I just got my first bug- a 1964. It runs good and the body is fine. It needs paint and interior work. Whoever painted it last just painted over the original white. They didn't even remove the license plate when they sprayed it. It was a lousy job.


I have some questions as this is my first one and there are things I don't know.


1) There is a mystery button in between the horn and the windshield wipers. It's not stock as the balck plastic doesn't go with the rest of it but I'm not sure if it's a replacement for a stock button or aftermarket thing. One wire is grounded and the other wire is tied into a hot wire but I can't figure out what it does. Nothing happens when you press it. So is there a stock button in that location and if so, what does it do?


2) The jack that came with it is stock. However, the arm of the jack is on a spring and goes down to about a 20-30 degree angle with weight on it. It seems to me that thios would be unsafe as the car might slide off. Also, I can't see a good spot to put it to jack it up to change the tire. I'm sure it's simple but I'm ignorant so help me. What's the purp[ose of the arm going down a little and where is the best place to put the jack to change a tire?


3) The rear seat isn't bolted in. Are the bolts for that a standard size I can find at any hardware store or do I need to order them from a VW parts place? If I need to order them, what size? I looked on one site and they had lots of bolts listed but didn't say that any were for the back seats.


4) The steering wheel isn't stock. I'm not even sure it was made for a bug. It looks jury-rigged to me. There is quite a gap on the column between the steering wheel and the turn signals. The turn signals don't shut off after making a turn. I want to replace it with a stock steering wheel, horn ring, and horn button. I looked on a site and couldn't find a cancellation switch for a 1964. Besides the stock steering wheel kit, what else do I need to get the turn signals to shut off after turning?


5) The deck has a locking turning handle but no keys for it. Also, it doesn't have the latch inside to keep it shut. It's held shut with bungee cords. I need to replace the handle but what latch do I need for the inside?


6) What books should I get on restoration and keeping the motor running? Any recommendations?


I did email one supplier a few days ago with some of these questions and I thought they would answer as I said I was going to buy the parts from them but apparently they are too busy or too uninterested to answer. Any help would be greatly appreciated. The cars a good runner now but I want to restore it as good as I can back to original.

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Hi Charles.  Welcome to the world of VW.  You will find a lot of help available just for the asking.  Let's get down to your questions.
1.Is that push button on the steering column within reach of the driver?  I cannot think of anything that VW would have put there.  I would speculate that some previous owner has cobbled an add-on to cure some electrical problem.  It was most likely   a.)  a starter button to replace a bad ignition switch    b.) a press button to cure a horn switch problem ( especially with some after market steering wheel   c.)  a cobbled on windshield washer button.   Trace the wiring - where does it go?  It doesn't do anything?  Amputate it.
2.  That stock jack has a piece of solid square dowel which folds down - right?  Look on the underside of your running board toward the rear wheel.  On that structural part called the " heater channel "  you should see a square opening which will receive the square stock.  There may be a chrome plug in the hole.  This pulls out and has some nifty hooks on it.  The hooks fit into two holes on the edge of your stock hubcaps.  This device is a "bearclaw".  It pulls off your  hubcap without prying.  Ingenious those Germans!  Try it.  Your jack should happily raise your bug in a very safe fashion.  ( safer than the widow-maker GM bumper jacks of the same era! )
3. Is this the bottom or back of the rear seat?  The seat bottom just sets into place.  That much easier to get at your  battery.  If it is the seat back,  try any automotive store for a metric 8mm X 1.25 bolt.  Better yet pick up a set of metric taps and dies.  These will come in very handy even if it just for identifying bolt and nut thread sizes.  It wont take much practice to identify threads and VW does not use  more than a few sizes - always metric.

I'd rather have a partial bottle in front of me than a partial frontal lobotomy.
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damn - cut myself off again with some bad key strokes.
4.  Check the books that I will recommend but I would not bet that VW signals self cancel.  Those on my ' 72 bug do not.  Then again my ' 64 Mercury van were do-it-yourself.  Maybe another owner can comment on this.  I don't find this to be much of a hassel.
5. By " deck " do you mean engine cover ( back ) or luggage cover ( front )?  Either way if the part is gonzo, do yourself a favour and check out CIP1.com.  This is the parts supplier which I have found to be the best source.  Spring for one Yankee greenback and buy their 300 + page catalogue or dig through it on-line.  Luggage cover and engine cover latches?  No problem - just buy a replacement.
6.  Regardless of what level you are with mechanical aptitude, buy a Haynes manual.  Here in Canada, our Canadian Tire still stocks them on the shelf!  Any auto parts supplier can order one for you.  All levels of do-it-yourself mechanic can learn from a real VW veteran, the late John Muir who wrote " How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive - a Guide for the Complete Idiot "  It is very readable, funny, and informative.   This book helped me to diagnose my no-start condition when the Haynes book failed entirely.
      Hook-up with your localVW club.  You will find members to be great sources of information, parts and smarts.
Enjoy your car.  They are bags of fun to drive, cheap to run and restore and never fail to put a smile on the faces of those you encounter.   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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Thanks for the reply. I was beginning to think my questions were too stupid and nobody wanted to respond.


I found out the mystery button was put there for the horn when the steering wheel was replaced but it's not hooked to the horn. I will take it off and find something to put on there to cover up the holes.


I figured the solution to my jack question was simple and sure enough, it was. I had no clue as to slots under the running boards for the jack and I couldn't see a good place to put it on the frame, bumper, or axle. Changing the tire on the 64 Chevelle I once had a long time ago with that old bumper jack was not fun. The worst I ever experienced was a very poorly designed scissors jack on a Ford minivan I once had.


The back part of the rear seat needs to be bolted on. It's just sitting there. Someone ran speaker wires through the bolt holes and never bolted the seat back on.


I found out from someone here in town that there was no cancellation switch for the blinkers. That will take some getting used to to remember to turn them off.


I was talking about the rear engine cover. It has the right handle on it (but no keys) but doesn't have the latch on the inside so I will need to replace the handle and get a latch.


I've just had it for a week and just got my tags and insurance on Wednesday. There are already people in town who want it and even though the paint job is poor, I get lots of positive comments. I never realized old Bugs were chick magnets. If I wasn't happily married, there would be possiblities there. The car is fun to drive, perhaps the funnest car I've ever owned.


I'm going to be placing an order for an oil change kit and will start getting the parts I need for restoration a little at a time. I'm not sure when the oil was changed last but I'm going to do that next weekend if the parts get here in time. I live in a small rural town. I doubt the local parts store has what I need. Thanks again for your help. 



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Glad to hear that I could be of some assistance.  There are no  "stupid" questions in this forum.  If I take a while to reply I may be looking for the answer myself using the books I have picked up over the years or the circle of VW friends I have met here in my home Province.  Moreover there are times when I have to wrestle the computer away from my sons and they are all getting to be bigger than dad.  If you are a budding shade tree mechanic you will come to appreciate your bug.  They have quirks which will drive you to distraction but overall they have some big pluses over other collector / antique cars:
1. Plentiful and cheap parts
2. A wide network of clubs, help lines and information sources such as books
3. Versatility - restore them, modify them, hot-rod them or just summer cruise and watch the faces light up as you drive by.  
Enjoy your ride.  Dan ( MY 72BUG) in Goderich.

I'd rather have a partial bottle in front of me than a partial frontal lobotomy.
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