Classic Beetle? [Archive] - Honda Element Owners Club Forum

: Classic Beetle?


jimmags214
08-25-2006, 10:26 AM
Anyone else out there have any experiences with the classic air cooled Beetle? There's one at the top of my street for sale. Its condition looks a little rough but it seems to have a solid body. I'm half tempted to buy it for the fun of it. And maybe make it a little project/hobby.

Just wondering what everyone else thinks?

RobfromLI
08-25-2006, 10:33 AM
fun to work on, if you like to tinker. MUST to work on even if you don't like to. small, very specific driving. they take a ton of abuse. fun to drive, and restore. JC Witney is your friend!!

http://theole34.homestead.com/files/2cents.gif

3_3rdHonda
08-25-2006, 11:32 AM
I assume by classic air-cooled you mean 60-something.

Sometime in the 70s the air-pollution devices complicated things.

But at that age you can probably get exemptions/waivers for emissions.

My relatives restored them and I thought they were fun to work on and rebuild: brakes, carbs, exhaust, heads. Flat four cylinder config, air cooled...engine over the drive wheels...truly unstoppable in the snow and mud...all mechanical, no mysterious computers to fool with and be fooled by...
...designed to be economical, reliable, easy to work on.

Dangerous on the street tho...seat belts and headrests [in late 60s] are the only safety devices and the gas tank is in the front and abutts the firewall.

30 to 50 hp was plenty for me, altho now I'm upto 70-something in my 86 Civic Wagon. Hopefully the horse power binge of the auto industry is over. The 520 hp turbo Porsche SUV should be the nail in the coffin of that trend.

dparrothead1
08-25-2006, 11:33 AM
My first car was a 62 beatle....didn't even have a gas guage....My son's first car was a 74 Thing.

A set of ramps, a floor jack and you can drop the engine in 35 minutes.

And as stated above,,,,go ahead and order a J C Whitney catalog.

MikeQBF
08-25-2006, 11:34 AM
I've had three. Ole is right - great "tinker" car, because that's the only way to keep 'em going. Be thinking "valve adjustments every 2000 miles". Most major cities still have at least one "Bugs only!" parts or repair shop, there's that much life left in the genre.

Bugs were perfect in the '60's & '70's since a lot of guys still knew how to work on cars, and VWs were simple and spectacularly easy to work on. Even a shadetree-level mechanic could do a complete engine rebuild in a weekend. Rebuilding VW engines is how I first learned a lot of my mechanic skills.

There is no way these cars would be affordable in today's car maintenance environment, where 95+% of car owners rely on dealer service. No way.

The Rube
08-25-2006, 11:50 AM
Aah, the memories. My first car was a "Beetle". Bought it from a 2nd Lt. when I was in the Air Force many, many years ago. Then I remember ordering a new "Super Beetle" when I was returning from Vietnam. Loved the car and always dreamt of getting one. Great cars. Not too fond of the new ones though........

lizzurd
08-25-2006, 12:12 PM
Up untill a few years ago i used to keep my nose buried in VW performance mags.Dreaming about all the performance stuff id love to do to an old bug.Too bad finding an old bug in decent shape is out of the question around here.

Kayakin' Dan
08-25-2006, 01:35 PM
I've had 6 beetles, a dune buggy, 2 VW bus's and a squareback. Get John Muir's book "How to keep your VW beetle alive, a step by step manual for the complete idiot". It's essential. I'd love to get some more, but they're going for real money now.

box-E
08-25-2006, 03:53 PM
Yep what kayakin' dan said plus check the floor pan real good for rust, and if you live where it is cold check for or be prepaired to spend $ for heater boxes.

Dear Watson
08-25-2006, 04:28 PM
I've got a '66 spread across the garage right now. I'm big into them. They do require a lot of tinkering, but the parts are cheaper than anything else you can get. And simple? You can fix one drunk with a room temperature IQ!

Genom
08-25-2006, 06:47 PM
Like everyone else has stated here, pick it up and tinker with it. I've been into ACVW's for quite some time now even though they've all been dune buggies.

For a manual I would recommend you plunk down the bucks on the Bentley service manual for your particular year. I have two and they span years from 1966 to 1969 and 1970 to 1979, and I'll be picking up another which will cover 1961 to 1965.

