Welcome to. . .
Your virtual air-cooled repair shop!!
These pages are geared toward maintaining & modifying air-cooled VWs since that's what I own and drive. Most of the more general info found will apply to most all air-cooled VWs. However there are several specific pages that will apply to only one certain type of air-cooled VW.
On July 1st, 2007, I bought ProVolks in Anacortes, WA, the repair/restoration shop where I had been employed since October 1st, 2003. I am pleased to now have a brief site that will allow you to take a tour of the facilities and be familiar with the services that are available through my shop. Click the link below to check it out:
Full Service VW & Porsche Repair, Performance Engine, Restoration & Parts
Hopefully these pages will help you become more knowledgeable in areas where you previously had no experience; thus leaving you more automotively self sufficient.
I've tried to add detailed photos of most steps mainly because I find that there is no better explanation than a good clear photo. I've taken the liberty of digitally enhancing most of the photos just so that what is being talked about can be easily seen. There were, however, a few instances (during the short block assembly for example) where there are just a few photos. I blame that on me "getting into my work at hand" and forgetting to stop to take a shot or two. Sorry.
Believe me when I say that I never intended these pages to be so large and involving. It's scary to think about what can happen when you put a guy like me in the same room with a pile of parts, a computer and a digital camera :-) This project quickly grew from one little "Engine case inspection tips" page on a Saturday afternoon, to this monolith of multiple pages and topics spanning several years. That seems to be how most automobile restoration/rebuild projects go too, so I guess I should have expected this. At least this didn't cost me any more money. :-)
Let me make a few things PERFECTLY CLEAR:
1. Safety should always be your #1 focus when working with automobiles. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in this world is so important, that you should EVER practice unsafe maintenance on your vehicles. Always use the proper tools for the job at hand. Jack stands are cheaper than funeral expenses, so use them when jacking your vehicle!! Common sense is a VERY WELCOME companion in the garage, so use that too. 'Nuff said!!. . .
2. I am NOT affiliated with, sponsored by, or "in ca-hoots" in any way, shape or form to any of the parts suppliers, individuals or shops (other than my own shop linked above) that are mentioned in these pages. Any praise, flame, plug or comment made by me about them, their products, or their work is solely based on MY FIRST-HAND EXPERIENCES with that company, it's people or their products. You can bet, if I like a product, I'll say so; and if I don't, I'll say that too.
3. I WILL NOT write pages claiming fact about a procedure I have never done. This is a "pet-peeve" of mine. There are too many folks on the net perpetuating rumors and other un-truths about whether or not parts, procedures, modifications, etc. work in real life. If you read it here, it's because I have ACTUALLY done it and know whether or not it works. If I'm asked a question about something I'm unfamiliar with, I will not comment on things I don't feel qualified to comment on, and I will tell you so. I want these pages to be HONEST and honestly presented.
4. My goal is to have pages where the info contained is error-free. But hey, I'm human. . . If you feel any info is in error or if you feel I've left out a very important step, e-mail me with specifics. I don't have a big head about things. So if you convince me I'm wrong with proof/documentation, I'll consider changing the info. On the other hand, some of what is contained in these pages is purely my own opinion. Whether you feel these opinions are right or wrong, they're still my opinions and by gosh, these are still MY PAGES, so those will stay regardless :-P The little red bus on the bottom of each page is an e-mail link directly to me; feel free to contact me about anything contained in these pages.
The links below cover a range of maintenance from basic tune-up stuff, to in-depth rebuilding. I hope you can find some of the information here useful and in your journey to automotive independence.
Like anywhere else in the world, some will try and screw it up for everyone else. So check out this LEGAL page.
NOTE - Links with a red " * " denote topics which have multiple sub-pages.
"Knowledge Is Empowering, Let's Share!!"
The latest Updates
12/18/09: Added a new page: Wheel Balancing - PERFECT balancing every time with beads. ("Tools-On-The-Cheap")
05/06/09: Added a new page: Rear suspension caster adapter - Making a car with no rear suspension mobile again.
10/27/08: Added a new page: Pertronix Wire Chafing - A warning to all Pertronix owners about potential wire chaffing on Pertronix modules.
10/27/08: Added a new page: Bus Tank Vent Replacement - Getting rid of the fuel smell in your '68-'79 bus.
10/27/08: Added a new feature section called "Tools-On-The-Cheap"; check this out!!
