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Restoring my '56 bug - some basic questions
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BigBlueVW.blogspot.com
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:53 pm    Post subject: Restoring my '56 bug - some basic questions Reply with quote

Hello all-

Some of this seems to be covered in pieces in other threads, but I wanted to get a better understanding of some things. Forgive me if the answers are deep in the pages of a previous thread.

I am starting to pull apart and get things going on my '56 I picked up out of a garage last fall. My intention was to make the car as original and authentic as possible since I have all the original stuff (basically, 36 HP engine and split case transaxle). The bug had sat there since 1971 or 2 with the engine and transaxle out. The owner, now deceased, was attempting to replace the transaxle before stopping for some reason. So it came with 2 transaxles.

I started calling around this week to see which shop would take a look at the transaxles and see if they could make 1 good one out of the 2 I have. I called 3 places and thay all won't look at it, but also said I would hate driving the old transaxle and that I should upgrade to the later transaxle. So, I am beginning to wonder:

1. Should I upgrade my transaxle? How common is that and if I show up at a VW show with it is it a "yeah, but it has a later model transaxle"-type of thing?

2. Does upgrading a transaxle require you go up to the 1200 or above engine?

3. If I do throw a new transaxle and, say, 1200 40 HP engine in there, will that hurt the value of the car if everything else is brought back to original?

and last, really, how bad is driving the old transaxle? The people I talked to made it sound like I will regret it the moment I get in and start driving. Is it really that hard to get into first gear?

Thanks for your thoughts.

-Brett
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66brm
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You answered most of your questions in your own post, if you want it original then keep it that way, if its a numbers matching car then it will retain its value more than a bitsa.

The reason a later tranaxle is fitted is the all synchromesh gearing is nicer to drive regularly on the road.

The original engine can be used with a later gearbox but with 36hp on tap may struggle with the later gearing on climbs.

Driving with no synchomesh is no biggie if you build the car to cruise in, you just have to get used to it, if you know how to double clutch then its a walk in the park.
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63beryl
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the trans is the og 56 trans only 1st gear is not synchronized. The only time you'll notice this is if you try to put it in gear when the car is moving. When I say moving, I mean any movement. The days of ever so slightly rolling thru stop signs/lights are over if you use the 56 trans. The other three gears will shift and work just like the newer trans. If it's the og I say use it.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do everything in your power to use the correct and original trans.

They are fine to drive with, no issue, other than stationary to select first which isn't a problem anyway.

Putting a later incorrect trans in will detract from it's value, especially if the rest is original.

Your call, but I know what I'd do....
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is good to hear (about the driving experience). I won't be using it as a daily driver anyway. It'd be a weekend have fun car and a car show car. Thanks for the input.

-Brett
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'63 Bug "Little Blue"
'68 Bus "Big Blue"

Find bus camping friends at http://VWCamperFamily.com/

A west coast VW bus camping adventure at: http://bigbluevw.com/

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's only original ONCE in it's life. Lots of guys here (like me) would jump at the chance to have the original matching numbers engine back in their car. Wink
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No big deal driving with OG trans/engine. The engine pulls strong at low revs(well....), so once you are in 2. or above,you normally dont need the 1.
Its a matter of knowing your car.

You only need 1. again when you stop the car, and then its no problem.

I think the 40hp trans will get you a little higher rpm at same speed, because it got 40hp at higher revs than the 36.

Smile
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I personally love the feel and sound of the split case transmission. Unsyncho'd 1st gear is not an issue for me and I love the whine of the straight cut gear, very agricultural. Wouldn't change it for anything.

Don
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Restore" means "make as original." Anything else is not "restoring." Value will be retained better if restored to original condition with original equipment. A 36hp with the original trans is a hoot and is surprisingly driveable in modern traffic with the exception of highway speeds over 65 or so.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Testing topspeed with 36 angry hp!

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

13" wheels?
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Last Triumph wrote:
13" wheels?


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The engine was refurbished by an old VW guy before I bought the car in 1990. I think he knew how to do it. The engine is from 58, refurbished and swapped at Raffay in Hamburg in 1964.

The speedo shows about 6-7 km/h too much ( 4 mph).
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ahhh.... we are looking at KPH not MPH Wink
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The sound of the straight cut 1st gear is a characteristic part of these older models, and I've heard some people say that they would pay extra for that sound. IMO it's well worth the small effort required to master the shifting. Just be careful when switching between cars, or when someone else must drive the car......it must be made clear that 1st will grind when engaged unless the car is 100% stationary, and that 2-to-1 shifts are for double-clutch savvy people only.
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AlteWagen
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dont push start it if you keep the old split case!
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

derluftwagen wrote:
dont push start it if you keep the old split case!


That shouldn't matter, as you should be throwing the shifter into 2nd if you're push-starting it, anyway.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ive seen a few grenade (in 2nd) after being pushed.


They were in buses though. Maybe too much torque from the RGB?
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