1 2 3
Jim Pettengill
Jim Pettengill HalfDork
10/20/15 11:50 a.m.

Yep, seen that happen back in the day. Not pretty. Mine had a camber compensator so it was fine at autocrossing (but no power), does anyone even make camber compensators anymore?

I'd recommend one with IRS and the ball joint front end, they can be made to handle very well, quite inexpensively. And if you stretch things a bit, you can think of a Super Beetle as a 944ish suspension attached to a bug, they can be made to handle really well with Bilsteins, swaybars and tires. Bugs are fun cars, easy and cheap to maintain, with tons of aftermarket support. As with anything from that time period, rust is the enemy.

Kenny_McCormic
Kenny_McCormic UltimaDork
10/20/15 3:28 p.m.

In reply to Jim Pettengill:

Still available, $65. https://www.cbperformance.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=2819

Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition Dork
10/20/15 4:00 p.m.

I had a '67 at one point and I still think those are the best. The '67 had a 1500 motor, so it was a bit more powerful. It was the last year of the old chrome style bumpers and (I think) the steel dash. It was the first year of the non-covered headlights, which you might or might not prefer. It also had a one-year-only decklid that I thought looked better than the prior ones.

I remember driving that car into the mountains to go skiing in Colorado and having my girlfriend hold her bare hand against the inside of the windshield to try and melt some of the ice off. Needless to say, I didn't have the auxilliary heater.

Kenny_McCormic
Kenny_McCormic UltimaDork
10/20/15 5:56 p.m.

In reply to Basil Exposition:

I read into the bug heat system pretty heavily when I was considering one for year round use. It seemed the consensus was the heat is shoe melting great, IF everything (heat exchangers, engine tins, thermostat, various hoses, frunk seals, etc.) was there and working correctly. Since new heat exchangers are something like $300 a pair, $500 for EFI, and few sane people have run these in winter since the 80s, it often isn't.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
10/20/15 5:59 p.m.

The heaters can be pretty warm, but since the engine has no termostatic control, it can take a long time for it to heat up (compared to a radiator car). If it's cold enough they effectively will never heat up (I am told, I have never driven on in that kind of cold). The engine / heater boxes are basically exposed on the bottom, so you can imagine what driving through the snow does to the engine heat.

When I used to deliver pizzas in one years ago, I always wanted to get one of those old Air Force flight suits with the pressure tube attachment and hook it into the heater outlet.

I like the 67 also. I think they were also the first with the high back seats and 12v. They also had a z-bar, it was probably 5/8 in diameter, but it was there.

The 66 is the "one" that people seem to like though. I think it's primarily because of the old style headlights.

Kenny_McCormic
Kenny_McCormic UltimaDork
10/20/15 6:08 p.m.

In reply to aircooled:

The engine, in stock configuration, does have thermostatic temeprature control.

http://www.vw-resource.com/vanes_thermostat.html

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
10/20/15 6:42 p.m.

Nope, not in bugs as far as I know. I have never seen any of that on a bug motor (not that I have seen thousands, but still). I think those are from later Type 4 motors.

That was one of the big "improvements" in the Corvair motor, thermostat controlled cooling doors (1960 model actually had a weird setup that affected the fan)

TeamEvil
TeamEvil Dork
10/20/15 7:24 p.m.

ALL Beetle and Ghia engines (1300cc, 1,500cc, and 1,600cc) had bellows-style thermostats. They were located inside of the lower push rod tin and attached to the case with a small bracket. A rod ran up to the flaps in the fan shroud, the earlier engines ran what were know as stale air heater boxes and had a different ring-style thermostat set-up that acted on the fan shroud air intake.

Easy Peasy and really did put out enough heat to melt your shoes. The trick was to divert that heat upwards to the windshield using dryer hose. Worked beautifully but looked completely insane ! ! !

The heater boxes tended to rust out in certain places but can actually be repaired with heavy duty aluminum foil and florist's wire fairly easily. The Classic VW is meant to be repairable in almost any incidence, takes imagination and a sense of "making do" but the little guys will keep you moving and safe forever.

I once had the rear engine mounts fail on my VW bus while driving home from work. The engine fell onto the ground, held in place only by the forward transaxle mount. In falling to the ground the throttle cable forced the carb wide open. Made it home by shutting the engine on and off and lugging it in a higher gear than was appropriate dragging the engine on the ground the whole way.

