At the risk of stating the obvious - I am a 'new' bug owner having just bought a 73 superbug.
Just drove this beauty home and cannot find the heater controls - got the fan and the direction ok from the dash but the heat  ..... BRRRRRRRR.

Any help out there for this novice owner.
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Hi Carlybeth:  Welcome to the world of VW.  Heaters are a great topic with bug owners.  It is generally recognized that Beetles were " heat-challenged " throughout their life time.  This is because they use air-cooled engines rather than water-cooled.  You don't have to worry about anti-freeze - there is no need for it without the presence of  a radiator but it does offer up a challenge to the VW engineer.  Water-cooled cars have a mini-radiator up under the dash.  Hot anti-freeze flows through it.  Blow some air through it and voila - heat.  Your VW uses two types of heaters.  The standard one features a heat " exchanger " around each of the exhaust pipes which originate at the front of the engine.  Picture a metal box around the pipes coming out of # 1 and #3 exhaust pipes.  The hot air in the exhaust heats the air around the pipe.  Another set of pipes joins the pair of exchangers to the engine cooling fan.  A big pair of heat pipes comes off of the front of the exchangers and goes under the back seat of the bug where it joins up with yet more pipes which send the heat under your door sills and into the passenger compartment.  Complicated?  Just a bit.  Rusted out heat exchangers are common as are holes aplenty in the various pipe bits.  A very common problem is that some of the components may be missing altogether.  MY72BUG, my '72 convertible, is a fair weather bug.  I yoinked all of that heater related stuff off ages ago.  The overall cost of all of the replacements parts I needed ( including two new heat exchangers) was just not worth the $$.  Another very common problem is seized cables to the heat exchangers ( also called heater-boxes)  Where you sit in your bug there are -down beside the parking brake - two little levers.  These connect to little flaps on the heater boxes.  Lift the lever, the flap opens and on comes the heat flow.  Have someonecheck under your engine for the heater-boxes.  Pull up the levers.  You should see the cable move and the flap open and close.  If it is seized,  WD-40 the daylights out of it and move the flap by hand until the cable is free enough to do the job.  If the flaps are seized shut you will have no heat flow
     The other type of  heater was introduced as a  solution for the failures of the stock heaters.  This type actually burns gasoline like a mini furnace.  They were common up here in Canada.  The units were mounted under the front hood of the luggage compartment  right on top of the gas tank!  It is torpedo shaped and looks for all the world like an old fashioned vacuum cleaner canister.  Even if you have one on your car, I would not be in a hurry to get it working.  Few people are left who know how to work on them safely.  Depending on your climate, your car usage and your $$ resources you can either work up the stock system if it needs some parts or some TLC or put on a sweater and tough it out like out VW ancestors did here in the Great White North.  Either way, parts should not be a problem ( except for the gas heater )  Have someone who knows Beetles to check out the heater stuff.  With some care it can be made to work after a fashion.  Good luck with the project.  Dan ( MY72BUG) in Goderich, Ont.

I'd rather have a partial bottle in front of me than a partial frontal lobotomy.
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Get as many books/manuals as you can to get a pictures eye view of the last post.  The Bentley manual is one of the best.  Others include: Hayes, Chilton, Clymer.  I use all four they give just better references, pictures, instructions.  I found three of the four used.  I hope this helps.

'72 Super. Paint-7/20/09, 400+k miles, New engine case "41" Brazil, rebuilt German heads, new Bosch electrics, new Solex German carb. new German silencer. Built by Steve Tims Performance/Enterprises, Riverside CA. '73 OEM airfilter, (Fram elemement), chrome stock wheels, daily driver, 25.46-27.50mpg, driven 20+years.
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the stock system will better than you think, if it is working
correctly. Also, make sure that you door/window seals
are in good shape

Burnt, scarred, bloodied & greasie hands... it's a zen thing.
Airkooled Kustoms
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This is a great range of replies and thank you all for the help.

When I bought the bug I asked the previous owner "what the little levers on the side of the handbrake where" and he did not know (car comes from a temperate climate so probably did not need the heater).
Anyway - we are going to have a look at all the functions on the weekend and then go for a drive to see if this works..

As for manuals we have been buying up what we can get hold of but none of these appear to have heater details - so far.....

Anyway - thanks again and i will keep in touch.

PS - my bug is a partially restored 73 superbug and is in VERY good 'standard' condition.

PSS - plan to reline the inner roof with a big 'peace' symbol as my parents reckon painting one onto the pristine paintwork would not be a good idea - will post photos when it is done (once the $$'s are saved).

Kind regards and thanks

Carley Beth
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