Now that our 1967 VW Beetle is driving Sam ties up some loose ends including fixing a pesky leak in the master cylinder, fixing the shifter, and getting the trunk dialed in.


JBugs Video Blog, VW Tech Tips

Watch the video to see Sam's progress on our 1967 VW Beetle.

With our 1967 VW Sunroof Beetle now driving again, Sam works on making sure that everything operates as it should. He starts by diagnosing and fixing some leaking master cylinder grommets and fittings. He replaces the worn out shift rod bushing and coupler so the shifter doesn't flop around so much. The dashboard is tidied up a bit with a new grab handle to fill the holes in the dash, and a new glove box is fitted. A new hood release cable is routed and connected so the hood can be latched and locked. Then while in the trunk he shows how the defroster hoses are connected before bolting down the gas tank, installing a trunkliner and an antenna. Inside the car, a new steering wheel is installed and a temporary fix is screwed into place to cover the unsightly hole in the dash from a previous stereo install.

Video Transcript

I'm back in the trunk again because the master cylinder's leaking from the grommets.

I know this is a problem customers have had multiple times. Despite putting in new grommets, it's still leaking. So I'm going to pull this thing apart yet again and see if I can't figure out a good way to stop these stupid grommets from leaking.

All that brake fluid has just been leaking off the top of these stupid little grommets and fittings on top of the master cylinder. So much so that we've got a puddle of brake fluid down there and I just don't like that. So I'm going to pull these grommets out and see what the heck's going on. Which means all the fluid out of the reservoir is going to get dumped out, but we'll see what I can figure out.

So these are the stupid little guys I'm dealing with. I'm going to just come in with a razor blade scrape down these edges and see maybe some of that flashing is causing the issue.

That's that seam taken care of. A little sand paper right here. A little shot of some brake cleaner. Seems to be a little bit of a lip right there. All right, it's about as good as I can get that.

The inside diameters of these look great. The outside we have a little bit of flashing. Got injection molded plug right there. Got a nice, snug fit on that.

And you know what, I wonder pardon me for a moment, I wonder what the makeup or how well brake fluid and grease will get along. Little dab of grease, little shot of brake fluid and doesn't really appear that the brake fluid is breaking down the grease. So just because I don't want to mess with this again, I think what I'm going to do put a little dab of grease across the top edge of these fittings as kind of a sealant between the rubber and these grommets. So when that pushes down on top that should prevent anything from seeping on that inside diameter. Or, at least that's my theory. Technically it shouldn't be sitting in the brake fluid. It should just give us enough sealant on this edge to prevent any leaks. Or, at least that's my hope.

Note that we still have fluid inside the bores of the master cylinder. So there's no need to go through and bleed the brakes. Air has not got into the master cylinder. We haven't touched the brake pedal so it is fine.

All right, that's one kind of in. That's two kind of in. Just a socket with an extension to try and push that all the way down and get it to sit. Let’s see, that looks pretty well seated to me. There we go. That's in and those are completely squared up to our master cylinder. And see if we can get those grommets, or those fittings, in place. There we go. That one's in. We got a nice grease splatter so that's promising. Wipe up some of that excess. The fun one is getting these guys pushed on. That one's in. Nice grease splatters. That’s now soaked in brake fluid as well. Clean up some of this brake fluid from down here and give everything a shot with some brake cleaner.

That's how much residual we have on there. Before I could literally see a puddle forming over the top of these fittings on top of the grommets. So, I guess now I'm going to throw some more brake fluid in our empty reservoir. We had never had any air into the master cylinder so we don't need to bleed the brakes again. Doubt you guys can hear that, but that was a whole bunch of air running up those lines. I could hear it going…..

That's not going to fit that. That goes on there. That's promising.

While I do some more work on the tunnel pulling out this plate so I can pull out the shift rod so I can replace the shift rod bushing and shift rod bushing clip and the shift coupler. Maybe the shifter, but definitely the shift knob. Assuming I can go through and get that shifter, that original shifter straightened out. It's got a little bit too much lean on it for my liking. I'm going to get all that stuff set in place on the tunnel. So for now I'll leave the gas tank out just so I can keep an eye on that.

