We're counting down to our deadline to get this 1967 VW Beetle running. A varnish filled carburetor & clogged fuel line just won't do.


JBugs Video Blog, VW Tech Tips

Watch the video to see if we can get this thing running.

Time is ticking down to our November 12th deadline when we'll take this 1967 VW Beetle for a 90 mile drive down south to the Airhead Campers VW Roundup in Florence, AZ. With the car sitting on new wheels and tires, and new drop spindles and disc brakes installed at the front, we want to see if the engine in the car will run so we can plan accordingly. After some quick electrical work and installing new terminal ends on the old corroded wiring, Sam and his son get the engine cranking. A little more time is spent cleaning the old points and resetting the point gap before some brake cleaner brings the engine back to life! A new carburetor and fuel pump replace the old varnished filled units and soon enough the '67 is running on gasoline so they set the car on jack stands to check that the transmission and clutch are working. Then the tough part comes...cleaning out the clogged chassis fuel line. Two cans of brake cleaner and a lot of "snaking" later, the fuel line is cleaned out and the Beetle is ready for a stock fuel tank. Watch and enjoy this father-son duo work to get this Beetle running!

Video Transcript

We have life. Go crank, buddy.

It's Saturday, September 9th, and I'm here on my day off because I got a lot of work to do. One of the key things is seeing if this engine will actually run. So, like I said I got it spinning and it's got good compression, yeah. It doesn't have much end play, if any end play. Carburetor is kind of stuck, but doesn't matter because the fuel line is also completely clogged, but doesn't mean I can't just spray some carb cleaner down the throat or some brake cleaner. I brought my son in to give me a hand and we'll see if we can get this thing fired up and then go from there.

You, there you go. It's a good thing I didn't choose basketball as a career.

There's no wire for my positive cable to our voltage regulator which supplies the front of the car with power. So I'll have to make a cable to connect these guys. Might as well get the battery too. All right, moment of truth. Key on, nothing. Make sure we’re in neutral. Still nothing. All right, well let's grab our volt meter and see if we can't track down what the issue is.

We got power. Negative,12.9 volts. All right, voltage regulator 12.9. Let's go take a look at the front of the car see what we got going up there.

All right, to our key, our main power in, nothing. Power should be coming into our headlight switch. Let's see if we have any power at the fuse box. Neit.

We're not getting much power out of our main. All right 12.7, okay.

All right now that we have power to the ignition switch, power from the ignition switch to the battery works, and power from the ignition switch to the coil works we're going to go back to the engine compartment and check for power and everything back there.

Black wire. Either I'm backwards on that, which I might be, oh yeah that's that's the negative side. So their beautiful job of green wires crisscrossing black wires, etc. This is our positive side of our coil. 11.4, not ideal, but it's something.

Nate, if you’ll do the honors and go crank the engine over a little bit for me. Let's see if we got any spark. Crank it over. Turn it off. All right, hit it again.

I get no spark. All right, so we're getting power there. Okay, we are getting a spark.

So as I break this contact, you see that spark?

[Nate] Yep

All right, can you turn the engine over for me? All right, turn the key off.

So we're getting a spark, but it's kind of weak. Let’s pull this wire off real quick to get some excess. Nice, that's varnish from our fuel line. You know what, I'm just going to disconnect this thing and get it out of here cause there ain't nothing good that's going to come out of this line, as far as the engine needs. Oh even the carburetor itself is just full of varnish, yeah.

All right, Nate, can you do the honors and crank it over for me.

All right, stop for a moment and I'd say our points are slightly out of adjustment. All right go ahead and turn the key off for me. Let's go through and set this gap on these points a little bit better. All right and what we’re gonna want to do is get to the high point on our distributor lobes. We're looking for about a matchbook thickness. Just going to eyeball it. Right about there, business card, match book, etc. It's just a little bit of a tiny gap right there on the high point so that when our distributor turns that gap closes, come back around. It should open up, but again, this engine's got some pretty good compression.

All right, Nate crank it over for me.

Nice, good spark now. All right, throw that on. Throw that on. And at this point, I'm going to give her a little fuel and see what happens, or in this case, brake cleaner.

All right, Nathan do the honors, buddy.

Keep it going. Keep going.

Woo hoo, she's a runner. All right, hit it again.

She's a runner.

So I'm gonna take this carburetor off, put on a new carburetor. Again I don't have any way of supplying fuel to this vehicle. Oh yeah there's a lot of stuff in the exhaust. I hope you guys got all that stuff blowing out, but.

[Nate] Oh it's very crunchy stuff.

There's a little bit of debris in there.

All right, just for grins I'm gonna try and clean out this old fuel pump.

Hold on, it's not wise to be spring flammable liquid over a spark. All right, no joy.

[Nate] New fuel pump then?

