Wednesday, 11 April 2012

25 year rolling!

This is another non-Arty-related post... sorta. Somebody on the lovely Volksworld forum posted a link to an e-petition to get any classic car, over 25 years old, to be tax exempt!
This will also mean that, as it's a rolling term, your car will eventually become tax exempt- so if you've got an '88 registered car, it'll be tax exempt in a couple of years!
So, if you would like this petition to pass, follow the link below and siiiiiggnn! I certainly have!

Monday, 26 March 2012

Story Time

Sooooo... This is the first blog post in a while- sorry my university deadlines demanded my attention!
However, despite being bogged down with loads of work, speaking to the admin lady for my department proved to be very interesting- although not anything to do with my degree!
The admin lady, named Nanette (but everyone calls her Nan) told me a couple of wonderful stories of when she and her husband owned VWs- I can't remember how we started talking about it... it just came up (as it does). Anyway, we were discussing how much love people give to their VWs, especially when it comes to something breaking. The first story Nan shared with me was when her and her family owned a 60's Split screen bus (sorry I can't remember what year she said it was). They were living in America at the time and were taking a three day drive to their holiday destination, when the starter motor died. For the rest of the three day journey, Nan had to give the bus a bit of a push down a hill- her husband had to pop the clutch because she didn't like doing it- while leaving the cab door open so she could run alongside the bus and hop in. Every time she would do this,  her children would be chanting 'Mom, Mom, Mom' and when she jumped in they'd throw their hands in the air and shout 'Yaaaaaay!'. They continued this- and towards the end began only eating at fast food restaurants so they could leave the engine running while they hopped out to order- for the entire journey, until they made it to their destination and could buy a new starter motor.
They also had a '72 beetle whose clutch cable snapped one day. So, to take it to the garage, Nan had to sit in the back wearing a pair of leather gloves holding the clutch cable. Every time it was time to shift gear, her husband would shout 'shift!' and they made it to the garage. 
It just show what us VW owners are prepared to do for our little cars (or busses), and how we continue to love them no matter what they throw at us...

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

The Culprit

Yep! This looks like it was behind the engine stalling all along- If fresh air hoses had eyebrows, this ones would look like this: \ / .
When this problem first happened, I was advised by a fellow member of the VolksWorld forum that this could be the problem, so I looked and I didn't se anything wrong with the hoses- turns out the tear was hiding and I must have been looking with my eyes closed. 
But oh well, at least I know what's up now...

Friday, 2 March 2012

Did I ask for orange?... No!

As if over night- a lot of you old car owners will be able to relate to this- a lovely orangey speckle has appeared on my wing mirrors (grumble). Why does rust have to be so relentless?
Also, I did Arty a mischief- by accident!- when I parked him the other day. I was very poorly, but had to move him out of the way of the garage and didn't realise how close I had got to the holly bush when I went to put him back... until I went to reverse out again and the headlight surround trim thing was left behind hanging on the holly bush- my eyes fell out of my head a little bit at this point.
I was beginning to think I had been a bit rough earlier on but didn't notice in my ill/ delirious/ wimpy state. Fortunately, it had only come off because the screw holding it in place has worn, so it wasn't on very tight and there was no other damage by the evil holly bush which I hadn't ploughed into- phew!
Hopefully Arty won't hold this against me, but we shall see...

Thursday, 1 March 2012

(Not) Just a Car Guy!

This is just a little post to say thank you to Jesse, who featured Arty and myself on his blog:
If you're a bit of a tinker (as well as a car lover), and love searching and finding all kinds of wonderful artefacts, you need to take a look at this blog! There are so many things to feed your mind- even those of you who aren't crazy crazy about cars can still get all bubbly over all of Jesse's incredible finds. 

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Fingers Crossed!

From now on I shall hopefully not have to wriggle under the car in inconvenient places anymore- fingers crossed!
With this problem sorted, in true VW fashion, another oddity has occurred- sigh. The engine now does not idle, however some good guys over on the VolksWorld forum have given me some advice as to what it could be. Hopefully it is just in need of a bit of a tune up- which it is probably due for to be honest!
Anyway, we shall see what this is going to bring in the near future!

Sew nearly there!

So... the patchwork quilt I mentioned a while ago is coming along nicely- it's about the size of a double duvet now. I just need to get some wadding and backing fabric and then quilt away! 
It has taken a little while as I've sewn it all by hand (no hi-tec machines here!) and you can see which bit I did first- it's a little scruffier than the latest sections- but hopefully I shall soon be able to unite the it with Arty.

Monday, 20 February 2012

How to keep your Volkswagen Alive...

