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Someone tell me what I just bought…

Who built it?

Apparently it spent some time in Japan, was brought to Houston and has been sitting about 7 years. It’s sitting on a 66 Beetle pan according to the Japaneese documents. Any idea who the builder was? What pics would you need to tell and are there hidden data plates anywhere typically?

I’m stoked to get this car back on the road. I’ve been a huge fan for years.2695F1F4-523C-4B9C-943B-7C8D1F74D6676250BBDD-A451-4E30-BEF5-3FC111C3FAD9

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Last edited by GreasySideUp
Original Post

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VS has some unique features to look for:

For awhile it was a curly cue red wire off top of alternator.

Also the faux torsion bar cap -

And the chrome strip across the dash and the ~9" round air hole with hardwire cloth covering behind engine intake fan.

I think it is a VS - but maybe a roller finished in Japan since the dash covering doesn't end with VS signature, the interior is a nice custom one with the different color piping,  and the engine compartment isn't properly sealed to prevent exhaust gases from being reused.

Doesn't appear to have a hood handle badge - VS made one but most went with Porsche crest.

Unfortunately many vendors don't use ID plates - IM did - placed in passenger door frame, CMC/FF had a gold plate supplied but it was builder decision to apply or chuck it, SE Beck too has a plate (but they are not built on a VW pan).

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Last edited by WOLFGANG

The grill is definitely not cast, so it's not a slam dunk on what it is.  The engine compartment and body still look like a Fiberfab or CMC, but the interior and engine grill could be almost anything.  Look closely on the engine lid hinges for a molded on "INTERMECCANICA".  They did the very first cars as pan-based kits before selling the tooling to Fiberfab and taking their own product upmarket.

Thanks for the replies. Keep them coming.

She will run on starter fluid but chokes on gas. The drums are grabbing. This is my parts list. All input is welcome.


New EMPI dual carbs

Electronic Ignition

New coil, Plugs, Wires

Elec Fuel Pump/block off plate

4 wheel Disc conversion

Any other must haves while I’m doing this?

I’m looking at JBugs for parts.

Your carbs are probably gunked up. Do you have an ultrasonic cleaner? Simple Green and water heated and run through a few cycles of ultrasonic will make them brand new inside and out. Get rebuild kits.

The carbs most probably don't need to be replaced.

Remove the tank, flush it and the hard line through the chassis. Replace filter and ALL rubber lines with new ethanol-resistant hoses. You'll be good. I like electric pumps too, as long as they are rotary(not Facet!). Get a self-regulated pump, but those carbs look like Solex, which REQUIRES only 1.5 psi. An auxilliary adjustable regulator is a must with Solex/Kadron carbs.

Those tins that are missing can be made up pretty easily from aluminum or steel sheet. There are even patterns available from guys on here for a VERY small fee.

Good luck, looking forward to watching your rebuild.

What's your name @GreasySideUp ?

To add, after draining and flushing and replacing the lines hoses and setting tank back in, use a larger fuel filter just out of the tank and a second quality fuel filter where the hard steel line exits the left fame horn, then change out those two filters after 50 miles or so , by doing this you should end up with cleaner filters be ok... at least that's the way I would approach it.

With older projects, first go through the entire fuel system, follow that up with checking the lighting, wipers etc . All wiring, fuses, gauges switches & clean the electrical connections as needed. Adjust the valves, change the oil, air filter etc.  Check out the condition of the tires, wheel lugs, wheel bearings, all suspension,          Look closely at the rag joint and steering crush cage if you have one, also the entire brake system and  & E' Brake ........

Last edited by Alan Merklin

Yeah, so about that...

Internet advice is often worth about what you pay for it. Not everybody offering it is even reading the posts very carefully. You can pick who you want to listen to, but eventually you'll need to make the determination what you want to do pretty much on your own.

Once upon a time, I made the mistake of choosing a builder based on the "common consensus" of this site. It was the single most disappointing purchase of my life, and I made it on the recommendation of people here who had no idea what they were talking about, but who surely liked to talk.

I'm not saying nobody is worth listening to, but at the end of the day - it's your car. You are the warranty. You do you.

Last edited by Stan Galat

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It's usually a better bet to ask, "What am I about to buy?"

But, the deal is done, so carry on.

Alan's plan is a good one, but will require knowing your way around these cars. With all respect, from some of your questions, it sounds like you may not. Or, at least, not yet.

But, your location is on your side. Close to a major metro area, there should be plenty of grizzled, air-cooled VW mechanics nearby who can quickly look the car over, decide what most needs doing for reasons of safety and drivability, and what can wait. The best route to finding a reliable mechanic is to seek out local VW clubs, go to a meeting or two, and ask. VW folk are usually enthusiastic about our cars (more so than Porsche folk). If your car's not yet drivable, bring with lots of photos to show them.

We are more than willing to help, but for diagnosing problems (and for spotting serious safety issues), there's no substitute for seeing your car in the fiberglass.

And, keep in mind what Stan said about the value of advice you find for free on the internet. Which applies to everything except what I'm typing here.

.

Last edited by Sacto Mitch

Jokes aside, getting the car sorted shouldn’t be an issue. It has really good bones and no rust. I’m a terrible mechanic but I’ve got phenomenal resources in the car guys and full time mechanics I have as neighbors.  I’m really good at turning bolts to the left. They help me get out of trouble The main reason for the post was to figure out what it is/who made it. It was suggested to ask the experts here and I can’t thank you guys enough. I’m pretty sure it’s a VS, I’m starting to compare the finer pictures from builds I can find. Ultimately, I’ll need to go to some Porsche events and park next to the various manufacturers up close to really compare details.

