Q: 1978 Beetle advice

asked by on March 31, 2017

1978 VW Beetle, restoring myself. Wont start, there isnt any noise coming from starter. Lights all come on. checked wire voltage from starter and it has voltage. Guessing starter is original. Fuel pump turns on and fuel gets to engine however it leaks gas on right side fender, is it missing a hose somewhere around there? Does the gas pump to the engine then recirculate to fuel tank? Engine seems to be in good shape, belt is good. Before i bought it, i did hear it try to start by pull start on crank pulley, didn't start completely however but gas tank wasn't on then. Also if odometer reads 85,000 miles but only has the 5 slots for numbers could it have 185,000? not sure how to determine that. If i get a new starter for it, it should start on its own? It is manual haven't tried push starting it to see if it will start that way yet but with fuel leak on right side figure i should find out why that is first. I put a new ignition in aswell. Cleaned fuel tank and put new hoses on from tank to fuel pump to fuel filter to engine, not sure where fuel line goes for the right side where it leaks?

My car has 185000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

Hi there. That’s a lot of questions, and we’ll do our best to help you out. First off, the odometer on older VW’s is only 5 digits as you suggested, so it is very possible that it might have 185,000, or 585,000. There is no way to know for sure. In regards to the starting issue, on a manually electrical system like this VW, it is likely that the starter is broken. This happens A LOT on VW’s. I would verify that your ground wire to the starter is solid before you go out an buy a new one. In regards to all other questions, my best advice is to purchase a Chilton VW Beetle repair manual; as it’s full of great info that is rather easy to understand and apply. GOOD LUCK!

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