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Air-cooled VW engine rebuild time-lapse


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#1 Cheater

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 03:36 PM

I know there a few guys here who will like this video. Since I've done everything you see here multiple times, except for the machine shop operations, it brings back lots of memories. Heck, I did my first VW valve/head job in the second floor kitchenette of my Ga Tech dorm!

 

Anyone wanting to gain a deep understanding of automotive engine design could do a lot worse that studying the compromises and trade-offs that old Ferdinand Porsche made in creating the classic VW flat-four.

 

Didn't have a floor jack when I pulled my first VW engine, so I used the next best thing, if you are a penniless college student: a stack of newspapers!

 

Supposedly this time-lapse was created from more than 30,000 still photos.


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Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap





#2 miko

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 07:03 PM

Vey cool, Greg!

 

Been there, done that, many times at my brother's first shop, Adria Sportscar Service in Huntington Park, CA. back in the late '60s, only we had a floor jack and jack stands!! LOL.


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#3 havlicek

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 08:13 PM

Love watching skill... and this is real skill!


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#4 NSwanberg

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 03:44 AM

What is the best gas mileage a "Bug" was ever EPA listed as getting?


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#5 Benno - SAC

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 04:11 AM

Veeery cool, Greg! Thanks for sharing!

We have two flat fours in our family. My brother owns a Vanagon T2 Westphalia, my father a T3 Westphalia (wich I am using ).

But unfortunately we don't have the time to rebuild complete motors .


Schöne Grüße (Kind regards)

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#6 Cheater

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 04:30 AM

What is the best gas mileage a "Bug" was ever EPA listed as getting?


Nelson, not sure that's worth knowing, as the EPA didn't exist until Dec, 1970.

I'm sure one of the earlier "Bug" models would be the Beetle mileage champ and I think that's what you are looking for. Am I wrong?
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Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#7 The Sawdust Man

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 05:29 AM

I owned two Beetles... but never checked the mileage. All I remember is that they used a whole lot less gas than my either my '66 Ford LTD (390 engine) or my '69 Cougar (351 engine) and handled much better than those two in the snowy Michigan winters. I loved those cars.
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#8 Cheater

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 05:52 AM

First new car I ever owned was a 1971 VW Super Beetle, and while the mileage was good, mid-to-low 20s MPG, what most impressed me the most was the build and paint quality. Far, far better than any American car of the time.


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Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#9 John Streisguth

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 06:47 AM

I still have my "hot rod" motor sitting in my garage, waiting for the day I have a new home for it. Back in 1976, it propelled my Super Beetle 0-60 in 9 seconds, which was about the same time a new Trans-Am could do it in.

Anyone else notice they used a different case than the original? Must have been an "exchange" for a remachined one.
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#10 Grant G.

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 11:03 AM

What is the best gas mileage a "Bug" was ever EPA listed as getting?


I averaged 28mpg around town with a 1600cc dual port like the one shown in this video.

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#11 Dave Crevie

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 02:29 PM

I built a few bug motors in the '60s when you could get all the parts to do it for less than $100 from J.C. Whitney or

Warshawski's. Most of them had additional speed equipment added because they were going into dune buggies. We

drove one to the Indiana dunes and back, with some playing on the beach in between, on 16 gallons of gas. That would 

average out to about 30 mpg. With an engine built with a Weber carb, a cam, and headers. But the car was under 1000

pounds. 



#12 Cheater

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 02:33 PM

Anyone else notice they used a different case than the original? Must have been an "exchange" for a remachined one.


In the comments on YouTube or maybe in the email blast that pointed me to the video, I believe it was mentioned they used a new aluminum case for the rebuild.

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Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#13 John Streisguth

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 04:27 PM

Makes me wonder why they bothered taking out the head studs, which is something you never want to do on those motors unless you plan on machining them for inserts. They probably found the case too beat up to bother with.  I'm aware they now have aftermarket aluminum cases, which would be much stronger than the original magnesium cases.
 
Wow, I just checked the prices for new cases... :shok:
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#14 zipper

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 05:18 PM

I made 34.5 MPG with a 1200 Beetle on German highway in 1975. We were short of money, s, just 50 MPH and all trucks passed us.

Finally at home, gas almost gone and we had 50c money left. First thing was to call somebody to loan some dough to buy gas.
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#15 Cheater

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 05:32 PM

A little surprised no one has asked how to pull a VW motor with just a stack of newspapers. Is the trick that well-known? LOL...

