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Hidden Spare Keys - Anyone Find Theirs?
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Have you found an original, hidden spare key?
Yup!
37%
 37%  [ 3 ]
Nope!
37%
 37%  [ 3 ]
Haven't checked!
25%
 25%  [ 2 ]
Total Votes : 8

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gfulcher
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:05 am    Post subject: Hidden Spare Keys - Anyone Find Theirs? Reply with quote

Hi there,

I'm curious if others have found an original spare key hanging from the accelerator cable tube between their firewall and shroud. My second '73, purchased in 2003 was a low-mileage original, and I pulled the engine for the first time - and there was a key hanging back there.

I asked my engine guru, the late, great "Boston Bob" Donalds about this, and he said that many things shipped with this key, in case the originals got lost (or perhaps stolen) during transit to the USA from Mexico. At least they could unlock / start the cars and get them off the trucks.

Anyhow, who's found one? I only know of one other person. Does this extend to non Type 181 vehicles?

A search on The Google and also this site hasn't pulled anything up, at least not that I can find.
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Al Capulco Premium Member
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Hidden Spare Keys - Anyone Find Theirs? Reply with quote

Are you sure it was the accelerator cable. It's would be almost impossible to reach a key way back there. Maybe you mean the the gas line.
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Gene Kisner
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Hidden Spare Keys - Anyone Find Theirs? Reply with quote

Yes I found the key on both of the Acapulco's I have owned.
I always tell people if they are looking at a Thing or Beetle that the seller claims to never had the engine pulled feel back there for the key. If the key is not there it is probably because the engine was pulled and the key was never replaced.
As I understand it they all shipped with a key in that location.
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Chadkd
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Hidden Spare Keys - Anyone Find Theirs? Reply with quote

Where exactly did they locate them? 99.999 % sure my 73 thing has never had the engine out but can’t figure out where the key would be. I don’t see any gaps betwwn the firewall and fan shroud? Can anyone confirm or snap a photo of the area?
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Al Capulco Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Hidden Spare Keys - Anyone Find Theirs? Reply with quote

It is almost impossible to see the accelerator cable tube behind the fan housing. Hiding a key back there would be useless if you can't reach it. The owners manual only indicates that the Thing was supplied with two keys just like every other car of that time period. My recently purchased Acapulco model has 16k miles, original factory tires and the original fan belt dated 4/73. It was last registered 30 years ago. I don't see any key back there.
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74 Thing
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Hidden Spare Keys - Anyone Find Theirs? Reply with quote

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/album_page.php?pic_id=778899

Unfortunately I am the third owner and the original engine was long gone when I got it.

I have pulled the engine many times though!
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Chadkd
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Hidden Spare Keys - Anyone Find Theirs? Reply with quote

So is it possible to access the stash spot without removing parts or the engine?
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Madkel
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:52 am    Post subject: Re: Hidden Spare Keys - Anyone Find Theirs? Reply with quote

I had a much older brother in law that worked for Allstate Insurance in the early 70s.
When I was 15, back in that decade, He told me that when the Things were first shipped to the US, the theft rate was extremely high and not just because it was a VW. He stated that the spare key was taped to the firewall.
I was not a VW guy then and he was not the biggest car guy so it was not specified if it was the firewall in the engine compartment or the perceived “firewall” at the front of the passenger compartment.
Interesting that this comes up and that I remember the story.....
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gfulcher
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Hidden Spare Keys - Anyone Find Theirs? Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies... As for the exact location, I might be wrong about it being on the accelerator cable tube, and it may in fact be on the fuel line or attached elsewhere. I found mine hanging from a ring on one of the pipes, but I can't recall exactly which one.

As for visibility, I would get a shop light or flashlight, and remove the oil bath air cleaner. Shine the light behind the cooling shroud towards the left side of the car, and get an inspection mirror to peer in from the left side of the engine, as you face it from the rear. There is a small gap, and you can see through there with the right light and angles.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:44 am    Post subject: Re: Hidden Spare Keys - Anyone Find Theirs? Reply with quote

The actual location of the spare key was located on the metal part of the fuel line on the drivers side of the fan shroud!
(not the accelerator sleeve)
I was the one who actually spread the word around about this to begin with, via information from my predecessor Vince Sadowski.
And actually finding my own key on my low mileage 73
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