Friday, May 31, 2013

Electric Washer Pump Conversion, done right

I learned a lot about buying a car when I first bought my bug. One thing I learned was inspect everything. I had asked the previous owner if everything worked, the horn windshield wipers and spray, etc. He told me that, yes everything worked. It wasn't until after my dad and I had driven it home that I really started looking it over I noticed a few unusual things. One of the first things I noticed was the big black button underneath the dash, later I found this was the horn, the button on the steering wheel did not actually work. (Now I think it's because the column isn't properly grounded, but the button and steering wheel were pretty cheap so when I tried to fix it the button broke.

The jury rigged button
The next thing I was curious about was the red button at the bottom of the dashboard. Why I hadn't asked about this earlier I don't know. But anyway I followed the wires, (I didn't want to push it until I knew what it was) turns out it is the button to operate the windshield washer pump. I need to be more careful about word choice, while everything did work, it didn't exactly work the way it was supposed too. Don't get me wrong I'm still glad I got this bug, it just would have been nice to know these things before I bought it.

The old cruddy pump
Well I've been staring at that red button on the dash for long enough. The cruddy old pump that was in my car before finally gave out, so I decided while I'm replacing that I might as well do the job right and hook up the wires to the windshield wiper switch on the column. It isn't as hard as you would think. 

We had an brand new pump and reservoir that we hadn't used laying around, so I decided to use that. I decided to mount it to the fresh air box as it was really the only place it would fit. Then I took off the wheel and got looking at the switch. It is a newer switch we bought probably a year ago. As I got looking I realized the switch not only came with the air pressurized nozzle but also the metal contact points needed for an electric pump. 

The pump has two wires coming off of it one for ground and one for power. I grounded it on the nut that holds the fresh air box in place, then I routed the power wire into the cab by the column, I had it go to one side of the contact points (shown in the picture) and another wire coming from the other side of the contact points that goes to power.

This shows what wires I added on the switch (click for bigger image)

That's all it took, a fun easy fix to an irritating problem I have been staring at for two years. Now I guess I need to get around to fixing that horn button, that's a project for another day.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Fixing the Seat Wobble

It can become rather irritating to have a wobbly seat while driving. It used to be whenever I would go around a sharp corner or go over a set of train tracks in my bug the seat would bounce around and tip from side to side. My friends loved to ride in my car but that was one of the more major complaints. They didn't like the "auto turn correcting seats" as I called them. I did a little looking around on and it didn't take me long to find the problem.The seat had been rattling around in the seat rails because the old plastic bushings had fallen out. Who knows how long ago that happened, It could have been ten years or more. Anyway it was a fairly simple fix. I just needed to remove the seats. 
This is the tab that needs to be pushed
down on 1973+ Beetles
On 1973 and later models the seats need to be pulled almost all the way back then push down on a tab on the center hump. This tab locks the seat in place so the front driver/passenger doesn't pull the seat all the way out. The seat will then pull back all the way out. (On the earlier seat rails the seats will slide forward and out. There will be a little tab at the front of the seat rail with the lever, push this down and the seat should slide the rest of the way out.) The white plastic bushings then easily snapped in place. I realized I only had one of the 6 bushings needed for both seats that was left. Glad I replaced them. 
Two of the bushings were installed on the seats and the third was installed on the center hump. After that I greased the seat rails with some white lithium grease before re installing them. It makes a world of difference and it doesn't cost very much to do either. 

This is one of the two installed on the
back part of the seat
This one slides onto the
center hump