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An old VW bug as a Daily Driver?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Robert79K5, Aug 15, 2005.

  1. Robert79K5

    Robert79K5 1/2 ton status

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    Iv always wanted an old bug and I have a bunch of engine parts accumulated for one left over from my rail buggy days.

    Now there is one for sale down the street. Not sure what year but it's a standard (non superbeetle) and it looks like just about exactly what I would want.
    I have an s10 for my DD but if I bought this thing I would want to drive this thing a few days a week to work which is 47 miles away.

    Aside from no AC how are these things for commuters? I know they are not very powerful and you have to change the oil pretty often but aside from regular maintenence what sucks about driving an old beetle regularly?
     
  2. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Nothing.

    Beetles (the REAL ones) are awesome. I've had a couple of '69s and the latest was a factory sunroof.....there's something about cranking that thing open, rolling down the windows and driving in the slow lane listening to that putta-putta-putta-putta of the engine.

    Actually, throw on a 009 Dizzy and a decent quality 4-1 exhaust and duals (I liked the Berg stuff last time) and it will have a little more "pep" for cruising.....and by pep on a single-port 1500cc, I mean something like 55hp!!! :D
     
  3. tiger9297

    tiger9297 1/2 ton status

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    when i was growing up my older sister had a bug. she used to take us to school everyday and it was ok but i remember that when you got out of the car you kinda had a "gasoline" smell on you. :crazy: especially when you ran the heat. :D was a fun little car though until she played chicken with a fullsize chevy van. :doah:
     
  4. kgblazerfive

    kgblazerfive keymaster Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    No heat, 2-60 air and probally lots of fun, one in my driveway waiting for me to start driving it.
     
  5. ntsqd

    ntsqd 1/2 ton status

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    I'm thinking of building a Baja for the daily grind. Been given a '63 Std.

    Maint. needs to be regular. Gotta stay on top of the valve and brake adjusts. I'd look into one of the electronic dizzy conversions for a 009 Pertronix are popular. Only thing I don't like about them is the unique rotor they use. Full flow oil cooler w/ filter would be a must for me.

    I see the 4 wheel drums as the biggest issue. If your 40+ mile commute is anything like mine, all the other drivers think you can stop like a late model. Volkies don't do that. For drums they're not bad, but getting them adjusted right and keeping them there will take some doing.

    Having street driven a VW in the past I see them a little like a mistress. They don't need a lot of attention, but they do need a little all of the time.
     
  6. rdn2blazer

    rdn2blazer 1 ton status Premium Member

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    if a V DUB is what you want go for it. i grew up in la calif. where the cal. bug trend originated, lowered, porscha alloys, 2180 cc motors. bugs that hauled ass. they were kinda cool i just was'nt into the bug seen i guess. my buddy has a 62' all original that is super clean. kept it for the last 15 plus years to give to his son for a first car. his son is 16 yrs old and drives it now.
     
  7. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I had several--love old VW's!!

    My first car ever was a 63 VW Beetle!--got it when I was 15 from a neighbor for 150 bucks!--he let me pay him whatever I had until it was paid for--I mowed a lot of lawns that summer!..I wore out first and reverse driving it back and forth in my driveway for nearly a year until I got my licence!.. :crazy:

    My older brother bought a 1960 VW Beetle about 3 years ago,and is finally in the process of restoring it now..he's getting very frustrated with the quality of the aftermarket parts he's been trying to use..cheep crap! :doah: --and he's broken 2 windsheilds so far trying to get one to go in with aftermarket rubber gaskets!..he's ready to sell it to the first person who's interested!--I'd buy it if I had any money.. :laugh: --but he spent over 2 grand on it,no way I could afford it! :( --

    A beetle is a good investment today--he paid 500 bucks for his,in very original condition,a rare find nowadays--he's been offered 5 grand already for it after its restored! :eek1: ..so if you get a decent one cheap,no worries about being "stuck" with it if you decide to sell it! :laugh:

    I dont know if it would be a good car to drive in todays traffic conditions though-( I hated 18 Wheelers when I drove mine on the highway! :eek1: )--his is a 36 HP one,and you would be getting passed by everything else on the freeway!--I had a few VW's with the 1500CC motor that went right along,and the 1600cc "Dual Port" motor in a Super Beetle I had could go 60+mph in 3rd gear!!--a speed you were lucky to see downhill with a 36 hp one!..the brakes can be a bit scary,but I dont recall ever having a problem stopping in time,if all the wheel cylinders were up to snuff,I could lock the wheels up no problem...

    I guess if you didn't use it on the highway it would be a fun commuter car--I hated mine for only 2 reasons--NO HEAT!--and the windsheild wipers sucked!
    I used a sleeping bag to keep from dying of frostbite in the winter in my Bug,and had to scrape the INSIDE of the windsheild more often than the outside during frosty days!...but I loved getting 35 miles to the gallon ,since my only income was an allowance and any odd jobs I'd get!..I thought it was a cool sound,hearing those "whistle pipes" on the exhaust VW's used on the air cooled motors..I learned all I know about cars and engines from disecting that Beetle!...

    If you can buy it right,I'd go for the Beetle!--they are probably THE most fun little car to own and drive,and are cheap to maintain,and mechanic friendly!--if you keep the valves adjusted,and make sure it has a good belt on the fan,they will run forever as long as the oil gets changed often!..(the oil "filter" on a VW bug is just a peice of window screen bolted in the cranckase! :haha: --a oil filter relocation kit is a good idea!)..

