Driving from Afghanistan to Ireland with 69VW Beetle


Asked by Mar 25, 2011 at 08:14 AM about the 1969 Volkswagen Beetle

Question type: Car Customization

I am new to this forum and admittedly not mechanical. I am trying to learn as I am looking to drive from Afghanistan to Ireland (or as far as possible) with an old bug. The car is more or less original and apart from some cheezy photographs, unmolested. It needs some fixing up and it'll need some new parts. Looking for some suggestions on sensible modifications such as different carburetor? electric fuel pump? Ignition? etc. Any ideas?

6 Answers


Unless you're looking for performance upgrades there's no reason you'd need any parts beyond what needs to be repaired or changed. I would recommend changing your spark plugs, ignition wires, water pump, timing belts or chains, and accessory belts and keep spares handy. I would personally stick with the mechanical fuel pump, since they are much easier to replace on the road in event of a failure, especially with a full gas tank. Also, if it hasn't been done already, swap the compact or "donut" spare for one or two full-size wheels and tires. Make sure to change your oil and filter and bring enough oil and filters to do 1 or 2 changes on the road since that trip will probably be considerably more than 3,000 miles. Any other questions?


Thanks! All sounds logical. I have, however, heard that the carburetors fitted to the VWs can be problematic in hot climates and this associated with the mechanical fuel pumps can result in vapour lock and poor starting. Is there a more modern/reliable carburetor available as a replacement? I had planned to re-fit the original once back in Ireland. Thanks again!


I don't see that vapor lock would be much of a problem in a multi-cylinder engine, I've only heard of it being a real problem in single-cylinder engines on lawnmowers and such. Anyway, I'm not an expert on Beetles, so I wouldn't know about the reliability of the standard carburetor. I think that EMPI makes aftermarket carbs for it.


the carb problems you state are myths. the reasons for vapor lock on the older vw's is due to the fuel lines being routed next to the hot exhaust( heater box) or laying against the intake manifold end castings. if your gonna drive this thing that kind of distance, keep it stock as possible. make SURE you have ALL then engine tin in place. oil change, points set, valves adjusted, timing set correctly. i would take an extra set of points (or two) a condensor, spark plugs and wires, some fuel line (just in case!) a throttle cable and clutch cable, a couple zip ties (if you ever changed a clutch cable you know why!) typical tools (screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches, sockets, the usual)

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i would leave the water pump and timing chain or belt alone LOL

hay drive it their,only thing you should take with you for parts is a flat head screw driver and several sets of points.

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