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71 Super Semi-Automatic Refresh Thread
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sb001
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 7:27 pm    Post subject: Re: 71 Super Semi-Automatic Refresh Thread Reply with quote

I really don't get all the trouble the mechanic shop is having with this process- it makes me think something else is wrong. But I'm hesitant to say that since I've never had mine apart myself to know what the issue might be.
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Tom K.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:04 pm    Post subject: Re: 71 Super Semi-Automatic Refresh Thread Reply with quote

I’ve been making slow but steady progress on the autostick.

Engine

You might recall that I dropped everything off with my machinist here is central Pennsylvania. He concluded that the crankshaft was toast – maybe to be expected given that one rod bearing had 75% disintegrated. He had a good one in stock pictured here (he seems to have an endless supply of VW parts in his shed - I wanna go in there).

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The good news was that the camshaft and the case itself was inspected and found to be good to go with no cutting. The oil pump showed some wear but was deemed to have plenty of life remaining. Given that the autostick oil pump is a bit pricier than the manual, I was happy to get this news but will be on the lookout for an eventual replacement for the oil pump.

The case did puzzle my machinist, though. VW did not install case savers until 1973, so this AE case, if original, should not have them. Yet, case savers are on this case and, according to my machinist, they look like they could only have been installed at the factory.

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He suggests that the case was not original to this ’71 and instead might have been a factory-produced replacement case (with case savers) that might have been available early on at some dealerships. Who really knows, though. The serial number ends in an X, would this support his suggestion?

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On to the heads. Both heads were reconditioned with new valve guides and new intake and exhaust valves. As stated earlier, one of the heads was for a Type 3 – the one on the right with the split surface.

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I thought he would recommend replacing that head, but it was in good shape and original VW, so he refurbished it. I think they turned out really well.

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But to make it all work in one engine, he gave me a few shims to add under one of the heads to equalize the two sets of combustion chambers. He measured it all out carefully. He also provided new rods, new lifters, and all new bearings.

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And the engine tin seems to have cleaned up nicely with a ton of prep, then 3 coats of rustoleum primer and three coats of rustoleum gloss black.

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I begin reassembly soon, but first want to take advantage of the warm weather and do a few more outdoor tasks like body work. The engine can be assembled in the warm basement this winter if need be.

Thanks for looking!
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sb001
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:20 pm    Post subject: Re: 71 Super Semi-Automatic Refresh Thread Reply with quote

Very nice!! You're way ahead of where I am on my autsotick refresh - all I've done so far is powdercoat the tins and replace the tranny drain pan gasket Very Happy

I don't think I've ever seen a split head like that, I could have sworn I picked up a couple of type 3 heads at a swap meet some time back but they weren't split like that one.

After Mr. Duncan rebuilt my short block for me, I put the top end together myself, I wish I could remember the formula for figuring compression ratio, etc. unfortunately I've forgotten all lthat stuff and would like to remeasure it as my heads are off at the moment.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:30 pm    Post subject: Re: 71 Super Semi-Automatic Refresh Thread Reply with quote

That engine case looks to be rebuilt and restamped.

Check those bearings to make sure the split crank is steel backed. If it feels like light aluminum get a different set. I've seen a lot of the aftermarket bearings coming in made from aluminum for the split bearing.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:18 am    Post subject: Re: 71 Super Semi-Automatic Refresh Thread Reply with quote

Wish I could help you with measuring your compression ratios, SB. My machinist measured the volumes and chose the shims accordingly. I've seen it described on Samba and will probably double check before assembly.

Heimlich: yes, the case has somehow been around the block. The saddles and thrust have never been cut but the case savers were added by someone who really knew what they were doing. No other signs of work on that case. Any ideas about the X at the end of the serial number?
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 6:41 am    Post subject: Re: 71 Super Semi-Automatic Refresh Thread Reply with quote

Tom K. wrote:
Any ideas about the X at the end of the serial number?


Very bottom of the page here:

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/archives/info/engine_letters.php
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 10:16 am    Post subject: Re: 71 Super Semi-Automatic Refresh Thread Reply with quote

Here's the compression calculator http://cbperformance.com/v/enginecalc.html
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 10:24 am    Post subject: Re: 71 Super Semi-Automatic Refresh Thread Reply with quote

heimlich wrote:
Here's the compression calculator http://cbperformance.com/v/enginecalc.html


Sweet thanks!
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:34 pm    Post subject: Re: 71 Super Semi-Automatic Refresh Thread Reply with quote

Bingo! You nailed it, SB. Looking at the serial number area again, I now see the "remanufactured symbol", the restamped AE, and then where it was originally empty as it sat waiting as a replacement case, the original serial number was added once the original engine with that serial number was retired. This case must not have seen much action, as the saddles and thrust areas look perfect. Remember that this car saw a total of about 13 years on the road before it began it's long sit in 1984.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 12:24 am    Post subject: Re: 71 Super Autostick Refresh Thread Reply with quote

Undercoating

One reason for how this car might have survived 45 years of Pennsylvania salt and humidity without major rust (so far) might be the factory undercoating.

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I had been thinking of leaving the undercoating alone. But if I'm not inspecting the metal from above (due to carpets glued firmly to floor), then I thought I had better inspect from below. I started picking away at the undercoating and found small areas of surface rust. I eventually removed all of it from the rear wheel wells and under the luggage tray. My process was to use a propane torch and a chisel. Heated by the torch, the undercoating material melted immediately to the consistency of butter. Once this was cleared away with the chisel, a thin black film remained. I sprayed Fluid Film on this black film and came back a few days later (Fluid Film somehow reacts to many undercoating making them less sticky). A simple rag wiped the oily mess away to reveal the beautiful (to me) factory sapphire blue paint.

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A few areas of surface rust that were hiding beneath the undercoating were treated with OSPHO.

The chisel was nice because, although the metal heated up from the torch, the plastic handle remained cool. But it also left scratch marks. I think I’ll try a long wooden spoon when I do the front wheel wells and the floor panels hopefully without burning the spoon.

To protect this metal moving forward, I plan to use Fluid Film – reapplying each year. Hey, if it’s good enough for NASA, John Deere, and the US Navy, then it should protect a little VW, right? It’s transparent, so I can keep an eye on the paint each year for any signs of rust as I reapply.

Thanks for looking!
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 3:35 am    Post subject: Re: 71 Super Semi-Automatic Refresh Thread Reply with quote

Check out waxoyl last longer than fluid film.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 6:20 am    Post subject: Re: 71 Super Semi-Automatic Refresh Thread Reply with quote

Thanks for weighing in with the tip, calvinator. I have several cans of waxoyl and use it on my Vanagon. But I thought waxoyl also needs to be reapplied each year? The only problem for me is that waxoyl goes on black. Thus, it becomes impossible to inspect the metal under. Also, Fluid Film is made of 99% natural ingredients and, to me, smells kind of nice. But, yes, I like both products.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 3:30 am    Post subject: Re: 71 Super Semi-Automatic Refresh Thread Reply with quote

Rear Suspension

When I bought this car, I thought the rear end was sagging a little low.
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With the tranny, brakes, hubs, and rear fenders already removed from the car, I thought there was no better time to re-index the rear torsion bars and replace all the bushings. Here it is before the job
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Before removing the spring plate or torsion bar, I used an angle finder to record the angle of the spring plate while it sits resting without tension. My original measurement was 19.3 degrees. To raise the car, I set an arbitrary target of 21 degrees. Here are the parts.
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The new outside bushings ordered from WW did not physically match the original bushings, but fit just fine.
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The new inside bushing slides right into its spot – a quick spray of silicane eases the placement.
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The next part is downright fun – and I haven’t seen it explained on Samba. Take the torsion bar and push it into the tube until you feel it grabbing the inner splines. Then lightly hang the spring plate onto the outer splines and measure your angle trying to get as close to 21 as you can. For me, one notch gave my, like, 25 degrees and the next notch over on the outer splines gave my 16 degrees. Neither is anywhere close. So pull everything out again, turn the torsion bar about 180 degrees or so and do it all over again. Your measurements this time might be 22 and 13 – getting closer. Keep rotating the torsion bar and try again and again until you get your goal (21). At the end, you will probably need to rotate the torsion bar very carefully to change just one notch on the inner spline – you can feel it sliding out of one spline and into the next one. If your angles get further away from your goal, then you rotated the torsion bar the wrong way. But it’s easy to do this – nothing is heavy or awkward.
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You can see in that picture the location of the new outer bushing – the cover is then bolted right over it.

I also replaced the four bushings in the trailing arms – easy to do once in this deep (new WW bushings are on the bottom).
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Once everything was bolted back together, I temporarily hung the rear fender using just two fender bolts and set the car back on its wheels to look at the stance. It’s a little high now (although the engine is still out of the car)
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So, my next step is to go back in and reduce the resting spring plate angle by about .3 degrees. I can think of no way to escape this trial and error process, but it’s really not that bad.