I thought I'd just take a moment to share this amazing book with you! My dear old Dad bought this for me when I first got Arty and it has helped me with my understandings of how my little bug works, and to top it off, every diagram is hand drawn! How incredible is that?
It's full of step-by-step procedures for everything that a VW owner (with no mechanics qualifications) can do themselves, and also tips on how to look after your car and treat it right. Whenever the instructions refer you to a diagram, because they are hand drawn, you only see the bit you need to look at which is brilliant for me because I'd just get lost in all the bits around whatever I was trying to do- cue the brain fry!
I've included the full diagram of the air-cooled engine above, because it's absolutely brilliant!
If you're like me, own a VW and can be a bit ditsy with it, then you need to get your paws on a copy of this book, it's so clear and encourages you to take control of what goes on with your car- there are even some little reassurances for the times your VeeDub is being a true b***ard!...

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Ooh chilly!

Since my last post (looming deadlines got in the way for a sooner update) we have seen the plague that is snow! It crept in when I was least expecting it and I didn't get a chance to put the over over Arty so he got a little coating :( Typically, the wire brush is to make an appearance soon as the snow decided to turn my exhaust that orangey colour we hate so much!
The problem with the starter motor connection hit a new low on my way to uni on thursday, I stalled on the huge roundabout in Blackwater and (of course) couldn't get started again because it had come off! Fortunately a very lovely young man in the Polo behind me saw a damsel in distress and was willing to help me :) he moved his car and helped me push Arty to a safe(ish) place so I could reconnect it. Luckily all size 8/ 5'3" of me is able to wriggle under the car without having to get the jack out! Then, to enhance the embarrassment, a guy driving one of those ambulance car things (you know, the little ones) stopped behind while I was under the car and was saying to my rescuer that he had to stay there until I was done. I only took 5 minutes so it wasn't too bad, and I didn't get told off so it was ok :)
So Mystery Man, if you ever happen to stumble across this blog then thank you so much!

Anyway, I'm now armed with some new spades and a crimping tool so this issue can be sorted! Then I will hopefully not have to worry about it for a long time...

Wednesday, 8 February 2012


There's not been much to update you on over the last few days, however I thought I'd share the oil changing experience that today brought. This was the first oil change Arty has had over the period he's been running (end of November 2011) and I don't even know when the last time was- fellow Volksies, I hear your gasps! The oil that came out of the sump, very much resembled black paint! (I included a little photo of what it looked like in the top right corner). Anyway, it's all been flushed out and some lovely Morris SAE30 motor oil fed in- and Arty sounded appreciative when I drove him later. 
I also realised today that I haven't yet posted a photo of the engine! It's not the cleanest or tidiest, but I think it's fair to say that it is SIGNIFICANTLY better now! It was taken out, cleaned and painted about a year and a half ago, so I don't think it's looking too shabby. I've got some chips in the fly wheel and the fan, but nothing too major. 

I'll end end this post with a brief rant about other drivers. Please note: Getting closer and closer to the back of my car will NOT make me go any faster! (you know who you are!) Just overtake me when it's safe. 
Sorry, be happy! 

Monday, 30 January 2012

The Ol' Boy's got life in 'im yet!

   Yes! This should give you an idea of what Arty looked like just after I first bought him. Here, he's getting ready for his respray and having a bit of rust treatment too! In the bottom left photo, you can see where the huge puddle was after accumulating rainwater through a hole in the window seal- scream!- and you may also see some evidence of where the muppet who owned it before the guy I bought it from- who's wife had bought it for him, but he unfortunately didn't have enough spare time for- had put house carpet in there without anything in the way of under-lay (or whatever the right word for the car equivalent is).  The same person also put on a tiny steering wheel- from a recent VW (not sure which but it wasn't a beetle!)- and a Scat quick shift gear stick, which is still there for the moment. Everything done on this car by these people was cosmetic- in what appears to be some kind of 'pimp my ride' attempt- with the opalescent purple paintwork, steering wheel that I can't imagine anyone being able to use, and massive speakers put in the back- which didn't have anything else added in the ways of battery power and balancing etc. to accommodate them- and there seemed to be absolutely nothing practical done to him.
   Anyway, these photos were taken by the guy who ended up screwing me over- but that's a story for another time. Arty's come a long way since then- oh yeah he had seats from some sort of fiat in him- but is still on his way to being how I dream of him to be.

