Skip to main content

Lovely beach, Martin.  My wife and I once lived in Tiverton, Rhode Island and would walk a beach similar to yours but with a local, indigenous name as it was in the land of the Wampanoag nation (as is most of southern New England).  Our gaze across the water showed us the island of Aquidneck and the town we were looking across at was Portsmouth.  Small World (or a distinct lack of town naming imagination, over here).
That Portsmouth is a bedroom community for the Newport Naval Base, now the home of the "Undersea War College".  The Portsmouth in New Hampshire is closer in layout to yours, with a working Naval base for surface ships and the base 3 miles up the Pisquataqua river (named by the Abenaki nation).  

I suspect that for next Christmas you might be in the waiting for another tool chest to hold the growing collection. You can never have enough tools, or places to put them.

Hey, @Stan Galat!  I've been heating the shop quite nicely with my Propane-powered, Oil-free turkey fryer!

Big Easy Cooker

It does a great job, but the shop now smells like Memphis Ribs and I get hungry all the time.     Kathy thought I was nuts until she dropped in to check on me and thought it was really comfy and said, "Hey!  It smells GREAT in here!"


Images (1)
  • Big Easy Cooker

Argh! This damn fan shroud/alternator problem is driving me nuts. I found a local alternator specialist only to receive the usual British quality of service: the square root of bugger all. So back to square one - almost.

I finally found the same shroud as I have on my car - from hunting through hundreds of images on Google I've spotted this from Paruzzi, a site unknown to me until now. (and thanks to Brexit, not one I can easily buy from because most European companies have temporarily stopped trading with UK buyers because of the paperwork involved.)

They also do a different oil filler modification, which I wish I had..


Going back to the fan housing, the biggest issue I can't get my head around is the lack of bolt holes on the fan frame - it should have 6 bolt holes like this, through which the alternator is bolted and the vane is then attached to:

fan-housing copy

And I find on the pelicanparts forum a useful pic that shows the bolts holes in the fan housing. This now makes me think that whole 'ridge' that holds the 6 alternator mounting holes has been machined off:


Or mine is something completely different, because there are no machining marks around that top edge.. It's still got a rough cast edge to it.


Ah well, I'll keep looking. At least my aluminium sheet and rubber edging arrived today so I can make a start on fabricating new tinware. :-)


Images (4)
  • housing1580397855
  • fan-housing copy
  • 20210205_165100
  • mega2170

I have never done this,  but from the picts it does seem like there is something missing I wonder if you took the alternator test fitted it first if a machine shop could fabricate a large ring that could then be welded to your piece that is missing it?  Other than that a doghouse shroud might be a better choice and save you some aggravation. Just saying.

Cool, thanks guys. One less thing to worry about!

Currently scraping off as much oily crud from underneath the engine prior to refitting everything- it’ll save leaving an oil slick the size of Exxon Valdez. Once the car is running again I can then steam clean everything to see if there are any new leaks. I think one major leak was from the left drive flange seal (I’m checking gearbox oil level tomorrow), and I think another is from the dipstick hole - the oil temp sensor dipstick isn’t a tight fit and I think some oil was blowing out of  there. I know I need to replace the pushrod tubes at some point but for now I need to get everything running before I take the car to my mechanic to move the oil cooler rad and sort the tubes.

The weather is finally getting above freezing tomorrow, so I will start to refit everything before cutting out the aluminium tinware. Fingers crossed by next weekend when it gets dry I’ll have the car running, although there are still a lot of ifs and buts to get through first.

So, I've been a bit busy of late but still not quite there in terms of massively visible progress. It will become a lot clearer after tomorrow, because I'm picking up the extended oil filler tube that's been welded for me and after refitting that I can cut the tinware to go around the filler tube.

The aluminium has proved easy to cut and shape for the engine surround, and the two types of rubber leaf seal work well in terms of giving a good seal and being easy to fit.

