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Thing experts, help.
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Joined: September 29, 2002
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kmcarol@msn.com is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2003 4:33 pm    Post subject: Thing experts, help. Reply with quote

I'm thinking about buying a Thing (my first). I haven't seen it yet but the owner told me the following about it: 45K miles, speedometer is broken, pans are okay, painted brown with recovered brown seats, originally a 1974 acapulco model, no visible rust except near rear view mirror, hard and canvas tops, has been sitting under 3 tarps for the last few years and hasn't been started for that long, original engine, pulled it behind his motor home. He wants $4500 and told me he'll show it to me if I assure him that I'm not just a "tire-kicker" and that I'm "serious." (I guess it will be difficult for him get it out of storage, and then if I don't buy it, he'll have to go through the hassle of putting it back.) You experts out there, tell me what problems you see and whether I can or should be serious in light of what he's told me. Thanks!
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2003 6:07 pm    Post subject: Thing experts, help. Reply with quote

His description equals:
45k miles w/broken speedo: problem 100k +......
pans are okay: need replacement.....original 74 Acapulco: stupid to have changed it......

there are alot of issues with Things. FIND a VW Thing expert and take them with you. Things can be expensive to restore!

Since it probably needs work, he better expect a tire kicker. Especially one that was painted non-stock color. TAKE A MAGNET WTIH YOU!

$4500 means it better be in way above average condition. You could easily have $4000 in restoration costs. Good doors can cost you about $200 a piece. Windshield wiper motors are $300 plus core charge. The winshield alone is usually rusted. It can cost anywhere from $400 to $800 to restore or find one(if you can!). Good used ones don't exist and if they do, people will ask a mint for it.

I would be a tire kicker! Honestly, I would probably walk away from it because it is $4500, and you don't know if it even runs. You can look further and find a good original for that price.

I hope this helps!
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2003 6:08 pm    Post subject: Thing experts, help. Reply with quote

Spelling error: Problem = Probably!

Sorry! Smile
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2003 6:16 pm    Post subject: Thing experts, help. Reply with quote

another piece of info...it is has the original transmission, it is incapable of going more than 60 mph. Thing transmissions had a different tranmission ratio than bugs or ghias to aid in driving off road. These vehciles were not made for highway driving unless you modify them.

Don't get me wrong, VW Things are extremely cool! I own one myself, and have owned many in the past. You are doing the right thing in coming to Samba. You can also check out this site for additional info.

http://www.type181registry.com/Classifieds/

Good Luck! ;)

:)
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ChrisM181
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2003 10:24 am    Post subject: Thing experts, help. Reply with quote

Incapable of doing more than 60 mph???
That could not be farther from the truth!! I was doing 70-75 mph all day long in my Thing with a worn out stock engine and original tranny, before I pulled them out to rebuild them. Hell I drive 70-75 mph in Type 2s that are geared lower than Things are!
kmcarol, make him take the car out of storage, and if the car is not what he said it was, and you do not want it , to bad for him!! If he wants to sell a car he can not expect to sell it to somebody with out getting it out of storage. Also do not take all information givin on this forum as fact!
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2003 10:35 am    Post subject: Thing experts, help. Reply with quote

Ummmm.....you took some big chances. I don't entirely agree with you. I guess I just care a little more about my VW.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2003 10:48 am    Post subject: Thing experts, help. Reply with quote

kmcarol,

The reason I gave you this info, is if you are new to VW's, you need to know the facts so you do not 'smoke' the engine.
ALL VW air-cooled engines require maintenance. And if you are using it for a daily driver, you need to know what you are dealing with.

Like I said, I would find a local VW mechanic that knows VW Things (or someone in a local VW club that is well versed in these vehicles) and take the person with you to look at it.

:)
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ChrisM181
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2003 8:57 pm    Post subject: Thing experts, help. Reply with quote

Big chances? I never implyed that I 'smoked' the engine. The enigine had god knows how many miles on it so I took it out to freshen it up. But it was still in great running condition, hence the fact that I could easily do 70 mph down the highway all day long. I care so much about my VWs that I rebuild the engine myself to insure that the vehicle will be able to sustain speeds fast enough to not get me killed driving in motor city traffic! And doing 60mph on I-96 will get you killed very quickly!
VW Things are rated at 68mph by VW. The October 73 Road and Track article rates it at 73mph.
I have been riding in aircooled VWs since the day I was brought home from the hospital after being born. And my Father informed me that he has never 'smoked' a engine in over 30 years of driving them.. And has traveled at speeds in excess of 70mph, even in Things.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2003 9:30 pm    Post subject: Thing experts, help. Reply with quote

Smile
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edgy
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2003 4:53 pm    Post subject: Thing experts, help. Reply with quote

I'm somewhere between the other two. Our Thing travels on I 95 at about 65 mph, maybe 70 with a tail wind.

