Skip to main content

She finally arrived ! What a dream. Only got to put around 40 miles on her as I still had to work, but the smile was plastered on my face the entire time.

I have some newbie questions and you lot were amazing in my queries regarding insurance and emblems (which for now i've decided to forgo), so I have another:

Please keep in mind this is my first vintage and I'm not much of a mechanic.

I'd like to amass a small functional emergency kit that lives in the trunk. I've found great resources while searching this forum, but cannot find which fuses I need to purchase or size of the fan belt (just in case). It is a 2023 Vintage Motorcars Speedster. I can always ask Greg, but figure i'd pose the question here. I've come to understand that spare fuses are a MUST.

Please note that as of now, anything more than fuses, tires, etc is beyond my knowledge. I'd be ordering a tow. Hoping to change that gradually as I learn the car, read books, and start my educational journey into fixing cars.

So far, in a small roll up, i've got: wrenches (10-19mm, duct tape, mm socket set, zip ties, gloves, flashers, folded lit triangle, tire goo and mini electric pump).

Anything that I'm missing that you've been without when needed? Other than a cell phone and Hagerty Roadside Service on speed dial

Once again, thank you all for being a great resource for a total newbie.

Penny says "hi."

Attachments

Images (3)
  • IMG_8759
  • IMG_8768
  • IMG_8747
Last edited by LBoogie
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

First off, congratulations. She looks great. As far as the fan belt is concerned it should be a standard size VW Beetle belt. In the past all of the fuses were the blade type and probably varied from 5 amp to 20 amp or maybe higher. The fuse block used to be in the cabin under the driver side of the dash. I'm not sure if Greg still puts them there or if the fuse block is somewhere else. Pop it open if there is a cover and see what fuse sizes are in there now. If not just get a couple of each size and keep them in a small container or ZipLock for if you ever need them.

Fuse

Attachments

Images (1)
  • Fuse
Last edited by Robert M

@LBoogie nice!...this car should be considered an investment in FUN!....so, do yourself a favor while paint is still new.....find a recommended detail shop and get the car wrapped in PPF from the windshield to the front including bumper... rock chips and road debris BAD!....then ceramic coat the entire car...well worth doing since all needed in the future is a good ceramic detail spray and decent micro fiber cloth to make show worthy...it's not cheap, but lots of things about these cars can turn into $$ money pit syndrome...ask us how we know

@jncspyder Completely agree. I've reached out to a few highly-regarded shops for quotes on PPF wrap and ceramic. Will hopefully get it done before I have to send the car back to Vintage for the 300 mile service (which won't take long considering how much fun I'm having driving her).

@Robert M I've gone ahead and ordered a large supply of all sizes of fuses. Thank you

@Michael McKelvey I will check tonight and see if I can see the size/type of belt. That's a great logical idea that I, of course, didn't think of doing.

If you are running an air cooled VW pack a fan belt!

You’ll know if it breaks as the alternator / generator light will come on.

You can tell immediately by the sound as well. All of the sudden, everything smooths out and all you hear is engine - it's like somebody shut off the vacuum cleaner. The engine will have nice power and be instantly more responsive - for a couple of minutes.

Shut it off as soon as it throws the belt. Don't pass go. Don't collect $200.

Last edited by Stan Galat

@LBoogie congratulations on your new ride, Penelope! I'm guessing that you spent the past couple of nights just sitting in your garage staring at that beauty.

You already know that this forum is your 'Go To' source for anything and everything as far as tech tips and just BS'ing with friends on the back porch.

Wishing you many miles of top down cruising and re-discovering the joy of driving!

Last edited by MusbJim

@MusbJim She arrived yesterday midday, so I pretty much slept in the garage with her.

I honestly felt 16 again driving her. That rite of passage in LA where we would drive JUST to drive. Up and down the blvd....down the canyon to PCH....to a friend to show her off. I haven't felt like that in decades, and i've owned some powerful modern cars. Real serenity and exhilaration combined. Everyone wants to talk about her, get to know her, have a look, or give a wave. It's surreal, considering she's a replica.

I'm checking the forecast 15 times a day, hoping that the weather holds for the weekend and I can take a drive to the coast with a buddy who has an 84 911 that he's constantly working on.

you know, the usual. . .

@Stan Galat posted:

You can tell immediately by the sound as well. All of the sudden, everything smooths out and all you hear is engine - it's like somebody shut off the vacuum cleaner. The engine will have nice power and be instantly more responsive - for a couple of minutes.

Shut it off as soon as it throws the belt. Don't pass go. Don't collect $200.