With that, my 10 year old daughter and I are working on a 73 Super Beetle for her first car.  My first was a Super Beetle that I completely tore apart in shop class. It’s been a few years though and I’ve spent the last 20 years screwing with and rebuilding old motorcycles.  I had a bad accident last year with my daughter in a sidecar.  She came out unscathed but I’ve got some life changing injuries.  I’m not going to ride anymore, hence the foray back into old cars.  

My issue is this…. I’ve always wanted one of these cars.  It really is a bucket list car for me and I need to be careful about going overboard.  The body is really nice.  It’s full of scratches but no accidents or dings.  I was really hoping I could get it running for free to see what I had and how they handle.  I’ve never driven one. Unfortunately, it’s going to take a few bucks.  

How many $$ is the debate.  I think this car would be phenomenal with a 100-120hp motor and a little suspension upgrade…. My O‘Riley guy builds them….

So for now, do I throw the EMPI’s on to get it going without knowing if the motor is going to last for a week to see if I ultimately want a bigger motor? Spring for the Webbers? Get a bigger motor immediately and put this money towards that? Monkey with drums that have been sitting for so long or go ahead and spring for the disc brakes for just a  fraction more….

I just traded a disc brake Austin Healey for 1967 Chevy C10 longbed with no power of any sort. The truck is awesome but holy smokes you have to plan to stop it.  For this car, I absolutely want it to stop on a dime. How fast this car goes may be a question for a year down the road.  

So bare with me.  I’ll probably tag the progress in this thread.  I’m stoked there is a community like this.  It’s going to be fun bouncing ideas off you guys.  I’ll toss this grenade to start — what’s the ideal motor size for these cars

(I’m sure there is endless debate on this forum!)

Cheers fellas!  Thanks for all the advice!

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Do I go with this👇👇 off the bat?  For sale right up the street…

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Last edited by GreasySideUp
@Arden posted:

I say go for the motor if it’s in your budget! What size is it?

That one is a 1641 for $3800 and it is 10 minutes away. I think I’d probably want bigger…. My O’Riley guy says 5k-8k would buy a screamer. I’ve been out of VW for so long, I’m just now getting smart again. It looks like a few of the guys on this board build some amazing motors too.

My lean right now is to just get it going and hope the motor is strong, finish the beetle project and then come back to this one for some serious upgrades. That way I’ll have something fun going while we work on the Beetle.

Did the VS cars come with rebuilt motors?  If that’s the case, this engine may have extremely low miles.

@WOLFGANG Aren't GSU's engine tin gaps too wide for the Vanagon foam gasketing alone? I'm thinking he needs to get closer with some aluminum sheet and THEN the gasketing. @GreasySideUp one of the confirmations of my VS build was the engine size written on the hidden side of the engine shroud. My engine was apparently a different era from the curly red alternator wire, but my body does have the pretend torsion bar caps.

What's your tolerance for delay of gratification? I'm looking forward to your log of the coming transformation in any case, but when are you aiming to drive it? Another way of asking the question is: How much is coming off the car before anything goes back on?

The engine question is really a Schroedinger's Cat thing. You can't find out what size and quality of build it is without tearing it down so far that you are committed to at least a top-end rebuild. And if you don't know what size the engine is, you don't know what carbs to get to test it, in case you want it bigger.

I don't think I saw what your oil cooler situation is. One of the tells of the bigger engines (from responsible builders) is that they skip over the doghouse cooler and go right for the external cooler.

Do you know what you want to do with the car? I just wanted a reliable 4wheeled motorcycle to drive on dry roads and never on an interstate. That means that I would have been satisfied with an engine smaller than the 1915cc that came with mine. By my reading of this site, though, it looks like the mean engine size is getting up toward 2110.

Wishing you all the pleasures of the madness we share.

Did someone mention to look on the backside of the cooling shroud - often the engine size will be marked there in white marker. Believe VS offered Mexican motors for entry stuff.  Look to see if engine case has a serial # under where the Alternator is mounted.  If no stamped number that it could be a new block - you can check the sump area for Made in MX or Made in Brazil. 

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VS built cars over a very long period and made a lot of changes along the way. I bought mine new in 2013 and know a little about that period, but others here know a lot more.

There are some details on your car that could be VS, but others seem not to be. It's important to remember that for a long time VS sold roller builds that were finished in countless backyards by home builders. And they also sold a lot of parts (especially finishing parts like door cards, carpeting, seats, and upholstery kits) to folks building cars from all manner of sources.

I'm wondering, at this point, if it's at all useful to know the car's precise origins. FYI, the only thing anywhere on my car that says 'VS' is the crest on the frunk handle.

VS also used motors from a lot of sources over the years - some good, some not so good - so knowing if a motor was original to the car wouldn't really tell you too much about what's inside. My engine definitely contained some, uh ... 'recycled' bits.

Over the years, debating what the perfect engine is may have consumed more screen space here than any six other topics combined, so the floodgates are probably about to open again. But some of us think the best overall bang-for-buck sweet-spot power is a mild-tune 2110 cc stroker.

Which used to be easily had for around $6-7K, but that was before the recent troubles. My take is that the quality of the build - how it is screwed together and by whom - is more important than the size. And, as long as you're paying for quality parts and the time of a skillful builder, going a little bigger doesn't cost all that much more. Until you get to about 2110cc, though. Past that point, Type 1 motors get a bit stressed and nervous, so the expense of reliability starts to rise faster than realized gain.

And I will stop there.

Cry "Horsepower", and let slip the dogs of war.

.

Last edited by Sacto Mitch

^ all of what @Sacto Mitch said. Every last word of it.