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#16 mike1972chev

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 05:53 PM

I am interested Cheater....  :)   

 

BTW, my uncle held an NHRA record with a Beetle when I was a little kid. It was a red '60s model with I think used 9" slicks (the only thing that made it look non-stock.) He told me when he got tech inspected/chambers CC'd, he had two wing nuts on the top bolts he just knocked loose with a ball peen hammer, the bottom bolts had nuts on them. Sat a jack under the engine and had two large guys just lift the car off of the engine! LOL.    :D

 

I just recently took my dad's 8mm movies of it and had them transferred to DVD and showed them to him two months ago. After seeing them, oh, how the stories of it started coming out again!!  :) 

 

I barely remember riding in the "cubby hole" behind the back seat of that Bug...    :o


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#17 Frankie Schaffier

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 10:45 AM

VW motors are fun, easy to mod, and still pretty cheap to buy parts for. I ran them for years in my Formula V.


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#18 Frankie Schaffier

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 10:47 AM

I owned two Beetles... but never checked the mileage. All I remember is that they used a whole lot less gas than my either my '66 Ford LTD (390 engine) or my '69 Cougar (351 engine) and handled much better than those two in the snowy Michigan winters. I loved those cars.


Another awesome point, they would go anywhere in the Michigan snow. Sometimes you needed a helper to scrape the inside and outside of the windshield on the really cold days. Fun cars...


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#19 Cheater

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 12:43 PM

Michael,

 

Here's what I did to remove the motor without a floor jack.

 

Using the car's toolkit jack, I jacked up first one side of the car and put a brick under one rear wheel, the jacked the other side up so the car sat level at the rear. Then I placed a tall stack of old newspapers under the motor. I let the car down until the motor was resting on the newspapers, then started pulling sections of newspapers out of the stack until the motor wasn't under tension from sitting on the stack.

 

Then I removed the four bolts that hold the motor to the transaxle, the heater box and throttle cables, the wiring to the generator and distributor, and the gas line. The I continued pulling sections of newspaper out the stack and gradually lowered the engine to the ground. I think we might have had to jack the car up a little bit to slide the motor completely out, but it's been almost 45 years since I did this...

Shadetree mechanic'ing at its best!


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Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#20 Dave Crevie

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 02:12 PM

We would wedge 2 x 4s or 2 x 6s under the pan and trans. Once the bolts and shift linkage are out, two guys can lift the rear of the car and push it forward. You have to lift it pretty high to clear the fan shroud. Taking the rear panel off helps some. If you are not on concrete, you have to pull the front bumper or it will dig into the soft ground.

One great thing about Bugs is that they are easy to work on. Even more so when the body is off. One reason they made such great dune buggies.
 
Incidently that video is from Hagerty Insurance, the company that insures all my vehicles other than my everyday driver. As part of the policy, I get a great magazine and monthly e-newsletter, from which that video came. In  particular interest is the Barn Find Hunter series. Tom Cotter finds some really rare and famous cars sitting in barns and fields.
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#21 Cheater

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 06:04 PM

Once the bolts and shift linkage are out...


IIRC no need to mess with the shift linkage if you're just pulling the motor, and not the motor and trans as a unit.

Gregory Wells

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#22 John Streisguth

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 07:42 PM

IIRC no need to mess with the shift linkage if you're just pulling the motor, and not the motor and trans as a unit.


More like the throttle cable.
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#23 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 01:01 AM

It is always a good policy to at least check the head stud lengths when you get an air cooled motor apart. The studs stretched especially if the motor was overheated lugging around town in fourth gear instead of keeping the car in second gear and keeping the fan motor RPM up.

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#24 Dave Crevie

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 02:46 PM

We pulled both the engine and trans because both were going to be rebuilt. After that, we removed the front wheels an set the whole thing down on 4 x 4s. Then we removed the body and stripped the rest of  the pan so it could be shortened. You had to cut 14 inches out of the pan to fit the dune buggy body. At school, two guys handled the engine and driveline, and the other four handled the pan and fitting the body. Then everyone contributed to finishing the car off.

 

By the way, we usually just cut the throttle cable and any wiring. We didn't use any of that when finishing off the car.



#25 John Streisguth

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Posted 04 December 2017 - 03:13 PM

That makes sense then. Nice project! I know original Manx bodies are fetching some good bucks these days.


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