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Beginning | Engine | Electrics | Underbody | Following Year | Second MOT - Brake Pipes | Third MOT | Brake Pipes | Stereo | Passing Time | Upper Body | Fuel Pipe | Suspension | Air Cooled | Snow | Wales | Commuting

Fuel Pipe

After having some work done on the car for an MOT, namely a plate fitted behind the fuel tank because the MOT man was complaining of the rust up there, I suffered a breakdown when I was in town one day, of course it had to happen at the busiest part of town where everyone could see, which was most embarrassing. I could start the car up, drive a few hundred yards, then it would die on me and refuse to start again right away. Eventually I had to call the breakdown service, which luckily for me I had chosen as one of my insurance options; I'd never needed it until this point, and I've never needed it since.

Broken Suspension Once back home we could look into the problem - I started by examining the fuel system (we'd already eliminated things like the condensor and electrics at the road side). I discovered that the fuel pump rod was shorter than the specifications in the workshop manual, and I firmly suspected this was the fault; I went along to my local VW specialist garage (who had done the work for me recently) and asked them for advice, they said it was very unlikely to be the cause but didn't offer any alternative, I bought a fuel pump and rod from them anyway but this didn't fix the problem. In the picture below you can see where the rod pushes up and activates the fuel pump (in between the two bolts, the fuel pump is removed):

Beetle Engine Bay

After much investigation and scratching of heads later we discovered where the problem lay - it was the main fuel pipe from the fuel tank that had been nipped against the body work. When they had done the work on the panel behind the fuel tank they had re-routed the fuel pipe, and in doing so had made it quite tricky to put the fuel tank back in without nipping the fuel pipe. Eventually we managed to get the tank back in OK so that the fuel system was clear. I can only assume that it was a tiny piece of dirt that had blocked up the already small opening in the semi-squashed fuel pipe that had caused the car to stall, or maybe going over a bump in the road, who knows?

It was while the car was parked up that my father suggested we work on the brakes too, which is when the suspension collapsed and the car was effectively taken off the road, so I never did discover if the fuel system was really working properly.