vwfreek
vwfreek Reader
3/6/18 3:58 p.m.

About a year and a half ago I found this Bug listed on CL for $500. As soon as I saw the ad I contacted the owner and went up to check it out. I was fully prepared to pay the guy $500 for it, but the whole time I was looking at it he said he would take an offer. Since he talked me into it, I offered $300 and it was mine.

The car is complete and in original condition with about 65,000 mile on it which I'm pretty sure are original. The chassis number, engine, and 3 of the wheels date to Feb. '64. There are some rust issues, but not bad for a WI car. It was hit on the passenger side at one time and poorly repaired.

Here are the pics of when I dragged it home. I'll add a couple more posts to bring the project up to date.

Woody
Woody MegaDork
3/6/18 4:07 p.m.

Wow, that looks like it's in really nice condition. I didn't think that VW used that transmission until much later. Are those '67 fenders or the headlight covers just missing?

Doc Brown
Doc Brown Dork
3/6/18 4:14 p.m.

Cool V-Dub!  Moar pictures ASAP!

vwfreek
vwfreek Reader
3/6/18 4:24 p.m.

The first thing you have to do after dragging an old VW home is fire up the engine. The whole fuel system was gummed up, so I cleaned out the carb and she fired up.

 

I also replaced all the brakes, gas tank, fuel lines, etc.

Then Wisconsin winter hit, so no working on the car outside. While searching The Samba, a Saxomat flywheel and clutch were listed from Poland. So I jumped on it. And then found some more Saxomat parts from a guy in Germany. The rest of the kit I put together from autostick parts. I invested 3x what I paid for the whole car in these parts. For those not familiar with the Saxomat, it has a dual clutch flywheel, one is centrifugal for starting from a stop and the second is a standard clutch with a vacuum actuator. It shifts like a regular manual transmission, but no need for a clutch pedal.

Once the snow melted, I could get back to work. First on the list was new tires. I decided to refinish the wheels and go with some period correct looking narrow whitewall tires.

 

Since it was all cleaned up, I decided to take it to a local car show. That's my dad's '59 Baja Bug and OG paint Postal Yellow '58 Panel Van.

 

 

 

vwfreek
vwfreek Reader
3/6/18 4:26 p.m.

In reply to Woody :

They are '64 fenders that have the later headlight buckets and bezel. If you look closely, you can see the filler panel made from galvanized sheet.

vwfreek
vwfreek Reader
3/6/18 4:34 p.m.

After a couple months of being distracted by my VW Trike project, I went back to work on the Bug. Time to pull the motor and install the Saxomat.

This is where the magic happens...

And this is why I wanted the Saxomat. So I could install hand controls. The brackets still need a little work, but it's functional.

 

vwfreek
vwfreek Reader
3/6/18 4:46 p.m.

After driving around for a couple months, I lost a fender. So I needed to do a little rust repair.

The fender was pretty rusty, eventually I'll try to repair it. But for now I found a decent used one and tried to match the patina.

Since I was driving the car quite a bit, and the 6 volt headlights don't provide much light, I upgraded to 6 volt LEDs. I also found a vintage stop light to improve lighting in the back.

 

vwfreek
vwfreek Reader
3/6/18 5:08 p.m.

This post will bring everything up to date.

When running down the highway I don't need cruise control, since top speed is 72 mph. I decided it needs a little more power, so this winter I've been gathering parts to help the 1200cc 40 hp motor keep up with traffic.

Big Bore AA pistons and cylinders to bump it up from 77mm to 83mm bore. And a slightly larger 30PICT-1 carb.

Then I figured if I'm going to bore it, I might as well stroke it. The 64mm crank is known to break, so I picked up a counterweighted 69mm crank from a 1600cc. The 1200cc rods will need to be narrowed about .020" on each side of the big end to fit the later model crankshaft.

The engine number matches the car, so I didn't want to modify it. According to the VW archives it's not the original, but I think they made a paperwork error, since both date to mid Feb. I'd rather store it and find another 40 hp engine to modify. This is strike one and strike two for replacement engine cases.

I just bought a case on ebay for $85, also a '64 but later in the year. It came from old stock at a machine shop in Alabama, and looks like it's line bored and ready to go. It should be here on Monday. Hopefully number three is a home run.

Pattyo
Pattyo Reader
3/6/18 8:45 p.m.

Your bug is awesome!  Hope it works out with the new case so you can get er back on the road when the weather gets nice.

vwfreek
vwfreek Reader
3/11/18 11:13 a.m.

The 'new' case arrived in the mail. Looks like it should work. There's some corrosion, but a little soda blasting should take care of that. I even found a set of main bearings (the good steel backed ones) in my dad's stash to fit the line bore/thrust cut size. Now I need to dig through a couple piles of engine parts to find a decent camshaft core to send out to SLR to be reground. Then I can start assembling the shortblock.

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair MegaDork
3/11/18 5:27 p.m.

Subscribed

vwfreek
vwfreek Reader
3/24/18 11:00 p.m.

