View Electronic Edition

Volkswagen Technical Manual

The VW has often been compared to that 'other universal car' of many years ago: the model T Ford of which more than 15 million were built. There is a germ of truth in this comparison; both cars were built for the masses by geniuses in their field, but whereas the old model T was basically a simple car which could be repaired, so to speak by anyone with a screw driver and a pair of pliers, the VW is a high precision piece of machinery. The VW, although simple in its basic conception, actually in many ways is a subtle mechanism, as will be readily apparent after the following pages are perused.

The VW company does not favor speed tuning, or any other modification for that matter. Although we cannot honestly blame the company for holding this view, it has been our experience that a mild power boost is not harmful, providing the car is sensibly driven. The VW engine - especially the latest type - is very rugged, and it has a greater built-in reserve strength than the majority of small engines built today.

The methods employed to boost the power output of the VW engine follow the usual speed-tuning pattern: dual carburetors, supercharging, high compression cylinder heads, high-compression pistons, long-stroke crankshafts, special camshafts, extra large cylinders and the various possible combinations of these methods.

This book is written to clarify the most important repair and maintenance procedures for the VW automobile and to give the reader a guide as to what is required in the way of knowledge and tools, should he desire to do his own maintenance. Whether or not he should attempt it is a matter he should decide for himself.

The easiest way to remove the engine in the average workshop-is to have the rear of the car (or the whole car) jacked up high enough to have the engine removed from underneath (about a yard above the floor).  Removal is then possible after the connecting bolts and nuts and the various control cables and leads have been disconnected.

Disconnect the battery, close fuel tap, remove generator leads (51 and 61), coil lead, oil pressure warning light lead, carburetor throttle and choke control cables, heating control cables and flexible pipes. Disconnect fuel line, air cleaner, rear cover plate.

Removal is best accomplished by two men. Important is to have a good engine jack which will support the engine adequately and which can be wheeled back easily.

With the engine supported, loosen bottom holding nuts from the crankcase studs. The top nuts are fitted to bolts, and it is convenient to have an assistant hold them while the nuts are being undone (there are specially magnetic sockets available which will clamp on to the bolt head and wedge against the transmission case, so that the bolt will not rotate while nut is being undone).

Be careful not to let the engine tip as this may bend the transmission shaft or damage the clutch parts.

With the engine disconnected, roll it back until the transmission drive shaft is cleared. Lower engine and then tilt it a little so that it can be removed from under the car.