I fixed it the following day by welding a chain to the exhaust extractor and bolting it to the rear of the bus where the engine cover attached.

Drove it that way until I sold it much, MUCH later on. EVERYONE has a story like this to tell about their VW ! ! !

bgkast
bgkast GRM+ Memberand UberDork
10/20/15 7:24 p.m.

In reply to aircooled:

No, the type 1 engines had them too. Most just got thrown in the bin the first time the cooling tin came off.

Kenny_McCormic
Kenny_McCormic UltimaDork
10/20/15 7:44 p.m.

I've never seen one intact myself, but it was definitely a thing on stock unmolested type 1 motors.

Here's an old cutaway, stat is on lower right beneath the cylinders.

Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition Dork
10/20/15 7:46 p.m.
aircooled wrote: I like the 67 also. I think they were also the first with the high back seats and 12v. They also had a z-bar, it was probably 5/8 in diameter, but it was there.

Yes on the 12v, no on the high back seat. I don't know about the z-bar. It was also the year Ralph Nader cited as having an "ejection" seat ("Small on Safety"). Apparently, if rear ended, the seat backs would collapse and eject the occupants through the rear window. I thought the high back seats were just about the ugliest seats ever made.

I delivered pizza in mine, as well!

I got mine in North Dakota. The prior owner had installed an electric oil pan warmer that fastened to the bottom of the oil "filter" and a small electric space heater fastened below the rear window. You'd plug those in overnight to give the poor thing a head start in the morning. The heater system wouldn't heat a big toe at 20 below, much less melt a shoe. You could buy an auxiliary heater that mounted behind the dash and had a connection to the gas tank so it could burn the fuel for heat. They were expensive, though, and I couldn't afford one.

I loved that little car, though, and I was sad that I had to sell it when I graduated. The proceeds helped me to buy a Eurail pass and finance a 6 month trip backpacking through Europe. Good times.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
10/20/15 8:14 p.m.

Interesting on the thermostat. Now I remember seeing them in the drawings. Do they reman those thermostats for the pure stock people? They are very similar to Corvair thermostats. They were very unnecessary in California. I am sure that had lot to do with me never seeing one.

My 67 had high back seats (glad to have them since I was later rear ended in a 64 Ghia with lowbacks, that was not nice), so they must have been transplanted. It also had seatbelts that where one strap retractable from the outside that latched on a bar in the middle. Apparently those were not stock either, but they were very nice for delivering since you could jump in the car and start it with one hand while putting your belt on with the other. I also added Turn6 (still remember the name) rear sway bar to the car. Boy, that was a revelation in handling! Realistically it probably made the car a lot more dangerous handling wise (spin at a higher speed).

I learned to drive in a 58 bug. From driving those cars, I sometimes still think a person can push start a car by themselves! A 36 hp is super easy to push start!

Kenny_McCormic
Kenny_McCormic UltimaDork
10/20/15 8:17 p.m.

They are necessary anywhere on earth, faster warmup and not running the cylinders colder than designed is never a bad thing. You can probably get away without one, but that doesn't make it right.

Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition Dork
10/21/15 10:25 a.m.
aircooled wrote: It also had seatbelts that where one strap retractable from the outside that latched on a bar in the middle. Apparently those were not stock either, but they were very nice for delivering since you could jump in the car and start it with one hand while putting your belt on with the other.

Mine had the lap belts, as well. I think they may have been required equipment by 1967, though there wasn't a law that required wearing them.

Someone mentioned the smell-- I think it came from the upholstery and whatever they used to stuff them. I remember sitting in a friend's BMW 2002 and immediately recognizing the smell. My friend had owned Beetles and also remarked that the interior had the same smell.

TeamEvil
TeamEvil Dork
10/21/15 11:09 a.m.

"Apparently those were not stock either . . . "

Yes they were.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=505994&view=next

stu67tiger
stu67tiger Reader
10/21/15 12:12 p.m.

The belt setup pictured in the Samba thread look a lot like the stock belts that came in my friend's '71 2002. For some reason the name "Wipac" comes to mind. He soon replaced them with a set of Kangols with that odd hooked latch design, as used in the Mercedes of the era.

Stu

Basil Exposition
Basil Exposition Dork
10/21/15 1:37 p.m.

The Samba ones-- clipping on to a bar-- were what were in my '67, too.

