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Posted by on in accessories
I found this German emergency warning triangle recently. It features a very VW 1500-like car in the instruction diagram. Everett Barnes has posted photos of a similar one made by SWF on The Samba. This one seems to be identical only without the SWF brand....

Posted by on in General
 Not too much to report for the past week or so. I did order one of the rear vent wing rubbers that recently appeared on Ebay - I forgot to get one of these when Pop was still trading and thought I'd not manage to find one. The rubber turned up in record time and is a nice quality item. I'll let you know how it fits.The other thing that I managed to sort out is the rear engine bar. Somehow it managed to do a disappearing act at work (whilst some restructuring work was carried out) after finding it again I set to straightening it out. The rear engine bar is from a 2.0 litre combi and has an offset bend on the left side to clear the oil cooler and tin-wear. As this isn't needed on my engine I decided to straighten it out.Straightening it was simply a case...

Posted by on in engine overhaul
I got this used air cleaner boot and clamp from Jack Fisher. Jack had noticed the NOS but "incorrect" 2-pleat boot on my engine and offered this used 4-pleat boot, which is the right one for an early engine.He also had this late quick-release clamp: It was pretty corroded but an overnight soak in Evapo-Rust cleaned it up nicely. Evapo-Rust is great stuff for de-rusting small parts. While not "correct" for an early engine, this clamp will make things a lot easier on tune-up day. I'll just have to remember to put an early screw clamp back on whenever any 1500 Club fact checkers are in the vicinity.Thanks Jack!...

Posted by on in General
Before I could get started on trying to clear the carbon from the used '62 intake manifold I got from Everett, Bert van der Jeught offered me an NOS one, the correct version for my car which was only used from March through July of 1962. NOS early manifolds are made of unobtainium, so this is something I never thought I'd find. It looks like the Ghia is suddenly much closer to being back on the road....

Posted by on in engine overhaul
Bert van der Jeught (BerT3) read my blog post about early carbs and manifolds and realized he had the early NOS intake manifold I needed, so he contacted me. Sold!When I had to tear down my engine again after the initial rebuild due to a piston clearance problem I promised myself I'd use the opportunity to take care of something I neglected the first time around: clearing the blocked heat riser on the intake manifold. I have spent many, many hours trying to clear the carbon from my car's original manifold, and was able to clean out a lot of the 12-18 inches of solid carbon blockage (the previous owner had rigged up a manual choke that caused the engine to run way too rich for many years), but the wire cable I was using to clear it broke off inside before I was able to get to the very center....

Posted by on in Events
Cathy and I checked out Bug-In 33 at the California Speedway in Fontana today. After a 45 minute delay in the lineup to get in (the event organizers really need to rethink their setup) we hit the swap meet, where we saw Martin Serrano with a freshly scored set of concentric circle Type 3 beauty rings in hand. Not too much else in the way of Type 3 parts for sale, though Pedro Sainz picked up a bunch of fuel pump rebuild kits and a first-year-and-a-half-only large-diameter crankshaft pulley (which he passed along to me — thanks!). Pedro runs the same early pulley in his '64, so now we know why his lights are so bright. The 1500 Club was out in force: in addition to Pedro we saw Freddy Peeters (co-organizer of the European Bug-In, in from Belgium for the event), Gizmo Bob Walton, Jack Fisher (thanks for the air...

Posted by on in accessories
Here's an NOS accessory Fram oil filter kit for the VW Type 3 that was recently auctioned on eBay. It's an aftermarket version of the official VW accessory bypass filter that I blogged about recently. The main difference is in the flexible lines, which in the VW version were metal braided hoses, and the hose fittings, which in this version appear to be threaded compression fittings — probably an improvement over the original VW design. Other than that it's very similar to the VW kit.The filter itself wasn't included. The kit calls for Fram P2814, which was apparently the same as the VW filter 000 091 511A, the one specified for the Type 1 and 2 version of the VW bypass filter. The seller helpfully pointed out that Fram P2814 has been superseded by the widely available Fram PH3682 — good information to have....

Posted by on in video
A squadron of VW 1500S notchbacks fearlessly takes on an alpine highway.I get it: The new dual carburetor engine provides enough power to pass other cars while climbing a grade.Nice choreography....

Posted by on in tools
To adjust the valves on an aircooled VW engine you need one hand to loosen the lock nuts with a 13mm wrench, another hand to turn the adjusting screws with a screwdriver, another hand to hold a feeler gauge to measure the valve clearance, and ideally yet another hand to apply pressure to the rocker arms to eliminate any slack, all at the same time. This valve adjustment tool is designed to take at least one hand out of the equation.It combines the wrench and screwdriver functions into a single tool, and was thoughtfully designed with the limited working space around the valve adjusters in mind. The handle of the wrench is mercifully offset — I've never been able to adjust my valves without skinning at least one knuckle when using an ordinary combination wrench. Some VW and Porsche accessory tool kits came equipped with one of these. This particular one,...

Posted by on in General
Last weekend I decided to dive in and get cracking on the new suspension. It was some time ago since I bought the second IRS subframe, and at some point I think I had decided to leave the current setup in there. Discussions with one of my colleagues at work had led to a very new idea - one that really need to be tried out. The basic premise of the idea is that as the torsion bar setup is being replaced with coil overs ther is a lot less torsional stress in the whole suspension, this means that the oversize side plates and general beefed-upness of the subframe was overkill.The new idea is similar to my old idea based on the MBT Unibal set up with a ball / rose / heim jointed adjustable 'spring plate' but this time does not require the complex mounting to get the ball...

