Hey, now the car is running well and fixed... how about some nice photos of it (inside, outside, etc)?
What do you think, of the power; from the 1.6L, is it decent and good on the highway, etc.? Do you have a automatic or stick? What a great feeling; to finally fix the car, get it on the road and NO SMOKING! Brilliant!
I did 100miles today, even sat in mcdonalds drive thru for 20 mins, not a puff of smoke, no coolant light no nothing, I'll take some pictures tomorrow when its sunny and I'm thinking of making a new thread for the cosmetics. . It have a cosmetic list to fix now it cost me £1450 which is annoying cus if i new it needed the work it would have been worth 400 ish lol. Saved from the scrap yard, chances are another owner would not have payed to get it all fixed in a garage. Its a manual, like most cars over here, the power is good enough, my motorcycle has more horsepower but i diddnt get a beetle to go fast. I've ordered the clips for the rear window.
I'm VERY, glad to hear, you have the 02J 5 speed manual gearbox (!); they are more durable, aside from clutches and throwout bearings wearing out, normally, are good, especially with the 1.6L, you have (low stress compared to a 1.8T or V5 2.3L). You might do a gear oil change; as it probably has the original gear oil still in it!
On the other hand, the automatics are notorious for failure; the oem for VW, is Aisin. Typically, the New Beetle, came with 01M 4 speed and 09G six speed; unfortunately, a good portion of our troubleshooting discussions on this site, are for automatics, failing or having shifting problems, typically a defective valve body, harness, sensor or internal failure issues.
Aside from the typical convertible part top problems; I think your new beetle with a standard transmission and a rebuilt 1.6 L engine; should be a pretty solid and durable spec mark iv volkswagen. Basically, you are driving a Mark IV Golf and so, all of the typical problems, the VW mark IV platform is known for, will apply with the addition of the convertible top.
As to the original purchase price and all of the repairs and money you had to invest in the vehicle; realize that it is very common for these older cars and especially volts wagon's to have a long list of issues. Many, of which are not apparent; until you actually own and drive the car for a while.
From what I have seen, your countrymen; are part out crazy, do not seem keen on keeping or repaired older vehicles and so, a large quantity of good used parts seems available, dirt cheap for you, if needed. UK based Facebook New Beetle groups; are flooded with boot sale "part out" type threads with parts, selling for very low prices.
Yeah the markets are saturated with cheap cars
So why would someone with no mechanical knowledge try and fix one when u can get a newer one. And tools and garage space are expensive and u yanks have more cash than us generally haha.
I love the beetle. I am pretty sure I will own it for many years. (Maybe it will go up in price haha) Considering how easy the car is to work on it suits me perfectly. I'd like to spruce it up and modernise it a bit. Get new wheels etc. Some sewing of the roofline is needed.
I have wild ambitions of installing a turbo myself a few years down the line.
Il set up a business repairing all the smokey 1.6 engines LoL! I know how to do it with my eyes closed now!
As to current "diy" repair culture or lack thereof; in the past, many of us, when we were young, could ONLY afford old worn out, messed up, broken down, in some cases, non running, used cars! Today, these would probably be sent to the junkyard! But you have to work with what yiu have, within your means and so, we got what we could afford. So, we were forced to fix our own cars; as we couldn't afford the cost of having a pro repair shop do the repairs, much less new parts we needed, to replace! It was pretty much a "fix it; ride a bicycle or walk" type scenario, as the saying goes, "necessity is the mother of invention" or in this case, "getting it fixed"!
Ita true. Me being a penniless pretty I learnt to fix things and learnt from others. Slowly building up tool collection over the years.. then it turned into a hobby anyway tomorrow I will make a new thread in the cabriolet folder as my engine isnt an issue anymore