VClassics
VClassics Reader
10/21/15 4:07 p.m.

I've owned a number of air-cooled VWs. One was a '68 bus (1600cc type 1 engine) that my wife and I used for trips around the Southwest. The P.O. had put a head temp gauge in that one, and I carried a little thermometer in it.

We set off from Flagstaff one morning when it was 17F outside -- we stayed at a Motel 6 overnight because it was w-a-y too cold to camp, and the motel pool was frozen solid. The engine sure cranked slowly, but it did start up on the first try. We let it warm up for a while, but after we drove a few miles the head temp was where it usually was.

OTOH, we drove it across the Mojave on I-40 in 110+ temps. The head temp actually read lower than I'd ever seen it -- that's apparently what it took to get the thermostat flaps to open all the way.

Kenny_McCormic
Kenny_McCormic UltimaDork
10/21/15 6:18 p.m.

In reply to VClassics:

I wonder if the flaps actually do some work in directing air over the heads when at max extension and the old "#3 runs hot" (if it had a single needle CHT gauge it was probably on #3) issue largely stems from missing cooling system parts.

TeamEvil
TeamEvil Dork
10/21/15 8:35 p.m.

The legendary number three cylinder running hot was due to the positioning of the oil cooler next to the number three cylinder and blocking the air flow plus increasing the temp of that diminished air flow in the early VW engines. This was corrected with the larger "Dog House" fan shroud and oil cooler in 1971. The dual port cylinder heads and accompanying upgrades were introduced at the same time.

A MASSIVE improvement over what came before ! !

Kenny_McCormic
Kenny_McCormic UltimaDork
10/21/15 9:15 p.m.

I know the oil cooler position makes it run hotter, though VClassics' experience in the desert with a pre doghouse CHT gauge equipped bus would seem to indicate it doesn't cause any problems problems if the cooling system is all there and working right.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
10/21/15 11:25 p.m.
TeamEvil wrote: "Apparently those were not stock either . . . " Yes they were. http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=505994&view=next

Cool. I always wondered about those. They seemed pretty original.

The interior smell BTW: I am pretty sure that was the horse hair you where smelling. I know my 58 Ghia's back seat still has it in there (car still has the original spare I believe!). It's pretty flat now, but you can see the hair sticking through parts of the fabric. Not sure I want to know where they got all the hair from!

Also of note on the heater smell. If you ever fly in a small air cooled plane with the heater on, it will be familiar. They use heat created by blowing air through a shroud around the exhaust also.

Pushrod
Pushrod New Reader
10/22/15 12:58 a.m.

Lain - One thing that might get overlooked if you decide on a '67 is that some of the parts are unique for that one year (older body style, yet 12 volt). The wiper motors, for example, are just hideous $$$ and can easily derail that "affordable" approach...

BillBall
BillBall New Reader
10/22/15 6:33 a.m.

Think carefully about your own safety. These are cars designed in the 1930s, intended for very low horsepower. They have no crash protection of any kind. They are not very stable with droopy suspension, skinny tires and all the weight hung out back. And they have really bad brakes as stock (obviously some of this can be improved). I owned a Ghia and a bug and I would not drive one again, even as a part time car. I would certainly never add power over stock. The safety issues grow when you have to scrape ice off the inside of the windshield while driving due to the above mentioned heater issues (been there, done that). There are many cars from the era much less likely to kill you.

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
10/22/15 11:58 a.m.

Well... this is a Classic Car forum. I would certainly hope that everyone is aware that almost any car talked about here is, by modern standards, wildly unsafe in a collision (take a look at on old Lotus!).

As far as dangerous to drive. As long as you are well aware it is not a modern car (no ABS etc), and the car will not save you from your own stupidity, you are likely to be safer. Being aware that your car is dangerous is a collision will go a long way to make you drive safe. Giving someone the sense that they are totally safe in a 4000lb vehicle is not really a good idea from a behavioral perspective.

The bug is certainly a unique beast by modern standards, but that is one of the reasons why many hear like them. I wouldn't get too concerned about adding power to one either. You can DOUBLE the power of most them and still be under 100hp! Just be aware, as noted, the non-modern aspects of the car.

1 2 3
Our Preferred Partners
S8ctWx1vhZ8OQa9ty7aQ9PHEh7tdTXhfqGVKrxS4Qtj9mKR1SKXIg7DRLjS8QUxM