The least relevant bit of information is who splashed the body. In addition to all of the things mentioned above, there's the fact that Vintage ALSO did finish work on some guys' unfinished kits (of various manufacture). If it is titled and registered as a VW, who's "kit" (a term to rankle and rouse the rabble) ranks somewhere between "I wonder why they call it 'football'?" and "what if consciousness is an illusion?" in terms of relevance... but weighted pretty heavily towards the oblong ball.

The most important piece of the puzzle, who built the engine (and with what) is an open question with anything of unknown province. I've heard folks say that a car with such an engine should be fairly appraised as if it had no engine at all. That seems a touch excessive, but not by far.

Of late, there are cars with such engines selling for north of $35K on many venues. In that light, a 1641 for $3800 and purchased from a guy you can track down if anything goes sideways seems like a fair price of entry, at least to me. At that price, it'll be 99% stock inside - but there are still questions to ask: are the heads a matched set, or did one come from here, and another from there? Same deal with lifters: new or repurposed? At a minimum, the rings, bearings, lifters, and valve-springs should be new. If they aren't, walk away briskly. The VW hobby is populated by vendors who are thieves and/or charlatans, and more so out on our little branch of it.

If a new engine can't be trusted more than the old one, what have you really gained?

It'll take some time to learn who you can trust, and who you should run from. It may take a little bit - I've only been in it for 21 years, so I'm still learning. I'd say, "only trust yourself", but there are a thousand little things about these cars that will make trusting even yourself a fool's errand. They're riddles, wrapped in mysteries, inside enigmas. A light touch is a good thing, and every last part should be measured with a machinist's precision. The Sainted German Engineers were (evil) geniuses. I would assume you'll learn to admire and hate them, as any thinking person eventually will.

Thanks for posting pictures of your project(s) and of your shop. If you've got a home paint-booth, I'm going to assume you understand that in 2021 nothing comes cheaply or easily if it has wheels and an ICE. These cars certainly don't.

... and welcome to the madness.

Last edited by Stan Galat
@WOLFGANG posted:

Did someone mention to look on the backside of the cooling shroud - often the engine size will be marked there in white marker. Believe VS offered Mexican motors for entry stuff.  Look to see if engine case has a serial # under where the Alternator is mounted.  If no stamped number that it could be a new block - you can check the sump area for Made in MX or Made in Brazil.

It looks like an AH code on the motor just under the generator stand.
American made from 1973-74

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All that really means is that it was a re-cycled (or perhaps stock) case.  Some on here might have a number stamped on their case that has been built up into something else entirely.

Many of us have newer AS-41 engine cases that have no number stamped on them at all - that space is blank - but as Stan and others mention (and you already know) you can't really tell what displacement your engine is without tearing it down and if you're going that far you might as well have a known good engine builder do it and then build it back up (if possible - older cases tend to be warped out of true) into what you think you want.

I would google VW Aircooled clubs in you area and go to their events, ask around for who the good builders are that they recommend and start there.  You'll probably get a better build schedule than with the nationally know builders who seem to be backlogged for months and months right now.

And I'm with others on here about where your car came from or was built by.  Just get it sorted and straight and as reliable as you can and enjoy it for what it is - a custom build that you've sorted and improved into something to be proud of and drive it.

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

Aren't GSU's engine tin gaps too wide for the Vanagon foam gasketing alone? I'm thinking he needs to get closer with some aluminum sheet and THEN the gasketing.

Yes you will still need side "tins".  My CMC came with 1/8" fiberglass pieces that could be shaped as needed.  The H gasket is ideal for 1/2-3/4" gap.  One manf used wood grain imprinted siding for the tins, others galvanized duct work metal.  I'd much prefer machine tooled polished aluminum.

See the source image

Last edited by WOLFGANG

Here we go….

I’m never going to financially recover from this….

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They were out of the Webber’s with no timeline. This will be an easy install and should be good for a year at least until I figure out which way to go with a big motor.

I’ll put new joints and rubber in the front end while it is apart. I’m sure it could use shocks as well but I’ll get those later. They also had the ability to lower it but I think this ride height looks pretty good. Any big advantage to dropping it an inch?

@aircooled Those firewall pics are awesome!

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Here we go….

I’m never going to financially recover from this….

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They were out of the Webber’s with no timeline. This will be an easy install and should be good for a year at least until I figure out which way to go with a big motor.

I’ll put new joints and rubber in the front end while it is apart. I’m sure it could use shocks as well but I’ll get those later. They also had the ability to lower it but I think this ride height looks pretty good. Any big advantage to dropping it an inch?

@aircooled Those firewall pics are awesome!

I have a set of 5 Wide discs I’ll sell you for half that + shipping. They’re 7/8” offset if that works for you. (I didn’t for me.) And about 5lbs per side lighter than those IIRC.

Last edited by dlearl476

Congrats on your newfound madness, @GreasySideUp.

Get the car running and driving in the manner Alan Merklin suggested. Leave the drum brakes in back, tune up the engine, change the gas and clean the tank, carbs, etc.

Your upgrades and the order in which they're done should be determined by the seat of your pants after you get rolling.

Typically a set of caster shims is called for, and either a front and rear sway bar or a front bar and rear camber compensator (for swing axle cars). And front disc brakes.

You'll also want good tires. There are a couple threads on this site re tires. Use the search function.

Sweet engine for these is a CB Performance 2110cc with a pair of 40 or 44mm Webers. That's 150 horses at 6000 RPM. Not a cheap solution but a good builder who uses (as far as is possible) good parts is worth what he or she charges.

Same maker with a 1915cc gets you 125 HP and that'll move you along smartly as well for a little less money.

If I were building one today I'd do like @DannyP and install a crank-fire ignition and fuel injection. He's got all the drivability and dependability of a modern Subaru engine but lighter and properly air cooled.

But all that's for later. First, just get it on the road and see if you like driving the sidecar with no bike attached.

