ALL GHIA FAQ's
1. Were cigarette lighters factory, or a dealer option?
DEALER! They were not a factory standard except on Watercooled VWs. The only exception was that they were factory standard on Vanagons. None were ever standard on other Air Cooled Volkswagens. Radios were the same way.
2. What do you recommend to secure my new center console?
Sheet-Metal Screws - Attach them thru the plastic and into the carpet (this is what the VW dealer did with theirs). To effectively "hard mount" the console, drill holes into the tunnel to attach longer Sheet Metal Screws. However, VW owners have an aversion to drilling any holes in their vehicles. The only other alternative is Velcro strips with double-stick tape adhered to the tunnel carpet.
3. What should I use to adhere my new engine tarboard? Those little tab thingies are shot, are they necessary anyway?
Volkswagen never used an adhesive. But there is no reason that a high-temp silicone adhesive couldn't be used, it's just really messy to deal with, especially if the tarboard has to be removed later. So yes, the tab thingies are necessary. If they're missing, fabricate and weld new ones on. If you're too lazy or mechanically challenged, then use adhesive.
4. I just bought the metal brake line kit, how much tweaking/bending will I need to do to get these things installed?
Depends on the particular line involved. Go to your neighborhood auto parts store or Harbor Freight and purchase a quality made tube bender. In a pinch (like the middle of nowhere), a chain link fence pole is perfect for bending brake lines.
5. I just bought your RPSQ dash pad and the pins don't all line up with the holes in my dash. What do I do?
The existing holes must be elongated or if too far away from the existing hole, new one(s) must be drilled.
6. Is the German heater channel worth the extra dough?
Depends on a number of factors - extent of current damage/corrosion/deterioration, how much $$$ is in your wallet, what you are willing to pay, how correct of a restoration is desired, how much work you're willing to put into the car, etc.....You can't beat OEM GR Heater Channels - they're the real deal and the best bang for the buck.
7. I want to have just one key that'll open both doors and start the car. Can I do this?
One word: LOCKSMITH. More Words: Be prepared to spend some $$$ to have a Locksmith re-key the ignition switch to the doors. Note that I said the switch TO the doors. On 56-66 models with the SG pattern, this will be pretty easy for the Locksmith EXCEPT if the 61-66 owner has a replacement ignition switch (especially those being made in China & India, it will be most likely one with a key profile that doesn't match any VW profile at all). Lock cylinders from ORIGINAL keyed switches can be extracted and installed, but it takes special tools and a LOT of patience. For 68 and later vehicles, the profile wafers in the ignition lock cylinders are sealed and cannot be changed out - this is why the door handles (which the cylinder wafers can be changed out) are matched to the ignition lock cylinder. The one caveat is that replacement ignition lock cylinders coming out of Brazil and Mexico use the 80s & 90s key profiles and you cannot match the door cylinders to these UNLESS you buy replacement door handles and HOPE that the key profile(s) being used in these match the ignition lock cylinder. Yes, VW a VERY long time ago used to sell a matched set of handles with an ignition lock cylinder to solve all of this. But like the Dodo Bird, they're extinct.
8. I just bought new retractable belts...how do I install these on my '69?
The brackets that come with the kits mount in the same mounting point holes as the non-retractable belt mounting ends. An instruction sheet is usually included with the retractable belt kits.
9. Was original glass on the Ghia always clear? You guys seem to have tinted glass available..how tinted is it?
Yes, original glass was clear. The tint on replacement tinted glass is 7% DOT Standard.
10. My front hood cable snapped, how the heck do I pop the hood?
11. Looks like you guys have a German front hood seal. Is it really worth 50 bucks?
Original Front Hood Seals are molded with the original bumps, depressions and cuts. This costs substantially more to produce than the straight extruded reproduction seal. It's up to you how original you wanna be!
12. My body guy put in a new battery tray for me. How do I attach this new battery clamp I got from you guys?
Depends on the model year. 68-71 models: A hole must be drilled in the tray and an 8mm nut welded on the underneath as a captive nut. Then use an 8x45mm bolt with a lockwasher thru the bracket, thru the hole to the captive nut to secure the bracket. 72-74 models: Take the bar clamp and bolt each end to each bracket provided - use 6x25mm bolts with appropriate flat and lockwashers. Set your battery in the appropriate spot on the tray. Take the bar clamp w/brackets and place it on the battery base as if it was to be secured - the end brackets should be sitting "flush" on the new tray. Take a felt marker and mark where each bracket is at. Remove the bar clamp assembly and battery from the tray. Set the bar clamp w/brackets back on the tray where they were marked and weld them in place. Remove the bar clamp, set the battery in place and bolt the bar clamp back into place.
13. I want to put your repro 69-74 fuel tank in my 68...what all do I need to do this?
Order the following parts for this conversion: 201-129 69 71 x1, 201-139 69 71 x1, 201-215 68½74 x2, 201-219 x1
14. Can I install an earlier steering wheel on my 72-74 Ghia?
You must use the entire steering column assembly (including the shaft) from a 1971, then mount the earlier steering wheel assembly. The steering lock mechanism is the same (up to early 74, vin 144 2353 464), so you can still use the same ignition switch electrical part. Some minor wiring modifications will be needed for your turn signal circuits and the color codes are the same. In addition, you will need to install a 68-71 dash mounted wiper switch as the 71 variety does not use the 72-later wiper stalk on the column. NOTE: On 74 models from vin 144 2353 465, the steering lock mechanism is not the same and as you will be using the 71-Early 74 style, so you must use the ignition switch from a 72-Early 74 with wiring modifications and/or harness plug.
15. My gas gauge always says empty. How do I know if it is the gauge or the sender that's shot?
It's usually the sender, as the "wiper" action inside the sender wears out over time, thus reducing or cancelling the signal to the gauge. Senders must be checked with an Ohmmeter to determine if there are gaps in the signal. Gauges very rarely go bad. To check a gauge, momentarily ground the signal wire coming from the gauge to see needle movement. If it moves or "pegs" to full, then the gauge is OK.
16. Were Ghias like Bugs in that the model remained basically the same through it's production?
Yes, The body remained virtually unchanged except for updates much like the Beetle. (Larger signal lights, bigger motor). In fact over the 20 years the Ghia was produced, it changed less than Beetles of the same vintage.
17. What were the major changes through the years?
Visually the most obvious changes are as follows:
1958 lost the bug "Ribbed spoked" steering wheel and got its own unique steering wheel assembly with an odd shaped horn button that traveled half way up the off set (from the center hub) spokes. In the USA (but not the rest of the world) bows (tubes) were added to the bumpers.
1960 saw the most major change of all product. The headlights were raised, air intakes in the nose were enlarged and tail lights were enlarged from two bulb square shaped to three bulb pointed ovals. Quarter windows went from fixed to pop-out. Steering wheel assembly is again shared with the bug.
1967 introduced four lug wheels with flat hub caps, front disc brakes, twin bumper mounted reverse lights, woodgrain dash with small clock and fuel gauge both orbiting the speedo (previously clock and speedo were the same size with a small fuel gauge in-between.
1968 added a fuel filler flap on the right side fender. Front seats got taller and narrowed to form built in headrests.
1970 enlarged front turn signals from "Bullet" style to wrap around, tail lights went from a little over 6" tall to about 9" and were flat instead of domed with a intregated reverse light.
1972 was the final "modernization" of the Ghia. 13" tall tail lights, beetle style heavy (squarish) single piece bumpers, dash face and door tops now covered in black plastic. Two big deep gauges with fuel gauge moved into the bottom of the enlarged clock.