Staying In Tune
your VW Bug is a stocker or a street terror, it is important for you to
know basic maintenance procedures. If you do a fair amount of the
mechanical work yourself, you should already have a good service/repair
manual for your VW. However, if you don't have a manual or you'd like to
know more about the different tune-up specifications for various aircooled
VWs, read on.
specifications chart included here is gleaned from information from
Volkswagen's great "Without Guesswork" series of information
booklets (which have been out of print for more than a few years).
necessary tools for you to perform an oil change and tune-up include a
3/8-inch ratchet, 13/16-inch spark plug socket, 13mm box-end wrench,
socket, feeler gauges in 0.006-inch and 0.016-inch, some type of spark
plug gapping tool (or a 0.024-inch feeler gauge) and a compression tester.
also need a 3-inch extension for the 3/8-inch ratchet and a rather
standard extension. Commonly known as a "wobbly," this handy
little item comes in 1-, 3- and 6-inch lengths and allows whatever socket
is fitted to it to wobble around, which makes installation and removal of
certain items possible if you cannot get straight-line access for the
socket and the extension.
the ignition timing, you will also need a timing light, although a static
test light will work for most early models (See "Timing Story"
on Page 75).
factory, VWs are equipped with Bosch ignition equipment, and we would
recommend that you stick with the factory example and purchase a Bosch
ignition kit (points and condenser), rotor and distributor cap (if
needed). For spark plugs, the factory recommends Bosch 145-1 plugs.
Although 175-T1 plugs are a little cooler, they have less tendency for
run-on or pre-ignition, and they transfer their heat to the cylinder head
quicker; 145-T1s are listed as the correct plug to use (See "Plug
It" on Page 80).
the difference between the two plugs is very slight under normal
know you will change the oil when administering a tune-up, you will also
need three quarts of detergent oil (your preference), valve cover gaskets
and an oil strainer gasket kit. When looking for a strainer gasket kit,
try to find one with the thick copper gaskets, as they have less of a
tendency for leaking than the thinner brass-colored gaskets.
recommends you change the oil and clean the strainer, plus adjust the
valves on your aircooled engines every 3,000 miles; do a tune-up and
either clean or change the air filter every 6,000 miles, plus do a
compression test at this time.
along as we show you how to keep your aircooled VW in the best shape
possible. Both you and your Bug will be better for it.