Idle Chatter | High Performance 101| Reviews | Storing your Beetle | Tech Talk with Rick | Slades VW Beetles
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I am working on fixing up a 1973 Super I got for $800.00 I recently put disks on all 4's. I used the EMPI kits from I would just like to put in a plug for these guy's. They have reasonable prices although sometimes not the absolute cheapest you can find but their service in WAY above normal. The first thing I ever ordered from them was a 2 tip EMPI extractor exhaust. It arrived at my house about the next day without paying for special shipping! That's California to Texas in one day, not too bad.

Anyway my question is this I put the front and rear EMPI disk kits on and also installed a new stock master cylinder. The car stops good but there is still a lot of pedal play. The pedal goes halfway to the floor before it starts stopping. It had the same free play with the drums I replaced which were in decent shape. I even took it to a brake shop and had them bleed the brakes again just to be sure but I still have the same pedal "slack". Is this normal? If not how do I get rid of it? My last VW was a "71 Squareback about 5 years ago and I don't remember it having this much play.


I've heard good things about Action Import, and I'll make sure that I spread the word about the good service that you got. As far as your brakes go, I've never driven a Bug that has had the disc conversion done. Although that pedal does seem low and it looks as though you've checked the common problem areas. Did the kit you got have a master cylinder that was specific to disc brakes included or was it designed to work with a stock master cylinder? I have heard of defective new master cylinders in the past before too. I've also heard that most suppliers recommend changes the rubber flex lines to stainless if you have the old original ones on there. If these suggestions don't help you might try asking the same question in our forum.



I enjoyed your story online, and have been looking for a little advice from somebody who knows their way around a Super Beetle. In this case, a 1979 convertible. My girlfriend's lease on her New Beetle recently ended and she is in the market for a vintage Super Beetle Convertible. I am going to look at a '79 on Saturday and my understanding is that the engine and possibly the transmission have been remanufactured/restored. The Beetle supposedly has new paint, all new upholstery, a new convertible top, new wheels and a number of other elements. However, there was a bit of a language barrier and I'm not sure whether the engine was actually remanufactured... or if certain parts have just been replaced. Unfortunately I know very little about engines and have been trying to do a quick study. Can you tell me what I should be looking for? Or more specifically, how will I know at a glance if an engine has been rebuilt? If receipts are available, what are the wearing parts on a Super Beetle engine that should have been replaced? Are there any other "problem" areas on a Super Beetle that I should be looking at before I decide to buy?

Any advice you can give us would be wonderful,

Mike Daniels

There is no real way to restore a transmission or engine. That term is used mostly with regards to restoring an entire vehicle, to make it as new again. The engine and transmission would either have been rebuilt or replaced with new or remanufactured units. "Rebuilt" in most cases would mean that a shop would disassemble them, and then replace defective or worn parts. "Remanufactured" means that a company that specializes in rebuilding VW engines and transmissions has rebuilt them to factory specification. In most cases when a remanufactured unit is installed the old ones are removed and returned to be rebuilt for the next purchaser. Look for the engine and transmission to be very clean, perhaps painted or sandblasted with no oil leaks. Super Beetle engines are like other engines and the obvious things to wear would be the piston rings, cylinders, bearings, etc. Remember If an engine is maintained properly you shouldn't have to worry these items for a long time.

As far as what to look for in a purchase, we have a page in the Tech section about buying a used Beetle. Click "Tech" then "Restoration Corner" and select number 9.

Good luck!


I have a 74 Super Beetle and I am in the process of restoring it. The only thing about this Beetle is that I can not get the shimmy out of the front end. I notice by putting bigger tires, it helped a little bit. But I like the low profile tires on the front. I have heard that this is a common occurrence with Super Beetles. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Derek E.
San Antonio, TX

The 'Super Beetle Shimmy' is quite common. My 1975 Super Beetle also suffered from this problem. I contacted Topline Parts ( and ordered their urethane bushing kit for my car. After the installation the shimmy that occurs between 45-55 mph was gone. You can read my review of their product in the Reviews section of the site Note: While installing the bushing kit, have a good look around to make sure that all other suspension parts are in good shape and not worn.


I got this month's newsletter and as usual I read every article. I just finished restoring a beautiful '78 Champaign Edition II 'Vert. The only thing not working is the clock. Any leads on where I might ship it off to have it fixed?


