The Bug

(2001 - 2010)

I bought this 1970 VW Beetle when I transfered to CalPoly. I did not know a thing about cars. Let me tell you, nine years later, I certainly know my way around an air-cooled, dual carburated, internal combustion engine. I ended up replacing nearly every component in this vehicle: the floor pans, engine, heads, full suspension, wiring harness, converting a four wheel disk brakes, exhaust, windows and window rubber, seats, etc..

Most of the work, including one engine replacement, was performed in the driveways of the various homes I lived in throughout those years. One of my best friends (since the third grade) is a Mercedes mechanic and once I moved back into the area we started doing some major overhauls in his shop - with an actual lift!

I did have an electricity revelation while completing the final connections on a completely new wiring harness installation. I had been having mysterious electrical issues and finally decided to rip out all of the wires and install a completely new harness(before making an annual trip to the desert), in the rain as it turned out. As I was making the final connection to the battery I finally understood that the entire car would suddenly be at the same 12V potential. I finally got a feeling for what it meant for the electric pressure to equilibrate across the system. This personal revelation combined with the work I was simultaneously doing in the ME230 controls class truly sparked my drive to study electronics and controls.

I eventually had to put the car down. It tried to kill me (steering box went out catastrophically on the freeway) for a second time. I finally decided my daily driver should have air bags and good mileage. So I sold the bug to my good friend Ben (since junior high). Some day we'll turn it into a baja bug.

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