11/29/08: Added a new page: Early Wiper Upgrade - Updating your early VW (pre - '68) with late style wiper shafts and arms.
11/29/08: Added a new page: Custom Length Push Rods - Making your own custom length push rods.
*Air-cooled VW Engine Building / Rebuilding - A virtual "how-to" page for novice or first time builders. You can do it!!
Adding A Deep Sump - Installation of an aluminum 1.5 quart deep sump. Step-By-Step
Adjusting Your Valves - Save money by learning to adjust your own valves. Step-By-Step
Exhaust Flange Retro Fit - Dumping those leaky doughnut gaskets forever. Step-by-Step
*Set Your Timing - Determining timing requirements and getting it set. Step-By-Step
Choosing The Right Oil Filter - Comparing the FRAM HP1 to the PH8A.
Tech Tables - Tables, formulas and specifications needed to plan & build an engine.
Pertronix Ignition Install - Upgrade to a high performance pointless ignition. Step-By-Step
Pertronix Wire Chafing - A warning to all Pertronix owners about potential wire chaffing on Pertronix modules.
Compu-Fire Ignition Install - Upgrade to a high performance pointless ignition. Step-By-Step
C.B. Performance 044® Head Upgrade - Comparing the 044® to an OEM VW head.
Solid Rocker Shaft Installation - Bullet-proofing your valve train.
Starter Solenoid Repair - Reviving a tired solenoid to get you back on the road.
Over-Sized Pulley Upgrade - Increase cooling with a 20% larger pulley. Step-By-Step
*Type-4 Into A Type-1 / Early Type-2 - Converting a type-4 pancake engine to an upright (type-1) configuration so it will fit into your bug or early bus using the Joe Cali method.
8 Doweling Your Crankshaft - Saving a damaged crankshaft or strengthening your good one. Step-By-Step
Custom Length Push Rods - Making your own custom length push rods. Step-By-Step
*Routine Maintenance - From changing oil, to lubing the front end and when. Step-By-Step
*"Tools-On-The-Cheap" - Cool, cheap tools that you can make or buy to make working on your VW easier.
How To Speak "Air-Cooled-eze" - Look here for plain-English definitions to some of the common words folks use to describe air-cooled VW stuff. This is an ever-growing list.
Electric Fuel Pump Installation - Installing a C.B. Performance rotary fuel pump kit. Step-By-Step
Weber 34mm ICT Pre-Sync & Basic Install - Some tips I've found useful in helping to get dual carbs to run right out of the box.
Modifying The 34 PICT-3 To Work With An 009 Distributor - Getting the most popular carb to work with the most popular performance distributor without hesitation.
*CIS Fuel Injection Conversion - Converting a type-4 engine to CIS (Bosch K-Jetronic) fuel injection (CURRENTLY IN-WORK). Step-By-Step
Bus Tank Vent Replacement - Getting rid of the fuel smell in your '68-'79 bus
Body & Interior
Custom Side Scoop Fabrication - Fabrication and installation of custom REMOVABLE side scoops for your bus with ABSOLUTELY NO BODY MODs!! Step-By-Step
VDO Clock Movement Repair - Basic test, adjustment and minor repair for the VDO clock movements.
H-4 Headlight Installation - Adding brighter and more powerful headlights. Step-By-Step
Front Seat Upholstery & Restoration - Restoring your seats and installing TMI seat covers. Step-By-Step
*Camper Interior Fabrication & Installation - Making your Kombi into a "Kustom Kamper".
Adding A Child's Cot To Your Camper - Converting a late Westy child's cot for use in an early bus. Step-By-Step
Early Wiper Upgrade - Updating your early VW (pre - '68) with late style wiper shafts and arms. Step-By-Step
Bleeding Your Brakes - Purging air from your brakes with the help of a buddy. Step-By-Step
Dual Circuit Master Cylinder Upgrade - Make your pre - '67 bus safer. Step-By-Step
Single-Wheel Trailer Resto - Restoring my 1950 Montgomery Wards single-wheel tear drop trailer.
Nate's Favorite VW Links
Tech Links - I've compiled a list of what I feel are some of the BEST air-cooled VW technical resources on the net.
Retailer Links - By popular demand, here's a list of some of the MANY VW parts retailers that can help you keep your VW on the road.
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Revised: May 14, 2011 .