KarenTheBug
I just bought a 1971 Beetle, the previous owner partially rebuilt the engine (and did a lot of other work).  One thing he did was remove the rebreather tube that connects the oil resevoir to the air filter, putting a cap on the filter plug and a second air filter on the resevoir.

My mechanic suggested I replace this air filter, which looks "cool" (I guess ... it's all the same to me as long as it runs!) with a hose connecting the green plug on the air filter back to the rebreather on the oil resevoir.  He said that without this connection, the pressure is building up, and I'm getting the tiniest of leaks around some of the other hoses.

My question is two-fold: First, this air filter is a dry one - isn't that oil connection only for the older oil-filled filters?  And if the connection is appropriate for my type of engine, what size hose / clamps should I pick up at the auto parts store?  Is a plain rubber hose acceptable, or do I need a steel braided hose? 

Pictures of the engine are at http://www.karenthebug.com , that way you can see what I'm talking about.

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olspeed
On most of those after market air filters there is a tube at the bottom to put a hose over to the "rebreather". This is a must as the suction from the intake helps to scavenge the fumes and relieve pressure in the engine. If it has the tube at the bottom of the filter then unplug it and connect it to the breather tube on your oil fill. As for size it would depend on the year of the breather used on your car and on the size of the tube coming out of the bottom of the filter. Best way to do this is to measure the breather tube OD and then walk in to your local parts store with that measurement and the air filter base and see what they have. You will want oil resistant hose, and if you need to use a larger hose size than what would fit the cleaner base most good hose shops carry small pieces of hose to use as bushings to get things to fit. As for steel braided hose...unless you want it to look pretty and are willing to pay the price, it is not needed here as there is no real extreme pressure here. (even low pressure hydraulic or oil hose and fittings are rated around 200 to 300 psi.)
Olspeed   
66 Ghia 76 std Beetle
It's not a car it's a VolksWagon
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KarenTheBug
Hooking the oil filter back to a dry air filter won't cause an issue?  Excuse my ignorance, I just picture my carburetor sucking oil down into the air / fuel mixture :-)
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olspeed
The part you would be hooking up is the engine breather which is baffled to remove most of the oil mist, and it was originally connected to the filtered side if the stock oil bath air cleaner anyway. If your engine is tired and has a lot of blow by(rings are shot) then it might over load the baffle causing more than normal intake of oil in to the engine. On the later model Bugs with the paper media filter, VW (like all manufactures) routed the engine breather to the filtered side of the air cleaner also. This is done for two reasons... First, the engine scavenges the fumes from the engine crankcase better when the breather is connected to the air intake. Second, when you turn off a warm engine, as it cools it creates a vacuum in the crankcase and it will draw in air, it is best if this is filtered air.
Olspeed
66 Ghia 76 std Beetle
It's not a car it's a VolksWagon
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KarenTheBug
Ah, ok.  The intake on the air filter connecting to the baffle is on the inside of the paper ring filter, so when the engine cuts off, it should draw filtered air down through the paper filter through the hose to the crankcase.  My shock about the whole thing was that the hose going from the baffle up to the air filter is inside the ring - so if the thing reverses pressure (which I now understand it won't do), it would draw oil right up from the baffle and into the intake to the carburetor, bypassing the filter.

When I took off that small stubby air filter from the baffle I got spooged with a fair amount of oil, which I assume is because of the pressure building up in the crank case.

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