Bought some more goodies. Spent a little bit more on these than I wanted to. But they are rebuilt with new exhaust valves, guides, high rev springs, ported out, 3 angle valve job, and cc'ed. Sure I could make more power using dual port heads, but they wouldn't look right, and vintage Okrasa heads are way out of the budget.

cdowd
cdowd HalfDork
3/25/18 7:45 a.m.

This thing is awesome.  You are making great progress on it.

RossD
RossD MegaDork
3/25/18 8:38 a.m.

Love it! I lol'ed when you said not much rust for WI but your fender fell off. And I work in Green Bay! Is the Saxomatic have mostly a typical type 1 transaxle? 

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy UltimaDork
3/25/18 8:42 a.m.

nice work - thanks for sharing

vwfreek
vwfreek Reader
3/25/18 10:39 a.m.
RossD said:

Love it! I lol'ed when you said not much rust for WI but your fender fell off. And I work in Green Bay! Is the Saxomatic have mostly a typical type 1 transaxle? 

Thanks for all the positive comments!

I live just north of Green Bay. The Saxomat uses the stock type 1 manual transaxle, the vacuum actuator has a stud that goes through the clutch cable guide tube as one of the mounting points.

Indy-Barely Functional-Guy
Indy-Barely Functional-Guy SuperDork
3/25/18 2:12 p.m.

I'm digging the survivor look to this one. Keep up the good work!

vwfreek
vwfreek Reader
2/7/20 12:24 p.m.

It's been awhile, so I guess it's time for an update. I'm usually more up to date on my instagram, kfolkjr if you want to follow along as I go. I'm still collecting period correct parts for the engine build, but the original 40hp is still running strong.

There was a '66 part out on craigslist, so I grabbed the 6-volt relay and switch to move the high beams from the floor switch to the turn signal.

Then another craigslist find, an OG roof rack and a bunch of tools from a retired VW mechanic.

I also added a camber compensator, so I can fly through round-abouts without fear of rolling over. I see a red bushing and want it painted black...

I tried to live with the original upholstery as long as I could, but it was pretty trashed and daily driving was making it worse. So I picked up a TMI kit on sale from CIP1 and installed it. The quality and fit were good, and it didn't turn out too bad for my first upholstery job.

I also fabricated a new set of hand controls to better match the vintage look. It uses a twist grip throttle with an internal cable to clean it up.

I also bought some 6 volt relays off Amazon and added one to the Saxomat control valve for improved clutch actuation.

Other than that, as long as there isn't salt on the road, I've been driving it.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
2/7/20 1:04 p.m.

Very cool project. It's great to see a classic being enjoyed no matter what!

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia Dork
2/7/20 2:51 p.m.

Neat car ,  in the 1950s in Europe there were a lot of cars converted to hand controls so the Vets could drive them , 

I knew about Saxomat , but thought it was more than  just a conversion as you pictured 

Early Renault 4CVs had something like that , and my Citreon 2CV  had a centrifical clutch that you could use normally , but when you stopped you could take your foot off the clutch and keep it in gear  ,  

Anyway , cool car , with all the rust I would replace the metal brake lines and put a 67 bug master cylinder in it for safety.

 

OjaiM5
OjaiM5 Reader
2/7/20 3:03 p.m.

Please never paint it! It has such a good look. Everyone on here that has owned a bug, remember the smell?

Keep up the good work!

vwfreek
vwfreek Reader
2/7/20 5:08 p.m.
californiamilleghia said:

Neat car ,  in the 1950s in Europe there were a lot of cars converted to hand controls so the Vets could drive them , 

I knew about Saxomat , but thought it was more than  just a conversion as you pictured 

Early Renault 4CVs had something like that , and my Citreon 2CV  had a centrifical clutch that you could use normally , but when you stopped you could take your foot off the clutch and keep it in gear  ,  

Anyway , cool car , with all the rust I would replace the metal brake lines and put a 67 bug master cylinder in it for safety.

In the '50s VW offered hand controls for manual transmissions as an option. There was a detent in the clutch lever to hold it in place when pushed all the way in to free up the hand for shifting.

The Saxomat system was made by Fitchel & Sachs, quite a few European manufacturers offered a variation of the system. It shares some parts with the later autostick and even the Porsche Sportomatic.

One of the first things I did was refresh the brakes. All the metal lines were replaced with copper-nickel, and the master cylinder was upgraded to the later dual circuit.

vwfreek
vwfreek Reader
2/7/20 5:15 p.m.
OjaiM5 said:

Please never paint it! It has such a good look. Everyone on here that has owned a bug, remember the smell?

Keep up the good work!

I eventually plan on fixing the areas with major rust, but I'll never paint it. If I were to ever sell it I could make money on it as is. As soon as I spend money on a decent quality paint job, I would lose money on it. And it wouldn't be as fun to drive...who wants to drift a car on a gravel road that they just spent a good chunk of money and countless hours on body work and paint.

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