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1973 Sports Beetle - Need help (Complete first timer)
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gmoney1227
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2021 4:05 pm    Post subject: 1973 Sports Beetle - Need help (Complete first timer) Reply with quote

Hello everyone, thank you ahead of time for your help.

So I realize Iím doing this out of order and I appreciate any and all help you can give me. I am an absolute beginner and have no knowledge of these type of vehicles. Having said that, I now realize I made the mistake of pulling the trigger on a vehicle without really understanding what I was getting into. That being said, Iím in this and I donít wanna quit: I want to see this to the end and I was hoping the experience of all here can help/guide me.

Hereís my situation: I just purchased a 1973 Sports Beetle, that seemed to be in OK condition. Iíll spare you all the details, but Iíve taken it to the All VW shop in Mountain View California, not sure if anyone here is familiar with that shop? I took it there because of the reviews and recommendations I came across.

The guy there seems sincere, but again Iím kind of flying blind here. I was told by the mechanic there that there is excessive crank shaft movement inside the case and that the engine is running hot. His recommendation at this point is to rebuild it and is quoting me around $3,800 to do so. Of course he also suggested I address the fuel system and brake system since the car has been sitting for the last five years.

Again, I know that Iím coming at this late since I shouldíve asked questions before I made a purchase, but does anyone have experience or is familiar with the shop? Also, does rebuilding the engine seem to be the way to go versus looking for a new one and replacing it?

Thank you again.
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Cusser
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2021 4:18 pm    Post subject: Re: 1973 Sports Beetle - Need help (Complete first timer) Reply with quote

I disassembled and assembled my own 1600cc engine in 2016-2017 and my parts and machining cost me $1200.

There are suppliers of complete rebuilt engines in California as well.
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1970 VW (owned since 1972) and 1971 VW Convertible (owned since 1976), second owner of each. The '71 now has the 1835 engine, swapped from the '70. Second owner of each. 1988 Mazda B2200 truck, 1998 Frontier, 2005 Yukon, 2004 Frontier King Cab. All manual transmission except for the Yukon. http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/album_page.php?pic_id=335294 http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/album_page.php?pic_id=335297
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Dan the workingstiff
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2021 4:23 pm    Post subject: Re: 1973 Sports Beetle - Need help (Complete first timer) Reply with quote

Can you feel slop in the crank? Grab the lower pulley and push and pull it.

Drain the tank, put a new filter.

How does the rubber flex hose on the brakes look? Never a bad idea to change them.

Do you have the ability to rebuild a motor?
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gmoney1227
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2021 4:24 pm    Post subject: Re: 1973 Sports Beetle - Need help (Complete first timer) Reply with quote

Cusser wrote:
I disassembled and assembled my own 1600cc engine in 2016-2017 and my parts and machining cost me $1200.

There are suppliers of complete rebuilt engines in California as well.


Thank you Cusser. Any recommendations for rebuilt engines in California?
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gmoney1227
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2021 4:27 pm    Post subject: Re: 1973 Sports Beetle - Need help (Complete first timer) Reply with quote

Dan the workingstiff wrote:
Can you feel slop in the crank? Grab the lower pulley and push and pull it.

Drain the tank, put a new filter.

How does the rubber flex hose on the brakes look? Never a bad idea to change them.

Do you have the ability to rebuild a motor?


Thanks Dan...
No, I donít have the know-how to rebuild the motor which is why Iím relying on the recommendation of the shop. I just want to make sure that my hard earned dollar is well spent and I shouldnít be going a different route.
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gmoney1227
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2021 4:36 pm    Post subject: Re: 1973 Sports Beetle - Need help (Complete first timer) Reply with quote

Hereís a quick clip I took of the car before taking it to the shop. To me, it doesnít sound abnormal, but I know that doesnít mean it doesnít need a new motor or for it to be rebuilt.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/fh4ops2ss4fm4t1/IMG_1549.MOV?dl=0
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67rustavenger
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2021 5:59 pm    Post subject: Re: 1973 Sports Beetle - Need help (Complete first timer) Reply with quote

I like that car. The engine doesn't sound like it needs a rebuild. But I'm not there to analyze it.

