New 74 Thing owner and totally lost

VW's aircooled mini SUV. Great for riding in the country, or cruising the beach.
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Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:38 pm

New 74 Thing owner and totally lost

Post by jodeelaray » Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:50 pm

ok so I bought a 74 thing and was super excited. I didn't pay much for it and they guy said it ran. I went over he cranked her over and it started and ran for a couple seconds. he said he hasn't done anything with it for 3-4 years. we go to tow it and it has no brakes and gas pedal is stuck to the floor. I knew it was a project car but I am very disappointed. It needs a new top badly. and the seats need to be redone. And the biggest thing is im a female and slightly mechanically inclined. the main thing I want is a manual but all I can find is 73 thing books. im so lost. lol any help is appreciated.

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Re: New 74 Thing owner and totally lost

Post by Piledriver » Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:15 pm

Welcome to the STF!

#1 rule of the STF:
...Pictures or it didn't happen. :twisted:
(<=800x600 75% quality jpegs (<125kB) can be uploaded, you can also post links to external hosed pics)

If it isn't a total rust bucket and you didn't pay much (for most definitions of "much") you probably scored..
Serious $$$ collectors item in even remotely decent shape.

As to the mechanical condition//brakes, you can (and should) replace all the hydraulic rubber lines, wheel cylinder and master cylinder, and if there is any significant rust on the steel lines, do those as well.

Sounds like a lot? It's really not, and all new parts don't even cost much.

Unless you KNOW they were just replaced, assume all rubber parts (brake lines, fuel lines etc) are 40 years old and facing ~imminent failure.

Knowing appx where you are may turn up local parts sources or even a pair of spare hands with tools.

There are ... many... helpful "stickies" here on the STF in various forums, I'd suggest at least at least skimming through them to understand the basics and grok the terminology commonly used here.

Bob Muirs "idiot" book is a good starting point for all the basic mechanicals. ... 1566913101

Also contains cool artwork suitable for framing IMHO.
(I have seen the exploded VW as a poster...)
I, for one, regularly embrace our new robot overlords, as I am the guy fixing the robots...

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Re: New 74 Thing owner and totally lost

Post by helowrench » Tue Jun 18, 2013 11:38 pm

replace the entire brake system.
maybe actually keep the drums if they measure good
but definitely change the master cyl, slave cyls, and rubber hoses.
it is not a difficult job, and the manual that Piledriver pointed at does a great job of explaining it for anyone.
that book even covers the tools you will need.

If I remember correctly there is no substantial difference between the 73 and 74 years

and welcome to the board

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Re: New 74 Thing owner and totally lost

Post by sideshow » Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:40 am

Also any bently will be handy, it is the gold standard of how the factory did things. I don't think they made a thing specific version, but it is kind of a parts bin car and shares a lot of the same specifications as the later beetle/orange. ... rch=bently
If nothing else you can figure out what each part is officially called.
Yeah some may call it overkill, but you can't have too much overkill.

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