Tone Parsons

Archive for the '’68 VW Beetle Project' Category

The Beetle takes flight (for a mile or so)

Yesterday, my son went crazy on the beetle.

Of course, he didn’t have much choice.  We sold our 2005 Jeep Liberty LTD yestday and he had two choices…. get his car running or take the bus.  Apparently, he didn’t like the latter of the two options.

We went to the the local VW shop and purchased a used wheel for a spare ($15 for the wheel, that’s a steal!), then we went to the tire store and had them put 4 brand new 165 SM 15 all season radials on his current wheels (and the best of the old tires on his spare).  We also had them sipe the new tires for traction.

After dinner last night, we bled the brakes (6 times…. there was an incredible amount of air in the system!).  Then he changed the oil and replaced the gaskets for the oil screen (it leaked).

This morning, he put the tires back on and took it off the jack stands.  He was very excited to drive it for the first time…. a little too excited, I guess.

He made it just over a mile down the road when he suddenly realized he had made a major mistake… he forgot to torque the lug nuts on the wheels.

He found most of the lugs, but most of them are toast now.  He did get just enough on each wheel to get it back home, but now we need to get some new ones before he can drive it again.


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An update on the ’68 VW Beetle Project!

By popular demand (ok… only one person asked for it), here’s an update on the restoration of my son’s ’68 beetle!

Things have gone pretty slow, as my son has been broke, and with my income turned off for several months, there’s just been no cash to work with.

But now that my income has been turned back on, combined with the fact that my son got some high paying temp work, we’re back on it!

We’ve been having problems finding parts for the beetle that actually work.  The local import parts store has been a little less than helpful (they keep selling us the wrong parts).  But… we found a great source online, Mid America Motorworks.  They have good prices, are providing the correct parts, and the shipping is very reasonable!

Here’s a list of things that didn’t work when we got it, but do work now: Read more


Some serious father-son time ahead!

My eldest son turned 19 a few months back.  He’s got a job and finally got his drivers license a couple of weeks ago (who ever heard of a teenage boy who didn’t like to drive?).  The next obvious step was for him to save up money to buy his first car, which he did.

He had one particular car in mind, and had been searching Craigs List until he found it.  Last saturday, we drove out to Athol, Idaho to pick it up:  a 1968 VW Beetle.

1968 VW Beetle

1968 VW Beetle

1968 VW Beetle

As you can see, the body is in damn good shape for a car that’s 40 years old.  It also runs fantastic!! The interior and electrical are a different story.  So, the project began!

We went through the wiring (which is a spaghetti cluster of patches and re-wiring that makes little to no sense) and have it somewhat under control.  We’ve got the headlights, turn signals, running lights, gas gauge, and windshield wipers working now (they didn’t before).

Next, we need to get the brake lights, backup lights, and brakes in working order.  After that, it’s the suspension.  Once that’s all done, we need to get some good seats for it and it’ll be drivable.

The goal is to restore it to it’s original condition.  At the rate we’re going, it’ll be mechanically sound and ready for paint in about a month or so.

I’m really enjoying the time with my son working on the car.  There’s a lot of things I can’t do because of my back, so I’ve been explaining to him how it needs to be done and have been watching him do it.  It’s going to be a sweet ride once we’re done (and worth about 8x what we paid for it!!).