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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

I'm new to the forum, although I've been reading here for several months trying to figure out why my 73 super beetle convertible isn't running right. I've read a lot about the 34 carb and the 009 distributor combination, and I took pictures of mine to ask you all if you can tell me which carb and distributor I have. If I have the 34 carb and 009 distributor, what are my steps to get it running right?

Here's the symptoms of my bug.

  • It was running fine, then one day in spring of this year, it started shooting black smoke out the exhaust. Parked it in the garage, started it once a week for the last 6 months.
  • Took it out over the summer for 5 minutes (outside temperature about 100 degrees), had lots of white smoke and oil burning smell. Parked. Oil had fountained out of the filler neck into the engine bay. Bubbled paint right under the rear deck lid. Presumed overheating.
  • Haven't dared to take it out again. Started running it once a week in the garage with the garage open.
  • Each time we start it up, it will run for a minute, then when warming up will die. Sometimes, it will continue idling indefinitely, but the second you tap the gas after warming up, it makes a loud sound (kind of like choking or screeching), and dies.
  • One time a month ago, just took it around the block in the neighborhood. It has serious difficulty accelerating past 5mph, chokes and stutters a ton. Then, once it chokes itself to 15mph, it accelerates fine, albeit very slowly.

Haven't been able to figure out how to get it running right. Please help! Thank you for your advice.


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
As for your issues, tell me a story about all those burnt wires. You have numerous wires with melted shielding. Hot oil does not do that, that is usually evidence of shorted electrical.
That would explain the smell and smoke that didn't smell like burning oil. And that is good to know. I'm not experienced with wiring or electrical, so my best bet is probably to go to a vw mechanic on that.

I've attached links to two videos of my bug, the longer video is after the 5 minute run which resulted in tons of smoke and burning oil (and possibly burning wires). Also, on that trip, I couldn't get the bug above 35mph, no matter how much gas I gave it. It had no power.
The shorter video is after running it around the neighborhood. Also smoke, probably burning wires?

And, could you give more information on what jetting out is? I'm presuming to clean the jets, or to get bigger jets? Just want to clarify because of my lack of experience.

Thank you for your reply and advice! It is greatly appreciated.

Here is the shorter video (burning oil presumed burning wires)

Here is the longer video (burning oil and presumed burning wires):
This one is a few minutes long and will take a few hours to process on Youtube after posting this.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
By jetting out, I was referring to larger jets but I dont think that is your problem.
They may be gunked up, especially if the cars sits without running for extended periods of time.
Ethanol in the fuel is horrible, especially long term. Probably needs cleaned but again, I dont think the carb is your problem.

It is not running properly on all 4 cylinders. It almost acts like the timing is 180 degrees out or two cylinders aren't firing.
Really hard to tell from the video. This one is going to require more diagnosis than I can give to you over the internet.
Recommend you find someone that knows aircooled vw engines.

And better have someone chase your wiring harness for a grounded lead.
I would look at the reverse light lead coming off the coil first.
Again, you will want someone that knows aircooled vw's. The circuits aren't the same as a ford/chevy or anything else for that matter.

BTW, full oil capacity is less than 3 quarts on that engine. Check the dipstick with a cold engine.
Anything more than that and it will puke out that breather filter you have there.
I haven't put new gas in it in probably over a year. So that would make sense that it's old gas that's gunking up the carb.
This is above my knowledge and experience so I'll definitely take it to an aircooled vw shop, there's a few in the Phoenix metro I've heard good things about.

Thank you @cannonfoddertfc! I really appreciate your wisdom on this matter.
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