View original topic: small hole, and a gap in engine tin
fcgadget Thu May 17, 2018 4:31 pm

On the passenger side of the shroud over the plug area there's a small square hole. Any idea what this is for? Is there something missing?

and there's a gap between the rear engine tin and the body. Looks like either the wrong piece or there is another piece that should close the gap??

EVfun Thu May 17, 2018 5:32 pm

The gap between the rear tin and body should be filled with a rubber seal. That seal missing is a good way to overheat the engine. It allows cooling air exiting the engine to get heated more by the muffler and get pulled back into the engine compartment and then cooling fan, repeatedly.

The air seals in aVW Bug should be taken as seriously as the radiators hoses in a water cooled car. Since air leaks show a lot less many don't see the problem. "Coolant" needs to be cool to work effectively!

fcgadget Thu May 17, 2018 7:16 pm

is this the seal I need?

if not, any suggested vendors ?

txoval Thu May 17, 2018 8:26 pm

Best vendor is Wolfsburg West

Snort Fri May 18, 2018 5:37 am

That square hole is for a clip-in captive nut for securing a small piece of tin which covers the heat riser connection to the muffler, starting with fresh air heater models. Maybe you have a head tin from a fresh air 36hp model. There is some better documentation on those motors in the 58-67 Bug forum as they were used in the mid-60's.

Rome Sat May 26, 2018 5:49 pm

Here's a shot of the snap-in nut in a later cylinder tin. The same nut would fit yours. Nearly all later left and right cylinder tins had this nut. If you find a single cylinder tin that is otherwise too rusty, you can carefully remove the nut. The nut is held in place by the two small prongs on the left and right sides. The prongs are slightly springy so that once snapped in place, they stay spread apart. To remove, push the prongs inward with a small flat screwdriver blade on each prong and just pop the nut out of the hole.

As to the engine to body gap, you have two issues. Yes, the body seal is missing. The one in your link is the wrong one; it is for a later Beetle. The type you need is for '66 and earlier.

The other issue is that, if your car really is an oval window per this Forum, then you have a later rear apron in place which would be for a 40hp engine and later. The "40hp" apron has a different shape along the top edge and does not come up as high as the "H" style apron that would've been on the oval originally. Since the 40hp apron does not come up as high, there is a larger gap to the engine rear breast plate.

But wait- the fix is easy- find a 40hp stale air rear breast plate, which is slightly longer in the front-to-rear dimension than the 36hp breast plate you now have. The 40hp plate will bolt up to your engine if you cut out the left section where the fuel pump tin is. This 40hp breast plate together with the engine seal should close up the gap completely. If you can't find a 40hp plate in case you need to drive the car immediately, you can also make an extension piece to rivet onto your current breast plate. Just make it out of thin sheetmetal, or even aluminum like a rain gutter material. Cut with tin snips. Follow the curved rear edge, just make the extension about 2-3" long. Bend an approx. 1/4" high downward lip at the rear edge for stiffness. Place the rivets approx. every 2" evenly spaced along the rear of your current breast plate, then once all is together, paint it all semi-gloss black. This work should take maybe an hour.

VW actually offered an extended rear breast plate for 36hp engines as a spare part. This was when the original H aprons were no longer being produced, and the later 40hp style apron was the official service replacement part. The extended breast plate would close up the larger gap.

fcgadget Sat May 26, 2018 11:04 pm

Thanks for your help!

This IS a '57 oval, with a '55 engine. Inherited from my father-in-law. He drove the thing for the last 20 years or so, just occasionally, around Burbank. Judging by the state of things there wasn't a lot of adequate maintenance.

I'll try your suggestion and make a piece to fill the void.

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