DaniG
Hi everyone,

I'm new and recently got a  (mid) '71 Standard Beetle for my birthday - and a new engine for Christmas. My husband has done a marvelous job getting all this work done in the past month, but he has one small problem. He can't get the brake lights working. He says to tell you this:

Have installed new light bulbs and new brake light switches. Also checked fuses. Looks like cobbered wiring at switches. No apparent wiring to warning light but there are three wires attached to warning light? 12-fuse fuse box in this car (although 10-fuse box is standard). #1 fuse bracket seems loose. Horn is on #10 fuse and works. Am now beginning to check wires.

Any other suggestions or clues? I'll attach a picture next post if it's okay.

Thanks in advance!

Dani

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bassman
Start with a test light and check power going to the fuse box , also see if the switch on the master cylinder is working as it may be bad.

I would srat there and simply jump it with a wire and see if they come on.

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DaniG
He's replaced the two switches on the master cylinder, and tried jumping but before he replaced the switches - should probably check that again. He says he'll check current to the fuse box as per your suggestion. Will report back. Thank you!
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bassman
these are pretty simple cars and most electrical problems require a bit of time more than anything.

I have a rail so all my electrical is very basic but I have done some work on a few bugs.

I have a book that has helped me ALOT!! 

http://www.amazon.com/Keep-Volkswagen-Alive-Step-Step/dp/1566913101

This was sent to me by the guy at the shop I was always calling, it has a page that shows the complete wiring for the bug.

I can scan that page if you like.
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DaniG
Thanks, we have it and all the ones except the Bentley manual (which I guess we'll spring for next). The author was something else and the illustrator was really wild! Hubbs was reading that in bed at night and I can't believe he didn't have psychedelic nightmares. LOL. Between that book and the other books my husband has been buried in for the past two months, he could probably write a new one pointing out the differences/discrepancies between them. It's an adventure!
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bassman
any update on the lights?
I have been working alot on my rail and was wondering if you got them working .

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DaniG
Yes! But my hubbs wrote the response and I have to edit it down a few pages. LOL. I'll do it today. Suffice it to say for now that he got the brake lights working and in the process discovered another problem - the front brakes don't work. One thing leads to 13 others, right? Be back right after breakfast with more details!
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DaniG
Hubbs says:

We have brake lights! Mucho gracias to the advisory board.

(Now I'm going to condense the explanation and cut to the chase. Let me know if I should report the whole process.) After hubbs did a lot of tracking based on input from different sources, he decided the brake light switches were not wired right. I quote:

Found wires from warning light and traced to connector. Push-on connector had fallen off and wires were on wrong prongs. Added lost wire and connector... no brake lights... switched wires around on front brake switch and voila! We have lights.

Part 2 (maybe should be in another thread?): Got ready to bleed the brake system, noticed no bleeder valve on front left wheel. Checked right front wheel and attempted to loosen bleeder valve (pre-treated with liquid wrench) and broke it off.

Wonder if the warning light was disabled because the front brake system is kaput?

Really pertinent question: If we just bleed the rear brakes, will we have adequate brakes to drive the car until we can re-do the front system?

Thanks all!
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olspeed
Don't drive your car with out front brakes!!! The front brakes provide at least 70 to 75% of the stopping power of your brake system and in any kind of wet or cold(slick) weather that percentage just goes up. At around $15.00 each it is not worth risking your life or the lives of others on the road.
Check this site mid-america motor works:
http://www.mamotorworks.com/acvw?frame=1.6592
Also I see that you have the John Muir VW book... First I will admit that I do also have one it has a spot in the front of my Ghia close to my small bubblepack package that states "VW rebuild kit... fits most models" and has a rubberband in it. Anyway the point I am trying to make is that the Muir book is funny and all but any book that tells you to use a pipe wrench and a cheater bar to remove the rear axle nuts is one that you want to stay away from if you are serious about working on your VW. The Bentley official VW manual for your car is the ONLY way to go as it will tell you(or hubby) just how VW wanted the work to be done. And all special tools that are listed are also pictured so it is easy to figure out just what in your tool box will work to replace anything that VW made a special tool for... this works good for everything except transmission work the tools used there truly are special items that no one but a VW transmission specialist would have.
Olspeed
Click image for larger version - Name: 100_0159_(2).jpg, Views: 186, Size: 482.39 KB
66 Ghia 76 std Beetle
It's not a car it's a VolksWagon
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DaniG
Yes, Muir does sound like he was on drugs sometimes, doesn't he? We have the Haynes, the Muir book, one that deal strictly with rebuilding the engine (don't remember the name right off), and have access to the Bentley at the library. Mike thought the Bentley was just too much much-ness for the engine rebuild, but it would probably be a good manual to have for tweaking everything else under the sun.

Okay, so we'll work on those front brakes before driving. Thanks. He'll be thrilled spitless I'm sure.

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DaniG
PS We've bought a lot from MA Motorworks and inevitably something is wrong in the order. Or the person on the phone tells us the wrong thing. Usually "no you don't need that" and then it's "oh yes we do." I notice they're hiring.
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DaniG
I just found the Bentley manual at Better World Books for $25. Cool.
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DaniG
We ordered new stuff for the brakes, only to discover that we apparently have Super Beetle brakes. In this interesting project, it appears we have the body of a '71 standard, the VIN putting it in the July period when models changed, so we're not sure if what we're dealing with comes from the factory, or a restoration by a prior owner. Hubbs now is looking at things a bit differently and seeing that a lot of stuff we have looks more Super than Standard. Huh. Well the new engine block is definitely standard. But the brakes won't be on Tuesday. It's all so darn-near interesting.
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olspeed
Just because it's a flat window doesn't make it a standard Beetle... does the spare tire lay down flat(super) or does it stand up in the nose(standard). There should be strut towers made into the body sheet metal for a super this would almost(not completely but almost) be impossible to put into a standard body without a complete remake of the front end of the body itself. What it sounds like you have is a first year "1971 Super Beetle" in my opinion this was the best year they were made. On the engines, supers vs standard Bugs they were the same... my "76" standard Beetle came with the same engine that would have been put in a 76 super.
For parts I suggested motorworks because... at least for me, I have never had any problems with them, but there are a lot more vendors with good reputations out there ...CIP1 is good also Airhead parts is another. And for your engine rebuild please please have your Hubby visit this site for their tech info at least if not the parts.
   http://www.geneberg.com/
Bar none these folks know what they are talking about... Gene Berg was a racer in the sixties that would pull his dragster to the race track with his street Bug then pull the engine from that Bug and put it in the dragster and race! Most of the time he won. Then he would put it back in his street Bug and go home... As I said these folks know what they talk about.
Olspeed 
66 Ghia 76 std Beetle
It's not a car it's a VolksWagon
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DaniG
Spare lays flat and McPherson struts. And two electrical leads from the fuel sender unit, which I guess is another distinguishing feature? Thanks for the other tips - I am checking them all and bookmarking! Tomorrow we bleed the brakes, and hopefully the new fuel pump and float will be here from Mamo tomorrow. Then we shall see - fingers crossed!
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