Life at the end of the road

November 11, 2018

Off for a ‘Sunday run’ :-)

Filed under: daily doings — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:43 am

Well, that’ll be the ‘Bug’ running sweet enough, though she’s still on stands in front of me shed door blocking access. I was at it pretty much all day yesterday, finishing off assembling the engine and slotting it in. A couple of minor ‘cock ups’ on my behalf turning four hours work for an ‘old hand’ into four hours work and six hours cursing for a ‘half wit’ like me Smile

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Sure, I was in no great hurry and was working at a leisurely, precisely cos I knew haste would lead to silly mistakes but I made some anyway Sad smile As seems t be the case with these air cooled engines, the hardest part of the job is getting all the tin-ware back around the engine in the right order, especially when you have had to hack many of the old screws off to remove it in the first place. Still, I replaced all the broken and cut fastners with stainless steel ones and one or two roofing screws. The quality Sachs clutch kit was not only reasonably priced from Megabug but it came with its own plastic mandrel for cantering it on the flywheel !!! Usually I end up doing this with a round bar or socket set extension wrapped in insulation tape to make it fit the clutch centre plate. I started in the motor trade in 1971 and have been messing about with clutches ever since yet never seen one of these provided in a kit. Seriously, for a penny or two extra on the price of a kit this makes life so much easier.

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So with the clutch nicely centred I gave the engine a ‘once over’ especially in all the places that would be hard to access once it was in and set the timing using the marks on the crank pulley and a multimeter. Not as accurate as using a strobe light but the engine needs to be running for that, this would at least ensure it would start and run smooth enough. The engine was then lowered off the axle stands, slid under the rear then jacked up ready to slide in prior to me going for breakfast number two. Before I did leave though I made sure all was well underneath with nothing likely to get trapped between engine and gearbox. The heater cables were all in the correct position and I fed the throttle cable into the pipe that takes it through the large fan cowling. This is most important, cos it’s virtually impossible to do afterwards.

After last night’s Lancashire hot pot had been reheated, eaten then washed down with a Lidl cappuccino I returned to the ‘Bug’ and gingerly started to push the engine onto the gearbox with the aid of some blocks of wood and wedges under the sump to get the angle right and a wooden lever between the crankshaft pulley and rear cross member to provide a good push.

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What I forgot to do was keep feeding the throttle cable through the fan shroud as I pushed the engine onto the transaxle Sad smile Of course I never noticed this until after I’d bolted all the engine mountings on and refitted the bell housing nuts Sad smile 

I then spent a good hour struggling on my own trying to feed the cable through its guide, though it felt like longer. To be honest I’d have been quicker removing the engine again as it went in so smoothly, but no, I was determined to get that cable through. In the end I pulled the old cable completely out from the rear (front) of the vehicle where it passes through the gearbox cross member. I then fed a nylon 6mm (stiff) fuel pipe through the cowling and gearbox cross member from the carburettor end (no mean feat in itself). Once that pipe was right through I then forced the end of the inner throttle cable into the nylon pipe and got the wife. With darling wife gently pulling from behind and me pushing from underneath the cable was finally fed through all its various obstacles and attached to the carb.

After that it was connecting up all the wiring, fuel line, etc and spending ten minutes trying to start it before realising I still had a pair of Mole grips on the fuel line Smile So, that’s it, got her running sweet enough last night, just need to go out for a ‘Sunday run’ now it’s light,


couldnae do that last night cos she wasn’t charging for some reason. That will be today’s job, it’s daylight now, time to walk the dugs and let the Bug down on to the ground Smile


  1. Don’t you think it would have been easier to convert her to electric drive 😏

    Comment by Panomphaean — November 11, 2018 @ 7:56 am

  2. I really enjoyed reading about the work you’ve been doing on the ‘bug’, Paul. I have fond memories of VW campervans many years ago, of which a good friend of mine owned a few over the years. They were all called ‘Heidi’ (1, 2, 3 etc) and were great fun to drive, apart from the low centre of gravity.



    Comment by Sue — November 11, 2018 @ 4:54 pm

    • Aye Sue,

      I was just saying to ‘darling wife’ the same thing as we drove up and down Calum’s road. I can understand how folk grow fond of them, great fun to drive, a little like a small boat in a long lazy swell 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 11, 2018 @ 5:19 pm

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