20210218_175420I've painted the firewall 'tins' with gloss black engine paint. I've still to paint the flat pieces (after I've cut out the oil filler tube 'hole).


So today, I started roughly assembling stuff in order to get the engine bay wiring tidied up and fit the new fuel lines to the carbs.


I've still got some more tidying of the wiring, but I've managed to route the vacuum tube more neatly around the edge of the engine bay (not shown above), rather than just trailing over the shroud.

Meanwhile, my new tap and die set has proved really useful I'm cleaning up threads for the exhaust and inlet manifolds, as well as the wheel studs.

Oh, and I've also wired in the third brake light - I'll post pics of how that looks next week.

And just when I least expected it, late this afternoon my wife brought me the leftover molten chocolate that she'd been covering her shortbread biscuits in. Happy Days!


So, jobs this week include finishing the tinware, reassemble the fan and alternator, hook up the carbs and exhaust and try and get this baby started! There'll be a lot of tweaking needed on the carbs but if I can get it at least fired up by my birthday on Wednesday I'll be a happy bunny. The weather has turned here and it's looking dry and warmish for the first time in well over a month.


Images (4)
  • 20210221_174033
  • 20210221_173052
  • 20210220_175929
  • 20210218_175420

So, another busy day or two trying to get this thing fired up before the weekend so I can see my nephew on his birthday.

I got all the tinware fabricated, heat proofed and sprayed gloss black (engine paint - might as well use the same paint as I used on the shroud).


The paint is not super tough, but it'll do and I can easily touch up any scratches as and when they occur. And they will happen because the engine bay is tight so I have to slightly bend the base tins to get around the twin Dells. However, they then bend back easily and with the rubber seals it's a much better airtight fit than I had when I originally purchased this car.

As you can see, I've got the newly extended oil filler tube fitted:


And the ally oil filler and cap slots nicely in the top, with the breather hose hooked up.





I've got the carbs on and the throttle hooked up ready to fire but.. the damned fuel pump relay went kaput last night. And it's an old 5 pin part that no motor factor keeps in stock, so I've had to do an online order and it'll be delivered on Monday. Unless I can can bypass the relay, I won't be starting and tuning the carbs today, and no nephew visit tomorrow. :-( Such is life. Patience is a virtue they say..

Yesterday was brightened up by me having the Test cricket (England vs India) on the iPad - although England were humiliated, and a homemade gluten free coffee cake (unfortunately I became gluten and lactose intolerant two years ago - a complete ball ache! No raspberry jam doughnuts!!)



Images (5)
  • 20210225_142755
  • 20210225_112022
  • 20210223_180547
  • 20210223_180351
  • Tigermoth66_engine_bay1

I am Danny, thanks. I may not be as technically experienced as yourself and many others on here who have my huge respect and admiration, but for my level at this point in time, I'm well chuffed.

I even managed to fire it up just now by hooking a spare 12v house alarm battery directly to the fuel pump. Sorted out a little leak from the fuel pressure regulator in the engine bay but then it fired up pretty quickly, thank goodness. It was huffing and popping a bit, but less so once warm. Thank goodness for the Dellorto Superperformance book - without that I'd be lost for basic setup and tuning.

So next steps (before I get the pump relay and get out on the road for a 'proper' test), will be checking for air leaks, setting up a higher idle speed and then balancing the carbs using my newly acquired snail. Also, the accelerator pump rods were horribly set up (slightly open, so always leaking fuel in even at idle), so I've set these up as per instructions but may need to tweak further.

Given I don't know what type of cam it's got (but suspecting it's pretty warm), I think the car will tend to run a bit lumpy unless it's got some decent revs on her. But, like you and Al have said previously - get the idle jetting sorted first and forget about the mains. :-)

Even the 'noisy' exhaust is quieter now I've sealed everything up properly and stopped any leaks. Amazing what simply 'doing things properly' can achieve, without any special extra work.

