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 Post subject: Idiot book
PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:43 pm 
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I supposedly have a 1950 1969 "How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive" going into the mail to me today. It has a double wire binding, not the single spiral one we all know. I've heard that Eve Muir authorized a reprint of this book and I am trying to find info about differences between the true original idiot book and the reprint. I have't actually found any sources of help on this. How do I know if I have one of that very first printing in December, 1969?


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 Post subject: Re: Idiot book
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 4:09 am 
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Or if not, any ideas of who to ask or possible link to info?

Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Idiot book
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 7:08 am 
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It should have the copyright/publication date right near the front.
Later editions added coverage for more models, IMO they're confusing to read - the early editions are preferable if you have a Bug.


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 Post subject: Re: Idiot book
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 7:24 am 
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Location: Just north of Seattle
Marc kind of beat me to it. My copy is a well used version; a 28th printing of the book done in Aug '83. The original copyright was 1969 followed by 1974, 1975, and 1976 by john Muir and the 1981 copyright was by Eve Muir. This is all covered on the back side of the page of the book which should give you an idea of what you have. I would expect to see only a 1969 copyright only on your original copy.

My copy is well highlighted with a few annotations (it came with a parts car I bought) and like Marc; I too did, and still do, find it confusing. The art work is smart as well is the dialogue but in some places it is too basic and in some places it is... well... I don't know how to explain it.

The book has its place in VW history, next to the XXX for dummies’ series of books. It is an important read for some and I am sure it got a lot of people and cars through crisis’s.


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 Post subject: Re: Idiot book
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 11:19 am 
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Thanks guys. I appreciate that the book is outdated and the info is sometimes questionable. I'm interested purely for nostalgia, a connection to the times and what was happening then. It was my understanding that Eve had authorized what I thought was a reprint of the original "Idiot Book" and I would ask if it looked just like the first one, or what differences to look for.
Its just an emotional thing with me. I want one of those first copies he had done.


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 Post subject: Re: Idiot book
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 7:53 pm 
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I've always found the Muir book a good read and reasonably useful, but some parts of it are inaccurate or poor advice; like his insistence on getting rid of the auto choke (I have never had one burn out or fail in over 40 years), his liking for the 009 distributor which we all know now is very troublesome with the 34PICT/3 carb (which was not around when he started writing), and it's poor economy due to the limited total advance, and even his comments about cleaning up a generator commutator with emery paper (shudder). If the commutator really needs a light cleaning an eraser is a much better idea - far less grit to cause problems later.

But yes, the diagrams are good, it's generally useful and it has good descriptions some lesser known features, like the assembling and regreasing of the CV bearings, and how they work.

And it's a piece of VW bug history.

_________________
Regards
Rob
Rob and Dave's aircooled VW pages
Repairs and Maintenance for the home mechanic
www.vw-resource.com


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 Post subject: Re: Idiot book
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:13 pm 
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19th edition.
Image

It's entertaining reading but not a reference I use anymore.


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 Post subject: Re: Idiot book
PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 9:18 pm 
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Location: Just north of Seattle
Aussiebug, with the eraser bit, you just made my day (a big grin and a “hardy thanks” for the memory). I was an auto mechanic starting in ’59 and going into ’62. I did not work on a VW during the period but did work several times a Renault Dauphine (that car almost ended my boss’s love life but that is another story for another time) and an Austin Devon/Dennon (I forget which is the four door. I have always wanted one since then).

We all know that turning the com on a lathe is the proper way to do things but there are/were short cuts that were and probably still are being used. Chuck the shaft with the com up in a drill motor (I have the com cleaned while still in the housing while changing out the brushes but that gets stuff in there and you have another kind of mess) and using emery board or crocus cloth you cleaned the black from the brushes off the com. You had to be careful and not put any high or low spots or deep scratches on the com; but, even then, erasers were not advised, at least when I was working. I heard of mechanics doing it but they were looked down on and we ended up having to fix a couple of their jobs afterwards.

I was an Aerospace drafter for almost 34 years. I have drawn on vellum, linen, glass cloth, 7 mil and 9 mil Mylar (reg) and metal template mediums and of course I have used CAD. I have used lead pencil, Stabillo (lead and plastic) lead pencils, plastic lead, acid based inks and a keyboard. I have used all kinds of erasers on each of drawing mediums and their “leads” and other then the delete button on CAD and paint on a metal template, no two styles or manufactures of erasers are made from the same materials/chemicals, work the same and many have bad results to them.

As far as a clean, over all erasing job on the most mediums, only the Pentel Click eraser (stick) or the equivalent block eraser seems to work well on most all mediums (except of course CAD) but I would not use it to clean a com either. Not only do I not think it is gritty enough to clean the com but if left by painted object such as a pencil and some plastics for any length of time there will be a chemical action that is causes a softening of the paint or melting of the plastic which is not a good thing.

As I remember, some block erasers’ material can leave a film on the com or the eraser’s material can crumble and fill the breaks between the sections on the com or the material it either too light or too abrasive. The film left by the eraser can burn and make the com so it has to be turned to fix the problem.

I don’t remember how long it has been since I had even thought about this so thanks again for the fun (no disrespect intended) thoughts. Lee


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 Post subject: Re: Idiot book
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 12:42 pm 
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Over the years I've had to re-buy favorite albums, going from LP to reel-to-reel to 8-track to cassete to CD to mp3. In the same manner I've had to re-buy the Muir book. The first I bought in 1971 was the best because it was spiral bound. That's important as it allowed the book to remain open to any page without needing greasy tools or spare parts as weights.

The VW bug was more iconic of the '60 than any other, except perhaps for the Draft Card. The Muir book is just as important, historically. I keep thinking I should write 'The anti-Muir book' where I detail every screwup I'm perpetrated in my bugs over the past 40+ years.

kevin


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 Post subject: Re: Idiot book
PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 2:01 pm 
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Posts: 101
crvc
I'd probably enjoy reading those stories.

back to original topic: I have the usual spiral wire idiot books, one with a plastic binding, and one with a double wire non-spiral binding.
Does anyone have any idea of the history of these different bindings?
Did those very first printing books that Muir self published have a single wire or double wire binding?
Or where did the double wire nonspiral binding come in?

Thanks


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