@dlearl476 posted:

I have a set of 5 Wide discs I’ll sell you for half that + shipping. They’re 7/8” offset if that works for you. (I didn’t for me.) And about 5lbs per side lighter than those IIRC.

Is that the entire kit or just the discs?  This is for a 66. I’m pretty confident the pan is based off of that now. I have no idea if a 7/8” would work — baptism by fire here. I’m learning as quickly as I can!!

@WOLFGANG posted:

Avoid that Empi v-i-b-rator fuel pump - it's same as old Facet ones.  (Or install a second for when it fails). Go with a quality rotary pump for only $20 more.

You might also compare prices at CIP1 - always stuff on sale.

Which pump do you recommend?  Preferably from JBugs and I can swap them out.

It is always the “it’s only 20$ more” that kills me.  Those $20’s add up!!😂😂🤣🥲😢😶

Carter rotary self-regulated is my recommendation. IF you have Webers, that's fine as that pump puts out 3 to 3.5 psi. Like I said before, if you use Solex carbs 1.5 psi is the limit(and you'll need an adjustable regulator and pressure gauge to set it).

4.0 psi is too much for any of the float valves in the carbs we use.

Dave is selling his brakes because there is no easy way to narrow a beam in a Spyder, it's welded to the frame. Worse case scenario, but a 2" narrowed beam bolts to your pan and the brakes will fit under the fenders just fine. You will need to shorten the tie-rods an inch each though.

Adding my two penneth here, since I did similar to you a year ago.
1. You will find your wants/desires will change as you gain more knowledge and understanding of the car. Mine certainly did, as you’ll see from my thread. So don’t be in such a rush to join the 2.3l top fuel super speed merchants - until you know that’s what you really want.

2. As numerous more knowledgeable people than I have said above, get the fuel and electrics sorted first and get it running to see what it drives like before committing to anything more expensive. It’s cheap to do and helps you get a feel for how the car has been put together and maintained over the years. My engine was a mildly tuned 1904 and it was more than enough for the car to accelerate me into the danger zone (paging Kenny Loggins!) and for my driving needs (cruising and some fun country back lanes at speeds that seem fast enough in a 50yr old car but tame in a 2000’s hot hatch).

3. Again, don’t bother upgrading distributors etc until you’ve got the existing one working. The old dizzy can be fixed cheaply and will often be fine (or even better than cheaply made new ones).

4. Caster shims are mentioned above by Ed, but check first, you may already have them. They’re to help compensate any lowering/ steering changes and make it track straighter. I found my car already had one set in. That was enough for me but others prefer two - again, drive it first and see how it feels.

5. Steering - once you get the steering box adjusted correctly (and you will know the difference between bad and good, trust me!) and the tracking adjusted by someone who knows what they’re doing with a Beetle suspension (i.e someone generally over 40!) you can better understand the foibles of the cars handling - it’s typically very light on the front. But once you get that sorted, the reassurance of having a car that is reliable and goes where you tell it to massively increases the enjoyment factor of everyday driving.

All the best and keep us posted on progress - it’s always good to get refurb project blogs on here. There are a lot of us who will follow your exploits and help whenever it’s required.

Cheers from the UK

Martin

p.s. just don’t ask about the most suitable oil or tyre unless you have a day or two spare ;-)

Oh, and you’ll also find that EVERY replica you try (should you be fortunate enough to be able to try more than your own) handles differently, because each car has been built to suit each owner, and has its own unique characteristics. You have to make your car handle how you like it. For example, tire height & width, and wheel width & offset all affect the steering and road holding. If you add disc brakes, you will widen the track and the steering will be affected, if only minutely. So always understand, when reading any advice from here, how that info would apply to your particular car.

And if there are any urethane bushes on your car, I personally would recommend swapping them out for OEM rubber, especially the steering coupling (or steering rag as others call it).

Finally, if you drop the engine out for any reason at all, then replace the clutch (and lube the clutch cable). Simple to do, low cost and then it’s done for pretty much the rest of the car’s life. To me that is money well spent.

HTH

Is that the entire kit or just the discs?  This is for a 66. I’m pretty confident the pan is based off of that now. I have no idea if a 7/8” would work — baptism by fire here. I’m learning as quickly as I can!!

@dlearl476 posted:

The whole kit minus the custom SS brake lines I had made for my Spyder.

https://www.cbperformance.com/product-p/4201.htm

I realized last night your need to get new bearings, too. They changed in 66 (?) and mine are the later bearings.

Last edited by dlearl476
@DannyP posted:

Carter rotary self-regulated is my recommendation. IF you have Webers, that's fine as that pump puts out 3 to 3.5 psi. Like I said before, if you use Solex carbs 1.5 psi is the limit(and you'll need an adjustable regulator and pressure gauge to set it).

4.0 psi is too much for any of the float valves in the carbs we use.

Dave is selling his brakes because there is no easy way to narrow a beam in a Spyder, it's welded to the frame. Worse case scenario, but a 2" narrowed beam bolts to your pan and the brakes will fit under the fenders just fine. You will need to shorten the tie-rods an inch each though.

Looks like Carter had quite a few models. Anyone in particular for the VW?

I used P60504, but it appears it is not available anywhere at the moment. It is self-regulated to 3 to 3.5 psi, which is spot-on for Webers or Dellortos.

The P90091 says 2-4 psi, and is readily available. BUT if you have Solexes/Kadrons, you'll really need a regulator to cut it down to 1.5 psi so the float valves don't get overwhelmed.

I found the pump at Summit, Amazon, Jeg's, Rockauto...take your pick.

@DannyP posted:

I used P60504, but it appears it is not available anywhere at the moment. It is self-regulated to 3 to 3.5 psi, which is spot-on for Webers or Dellortos.

