Lewis' First Beetle Becomes Lewis' First Project

Lewis' First Beetle Becomes Lewis' First Project

Written by the JK Team
Published 29 November 2023
Just Kampers

This summer Lewis from the JK Team bought a 1970 VW Beetle, which is his first classic car. He’d been asking questions about them and shopping around on his lunch breaks, and then spotted one which caught his eye and took the plunge!

When we wrote about it earlier this year, we asked Lewis if he had any big plans for his Beetle, and he said that he’d look at refreshing the interior and the seat covers, then maybe put it back to stock height and treat it to some new wheels.

It’s fair to say that isn’t quite what’s happened, although he has been doing a lot of work on the Beetle, as has “Workshop Mark”.

Lewis and Mark Give the Beetle a Safety Check

One of the first things that Lewis and Mark did was to give the ’70 Beetle a proper check over, to see if there were any bits or little issues which needed to be looked at straight away.

They’d given the Bug a proper check over before they bought it and trailered it back to JK HQ, but there’s some things which are just easier to check when your Beetle is raised up on the ramps!

Once both Lewis and Mark were happy that the Beetle was good to go, they hit the road for a test drive – which put a massive smile on Lewis’ face!

Video: Lewis' Buys His First Beetle! Lewis' Beetle Ep1

Getting the Brakes Serviced

The test drive highlighted that the brakes needed a service, and so Mark set about doing that while Lewis returned to his duties as our Full Stack Developer (which basically means he keeps our website working nicely!).

Mark fitted a new set of callipers with brake pads, as well as a new set of flexi-hoses. There wasn’t anything obviously wrong with the brake flexi hoses which were already on the Beetle, but Mark couldn’t see any sign of how old they were and so replaced them to be on the safe side.

It’s generally best to replace your brake flexi hoses once they’re over seven years old, so Lewis and Mark fitted new ones just to be sure.

A rear wheel cylinder was also replaced, but it was all fairly standard Beetle brake jobs and nothing too major – yet!

Video: Replacing Brakes & Oil Pressure Check - Lewis' Beetle Ep 2

The Lewis List

With the brakes all sorted, Lewis spent the next few weeks driving to JK HQ and back in his Beetle, as well as taking it to Cool Flo's Summer Cruise Night at Brooklands Museum at the end of August.

After a few trips in the Beetle, Lewis started to create a list of things that needed to be looked at. Some of it was fairly normal, like a minor oil leak, while others were a bit stranger like the radio and headlights cutting out intermittently.

Between them, Lewis and Mark worked their way through this list, with Lewis taking every opportunity at lunchtimes or after work to get stuck in and help Mark out in our on-site workshop here at JK HQ.

Video: Replacing a Beetle Gear Box Coupling, Shift rod bush & Fixing Electrics! Lewis' Beetle Part 3

Getting Rid of the 'Fuel Smell'

One of the bigger issues that Lewis wanted to tackle was getting rid of the (fairly concerning) smell of fuel he got while driving the Beetle. He and Mark took a look and Mark ended up replacing some of the breather pipes, fuel hoses, and other fuel system components to ensure that nothing was causing any fuel to leak out.  

This wasn't too massive a job, but it was important to get it done as no one wants to be leaking fuel - or smelling it while they're driving! 

Video: Replacing the Beetle's Filler Neck & Breather Pipes - Lewis' Beetle Part 4

Rust!

At some point, Lewis and Mark decided to take a look at a patch of surface rust, which turned out to be the tip of a fairly gnarly iceberg.

The more they looked the more rust they found, and before long Lewis had a bit of a sinking feeling and Mark was creating a list of parts they’d need to buy so they could cut out the affected panels and weld in replacements.

At the time of writing, “Workshop Mark” has treated rust on the offside front inner wheel arch, front floor pan and front heater channel, corroded seat mountings, the lower A pillar and lower B pillar on the offside, and the front offside quarter panel.

In fact, when they really got in there and started investigating the places which weren’t easy to see or get to, they found wet patches and some corrosion on the seat mountings.

Luckily for Lewis, we’ve got a whole warehouse full of the parts his Beetle needed, and we’ve been able to film several how-to guides as “Workshop Mark” set about removing the rust and replacing it with lovely fresh metalwork!

Video: Removing Rust From a VW Beetle - Lewis' Beetle Ep 5

Stay up to date with Lewis' Beetle and our other projects 

If you want to keep up to date with how Lewis and his Beetle are getting on, and what “Workshop Mark” has done to tackle the rust issue, then subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss the latest videos of Lewis’ Beetle and everything else we’re working on here at JK HQ. 

3 months ago