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1973 VW Thing build in Canada
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VWest77
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:10 pm    Post subject: 1973 VW Thing build in Canada Reply with quote

Hello!

I picked up my first VW Thing late in 2012. I've had other air-cooled VW's in the past, but I worked on them while driving them. The plan with the Thing was to tear it down and fix it before driving it. I never did get around to working on the Thing until now, and thought I should start a build thread. I just insulated/boarded my garage so its comfortable to work in there. Its been a cold winter! Lots of -40c.

Here's some shots from when I first got it:

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Looks like it was rear ended and had an engine fire at some point. I was able to drive it when I bought it, but the wiring was all destroyed... so nothing electrical worked (signal lights...etc).
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1973 Thing 1600 T181
1963 Double Cab
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VWest77
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some progress made...

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The vehicle came with some extra bumpers, doors, hood, fenders...etc. I also purchased a second hand engine deck lid off of the samba classifieds. (figured it would be the better way to go, the one that came on the car was pretty rough).

I then purchased 1972 Beetle highback seats. (The Thing came with some sort of american (dodge I think), front seats when I bought it).

So just finishing pulling out the wiring harness. And ripping out all of the carpet. I will be separating the body from the pan, and taking the pan to be sandblasted and powder coated (or POR15), and the body will go to an autobody shop.

Going to make a list of smaller items to take to sandblast and powder coat... so far I've got all the engine tin, bumpers... just trying to think of anything else that would be good to send with it.

I noticed the engine doesn't have numbers below the generator stand, but the numbers on the underside of the engine are as follows:

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Any thoughts on that?
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1973 Thing 1600 T181
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herewego
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm far from an expert on these matters, but I believe the 211 number denotes a Type 2 (bus) part.
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VWest77
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

herewego wrote:
I'm far from an expert on these matters, but I believe the 211 number denotes a Type 2 (bus) part.


Yea, I'm not sure. Strange that there's no numbers under the generator stand...
The fan shroud, intake manifold and most of the engine tin seem to be "Thing" original parts.

Thought maybe those part numbers might mean something to someone.
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1963 Double Cab
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What you have is a part number for the case half and not a serial number. Since it does start with a 2 that would indicate the part was originally used on a bus, but could have been used on other vehicles later. Don't know if a T181 originally used that case or not, but the lack of a stamped serial number would indicate that it is not an original T181 engine, or at least not one intended for import to the US.
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VWest77
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cleaned up and rebuilt the carb today.

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Looks like someone was a little over zealous with this adjustment screw...

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hobie16
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

VWest77 wrote:
Looks like someone was a little over zealous with this adjustment screw...

Damn methanol.
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90runner
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice start. Man I have to get going on mine now.
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74 Thing stock lots of rust figured someone needed to save it.
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Shoyrtt
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

VWest77 wrote:
Some progress made...

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I wonder if the VW engineer from Germany or Mexico is still around to see how many of our cars have cancer in this area? Virtually every car I have seen that has spent any time outside has a nasty rust hole in this area. Crying or Very sad
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VWest77
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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Body is totally stripped and ready to be taken off the pan. Also, got all my engine cooling tin, pulley's, valve covers... Etc back from the powder coaters!
Looks great.

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Green_Lantern
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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wished my pans look that nice! I love fresh powdercoat! Will be watching this thread Cool

Make sure to brace it up before the divorcing...
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VWest77
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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Green_Lantern wrote:
I wished my pans look that nice! I love fresh powdercoat! Will be watching this thread Cool

Make sure to brace it up before the divorcing...



Thanks! I didn't know it was necessary to brace it... I did a quick search of the forums and couldn't find anything.

Could you explain what's needed?
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Ron Domeck
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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No need to brace the body, The only time we use braces are when we cut and clip or full rocker replacements.
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VWest77
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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Started tearing into the engine. One piston has some "pitting" and a couple pushrods have some wear. Other then that, things look good.

Would you guys get new pushrods and a piston? (Keep in mind, I don't even think this is a "Thing" engine... I'm just looking to get it to be a nice solid runner)

I actually wasn't going to go this far with the engine at this time, but looks like a total top end rebuild is going to happen now.


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citroen
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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dont quit there finish the rebuild you are allmost there replace the main, cam and rod bearings replace the main seal andd check the bore on the case you will regret itif you dont you are doing a great job
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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

VWest77 wrote:
Green_Lantern wrote:
I wished my pans look that nice! I love fresh powdercoat! Will be watching this thread Cool

Make sure to brace it up before the divorcing...



Thanks! I didn't know it was necessary to brace it... I did a quick search of the forums and couldn't find anything.

Could you explain what's needed?


Not necessary but if this is the only divorcing the Thing has seen body could come of a tad bit off. Better be safe than sorry. All is needed is welding in peices to structural point of the body mainly the door areas. Again you can never be to safe with your build.

Ron Domeck wrote:
No need to brace the body, The only time we use braces are when we cut and clip or full rocker replacements.


Like I mentioned above you can never be to safe in a build. Bracing just insures that the body will come together remarriage. Anytime i've divorced a body from the chassis i've braced. Aircooled to Corvette. Can again never be too safe.
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VWest77
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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

citroen wrote:
dont quit there finish the rebuild you are allmost there replace the main, cam and rod bearings replace the main seal andd check the bore on the case you will regret itif you dont you are doing a great job


Thanks for the advice. I've never cracked a case before, but I guess nows a good as time as any. I already have the main seal. I'll order the bearings.

What do you think about the "pitting" shown on the piston?
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citroen
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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

new pistons and new pushrod tubes would be nice . Clean up the piston and put a picture on so we can see it better.
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VWest77
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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

citroen wrote:
new pistons and new pushrod tubes would be nice . Clean up the piston and put a picture on so we can see it better.


Here's a shot of the cleaned up piston you asked for. I will get new pushrod tubes (they're not expensive). What do you think about the wear on those pushrods? Should I get a whole set of 8, or just replace the ones that look worn?

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citroen
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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pistons do not look that bad I have used worse check the rings for wear hone the cylinders and check for wear the push rods will work like that they are pretty thick. I would like to see where the damage was coming from I hope they are not from the rings also I would check the weight of the pistons and rods since you don't if all the pistons and rods came from that engine. Keep up the great job.
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