The P90091 says 2-4 psi, and is readily available. BUT if you have Solexes/Kadrons, you'll really need a regulator to cut it down to 1.5 psi so the float valves don't get overwhelmed.

I found the pump at Summit, Amazon, Jeg's, Rockauto...take your pick.

The Carter is on the way. I’m expecting big things!

My JBugs stuff hasn’t shipped yet…. Grrrrr.

The Carter is on the way. I’m expecting big things!

My JBugs stuff hasn’t shipped yet…. Grrrrr.

You can expect all you want. That doesn't mean all is good if you replace a part. You cannot trust ANYTHING new. When you get your "new" carbs, take them completely apart and clean them. They will be filthy inside, as all new carbs are. Don't skip this step. If you do, you'll have problems.

The only parts I've ever bolted straight on are made by JayCee. No cleaning, no modifying, just use them. Every other part has required futzing with.

EMPI 34 EPC are copies of Weber ICT carbs. I have no knowledge of their quality or lack thereof. As I said before, you probably don't need to replace them. If they're actual Weber ICTs, save and rebuild them.

I've ordered a LOT of parts this year. With few exceptions, if it comes from California, be prepared to wait. They are certainly not in a hurry out there.

I'll give you one example: I called and checked stock on the phone on a Monday at Scat. I assumed the item would ship Tuesday or worst case Wednesday. It didn't ship until Friday, and arrived the following Wednesday. It's a one-week minimum from Cali, usually ten days to two weeks unfortunately.

And Scat is not the worst offender out there. They are simply not in a hurry. So when you order from California, you need to also have a lot of patience.

CB, Jbugs, Latest Rage, etc... all do the same.

CB has order delays ESPECIALLY on custom stuff that needs machine shop time: balancing, head flycutting, CNC port matching. Cams, heads, cranks, all take extra time.

If you are in the middle of a project, and need another part, just order and walk away for two weeks and do something else. Hopefully your project is sitting somewhere that it isn't in the way.

Last edited by DannyP

My rocker shafts and associated parts came in the usual 2-3 days, but they’re off the shelf parts. I ordered them the same day I ordered my drums from JBugs.

Kind of surprised me because they have a big Covid delay banner on their website. I’m with you on the “order and wait” part. I ordered some hardware from Belmetric in NH and it took 5 days. I wished I’d have remembered to order it when I ordered the shafts.

Last edited by dlearl476

Well, the wait just saved me a ton of money. My buddy Matt came over this morning and we started with the very basics and threw out the assumptions that this thing was running when it was parked.

It helps immensely when the distributer cap is on the correct way and the plugs are firing in the correct order….



She fired right up.


It looks like I can’t attach a video here…  bummer.  She sounds great!

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Well, the wait just saved me a ton of money. My buddy Matt came over this morning and we started with the very basics and threw out the assumptions that this thing was running when it was parked.

It helps immensely when the distributer cap is on the correct way and the plugs are firing in the correct order….



She fired right up.


It looks like I can’t attach a video here…  bummer.  She sounds great!

0ED61748-5F8A-4D1F-94E5-B444F950AA8C

You have to post your videos to Vimeo or Youtube then embed them here or post a link.

She runs… but she is rough. We got the brakes freed up and bled, tightened a few loose ends like the gas tank and went for a spin.

At idle, she is great. Starts right up. Driving though, lots of popping and lugging and she is a dog.

I pulled one plug and she’s pretty sooty. I’m going to pull all the plugs tomorrow and see what I have. I think a carb rebuild is back on the plate as well.


I found a Holley fuel pump under there that works but is not hooked up.  Right now she is running off the mechanical pump.  Strange.

The drums are in great shape and the internals look great as well.  I’ll need to contemplate the disc conversion.

The CV boot was leaking on the lift.  I hear that is common but they are completely brittle so I have 2 more on the way.

What a fun little car though!  She handles great at 30!  

I also spent more than a few minutes talking to some engine builders today…. Uh oh….

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Well you will need to go through all systems before it can be a go, for highway driving.  But that needs to be done on any car that has sat that long any way.  Plus the madness will get to you, that means you will have to upgrade it bit by bit. It happened to most of us, scratch that, all of us.  We filled our invoices in the hidden file, or the circular file to hide it from he who must be obeyed.  )

IMHO and my experiences,  once you have it running to the point to be able to diagnose the engine, trans and short drive it a bit, I would tear it down and redo most of the mechanicals and electricals for a winter project and piece of mind as well as your safety. There's really no short cuts as they turn into financial issues, headaches and major frustrations and a "I told you so" from the kitchen area...

Last edited by Alan Merklin

IMHO and my experiences,  once you have it running to the point to be able to diagnose the engine, trans and short drive it a bit, I would tear it down and redo most of the mechanicals and electricals for a winter project and piece of mind as well as your safety. There's really no short cuts as they turn into financial issues, headaches and major frustrations and a "I told you so" from the kitchen area...

Oh, the electrical is a mess….  We can’t figure out why it runs because nothing else works!



I’ve got backlighting on the gauges and tail lights but that is it. No power to the gauges otherwise, headlights, blinkers or tail lights. The mystery continues….

I’ve also got a very loose tie rod end on order. It looks like some of the car started to be sorted but then they gave up. There are a bunch of very new parts but a bunch of loose old ones too….

Stick with it. You'll get it sorted.

One thing that fails on these cars all the time is grounds. Often, if you find your ground straps, remove, sand them and bolt them back in with a star washer all your lights and accessories will magically start working even despite the wiring looking like an osprey's nest.

Then you add a few more grounds (tail lights, etc.) and can rave on.

@edsnova posted:

Stick with it. You'll get it sorted.