We can't stress this point enough, @LBoogie- what Stan said here is SUPER IMPORTANT!!!  With no fan keeping temps within operating parameters it can take less than a minute for an aircooled engine to overheat.  ALWAYS carry a spare (a 2nd wouldn't be a bad idea; they're not expensive) and ALWAYS carry the tools to change a belt.  NEVER think "I'm almost at my destination, I'll nurse it the rest of the way"- find a place to pull over, shut if off and change the belt NOW!  Just keep reminding yourself how much that engine would cost to replace (and in today's environment of spotty parts availability how long your Beauty would be down for and how much driving you would miss while waiting for this new engine).

My apologies if you already know all this- even some experienced gearheads don't get this at first when coming from the Water Cooled World.

Hope this helps.  Al

PS- Congratulations- Penny is gorgeous!  And don't worry about any more P badging- it's not a P and it looks great just like it is.

Oh, another PS- my apologies (again) if you've already introduced yourself, but I didn't see it- what's the L short for?

Last edited by ALB

@ALB You guys are scaring the hell out of me

As i stated, I'm a total newbie, so anything past simple fixes and my phone comes out to call towing.

However, I'm fully prepared and motivated to learn. So I'll make sure I have an extra fan belt or two in the trunk at all times (once i figure out which one i need). Even if I cannot do the job, I'll make sure the parts are readily available to someone more capable....until i learn to do it myself.

I'm 99% agreed on the lack of P badging. She's so pretty as is.

@jncspyder So I received my first quote for PPF: $2500 -  because there is no template for the car, and they require 3 days to take off the bumper, all chrome pieces, and wrap them individually. That price would rise if I insisted on ceramic coating as well. I'm not sure if that's a good price, but this shop is one of the top PPF shops in LA. Still waiting on more quotes. Buy once, cry once might apply.

The last time I drove my car the fan belt didn't break but the alternator pulley came apart.  I pulled over to prevent overheating.  I was in the countryside and had no cell service.

A passerby stopped and drove quite a distance to get me a nut so I could put the pulley back together so I could drive home.  The belt slipped some but the cooling was OK.

I was unable to get the inner half of the pulley off of the alternator and bent the shaft trying.  So, I had to buy a new alternator as well as new crank and alternator pulleys which were both damaged.

I am glad that I slotted two holes in the bottom of the alternator mount and won't have to remove the shroud.

@LBoogie posted:

@ALB You guys are scaring the hell out of me

I can assure you that that's not the intention, but being aware of what's normal and what's not is probably the best skill you can acquire as you head down this road.

It can be daunting, because you don't have a lot of miles in the car and there aren't a lot of instruments on the dash (and for the longest time, the warning lights don't have designations to let you know what they were). Regardless, it probably seems like everybody else knows more than you do, and it's probably been since Jr. High school that you felt this way.

So, to keep it simple - just figure that any time a warning light comes on, you should probably shut the car off ASAP and get the car to the side of the road. If there's oil on the dipstick and a belt on the pulleys, pulling out your phone and enjoying a bit of QT beside the road counting cigarette butts while you wait for Mr. Flatbed seems like the prudent plan. If you can replace the belt or add a quart or two of oil, perhaps you'll avoid the experience, but maybe not.

As you found out when you got married - in fairly short order, you'll get to know the quirks and idiocrancracies of the object of your affection. That knowledge can either diminish your love or take it to a deeper level - it's really in how you deal with things. You'll probably freak out a time or two over nothing, and may miss something pretty big and important another, but that's how you learn.

There are no small number of Hakuna Matata cruisers in our ranks - guys who don't fuss or fiddle, know the limits of their cars and themselves, and just slide in their driver's seat and soak up the vibes. They don't obsess over where to park, if it might rain, or if they got a rock chip out on that drive. They know what sounds normal, and change their oil every spring and pay somebody to sync their carbs and adjust the valves every couple of years. They might get an alignment (probably done wrong) when they get new tires, but then again might not.

They're happy. You'll be happy too, as long as you're good with what the car is. It's when you want more (and more really is more) that the problems come in.

Last edited by Stan Galat

@LBoogie after a few cars & motorcycles you learn the hard way sometimes.....such is life...but i've found that if you "save your $dough$ and hire a pro"... you usually "get what you pay for"....you might also want to get a good set of basic tools both standard & metric...along with "VW's for idiots" and do some reading.....the basic maintenance can be learned with some practice and patience...either that find a competent VW mechanic and make friends with him and be nice to him and keep your expensive toy in tip top running order or life can be $$$ painful.....i had VW 's in my youth and they are sometimes not called "HITLERS REVENGE" for no reason...sorry guys...but a fact   happy motoring!...and the boys here know everything when you are stumped!

@Stan Galat Everything you say makes perfect sense. And I can understand that the decision between Lion King and full engine build isn't binary. I plan to reside somewhere in the middle.

