The Most Popular Car Ever Made

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  • #51
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I seriously doubt it.

They were the "Lego toys" of a whole generation. Perhaps several generations.

As I recall, the '61 version's body was bolted to the, the....

What did they call that lower part of the car, before unibody construction?
That would be the rusted out "floor pan" in my case. :frown:
 
  • #52
OmCheeto
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That would be the rusted out "floor pan" in my case. :frown:
Beings that salt was never used on the roads where I've lived, most of my "Flintstone" memories of seeing the road beneath my feet, were probably due to ancient 6 volt batteries...

Ahhh.... The good old days..... :biggrin:
 
  • #53
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ancient 6 volt batteries...
Ah jeez, you had to remind me of those sorry things. I wont even mention the heater/defroster issues, (I was fortunate enough to have the gas heater, my other bug owning friends were so envious of that in the winter time here.)
 
  • #54
EnumaElish
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My first vw was a diesel golf rabbit import. As a poor PhD student I acquired it with close to 200K miles and a deeply rusted body. It was a front-wheel drive. Within a year the body actually snapped in half right in the middle because of rust -- I actually drove a few miles with the rear wheels going pretty much in their own direction. But the engine was a die hard, if there ever was. I'm pretty sure I could transplant it to a new body and it would just keep going into a million miles. That'd have been the poor grad's version of the million mile club. That car made me respect diesel engines. I'm not saying I love diesel, but I respect the technology that makes them extremely sturdy, besides being very powerful.
 
  • #55
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I wont even mention the heater/defroster issues, (I was fortunate enough to have the gas heater, my other bug owning friends were so envious of that in the winter time here.)
Apparently the heating issue was because those genius German engineers had failed to account for the effect all that tight body sealing would have on the flow through of hot air. That is: the cabin was sealed so tightly, the fan couldn't push any of the heated air in. The recommendation was to crack a window when you opened a heating duct. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

It wasn't till 1970 or so that they put vents in behind the side rear windows. My bug is a '72 and the heater works great. (Not that it gets cold enough here to need it very often.)
 
  • #56
EnumaElish
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Apparently the heating issue was because those genius German engineers had failed to account for the effect all that tight body sealing would have on the flow through of hot air. That is: the cabin was sealed so tightly, the fan couldn't push any of the heated air in. The recommendation was to crack a window when you opened a heating duct. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!
[off topic]
With due respect US engineering was never far behind. My university building had a modernist architecture consisting of all glass and steel, after the best of the sixties' & the early seventies' architectural style. The engineers must have figured during summer months under direct sunlight the building would turn into an oven. To counteract it, they built the most powerful A/C system this side of the arctic. With the cold on, the building would not be human habitable. But people worked there comfortably, thanks to human ingeniuty and cheap energy prices: they simply had the heat turned up until the temperature warmed to the goldilock zone. So there we were - the perfect summer weather anyone could design and money could buy. Those were the times.
[/off topic]
 
  • #57
jtbell
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That would be the rusted out "floor pan" in my case. :frown:
That was what did in my '74 Beetle, after eleven years in northern Ohio, Michigan, and upstate New York. Then I moved down South, but it was too late by then. A few years later I sold it to a mom-n-pop used car dealer / repair shop that specialized in Beetles, and bought a new Chevy Prizm (basically a rebadged Toyota Corolla).
 
  • #58
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Needless to say, I've done all of my own oil changes for the last 20 years.
Me, too. I've heard enough stories like the one @jim hardy tells about one Walmart (in Arkansas?) cross-threading the oil pan drain plug, plus a couple other tales of "technicians" even forgetting to put the drain plug back in, that I do my own oil changes. This is in spite of the fact that I have two cars and four motorcycles (plus a riding lawn mower, generator, and pressure washer). I generally get oil by the case, in 50W for my two old motorcycles, 20-50 for the newer ones, and 5-20W for the two vehicles. I also like to keep several oil filters on hand.
 
  • #59
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As I recall, the '61 version's body was bolted to the, the....

What did they call that lower part of the car, before unibody construction?
That would be the rusted out "floor pan" in my case. :frown:
That was true for all the years from start to finish: the body was bolted to the floor pan(s), which, in turn, were bolted to the "spine" of the Beetle, usually called "the tunnel."