Because we got a little bit of play that way. Not necessarily so much that way. Everything up there is in the front, actually at the shift rod bushing, but we do have a little bit of play that way.

As opposed to putting a new shift coupler in, shoot, if I can just take this out, bang those square just to keep that original. I’ll pull it out and take a look at the rubber, see how the rubber is, and glow from there.

The rubber is really, really bad. I'll replace it. Unfortunately, the only thing we have available, and only thing we've had available for the last couple years now, is urethane. It does the job. And realistically, especially on a shifter anyway, you definitely don't want a vague shifter so urethane isn't necessarily a bad idea. But obviously, original it was rubber and it helps maintain a little bit of, or eliminate or just reduce, a lot of drive line noise.

And there goes our shift coupler, the opposite side rubber. That's not really ideal. All the center hollow of that is all split out so we're going to say goodbye to this. We're also going to pull out the shift rod, past our shifter out the front of the car so we can replace the bushing under there. But because I do have that access hole for the clutch cable, makes it a lot easier to push the shift rod out and push the shift rod back in place.

So we'll start by removing the shifter. And you know what, let me pull the steering wheel out of y'all's way. And my wooden shifter knob kind of fell apart. And I don't like this angle. I'm going to try and straighten this out. I don't know how well it's going to work.

Note this right side is longer than the left side and sticking up. This is the correct orientation of this plate. And this is why we're here. That should not rattle around like that. So, it's going to slide out. And now I got to pull the access plate off the front of the car and slide that out the rest of the way.

Way back in here, I don't know if you guys can see this or not, is the access plate in between the beam on the frame head of the tunnel. And behind this guy is a big hole. Conveniently enough because we need to pull that shift rod out from in between. And then additionally, there's another plate right there that goes inside the trunk that we've got to pull off. And get a flat screwdriver from that guy. Pop that cover plate off and there is the shift rod.

Turn you guys out over here. Hopefully you guys can see all this.

There we go. Right there you can see little bit of the old bushing and we still have our old clip in place. So I'm going to get this all cleaned up and we'll put a new bushing and clip in place and we'll get this guy pushed back in place.

What you've got in here is there's a little hanger with a hole. It's basically just a piece of sheet metal. That is right there. It's at the back and this is actually going to sit inside that hanger. That's where that bushing hangs out. And you can see the old one down there at the bottom. Look at that. So I'll try and fish that guy out and then we'll stick a new one in.

Hope you guys can see right here, but this is where I'm at.

What I should have said is I hope you guys can hear this. For some reason my microphone went out. But anyway, what I do is I put the clip over the top of the bushing and then I slide the bushing into the hanger. And then I grease the bushing before I can go through and insert the shift rod back into place.

Lots of grease. That will just help everything slide all the way back into place. And we'll slide that through. And since it's so much easier right now going put a nice dab of grease. Now I got to go inside in the car and feed it into place.

All right, hold on for a moment here guys. Gonna take you for a ride.

So inside the car that is just now sitting in place right above the tube. I'm going to drop that in place. Hold on a moment.

Now we can see that our bushing is in place and we're ready to push the rod in there. So give me a moment again.

Now you guys can see it. There we go. Now that's the tough part. Now I got to push all that rod back into place through this hole.

Hands too greasy, pardon moi.

Know what, we might be stuck on something on the back or it might just plain be stuck. Let's see.

Caught on that nut stirrup. There we go, just like that. Never mind the cuts and scrapes and bruises along the way.

So now we've got that in place we can put a new shift coupler on the back. Let's go do that.

So this is the heavy duty urethane shift coupler. Get that installed on there. Usually easiest to go like such and then put our washer and bolt over here. That's good.