Posted by on in Uncategorized
A nice illustration of Corgi #239 from an old advertisement. It's detailed even down to the toy's erroneous Karmann and Ghia badges on the left side of the car. On real '62s the badges only appeared on the right side....

Posted by on in old photos
Thanks once again to Charles Phoenix, who sent in these slides of a 1956 car show held by the Four Cylinder Club at the Grand Central Air Terminal in Glendale, California. The Four Cylinder Club was based in Glendale but had chapters all across the U.S. It was a general foreign and sports car club that, despite its name, didn't limit membership to owners of 4-cylinder cars, as some of the following photos will show.Here's a proud owner polishing his brand-new pelican red and black 1956 Karmann-Ghia. It's so clean it's hard to believe it just made the trip from New Mexico. Karmann-Ghia production began in late 1955, so they were a pretty rare sight in the U.S. in 1956.Next to the Ghia is a Simca Coupé-de-Ville, a Facel-bodied special based on the Simca Aronde. The better known convertible version was called the Weekend, a car I'd like to think Jean-Luc...

Posted by on in engine overhaul
I picked up this NOS 32 PHN carb body and used 32 PHN carb from Everett Barnes. Between the two I think I have the basis for a successful 32 PHN rebuild. The 32 PHN was the earliest version of the Type 3 sidedraft carb and is what my Ghia originally left the factory with. As with most early Type 3s, my car's original carb was replaced at some point by a 32 PHN-1, the improved version introduced in late 1963. Everett also had a used first-year-only intake manifold, which I'll use to replace my manifold with its hopelessly blocked heat riser. That's what's been keeping the Ghia off the road — while the engine will run just fine with a blocked heat riser in a warm climate, my goal in rebuilding my engine was to undo the previous owners' compromises and improvisations, so I feel obliged to do it right...

Posted by on in General
I'm starting my new restoration journal by moving my old posts from the forums over here. Kinda pathetic to see how little I've gotten done in the last four years! ...

Posted by on in General
A few months after my last post I started an independent blog about early Type 3s and related stuff: http://vwplusvw1500.blogspot.comIn it I've tracked my progress (and sometimes my lack of progress) in getting the Ghia back on the road. I rebuilt the engine and actually had it driving for a short time but there was a piston clearance problem and it had to be torn down again. It's now back together and once I clear the blocked heat riser on my newly acquired intake manifold (thanks Everett) I should be driving again. I'll try to keep my actual restoration progress updated here, as opposed to just rambling on about NOS parts I've bought and whatnot....

Posted by on in General
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With the suspension out of the car I have set to work in getting everything ready for remounting everything back into the car. I've had some mountings turned down that I can weld onto the ends of the engine bar to allow it to be bolted to the stock 911 engine mounts, I've also designed the rear engine mounts and made some better templates up out of cardboard. The mounts pick up on the existing bumper mountings and the inner valence at the rear of the car - they are very similar in design to stock 911 mountings that bridge the rear corners of the engine bay - I just need to get them laser cut and bent up. Unfortunately the progress has stopped there. Progress has been made on another new project however - a 1959 DKW 250cc motorcycle, or to be more correct, two motorcycles. I picked up...

Posted by on in accessories
Aaron Britcher sent some photos of his very rare Maico disc brakes. Maico disc brake conversion kits for the VW 1500 were available for only a short time in the mid-1960s. Aaron is lucky enough to have two sets, one NOS and one completely restored. Some guys have all the luck!NOS Maico VW 1500 brakes:Restored Maico VW 1500 brakes:There's not much information available on Maico brakes in English, but I found an article by Frank O. Hrachowy in the June 2005 issue of Automobilhistorische Nachrichten (Historic Automobile News, the newsletter of the Automobilhistorische Gesellschaft e.V., the Automobile Historical Society of Germany) which provides some enlightening information on the Maico story. Better known as a motorcycle manufacturer, Maico realized they needed to develop other products to keep their facilities running during the seasonal downtime in motorcycle production. In 1962 the company acquired rights to a patent for a new disc brake system...

Posted by on in Uncategorized
No Type 3 content here, just a couple of buses looking very much at home on Jordan Road in Hong Kong in the early 1960s....

Posted by on in VW literature
Yesterday I went down to the LA Lit and Toy Show, the annual show for collectors of Porsche and VW ephemera and toys held at the Los Angeles Airport Hilton. It was about 95% Porsche stuff, but I did find this original vinyl owner's manual folder.The '65 Squareback we used to own came with its original paperwork in exactly the same folder. This one isn't perfect but it's cleaner than most. My Ghia's owner's manual and service book finally have a home.Now I just need the '62 edition of the North American VW Dealers and Distributors book and I'll be ready for the highways of 1962....

Posted by on in accessories
I found this EMPI Camber Compensator a couple of years ago after looking for a long time. Another vintage performance accessory that's eventually going to go on the Ghia.The Camber Compensator was developed by Joe Vittone of EMPI around 1960, probably inspired by the Porsche Super 90's similar compensating spring. The purpose of the Super 90 compensator was a little different (to literally compensate for the use of softer torsion bars), but it also turned out to be an effective way to limit the travel of the swing axles on hard cornering, addressing a particularly dangerous shortcoming of the swing axle suspension design. EMPI's compensator was a big seller and helped elevate the company's profile among aftermarket parts suppliers in the '60s.Here's a 1960 Camber Compensator brochure complete with a business card from the legendary Competition Motors of Hollywood stapled to it:So it was possible to buy one at your local...