One thing that fails on these cars all the time is grounds. Often, if you find your ground straps, remove, sand them and bolt them back in with a star washer all your lights and accessories will magically start working even despite the wiring looking like an osprey's nest.

Then you add a few more grounds (tail lights, etc.) and can rave on.

^^^ What Ed said ^^^

And if you are feeling a bit of future prevention coming on, wipe the connections with dielectric grease before you tighten them. If you are planning a conversion to EFI, grounding becomes even more important because the engine sensors usually reference their signals to ground. In the best case, you end up having all of your engine, dash and power grounds coming in to one point on the engine (star configuration).

Your ECU/EFI signal grounds all get routed separately back to one connection to the ECU. Cable shielding grounds also connect to this ECU signal ground but are left open on the sensor end.  It's not complicated when you get the principles, but you end up pulling a lot of ground wires.

Good luck!

This looks like a great adventure. If you're going for a big engine my opinion is that the optimal displacement size is a 2007 (90.5 mm bore with 78 mm stroke). That combo keeps the most meat on the block for reliability, both on the bores and less clearancing inside for the stroker crank. Something tells me you will be a lifer on this like many of us here are. Congratulations, good luck and we'll be following your build.

We added a modern fuse box today. The headlights now work and I’ve got power to the tach. The RPM’s don’t work and I don’t have front turn signals yet.  I’ve got the red lights in the VDO gauge and the turn green arrow signal operating in the RPM gauge but the needle is dead. I’m assuming it runs back to the coil but I haven’t chased any wires yet.

In the headlight bowls there are small bulbs coming from the bottom. I also have orange beehives underneath. Are the beehives running lights and the bulbs the turn signals? I think the bulbs are clear…

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Last edited by GreasySideUp

The disc brakes came in today. I’ve got carb rebuild kits, electronic ignition, coil, and shift bushings on the way. I got the front seatbelts installed, I want to install one for the rear as well for the rare time my daughter will be back there.

I’ll do a search but had anyone reading this found a good way to mount a shoulder harness?   Brand, size and location would be great.

I’ll do a search but had anyone reading this found a good way to mount a shoulder harness?   Brand, size and location would be great.

You're making great progress! Here's what I did for shoulder harnesses. The key goal is to get the harness support at shoulder height so the belt doesn't damage your neck/shoulder in an accident.

I bought belt assemblies from Greg at Vintage Motorcars and welded up supports that extended from the wheel well area into the space behind the top of the package tray (a small rectangular hole was cut in the top of the wheel well fiberglass).

Welded to the top of the bracket is a flat rectangle of steel curved to follow the shape of the fiberglass at shoulder height at the top of the package tray area. The belt support is attached through the fiberglass and into the curved rectangle.

The belt reels are attached on the front of the package tray behind the seats.

Pictures and more details here:

https://www.speedsterowners.co...4#590585064152345514

The specs sound great, 9.1:1 is a tiny bit low on the compression, but that sounds like a great motor especially at that price. There are a lot of good parts in there.

It's definitely a street motor. It appears to be full-flowed. I wouldn't use those crimped hoses for oil, I'd use AN8 instead. I'd have an external filter, an oil thermostat and external cooler. And those stainless steel breather lines look small. You want at least 1/2" ID.

I don't personally get the magneto, no need for that on the street.

If the deck height is 0.040", the compression should be 9.6:1. I'd re-shim the cylinders to give 0.040" deck. I just built a 2276 with 9.6:1 and 58cc chambers, deck height is 0.045".

Last edited by DannyP
@DannyP posted:

The specs sound great, 9.1:1 is a tiny bit low on the compression, but that sounds like a great motor especially at that price. There are a lot of good parts in there.

It's definitely a street motor. It appears to be full-flowed. I wouldn't use those crimped hoses for oil, I'd use AN8 instead. I'd have an external filter, an oil thermostat and external cooler. And those stainless steel breather lines look small. You want at least 1/2" ID.

I don't personally get the magneto, no need for that on the street.

If the deck height is 0.040", the compression should be 9.6:1. I'd re-shim the cylinders to give 0.040" deck. I just built a 2276 with 9.6:1 and 58cc chambers, deck height is 0.045".

It’s a stock magnesium case bored out. Is that going to last with that hp?  What kind of numbers would this thing make?

I'd say a minimum 150 hp, without knowing heads(I don't feel like looking them up). It's probably more like 160-180.

Lose the magneto and the tall stacks. Put shorter stacks and real air filters on it.

I have a 2165cc, AS41 mag case with 78 crank and 94mm barrels. It produces 180hp. I did a top-end rebuild at 45,000 miles. Oil pressure is great and bottom end is good.

The most important thing is that the bottom end is BALANCED to prevent wear. Also, minimize time above 6000rpm. I'd bet the crank is counter-weighted so that lessens wear also.

Last edited by DannyP
@DannyP posted:

I'd say a minimum 150 hp, without knowing heads(I don't feel like looking them up). It's probably more like 160-180.

Lose the magneto and the tall stacks. Put shorter stacks and real air filters on it.

I have a 2165cc, AS41 mag case with 78 crank and 94mm barrels. It produces 180hp. I did a top-end rebuild at 45,000 miles. Oil pressure is great and bottom end is good.

The most important thing is that the bottom end is BALANCED to prevent wear. Also, minimize time above 6000rpm. I'd bet the crank is counter-weighted so that lessens wear also.

Thanks Danny.

With that much hp do I need to worry about tearing everything else apart?  Can the current drive train handle it?

I would ask around before you trash-can that Vertex Magneto.  Those things were state-of-the-art before the Bosch 009 came along and were really well made.  They also put out a helluva lot of voltage, like 60,000+ volts!  I say check the shaft for side play and if it's tight, run it.  I ran a Kong magneto on my '46 flathead V8 and it was one potent ignition system.  Vertex had about the same reputation, but ask on the Samba what people think of them before you decide.

