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if you were going to restore a vw beetle...

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by bob_fuller, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. bob_fuller

    bob_fuller

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    My dad and I are looking to acquire a vw beetle to work on as a project car. I don't really know much about cars and mechanical things, but my dad knows a fair bit. I'm just trying to learn as much as i can about restoring a car as i can.

    so i'm looking for advice. i literally know almost nothing about restoring cars. what are some cool things i can do to a VW Beetle? My only requirement is that the finished product is fast and looks decent.

    does that make sense?
     
  2. Carrys

    Carrys Inquisitive

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    Makes perfect sense.

    Unfortunately I know nothing abut that sort of thing either.

    Have fun, enjoy the time spent with your father and make as best car you can. The time spent with your dad, and the knowledge you acquire during the project will serve you well.

    Have fun and good luck sir.
     

  3. hatidua

    hatidua

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    In that case, get a Notchback or a convertible Ghia.
     
  4. Ol Timer

    Ol Timer ↓ hog hunter ↓ Millennium Member

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    Sounds like the perfect platform to get your feet wet.

    Have fun with Pops!
     
  5. ZIG-ZAG

    ZIG-ZAG

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    unless you go turbo they are not fast...light and quick maybe but not fast.
    I'll send you a PM
     
  6. Free Radical

    Free Radical Miembro Antiguo CLM

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    I owned a couple of them growing up. They handle great, but making one "fast" will be an uphill climb. Your best bet would be to replace the engine with an older Porsche engine.
     
  7. Oxblood

    Oxblood

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    Depends on how much you wanna spend. Kennedy makes a sweet adapter to put an rx7 rotary into a bug wichi will deffinately make it fast: http://www.kennedyeng.com/vw_por.htm. It's not a bolt in swap though quite a bit of fab to make it work.
     
  8. bob_fuller

    bob_fuller

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    i guess i should clarify... when i say fast, i'm not talking in terms of top speed, but rather acceleration.

    other than that, thanks for all the great advice so far, guys
     
  9. vart

    vart

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    I love retro rod bugs...

    [​IMG]

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  10. Carrys

    Carrys Inquisitive

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    Now that's cool!

    If I could have a chance at doing something of that nature, with my father (who's now gone to his maker), I'd jump on it.


    To the OP, have fun sir, have fun.:wavey:
     
  11. meyerbj81

    meyerbj81

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    Beware, like guns restoring VWs becomes a slippery slope of money ha ha I have restored 6 but none since I graduated college in 04. You can get very quick bugs with a 2332cc engine. I had built one for a 66' of mine and I always just got too nervous to see its top speed. They are great to work on and the engine can be taken out in about 20 mins tops. A very simple design and few special tools needed make it wonderful to start tinkering with. The most important thing you need to look at when buying is for rust on the frame especially around the heater channels, window post, etc. The front apron, rear apron, fenders, and doors can be replaced easily so dont stress there, just make sure the core body is as rust free as possible. Rag tops and convertibles are neat but again add some extra knowledge, headaches, and expense so be careful if you are doing a budget rebuild. Your bible will be a book called "How to keep your Volkswagen Alive", if you can find an old one b/c they're made like a binder and will stay open on a certain page. Good luck and have fun, if you have any questions feel free to PM me.

    Brian
     
  12. Gareth68

    Gareth68

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    Speed costs. How fast do you want to go? They absolutely can be fast, those who say otherwise are ignorant.

    As a long time VW owner and wrench and a former partner in a restoration shop, I can tell you for you for your first project to find the cleanest most rust free example you can. Aftermarket body panels suck. Id get your feet wet normally aspirated before considering stepping up to turbo.

    Check out the following web sites to get your feet wet. Once you start forming some opinions of what you desire in a vehicle, feel free to pop me an IM and I can offer you some experience based advice.

    I have driven nothing but aircooled VW vehicles for the better part of my life.