Bill Schuler
Dalton, GA

Try 'The Clock Works' Jerry has repaired many VW clocks over the years and charges about $60.00 for an overhaul.


Please help me. I know this is not Super Beetle stuff but I'm desperate. I have a 1982 Mexican made beetle with no bumpers. Question, are there bumpers from any model year (pre 1982) that will bolt on, or fit with slight tweaking?

Thanks -Ray

If you go to the Btlmex site they list front and rear bumpers that fit the Mexican Beetle for about $69.00 each. These are the paintable type and might require you to purchase the brackets to make them fit. Be sure to confirm with them that they will fit your Beetle before ordering.


Thanks again for a great newsletter. Like everyone who is our age (over 50) and who has ever owned a VW growing up yearns someday to own one again, I believe. Now that our kids are gone and married, my wife and I found and bought a '74 Sun Bug out of Atlanta which we didn't knew existed until we saw a feature article on one in the March 1998 edition of VW Trends. After driving it for two years, we took it down and had it restored to stock including finding the proper radio from a '74 VW sales brochure, the special gear shift knob on eBay, the plastic engine cover Sun Bug logo for a collector here in Dalton GA; and just recently, the special Sun Bug striping for the sides. It has won a number of first place awards in the Super Beetle stock class at local SE VW club shows over the last two years, so we decided to find another special edition. I opened one of my many VW hard cover books, this one called Volkswagen Chronicle, authored by Graham Robson and the Auto editors of Consumer Guide(R), and on page 87 there was this full page picture of a 1978 Champagne Edition II and said that I had to find one. We did on eBay and I bought it for my wife for her birthday last September. After driving it over the winter, we took it down beginning in February and had it restored just finishing it for her birthday this September. We showed it at the big SE show held just recently in Sevierville, TN in October. We drove it up over the Smokies to get their and she won two first place awards "right out of the gate"--Convertible Stock, all years; and Super Beetle Stock. Good thing didn't run against with the Sun Bug.

Why am I telling you all this. I thought maybe Dan would like pictures for his new web page or you for spotlighting. Secondly, I am looking for another special edition since I have three sons and only two VW's at present. I wanted to tell Dan that I stumbled on a SE Super Beetle web site the same evening I found your web site using Google's search engine. Dan might want to check out this special edition web site. It is: And if you or Dan are interested, I could send pictures of each vehicle. My good friend Phillip Colquette who I met at previous SE meets just added his Sun Bug (in disguise) and it was Tony Towny, who also has a Sun Bug on this same web page, who took a digital picture of his striping and sent to me so I could arrange with ActionGrafix in AZ to make a set. They even made a facsimile front license plate for the Champaign Edition II to match the one on the Special Edition web site.

I've talked enough like all who have a VW story or two, but again, the articles in the newsletters are great. Keep it up.

Bill Schuler
Dalton, GA

I'll pass your message about the SE Beetle web site along to Dan. There is a link at the bottom of each Spotlight so you can contact the owner yourself. I met the owner of the SE Beetle site while I was on holiday in the UK, and Colin is a special edition fan like you and I. We'd love to see pictures of your Beetles at the site and could talk about putting them in the Spotlight too.



I just wanted to say hi and offer my thanks for such a great site! I love the format, obviously some of the technologies are mind-blowing….and the stories are my favorite. I enjoy the stories of the Bugs and their owners more than anything else.

Well, I’ve bookmarked the site, I’ll certainly be back – it has been a great hour plowing around here.


Thank you for all your kind words. I do put a lot of work into this site because of my love for the air-cooled Beetle. Comments like yours make it all worthwhile.


Dear SuperBeetles.Com,

I am restoring a 74 Super Beetle, that needs all 4 fenders. My question is, can I use 73 fenders and bumper brackets with my 74 bumpers. I would like to eliminate the bumper shocks, and go with the narrow style brackets. From what I've seen the fenders are 74 only. I am wondering if the bumper brackets are the only deference.


We asked VW expert John Spironello from John's Bug Shop your question, and this is what he told us...

