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High Mileage Air Cooled VW's?
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Bloku
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 7:51 pm    Post subject: High Mileage Air Cooled VW's? Reply with quote

Howdy peeps, today I was looking on YouTube channel, Petrolicious, and saw the video on the 1,000,000 mile porsche 356. I am astonished that he has gotten that many miles on his air-cooled flat 4 pushrod motor. He says he has rebuilt it 3 times so each motor has gone well over 250,000. How is this possible, and what can I do to get such a magical motor Laughing . I am thinking that "rebuilt" is meaning new everything and that he just "fixes" things like new pistons and rings every 80,000 miles and does not call it a "rebuild". How often do you need to replace the crankshaft in a vw? Just was on my mind and I found it interesting.

Thanks!

The video -

Link

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awreed
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 11:49 pm    Post subject: Re: High Mileage Air Cooled VW's? Reply with quote

Provided you don't rev your Beetle to 7,000 rpms at every stop light, the crank should last quite a while. I'm no expert and I'm only guessing here, but with all the failures I've seen and heard of, a broken crankshaft is among the more rare occurrences.

As far as the million mile 356, how was it treated during it's life? I know I could be easier on my cars, but I also know how to completely rebuild the engines from the case out. They're also not that expensive to completely rebuild.
Also, even though the motors look very similar, I believe Porsche had much tighter tolerances for their engines- but I could be wrong. All other things being equal, I would expect a 1600cc Porsche motor to last longer than a 1600 VW motor.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 1:36 am    Post subject: Re: High Mileage Air Cooled VW's? Reply with quote

The only magic required for high mileage and long life is a properly built, driven and maintained engine. My good friend Banzai KG (http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/profile.php?mode=viewprofile&u=15993) has 280something thousand miles on his 1776. If memory serves he has done 3 valve jobs on it since 1998 and the case hasn't been split since it was built.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 5:27 am    Post subject: Re: High Mileage Air Cooled VW's? Reply with quote

That 356 was stolen just days after the article and movie was finished.

It's a miracle they recovered it with only some wiring damage, but it shows that no matter how you plan or what you do fate has a funny way of stepping in.

http://forum.porsche356registry.org/viewtopic.php?...b6a3814664
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 6:47 am    Post subject: Re: High Mileage Air Cooled VW's? Reply with quote

Does hagerty even insure it? I thought they didn't do daily drivers?
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 10:44 am    Post subject: Re: High Mileage Air Cooled VW's? Reply with quote

So who has some documented high mileage air-cooled vintage VWs here? Most of the time you have no real idea, other than documented history, as to how many 100k miles an old vw has due to the five digit odometers.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 11:24 am    Post subject: Re: High Mileage Air Cooled VW's? Reply with quote

The thing that makes me wonder are the high miles on the rebuilds. It's one thing to have a factory motor that you own from new, take care of, drive responsibly, do all the maintenance and keep it in perfect condition. It'll still take luck, but I can see getting a LOT of miles out of that one.

But to then have two or three rebuilds that also get you 100K+ miles, that seems unlikely, especially on a car that lived through the 1970's and 80's when the standards for what passed for a quality rebuild wasn't as high as they are today.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2015 8:14 pm    Post subject: Re: High Mileage Air Cooled VW's? Reply with quote

coad wrote:
especially on a car that lived through the 1970's and 80's when the standards for what passed for a quality rebuild wasn't as high as they are today.


Huh?

China wasn't even in the business of building VW parts back in the 70s, or even the 80s really, either, save for chrome stuff..

Most of the rebuilds from the 70s and 80s i pull apart have real Mahle P&L, German heads, etc.

It's the rebuilds today that are total shit.

Granted, they pulled a lot of tin and thermostats and what-not off back then,
But,
Because the parts came from Germany, it didn't matter so much.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 1:40 am    Post subject: Re: High Mileage Air Cooled VW's? Reply with quote

Stanagon wrote:
So who has some documented high mileage air-cooled vintage VWs here? .

I believe Glenn has about 460k miles on his Beetle. He bought it new off the lot.

I bought mine when it was 12 years old. It was documented at 70k miles, and since then I've added 180k miles.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:23 am    Post subject: Re: High Mileage Air Cooled VW's? Reply with quote

175k miles on the 59 with its original 36 hp. All work receipts back to order slip and bill of sale from Moore Motors in Philadelphia PA. On it's 3rd clutch, and i pulled the engine once to clean out decades of oil leak grime. Original heads, case has yet to be opened.
Regular oil changes do make a difference.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 8:50 am    Post subject: Re: High Mileage Air Cooled VW's? Reply with quote

Clatter wrote:
coad wrote:
especially on a car that lived through the 1970's and 80's when the standards for what passed for a quality rebuild wasn't as high as they are today.


Huh?

China wasn't even in the business of building VW parts back in the 70s, or even the 80s really, either, save for chrome stuff..

Most of the rebuilds from the 70s and 80s i pull apart have real Mahle P&L, German heads, etc.

It's the rebuilds today that are total shit.

Granted, they pulled a lot of tin and thermostats and what-not off back then,
But,
Because the parts came from Germany, it didn't matter so much.


