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^ 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….

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