Temporarily set our shifter in place. Let's do this first because right now we're pushed back on our hockey stick. There we go. There we are. We got to get that lined up over the top of that guy. There we go. Now we can put our grub screw in. There we go. Reverse, neutral, first, second, third, fourth.

Good enough.

All right, I think I'm going to put a couple of battery cable covers on just because I was arcing this out a little bit. So let's do that real quick. Now ideally you would take the cables off and run them through the boot and all that but. That's backwards, let's try that. In lieu of that, take a razor blade, cut them down, cut over the top, and then you can just take a zip tie or two and zip tie them in place. There.

Also on here I better get a hold down on that. Let's do that. Drill another hole in the back of that. Going off the factory measurements I'm just going to modify this bracket and put a hole back here a little bit. That way it does a better job of securing our weird size battery. Not quite a slot, but it will do the trick quite well I must say. Yeah.

Could use some tar board or otherwise underneath that, couldn't I. We'll see what I got left over after I do the tar board cause I actually have some tar board I want to put in here for sound deadening so. But anyway, it's not flying out now so that's good, but obviously it could be more secure. Again, just a weird size battery in here.

I'll put the access plates on in the front and then I'll move you guys around to the shifter. Be back in a moment.

See what I can do to get rid of that bend with a hammer. Because you know me, I ain't happy unless I'm hammering. Now I got a bunch of dirt back in my cup. Clean all that stuff out. Clean that off. But first see if I can straighten that before it's even worthwhile cleaning. And then we'll go from there.

That's a bit better. I'm going to go clean this up in the parts washer. I've got a new shift knob to put on it. I'm just going to leave the rest of it all ugly looking because why not.

All cleaned up, ready to go. New spring, little bit of grease for our fulcrum, got another dab of grease down in our shift rod reverse lockout plate. Again, just like that. Long side up on the right side. What side does it go on? Only supposed to get up on the right side of the bed, right. That's the right side of the bed.

There we go. Now these boots are always a fun one. We'll crown it.

For my next impression, I’m going to be a dash grab handle installer.

Like so.

Glove box stops aren't horrible so I won't worry about replacing those, but I will put a glove box in.

Oh that's sharp. Stupid ugly dash. All right.

Looks like somebody already put some screws in that at some point to cover that up. I think that's another perfect place for a JBugs license plate for the meantime until I actually get that repaired, but it's not going to happen today.

For safety and security I'm going to run a new hood cable down my hood cable tube and hook up my hood release lever. Safety meaning I don't want that hood popping up on me when I'm driving down the road. Security, well that's where our fuel tank's at so if we can lock it that would be good. I doubt you guys can see it but there's a little metal cable tube way over here. It's out. I can see it. All right.

So this is our hood release mechanism. If the cable was to break it is designed to open up if everything's cleaned and working properly, which I actually did pull this off and clean it earlier this morning. But anyway, we're going to pull the cable all the way through there's a little teeny tiny hole right in there. That cable's going to feed through there. That screw tightens down on it. I'm going to feed that guy through there. Pull all that cable through. Get the phillips screwdriver and tighten that guy just like so. And again, if that was to snap then this should release and unlatch our hood. That's the design anyway. Hopefully it's that way. Hopefully our hood pin is in good shape and will actually latch in place. We'll find out momentarily.

Leave it long for now that way. And that's operating there.

Yeah, let's give it a whirl. All right. We're lined up.

The hood is latched. Hopefully, the hood is unlatched. All right. That's latched, unlatched. Not the best fitting hood in the world, but you know what, it ain't the right hood for this car anyway.

I'm going to take a leap of faith. Thank you, Lord. Cut that, spin it around, make sure that guy is nice and tight there, and I'm going cut that cable off. I should have done this before I did the shift coupler. If I did that then I would have had some thick wire for doing safety wire with.

That's kind of another fail safe right there. If that screw were to become loose now that the cable's wrapped around and tied off. Even if it was loose it would still be able to pull. But again if it was to snap it should actually release open.

Let's take a look at our master cylinder and I see no evidence of fluid anywhere down below. Not a drop or even so much as a seep of fluid now. So I don't know if it was trimming off that plastic flashing you can see the edge of it right there. If it was trimming that flashing off the inside lip of the rubber or just that little dab of grease, but now we look great.

There's so much light. There you go. Get some of that light overexposure out and we don't have any fluid and our pan frame head is dry as a bone. Woohoo, all right.

Now I can put the gas tank back in place.

And before I go through and reconnect our thing and our put our clamps in place just want to show you that we've got all of our fresh air hoses in place. Our Ts down there all the way up into there. There we go. We got our fresh air hoses connected into our fresh air vent.

Original Volkswagen fender bolts and washers. And yeah we do have a plastic sending unit now. The original one was just not usable, but the lid was. Need to vacuum this out and then I pre-bent a trunk liner to fit in here. But I'm going to vacuum this out and then I’ll throw that in.

All right, so this is a trunk liner and trunk liners are pain in the butt. I found the best way to install them is to anytime you see a sharp edge, well look where it's going to sit in the trunk, and then bend accordingly.

This I know it's going to have to come up and over the fuel tank and I actually had to cut this out because I don't know if this is made for a Brazilian model or otherwise, but the fuel tank cut out was not cut out. But I did bend it up and then I kind of rolled it over that way. And at all these bends here, same thing I bent from here to here. Same thing here, I kind of pre-bent this and rolled that, rolled that. I pre-bent all the way along this back edge. Pre-bent that. And I know that rolls up underneath, basically in place of a wire cover. Pre-bent, pre-bent. With that…

And once the spare tire sits there that'll be a nice relatively smooth area. So I had the trim around the fuel tank neck. Everything else I kind of pre-bent, pre-rolled. And up and over the fuel tank and then most importantly it goes up to the dash kind of like in place of a wire cover.

And then when the spare tire sits there, that will be like that. That'll do.

I forgot to put an antenna in. Let's take care of that real quick. Some designs I have seen you could actually drop them in through the top here. This is not one of those designs because the way that cable's routed there it's just not going to go, not without doing a lot of damage to the paint. If you had a nice painted car, well I don't, so I don't have to worry about that. This will actually just come in right like so.

Come on.

Notice that there's that little hook on the back edge that goes up against the back. Try to get that angled with the body as nice as possible. Go with a seal and unfortunately no, we can't get the seals by themselves.

Yeah, that'll do.

Tuck that cable up because we ain't using that anytime soon. Other than a spare tire, we are good to go in the trunk. And no I'm not going to hook up the washer water reservoir. I just don't like them. It's a silly idea.

And just for grins, going throw the original sun visors and rear view mirror back in place. There we go. I'm okay with that. A touch of O.G. ness.

Think I'm going to get a license plate frame, or a license plate rather, and I'm going to trim it and I'm going to screw it over the top of that so I don't have to look at that anymore.

Well more microphone troubles so you missed out a whole bunch of me cutting out a license plate to cover the hole in our dash. And obviously we've got a new steering wheel installed and the horn works.

So on that note, pardon the uh lack of continuity in clothing, this is being recorded the next day.

Little by little we're getting closer guys. I want to work on getting some tar boards in on the floors. I want to put in some new seals on the front and rear windows. I want to put some trim around the quarter windows. I'm not going to worry about the headliner or anything up there. I do need to get something taken care of for the sunroof so that this doesn't go slam shut during a sudden braking in the future. Hope you guys enjoyed that segment in the in the first drive video.

So with that, I'm going to call it a wrap on this well that video, which is this video. And I'm going to get to work on this video. As we're getting closer and closer to show day I am hoping that we're going to have registration and insurance obviously on the car in time. Because that would be a bummer to have to trailer this thing down. I want to drive this car. I did all this stuff so I could drive this car to the show not so I could trailer this car to the show. Either way I'm going to keep on planning like this thing is going to drive there and get it ready and safe and comfortable enough to do so.

Until next video, take care guys.

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