VW Käfer 1967

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Update December 2012: Flying to Lima to pick up the car and drive to La Paz (that at least is the plan).

VW Beetle from 1967 in Lima, Peru

We bought this beetle in Lima to drive it through Peru in February 2009. See our shopping spree and more pictures in the Peru Album. The car is awsome, brought us through the most rugged terrain, over 4500m height and never broke down bad enough to not be able to fix it within an hour or two.

Contents

History

The car has an original sticker of the German Finanzamt. The papers of the car date back to 1976 when it was owned by the Texas Petroleum Company. The company went out of business more than 20 years ago and the guy who sold the car to us supposedly got it from the widow of the CEO of that company. Apparently the car sat in a garage the better part of the last 20 years.

Unfortunately one of the last owners did not transcribe the car to his name and all subsequent owners did not bother either. Therefore I cannot transcribe the car to my name immediately but have to wait two years (that will be February 2011). After that we can take the car accross borders. We are considering to drive South to Patagonia, the most awesome, serene and quite place one can imagine. At least it was when I was there 25 years ago...


Maintenance

We fixed the brakes, cleaned the carburettor and went off to the outback with nothing but a small box of tools. It never deserted us completely but we did have to fix a few things when under way.

  • Dynamo. The dynamo was the only part the guy at the garage was not sure would last. And it burnt after 300 km. But now problem, another garage fixed it in two hours. Here are some pictures.
  • Passenger door latch. The anvil was missing which did not show when on good roads. As soon as we got on bumpy roads the door sprng open every now and then. Got it fixed at the curb for 5 dollars.
  • Main traverse broke. Soldered for another 5 dollars.
  • Battery grounding cable broke (which causes the car to stop dead in it's tracks). Screwed back on, done.
  • The metal sheet where the carriage is bolted to the chassis at the front end of the car disintegrated after 2000 km on the worst road imaginable. It was fixed for 40 dollars, including soldering and painting both front fenders.
  • The front torsional spring fell off after bumping over some big rocks. It was put back on the wrong way which is why it came off again soon. Went all the way bakc to Lima without it (don't do that, it takes away any control over steering).
On the Andean Atiplano at 4000m above sea level


A few videos have been posted to YouTube:

Theses tires are done. Really done.

Disuse Damages

The beetle was not moved for some time resulting several damages. The front right tie went flat and standing like that for some time killed it. But it was dead anyway, time for brand new Goodyear 5.60 for all feet. I tried to get tires with more profile but no luck, this was the only tire they had on stock. The tank was only 1/4 filled resulting in poor quality of the remaining gas. Towing it in first gear with the help of a pick-up truck wakened the engine after some time, blew some blue smoke and now it runs smooth again. Filling up the tank with fresh 90 octane removed this issue. (You still get 84 octane and the beetle would run just fine with it but what the heck, 90 is not going to hurt it either).

Mounting new Goodyear 5.60s tires

Alternator Troubles

The dynamo was replaced with a modern Bosch alternator (Made in Brazil) to improve electricity management. Unfortunately the pulley broke after some 1000 km, maybe by tightening the belt a bit too hard (but still, I never heard of a pulley brake off like this before).

Front half of the pulley still looking good...
...it simply broke off the boss cleanly along the eight soldered points. This manufacturer seems to have a quality issue.

After mounting the belt and tightening the screw as hard as possible without breaking it we continue on the road.

Mounting the belt and continue on the way. At the next garage we will solder the pulley, just to make sure.


Some Fun

We took the beetle for an excursion into the sands of Paracas in Peru.