And thanks as always to all of you who've been following and giving the benefit of your experience - it's really helped reassure me at times when I'm borderline out of my depth.

Dellorto (and similar Webers, too, I believe) all tend to settle down to a more-or-less decent idle, but only after 2 - 5 minutes of warm up.  After ten minutes they get happy and are fine, even in cold WX.  Prior to that, they're grumpy and moody, running rough and coughing when the throttles are opened - that sort of stuff.  It's driveable in a minute or two, just take it easy on the throttle to avoid popping.  Not having choke plates doesn't help much, either.

My car ( 2,110cc - 40mm Dells ) will settle into a slow, grumpy idle (just like yours) about 200 - 300 rpm slower than what I like (and they're set to ) after 30 secs and then increases over the first five minutes to around 800 or so as it warms up.  Thus far, yours sounds great!

We both went lactose intolerant 6 years ago.  Goat and Sheep cheese are our new food friends - Anything you used to eat as dairy cheese can usually be found as a goat or sheep variant and they're very good!  Just watch out for cow milk contamination in some "dairy" goat or sheep cheeses (the label should so state).   Almond, Coconut or Soy milk is everywhere so no problem cooking with that for cream sauces and such, but we also found ourselves reactive to Beef, too, so we do Bison as a red meat source, now.  My wife can fill you in on all sorts of alternatives.

I tried, but could never understand Cricket, even when it was explained (which seemed to make things worse).  I caught on to Hurling, even played it a bit, but not Cricket.  We watch Liverpool FC occasionally, mostly because a friend is part owner/Director (he's also part owner of the Boston Red Sox baseball team which, I guess own LFC, too) - At least I can understand what's going on, there and get to yell at the players.

BTW:  If you're missing that great cup of spiked eggnog over the Holidays, try making a Coquito with rum.  You'll never look back and they're good in the Summer, too.   You'll need to make "Dairy free sweetened condensed milk" (Google that) and need a good Coquito recipe, like the one from Alisa Fleming on the web.  There's a raging battle over to egg or not to egg your Coquito.  IMHO, it doesn't matter - they're both great.

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

Gordon, trying to understand 5 day Test cricket is like trying to comprehend the tactics in team cycling in Tour de France! It’s an acquired taste but not for everyone.

And as for eggnog, in the UK there’s a bit of a Christmas thing for advocaat which I believe is similar,  but that was more popular in the seventies and eighties - I remember the tv ads growing up, but less so these days. To be honest we consume more mulled wine in the UK now due to the migration of European Christmas markets across the Channel in the noughties.

I’ll definitely try making a Coquito though, although every time I hear about a coconut drink I think of the Muppets..

Getting back to the car, I finally took it off the axle stands today - the first time since the beginning of October. Jeepers it’s so tiny! I’ve got used to the car being 4 feet tall and now it’s back on the ground it feels like a toy. I had to jack it up again at the front to reset the ride height - it was too high.

Although the car is set up with one set of caster shims I may well buy another pair in advance of getting the tracking done, just in case they’re needed - I can bet my local tyres / tracking station won’t have any sitting on a shelf.

So, I've been out for a shakedown ride and all is mostly ok apart from:

  • Slight fuel weeping from the fuel pump where it's threaded into its own small fuel filter - I've cleaned up both threads and used some threadlock that is fuel proof. Hopefully this will sort the problem out - will check tomorrow
  • Steering is not great, but that will hopefully be sorted when I get the tracking done after the second pair of caster shims arrive.

I managed to get the old fuel pump relay working again whilst trying to track what wire does what - there are five. I figured out the fifth wire is the safety cutout - it's spliced into the rev counter so when that loses power the fuel pump is shut off. In checking all the wires I must have cleaned up a bad connection.

Now the fuel pump ticks as soon as the ignition is on, and then once the engine starts the fuel supply continues. So I now have a spare relay for when the original, slightly rusty, one does actually lose the will to live.