"Sounds a little confusing but I'll try to answer. In order to put 73 style fenders and bumper brackets on the 74, and use the 74 and later style bumpers would require you first to change the bumper bracket mounts where the bumper bracket attaches to the body. The 74 style shock absorber mounting brackets on the car would have to be replaced with the 73 and earlier style, available as a replacement Body panel (Bumper Bracket retainer , or Inner Wing as some call it) . Once this rust repair/replacement panel is welded and fit into the original location/place, the 73 fenders will fit on. The flat style bumper brackets will now be able to bolt into place on the body. For the question about the late style bumpers fitting early flat brackets, I'm not exactly sure if the curve is the same. You may have to put some spacers in between the bumper and the bracket in order to get the bumper to fit right. You will have to drill an extra hole or two in each bumper under the impact strip so that the holes from the bracket will match that of the bumper. I would recommend using the earlier style bumper for ease of installation, but I'm not ruling out that the late style won't work. Hope the info helps out. John Spironello - John's Bug Shop"

I hope John answered all your questions,


Dear SuperBeetles.Com

I have just read the section on storing Your VW for the winter. Well, I'm just glad that we don't have any winters as bad as you have in Northern America. Winter is the best season to drive our air cooled Volkswagens, as the heaters work great, and normally we don't have any ice on the road and salt isn't applied to our roads (only to our fish & fries). I realize that we are lucky that we can drive our VWs 52 weeks a year without any problems. If anything, we would store our VWs in the summer as air conditioning is a must in our very hot summers. I plan on adding an air conditioner to my '68 Autobug in the near future. Air Conditioned air cooled Volkswagens are VERY rare here in Australia as it wasn't an option from Volkswagen of Australia.

Thanks for a great site which I frequent very often....

Lee Noonan
Scone NSW Australia

Actually, air conditioning is pretty rare in North America too, even though it was only a couple of hundred dollars for the option back in the day. People believed that the AC would under power the Beetle that was already considered slow by American car standards. In the northern US and most of Canada we have to store our Beetles (unless you want it eaten up by rust) from November to April every year. That is why we try to make the most of the short season we have.


Dear SuperBeetles.Com

The article by Rick Higgens on body removal was a great help. But I thought it might be worth while to point out one problem I had. After disconnecting all of the wires, hoses, bolts, tie rod ends etc. on my '73 Super Beetle, I hoisted the front end off the ground. To my surprise, the chassis came up as well. The trouble was a dealer-installed air conditioning system at the very front of the car that was bolted to both the body and the front headframe. I'd suggest that anyone with a louvered front skirt check for a/c connections before lifting the body. They're pretty well hidden. Thanks.

-Andy Scott

Thanks for that tip Andy. We're going to add it to the Body Removal article in the Tech Talk with Rick section.


Dear SuperBeetles.Com

Just wanted to let you know I stumbled on your web site the other day and think it is great. I was just starting to replace my floor pans and found your article on Floor Pan replacement. This was the best information I have found on pan replacement. It was easy to understand, and the photo's were very helpful. I'm pretty competent at all of the mechanical work on the car, but was a little nervous about tackling the pans. After reading your article it was a piece of cake.

Thanks for a great web site,
Brian Andress


The pages that you are referring to were written by Rick Higgens from Bug Me Video. Rick has a set of videos that cover just about any repair you can think of on a Beetle. I'm glad they were of help to you and you can learn more about Rick and his videos at his web site Good luck with your car!


Dear Idle Chatter,

I am in possession (2nd owner) of a 1976 Bicentennial Edition VW convertible. I was told only one car of this type was made available per VW dealer throughout the USA. Furthermore, since my car was delivered to an Arizona dealer and originally owned by a famous businessman (Richard Gaylord: Inventor of the first retractable hardtop and originator of the 1952 Gaylord automobile.) It came with a rare 'Southwestern' interior design. I have yet to hear about another with this interior option in existence today. The car has less than 15,000 original miles and came fully loaded...A/C, 8-Track, full body trim, etc... It is in very good (near mint) original condition but unfortunately has had a few minor modifications such as CB, multiple gauges. The original owner added just about every gauge he could get his hands onto because he was an engineer and had a fascination with same. As a matter of fact, the 52 Gaylord car also came with a multitude of gauges along the same lines. All are VDO.

I am trying to gather more information about my car so I have a better idea of it's value and rarity. Can you help in any way?

Kind Regards, Ron


I have never heard of a special edition Beetle with a name like that before. I've done some checking (at SE Beetles) and no one seems to have heard of it either. It could be model that was put together at the dealer level, with the dealership doing the customizing in house. There is no doubt that your Beetle is a rarity, and the fact that it only has 15,000 miles with you being the 2nd owner doesn't hurt either.