I would ask around before you trash-can that Vertex Magneto.  Those things were state-of-the-art before the Bosch 009 came along and were really well made.  They also put out a helluva lot of voltage, like 60,000+ volts!  I say check the shaft for side play and if it's tight, run it.  I ran a Kong magneto on my '46 flathead V8 and it was one potent ignition system.  Vertex had about the same reputation, but ask on the Samba what people think of them before you decide.

I didn't say to throw it in the trash. Who else runs one on the street? Name one guy.

Greasy isn't running a drag race as far as I know. A stock or built transmission has NOTHING done to first and second. Third and fourth yes, plus other internal mods. But first and second are usually bone-stock. It's the 4.12 ring and pinion(torque multiplication) and sticky tires that breaks stuff with hard launches. With a 3.88 or 3.44 final, they can take some abuse.

Last edited by DannyP

So my debate is this.

The bottom end came from an unknown shop around Abilene and the top end was finished and tuned locally. That was 2 years ago and then the project never materialized. I can’t verify the reputation of the original builder. The tuner/top end has a great reputation. It will be right around 4K plus a muffler.

It looks like a similar 2110/2275 will be around 5500-6k with an aluminum block, without carbs or muffler from a great local builder. It’s about a 3k risk for a bit of an unknown vs a local shop with a warranty and some support. I’m torn. If that motor works great, I’d obviously love to save the money….. If it is junk, I’d be out the 4K plus a new 5500$ motor…..

I’m going to sleep on it.

She got new plugs and wires this afternoon. There were moments on the test drive of pure glory. She cleaned up and had a ton of power for a second or two here and there…. It was glorious.  Mostly though she was a wet dog completely bogged down.

I think I’m at a stop without rebuilding the carbs. I’ve got an electronic ignition on the way as well if the carbs don’t clean her up.

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...She got new plugs and wires this afternoon. There were moments on the test drive of pure glory. She cleaned up and had a ton of power for a second or two here and there…. It was glorious....

...I think I’m at a stop without rebuilding the carbs. I’ve got an electronic ignition on the way as well if the carbs don’t clean her up...



A few random thoughts.

Totally mucked up carbs generally will not produce a ton of power for a second or two. But inconsistent spark will.

If you've already got a new dizzy on the way, I think I'd wait to swap that out before doing anything with the carbs. You can learn more futzing with one variable at a time than by changing everything at once. And a new dizzy will be easier futzing than rebuilding carbs.

You probably WILL need to rebuild the carbs (and should do so anyway, just on general principle), but let there be some method to the madness.

Just what you needed, right? More free advice.

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Last edited by Sacto Mitch
@Sacto Mitch posted:

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A few random thoughts.

Totally mucked up carbs generally will not produce a ton of power for a second or two. But inconsistent spark will.

If you've already got a new dizzy on the way, I think I'd wait to swap that out before doing anything with the carbs. You can learn more futzing with one variable at a time than by changing everything at once. And a new dizzy will be easier futzing than rebuilding carbs.

You probably WILL need to rebuild the carbs (and should do so anyway, just on general principle), but let there be some method to the madness.

Just what you needed, right? More free advice.

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To play devil’s advocate for a minute. The guys at F.A.S.T. told me to get my car running PERFECTLY before I installed my electronic ignition. Thinking that if that was done, any “issues” that cropped up could be  directly blamed in the ignition, I guess. .

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If a motor is running pretty well and you're upgrading one component, it makes sense to check out everything else before making the change.

But if a motor is barely running and everything is suspect, it's easier to dial in the electrics first. Most of that can be dialed in pretty well even if the engine is still running poorly.

The religious texts on carb tuning state clearly in their preambles (the part before they start ambling) that thou shalt setteth the spark and see the spark that it is good.

I should caution you, though, that everything I know about religion I got from YouTube videos.

.

I was told not to launch mine till I got a modified  transmission first gear would shear off if I didn’t. What they told me was to get a hardened 1st gear. It might be because my tires are 10 inches wide too..soo I have never launched it hard just to be on the SAFE side!  You my be Right @DannyP I’m by no means a expert on transmissions or really anything else that’s why I Rely on you guys

If you have an early (3.80) 1st gear mainshaft and 10" tires I'd be careful too. The later 3.78(1973 and up) gears are much stronger, as are most of the custom Weddle mainshafts and idler gears. In case you didn't know, first and second are a permanent part of the mainshaft, and must be chosen together.

@Arden Do you know your exact gearing and rear tire diameter? I'd like to know what you have.

It's funny, I just received a book today from US Book Depot(owned by Amazon).

Tim Marshall(Casting Timmy from thesamba.com): T1 IRS Rebuild Manual. $60 for a paperback, but there is a lot of specific info that someone like me who builds a few transmissions can use. The best thing? It's all in one place.

He's certainly a smart guy. He's also helpful, he sent me a couple destroyed gears so I could make my own tools. Thanks, Tim.

You need the numbers from whoever built it.

Unless it's stock and not rebuilt. Then you'd need the two letter code on the passenger side lower portion of the gear carrier(not the case or the nosecone). Something like AH, AT, DC etc. There are charts online what is in there.

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/fo...do++have&start=0

Honestly though, these things are around 50 years old or so. There is NO way you can know what's in there unless you have an invoice from a transmission shop OR you bought it new BITD.

Last edited by DannyP

Now you got in deep territory. Transaxles, ratios, etc are the main areas of expertise for a few members here. They have it all down to a science. In my personal case I have a basic freeway flyer and there’s a marked spread between 3rd and 4th. The good thing about the freeway flyers is that they give you the choice to use your car on the freeway at less extreme rpms depending on the ratios and combos. They are still high on some; in my case my car does 60 mph at 3,000 rpms and that’s with stock 165 SR 15 tires.

If you want to launch a type 1 trans, you need either a later 3.78 main shaft, or better yet a Weddle main shaft.  Along with this a 4 spider differential.

Freeway flyer is just a made up name for a transmission that has a taller 4th gear.  Transform, long out of business, made up that name back in the 1980’s to up sell people a .82 4th gear.  

Keep in mind, the lower the ring and pinion number, for ex, 3.88, the stronger the gear, for a given type of tooth design.  Type 1 r&p have been available in 3.44, 3.88, 4.12, 4.37, and 4.86 over the years. 3.44 and 4.86 are aftermarket only, whereas the others have been available in both factory and aftermarket.

Assimilation is complete. And down the slippery slope to the rabbit hole we go!

I use a Sachs HD clutch, the Kennedy clutches aren't what they used to be. I'm not drag racing, the Sachs will hold 225 hp with ease, plus be light on your leg.

@LI-Rick Thanks for that reply, I was busy earlier. Right-on on all counts!

@Impala If you're doing 3k at 60, you DON'T have a "freeway flier". That's a 4.12 with stock 0.89 4th, or a 3.88 with a 0.93 4th.

You probably have a 4.12 with stock gears(3.78(3.80) , 2.06, 1.26, 0.89), basically all stock. I find the 3-4 drop a bit large also, but that's with my 3.44 final.

I always thought the original "freeway flier" was stock gears and a 3.88 R&P. This BS of a 4.12 and stock 1-2-3 and 0.82 4th is TOO much of an rpm drop.

Made the deal and she is in the back of my Element. She has definitely been sitting a few years, the pictures looked a bit better than in person. It turns over well though and there are a lot of very good parts on there. My builder is going to tear it down a bit to take a look. Resurface the flywheel, replace the oil pump, rear seal, pull the pushrods and the heads, clean the carbs and clean it up a bit. I’ll drop it off at the engine shop tomorrow or Monday and he’s going to get started right away.

He did a search for an exhaust and most of his favorites are back ordered with no ETA. Parts are an issue for these things for sure. Side note — The global Economy is fascinating to me right now.

I know you guys have some favorite engine bay pictures filed away. Let’s see some of the favorites. This heat padding isn’t going to cut it for this monster motor.
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@DannyP posted:

Assimilation is complete. And down the slippery slope to the rabbit hole we go!

I use a Sachs HD clutch, the Kennedy clutches aren't what they used to be. I'm not drag racing, the Sachs will hold 225 hp with ease, plus be light on your leg.

@LI-Rick Thanks for that reply, I was busy earlier. Right-on on all counts!

@Impala If you're doing 3k at 60, you DON'T have a "freeway flier". That's a 4.12 with stock 0.89 4th, or a 3.88 with a 0.93 4th.

You probably have a 4.12 with stock gears(3.78(3.80) , 2.06, 1.26, 0.89), basically all stock. I find the 3-4 drop a bit large also, but that's with my 3.44 final.

I always thought the original "freeway flier" was stock gears and a 3.88 R&P. This BS of a 4.12 and stock 1-2-3 and 0.82 4th is TOO much of an rpm drop.

Interesting; I did order a freeway flyer on the build back in 2004. But then again, I ordered a 1776 and got a 1915 so....What I don’t get is the drop from 3rd to 4th. On all the other VWs I’ve had or driven there was no such drop. Could my tach be not calibrated right?

@Impala posted:

Interesting; I did order a freeway flyer on the build back in 2004. But then again, I ordered a 1776 and got a 1915 so....What I don’t get is the drop from 3rd to 4th. On all the other VWs I’ve had or driven there was no such drop. Could my tach be not calibrated right?

If it FEELS like too much of a drop, then it probably is too much. Hook up an old tach-dwell meter to check your tach.

This is my 2165cc with a cut-down 911 ring, alternator and fan. JayCee pulley, thedubshop hidden crank sensor, Autocraft 2 stage dry sump pump. When this pic was taken I was running Weber 44IDF, but now I'm running a Speeduino ECU and CB 48mm throttle bodies. Also you can see my homemade sled tins. You can't see any of this in a Spyder.

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These next two pictures are the 2276cc I just built. JayCee no-leak pushrod tubes and sump cover.

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All dressed up and ready for installation. CB dry sump pump and CB pulley. CB heads and Berg 1.45:1 rockers and breather.

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@DannyP posted:

This is my 2165cc with a cut-down 911 ring, alternator and fan. JayCee pulley, thedubshop hidden crank sensor, Autocraft 2 stage dry sump pump. When this pic was taken I was running Weber 44IDF, but now I'm running a Speeduino ECU and CB 48mm throttle bodies. Also you can see my homemade sled tins. You can't see any of this in a Spyder.

20190914_175524

These next two pictures are the 2276cc I just built. JayCee no-leak pushrod tubes and sump cover.

20210601_164718

All dressed up and ready for installation. CB dry sump pump and CB pulley. CB heads and Berg 1.45:1 rockers and breather.

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Awesome!

Given you're based in Texas, IMHO the main thing you need to focus on regarding your engine bay is ensuring you have all the tinware needed to direct cooling air over your cylinder heads. @DannyP's comment about the dogsled tins is something you need to read up on, as is the isolation between the engine bay (cool air intake) and underneath (hot cylinder heads needing cooling). It's not difficult to sort the tinware even for a custom build and there are multiple ways of skinning the proverbial cat.

I personally don't think you have to be completely anal about every 1mm hole (although it never hurts to be detail-oriented, eh Danny?), but if you do get the engine bay sealed AND run a remote oil cooler you should be fine even if the weather is: