VW Type 1

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Type I - Beetle[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

In the 1930's automobile production was a low priority for the German People. The nation was in the middle of a depression of sorts, with high unemployment and rising currency inflation. During this time, Ferdinand Porsche had decided to leave 30 years of corporate work and strike out on his own (at 55), and run a company his way. They housed the new company in Stuttgart at 24 Kronenstrasse, and entered the official register on April 25th, 1931. The new company was called "Dr. Ing. h.c.F. Prosche G.m.b.H, Konstruktionsburo fur Motoren-, Fahrzeug-Luftfahrzeug- und Wasserfahrzeugbau" or "Doctor Engineer honoris causa F.Porsche, Incorporated, Design Office for Motors, Motor Vehicles, Aircraft and Ships".

The chief designer was Karl Rabe (who came from Austrian automaker Steyr). The body designer was Erwin Komenda, and 10 other engineers joined Prosche at this time.

Early on, Wanderer, a German auto-maker commissioned Porsche to design a small sedan... The Type 7. This became the Porsche Wanderer, named the W17/W20 series in 1932. Porsche stayed busy working on other designs for Wanderer and the like. Through it all, Porsche and Rabe nurtured the idea of designing an efficient small car that would put the common man on wheels. Design work began in September 1931.

A motorcycle company, Zundapp, was looking to get into automobiles, so they commissioned a design by Porsche. On the road by mid 1932, this Type 12 was the true forerunner of the Beetle, and it was dubbed the Volksauto - people's car.

Through several other commissions, Porsche was able to bring in some of his more original design ideas and flesh out his efficiency plans. (NSU Type 32) Through Jacob Werlin, Porsche's ideas were pitched to the new chancellor, Adolf Hitler. Hitler's schemes included huge public works, such as an unprecedented highway system, thus creating the autobahns. Corollary to this was Hitler's vision of a mass-produced, German-built, low-priced "people's car". Hitler was sold on Porsche's confidence in his designs, and awarded a state subsidy.

Porsche's goals for the Beetle were as follows:

  • It must be designed to be space-efficient and very durable, even if that meant developing new materials and production methods
  • It must be capable of 100kph (62mph), have the ability to climb hills, and average seven liters of fuel per 100km (~ 40mpg)
  • It should have an air-cooled engine for reliability in all climates, and be very cheap to repair
  • It must accommodate a family of two adults and three children and their luggage
  • Its basic platform should accommodate several uses, including transport vehicles

In 1934, Hitler addressed the Berlin Motor Show: "So long as the motorcar remains only a means of transportation for especially privileged circles, itis with bitter feelings that we see millions of honest, hard-working, and capable fellow men... cut off from the use of a vehicle which would be a special source of yet-unknown happiness to them..." Hitler saw the design for the Type 60 and decided to back it.

The Type 60 was a linear development of the NSU Type 32 project and except for some detail changes, the original Type 60 design was retained in the pre-production car. The Type 60 had a 98.5 inch wheelbase, a 47.3 inch track, and a dry weight of 1,435 punds. An air-cooled 985cc flat-four engine was mounted in the tail.

By 1935, using little more than rudimentary hand tools, the team had turned out two cars: The V1, a sedan, and the V2, a convertible. V was for "Versuch" - experimental.

In 1936, three V3 models were put through rigorous testing on the autobahns, the Black Forest, and the Alps, completing more than 465 miles each day. Problems aside, each car completed its mileage by the end of the year.

In 1937, the company moved producing the VW30 series. These still had no rear windows and suicide doors, until the VW38 series (of which 44 more prototypes were built).

It was time to name the new car. "Volkswagen" had actually been applied formally or informally to several earlier German small cars. The state felt something new was in order. The project was being managed by the recreational and leisure section of the DAF, whose motto was "Kraft durch Freude" (Strength through Joy). So KdF-Wagen it became. Those who scoffed at the odd name scoffed in private. Nobody was willing to tell Hitler it sounded silly. Most civilians simply continued to use Volkswagen, and especially its diminutive VW.