As for the dash I'd try to get it back to original condition be removing all those gauges, You still can purchase most parts for the Super Beetle convertible. The vehicle would be worth much more if it was in original stock condition.



I stumbled upon your pages yesterday. I was looking for a 'cheapish' electronic ignition for a carburated 1600cc engine with a vacuum advance distributor. The old Hoover Sermons mentioned a couple models of ignition that could be put in place without removing the original system. The original could then be utilized in case of a failure in the electronic unit. Do you have any good experience with these products?

This Beetle is a convertible that I drive 50 days a year. I keep struggling with priorities for the budget I allow myself on the car. Do I add disk brakes so it stops easier? Do I add a header and new ignition system so it runs better? Do I replace the sport wheels and worn bumpers with new chrome so it looks better? I don't intend to build a show car. I just want something fun and reliable (or at least predictable). Thanks for any information you can offer me.

You really are doing a great job with the web site.

Mark C
Indianapolis, IN


As far as the electronic ignition goes I installed the Pertronix system in my Super and have had no problems at all (you can read about it in the Reviews section of the site). You do have to remove the points to make the system work, but you can put them back in a few minutes if needed. I know there are other units on the market such as Compufire, but I can only speak from my personal experience. Remember cheaper doesn't always equal better.

Disc brakes would defiantly make the car safer and stop faster. Before installing front discs you might want to make sure that your brake system is in tiptop shape. Check the master cylinder, wheel cylinders for any leaks and make sure that the shoes are all adjusted properly. Try the brakes again and then you can make the decision to spend the money there or on another area. If you do decide to go with disc brakes, Topline Parts makes an excellent setup that isn't too expensive.

Concerning the sport wheels and bumpers these items are purely cosmetic and of course will not affect the way your car runs. Since you have the factory steel sport wheels you could always sand and paint them yourself to save money or have them sandblasted and repainted by a good body shop. New stock rims start from $44.95 each ( or you could always put on a nice set of chrome stock wheels and covers like I did on my car. There are inexpensive bumpers that start from $29.95 each (also available from or you could re-chrome yours locally. Your Beetle isn't getting any younger, and by keeping it in good shape it will serve you better and retain its value for years to come.


Hi SB.Com

Great site! I'd like to ship a 1600cc Type1 engine cross country and would like to crate it. I am planning a 3X3X3 foot crate and ~250 lbs. The crate can be bigger than the engine, but obviously not smaller. The weight is just an estimate as it will be placed on a skid and it will be weighed prior to shipping. I was looking to bring a knock down crate with me from Massachusetts and assemble it on site in California.


For the answer to your question we got in touch with our friends at Rocky Mountain Motorworks. Jerry Stocking took some time from his busy day to answer us. Here's what he wrote:

"It sounds like he is wanting to ship a complete engine with fan shroud, muffler and tin. Unfortunately I don't have a turnkey sitting here or at home, to measure for him. The long block we sell weights, on a pallet, about 150lbs. The 150lbs relates to a long block strapped down to a cut down pallet. Doing it this way reduces the weight and dimensions and reduces the cost of shipping. Unfortunately, no matter if you crate it up completely, as he is suggesting or just strap it to a pallet freight companies will still manage to smack them up sometimes. With it just strapped to a pallet at least they can't stack something on top of it."

Jerry Stocking
Rocky Mountain Motorworks

Hope this helps with the shipping of your engine. Drop us a line when you get it back to Massachusetts and let us know how it went.

Wayne, SuperBeetles.Com

Would a steering wheel from a '64 convertible beetle fit a '73 Super Beetle? I'm new to this passion and could sure use your help.
Thanks in advance..

Wayne Kenny
Corner Brook , Newfoundland

Sorry to tell you Kenny, but it won't fit. The 60-70 Beetle uses a 20mm shaft, the 71-73 a 21mm and the 74-79 a 17mm, so you would have to use one from 71-73 year range. You could always buy a sport wheel and get the proper adapter for it. That would totally open up a world of possibilities if your Beetle is customized. Try California Import Parts for an excellent selection of racing wheels and adapters, search "steering wheel" at their site.

Wayne, SuperBeetles.Com

Hello SuperBeetles.Com,

I'm a 13-year old boy (will be 14 by August) from the Philippines. I'm a loyal Volkswagen enthusiast and because of that I was given a chance to be a member of Volkswagen Club of the Philippines. My dream Volkswagen is a 1973 Beetle, but I have some problems about dreaming it...

