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Old 06-29-2010, 09:07 AM
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what problems to look for? VW Beetle

I'v decided, after much thought. that an MG,Triumph or any other British sports car isn't what I need for a summer daily driver, and unless I could find a really nice corvair for really cheap, there not ither..

now I'm 100% looking for an old Beetle in the $2-3k range, so I know what I find will need some love, but should at least be drivable.... what are some problem areas to look for? the 1-800 VW parts junkyard is about 20 miles away, so parts are no problem. but I don't want to buy a painted lemon

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Old 06-29-2010, 09:14 AM
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oil leaks !!

If the engine has been overheated they start to leak. But a bug is easy to work on and parts are plentiful and reasonable. I had two corvair powered glass dune buggies and just traded my old Formula V type single seater for a sand rail. Saint Anthony Dunes are only 45 minutes away ! ! !
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:16 AM
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Yeah Id watch out for overheating
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Old 06-29-2010, 12:41 PM
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so as long as they don't show signs of leaking bad, it should be ok, and not have been overheated?

I'v been pricing out parts to build a 2000+ CC engine
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Old 06-29-2010, 12:57 PM
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This question is a bit into my specialty area, as I am just now transitioning from air-cooled VWs to small block chevys.

You will want to avoid super beetles. They have what is called the "super shimmy" which is caused by the poor design of the macphersion strut suspension up front. They also have curved glass and padded dashes, which don't look as cool.

When it comes to the engine, first check to make sure there are no gaps in the engine tin (make sure you can't see the ground from the engine compartment.) Also make sure the seal between the engine tin and body is 100% intact. If it is equipped with a stock intake and carb let it run and warm up then feel the manifold right below the carb and the preheat tubes to make sure they are hot. If they are cold it means they are clogged, and it is almost impossible to clean all the carbon out of them without replacing the manifold.

The design of a Type I VW engine leads to wear of the bearing journals on the flywheel side. If the clutch feels like it has oil on it, its usually because the main seal isn't doing its job due to wear on the journal. You also need to check for cranshaft play. Grab the pulley with both hands and try to move it back and forth (front of car to back of car) If you can feel any play then the case is either trashed or it has lost a crankshaft shim. Either condition calls for a rebuild.

If it has a single weber progressive installed on it, walk away. These carbs are almost impossible to get a nice tune on with a VW engine. Dual carb setups are preferred, with Kadrons being the easiest to tune and cheapest to work on.

You may also run into single port or dual port setups. Dual port heads produce more hp, and are much nicer for highway driving. Single ports run out of breath at high rpms, but are more torquey.

Underneath the engine you should have a small plate on each side underneath the pushrod tubes. feel the top of it to see if the tubes are leaking. Also inspect the cylinders for missing cooling fins.

As for the body, the areas that are most prone to rust are: the floorpans, underneath the back seat where the battery sits, the bottom of the windshield, and the back corners between the rear winshield and back window.

If you are as picky as I am you can request that the owner let the car sit overnight without being started before you come to see it. With the car cold you can check valve clearances. They should be between .004" and .008" If they are not then you either have a stretching valve or dropping seat, or the owner hasn't properly maintained the vehicle by setting the valves every 3000 miles. In the event that it has been upgraded to chromoly pushrods, they should be set to a loose zero.

If it has a hot cam in it, you may see dual coil valve springs when you take the valve cover off. If you have dual springs make sure the engine has either chromoly valve caps installed or swivel adjusters, or the valve stems will be mushroomed.

That's about all off the top of my head right now, if you have any other specific questions, feel free to ask away.
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Old 06-29-2010, 05:40 PM
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Good luck finding an original floor pan that hasn't rusted through on the passenger side rear under the seat, where the battery sits.

The heaters suck- if rotted out, you'll get more hot engine smell/exhaust than heat.

Pass on "hot rod" VW's. Cammed up too much and it will run like rotted stink until it's on the cam.
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Old 06-29-2010, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt327
The heaters suck- if rotted out, you'll get more hot engine smell/exhaust than heat.
Forgot to mention the heater boxes- cobalt is right, if they have ever been contaminated with oil or gas, you will never get the smell out of them. If it has been upgraded to a full header exhaust, you won't even have heater boxes. Reproduction heater boxes run around $150 apiece, so it could be a $300 job to fix stinky heaters.

Cobalt mentioned staying away from hot rodded bugs, generally a good idea unless they have a receipt from the builder or for the parts they put into it. The VW parts market is flooded with chinese crap that gets passed off as "high-performance." I can't find them off hand, but I've got a side by side picture I took of original German lifters and the "Hi-po" Chinese remakes. The remakes no chamfering on the oiling holes, the holes were smaller, and some were partially clogged.
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Old 06-30-2010, 12:12 AM
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I knew about the pans and the heaters. full well expect that stuff to need some work.. heater really doesn't matter because it will only be driven in the warm climate..