I started a related thread on this job here: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=722406&highlight=
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 7:32 am    Post subject: Re: 71 Super Semi-Automatic Refresh Thread Reply with quote

The Autostick Transaxle and Clutch

I next rebuilt the non-interior portions of the autostick transaxle and clutch. This car was last driven 35 years ago by someone who is not me, so I can only hope that the inner workings of the transaxle are OK. But who knows? The car key was found in a desk with the work “fix” taped to it. I’ve already found a bad rod bearing, a broken piston skirt, and a fused clutch. Hopefully the “fix” has already been addressed, but something else might be lurking.

What I do know is the exterior of the transaxle and bell housing were covered with gunk and grease and dirt. It took me many fun hours with various scraping and brushing tools to get it clean. To better seal the transaxle, I decided to replace every seal, gasket, and o-ring that I could get my hands on. These parts were all purchased from evwparts and were not cheap. Most of these procedures are covered in Bentley. Here is the list of new parts in order of install:

Nose cone gasket
Nose cone sealing bushing
Nose cone seal
Final drive seals
Final drive caps
Main drive shaft seal
Turbine shaft seal
O-ring and a new paper gasket
Small o-rings under nuts that secure bellhousing to transaxle
Torque convertor seal
Rear transmission mounts (front mount looked good so I reused it)
Transmission to body seal

Sorry for this long post - autostick processes are not covered as extensively as standard processes on most other Samba build threads. I guess I’m trying to make up for that.

The nose cone came first and is roughly the same as the standard transmission, so I won’t spend much time on it. Everything went together smoothly.

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But when torquing the neutral safety switch, the switch broke in half. Ugh. Luckily, our valued Samba member sb001 came through with a spare that he had lying around. So all is well. Thanks again, sb001!

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Next come the two final drive seals. I didn’t feel like opening up the differential itself, so I disassembled the final drives down to just this point and left the differential intact (thus not able to replace the old o-ring in there).

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The parts are installed in order roughly from the bottom right of this picture to top left

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First, on the bottom right, is the new final drive oil seal. Then the larger lock plate is screwed on with two screws. The clear plastic membrane is usually attached to the lock plate, but it came off during cleaning. It easily snuggled back into place. Next I attached the (medium sized) sealing cap and the (small) spacer. According to Bentley, these two items were only on the ’71 and ’72. Next on is the large axle flange, followed by the circlip and finally the plastic cap. Hopefully these are now sealed up good.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Next was replacing the main drive shaft seal – this was giving me some worry. This seal lives between the inner portion of one large tube and the outside portion of a smaller tune. The seal sits deep into the transaxle between these two tubes. Even though Bentley makes no big deal about pulling it (refers to a “hook-type puller”), I couldn’t imagine any standard tool getting all the way in there and pulling the seal back out. A search over on VWAR provided an option. Take a long bolt of just the right length and thickness and use a cut off wheel to carefully remove metal from the bolt to mold a small hook at the end. Then carefully insert this hook down into the tube and loop it under the seal without scratching anything. And then gently pull and hope. It worked. The seal pulled out fairly easily – I was expecting a long game of tug-of-war leading to a shredded and deformed seal and scratched metal.

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Comparing the new seal to the existing (thicker) seal was disappointing.

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The new seal will hopefully do the job. I’m keeping the old one, even though it is now slightly damaged from the removal process, in case the new seal doesn’t do the job.

OK, time to attach the clutch assembly to the bellhousing. You might recall that my clutch disc was fused to the pressure plate when I first opened things up – probably from sitting for 35 years in a sometimes hot sometimes cold garage. I sanded the clutch carrier plate and the pressure plate to remove pieces of clutch material, and everything seems to look good. All parts, including the clutch disc, were reused. The autostick clutch disc does not wear away like a standard clutch – it disengages far fewer times per car trip. If driving in town without needing to go in reverse, it will never disengage.
The first step is to insert a new turbine shaft seal into the inside of the bell housing.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Then flip the bell housing over and insert the ball bearing. After inspecting the bearing with a magnifying glass, I detected no pitting or damage and thus reused the original bearing. This bearing is expensive, so replacing it for the mere heck of it is not a very fun option. The bearing can be tapped into place with a socket.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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The next step is to install this o-ring and a new paper gasket to something called the one-way clutch support. The new gasket feels like a dense thin fiberboard- maybe cut from something like a cereal box but without the waxy surface. The leftover pieces of the original gasket felt like thick wax paper to me. Again, let’s hope the new stuff does its job.