1. I can't choose between a Super Beetle 1303 or Standard Beetle! 2. I can't determine what is the best stock (year-correct factory) paint job for it! 3. I can't determine if 2 1/4" whitewall 560-15 stock tires look good on it's stock wheels! 4. I can't determine if a vintage Beetle roof rack look good on it! I hope you could help me with this problems of mine! Please give me recommendations so it can be solved!

PS A private party imports brand-new air-cooled Mexican Beetles here in the Philippines and sells them for Php 698,000 or approximately $13,000US. From July 2002 to February 2003, they were able to sell 25 units. It comes with air conditioning and security alarm as standard equipment.


Jonathan Bautista


It's great to hear from such a young Volkswagen enthusiast with such a heart felt love for the Beetle. Buying your first Beetle is a hard decision and a subjective one. Either a 1303 or standard Beetle will serve you well. The Super Beetle does have more storage room and better suspension than the standard. 1973 is the first year for the curved windshield and full dash and some people do not like that style, it's a matter of your own taste. You should have to look at the 1302/1303 Super Beetle and standard Beetle and see what appeals to you. The next decision is whether you want to go stock or custom with your Beetle. If you go stock, do you want to go 100% stock? In which case you should check to see if that Beetle came with whitewall tires. If you want the stock look when repainting you should either stick with the original colour or another from the same year. It's actually harder in some cases to keep a Beetle stock because you might not be able to find all the original pieces to put it back to original condition. As far as the luggage rack goes I think they look pretty cool on a stock or custom Beetle.

Take some time and look through our Gallery and Spotlight sections, after a while you'll get and idea of what appeals to you. You might even want to mix a bit of the custom look with the stock items. Whatever you decide you're going to love owning one. Who says you won't get another in time and do that one up in a totally different style, it's all good!

Wayne, SuperBeetles.Com


Thanks for a good advice on the tech pages. I've read your site two times it's so good!

Thanks again
Skip Cormier

Thank you for your kind words Skip. I myself have to thank Rick Higgens from Bug Me Video and Jeff Hamilton from ReVolks for all their hard work. Every month these two Volkswagen enthusiasts come up with a different topic and photos that you see in these two informative sections. Our idea at the site is to build an archive of tech articles that air-cooled VW owners can access to help work on their cars.

Wayne, SuperBeetles.Com

Tech Talk with Rick,

I have just been reading this months pages from You ,and I was very impressed. I noticed the 1965 beetle You were working on had a push button rear deck lid lock.... My Son has one of these hanging in His shed, even though they were never fitted to Australian Beetles. VW Australasia made the 1964 Beetle until late 1967 with no changes excepting the 1300 engine replacing the 40 HP 1200 engine. We received the Large Glass, Vertical Headlamps 12 volts etc. in 1968... No rare 1967 Beetles here... When I first saw the 1967 Beetle diecast model (authorized by VW AG) about 8-10 years ago... I thought... they have it ALL wrong... Large Glass - Vertical Headlamps with horn grills, early bumpers with flat hubcaps and slotted wheels.... until many years later after - where I read about the rare One Year only model Beetle... and then the 1966 & 1965 models... which We NEVER Had. We never had the type 1 Karmann Cabriolet or the Karmann Ghia Cabriolet, in fact We only had the Karmann Ghia coupe until around 1960...

One thing We did have though, was Unique Tail lamps in late 1960-1961 with the top half being amber and the lower half being red... in 1962 the normal tail lamps (mounted higher) were introduced with the towel rail bumpers. I do have a photo of the tail lamps if You would like a look. They are NLA although they were made by Hella in Germany and they were roughly 2" smaller than the 1962 tail lamps.. All restored 1960-61 cars now have the later tail lamps as on the 1965 You were working on. I am restoring a 1968 stick shift Beetle, which hopefully will be finished within the next 4 months. The 1303S curved windscreen Beetle was called the "L" Beetle in Australia and had a "Volkswagen L" badge on the deck lid. The 1302S Super Beetle was called the Super Bug in Australia.


Lee Noonan 68AutoBug

Hi Lee,

I have worked on the beetles since 1962 and have been around them since 1955 as my step father worked at the first VW dealership in Indiana. Nonetheless I continue to see and hear of things like you are mentioning. Things I never knew existed. The VW has such a vast history. Guess that is just another one of the things that keeps the interest in them alive. I would like to see a picture of those tail lights you describe. I am adding your letter to my VW files. I would like someday to do a video on all or at least as many of the changes as I can. I think it would not only be interesting but a great aid to the restorers. Besides it would be fun to shoot.

