View original topic: How much HP do is really need for a Non Race bug and be happy Page: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
nextgen Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:06 pm

My bug is a standard 73, dropped front end front and rear anti sway bars, 4 wheel discs, dropped front spindles, KYB Gas Adjust rears, standard shocks front. 195 60 15 rears 195 50 15 fronts. Engine is a T-4 could be a T-1 for this post. Just had new ball joints and tie rods installed the car drives great.

I take it on the NYS Thruway and test it out, Not a drag car for off the line,but when you get to 50 and above the power comes in. My test was to see how the front end handles at speed. 914 engine no special cam but 2.0 8.5 to 1. The car went from 60 to 100 in seconds . Not a surprise seeing the 914 that weighed 300 lbs more could do 127mph.

At 100 with all I did it did not feel safe after 90mph. Aerodynamics , no matter. My Hp is is in the 110hp range

My point if I did less to the suspension would it feel worse , I guess, but our driving goal is to keep up with traffic at 75 mph.

So really how much HP is needed, keeping in mind of how our std trannys are set up. 70hp 80hp 90hp 100 hp vs spending more more for what you don't need.

nextgen Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:21 pm

BTY 75 mph to 80 is fine for me. Having cars as old as ours keeping up with modern vehicles I would think is everyone's goal, unless a Pure Original Collector car!

Coyotemutt Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:35 pm

70ish, maybe even 60 horsepower is good enough unless you need to be the first one to the next freeway exit. I drove a stock 1600 for years and rarely needed more power than that. I definitely wanted more though.

nextgen Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:06 pm

I agree, I know I have the extra power and love it but, the engine cost me $250 for New Unused 914 Training engine that was never run or had any oil in it

Vs building a T-1 up more then the 70hp you mentioned can get expensive and if not done right can cut the longevity of the engines life..

I had 1600 bugs for years and maybe 65 hp with all my souping it up. Fine for commuting to Manhattan for 30 years. But I must admit mostly right lane driving .

stanthedog Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:23 pm

How much power?? Just a little more. Always just a little more.

nextgen Tue Jul 31, 2018 2:06 pm

HI Stan, yep that is the problem, we are addicted, I agree. I guess 0 to 80 is the zone but how fast we move in it is our goal, because above 80 it gets dangerous.

When I hit 100 and was on a concrete highway going down hill with 18 wheelers lots of cars, even thinking about changing lanes was freaking me out.

We are not much better then a Motorcycle at those speeds if we crash. Anything above 70 a crash can be deadly against cars 40years more advanced.

But we are sure cool and unique. We should focus more on that,,ha trying to convince myself.

mark tucker Tue Jul 31, 2018 2:23 pm

add more power, and add a rear wing, and add a front wing/dam, do all the right work for the speeds you want to run. droped beams are different than droped spindials. add a shim or 4 to the beam to get some more caster. make sure the aliginement front&rear is good. as well as tight wheel bearings and good steering box.

Krochus Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:17 pm

How much horsepower?

All of them

2165 dual Weber turbo Baja bug

ach60 Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:37 pm

nextgen wrote:
Too much rake.
Just like engines, suspensions need tuning too.
I'd drop the rear, and I'd also be looking at better wheels, and tires.
Look for a wheel that has a mounting that insure you're hub-centric at least in the front.
After that I'd look for a shop that can do a 4 wheel alignment.

Glasser Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:06 pm

I guess it all depends on your comfort level. I also am running a 2.0L 914 Porsche. Bored and stroked to 2650cc. 187HP 200 ft/lbs torque 8.5:1 compresion. You want to feel something pull this is your car.
1400Lbs buggy with a heck of a lot shorter wheel base. The car demands respect as things can go south fast.
To date I've had it up to 200Kph (124 mph) still pulling.
So, is it enough you ask? Hell no!!!

Glenn Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:22 pm

The answer is always 30 more than you have.

Glasser Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:29 pm

Glenn wrote: The answer is always 30 more than you have.