I agree, Ditch the white walls. They look out of place on a car that nice.

It is recommended here that the fuel filter be relocated under the car next to the transmission.

Make sure to make the car safe first. Then work on making it your car.
Get the brakes checked. Brake lines need to be inspected and replaced. If needed.
All the lights need to be brought up to working condition.

Some good cleaning in and around the car will make it, just that much better for ya.

Keep in mind that ACVW mechanics are aging out of the field. So learning how to work on your car will help you down the road. We all had to start somewhere in our hobby.

And most important. Have fun and enjoy the experience.
If you get frustrated. Walk away for a little bit and come back at issues with a fresh outlook and lower blood pressure. Lol!
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Cusser
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2021 6:50 pm    Post subject: Re: 1973 Sports Beetle - Need help (Complete first timer) Reply with quote

gmoney1227 wrote:
Cusser wrote:
I disassembled and assembled my own 1600cc engine in 2016-2017 and my parts and machining cost me $1200.

There are suppliers of complete rebuilt engines in California as well.


Thank you Cusser. Any recommendations for rebuilt engines in California?


Engines Use the Buyer and Seller Feedback on this site.

Chico Performance Racing (Anibal) is highly thought of. http://steelbugin.com/ (626) 390-5107
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...;start=280

SCAT sells brand new zero mile engines, others might too. Look in the Buyer/Seller area here.

Others, not in California though:
Aircooled.net - [email protected]
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...;start=480

MOFOCO - [email protected]
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...;start=320
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1970 VW (owned since 1972) and 1971 VW Convertible (owned since 1976), second owner of each. The '71 now has the 1835 engine, swapped from the '70. Second owner of each. 1988 Mazda B2200 truck, 1998 Frontier, 2005 Yukon, 2004 Frontier King Cab. All manual transmission except for the Yukon. http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/album_page.php?pic_id=335294 http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/album_page.php?pic_id=335297
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minimeadow
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2021 7:16 pm    Post subject: Re: 1973 Sports Beetle - Need help (Complete first timer) Reply with quote

If you drove the car to the shop and back, then you don't need a new engine right away. Maybe you will need one eventually, but that could be a year or three years.

I'd get the breaks fixed first and do some research so that you're ready to replace the engine when you really need to.
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gmoney1227
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2021 7:33 pm    Post subject: Re: 1973 Sports Beetle - Need help (Complete first timer) Reply with quote

67rustavenger wrote:
I like that car. The engine doesn't sound like it needs a rebuild. But I'm not there to analyze it.

I agree, Ditch the white walls. They look out of place on a car that nice.

It is recommended here that the fuel filter be relocated under the car next to the transmission.

Make sure to make the car safe first. Then work on making it your car.
Get the brakes checked. Brake lines need to be inspected and replaced. If needed.
All the lights need to be brought up to working condition.

Some good cleaning in and around the car will make it, just that much better for ya.

Keep in mind that ACVW mechanics are aging out of the field. So learning how to work on your car will help you down the road. We all had to start somewhere in our hobby.

And most important. Have fun and enjoy the experience.
If you get frustrated. Walk away for a little bit and come back at issues with a fresh outlook and lower blood pressure. Lol!


Thank you 67RA!
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gmoney1227
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2021 7:34 pm    Post subject: Re: 1973 Sports Beetle - Need help (Complete first timer) Reply with quote

Cusser wrote:
gmoney1227 wrote:
Cusser wrote:
I disassembled and assembled my own 1600cc engine in 2016-2017 and my parts and machining cost me $1200.

There are suppliers of complete rebuilt engines in California as well.