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These eight socket head screws secure the one-way clutch support tube to the bell housing. Notice I am missing one head screw – its 8-point female socket was stripped during removal. I had to dig through metric bins at my hardware store to find a bolt that I could use after a little modification with my grinder.

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Then tap the one-way clutch support through the bellhousing until this circlip can be attached.

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And then install the 8 screws – turning the clutch carrier plate until an access hole hovers over the threads on the one-way clutch support.

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Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Next I installed the clutch disc/plate, the clutch pressure plate, and the release bearing. Before doing this, I took the release bearing by itself and practiced getting a feel for how it must be installed to the clutch release shaft on the transaxle. The two ears on the release bearing need to match up with the hooks on the clutch release shaft. You can see that as the clutch release shaft rotates (from air pressure from the servo), the hooked-in release bearing will move in and out thus disengaging the clutch disc/plate and allowing for the shifting of gears.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

The next step was a little tricky for me. The autostick has no clutch alignment tool, yet the clutch has to be perfectly centered to allow the bellhousing to eventually attach to the transaxle. The clutch disc can move about one-eighth of an inch up/down and left/right when resting within the surface of the clutch carrier plate surface. Getting that clutch disc centered is essential. I used my digital caliper to measure all around the perimeter of the clutch disc and gently tapped the disc until I was satisfied. I wouldn’t rush through this process. Once the clutch is resting perfectly in the middle of the clutch carrier plate, then the release bearing rests directly on top and then the pressure plate is secured with 6 screws (with spring washers) tightened slowly and evenly to hold everything together. I regret not taking a picture of this step. Instead, I took this picture but the release bearing is missing because, at that moment, I was still practicing the connection to the clutch release shaft.

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Now it’s time to put it all together. This connection is exactly what owners of standard transmissions must perform when reinstalling the engine – getting the splines on the clutch disc to slide into the splines of the input shaft. The level of precision is the same. The number of failed attempts is large. Frustration builds, etc. Then once you get the hang of it, it slides right on. In fact, eventually I could do it over and over again (I had to for various reasons – see below). Eight 13mm nuts with spring washers secures it all together.

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Autostick veterans will look at that last picture and start laughing. I am about to commit the singular act that might be considered the primary initiation into the brotherhood of autostick owners. This oversight will eventually require me to take the transaxle back out of the car, drain the tranny oil, and then remove the bellhousing again. Ugh! What was it? I forgot about the two bottom engine mounting bolts. These two bolts *must* slide in to their little tubes in the transaxle *before* the bellhousing is reattached to the transaxle. I lost my entire Saturday morning redoing these steps. Despite what you might have heard on the issue, draining freshly added tranny oil from an autostick transaxle is really not that fun. The tranny oil has to come out because 2 of the 8 nuts that secure the bell housing to the transaxle are inside the differential – you need to remove the drain plate to access them. By the way, both of these nuts get new o-rings to help keep the transaxle oil where it belongs and out of the bellhousing.

A few last steps. I cut a new gasket for the drain plate

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And then slid in a new torque convertor seal

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The transaxle can then be installed into the car with a new front body seal.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

You will notice in that last picture that the other autostick components have been added to the car. I'll post again with the step by step for installing those.

Thanks for reading!
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'70 Beetle Convertible (daily driver April to December when road salt hits)
'71 Super Beetle Semi-Automatic (currently being restored)
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sb001
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 12:58 pm    Post subject: Re: 71 Super Semi-Automatic Refresh Thread Reply with quote

Tom K. wrote:


Thanks for reading!


Good lord- I'll have to wait until I get home to take this all in Very Happy
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 2:55 pm    Post subject: Re: 71 Super Semi-Automatic Refresh Thread Reply with quote

That is a fantastic read (with pictures Smile)!!

Tom, this is going to be one mechanically perfect AS when you are finished. I love the detailed write ups and pictures to go along step by step. I did mine so many years ago...this is bringing back memories.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2019 3:21 pm    Post subject: Re: 71 Super Semi-Automatic Refresh Thread Reply with quote

Autostick Components

I’ve not seen this covered much on Samba, so in addition to the clutch area discussed above, the autostick has the following components not featured in a standard transmission VW.