After a long drive last night, my RetroRadio decided to freeze when i turned off the car. It was on, but unresponsive. I feared that it would continually draw battery power, so decided to try to troubleshoot. I was under the footwell inspecting the  radio and found the main plug, but was unable to unplug it without extreme force. Afraid to snap it, I sent a text to Greg and he assured me it was just just a matter of wiggling and a bit of elbow grease. Managed to finally unplug, wait 60 seconds, then refit and it worked like a charm. And of course, I walked into the house feeling like I just built a car. My wife was playfully ribbing me about a brand new car already having me on my back, but as i told her....that's part of the reason I got the car rather than a modern electronic monster. The things that break on these can always be fixed. Of course it was just a simple plug, but it was rewarding. Im rambling.

I don't plan on delving too deep initially into the mechanic aspect, as I hope to rekindle my love for driving initially. But I'm fully invested in learning how these cars work, how to fix some things, etc.

That's part of the appeal, as someone that never really worked on any car before.

Clint Eastwood(I think, maybe?) in "Gran Torino": "If it moves and it shouldn't: duct tape. If it doesn't move and should: WD-40."

I'm not dissing the PPF or clear protection film, they are certainly an excellent way to go.

Me, though, I detail spray it when it's dusty. I wash it when it gets really dirty. I don't worry about chips and such, just drive it like I stole it. Patina happens!

Down in NC this year, I got both headlight glasses cracked. Happy that no fiberglass got cracked. Still haven't swapped them out yet.

Penelope is a good-looking ride. Have fun!

.

@LBoogie posted:


...I honestly felt 16 again driving her. That rite of passage in LA where we would drive JUST to drive. Up and down the blvd....down the canyon to PCH....to a friend to show her off. I haven't felt like that in decades...



Neither had most of us when we got these cars.

And with the right attitude, you can keep feeling that way almost every time you drive it.

In a way it's sad that there are so few affordable cars available today that can make you feel like that, but there it is.

It shouldn't take too long before you recognize what sounds and feels normal and what doesn't. And you'll gradually learn what to keep an eye on and how to do the simple things that routinely need doing. None of it is rocket science. You may find it liberating to own a car without an OBD port.

And while fuses and fan belts are obvious choices for a spare parts kit, you're not likely to need either for quite some time. Your car came from a reliable shop. It was wired right and the fan belt was probably tensioned right, too.

If you haven't done much wrenching, being close to the VM shop should prove a great asset. A local source for parts, advice, and hands on help when needed will make the whole experience much easier.

And as you're already discovering, it is an experience, it's not just a car.

For now, there's probably just one thing to have in your kit that should handle virtually any emergency. I'm surprised no one's mentioned it yet:





Visa04

.

Attachments

Images (1)
  • Visa04
Last edited by Sacto Mitch
@LBoogie posted:

She finally arrived ! What a dream. Only got to put around 40 miles on her as I still had to work, but the smile was plastered on my face the entire time.

I have some newbie questions and you lot were amazing in my queries regarding insurance and emblems (which for now i've decided to forgo), so I have another:

Please keep in mind this is my first vintage and I'm not much of a mechanic.

I'd like to amass a small functional emergency kit that lives in the trunk. I've found great resources while searching this forum, but cannot find which fuses I need to purchase or size of the fan belt (just in case). It is a 2023 Vintage Motorcars Speedster. I can always ask Greg, but figure i'd pose the question here. I've come to understand that spare fuses are a MUST.

Please note that as of now, anything more than fuses, tires, etc is beyond my knowledge. I'd be ordering a tow. Hoping to change that gradually as I learn the car, read books, and start my educational journey into fixing cars.

So far, in a small roll up, i've got: wrenches (10-19mm, duct tape, mm socket set, zip ties, gloves, flashers, folded lit triangle, tire goo and mini electric pump).

Anything that I'm missing that you've been without when needed? Other than a cell phone and Hagerty Roadside Service on speed dial

Once again, thank you all for being a great resource for a total newbie.

Penny says "hi."

@LBoogie “ Congrats on the new toy. “WTTM” Welcome to the Madness. “ETSPM” Enjoy the smile per mile”👍🤙🚘

@MusbJim posted:

@LBoogie congratulations on your new ride, Penelope! I'm guessing that you spent the past couple of nights just sitting in your garage staring at that beauty.

You already know that this forum is your 'Go To' source for anything and everything as far as tech tips and just BS'ing with friends on the back porch.

Wishing you many miles of top down cruising and re-discovering the joy of driving!

Jim, you nailed it. I have to laugh that most of us sat at night in our new cars parked in the garage. Couldn't wait till dawn came to do some driving.

@LBoogie : knowing you are in SoCal I hope to meet you in May when we all get together in SLO for the West Coast Cruise!  You’ll meet a great bunch of people, learn invaluable tips and tricks, and get countless ideas of how you want to personalize Penelope.  We all have personal tastes and preferences and I think it safe to say we’ve all taken someone’s ideas and tweaked them to fit our desires.