Yep, new fuel pump. Just like our carburetor. So, we'll swap out our fuel pump. Swap out a carburetor.

All right, there we go.

[Nate] Oh my.

Wow, yeah, that's filled with all sorts of yucky.

Pack the bottom of our fuel pump with leftover wheel bearing grease from yesterday packing the wheel bearings. Electric choke, yes. Solenoid, no. Low profile 10 millimeter, nuts much easier to deal with.

Click, click, good and tight.

All right carburetor on, gasket, fuel pump. That’s that, that’s that, that’s that, that’s that, that’s that. Barrel nut.

All right we're coming out of there.

Crank it up, Nate.

Well, I think next step is some fuel and a fuel tank so that we can put this thing up on jack stands and see if our transmission actually works. I'm not going to bother even driving it because, again, no brakes. But I do want to jack it up, put it on jack stands and see if we've got four forward gears and reverse gear. And then we'll take it from there. Nice.

Uh, not so nice. A lot of debris inside that exhaust system, but the engine itself actually sounds really, really good.

We got some fuel for the car. I'm gonna spray some brake cleaner down the throat until she primes herself enough with fuel. And then she runs on her own just off the fuel tank.

At which point, once we get it running just on its own, I'm going to jack the back end up put it on jack stands. And then make sure that all four speeds of the transmission work. Make sure the clutch works. Make sure reverse works to see if I actually have to pull this transmission out as well. So let's see what happens.

Fire up, Nate.

Well, we’ve got no vacuum leaks, so that’s good. It’s got good power.

Very cool.

All right, now that we got her running well I'm gonna jack the back end up, put it on jack stands, and shift some gears and see if the transmission's working.

[Nate] Yep and hopefully you turn those tires for the first time.

Under the engine power.

[Nate] Under the engine power, yes.

All right, that tire doesn't spin that well, but this one does. So I'm going to show you this tire spinning forward all four gears and backwards reverse.

Yeah, it’s already in reverse.

I got no brakes. Got a parking brake though.

First gear, second gear, third gear, fourth.

All right, so here's my next dilemma, this fuel line is clogged. Something, oh wait that may have just gotten some of it clear. It's a step in the right direction.

Nathan, I don't want you standing over here when I blow this line out from the back so turn that off for a second. I'm gonna have Nathan go film the front and see if anything blows out.


[Nathan] No.

Not having much luck, are we?

[Nate] Nothing.

All right well, next step is to try and use a drill and a piece of cable to kind of fish it out. So I'm gonna try that.

Yeah that stinks.

That, come on. I've got this thing to a certain point and then it just stops. Trying to clear out all that old varnish.

I'm getting somewhere.

[Nate] That’s good.

That's as much progress as we've got so far.

[Nate] Ew, that’s filthy. How many cans of that did you buy?


Oh, I heard something.

[Nate] There's definitely stuff coming out.

There’s stuff coming out?

[Nate] You can visually see spider webs blowing back and forth.

Woo hoo, nice.

[Nate] It's free. Now, now all we gotta do is just clean out the rest.


[Nate] Well it stops being blocked off.

We've got the blockage free. Woo hoo, I'm happy.

[Nate] Oh my! Come back here, Dad. It is filthy.

Ew yeah, look at all that. That's coming from fuel line. All right, I'm gonna blow some air through, Nate if you can film from like a safe distance.

Well that's what we flushed out so far, but I'm gonna do a lot more flushing before I call this thing ready for some fuel.

All right so I've done, like a basically filled up a Powerade bottle almost with a can of brake cleaner.

That's a lot better than what was coming out prior to this that was basically black.

One more round. Fill that cup up, the Powerade cup up again, half full at which point I'm going to consider this line clean.

Thank God because I definitely didn't want to run a new fuel line outside the car and I definitely wasn't going to run a new fuel line through the chassis because that's a nightmare. So I am thankful that I was able to get that line clean and free and now we can run the stock line.

Nate, you want to take a view of what's coming out the back.

[Nate] Yep, hopefully cleaner. Oh wow, that's almost perfectly clear, but still a little bit yellow. But still good. It is like, barely bad at all.

Any sediment that might just be some leftover stuff from what was in there, but yeah I think we're going to be called that good.

[Nate] Think that should be safe to run to the engine?

Yep, whoa. Nice.

All right, so I've got our stock fuel line connected to the filter running up to the engine compartment and to our pump. So we're gonna go up front, swap this out.

Will our fuel tank fit in our spare tire well? Not completely, but close enough. Give a little gas.

[Nate] No longer blowing stuff out of the exhaust.

I see a little air bubble in there, that tells me that we are getting fuel and it looks good and clean.

So will she run? Absolutely. She will, on her own fuel system now.

overall rating:
my rating: log in to rate