That company that made that die cast 67 beetle used a good friend of mines perfect 67 bug as it's model. He has the first die cast model that was made. He had the largest VW restoration operation ever. He had 80 employees working 2 shifts. He turned out thousands of bugs until the stock market crashed on "black Monday". He was forced to close down. You will be seeing more about him and his part in VW history soon.
Thanks for interest and the info.

Rick Higgins, SuperBeetles.Com, Bug Me Video


I would like to tell you how much I like your site you have. I go there often, and is one of my favorite VW sites. I enjoy the trivia very much and want to know if you are going to be putting more games up soon for the trivia with more questions? You do a excellent job on the looks awesome.

Jordan Cyr

Thanks for your kind words Jordan. I'm always looking for new questions and answers that will make up the next Online Trivia game. If anyone has some that they would like to contribute please send them my way. As for the next edition of trivia, subscribe to our FREE monthly news letter you'll be one of the first to know.

Wayne, SuperBeetles.Com

Dear SuperBeetles.Com,

I have developed a frustrating problem recently on my 1971 Super Beetle. I do not get a half mile from my garage until the Bug is sputtering and dies, just like it has run out of fuel. I checked the" see through" fuel filter and it is empty. I have replaced the fuel pump, it did not fix the problem. I have replaced the fuel lines, this did not fix the problem. I used 1/4 inch flexible copper tubing. I have a single 1/4 inch line venting the gas tank. I check the fuel filter when the engine stops and it is empty, after about 1/2 hour the car will restart and run for the same short period. What is stopping my fuel from flowing? This has become very frustrating.



Here's some advice from Jeff Hamilton.

You probably have dirty gas tank or clogged fuel "sock" at the bottom of the tank. This same thing happened to me when I was a younger guy living at home with my folks. I would startup my beetle and I'd always get to the DVP south bound ramp and the engine would die - exact same phenomenon - wait, then it'd run fine for a few kms and then die again..... I finally got sick of this performance and asked my Dad to take the bug into work (he was a mechanic) and he found the fuel tank had about 1" of "garbage" collected at the bottom of the tank by the fuel sock. The "garbage" choked-off the fuel sock. He removed the tank for me after siphoning off the gas and then simply washed the inside out with water (fuel tank upside down) and dried it again with compressed air. After this operation it ran great for the rest of the years I owned and drove it in Scarberia :)

Since you've replaced the fuel lines, filter and pump, it's the most likely thing. It would also be possible that there's sufficient rusting inside the
original metal line to be blocking it off but he said he replaced that too with copper line..... On all of my Vdubs, I run a "see through" filter
immediately after the fuel tank/before the hard-line through the tunnel and then a secondary fuel filter between the rear hard-line and the flex line before the fuel pump, this way I can keep the tunnel-section of hard-line clean (the first filter will catch the debris) plus it's easy to see how much trash is coming out of the tank and how frequently it would otherwise choke-up my fuel pump (I always run electric fuel pumps anymore).

Hope this helps & SuperBeetles.Com

Hello Wayne,

Something special is going to take place with our beloved Sedan. In fact, we are planning to do a special web site for the Beetle, which should be ready in a few months. So far, we are planning to include a concise history of the Käfer around the world and in México (the site is going to be available in German, English and Spanish). As of now the project is still at the blueprint stage.

Another insight is that we are constructing a nice, special edition Käfer. As soon as we get some official photographs and the permission to distribute them, you will be one of the first to receive them.

Best regards,

Oscar Octavio Osorio Cortés


-It's interesting the VWM will put up a web site about the air-cooled Beetle. I'm anxious to see how it will be represented and what else will be included in the new site. I look forward to the pictures of the new "Special edition Käfer" that you are taking about and will post them at the web site for all to see. Unfortunately we in North America cannot import a brand new air-cooled Mexican Beetle into the country, but we can always dream about it...