Adapted from Volkswagen Chronicle

Tuning Procedures[edit | edit source]

Useful Tools[edit | edit source]

  • Hydraulic Jack
  • Lug wrench
  • Flashlight
  • Large screwdriver
  • Screwdriver set
  • 3/8" metric socket set
  • Wrenches (7,9,10,11,13 (short and long), 14,17,19, and 21mm)
  • Pocket knife
  • Hammer
  • Test light
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Dwell meter
  • Metric allen-head wrenches
  • Files
  • Vice Grips
  • Feeler gagues
  • Compression Tester
  • Wire Brush
  • Pliers
  • Tire Gague
  • Tie Wire (Baling Wire)
  • Small Mirror
  • 3ft of 14ga wire
  • Torque Wrench
  • Ratchet and Adapter
  • Magnet

Adapted from How To Keep Your Volkswagen Alive

Check List[edit | edit source]

(Click headings for in-depth procedures)

Valve Adjustment[edit | edit source]

  • Remove distributor cap, rotate engine to No. 1.
  • Remove the right valve cover making note of any leaks
  • Rotat engine to Top Dead Center
  • Adjust right front valves
  • Rotate engine 180 degrees counterclockwise
  • Adjust right rear valves, clean and replace valve cover and gasket if needed
  • Rotate engine 180 degrees counter clockwise, remove left valve cover, note leaks
  • Adjust left front valves.
  • Rotate engine 180 degrees counterclockwise
  • Adjust rear valves, clean and replace valve cover. Gasket?

Adjust Points[edit | edit source]

  • Remove rotor
  • Make sure the nylon rider is on top of the distribvutor lobe
  • Check with feeler gauge for proper gap
  • Check condition of points and other connections in the distributor
  • Loosen hold down screw, put feeler gauge between the contacts and adjust until the proper clearance is reached.
  • Tighten hold down screw
  • Connect Tach-Dwell meter. Red (+) lead to No 1 terminal of coil. Black to ground. Switch meter to 4 cylinder position. Start engine, note dwell. (approx 50 degrees). If the reading is too high, the points are too far closed

Timing[edit | edit source]

  • Check timing with static or strobe light
  • To change timing, loosen 10mm nut under distributor and...
  • Hook up static or strobe light. Set timing to proper mark

Check Vacuum Advance[edit | edit source]

  • Take off distributor cap, pull rotor
  • Pull hose from distributor to carburetor
  • Suck on the hose and watch the points plate - the whole plate should move

Change Oil[edit | edit source]

  • Remove 21mm drain plug or entire sump plate on newer models
  • Remove and clean screen and replace. Remember oil filter
  • Put in oil

Compression Check[edit | edit source]

  • Have engine at operating temperature
  • Remove spark plug connections then the spark plugs. Check spark plug color
  • Place tester in each hole while a friend turns the engine over six times with the key
  • They should all be over 100 and within 5lbs of each other

Spark Plugs[edit | edit source]

  • Gap .025" (.6mm)
  • Replate

Coil[edit | edit source]

  • Pull center wire from distributor cap and hold it 1/8" to 1/4" from a ground: bright blue to white, good. Yellow, OK. Orange, bad.

Adapted from How To Keep Your Volkswagen Alive

Maintenance Schedules[edit | edit source]

Every 250 miles (weekly) Every 3000 miles (3 months)
Every 6000 miles (6 months) Every 12000 miles (12 months)
Every 18000 miles (18 months) Every 24000 miles (24 months)
Every 30000 miles (30 months)

Adapted from VW Air-cooled engines Tune-Up and Maintenance Guide

Identification[edit | edit source]

VIN and Engine Numbers[edit | edit source]

Model Year Starting Chassis Serial No. (VIN) Starting Engine Serial No.
1948 72 743 1-100 788
1949 91 921 1-122 649
1950 138 554 1-169 913
1951 220 133 1-265 600
1952 313 829 1-379 470
1953 428 156 1-519 136
1954 575 415 1-0695282
1955 781 885 1-0945527
1956 1 020 746 1-1120615
1957 1 394 119 1-4595946
1958 1 600 440 1-937450
1959 2 226 206 2-721-313
1960 2 528 668 3-072-320
1961 3 192 507 5-000-001
1962 4 010 995 5-958-948
1963 4 846 836 6-935-204
1964 5 677 119 7-893-119
1965 115 000 001 8-796-623
1966 116 000 001 F-0-000-001
1967 117 000 001 H-0-204-001
1968 118 000 001 H-0-204-001
1969 119 000 001 H-5-414-586
1970 110 2000 001 B-6-000-001
1971 111 2000 001 AE-0-005-901
1972 112 2000 000 AE-0-558-001 (USA) AE-0-000-001 (Calif.)
1973 113 2000 001 113 2000 001 113 2212 117 AH-0-005-901 (Calif.) AE-0-917-264 (USA) AK-0-000-001 (USA)
1974 114 2000 001 AK-0-239-365 (USA) AH-0-101-889 (Calif.)
1975 115 2000 001 AJ-0-000-001
1976 116 2000 001 AJ-0-012-406
1977 117 2000 001 AJ-0-095-936
1978 118 2000 001 AJ-0-119-688
1979 159 2000 001 AJ-0-200-000

From Y.B.D.B.