If you need some help or a little nudge to pick up that Beetle, be sure to check out www.thesamba.com (I go by the screen name of Genom there too)

lizzurd
08-25-2006, 09:42 PM
Like everyone else has stated here, pick it up and tinker with it. I've been into ACVW's for quite some time now even though they've all been dune buggies.

For a manual I would recommend you plunk down the bucks on the Bentley service manual for your particular year. I have two and they span years from 1966 to 1969 and 1970 to 1979, and I'll be picking up another which will cover 1961 to 1965.

If you need some help or a little nudge to pick up that Beetle, be sure to check out www.thesamba.com (I go by the screen name of Genom there too)



Great site.......the house im looking at right now has a spot right next to it perfect for parking my project car.Wife has a agreed to it.I always hoped it would be an old mopar.May have to look for an old bug now.

jimmags214
08-26-2006, 05:48 PM
Still haven't had a chance to call on this little VW but I did stop and look at closer. It's a '65 and seems to be in solid shape. I'm guessing its not from around here because of the salt and snow. Oh, well...I'll probably just keep dreaming!

chem-medic
08-26-2006, 07:50 PM
I had a '73 super beetle. Had oversize pistons and Jugs put on as well as an Anza exaust system. Aftermarket heater boxes provided great heat and defrost in the winter. Nothing else like a good running beetle, I loved that car.

Justinb845
09-07-2006, 03:01 AM
I learned how to drive on a 72 being it was in NY for only a short time it was not that bad of shape till a lady creamed it (it was my dads) My aunt had a 73 indy edition with baby blue metalit red and black racing stripe and blackened out tailpipes. That was a good looking beetle. The real thing you had to watch for was at the front fenders attached there was a square part that was intended to be there and they rusted out big time. My father also had a 412 wagen and a Vanagon(84 first watercooled engine). Some said the 412 was a nightmare but no problems with it except the seat on the drivers side it broke after 10 yrs lol.
The Vanagen was a night mare. gremlins gremlins gremlins.

BigFoot
09-07-2006, 09:09 AM
I mounted the spare tire on the front of my 1970 VW Bus (using JCWhitney mounting kit) on the advice of John Muir who said something like "it will take a lot of force to shove that tire through the front of the bus". What a hoot! Those were the days.

tooljedi
09-07-2006, 09:34 AM
My wife had a 74 Super beatle. That was the coolest car! Parts a cheap, and there are still a huge assortment of aftermarket parts for them! Droping the engine is easy, and mods are easy. We had to get rid of it for reasons we did not like about 12 years ago. I have been eyeing the one down the street that has not moved from the driveway in the last 2 years. I might go ask the guy if he would take 1 few hundred for it! They are fun. Just a little cold in the winter!
But then there are aftermarket heaters too!:-D

wli98122
09-08-2006, 01:07 AM
Been working on the air-cooled VW's since 1959...... the 65 is the last year of the classic 40hp 1200cc engines. One of the best engines was the 1966 1300cc one, all the later ones were bored out 1300cc blocks up until the 70's. The 1300cc engine is 6v and darned near bullet proof. Too bad they only made them for one year.... I have had '59, 61, 71's in my time. The most bang for your buck is the 12 volt 1600cc dual port engines with the *dog-house* oil coolers, seen in the 1971's. I had them in all three of my 71 buses. This minor factory mod avoided the dreaded overheating of clylinder #3 of earlier engines.

Agree with earlier posts re John Muir's books. Very funny, totally true and accurate, and a blast to read! Buy the EMPI parts that JC Whitnet sells. EMPI was a very good source of quality custom parts in its day.

Watch out: the 6v engines have a 180mm clutch/flywheel, which is not compatible with the 200mm clutch/flywheels in the 12volt models. You can swap them out easily, however once the engine is out.

Go for it!

Genom
09-08-2006, 09:29 AM
Try to steer clear of any EMPI products these days, they are junk for the most part, especially the chrome stuff which will rust the instant you break the plastic seal on the package and expose it to air.:D If you can find original or NOS EMPI products from the 60's, grab them, that is the good stuff.

As for the flywheels, its a matter of the larger 12v flywheel not fitting in the 6v transaxle...no problem as a little careful grinding of the bellhousing will allow the large flywheel to fit in. Then there's the early vs. late throwout bearing and pressure plate, and starter bushing. But thats the beauty of these cars...in production for close to 50 years and almost everything on them is compatible in some way or another.

wli98122
09-08-2006, 02:05 PM
What I was referring to was the older EMPI products, not the "new" ones