=D> Agreed!

jismay Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:04 pm

I have a relatively heavy Type3 Squareback. When I blew the 1600 it came with I replaced it with a mild 1915 (W110 cam, mild ported heads, dual weber 40IDF)
I figure I have somewhere 90-100 HP or so. I can cruise 80MPH all day long no problems and honestly while more power is always nice I'm pretty happy with what I have now.

Glenn Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:19 pm

OK, not that i'm not on my phone i can really reply.

Years ago I had a 1776 with dual Dells, Bosch blue coil, 019 and a 1.5" header. HP might of been in the high 80s and it had no problem getting on the interstate and cruising with traffic at highway speeds.

Fast forward 30 years and the same car now has a 2180 with dual 48 IDA, Bosch blue coil, 010 and 1-5/8" header. It also has a Berg 5 speed with a 0.825th and 3.875 r/p, so getting on the interstate is a breeze and cruising at 80mph is not problem.

The trick is driveability. Having the wrong combo can make is a bitch on local streets and traffic. My 2180 has a FK8 cam so below 2500 rpm its very mild and has no problem at low speeds.

For high speed driving, the stock VW body is a brick. There are things you can do and I have. Lowered 3" in the front and 1" in the rear. Heavier front sway bar and adding a rear. Better shocks and new suspension bushings. A good 4 wheel alignment is a must. Wider wheels (5.5x15) and better tires BF Goodrich g-Force 195/55-15 front and 205/60-15 rear.

The car handles very well and i've had it well past 100mph. After driving the same car for 44 years, I know how to slide the rear out and snap it back under throttle.

With all of this it still doesn't drive and never will like a modern car. 80mph on the interstate is fine, but I see no reason to drive it faster. Its just not safe where I live and sooner or later you'll get yourself into trouble which is not a good idea in a car designed in the 1930s.

nextgen Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:16 pm

Ok my fronts are 195 50-15 G-Force.

LIke Glenn I am very happy were with my car 80 all day is fine

Mark, totally understand what you are saying sure there are guys that did 150 in stock bodied bugs at Bonneville. lIke your Race mods sure, but as my Subject is non race cars.

But Mark you are a perfect example, I guess we all want more. I am getting old and see things a bit differently. No Air bags, Bumpers ?? Ha.

Old saying "Life is like a roll of toilet paper, the more you use the faster it goes !!

My car can do over 100, on a perfect road like an air port field I may try it again. But 80 is fine on highways with A holes in tuner cars riding your ass and weaving and cutting in front of you if you give them a inch to get in.


Glenn Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:25 pm

nextgen wrote: But 80 is fine on highways with A holes in tuner cars riding your ass and weaving and cutting in front of you if you give them a inch to get in.

I would not try to mix it up with a guy in a WRX STi at high speed.

vwracerdave Tue Jul 31, 2018 7:53 pm

A split window Bug with a 25 horse engine can do 65 MPH. 90 HP is plenty for any public roads here in the USA. A Berg 5 speed like Glen has really changes the drivability a lot more than increasing the HP.

slalombuggy Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:02 pm

Level your car out. That flat windshield is killing you and you made it even more upright with that much rake. You've also moved the low pressure area further up on the rear of the car making it more unstable. At around 100mph the rear of the car actually starts to lift. Level the car out and add a Harrods helper. They actually make a huge difference at speed. Dean Lowery white knuckled a 131 in a stock as a rock Beetle and then an easy 141 with only a Harrods helper wing added to the car.

You can never have enough hp until you have to much and it stops being fun


Dale M. Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:26 pm

I have about 110hp at the wheels (mild to medium built 2084) in 1400 pound fiberglass buggy...

Its been up to any challenge...

THis was my auto-x car... Honest 120HP at the wheels (per chassis dyno) with 2180 and car weighed in at 1360 pounds...

It all comes down horse power to weight ratio, and how many $$$$ you have to spend....


FullFender Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:48 pm

More hp, more fun

and more problems

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