A member here once told me not to worry about about seeing a few drops of oil under the engine after my Speedster sits.  When you SHOULD worry though is if there are NO drops…as that means there isn’t any oil left in the case!  I’m still not sure if he was joking about that.

One philosophy I live by is you have two options when it comes to repair and / or maintenance: pay once (which may be expensive), or pay twice because you tried so save a buck or two (and almost always costs more in the end)!

I think I can safely speak for every member when I say we are all here to help if you need something or have a question!

@LBoogie

Something to consider for your on-board tool stash:

  • Medium Screw Driver
  • 21mm or 13/16" spark plug wrench or socket

Having a spare fan belt is always a good thing.  I have carried one since I started with VWs back in the 1960's and the last time I used one on my cars was in 1970!  Still, bring one along - you never know when someone else will need it.....  Like at a cars and coffee, when you can be a hero to someone else.

In order to change the fan belt, you'll need a medium-size screw driver (flat or phillips, doesn't matter, just one with a 1/4" thick shaft, 6"-10" long).   Jam it between the notch on the rear lip of the alternator pulley (go look) and the alternator shaft to lock the pulley in place while you loosen the nut.  Replaceable tip screwdrivers won't cut it.

Now, about that nut.  It's a 21mm - or 13/16" if Metric isn't your thing.  Bigger than your biggest roll-up wrench (so far).

BUT!  It just so happens that your spark plugs are 21mm or 13/16", too!  👍  
If you bring along a spark plug socket and 3/8" ratchet or, if you're leaning more toward being a Porsche Purist (tip your hat, please) and can find a 21mm or 13/16 road kit spark plug wrench (same as in the spares kit for lots of snowmobiles and motorcycles, too), just use that to get your fan belt pulley off.  Otherwise, find a 21mm box/open end wrench and add it to your kit (You already have a spark plug wrench though, right?)

Just so you know, (in case you wish to look informed for the AAA mechanic who comes to help you on the road), there are a bunch of flat washers under the nut on the alternator pulley, and when you separate the two pulley halves there are more flat washers between the pulley halves.  Those are used to set the fan belt tension which is measured at the midpoint between pulleys.   When you push on the belt it should deflect about 3/4".  The new belt will certainly take a different stack-up of pulleys than the old belt to get the tension right, so you add washers between pulley halves to decrease tension and remove them between halves to increase tension.  Those not used between get stored under the nut for the future.

Weird, I know, but that's how it works.  There's a lot more weirdness coming your way, so just go with the flow and, again.....

Welcome to the Madness!

I agree with everything Gordon says.

And as to that screwdriver? Get one with a square shank, WAY easier to stay in place in the pulley notch than a round one.

However, as pointed out on another recent thread: MOST aftermarket heads for the last 20 years have used 12mm thread spark plugs. These mostly use an 18mm socket, and yes, there is one available readily. I picked up a couple online.

Older OE VW heads or ported/built-up/modified heads may have 14mm threads, which use the 13/16" spark plug socket.

I like using this tool instead of a screwdriver.  The one shown is on the CSP website but there are other sources.

tool

I got mine locally here: https://fanchers.com/store/ols/categories/volkswagen , I dipped the handle in Plastidip.  The cost here is $30.

For a couple of dollars more they have one that grips both sides: https://fanchers.com/store/ols...hing-stainless-steel

For $8 you can get a leather-covered handle.

They also have a flat 21mm wrench for the nut: https://fanchers.com/store/ols...er-handle-type-1-2-3

Attachments

Images (1)
  • tool
Last edited by Michael McKelvey

Congrats on the car! Love the color and almost went that way too.

I’m still a fairly new owner myself and am familiar with all the feelings you are describing. I still check the weather forecast for my days off every week with great interest. I find the rawness and lack of modern conveniences endearing (although I’m glad I got the heated seats!). I grin every time I make the 3rd to 4th shift at about 60 mph with the engine roaring away behind me.

The car makes friends everywhere it goes although most people around here have no idea what it is. Around here (Louisiana) if it’s not a muscle car or truck most have no idea. If I had a nickel for everyone who thought it was a Karmann Ghia…



I too have little mechanical ability and even less time… I did read the idiots guide to VW and carry some spare tools but I’d likely rely on my AAA membership for anything more than a simple fix. I now have 4500 miles on mine and it’s going great.

I'm new here too.  Just joined the forum a few days ago and I ordered my VM speedster from Roy over at Cloud 9 Classics yesterday.  Now the 14 month wait begins so I have time to learn from everyone here on the forum.

Great tips on the spare parts. 

LBoogie, great looking car and glad you're having a blast driver it.

Add Reply

Post Content
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×