I'll build a high performance engine for it after I get it cleaned up nice
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Old 06-30-2010, 12:43 AM
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i have a 68 bug with a 71 engine and it has been board out to 92 or 94 not shore

what is the hp power on one

and what is the best rebuild manual do so off of
and how much is it to rebuild one

to add some they to help u .look at the front end some have a Cali front end make shore that works win i got mine it was broke i did not no tell 1 year latter when i tried to change it

and check the front if they got in a wrack then the front hood wont open/close and it not that easy to fix( i'm not shore but u will need to cut that out and put anther clip(or what ever u call it ) in )
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Old 07-04-2010, 10:17 PM
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I had Chilton, Clymer, and Idiot manuals, and all were useful. Each one had at least a few bits of info not found in the others. If you limit yourself to one, get the Idiot book. "How To Keep Your Volkswagen Alive--A Manual For The Compleat Idiot" by John Muir. The older versions concern only Beetles & Buses (AKA Type 1 and Type 2, respectively). Newer editions take up space with Type 3 and Type 4 info as well, and I believe they lose a little in the process. Check Ebay, the old ones are out there.

When you're checking for tin, look in front of the fan shroud (in front means toward the front of the car) down below the big air intake hole and be sure there's a mostly horizontal piece that keeps you from seeing the transaxle and the ground. If it's gone, the oil cooler could very well be plugged with road gook and grass, which ain't healthy for the motor.

Clicketyclack mentioned the little tin plates under the space between the cylinders. These are held in by spring tension and often fall out, or are left out by hack mechanics. They are critical to the cooling of the bottoms of the cylinders. Be sure they're there. I wired mine up so they wouldn't fall out again.

I don't know if they still make the telescoping, spring-loaded push rod tubes, but they sure cured the leaky tube seal problem for me.
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Old 07-05-2010, 06:24 AM
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a pretty engine ?

I have a friend that has a shop that specialized in VW 's, He is now doing Electric conversions and VW based Electric Kit cars. I got my last engine from him and He said to stay away from the Chrome engine Tin He said they don't have the proper baffels inside and will cause an engine to overheat. I have an oil cooler and filter Kit still in the boxes to put on my sand rail.
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Old 07-06-2010, 09:06 AM
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well. i'v got a couple to go look at. 1 is 3 hours away ( 1968 ) and very promising, the other ( 1973 ) is a short drive away, but might need too much work... both are regular Beetles, and not Super Beetles.

I stopped and looked at a '73 MGB that popped up for sale on the way to my work, and it's 'probably' drivable. decent interior, fairly sound. price is fair, but the driver side rocker is rusted bad, and it will need a small patch to the right unibody frame rail, along with paint and a top
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Old 07-06-2010, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt167
well. i'v got a couple to go look at. 1 is 3 hours away ( 1968 ) and very promising, the other ( 1973 ) is a short drive away, but might need too much work... both are regular Beetles, and not Super Beetles.

I stopped and looked at a '73 MGB that popped up for sale on the way to my work, and it's 'probably' drivable. decent interior, fairly sound. price is fair, but the driver side rocker is rusted bad, and it will need a small patch to the right unibody frame rail, along with paint and a top

Assuming they are both setup stock, the 73 will be a quite a bit more comfortable to cruise in. It should have a 34 PICT 3 carb and a Bosch 034 distributor. This is the SVDA (single vacuum, dual advance) dizzy that you will see a lot of the VW guys talking about. It eliminates the "flat spot" that you get with mech advance only distributors. It's a great distributor, but if they have changed the carb it will run like garbage. The vacuum can is specifically setup for the vacuum signal from that carb. I have tried to run it with 30 PICT 3 carbs , and you can almost get them running right.
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Old 07-11-2010, 03:11 PM
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Clicketyclack;

I was doing a first-time oil change on a '70 VW that I recently purchased. While removing the oil strainer cover plate, 5 of the 6 cap nuts came off cleanly, but the sixth brought the 6mm stud with it. I figured, "No problem, I'll just screw the stud and cap nut back in to the crankcase when I re-install the cover plate". Nope, not happenin'. The threads in the crankcase that hold the 6mm stud are stripped out. What's the best way to repair this? Helicoil? How do you keep the aluminum shavings out of the crankcase?

Regards,
Grog
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Old 07-12-2010, 02:44 AM
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For those I have always used a touch of JB weld to put them back in. They usually only strip out when they have been over torqued, the torque spec for them is only 5 ft lbs. If you are opposed to the easy fix, timeserts are the other option. As far as keeping shavings out of the case, best/easiest way I've found is to get the car high enough in the air and have a helper hold a shop vac right under where you are working. This approach works a little better with earplugs if you find the noise distracting.

Those shavings are actually a magnesium alloy, not aluminum. Ever see an old bug in the junkyard after it has caught fire? Once that magnesium case catches its like a 200lb road flare. Usually just leaves a black shell with half of the metal around the engine compartment melted away. That being said, the very first thing you want to do with a new bug is make sure that all of your rubber fuel lines are fresh, and that there is not an inline filter installed in the engine compartment. Inline filters are beneficial, but the most common place people like to put them is between the firewall and the carb, which also happens to be right above the coil, and the exhaust manifold. A good Type D extinguisher is also a good investment to carry in these cars.

Last edited by clicketyclack; 07-12-2010 at 02:51 AM.
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