A worry I have for the steering caster angle is if I need to add more than the one shim it already has. As you can see here, the gap between the bolt head and the fibreglass lower frunk area won't allow for extended bolts to be fitted.


I'll either have to cut holes in the frunk to allow access to the bolts (then fit grommets to prevent water ingress), or lift the body from the chassis - that's a pretty drastic step to take on a 20 year old build. I'm fairly sure I'd need to replace the floorplan gasket and do a dozen other jobs. Here's hoping the drop spindles and one shim should be enough, and that the poor steering will be improved  by proper tracking. Fingers crossed!

Bad weather for the next day or so may prevent me venturing out to get the tracking done. Once that's done I'll drive it over to the local trimmers to get a quote for the interior trim - at the very least getting the drivers seat repaired and perhaps new square weave carpet?

I may well treat the car to a proper rolling road/carb tune up - there's a local Weber/Dellorto specialist about 15 miles from here along lovely rolling country roads, and at £330 plus parts that's a pretty reasonable price for a lot of experience rather than me fumbling around in the dark.

Finally, I just gotta say - even one short trip in the Speedster on a sunny day made me feel like Steve McQueen! I had a smile from ear to ear. :-) Now looking at where I can mount my GoPro to capture that driving experience..


Images (1)
  • 20210303_105806

Sounds good, Martin.

When adding the caster shim it is only the lower bolt/tube that gets the shim. Removing the top bolts through the frunk and loosening the uppers should be all you need to do. The lower bolts look like there is enough room to sneak them in, even if they are longer for the extra shims. But yeah, a couple holes and grommets will do you if needed.

Sounds good about the chassis dyno/rolling road. If they are good at what they do, it's always worth whatever it costs.

Morning all, I had the racking done yesterday and it makes a lot of difference, but then again I already knew that because the tracking was all over the place beforehand. Before heading to the tyre centre/tracking place I spent some time getting the control arm absolutely straight and marked up with masking tape and Sharpie the alignment marks so the mechanics had something to start with.

I had to explain to the mechanics that I needed that arm to stay straight, even though the wheels were pointing about 5 degrees to the right, and set the tracking to be centred on the steering box. The alignment software they used only had the South African (RHD) Beetle option shown, so they measured to that. Sadly they couldn't measure the caster for some reason, but with one shim and lowered hubs it seems good enough (for now). It does track a lot better, the steering effort is reduced and it simply feels a lot more settled.


For some reason they couldn't properly adjust the rear (it has kafer bars), so didn't charge me for that.

Comments welcome as always! Like most things throughout this project it's a learning experience for me.

I'll be dropping off the car to get the carbs tuned tomorrow - due to compromised health, the guy leaves the car for 3 days under a tarp to kill off any covid before touching the carbs, so it'll be a week away. Gives me time to give my bikes a run to blow the cobwebs out. :-)


Images (1)
  • 20210307_090003


And @DannyP yes, it'll be worth every penny for the carb tuning. At the moment, despite the engine running better with no popping and backfiring on 'ordinary' driving, it sputters and stammers once it hits 60mph - could be fuel starvation or could simply be the crossover to main jets. The car drops down to 40 before picking up again, so I can't even overtake lorries on dual carriageways as they can legally do 56mph - I accelerate alongside, cough, splutter and then have to pull back in behind them. SO not cool.

"For some reason they couldn't properly adjust the rear (it has kafer bars), so didn't charge me for that."

I can't imagine why having a Kafer bar set-up would be a problem.  Mine has a Kafer brace on an IRS rear and it wasn't an issue for "Tony-with-the-Mohawk"!  

