1: The Famous Beetle
Part 2: Types Of Beetles
Part 3: Valve Adjustment
� Part 4: Tune-ups
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ALLDATA
Motor Trend Magazine
"How To Keep Your Volkswagen Alive"

At 12,000 miles you need to replace the spark plugs, points and condenser, replace the fuel filter or screen and replace the air filter or change the oil in the air filter housing.

Yes, change the oil in the air filter housing. Some Bugs had an oil bath air filter. There was no air filter element, just a bowl of oil that trapped any dirt or debris entering the engine. The two main causes of Bug engine deaths are tight valves and dirty oil bath air cleaners. The way an oil bath filter works is this; The incoming air enters the air cleaner and turns down 90� then quickly makes another 90� turn. The inertia of the dirt keeps it from making the second 90� turn and goes into the oil where it is held.

Taking Care Of Your Bug

To clean it, all you need to do is remove the air cleaner and wash it out with solvent and rags. Then fill it up to the red line with fresh motor oil. I like to do this when I do an oil change since they took 3� quarts of oil in the engine and usually a � quart for the air cleaner.

Replacing and setting the points is fairly easy. Simply remove the old points and condenser and install the new ones. With the engine on TDC and the rubbing block of the points on the cam lobe, adjust them to 0.016". If you use a dwell meter, and I recommend this over just setting the gap, adjust them until you get a dwell reading of 50�. Don't forget to put a little grease on the rubbing block or it will wear out very quickly.

Taking Care Of Your Bug

Replacing the plugs is a simple matter of removing the old ones and installing new spark plugs gapped to 0.028". The firing order is 1-4-3-2 with number one being in the right front and number three being in the left front.

Other simple maintenance is changing the gear oil every 30,000 miles, adjusting the clutch cable and making sure the fins on the cylinders are clean and clear. Since the fins are all that there is to transfer engine heat out of the engine this is very important.

These are just a few of the things that will keep your Bug going for years and years. Just like any car, a little tender loving care will get you many thousands of miles out of them.

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© 2003 Vincent T. Ciulla


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