Clutch Servo
Air Tank
Control Valve
ATF Fluid Tank
Torque Converter
Air hoses and ATF lines

The clutch servo’s job is to convert a change in air pressure to release the clutch when it’s time to change gears. A very common maintenance issue is that an internal rubberish diaphragm ruptures, which renders the entire servo unit useless to hold a vacuum. After sitting for 35 years, my diaphragm indeed had many ruptured slits

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

New inexpensive diaphragm kits are available at most VW supply houses – my guess is that they are all manufactured in the same place. Some Samba members have complained that the new diaphragms don’t last, but my guess is that premature failure may be the result of installation error. It’s easy for the diaphragm to slip out of position whilst tightening the bracket. It’s also possible to over-tighten the bracket thus squishing the diaphragm. Just be careful and steady and don’t over-tighten. Youtube videos are available to show this process. Here is a picture of the new tightened bracket

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The servo bracket is mounted directly onto the transaxle, and then the servo is mounted to this bracket. It all goes together easily.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

The protruding rod on servo connects to an arm that connects to the clutch release shaft. Careful measurements must be made at this stage to ensure good clutch operation – think of it as the autostick equivalent to adjusting the wing nut on the clutch cable on the manual transaxle. Bentley explains the adjustment process perfectly – not much I can add.

The clutch servo also received a brand-new vacuum line – purchased from Summit Racing after a tip above from vwfreek61.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

I next installed the air tank. After removing factory undercoating and 50 years of crud, the tank and its parts (and a new air hose) are here with a fresh application of primer and paint.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

The tank is installed under the driver’s side rear fender. My fender is removed, so you can see pretty easily where it goes.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

The air pressure system is completed with the control valve. Just like the human heart, the control valve has two main chambers with valves. The first controls the amount of air pressure that goes from the engine’s intake manifold to the tank. The second regulates the bursts of air pressure between the tank and the clutch servo when it’s time to switch gears. The control valve was rebuilt earlier in this thread, details can be found here:

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=658404&highlight=control+valve

Here it is ready to be mounted. The new vacuum line to the carb is included in this picture next to the old. This line is thinner than the other autostick hoses.

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The control valve is installed by three nuts here

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And here it is with all new vacuum hoses

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The other system on the autostick VW involves the ATF fluid. The ATF storage tank also got a thorough cleaning and application of primer and paint

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

It is mounted under the passenger side rear fender using a similar but symmetrical bracket system as was used for the air tank

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Two hoses connect the ATF tank to the transaxle. I didn’t replace these. Here they are connected to the transaxle.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

And, in this next picture, you can follow each hose. One goes to a nipple on the neck of the ATF tank, and the other connects to a hard line that will connect to the oil pump (not yet installed). Note that a second line off of the bottom of the ATF tank also connects to the oil pump (not in picture but will be shown later).

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

The torque converter also goes in later. Otherwise, here are the autostick components.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


That pretty much sums up the autostick portion of this build. The remaining steps include body work, new window and hood seals, new seat upholstery, and the engine assembly and installation. I'm hoping this baby will be ready to drive by spring.
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'91 Vanagon Westfalia (long-term storage waiting for the empty nest - teenagers hate camping)
'70 Beetle Convertible (daily driver April to December when road salt hits)
'71 Super Beetle Semi-Automatic (currently being restored)
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bruehoyt
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Location: Columbus, OH
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:38 pm    Post subject: Re: 71 Super Semi-Automatic Refresh Thread Reply with quote

Thanks for posting this thread and all the awesome pics and tips. After nearly a dozen VW's I have my first autostick. I have components to convert it to manual, but don't want to as long as it continues to perform well. I will repair peripheral problems, but am not sure if I am up to a transmission rebuild. At least I have this thread to help if I do try to rebuild down the road.
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nevets7
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Joined: June 15, 2018
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 11:03 pm    Post subject: Re: 71 Super Semi-Automatic Refresh Thread Reply with quote

yes thank you for the information it's great help in restoring my 1974 autostick super beetle. quick question what size bolt are needed to secure the autostick solinoid bracket to the body thanks steve
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vamram Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:03 am    Post subject: Re: 71 Super Semi-Automatic Refresh Thread Reply with quote

Great work Tom! I've never owned or driven an autostick but this would be one of the go-to threads if I ever do. I think your section about its components would be great as its own , or even a sticky for autostick aficionados.

Victor
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ROAD TRIP!! http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=625889&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0
'72 Super - 1/13 - 5/18 SOLD! SOLD! SOLD!
'73 Super - work in progress.
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