Instead, I suspect, since they didn't have the proper parameters for a LHD Bug in their alignment (tracking) rack, that the guy has never seen a '70-ish Bug to align and (a.) doesn't know he needs shims or wedges to align the rear (it looks to the neophite to be un-adjustable) and (b.) doesn't have the proper wedges, in stock, anyway.  If he never sees one, why would he?  It's something that you can get checked later on, and I would ask around the local aircooled VW club people at your end of the island and see whom they recommend for four-wheel alignments.

Sorry to hear about the mega-bog on transitioning and I agree that taking it to a "carb whisperer" is probably best.  It sounds like a combination of too-small idle jet, too small accelerator pump squirt, possibly too big a main Venturi and possibly too retarded on spark.  I'll have to go back and see what you're running for jetting from an earlier post but, again, if you have a carb whisperer nearby with a good wide band analyzer it'll be much easier for them to set the up - Money well spent.



...despite the engine running better with no popping and backfiring on 'ordinary' driving, it sputters and stammers once it hits 60mph

...The car drops down to 40 before picking up again,

...I accelerate alongside, cough, splutter and then have to pull back...

Could be many things, but these are all the classic signs of carb floats set too low.

My car did this when delivered new. Sort of runs OK at low throttle openings, but at speed, when the taps are opened, the bowls run dry. You slow down, give them a chance to catch up, and then it runs OK until you punch it again.

The first 'experts' I took it to couldn't be bothered with opening the carbs and tried to solve it with different jetting. No go.

Fuel pressure and float height need to be right before anything else is adjusted. If it hasn't been already done, have the pressure measured with a gauge and set within the proper range for your carbs.


Last edited by Sacto Mitch

Did you set the output of the accelerator pumps to .25cc - .3cc for every pump stroke?

I got a free, small plastic syringe vial from a local pharmacy, wrapped a bent paper clip around it as a holder so I couldn't lose it and then put it down into the throat to capture the fuel coming out of the accel jet on each throttle stroke.  Cranking the accel pump adjuster nut IN makes more gas out the jet.

Another thing it could be is the floats set too low but, again, all this stuff is apparent once the carb whisperer hooks up a wideband analyzer and says "Ah-HA!"  We've all tried to be arm-chair distant analyzers on here in the past and seldom got it right, except when Stan says that "90% of carb problems are caused by ignition".

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

Martin, I'm with Mitch on this one. Number one on your list is fuel pressure, verified, with an actual gauge. If possible, run a long hose and observe while you've got your foot in it(please take a helper with you to read it!).

Number two is float height.

Number three is jetting. These are all done at a steady state: i.e. gas pedal in a fixed position, whether it be cruise or WOT.

The LAST thing you mess with is accelerator pumps.

It could also be that distributor/spark thing. Most "carb problems" are "ignition problems".

Gordon, don't forget this is a RHD car, so the South African version matches. However, none of the guys at the shop were even born when this 1970 Beetle was made, and only one "had worked on T1, T2, T3" etc but his knowledge was one of those who claim "I know what I'm doing" when in reality he was simply trying to unbolt the track control arm from the steering box and realign that (!) to make the steering right, rather than winding the track rod arms.. Ah well. Yes, I'll ask around for someone who really does know what they're doing.

As for the carbs, FYI these are the measurements:

Dellorto 40s
34 venturis
Idle jets - 58
Main jets - 145
Main emulsion tubes - no.2
Main air corrector - 175
Pump jets - 33
Starter emulsion tube - no.3
Starter jet - 80
Needle valve - 150

And yes, the floats are probably set wrong (I tried my best but I've nothing to reference what is good/bad), and I absolutely know the accelerator pump is not set correctly. I'm leaving the specialist a printout of all details and requirements. I've already told him I want him to check the fuel pressure and adjust the regulator accordingly.

"Gordon, don't forget this is a RHD car, so the South African version matches."

Oops....  Brain fart, there

The first time I traveled to Ireland on business, I landed at Shannon around 5AM local, got my rental car and headed to Cork on the N20.  Of course, I wanted to keep out of everyone's way first thing in the morning, so I hugged my lane, taking it slow.  Took a few minutes, a lot of high beams in my mirror and a few horn blasts before it dawned on me that I was in the passing lane doing just below the speed limit.  