I would be careful about the price since the car hasn't moved in several years. As well as checking for bondo, make sure the front end is straight and sound.

It is odd that an Acapulco model would have been painted brown. I've heard of worse.

Car sounds over priced unless it starts up and can be driven home. Then it is a fair price if nothing is rusted out.

Windows and a top will cost you about $1000.
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TimGud
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2003 7:09 am    Post subject: Thing experts, help. Reply with quote

I personally don't like the sound of the engine above about 65 mph,and don't drive faster than that,but I have had mine up to 75.I have always driven VW's more by ear than what speed I am going and in a thing 65 seems to be about right.
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TimGud
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2003 7:10 am    Post subject: Thing experts, help. Reply with quote

kmcarol: The price seems to be a bit high,I too would kick all the tires. Smile
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nhernandez@varco.com is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2003 11:08 am    Post subject: Thing experts, help. Reply with quote

KICK'EM, KICK'EM ALL, and when your are done, kick them again. If he doesnt want to go thru all the trouble of pulling it outta the storage to show it to you, walk away and look on the Samba's classified's. You find a ton of Things for sale. Good luck and let us know what u do.
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ChrisM181
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2003 6:32 pm    Post subject: Thing experts, help. Reply with quote

Well, after the .82 4th gear is installed in my tranny. The 2187cc powerplant I am building will be turning less rpm at 75 mph than a Thing with a stock engine and the .93 4th gear at 65 mph. Overdrive baby!!
But I would still do 70 mph in a stock one!
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2003 8:00 pm    Post subject: Thing experts, help. Reply with quote

I bought my first THING for $200.00 dollars in 1988. It was a complete 1973 daily driver and was very reliable. I sold It for $500.00 dollars and missed it so much I bought another one for $600.00 dollars a few months later. Here in hawaii the 181 was used as a rental car in the 1970's and was a good beach mobile and readily available for purchase. I am shocked at how the value of these vehicles have skyrocketed. Long story short, A car that has not been daily driven and has expired tags and questionable paperwork is a "project" and should sell for way less than $4500.00 dollars. I would pay $300.00 -$500.00 Top's. Here in Hawaii Things are notorious rust buckets and I suspect that if there is any type of moisture where this car has been stored it will have major rust issues.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2003 2:09 pm    Post subject: Thing experts, help. Reply with quote

Many thanks to you all. As I expected, the advice was great and I got the added bonus of a debate about freeway speed. Best wishes.
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7thing3
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2003 5:16 pm    Post subject: Thing experts, help. Reply with quote

I thought the only difference between a Thing tranny and a regular type 1 was the flanges on the side. I believe the gearing is the same.
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bljones
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2003 8:59 pm    Post subject: Thing experts, help. Reply with quote

Depends. There were a variety of final drive ratios, depending upon year and M-code, including a limited slip diff option. check out hanno spoelstra's or PJ macua's sites for more info and specific trans codes.
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ritchiet002
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2003 9:30 am    Post subject: Thing experts, help. Reply with quote

Aloha I'm a split window bus owner.I read in the forum somewhere that someone used a thing trans. in a bus for the very reason of slightly higer gearing.I'm not familar with the thing trans. did they have redux gears like the early buses? 65mph is no problem with my stock 1600 motor, it the hills that kill!
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chinacat
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2003 2:38 pm    Post subject: Thing experts, help. Reply with quote

Early things (those produced up to February 1973) had reduction gears. Those produced from March 1973 on do not. The following link will tell you exactly what the gear ratios are: http://www.geocities.com/vwtyp181/181_3-2.htm

As far as speed, etc., my 73 Thing has no problem hitting speeds up to 75 mph (possibly more, but I didn't want to find out), however I absolutely refuse to drive her that hard for more than a few seconds. Mid 60s are very comfortable, and I agree that 55-60 is just plain unsafe (cars come up on you way too fast, and cut over way too close).

a hui hou
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