New to me Daytona Migi on a possible 79 beetle chassis

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    Hello all,


    This coming weekend I will be purchasing from my grandpa a Daytona Migi. This car has so many memories of when he was an active Shriner Clown. I was a teen when he got this car. Sadly I know nothing about cars at all. Only what I’ve learned by breakdowns from daily drivers.  He is in the process of locating the title but believes it to be a 79. What I know…

    The side mirrors do not match. 1 is rectangle/square the other is a circle. The odd thing is the housing on the fender appears to match each mirror so I’m baffled and my OCD does not like this at all. There is some rust on the top of the grill. S.O. and I disagree with how to remove. The trunk straps are missing. The passenger side, side windshield is missing. Has a brand new carb. Battery is dead but if still good after charge is a red top battery to support the sound system. At 1 time it had a fire engine horn but unsure if he removed it. I hope it’s still there. It has been garage kept for the 20 plus years he has own it. So paint is in great shape just dusty. Interior has little wear but heavily stained. I plan to have it professionally cleaned in hopes the stains come out.  So good Ole soap and water and wax will certainly polish this gem up. My biggest headache is…I can’t drive standard. 😫  I do plan to learn otherwise S.O will be “driving Ms Daisy”.



    Congratulations on your new acquisition. It’s always a good thing to know the history of the car.

    The little things that are bugging you should be available through either mgmagic or moss motors.

    Good luck with learning to drive stick. It’s a skill well worth having.

    Bill Ascheman
    Fiberfab Ford
    Modified 5.0, 5sp., 4:11
    Autocross & Hillclimb
    "Drive Happy"

    edward ericson


    Hi Tiffany!

    Do yourself a favor and leave the mirrors alone until after you get it running and driving.

    You’ll need new tires, new brake hoses (the soft ones going to the drums), a flush-out of brake fluid, and probably some engine work before it’s purring.

    VW Bugs are easy to drive and basically what everyone learned to drive standard shift on. The TD replica is the same.

    Now, re the mirrors: My guess is you’ll find that the mirrors are mismatched because they work. When you get two little ones it’s not so easy to see what’s behind and alongside you.

    But there are several ways to make the car match side to side and also have the mirrors be usable. We’ll help!



    So she has been brought home. All week with anticipation, I have been thinking of names for the car. Well today, she named herself to “Might Makeit”.  First thing my grandpa was wrong it is a 1973 VW Chassis and 1600CC engine based on all the serial numbers I have found on the car. The gas tank was bone dry, the 2 batteries he had for it had dead cells. So we added mid grade gas as premium was out and a new battery. Got out the starter fluid and with about 10 mins of spraying the carb, it fired up. We drove it around the block and it seemed good enough to make it home which is a 45 min drive. 5 hours later we made it home. The car stumbled, bogged, died during accelerating to 3rd and 4th gear. And became more frequent as it began to stall in 1st and 2nd. every 50-100′ we were having to let the car rest. I know the car has sat for a good time and will be flushing out systems, changing oil, filters, and cleaning the carb. Im trying to remain positive about this car. But I am a bit in the doghouse after today. The car means alot to me and is the only reason I am attempting to learn to fix it and drive it. There isnt any VW mechanics in my town. On the plus side no monoxide is flushing into the cab. The pipes I thought were the exhaust are actually for the air or ventilation. Also I have a really cool train horn!! One question, Does anyone know what the sqaure red button on the dash is for?

    edward ericson


    Tiffany! Glad you made it home. Congratulations! 45 minutes is nothing for these cars once they’re set right but—as you’ve learned!—that’s a long way for one that’s been sitting.

    How long has this car been sitting, by the way?

    My guess (based on what happened to me) is that the gas tank had crud in it, which the new gas stirred up. That’s why it ran good around the block. Then, when you set out on the real voyage, what happened was, the crud settled into the little hole that lets gas go out the bottom of the tank and make its way toward the engine.  The fix is easy and fun: Pull the tank, empty it and clean it, then replace the screen at the bottom and/or the fuel filter.

    Re the red button: all these cars are different from each other, since most of them were built by individuals in their own garages. Go ahead and press the button. It’s almost certainly not an ejector seat trigger. Report back.

    Now go to your local used book store and order from them a copy of “How To Keep Your Volkswagen Alive: A Manual Of Step By Step Procedures For The Compleat Idiot,” By John Muir. This is your Might Makeit Bible.

    Read it front to back. It’s fun and well illustrated. Then DO THE PROCEDURES.

    Depending on how many seasons this car’s been laid up, you’ll be doing most if not all of them.

    You’re going to spend a few hundred smackers getting the car ready to do the next 40 miles. But if you do them, the next 40 (and the 40 after that) will be much more enjoyable. And after that the car won’t be expensive at all to maintain.

    Check the dates on your tires. Replace them if more than 7-8 years old. Nankang 165-80 15s and similar brands go for about $70 each.

    Find your brake fluid reservoir and use a turkey baster to slurp all the fluid out of it you can get, pour fresh DOT 3 in there, then pull the passenger rear wheel, crack open the brake bleeder valve, put a little clear hose on it leading to an empty can and pump the brakes to push the old fluid out. Bleed it until the black fluid stops and the clear fluid starts, then do the driver’s rear, passenger front and driver’s front, in that order. Fill the reservoir with new fluid.

    Inspect the brakes. The book will show you how. Don’t forget to check the soft hoses and replace them too if they’re cracked or brittle.

    Inspect the “rag joint” between the steering box and steering shaft. If you replace it, use a black rubber one, never red (or any color) urethane.

    Change your engine oil. Change the trans oil.

    And so on.