Later on, when I was more seasoned as a tourist driver, I realized that, outside of towns where the signs say 30 - 40, the rural posted speed limit is more of a suggestion.......

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

In the UK speed limits outside of town are becoming more enforced (with mobile speed cameras) but you’re right, they’re still a bit of a guideline as long as you’re not in town or anywhere potentially dangerous. I remember back in the early ‘90s driving my bosses Vauxhall (GM)Carlton 3000 GSi at 145mph down this road - it felt like warp speed on that narrow road, but even just 30 years ago there were far fewer cars on the road..

When my wife and I were in Scotland a few years ago for our 30th it seemed as if NO ONE drove faster than the speed limit. I rented a Mercedes to get us around for the 2 1/2 weeks we were there and every time I got behind anyone I was looking for a passing lane as they were 5-10 mph under the limit. Without traffic in front of me I routinely went whatever felt right for the road.

Robert, slow driving in Scotland is either due to two reasons:
1. Tourists pootling along looking at the view rather than driving to get somewhere, or more likely,
2. Scottish locals being too tight to drive fast and do less mpg :-)

Although speaking as a cyclist, I wish people did drive more slowly along country roads because there's precious little space if a car comes round a blind bend too quickly and there's a cyclist. Things have improved a lot in the UK since Brad Wiggins won the Tour de France and a load more people got on their bikes - there's had to be a greater  awareness of cyclists by drivers since there are so many more on the road these days.

We've been to Scotland twice, with a few years distance between trips.

Trip one, we rented a car.  Driving on the left side, shifting gears with my right hand, narrow roads, blind corners, small towns, trying to constantly remember which side of the road to be on, and following directions while negotiating all of the above, etc. made driving somewhat interesting.  So, I guess I was one of those tourists pootling along...

Trip two, we took the train.  I actually had time to look out the window.

Both times, we loved the country. 

Last edited by Bob: IM S6

I've been to Ireland many times, but to the UK (London and suburbs) only a few and in London I never drove.  That said, stepping off of a curb into a sea of on-rushing London cabs is not for the faint of heart.  Yanks always seem to look in the wrong direction and often get the crossing lights wrong, only to step off into a hail of taxi horns and colorful language.  It's much safer taking the tube.

Driving in Ireland, OTOH, has always been a pleasure as long as I'm away from big cities.  Staying to the left and shifting with my left became second nature after a couple of trips but the company's facilities were way out in the country, west of Cork in the Southwest - If I had to drive through Cork, a goodly sized city, I would get nervous from the traffic around me and couldn't look in enough directions before doing anything.

I once got a ticket forwarded by my Irish rental car company for speeding somewhere near Mallow, Ireland on the N20.  It was from one of those automated speed cameras (which I never saw and even if I did I wouldn't have know what the heck it was), probably in a 40 zone.  Super-easy to pay (so my license # wouldn't be flagged to deny me future rentals) so I guess those cameras are real revenue machines.


@Michael McKelvey  That happens all too frequently in London.  Besides suffering jet lag (always worse traveling west to east) all of the traffic is approaching from the wrong direction and on the wrong side!   What's up with THAT?!?!?   I certainly hope she wasn't badly hurt.  I've had more than a few close calls, myself.

I was usually fortunate to either get in and out of Heathrow, never leaving the airport, or took a cab to Hounslow, right next door.  Made one trip with a London veteran when we had a 3 hour lay-over at Heathrow so we checked our bags and jumped on the tube into town, hit three stores, a pub for lunch, signed the Queen's guest book at Buckingham, then stopped at Harrod's and still made it back to Heathrow in time for our connector flight.  Left to myself, I would still be wondering which tube stop to get off at on the way into town.

Post Content
Link copied to your clipboard.