More so than with maintenance, a dry and warm place of work is very desirable for mechanical repair because the work is much more involved and therefore time-consuming, and your own comfort has to be a priority. In addition, you will be dissembling components which will be susceptible to rusting if left for any length of time in a damp workshop.
IS LO star ris -o aThe ideal premises will be fitted with a bench and have lots of dry storage, yet still leave ample room for you to work on the car. One metre clearance all around the car is really an absolute minimum, and a clearance of two metres is preferable. eaof .e ersie a ica I an
sYour basic maintenance tool set will be found wanting for many mechanical repair tasks. Not only will the number of different tools that you need grow with the range of repairs you undertake, but some of the tools will have to be fairly heavy-duty if they are to survive the rigours of mechanical repair. In addition to a normal socket set it pays to obtain a set of deep sockets (preferably hexagonal), perhaps a speed brace and extension bars if your current set does not have these, and a torque wrench is vital.
Many of the fasteners (screws, nuts and bolts) which you will have to remove will prove to be seized almost solid and are best dealt with by using an impact wrench which will come with a set of screwdriver bit heads but which should have a detachable V, in. square drive adaptor which allows you to use it with hexagonal impact sockets when necessary (if you have a large enough air compressor, then an air impact wrench is obviously better). The Beetle, in common with most cars, has a small number of large and usually stubborn nuts ranging up to 42 mm in size, and the author always prefers to buy hexagonal rather than twelve-point sockets in larger sizes, because these are far less likely to 'round' the nut or burst in use.
Still with heavy-duty tools, a set of general-purpose pullers (2 and 3 legged) will be necessary, along with a ball joint splitter, a coil spring compressor (McPherson strut cars only) and perhaps a nut splitter.
A number of less heavy tools are also needed, including internal and external circlip pliers, a vernier calliper, Allen keys, an inspection lamp, electrical crimping tool and a selection of electrical connectors.
Depending on the extent of work which you wish to carry out, you may also require a number of highly specialised tools which are specific to the Beetle or perhaps even to a particular model or year. These tools are not all essential but they can make life very much easier when working on the engine, drive train and suspension. In the UK, VW Tools of West Yorkshire (address at the back of this book) feature most of these specialised tools in their mail order catalogue.
As ever, buy the very best tools which you can afford, because poor quality tools will cost you more in the long run. This does not mean that you should blow half of your budget on a set of top-end spanners and not have enough money left to buy a decent socket set! If your budget is limited, then ensure that you get all of the basic tools mentioned above, and borrow or hire more specialised tools as and when necessary.