Engine ID Codes[edit | edit source]

Code Year Engine Size Remarks
4 60 1200 40 HP
5 61 1200 40 HP
6 62 1200 40 HP
7 63 1200 40 HP
8 64 1200 40 HP
9 65 1200 40 HP
FO 66 1300 8mm oil pump studs
HO/TO 67 1500 8mm oil pump studs
H5 68-69 1500 8mm oil pump studs
B6 70 1600 Dual Relief - single port
AE 71-72 1600 Dual Relief - Dual Port
AH 73-74 1600 8mm Head studs w/case savers
AJ 75 1600 Fuel injected, no fuel pump mount.

From Chirco Automotive

Year Approximation By Rear Window[edit | edit source]

Split Window

Split rear window. 2 triangular pieces of glass with a section of the roof dividing them vertically in the middle.


Oval Window

The center divider was removed and the triangular glass pieces were replaced by a single, oval shaped piece of glass to improve visibility


Small Window "earlies"

These years had a smaller rear window than later models but it was larger than oval windows and shaped more like a curved-cornered rectangle


Big Window

Same as small window, but the glass diameter was about an inch and a half larger all around.


Troubleshooting[edit | edit source]

Dashboard Lights[edit | edit source]

Fuel System[edit | edit source]

Mechanical Engine Parts[edit | edit source]

Oil Consumption[edit | edit source]

Engine Noises[edit | edit source]

Fuel System[edit | edit source]

Carburetor[edit | edit source]

Overhauling a Solex Carburetor[edit | edit source]

Electrical[edit | edit source]

Chassis Wiring Diagrams[edit | edit source]

Battery[edit | edit source]

Cranking[edit | edit source]

Charging[edit | edit source]

Ignition[edit | edit source]

Clutch[edit | edit source]

Transmission[edit | edit source]

Rear Axle[edit | edit source]

Brakes[edit | edit source]

Suspension and Wheel Alignment[edit | edit source]

Specifications[edit | edit source]

General Engine Specifications[edit | edit source]

Valve Specifications[edit | edit source]

Engine Torque Specifications[edit | edit source]

Battery Specifications[edit | edit source]

Starter Specifications[edit | edit source]

Distributor Specifications[edit | edit source]

Wiring Diagrams[edit | edit source]

Vintage Bus' Very complete list of diagrams

Paint Color Codes[edit | edit source]

Modification[edit | edit source]

Looks[edit | edit source]

California Look[edit | edit source]

Resto-Cal[edit | edit source]

German Look[edit | edit source]

6v to 12v Conversion[edit | edit source]

Bolt-on Horsepower[edit | edit source]

Ignition[edit | edit source]

Carburetion[edit | edit source]

Exhaust[edit | edit source]

Heads[edit | edit source]

Pistons and Cylinders[edit | edit source]

Crankshafts[edit | edit source]

Lubrication and Cooling[edit | edit source]

Valve Train[edit | edit source]

Blueprinting[edit | edit source]

Supercharging[edit | edit source]

Porsche Engines[edit | edit source]

Suspension[edit | edit source]

Wheels and Tires[edit | edit source]

Engine Recipes[edit | edit source]

Restoration[edit | edit source]

Body Work[edit | edit source]

Headliners[edit | edit source]

Engine Rebuilding[edit | edit source]

Is it Time to Rebuild?[edit | edit source]

Engine Removal[edit | edit source]

Teardown[edit | edit source]

Case Reconditioning[edit | edit source]

Head Reconditioning[edit | edit source]

Engine Assembly[edit | edit source]

Engine Installation[edit | edit source]

Engine Break-In[edit | edit source]

Manufacturers and Parts Suppliers[edit | edit source]

Note: These links are provided as a courtesy, no recommendation of any of these vendors is implied. Do your homework BEFORE you purchase.

Parts Suppliers, Transmission[edit | edit source]

Online Resources[edit | edit source]

Community Groups[edit | edit source]

Clubs[edit | edit source]

Message Boards / Forums[edit | edit source]

Note: Many online forums have excellent technical resources as well!!

Annual Shows[edit | edit source]

United States[edit | edit source]

Southwest[edit | edit source]

Arizona[edit | edit source]
  • Bugtoberfest. Tucson, AZ. Mid October annually archives from previous shows
  • Phoenix Bug-o-Rama, Phoenix, AZ. Late march or early April annually show information
  • Copperstate, Phoenix, AZ. Mid February annually
  • Karl's Custom Show and Shine, Mesa, AZ. Early November Annually
  • Volkswagens on the River, Yuma, AZ. Early November annually

Publications[edit | edit source]

Popular Books[edit | edit source]

Magazines[edit | edit source]