Here's a photographic documentation of a Beetle being dismantled just about piece by piece, for restoration:

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=661006

His main complaint seems to be that the floor pans are rusted badly where they meet the body. In a lot of rust cases, though, it seems to be that people spilled the battery acid just in front of the rear seat on the passenger side, and it corroded from the inside out. Both the 6 and 12 volt systems had the battery under the rear seat.

The rear seat was cleverly designed of coconut fiber padding (which is good kindling) over a system of steel springs that had complete electrical continuity and enough resistance to glow red hot when you sat on the seat over the battery and shorted the + and - terminals. There was a little plastic guard over the positive terminal which was supposed to prevent this, but people would forget to put it back on. That seat became affectionately known as, "The Hot Seat," by some Beetle owners. There were a lot of incidents of sparking and smoldering.
 
  • #60
jim hardy
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Both the 6 and 12 volt systems had the battery under the rear seat.
Some of those 12 volt Beetles had positive ground. Always check before connecting an aftermarket stereo....
 
  • #62
jim hardy
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The Brotherhood of the Beetle Geezers says otherwise:

well,
my not very credible internet source can beat up your not very credible internet source.
http://www.restore-an-old-car.com/positive-ground-cars.html
Since the beginning of the horseless carriage, both negative and positive ground polarity have been used by car manufacturers. The fact is, electricity doesn't care how it gets from point A to point B. It can flow either positive to negative or negative to positive. Some engineers chose one way, some chose the other.

Among the many positive ground cars is the most produced car ever built, the Volkswagen Beetle, which didn't switch to negative ground until the mid-sixties. All British vehicles imported after WWII were positive ground, many stayed that way until the early seventies. The Ford Motor Company used negative ground polarity on the Model-T, then went to positive ground with the Model A, and back to negative ground in 1956.
EDIT you may be right, though. One reference i found says they switched to negative ground when they went to 12 volts, 1967.

I did help a friend troubleshoot a VW based dune buggy. He'd let the smoke out of two aftermarket stereos by not noticing his was a 12volt positive ground. I am guilty of assuming it was built that way before the body conversion .
Moral of story: look before you leap.

Have you run across the horn wiring yet ? Steering column gets grounded through the horn switch ?

old jim
 
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  • #63
RonL
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  • #64
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well,
my not very credible internet source can beat up your not very credible internet source.
http://www.restore-an-old-car.com/positive-ground-cars.html


EDIT you may be right, though. One reference i found says they switched to negative ground when they went to 12 volts, 1967.

I did help a friend troubleshoot a VW based dune buggy. He'd let the smoke out of two aftermarket stereos by not noticing his was a 12volt positive ground. I am guilty of assuming it was built that way before the body conversion .
Moral of story: look before you leap.

Have you run across the horn wiring yet ? Steering column gets grounded through the horn switch ?

old jim
I have an old Chilton's manual that covers "all models including super beetle 1949-1971" which states, "The electrical system is of the negative-ground type...". I think your internet source was confusing the switch from 6 to 12 volts with a switch from pos to neg, which never happened because it was negative ground as far back as 1949, anyway.

There is no telling what someone may have done to their own Beetle. Dune Buggys and Baja Bugs are the most hacked Bugs, can't expect anything on them to be stock.

Yes, I had a long ordeal trying to get my horn to work. I was fortunate enough to uncover the biggest obstacle in my way early on in the process, which was, that there was no horn. Some previous owner had removed it. That solved, it was still quite an involved process to find out why it wasn't getting juice when the horn button was depressed. The horn wiring circuit went through a lot of radical changes from one year to the next: they kept trying new things:
Horn Wiring Hell:
http://www.thebugshop.org/bsfqhorn.htm
 
  • #65
OmCheeto
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... The horn wiring circuit went through a lot of radical changes from one year to the next: they kept trying new things:
Horn Wiring Hell:
http://www.thebugshop.org/bsfqhorn.htm
That last "Interesting Side Note" kills me.
Sounds like half of my science projects. :biggrin:

On a somewhat related side note, when you touched my mother's mid-50's vintage oven and refrigerator at the same time, you would also be "lightly" electrocuted.:oldsurprised:
 
  • #66
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That last "Interesting Side Note" kills me.
Sounds like half of my science projects. :biggrin:

On a somewhat related side note, when you touched my mother's mid-50's vintage oven and refrigerator at the same time, you would also be "lightly" electrocuted.:oldsurprised:
Yeah, we had that same thing with a lamp and the radiator. We used to dare each other to see who could stand being electrocuted the longest.
 

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