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Reply to "What did I just buy?"

Adding my two penneth here, since I did similar to you a year ago.
1. You will find your wants/desires will change as you gain more knowledge and understanding of the car. Mine certainly did, as you’ll see from my thread. So don’t be in such a rush to join the 2.3l top fuel super speed merchants - until you know that’s what you really want.

2. As numerous more knowledgeable people than I have said above, get the fuel and electrics sorted first and get it running to see what it drives like before committing to anything more expensive. It’s cheap to do and helps you get a feel for how the car has been put together and maintained over the years. My engine was a mildly tuned 1904 and it was more than enough for the car to accelerate me into the danger zone (paging Kenny Loggins!) and for my driving needs (cruising and some fun country back lanes at speeds that seem fast enough in a 50yr old car but tame in a 2000’s hot hatch).

3. Again, don’t bother upgrading distributors etc until you’ve got the existing one working. The old dizzy can be fixed cheaply and will often be fine (or even better than cheaply made new ones).

4. Caster shims are mentioned above by Ed, but check first, you may already have them. They’re to help compensate any lowering/ steering changes and make it track straighter. I found my car already had one set in. That was enough for me but others prefer two - again, drive it first and see how it feels.

5. Steering - once you get the steering box adjusted correctly (and you will know the difference between bad and good, trust me!) and the tracking adjusted by someone who knows what they’re doing with a Beetle suspension (i.e someone generally over 40!) you can better understand the foibles of the cars handling - it’s typically very light on the front. But once you get that sorted, the reassurance of having a car that is reliable and goes where you tell it to massively increases the enjoyment factor of everyday driving.

All the best and keep us posted on progress - it’s always good to get refurb project blogs on here. There are a lot of us who will follow your exploits and help whenever it’s required.

Cheers from the UK


p.s. just don’t ask about the most suitable oil or tyre unless you have a day or two spare ;-)