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Re: [T3] '71 automatic Squareback

On 24 Jan 2005 at 9:43, jmailliardfleming@verizon.net wrote:

> We have recently become the owners of a  71 squareback with 32,000 
> original miles.

Congratulations, and welcome to our group. Love of type 3s is a disease, and I 
hope you will survive it to become one of those who appreciates these cars.

> We have, so far, had the the gas tank replaced, put on new tires  and 
> tuned it up to get it driving. 

Your 2 biggest problems will be rust, caused by driving in salt, and lack of 
good mechanics. You should hold off on driving this car until the roads are 
salt free, and in the meantime come here and learn how to do your own repairs. 
No one else will ever car nearly as much about this car as you do.

You replaced the gas tank because the overflow hose is cracked or broken. You 
must fix that or the replacement tank and the rest of the fuel system will be 
damaged again quickly.

> The speedometer is making a crazy loud noise when you drive at a speed 
> over 25 miles and hour.

It could be either the cable or the speedometer itself. A drop of oil around 
the speedometer input shaft may do wonders, but I might also require partial 
disassembly to do. The latter is something I can do for you, but you should not 
try yourself. You will find it difficult enough just to get the speedo out.

With the speedo out, you should be able to spin the speedo shaft smoothly with 
a small screwdriver.

The cable may well be totally at fault. It could be "dry" or just maladjusted. 
You can check the adjustment by reaching inside the LF wheel and finding the 
speedo cable where it enters the inside center of the steering knuckle. Grab it 
and pull it firmly toward the center of the car; then push it back outwards. 
Leave it midway between the two endpoints that you just found.

> Other issues are that the steering feels loose which makes it  a little 
> frightening to drive at higher speeds when it is windy.  Any thoughts 
> on what to do to correct that?

There are lots of things that add up to this. Play in each of these adds 
together: wheel bearing adjustment, tie rod ends, steering gearbox. ball 
joints. A worn steering damper will make it shake at times, but a loose upper 
torsion bar will often feel the same.

> Next, the passenger seat mount/track is destroyed.  My son took the 
> passenger seat out and now we can't put the seat back in the car until 
> we replace the seat mounts. 

You'll need to tell us better about what is broken here.

> Where is the best place to buy  door and window seals? 

I'd look at West Coast Metric first. Many of these parts are hard to find and 
are expensive when found.

> I am wondering if in 1971 the turn signal had an automatic cut off like 
> cars do today?  This one has to be turned off manually and only the 
> left turn signal light comes on on the dash even though the right turn 
> signal is blinking on the car. 

It should cancel. You have a broken part which can be replaced. You have a 
burned out inside right indicator bulb.

> We want to put on retractable three point seatbelts.  Any advice on 
> that?

You could install '72-3 belts, but I really prefer the '71 setup. They are 
harder to adjust, but they are more comfortable once adjusted. You will have to 
get used to watching where you put them when you get out of the car.

Unless you are extremely lucky and have found an old VW mechanic who loves 
these cars, too, you will be doing much of your own work and should consider 
buying a manual. Here's the one you need:

Volkswagen Official Service Manual
Type 3 Fastback and Squareback 1968-1973
published by Robert Bentley, Cambridge, Mass, 1974
ISBN 0-8376-0057-X / LPV 997 383 / VSQU
(excellent book, complete and well written)

I have a decent used copy available here now.

Unsolicited advice:

Do your own work.

The brakes and fuel hoses will need work. I rebuild OE brake part for less 
money than you would spend on inferior modern new parts.

Contact this list before you dive into anything, especially if you're 
considering taking it to someone else for repairs.

Contact this list first if you need parts.

Don't take this car to a shop simply because they say they work on VWs, or even 
if they say they work on OLD VWs. This is a very special and unique old VW.

The original fuel injection is a very good system. Mechanics will try to sell 
you carb replacements, but you must ignore those suggestions. They will try to 
sell you something they understand simply because they don't understand this FI 
system. You'll find plenty of good FI help and advice here on this list.

Do your own work. (Did I already mention that?)

Jim Adney, jadney@vwtype3.org
Madison, Wisconsin, USA

List info at http://www.vwtype3.org/list | mailto:gregm@vwtype3.org

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