Sunday, 29 April 2007

Beetle Electrics

Vol 9 and 10 of the Bug Me Video DVDs deal with wiring (you can see what's on each by visiting It has to be said that they are not the most exciting volumes in the series (Vol 3 Complete Engine Rebuild and Vol 6 Floorpan Repair & Replacement are much more inspiring) however Vol 9 & 10 have been an absolute blessing this weekend.

The points on which my bug would have failed an MOT (see previous blog entry) are:

1. Rust on the heater channel.

2. Horn not working.

3. Hazzard lights not working.

4. Beam headlights not working.

5. Windscreen washers not working.

Ignoring the rust problem for the time being I spent much of the weekend going back and forth between MacBook (on which I was playing the DVDs) and the wiring under the bonnet.

The problem with the horn was straghtforward: it's missing from the car. In its stead was a rather nasty sounding air horn operated by a switch that was kind of hidden away UNDER the dash. I removed it and will be ordering a normal one tomorrow which I'll connect up properly.

I can't say for sure what was wrong with the hazzard lights and the headlights, but they work now. There was a rather knackered looking radio cassette player (now removed) inserted into the dash but not wired up. My guess is that at some point there was another radio (that a previous owner wanted to keep) and, judging by the number of lengths of wire that ran nowhere at all, probably a few other 'gadgets' as well. By observing how things should be on the DVDs I was able to confidently remove all of the surplus wiring. This enabled me to realise that there was something odd going on with the 9th and 10th fuses because, amongst other things, there was an inline fuse connected across them at the back. I didn't even bother trying to figure that out. I just removed it and swapped the wires around so they were as per the DVDs and presto hey: working hazzard lights and beam headlights.

With regard to the window washers: after removing the pipes from the switch and blowing down them to ascertain that they were not blocked, I'm pretty certain that it's the pump mechanism in the switch that's kaput. I may or may not replace that because I've noticed that Volkspares sell an "Electric Washer Bottle" which sounds like a much better option to me. I'll give them a call tomorrow and get a few more details before deciding.

In the meantime I'll be refreshing myself on what Vol 7 has to say about replacing heater channels.

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