Hello Folks!


In late March of this year I bought a 1972 Super Beetle with either 119 or 219K on it from a man who repairs and sells used VW’s. I was “told” that it was an “every day” driver with the capability of making the occasional long trip. 

I dutifully purchased a copy of Muir’s book as well as the 1974 Chilton guide for the 1972 super beetle and such.  I’ve also been checking out several websites trying to learn all I can. I’ll try to keep this as concise as possible.

About two weeks into my ownership and about 300 miles on the car the car began to “act up”

Became more difficult to start (needing about a 10 minute warm-up)

Idling high in neutral so getting into 1st was sometimes difficult when at full stops

Wobbling (not unusual I hear) started at 55mph and lasted til about 60

Wobbling has slowly worked its ways to wobbling at around 25-35 mps.

Stalling out repeatedly when shifted into neutral – very difficult to restart.


I though it might be time to do my first round of tune-ups

Adjusting the Valves

I believe I did this correctly (rotating the engine to find TDC, and made sure they were .006 and all) However, I do understand that beginners such as myself can easily mess this one up.

Immediately adjusting I noticed that the car began to idle much higher than before, probably around 850 or so RPM’s 

The car was STILL stalling. So I tuned it up more:

Changed the Oil (VERY dark) and gaskets

Changed oil in the air filter

Adjusted the clutch because it had way too much give (3-4”’s)

The car sat for two weeks while waiting for new spark plugs:

Changed all four spark plugs to NGK 6HS

Changed all ignition cables

Recent Events

Temperature has been under or at 90c and not very humid for the past 3 days.

Day 1

Drove the car about 30 miles round trip – ran VERY smoothly, idling still a bit high, but more around 750 than 850 RPM. Did NOT stall at all. Only needed to warm up about 5-6 minutes.

Day 2

Drove the car about 65 miles round trip. Ran very smoothly, starting to have trouble getting it into first due to high idling.

Day 3

Drove about two miles. Heavy traffic. Did not start smoothly – warmed up for 8 minutes. Ran “sluggish”. Began stalling at every stop sign and red light. Would not restart without a LOT of gas peddle action (I was careful not to flood)

OK for those of you still reading this, here’s what I am wondering:

What might be causing the extreme variance between not being able to shift easily into first because of a high idle to not being able to shift into neutral without it stalling?

Why is the wobble shifting from high speeds down to 20-25mph range?

I appreciate anyone and everyone who has taken the time to review this and for any questions they might have and assistance they might be able to offer – this is my ONLY form of transportation!



Still learning... aren't we all?
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Would it be better if I broke these questions down into different sections?
Thanks folks - 
Still learning... aren't we all?
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I' am just coming off similar problems with my 73' Super.  Clean the carb and change the fuel filter.  (Should run perfect) If it happens again after that in a short period of time, it is the gas tank.  I noticed if I would put fuel in slowly after cleaning the carb and changing the fuel filter the car would be fine.  But when I put the gas in on full blast it would churn up the sediment in the tank and plug my carb again.  My symptoms were stalling as soon as you would push the clutch pedal in or be in neutral.  Very hard starting.  I would have to keep giving it gas to keep it going.  Gas tank change out is very easy.  Hope this helps!  Tanks are $199.99 shipped, from Mid America Motor Works. 

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Thanks so much for this tip. I read about sediment in the tank shortly before I changed my first fuel filter. I had all but forgotten about that possible diagnosis! I will get the carb cleaned and then, if necessary, move onto the tank.
Thanks again,
Still learning... aren't we all?
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