Thank you Cusser. Any recommendations for rebuilt engines in California?


Engines Use the Buyer and Seller Feedback on this site.

Chico Performance Racing (Anibal) is highly thought of. http://steelbugin.com/ (626) 390-5107
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...;start=280

SCAT sells brand new zero mile engines, others might too. Look in the Buyer/Seller area here.

Others, not in California though:
Aircooled.net - [email protected]
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...;start=480

MOFOCO - [email protected]
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...;start=320


Thank you for the info.
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gmoney1227
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2021 7:36 pm    Post subject: Re: 1973 Sports Beetle - Need help (Complete first timer) Reply with quote

minimeadow wrote:
If you drove the car to the shop and back, then you don't need a new engine right away. Maybe you will need one eventually, but that could be a year or three years.

I'd get the breaks fixed first and do some research so that you're ready to replace the engine when you really need to.


Thanks, great point. The one thing it would do to me was stall upon acceleration when in first and sometimes in second gear. Iím assuming thatís fuel system related?
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gmoney1227
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2021 7:38 pm    Post subject: Re: 1973 Sports Beetle - Need help (Complete first timer) Reply with quote

@Cusser...

The three links you provided say that theyíre not available. Can you resend or point me in the right direction please?
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AirHead1966
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2021 7:43 pm    Post subject: Re: 1973 Sports Beetle - Need help (Complete first timer) Reply with quote

Just Google scatvw.com and mofoco.com and aircooled.net
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gmoney1227
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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2021 8:08 pm    Post subject: Re: 1973 Sports Beetle - Need help (Complete first timer) Reply with quote

AirHead1966 wrote:
Just Google scatvw.com and mofoco.com and aircooled.net


Will do, thank you.
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pittwagen
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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2021 9:35 am    Post subject: Re: 1973 Sports Beetle - Need help (Complete first timer) Reply with quote

I assume you know that the Sports Bug is a relatively rare limited edition model with only about 3500 having been exported into North America 48 years ago.

When I buy a new to me vehicle I like to learn as much as I can about the vehicle as well as performing a complete assessment of the vehicle's condition. I am then able to prioritize repairs and functionality as time and funds allow. This is not likely to be a journey that will be short in time or cost few dollars.

So, what do you know about the vehicle's history. Mine is simple. I am the first and only owner.

Do you know the day your bug was made? That info is found on a stamped plate next to the left of the front hood latch on the front apron. Here is mine:

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


10-4 indicates the 4th day of March, 1973. Monday is the first day of the week on the German calendar so March 8, 1973.

Do you know if the engine is original or likely original to the vehicle? The engine serial number is stamped on the front face of the alternator support stand. Mine starts with the letters AK followed by numbers 116951. This is consistent with the VIN section in the Technical heading.

If it is likely that your engine is original to the vehicle, I would be doing my best to preserve that engine if at all possible.

From someone like me who has been in the VW scene for 53 years and counting, I learned over time to do much of the work myself. I learned bit by bit from some very generous mentors. Folks today are extremely fortunate to have the Samba as a resource. Take some pics and post them. Help is a click away. This will not be a short trip but it has the potential to be very rewarding.

My thoughts.
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kpf
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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2021 1:52 pm    Post subject: Re: 1973 Sports Beetle - Need help (Complete first timer) Reply with quote

I'd stick with the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" strategy. If it goes and stops, then drive it and enjoy it.

One thing though: the fuel lines should be inspected and replaced if necessary. Most old bugs have neglected fuel lines that are dry and cracked.

Those white walls are "fake" rings that just sit between the tire and wheel. A tire shop can easily remove them without you having to buy new tires. As you can see, they pull away from the tire and start to look really bad, wobbling around as you drive. They cause imbalances and worst of all, they will cause leaks, requiring you to inflate your tires before every drive.

There is a copy of the owners manual for your car here: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/archives/manuals/73bug.php

Have fun!
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