    Remember, you don't always get what you pay for but you always pay for what you get. There is a reason prices vary widely on what at first may appear to be the same part. Find out why before buying the bargain, it is often not a bargain at all.

    www.thesamba.com

    www.cal-look.com

    www.shoptalkforums.com

    And if you are an old school computer user, there is a wealth of knowledge available in the archives of usenet: rec.autos.vw.aircooled
     
  13. WellArmedSheep

    WellArmedSheep NRA Member

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    A Porsche 912 engine fits nicely in a Bug, and should make about 90HP.

    If you're going to restore one, get a pre-'67 that doesn't have all the safety "features" that make them ugly, like the stand-up headlights, BIG taillights, and huge bumpers.
     
  14. Gareth68

    Gareth68

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    A total waste of time and money. Leave the baby porsche motor for the porches. You can easily build a much more powerful VW engine.
     
  15. JLB768

    JLB768 Old & Grumpy Lifetime Member

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    You most certainly can make a VW go fast, and much cheaper than most other cars.

    To the OP, I was heavy into VW's when I was younger, and regret selling one I restored to better than showroom condition. It was a 1955 Oval Window Beetle, but once it was completed, I couldn't keep the thieves off it. I ended up selling it, before it disappeared altogether. When I sold it in 93, it had a 2180CC motor, and could embarrass guys in some V8's. I thought I had some pics of it before it went into the body shop, and some of the motor, but these two are the only ones I could find. You may notice the semephore blinkers between the side windows, mine were rebuilt, and working. It was also Cal Style, all chrome molding removed, and filled in, turn signals were removed, and done thru the headlights etc. I miss that little car. My plates read 55TOH1... 1 HOT 55 backwards

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  16. *ASH*

    *ASH* FURBANITE

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    now that black roadster is cool as hell !!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  17. FLIPPER 348

    FLIPPER 348 Bigfoot enthusiast enthusiast

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    ...you are not going to get that either as the powerplant is not made that way. If you make the mods to make it quick keeping the engine in tune will be such a PITA you will regret it. The 1600 VW powerplant will give you an honest 20mpg and will be ustra reliable providing you do your part.



    For a restoration that you can do everything on yourself:

    step 1- get a late 60s standard Beetle, NOT a Super Beatle. (easier suspension & other reasons)

    step 2- Get the VW 'Idiot' book
    http://www.amazon.com/Keep-Volkswagen-Alive-Step-Step/dp/1566913101

    step3- take your time, take no short cuts and have fun!
     
  18. Gareth68

    Gareth68

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    Someone else who knows not that of which he speaks.
    :yawn:
     
  19. FLIPPER 348

    FLIPPER 348 Bigfoot enthusiast enthusiast

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    son, unless you are an old fart like me, I was 'prolly restoring VWs before you were born.

    The powerplant is not made to be high RPM high tq. You can make it that way but it will not have the durability of the factory spec engine.
     
  20. Gareth68

    Gareth68

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    Metallurgy has come a long ways since you were playing with these engines. Did you have alcoa billet aluminum cylinders with nicasil coatings? Did you have DLC coating technology? Did you have ceramic composite lifters? Did you have aftermarket cases designed for 4 inch bores and 90mm strokes? Did you have a DTM cooling system designed to cool a high performance even more evenly than the stock system? Did you have heat dispersant chamber coatings and beryliyum seats? Did you have true street heads with extra cooling fins with cosworth style ports? Did you have ARP making engine studs and hardware designed to keep these items working together? Did you have mendola racing offering after market transaxles capable of supporting 400+ hp? Were roller lifters and cams available? How about full ignition and fuel management and tuning via a laptop?

    A lot has happened even in just the last 10 years in the VW performance world. Keep up or be left behind.

    Though you do make a good point. Most reasonable people accept that they might have to go through their motor a little more frequently when it is putting out triple the HP of the stock engine. Most people do not mind freshening it at 50k miles or so for the ability to enjoy the added power.

    :wavey: