Last post on Dec 03, 2013 at 10:03 AM
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#9901 of 10039 Once ya learn ta drive a stick...
May 18, 2013 (7:59 pm)
ya never get the love of it outta yer system. I have my eye on this car right now. If I find out it has an automatic I'll withdraw my interest.
1969 VW Bug
For some reason I feel compelled ta get an old Bug with a standard transmission. I can't seem ta shake it so I'm thinkin' I'm gonna have ta just satisfy my need and buy one. Anyone have any VW Bug warnings or experience I should know about before I plunk down big American bills on one?
I think this is the one if it's a stick. I will buy a great stereo for it and add to this beatiful Bug. Cool one, huh? If this car turns out ta be an automatic I don't want it, though. The guy listing says it costs $1,800 and it has Porsche wheels and pipes and that it runs excellent. It might have high miles but this looks ta be the one. It's about 400 miles west of me in south-central Arizona. I'll call the dude sometime mid-week here coming up ta see if he'll take payments. That might be a deal-breaker-he might not wanna take payments. If he won't that'll kill the deal for me. Not him. The thing is, in this economy, not everyone has that much money saved ta buy the car outright. So he might take a payment sale from me. We'll see. I'm becoming beseiged with desire for a stick VW Bug!
I'll pick a great stereo for it - I'm so addicted ta great rock and roll that a putrid stereo will only annoy me and tick me off. A strong, competent stereo will only work for this rig.
Anyone else dig this car? Porsche wheels and pipes...runs excellent the ad says. For only $1,800? Am I missing something big and large here? This is the one dudes. I have 5 days off coming up starting Wednesday. If this guy takes payments I'm now starting ta strongly consider purchasing this little pup. Any of y'all have any thoughts? Warnings about old Bugs that I should consider strongly?
Sweet. Don't ya love how people can totally strip a car of things like bumpers on old imports and nobody even bats an eyelash? I mean, I wouldn't even start ta be afraid of driving this rig, anywhere, on the freeways or downtowns of New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, etc. Know what I mean, Jean? The bumpers mean nothing to me!!
The guy doesn't show any interior pics so the interior might not look very good. I can cover the seats with seatcovers from Autozone, huh? Also, I don't know if the buttons and lights and electricals work well, he doesn't mention the problems in the ad. I'll have ta call him and get back ta ya'all. But mention anything you can think of in here...be critical. I'd like ta read your thoughts on this thing. I've heard that old VW's have water-cooled engines and they're easy ta work on. Sounds fine ta me. I'm not afraid ta dirty my hands...I've done oil changes, filters, points, plugs, radiators, starters, batteries, etc. I kind of miss working on rigs, actually. So that doesn't frighten me off. Actually, Alamogordo and Las Cruces, NM, have older dudes like me that like to and can work on old VW's. So that won't eliminate the possibility for me. This guy listing this bug for under $2,000 has opened up the strong desire in me to buy one of these old Bug's. He might really need ta sell. But I'd pay him the full $1,800. The car is worth it.
For those of you not aware, these cars should fetch closer to $3,000 for this year and shape. At least. But he says it runs excellent. So I'll have ta drive the 400 miles west and take my son ta drive the '08 Lancer GTS back if I decide ta pull the trigger. Stay tuned. This won't happen until at least Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013, dudes.
Oh, those goofy men and their toys. This wouldn't be a needed rig, it would completely be a toy for iluv. Silly, huh? Talk me out of it.
Remember, an automatic will automatically kill the deal for me. So this love affair might be over just as soon as its started. Some of you might not like the carbon grey paint job. Just ta let ya know...that doesn't even start ta stop the love for me! I'll paint this thing cherry red or spark plug orange myself.
Spark plug orange! Metallic orange? That's it! The body looks straight, don't it?!!! I'll tart paint it me-own silly self. Like steve sez, you need a project ta work on, dont ya?
#9902 of 10039 Re: Once ya learn ta drive a stick... [iluvmysephia1]
May 19, 2013 (4:30 am)
Old VW Bugs have air-cooled motors. They are considered easy to work on but I'd worry about how they hold up in the hot climate of the Southwest. If the engine is hopped up, you'd better have some sort of oil-cooler for the engine and transmission. If it's not hopped up the car will be hideously slow and the handling is frankly, crap.
The transmission is actually a weak spot on the Beatle, second gear syncros go quickly and the linkages cause problems and are pretty sloppy giving shifts a loose rubbery feel. I consider it the worst manual transmission I've ever driven (the best--a tie between the Jag E-type S2 and the Fiat 124 Sports).
All of the VW's faults can be remedied but if you're looking for a great stick-shift experience on the cheap, I'd look for an MG-Midget/A-H Sprite mkII, they're even easier to work on and they'd look good in Orange.
May 19, 2013 (5:47 am)
thank you for your feedback on the Bug. That is exactly what I'm looking for at this point - if the cool, ghost-grey '69 VW Bug is going to have weak points, and I know it will, I want ta know about them now. So I can talk myself out of it and avoid the arguments with my wife, who is taking the side of Suse Ormon (albeit the financially smarter side) and arguing against the idea.
As for tranny's, I drove our 2001 Kia Sportage 4X4 for years. That small SUV is also used by the South Korean military, and it is good in low gears but "rubbery" or just plain rough as all get out between 1st and 2nd. IIRC the car I learned ta drive stick on, Dad '66 VW Fastback, had this synchro problem, too. I have driven so many sticks that I feel I'm ready for any challenge. Oh, and about driving slow, ever since I wrecked Dad's '66 VW Fastback (the lightest, coolest car I've ever driven...I do love my '08 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS with its automatic CVT "chirp-the-tire" getup, but the car is heavy. The Lancer GTS does handle like a dream and is my favorite bodystyle anywhere on the planet) I have driven much like a careful old man retiree (I'm not, I'm still working fulltime) off ta golf. And not get smutted out on the highway. So a slow driver like the Bug won't bother me at all. I'll be right at home with it.
I'll have the best of both worlds, a great handling car, the '08 Lancer GTS, and a slow but steady '69 VW Bug. It's true I won't like the 2nd gear synchro going out early at all. I don't like unexpected side-a-the-road experiences much at all. If an after-market company has come up with an aid ta get the shifting linkage over carefully and neatly into 2nd (it's probably out there somewhere...Las Cruces has some VW specialists I could take it to if the current owner has nothing on that for me) I will definitely look in to getting that tranny update.
I had a '65 Ford Mustang with a 200-6cyl. 3-speed stick and there was a light synchro problem with that car that I had to get used to. Synchro's would break prematurely. Eventually found an aftermarket fix to beef it up and it didn't happen again. Though the tranny eventually broke to where I couldn't get out of 1st gear in the thing. I limped into a used car place in Tacoma, WA, and traded the freshly painted red '65 Mustang stuck in 1st gear in on a 1970 Chevy Suburban that ran well but got about 12 mpg. It was huge, heavy and an automatic that worked great, just had so much weight to move with its 350 V8 engine I couldn't justify keeping it long.
Traded it for a '66 Ford Fairlane that we eventually named old Smokey 'cause the engine would smoke - on the go and at idle. Sold that car and bought Dad's '73 Plymouth Gold Duster and that was like driving a Cadillac.
This deal will probably never happen for a variety of reasons, but I get an occasional fire lit under me ta get another rig. We'll see. An old Morris Minor with a stick, perhaps? Who has Morris Minor's for sale in the U.S. MG Midget's? Don't they have electrical problems like the Triumph TR-4's and TR-250's and MGB Roadster's and...Fiat 500's? Anyone know of an ancient Fiat 500 available in the desert southwest?
#9904 of 10039 Re: andys120... [iluvmysephia1]
May 19, 2013 (9:12 am)
I see a couple of major problems with this, right off the top of my head. Number one, and by far the biggest problem, is this "Must take payments". No individual in his/her right mind is ever going to sell a used car to a stranger and "take payments". It simply ain't gonna happen, not in this life.
Number two, air conditioning. Very, very few Bugs of that vintage were equipped with AC, and in your part of the world, it really is a necessity.
#9905 of 10039 Re: Once ya learn ta drive a stick... [iluvmysephia1]
May 19, 2013 (9:24 am)
I don't know a ton about Beetles, but I know when that car was built automatic wasn't really ever offered at all - there was an "autostick" system (semi-automatic - you shift with no clutch), but they are fairly rare. Chances are, it is a stick.
Beetles have pros and cons. Pros - cheap, simple, lots of parts, iconic, good build quality. Cons - slow, not refined, low prices when finished (if you want to sell), can rust. My mother had a 1970 Beetle - this was many years before I was born. Within a year or two, my dad blew it up, and replaced the engine with one from a Porsche 912. It was not 100% reliable from that point, and a gargantuan white on white 70s T-Bird would end up filling its spot (which wasn't 100% reliable either, but was beloved no less).
#9906 of 10039 Re: Once ya learn ta drive a stick... [fintail]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
May 19, 2013 (9:34 am)
VW engines like to go KABOOM. They have no oil filter, and no oil cooler, and you are operating in the desert. So there you go. Either this VW engine has to be beefed up with an oil cooler and external oil filter of some sort, or you're driving around with a hand grenade with a loose pin. And at high altitudes going over desert passes, well....it's not a pretty picture.
Correct on the auto-stick. They did make them with a vacuum operated clutchy-thingie (sorry if that was too technical ) but I doubt you'll see one.
#9907 of 10039 Re: Once ya learn ta drive a stick... [iluvmysephia1]
May 19, 2013 (9:47 am)
Anyone have any VW Bug warnings or experience I should know about before I plunk down big American bills on one?
I drove a '66 Bug to 230K miles; my brother had a 1970 and my friend had a '71.
The Bugs are very durable cars with a lot of positives. They are easy and cheap to work on - dead simple cars. They are as honest and basic as you can get. You don't have to worry about radiators, water pumps, coolant, etc. Contrary to other posts, I disagree that they have weak transmissions (when driven properly). Mine went to 235K with no transmission work. Change the oil in it (the transmission) every 30K miles.
By today's standards the old Bugs are crude and pretty uncomfortable. They're underpowered, noisy, and don't handle very well. But they're fun to drive and there's no replacing that air-cooled engine sound.
They're prone to burning valves, so make sure you have the valves checked/adjusted every 3-6K miles (it's really easy to do yourself). Cylinder #3 in particular runs hot as it's behind the oil cooler so the air hitting this cylinder is warmer than the others. If the valve tappets don't have enough clearance (.15mm as I recall), then the valves won't seat long enough to transfer their heat to the cylinder head, and they'll get hot and warp, or worse, break off. So keeping that clearance adequate keeps the valves cooled properly.
There are no automatics, just a fairly rare auto stick that you definitely don't want. They also almost never have air conditioning. The vent windows are your air conditioning.
The manifold heater works well in moderately cool climates but is inadequate in snowy temperatures. Wear a heavy coat while driving.
You can easily shift without the clutch if you know what you're doing, too.
#9908 of 10039 Re: Once ya learn ta drive a stick... [tlong]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
May 19, 2013 (9:49 am)
If you keep plugging engines into old VW bugs (pretty inexpensive, even today), they can run a long time.
I agree, the transaxles are pretty durable as long as they don't leak!
But a VW engine, even very well rebuilt, is maybe good for 60,000 tops.
#9909 of 10039 I see that I've got two concerns...
May 19, 2013 (1:13 pm)
1) They're prone to burning valves, so make sure you have the valves checked/adjusted every 3-6K miles (it's really easy to do yourself). Cylinder #3 in particular runs hot as it's behind the oil cooler so the air hitting this cylinder is warmer than the others. If the valve tappets don't have enough clearance (.15mm as I recall), then the valves won't seat long enough to transfer their heat to the cylinder head, and they'll get hot and warp, or worse, break off. So keeping that clearance adequate keeps the valves cooled properly.
OK, I can deal with the valve adjustment every 3-6,000 miles. I'll just learn how to do it (the internet can probably help here with a pictorial guide of some sort, or I'll just buy a manual that describes how to do this procedure) and keep to it with a smartphone app that reminds me when it's due again. I've got that one covered, with some learning and doing.
2) The lack of an air conditioner.
This one might be a bigger problem. It gets pretty hot over here in southern New Mexico. This one is worthy of asking the owner in the small town near Tucson and seeing how they deal with it. Might be a deal-killer there.
Oh, about the payments. I get it that people don't like to accept payments. It doesn't hurt to ask, does it?
#9910 of 10039 Re: Once ya learn ta drive a stick... [Mr_Shiftright]
May 19, 2013 (1:46 pm)
But a VW engine, even very well rebuilt, is maybe good for 60,000 tops.
I got 106K on the first one, and another 125K on the second one (which was still running well when I sold it).