    Its amazing how much abuse a VW can stand even in stock form!--I beat the crap outa mine and had few problems--it took 8 months of whipping with a rod knock after a cold start before my 40hp one finally tossed a rod thru the block,and my 36 hp 59 beetle I had succummed to a dropped #3 cylinder exhaust valve :doah: :( --but it took a lot of punishment to kill them... :bow: :crazy:
     
  8. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

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    I'd go for it... If it looks old and crusty, it's probably worth cleaning up. If nothing else, they're incredibly unique. One thing about that design, it was "modern" looking every year it was produced.

    When I was a kid, like 8, my best friends mom drove one of those. We thought it was the coolest thing ever.


    On an interesting historical note, supposedly Hitler designed it... Or sketched the design on a napkin at least...
     
  9. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Actually Ferdinand Porsche was responsible for designing the Beetle for Hitler.

    He went on after that to form a little company of his own....IIRC. ;)
     
  10. Robert79K5

    Robert79K5 1/2 ton status

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    Went and looked at it since im on vacation today. Guy wasn't home but I got the number to call him later.
    The car is really clean inside and out (he left it unlocked) Looks like he has done some mods to the engine. Its got dual carbs on it.

    It looks like someones toy that they loved greatly at one time. I really like it but Im just worried that the owner is going to think its worth more than I think it is.

    Since I live in Georgia maby the lack of heat won't be too much of a problem.


    I have the parts to build a 1776 motor. How do you guys think that would effect the gas mileage?

    Thanks for all of the advice. :pimp:
     
  11. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    I could be wrong, but I thought VW and Porsche were the same company, or closely related anyways. Like Chevrolet and Pontiac. I think a Baja Bug with a Porsche engine (pancake 6) would be a very fun little car. :thinking: :thinking: :thinking:
     
  12. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    A good "read" on VW's...

    Any VW entusiast should read the book "Small Wonder" ,its all about the history of how the "Beetle" came to be,and all the history behind the VW automobile..I dont have a copy handy(its in my room!),but a search on google will likely say who wrote it..

    Another great VW book for repairs is th "VW BIBLE" --the guy who wrote it was a hippie,and it had tons of information it it,and "how to" repairs..its got some very funny humor in it too..best book I ever read about fixing my VW's!.. :crazy:
     
  13. ronnny

    ronnny 1/2 ton status

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    go ahead a good one but hope winter is not to cold where you are at. Not known for heaters.
     
  14. justhorsinaround

    justhorsinaround 3/4 ton status

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    Two of the most durable vehicles I have ever owned. I beat the livin snot out of my Baja and it just kept comin back for more. Took tradin it to a buddy of mine and about an hour and him fallin asleep on the highway for it to finally die. The car not my buddy.

    The street bug is currently in the beginnings of becoming a drag bug at my sister and bro-in-law's house.
     
  15. TSGB

    TSGB 1 ton status

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    Didn't they make a diesel bug? Unless I'm mistaken, and some guy swapped one in...
     
  16. Robert79K5

    Robert79K5 1/2 ton status

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    No it dosn't get awfully cold here... Actually the weather is probably a lot like it is where you live, since your just right down the road from me! :haha: :haha: :haha:
     
  17. Codeman96

    Codeman96 1/2 ton status

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    Stock 1600 with a Turbo, great mileage and plenty O power. http://lowbugget.com/main_page.html.

    All I have left from My VW days is my rail buggy sleeping in the shop right now. Here is a shot from last year at the track.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. ntsqd

    ntsqd 1/2 ton status

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    Not in the old Beetle. In the new Beetle, yes - those get (except in KA) the TDi.

    Can put a diesel in the old bug by using the adapter & flywheel from a diesel Vanagon. And a lot of fab work.
     
  19. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    No air cooled bugs were diesels..

    No diesel engines in Beetles until they came out with the "new" Beetles that were water cooled..(The "new" Beetle is nothing more than a VW "Golf" with a Beetle shaped shell dropped on it!)..They had diesels in Rabbit's and Jettas,Dashers,Fox,and Passats,even the VW "Bus" had a Rabbit diesel engine available in them...

    I wish I kept my 86 VW Jetta Diesel I had..43 miles to a gallon was the balls!--I bought it for 100 bucks,and the only thing I had to fix was the clutch(one of the most difficult clutch jobs I've done,ever! :mad: )--the brand new clutch in it when I bought it lost the "anti-chatter" springs out of the disc,and they got caught in the pressure plate!..but despite it needing struts and shocks,and it having growling wheel bearings,I drove it 5 years and 30,000 miles with NO troubles at all,except a popped radiator hose,which was mostly MY fault for not seeing it was due for replacement!..

    It was going to need brake lines and other repairs,and I kinda lost interest in it when I got a GMC Cabalarro with a V-6--gas was not that expensive then,so I didn't miss the economy of the Jetta much,and I did like driving a bigger,safer american vehicle...but I really regret selling it now!--you cant buy ANY diesel VW,or any other diesel vehicle for under a grand now,even if its rusty and beaten..

    It had 252,000 miles when I sold it to a local junkyard(stupid move!--got my 100 bucks back out of it--they sold it for 500 bucks! :eek1: :mad: :doah: )..it had a rust free body too,was in texas and about every other state in the USA,going by the stickers from all the colleges in the rear window!.I even found a roll of bridge tokens in the glove box for the deleaware bridge!....sometimes I wish I could take my butt off,and kick it! :doah: ...I swore that thing ran on AIR,not fuel!..you could put 14 gallons of fuel in it and go 660 miles before the next fill up!.. :bow: .wish my 6.2 could do that! :crazy:
     
  20. ronnny

    ronnny 1/2 ton status

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    With the old bug up there in douglasville you will not have emmision problems. Tomorrow will work on my new dd to get ready a try for emmision test. If will not pass will have to wait till january to get tag. After then old enough to not need any. 82 datsun 720
     

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