I wasn't thinking about the parts, I was think about the time and money spent at the machine shop. Back then not many people really spent the money on align boring and balancing and all that when they rebuilt the engine in a 1964 Beetle. If you were in the mood to spend big dollars you went to the dealer and bought a crate engine or you went to the junkyard and picked from a row of low mileage engines pulled from wrecks. It would have taken a really dedicated VW owner to write the checks for a first class rebuild back then.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 8:12 pm    Post subject: Re: High Mileage Air Cooled VW's? Reply with quote

my59 wrote:
175k miles on the 59 with its original 36 hp. All work receipts back to order slip and bill of sale from Moore Motors in Philadelphia PA. On it's 3rd clutch, and i pulled the engine once to clean out decades of oil leak grime. Original heads, case has yet to be opened.
Regular oil changes do make a difference.


Holy crap!! Shocked
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 10:00 pm    Post subject: Re: High Mileage Air Cooled VW's? Reply with quote

my59 wrote:
175k miles on the 59 with its original 36 hp. All work receipts back to order slip and bill of sale from Moore Motors in Philadelphia PA. On it's 3rd clutch, and i pulled the engine once to clean out decades of oil leak grime. Original heads, case has yet to be opened.
Regular oil changes do make a difference.

Not exactly air-cooled, but the highest mileage VW I've ever owned was a '76 carbureted Rabbit I picked up in the early '80's, it was a trade in at the dealer I worked at.
It came in with over 100K on it (he had all the service done there so I could pull the history), the original clutch was shot so he traded it in.
The PO did every maintenance and oil change on time and it was all original (no major repairs ever) except for plugs, points and filters.

I picked it up for $250, put a clutch in it and it was my daily driver for 5 or 6 years.

I changed the oil /filter every 3K (just like the PO did), cleaned the plugs and changed air /fuel filters every 10K, points once or twice (when filing them was a lost cause) Embarassed .
I put over 100K more on it and around 210 or 220K-ish miles, it was starting to rust through all 4 fenders, and needed another clutch.

I put another clutch in it, and sold it to a friend of mine's brother for $100 as a winter beater.
He never changed the oil or did anything to it, and after about a year she died, he thought the motor was seized but wasn't sure and scrapped it.

He did tell me though that he put another 60 or 70K on it, so she was just a bit under 300K when the wrecker hauled her off to that boneyard in the sky.

I bet if he changed the oil once or twice that motor still might be running today. Smile
So the moral of the story is change your oil often, it really does matter !

- Jay
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 11:23 am    Post subject: Re: High Mileage Air Cooled VW's? Reply with quote

I have 189,000 original miles on my 71 SB - original engine, I do not believe it has ever been rebuilt. Well maintained by original owner.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2016 2:07 pm    Post subject: Re: High Mileage Air Cooled VW's? Reply with quote

do it right ,do it all, use good parts,do it one time. simple.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2016 9:35 pm    Post subject: Re: High Mileage Air Cooled VW's? Reply with quote

how about 480k+ documented miles on a '68 bay window I sold off a few years ago.
I didn't put all the miles on it, but it sure was great going through the log books.

paying attention and taking care of thing, you can keep these cars going forever.

just look at how many 50-60 yr old vw's are still around.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:00 pm    Post subject: Re: High Mileage Air Cooled VW's? Reply with quote

While not exactly the theme of this thread, my well beaten 1971 SB had 151,462 miles on it when I scrapped it in 1979. I put about 75,000 of those miles on the car.

I know that exact number because I pulled the speedo when I scrapped the car, and kept it all these years:
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 6:08 pm    Post subject: Re: High Mileage Air Cooled VW's? Reply with quote

awreed wrote:
Provided you don't rev your Beetle to 7,000 rpms at every stop light, the crank should last quite a while. I'm no expert and I'm only guessing here, but with all the failures I've seen and heard of, a broken crankshaft is among the more rare occurrences.

As far as the million mile 356, how was it treated during it's life? I know I could be easier on my cars, but I also know how to completely rebuild the engines from the case out. They're also not that expensive to completely rebuild.
Also, even though the motors look very similar, I believe Porsche had much tighter tolerances for their engines- but I could be wrong. All other things being equal, I would expect a 1600cc Porsche motor to last longer than a 1600 VW motor.


... properly built and one's driving habits are key. The 1964 1500 in my 1960 single cab was rebuilt over 30 years ago and was really rebuilt properly AND most important, I have never driven it over 50 mph... have gone on long distance trips with it, once from Tulsa to Santa Fe and back averaging 47 mph on secondary roads at best... one can look underneath anytime and still, not see any oil leakage... is perfectly dry.
there is a guy, Mike in OKC that had a 911 with 525,000 miles on it... unbelievable!
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 8:40 pm    Post subject: Re: High Mileage Air Cooled VW's? Reply with quote

My '71 has over 340k total miles on the car. The original motor had new cylinders/jugs at 152k miles in '81,. The mainshaft bearing on the crank was replaced in '95 at 319k. It sat for years in a garage before i bought it.

According to the records (1 previous owner), she hit 100k in '78, 200k in '85, and 300k in '93. She was taken out of circulation in about 2000, and I bought her in 2008.

The secret is frequent oil changes and tune ups. The OG was religious with her maintenance schedule.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 11:51 am    Post subject: Re: High Mileage Air Cooled VW's? Reply with quote

Very old article from late 70s, as I understand if he got over 800,000 when some jackass ran into him and totaled the car. Still good info though.
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