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VW bugs??

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by 78Suburban, Sep 2, 2006.

  1. 78Suburban

    78Suburban 1/2 ton status

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    I've been serisouly thinking about trying to find a cheap old aircooled VW bug as a DD for the gas mileage. What kinda MPG could I expect to get? Are they fairly easy to work on? Anybody ever owned one? Any advise would be much appreciated :bow:
     
  2. thfonz98

    thfonz98 1/2 ton status

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    i had a 74 as my first car in 96(only had it about a year) but cant remember the mileage(gas wasnt expensive enough for me to care). I am 6'5" and was then and barely fit in the dang thing. Back seat fits half an adult!

    pretty sure they were easy to work on but i wasnt into that at the time. Lacks most Amenities, fan didnt work in mine and if you tried to run the fan and the window wipers at the same time bye bye went the fuse! I have the original am only radio somewhere in my garage i think too.

    sorry for not helping much but i dont remember much about it actually.
     
  3. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Me!..

    I've owned 3 beetles,a 63 VW "Bus" Khombi camper,and my older brother has had several of them over the years--in fact,he just sold a 1960 Beetle he spruced up for 4500 bucks!..up here,they have all but become extinct,and its rare to find ANY Beetle in restorable shape up here for less than 2 grand now!.good luck finding a "cheap" one--they dont exist here,maybe more are still around in GA?...

    I liked mine,but I had them 25 years ago--my brother sold his mostly because he didn't fit well in one anymore,and the fact they can be a bit hazardous on todays highways --they never were known for fast acceleration,or having much reserve power,and tractor trailers can blow you one lane over as they pass at 75 mph!..they aren't the safest thing to be driving nowadays--the brakes are marginal too,compared to todays disc brake cars..but they are a cool car,and have a huge cult following..

    I got between 25-30 mpg with my 63 Beetle--the bus seemed to guzzle gas,it got only 15-25 mpg ,less if it was windy on the highway..they are cool nostalgia vehicles,but I'm not sure I'd want to drive one again as my only source of transportation...parts can be costly now,as they are getting scarce...but I'll say this--I beat the crap out of all the VW's I had,and they all held up pretty darn good considering they all had well over 100 thousand on them when I bought em..they saw more off road use than asphalt!:D
     
  4. thfonz98

    thfonz98 1/2 ton status

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    i do remember how much of a work out it was driving into strong winds in it though :eek1:
     
  5. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    yep--can be scary!...

    I still remember the windy day I crossed the Braga bridge in Fall River in my 63 Bus...I was going across all 3 lanes,and swore was about to jump it over the gaurd rail,and fall 150' to the water below!..:eek1: :yikes: ..it wasn't my favorite memory I have of it..not as fond as the memory of "inspecting" my best friends sister, in he back of it!..:wink1:

    (NOW WTF??--how did I change the "type"??:confused: --musta pushed a button by accident!..GRRRR!!)..hope I can figure out how to change it back!..:doah:

    I liked the fact you could pull an engine out in less than 20 minutes to do a clutch or other major repairs...but I only had to pull one motor,I didn't have many mechanical problems,mostly I had a hard time keeping tires on them--I was broke and running cast-offs from gas stations and piles out in the woods!..

    I had chevy rims with wheel adaptors on my bug--it helped a lot with stability in crosswinds and while being passed by trucks and busses--it also climbed sand dunes better than many CJ Jeeps I met up with on off road excursions too--L-78-15" studded snow tires made a mountain goat out of it!..
     
  6. thezentree

    thezentree 3/4 ton status

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    My best friend is building a '72 Super Beetle baja car. It's about as simple as you can get in a car. Easy to work on and parts are pretty cheap. His is gonna be pushing about 140hp (laugh all you want, but that's double what it made stock) and I think he's got about $5000 in it, including the car itself, baja body panels, and the motor.

    I can't say much for gas mileage since I've never seen it run, but I've put plenty of hours into working on it, and it's by far the easiest vehicle I've ever worked on.

    When I "finish" my truck, I want to start building a VW too.
     
  7. 68MUDSTUD

    68MUDSTUD OCD with shiny things

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    my dad said he used to have a 72 beetle back when he was in high school, and then when he went to school at Billings Vo-Tech, he rebuilt the 4banger and put the biggest sleeves and pistons you could put in a bug (at the time), he put 3 INCH EXHAUST on it!!! Short throw shifter, all that good stuff... he said it would growl and sound like a V-8 (Which is EXTREMELY hard for me to believe)! Later, he built a buggy out of it, and shortly after, sold it for like 250 bux!

    If i had a beetle i would definately drive it!
     