    Do these things before you start looking for why the car stalled as you drove it home. If I’m right about the gas tank you’ll be all set. If I’m not, you’ll at least be working from a good baseline, and we’ll be able to find the trouble easy.





    THANK YOU so much for the book referral! I need pictures with instructions!!! Someone can tell me all day long to change this or that but I dont know what most parts look like HAHA! I feel it may be important to have my children do this with me so they can learn simple engine repairs.

    My grandfather has owned the car for 20 years. He has retired from being a clown for 10 years. Last year it was driven maybe 20 feet and then parked back in the garage.  So I dont really count the 20 feet as being driven.

    At first glance the tires looked really good. Until we added air, there is a little dry rot beginning in one spot on each tire where the tire was on the concrete. I do plan to replace the tires, but after I get everything else done. I will do as you have suggested on system flushes and such. We did also notice a small oil discharge and or leak once the car was parked. It amounted to about 5 drops from yesterday until this morning.

    The red button didnt do anything with the car off. I wonder if it is for the train horn. The horn is not currently hooked up, but there is an air compressor in the floorboard that I was told is needed to operate the horn. The horn is laying in the passenger seat at the moment. I guess when I get in there to rewire the radio (wires are not good and exposed) I will investigate that button. You cant put a red button on a dash and not tell me what it is for. Will a someone die every time I push it?  Does an angel get its wings?? No one in my family who has ever worked on or driven the car knows what the button does. And poor Papa just doesnt remember.

    These repairs will take me a good while as I have limited spare time. However I will update as we go.

    edward ericson


    Re button: My money’s on that big honker. That’s also a real safety feature for these cars, as it’s easy for all the normie drivers in their monster trucks to fail to see us running along side of them.

    Re the tiny five drop oil drip: ignore that. All old VW engines drip a little oil.

    The Muir book will suggest some tools to get you going. You can procure them in stages, and remember: old tools can be even better than new ones, and they’re usually cheaper. A little Craigs List searching might save you some dough, if that’s a factor. There are a couple of very large socket wrenches needed to take the rear wheel hubs apart, and those big nuts are torqued on very tight, so a long piece of pipe is usually advised both to remove and put it back.

    Read the book and, when you get to a procedure you’ll need to do, go to You Tube and ask how it’s done. You’ll almost always find some decent instruction.



    I just got the book today. Ive read page 1 so far. HAHA! Weekdays are typically consumed by my pesky job that tends to get in the way of my hobbies. But hopefully this weekend I can at least get the oil and filter changed, as well as spark plugs and distributer cap. the plugs and cap are 1 thing I actually know how to do and doesnt look much different than an old ford tempo I once had. As far as tools, we have an Oreily’s just down the road and they lend tools I believe. I plan to take advantage of that for anything I dont have access to.

    In regard to the oil, I checked the leak spot today and its such a small amount of oil that it really isn’t a concern. Ive had far worse oil leaks with a car and they were fine until i let a friend borrow it and they failed to add oil.

    As intimidating as all this feels, I am excited! Worse case i completely screw up the engine and will have to replace it HAHA! I guess the only crappy part is I had bought specific soap and Polish for it and stuff to remove the little bit of rust and that is being placed on hold until I have it running good. I jus dont see the point in wasting energy in cleaning it when I will most definitely get it dirty from repair work.

    Al Greig



    VW don’t leak oil, they just mark their spot, sort of like a male dog.




    Well today was the day. I began with the gas tank cleaning. I have read 5 chapters so far of the book which for me is a lot. I did go to the index for instructions on cleaning the gas tank to which he advised to take it somewhere.  So for that task I went to youtube and watch different peoples videos on how to clean it. I know there are different opinions on what products and such to use. I went with white vinegar for the ease of disposal and its non toxic to me and whatever it may spill on to.


    The gas tank is the original VW tank as far as I can tell. So I really wanted to keep it instead of buying a new one. This gas tank was absolutely filthy with rust flaks, crude, and funk on the inside. The outside had a few spots of surface rust. I initially washed it with the remaining diluted dawn soap I had in my kitchen with some nuts and bolts thrown in. Once I did that I think I did 5 to 8 washes with white vinegar. The inside was 98% clean and clear of all rust, grime, and funk. With exception to a few grimmey spots in the upper corners of the tank it was shinny metal again. After the vinegar washes, I rinsed with water until the water ran clear and removed the left over nuts and bolts.

    When helping hand removed the gas lines from the tank, it was discovered a pea size hole in the gas line from the tank to the first fuel pump. So during one of the stages of allowing the vinegar wash to soak I made a trip to Oreily’s, harbor freight,  and ace hardware to get some items I realized I need. I got 6 feet of the rubber fuel line to go ahead and replace all fuel lines. It was observed the main gas line is hard lined in on/through the frame instead of the rubber line. The 6 feet of rubber hose was exactly enough to replace the lines to each fuel filter, fuel pump, and carb.

    During a different vinegar wash I thoroughly cleaned the outside of the tank. Then primmed it with Rust Oleum rust reformer and primer in black. I cleaned the tank housing as best possible with water and dish soap and a plastic bristle brush. I went ahead and sprayed the inside of the tank housing with the same Rust Oleum as it had a few spots of surface rust as well.

    I am fully aware the great possibility of flash rust on the inside of the tank and I just have to live with it at this point. There is just to much time required to wait for the inside to be fully dry to add gas to stove that from happening. I have found mixed reviews of sealing the gas tank and have decided to not seal it. I went ahead and bought extra fuel filters with the expectation of having to replace them again when the flash rust enters the fuel.  I am currently in the waiting stage to put a final coat of paint. I was really hoping to have this done in one day, but at least I only have to paint tomorrow. I decided to paint it silver.

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