1963 Beetle: Roscoe (previous board posted by Mike Ritchey)

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1963 Beetle: Roscoe (previous board posted by Mike Ritchey)

Postby mandoclimber » Fri Sep 04, 2009 7:06 pm

Mike Ritchey Jun 3 2009, 12:02 AM Post #1
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Some of you already know this (well, I told you anyway ... whether you were listening is something else) but this was my Grandpa's car. (his middle name was Roscoe so that's the car's name now) He bought it sometime in the early to mid-70s I believe. Anyway, I remember riding around in this car when I was a kid. He passed away in '94 and my mom took the car and drove it for a few years before it got to be too much to maintain. She parked it in my Grandma's garage in Sonora, CA and it sat there for a while. About 2003, she told me I could have it so I had a tow thingee installed on the minivan. A friend of mine had a BMW motorcycle he was selling to some guy in Salt Lake City so we put that in the back of the Sedona and I took off down the road. Transporting the motorcycle pretty much paid for the gas for the whole trip so that was fortunate and only a little ways out of the way. I got into Stockton (where my mom lived) and brought her to Sonora. After a visit with the Grandma, I went out to the garage and after putting some gas down the carb, the old bug started right up. It ran VERY badly but I only had to back it out of the garage so I could hook it up to the tow bar.

Back in Oklahoma, I found out the bug had some really bad brakes. They were really mushy and they wouldn't release very quickly. I had Larry replace the flexible lines and shoes. Also bought my first 'restoration' part ... an original style shift knob to replace the ugly wooden one that it had. Also, it would not stay in first gear with any kind of a load put on it and second gear wasn't much better. Pulled the transmission out and took it to Larry to rebuild ... god was that expensive! I had a box of decidedly broken parts left over but the transmission works mostly great. It pops out of second gear if I put too much load on it while decelerating. I am not about to take it out again for that, though and I still live with it.

The engine had gobs of end play and a nice knocking sound associated with excessive amounts of oil from the front seal. I decided to buy a short-block from GEX instead of rebuilding this one. I have yet to see if it is rebuildable. After putting the old parts on the new block, I took it back to Larry to set the end-play. He said I did a good job putting it together so I felt pretty good about that.

The first real cold day of winter, (like three months after picking up the short-block from the factory in Arkansas) the engine completely froze solid. It would not turn at all. Since I was tired of giving Larry all my money, I decided to give Eddie a shot. He found that one of the bearings had twisted somehow and put it back together. Turns out that the motor still wouldn't turn after he put it back together so he had to line-bore it and put it back together again. It's been fine since then.

Bunches of problems with lights and wiring and blinkers and on and on and, oh yeah, one time while adjusting the parking brake, my knee went through the floor on the passenger side. I had been looking all over the bottom of the car for rusty spots and it never occurred to me to look under the tarboard. I panicked and ripped out all the insulation and tarboard and found very bad rust on the floor underneath the front and rear seats and behind where the back seat should be. It seems that the seals around the bottom of the floor pan let quite a bit of water in when it rains and of course this all collects in the low spots and rots away the metal from the inside out. Pretty disgusted at that, I was.

Anyway ... that is where we are today. I drive this car 30 miles round trip to work every day and it seems to be working pretty well as long as I don't introduce problems to it. Like I recently rebuilt the carburetor and didn't do something right because it stutters when it gets hot. So, here's some pics and I think I am getting pretty close to replacing that floor pan. You can bet I will be asking for help when those stars align. (pics aren't on yet cuz I haven't taken them)
Edited by Mike Ritchey, Jun 3 2009, 12:03 AM.



Mike Ritchey Jun 3 2009, 12:07 AM Post #2
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Click on pics to view bigger ones!
Club cruise to Stroud. I still had three hubcaps at this point. Now I have none . In the one with the gangster lean, you can see Jim's notch in front of me.

Waiting to get into the Herbie movie at the Beacon Drive-In

Edited by Mike Ritchey, Jun 3 2009, 12:15 AM.
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