Wayne, SuperBeetles.Com


My name is Nick and I am a 16 year old high school student with a 73 Super Beetle which I am trying to restore and customize (Who says the hobby is dying?). I saved up and bought the Pertronix ignition kit 1847a for the Bosch 009 distributor, it worked flawlessly (however mine took longer to start) but the acceleration and gas mileage was great. About two weeks later I also purchased the 40,000 volt coil and wires to complete my system. The next day as I was cruising when the car began to only idle when I would punch the gas it would hesitate and die. I limped to a friend's house and went inside (it had done this once before and it went away after sitting for ten minutes) when I came out it would not start. I repeatedly tried to start it and occasionally at it's own whim it would sputter. I took it to my preferred VW shop and we put a spark tester (an in-line test light which plugs into the distributor on one end and the wire into the other. We found the Pertronix kit was going on and off. I tested the connections everywhere, and they were all good, so I promptly refitted the points and it has run flawlessly since. The Pertronix has a three year warranty, so I called Pertronix and they want me to send the entire kit to them so they can look at it, why can't my dealer replace it? Now I have to send them this box, and spend my gas money on shipping. If they have the warranty they should have a local dealer who can replace it, or at least pay the shipping. If you have any contact with the company other than customer opinion try to bring up this matter.


First of all did you check the support page at the Pertronix site? I work in the automotive industry and I understand what you are talking about. Unfortunately your dealer probably doesn't have the authority from Pertronix to replace the kit for you. Looking at it from the manufactures point of view they want to make sure that the unit is defective and wasn't misdiagnosed by the VW shop before sending you out a replacement. You and the shop could be correct but they are going to need the old one back for warranty anyway so you might as well send it to them. It's really up to the shop that sold it to you to ask Pertronix to replace it if it is indeed faulty. Then you wouldn't have to wait or be out of pocket for the shipping expense. On the other hand I have the entire system in my car and I haven't had a problem with it although sometimes even the best products can fail. I'm going to forward your letter to Pertronix, please keep me posted.

Wayne, SuperBeetles.Com

Thank you for taking the time to respond and forward my e-mail to Pertronix. Rocky Scherer has e-mailed me as well and he wants to make sure that they have 5 star service rating from me. I have replied to him about checking the ground to my case and checking the coil. I would really like to see this come out well, and I think it will. Rocky is trying very hard and I appreciate his effort. Thank you for helping me out. You have a really great and promising site here, keep up the good work.


Keep in mind that fixing a problem by Email is like calling your doctor over the phone because you've got an ache somewhere, it isn't always easy with the car here and Pertronix over there. But I know Rocky from Pertronix and he's a great guy. Believe me, he will get the problem sorted out for you one way or another. Good luck!

Wayne, SuperBeetles.Com

About two or three weeks ago I emailed you about Pertronix ignitor problem. I am happy to report that I have sent the module to Pertronix, and we have diagnosed the problem. It's now on the way back to me with a free T-shirt! I would just like to thank you for helping me out throughout this process. One more thing I was browsing through your TechTalk section and I noticed the heading for valve adjustment reads "valUe" adjustment, I have looked through there a million times and never noticed. The site has really come a long way, I used to look here back when you had the chrome VW logo for a header, keep up the good work.


I knew that Rocky at Pertronix would get you sorted out. The failure rate for any new part is very low but it can happen. Bottom line is you're back on the road with a new tshirt. And thank you for pointing out my typo in the Tech Talk section, I was just checking to see if anyone was paying attention :)

Wayne, SuperBeetles.Com

Hello SuperBeetles.Com,

I need some personal help. I am big, big, big, big Beetle fan. When I was 8 years old I worked on my 1st Beetle and ever since then I have loved them. I know they are slower than most cars and my friends and I are going to start driving soon so as you might of guessed I have a Beetle waiting for me at the back of my house. What I want to know is if you can tell me some things about Beetles that make them better than other cars. I want to show my friends how my Beetle is better than their Fords, Hondas, etc.



-The only thing I can say is to drive your Beetle because YOU love it and don't worry about what all the other people have to say. Hondas and other cars may be faster but I guaranty that your Beetle will get more attention where ever you go. You don't have to be one of the thousands of followers that all drive the same type of car, you are an individual that makes his own style, rock on! PS. Who says a Beetle is slower?

Wayne, SuperBeetles.Com


I wanted to drop you a note commending you for the terrific site! I recently picked up a 1972 canary yellow Super off of eBay from a gentlemen in Ann Arbor, MI. So far, yours has been the most informative and extensive site I've found on Supers. I was a little distressed about reading your bit on the rarity of 1302 hoods; my Super (AKA "Louis") was struck by an out-of-control motorist last week, pushing in the front bumper and denting the nose of the hood. (All of this while he was parked on a quiet side street in front of my work-- talk about bad luck!)