   To give you some recent news, I took Arty on his longest run for at least three years! I drove him into uni (Basingstoke to Egham, so about a 40 mile round trip) and he was brilliant! He got all the way there with no trouble and wasn't too hot afterwards, there's still the flat spot but nothing drastic. I was worried about whether I'd get home or not- seeing as he can be a right grump- but he only grumbled a bit when I started him back up again. The drive was fine, got cut up by an 09 Passat- who had taken his badge off and put a stupid exhaust on- but he didn't get anywhere any quicker (muhahaha) as I had caught up with him at traffic lights five miles afterwards.
   Today also saw my first experience of how much love there is in the VW community. When driving through Camberly, I went past another Bug- in a beautiful pale blue (didn't have enough time to see what year-sorry!)- and I went for the 'I'll wave whether or not they wave back' but the fella in the blue bug waved too with a big grin on his face, and I smiled the rest of the way home. I also got flashed at by a Golf as he passed me on the other side of the road- I have to admit, the first thing I thought was 'is he on fire?!?!'.
   I think it's brilliant how much love there is to share in these old cars (and even modern VWs in the case of the Golf) so I'll leave you with this warm feeling :)...

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Running and ready for the weather...

   I gave Arty a little run today, just to warm him up and despite being out of action for a month or so, he started first time :D- see, he's a good boy really. I let him run for a while before moving him, so as not to cause any damage, and then drove him round the corner and back. He's running as he did before, although he has a flat spot which appears usually when I shift gear, and it kinda sounds like he's taking a breath. He's always had this, but if you have any suggestions of what it might be- whether it's one of his quirks or something more sinister- please share them :)
   In other news: I got those VW owner shakes this morning when, while watching the news, the weather man graced me with the knowledge that the country is on a yellow alert for snow- grumble. So, just as a precaution, I've snuggled Arty up in his cover- because we all know it's sod's law that it would snow if I didn't put the cover on!
   Fingers crossed for the weather warming up...

(sorry for the lack of photo, it was dark when I got in from work)

Saturday, 28 January 2012

It's Aliiiiiive! (rookie mistake)

Conor finding the 'problem'.
   Yes, the Beetle is certainly running again! However, I learned the get-under-the-car-and-take-a-look-before-you-buy lesson the annoying way (I won't say hard because I haven't lost anything) by buying a new starter motor before looking at the old one. Conor was having a good old tinker and with the help of John Muir saw a wire hanging sadly around the starter motor, and said 'Christie, give me that bolt back. I've found the problem.' with a tone of voice that sounded like 'Aah bloody sister!' haha! So he reconnected it, popped the battery back in and- after a few coughs and a generous accelerator push- he stumbled back into life.
    I was so over the moon that the 'you're such a wally' looks coming from my Brother just made me laugh, and I don't really mind confessing this silly mistake because that'll be seventy-five quid back in my pocket! (although I'm probably gonna buy a spare wheel, and spend more on some new window seals).
   You're all probably thinking 'someone take that car away from her, she's dangerous!' but let's face it, we've all done things like this. Always look on the bright side...

Friday, 27 January 2012

Still Stationary :(

   Well, today saw an attempt to get the new stater motor on... to no avail. My dear brother was kind enough to come round and help, he got Arty jacked up and ready to rumble when the heavens opened and poured a waterfall onto us- the rain, of course, stopped as soon as we'd decided it was impossible to work in that weather and had everything packed up. We're positive thinkers though, so we're happy to go back to the job in the morning when the sun will hopefully be shining!
   In other news- and boys please don't sigh- I've sewn some patches to fix the holes in the covers on my front and passenger seats, so while I can't afford to replace them, I'm gonna give Arty the 'Shabby Chic' vibe. You'll probably think it's a bit girly and Arty is always referred to as a 'he' but hey, a little cross-dressing never hurt anyone!
   By the way, Dad, don't worry I'll only sew onto the ones that need replacing :P- I intend to make a patchwork quilt for the back seat, perfect for sunset snuggles in the love bug...

Thursday, 26 January 2012

The (not quite) Beginning

Here is a blog for all you Dubbers out there! Throughout the life of this blog, I will share with you my experiences with ARTY, my 1974 VW Beetle 1303. I bought him in 2009 for an absolute bargain (£828.28 worth of bargain thank you) but, admittedly, he was sporting a rather ghastly opalescent purple colour- he is now a lovely shade of pale green, you'll be glad to hear. 
So far, my life with Arty has been a bit tedious- he doesn't always like to cooperate, as you may know from your own experiences with dubs- but nonetheless, I love him as much as he loves to decide something isn't going to work. Two years, a dodgey mechanic, lots of money and one really good guy later, Arty was finally on the road and I could go out for a little drive, he even started first time on a really frosty morning- Bliss!...
Until I went to drive him one day- after the day before when he behaved perfectly and there was absolutely no indication of an impending temper tantrum- turned the key in the ignition, and... absolutely nothing! He didn't have the decency to cough! So tomorrow looks to be a day of tinkering- with the help of my Brother, I confess!- and hopefully I shall be able to potter around happily with him again. Until the next time...