These pages will explain how to service the old VW Beetle/Camper, because they are roughly the same apart from the size of the vehicle and the engine size. I hope you learn more than a little, not only about VW’s but also the virtues of care and regular servicing. Before you start your service on your vehicle make sure you have a good owners manual at hand and have purchased the right components for your vehicle, from a well known motor factors, because not all motor factors stock the components you need for the older vehicle.

First Job

Make sure the vehicle is on even ground, start the engine and get the temperature up to normal running level. Undo the sump plug and let the warm engine oil drain into a suitable container, if your engine has a metal sludge-trap this has to be unbolted from the sump and cleaned in solvent. Replace the trap and plug and pour 4.4 pints of fresh engine oil into the engine (remember new gaskets). The clutch pedal should have free movement of half an inch, if any more or less it will have to be adjusted.  check the level of the transaxle you will have to remove the Allen bolt, top up if necessary. Next slacken all the wheel nuts and jack up the vehicle and firmly support with axle stands (Never use a Jack on it’s own). Check underneath at all the brake pipes including the flexible hoses for cracks and splits (renew if necessary) also check shock absorbers for leaks.

Front Brakes

By gripping the top and bottom of the front tyres (individually) wiggle the wheel to see if there is sign of movement if so, check to see if it is the steering box or the wheel bearing that is causing the problem don’t forget to check the rear ones as well. Next take off the wheels and if drums are fitted these will have to be removed, (seen owners manual on how to remove them). They are held on by two bolts, and the knurled adjuster will have to be slackened off this can be reached from behind the back plate (centre hole). When the drums are removed have a good look at the shoes and if they look worn down to the rivets they will certainly have to be renewed. Remember the stuff that comes out of the drums when removed is DANGEROUS and should not be inhaled. Check to see if the wheel cylinders are leaking and not seized, also the drums for scoring. If the bearings are removed or replaced with new ones remember to re-pack with new grease, when fitted is complete press the brake pedal twice to centralize the shoes, adjust by turning the knurled adjuster through the hole in the back plate (refer to manual for direction) turn until the drum locks, then slacken until it just turns freely. If disc brakes are fitted to the front then please refer to your owners manual on removal and re-fitting.

Rear Brakes

The rear brakes are done in the same way as above (refer to owners manual as these may vary slightly). Sometimes the handbrake cable needs adjusting after fitting new shoes, this achieved by undoing or doing up the two nuts underneath.