Russell W.
Jefferson City, MO

-I can tell that you've been reading the "My Dairy" section of the site. If you read a little further you'd see that I did manage to locate a brand new hood from a VW dealer here in Toronto, but it was a bit pricey. Replacing the hood should depend on just how badly bent it is. You might be able to repair the hood and keep your car all original at a good body shop. After I bought the hood for my Super I got all kinds of offers of good used ones. You could try a locate scrap yard or go to AllAirCooled.Com and search for one in your area, good luck!

Wayne, SuperBeetles.Com

Hi SuperBeetles.Com,

I wonder if you or any of your readers can help me out with some advice if you can. I own an 1972 1303 super beetle over here in the UK. I was looking at fitting an Mocal aero 400 filler cap to the front quarter panel, in place of the original filler flap. Can I use an aero cap installation kit from another car e.g. Audi,BMW,Honda,VW Golf, where a blanking panel is glued into place where the original fuel filler goes, with the appropriate body curve to suit the bugs body line. Or will I have to manipulate the Wolfsberg metal another way. I would like to hear from anyone that might have done this modification to put me in the right direction with materials used etc. This is the final modification to my vehicle which currently has an early Porsche 901 5 speed box, with an 2.4L 914 motor with an 911 alternator cooling. I look forward to any advice or help you can give me,

Yours faithfully,
Vince Pears

-I wish I could help you but I tend to stick to the stock look myself. You might try posting this question in the Forum or to our Yahoo VW group. Both of these resources are free and have hundreds of VW fanatics that I'm sure would love to help. If anyone reading this can help Vince please email him at Thanks!

Wayne, SuperBeetles.Com

Hello SuperBeetles.Com,

Here are a couple of pictures of my new project which is almost ready 2 roll. It's a '54 oval on a '75 1300S chassis. 1800cc engine, long gearbox, disc-brakes, Porsche cooling; Porsche seats, Porsche wheels (17 '' ). The exhaust system on the picture has already made place for an ahendorp from BAS. I am now looking for a decent roll-cage. On the Belgian roads next year.

Greetings, Christophe Cottenie.

-In Europe the "S" in 1300s denotes that chassis that this car is built on is a Super Beetle. This car is part of the style of Beetle customizing called the "German Look", and it's awesome! This style of car is based on the Super Beetle with Porsche wheels, brakes, colours and engine. Please keep us posted on your progress as we'd love to do a feature on your car next year.

Wayne, SuperBeetles.Com

Hey Wayne...

How are ya...i was just browsing the web as I always search of some nice VW tech articles and came to your page...It is definitely a GREAT help, and GREATLY on behalf of all VW junkies..."thanks man"...

Steve from Jersey

-First of all, thank you for all your kind words. Our tech sections are coming along nicely with new articles added on a monthly basis. We're hoping that over time we can built an archive with all sorts of useful information for all the "VW junkies" out there.

Wayne, SuperBeetles.Com

Just surfed onto the site after test driving my first Super Beetle in over twenty years, may even buy it. The heater channel story was great. It's amazing how many things can have a huge impact on future restoration time and money. I look forward to picking up a 71 soon (to replace the one I unceremoniously traded away in 1976) Great site, keep up the good information!

Gary Mayer

-Anyone that has every looked into restoring a Beetle knows just how bad heater channel rot can be. After reading Jeff's article it helps you to realize that rusty heater channels are not always a terminal illness for a Beetle. Good luck on your future purchase, a 1971 Super Beetle is always a good bet!

Wayne, SuperBeetles.Com

Hi, I just wanted to let you know what a great web site you guys run. I love to browse through it all the time and especially like the "Tech Talk With Rick" section - it helps a complete novice like me. I get excited when I get my monthly newsletter email. I love the fact that the site is free and hope it stays that way! I just wanted to drop you a line to let you know that your efforts and hard work are greatly appreciated. Keep up the good work!!

Peter Fadden

-Thanks Peter! I'm glad you like the "Tech Talk with Rick" section and I would like to thank Rick Higgens from "Bug Me Video" for taking the time to put that page together every month. Running this site is a lot of work but our love of the air-cooled VW and comments from people like you make it all worth while.

Wayne, SuperBeetles.Com

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