  8. Thunder

    Thunder 3/4 ton status

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    I have owned and built quite a few VWs. I had a 69 Baja with a built 1835 engine that I could blow off stock third gen 305 camaros stop light to stoplight no problem. Pretty embarasing for the camaro drivers. After 80 MPH it was pretty much all done because of the gearing but it got there fast. Also had a lowered street bug with a 2180 that ran in the low 13s all day long. It was a very good V8 killer back in the 80s
    Stock bugs are ok and fun to drive. But dont really get great gas MPG compaired to modern FId econo boxes.. Be lucky to get 30. 25 to 38 is prolly average. They aint real good on the freeway at 75 mph but get around good in town.You can do a lot better MPg with a newer FId car.
    They are easy to work on. Parts are easy to get and are cheap. They are simplicity in its best form.
    Baja bugs are fun. With a IRS Bus trans axle they are good off roaders with low gearing and can take a lot of abuse.
    If you do get a VW. Go on ebay and get the book " How to keep your VW alive" by John Muir It is a great repair manual very well writen. They sell for 10.00 or less.
    Bugs are cool. Fun to drive around in. It is amazing how much power you can pump out of their engines if you want to build one. Turbo one or get it on the Bottle. And you will have a little rocket ship in your hands.:D
     
  9. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    Metro > Nazis People's Car. That is all. :grin:

    j
     
  10. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I had lots of fun in mine..

    I had that "Complete Idiots Guide to VW Repair" book,along with John Muir's "Bible" too!..the best auto repair manual ever written in my opinion!..(I wondered what kind of ciggarettes he was always talking about "rolling" in the book!)..:wink1:

    My 63 Beetle had a 40 hp motor--I found a Judson supercharger kit at a swap meet for 150 bucks!--when I installed it,I could not believe the power increase!...but I neglected to retard the timing as I was supposed too,and it caused it to overheat(didn't know about having to retard the timing until after the fact!:doah: )..

    I removed it and sold it to my brother--it made the gas mileage much lower,but if I were not so poor at the time,I'd have kept it!--that motor threw a rod thru the case about 6 months later--it was rapping upon startup since I'd bought the Bug,but it lasted 9 months,of HARD driving!.

    I also had a 1959 Beetle I found hiding in a barn in Fall River about 15 miles away--all original,NO rust or rot,and still had its original 36 hp motor!..bought it for 150 bucks!..I eventually lost the motor in that one too--after I installed a 6V electric fuel pump to replace the bad mechanical one I couldn't find a replacement for,I found out the real cause of its vapor lock----

    ---the entire fan shroud,oil cooler,and cylinder fins were clogged up with dead rats and mouse nests--on a 65 mile trip to work ,it decided to start rapping,and as I exited the highway only 3 miles from my destination,the # 3 exhaust valve decided to lose its head,and the wheels skidded to a screeching halt!:doah: --so much for that motor..:( --it ran nice too!..I found the valve head wedged between the crank and block!..piston had a BEEG hole in it!..:eek1:

    But a 40 hp motor I bought for 50 bucks went right in,and a half hour later it was driveable!..my friend bought it,and later on,he put a dual port 1600cc motor in it from a Super Beetle--with the low first gear in the non synchro split transaxle,it could pull the front wheels off the ground for several feet!...I don't know what became of it,I moved back home,and he moved away too--lost track of him ..I wish I still had it,the body was MINT--I bet its worth megabucks now..--my bus with the factory camper was a low production one too--:doah:
     
  11. chevyfumes

    chevyfumes Court jester

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    Watch for the muzzleflash!
    thesamba.com
     
  12. kgblazerfive

    kgblazerfive keymaster Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I have a 63 that I drive pretty much everyday when I feel like it, no heat 2/50 air and it runs great. Take it to shows and stuff gas milage is lots better then my Astro or Burb, at least in the 30 range. If your looking for something cheap to fix and easy to work on get one. If your looking for modern amenities forget it. Freeway driving is bad cause mine is lowered and the front end needs some work. I will do 65/70 no problem but tends to wander. I have tons or parts they seem to come with lots, going to put a bigger motor and rebuild the front end and a new interior and spend about $3000 and have a new car. The interior is $650 with new Scat seats
    good site http://shoptalkforums.com/
    and the Samba
    I bought my bug on E-bay for cheap needed a motor and has no rust paid $650 or so
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2007
  13. Greg72

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

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    Sounds like you need caster shims. Pretty common in a lowered Beetle to have funny steering because the steering axis becomes more vertical. Shimming out the lower beam tube corrects that....

    Also, for what it's worth lowered spindles (as opposed to a lowered beam adjuster) keeps the ride nice and soft by maintaining the geometry up front... I did that on my last VW ('69 Beetle) and the thing looked and ran sweet....even down the highway.

    I've had a number of Beetles over the years....with the tools and fabrication stuff I own now, I'm sure I could have a LOT of fun with another one. :D
     

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