1974 vw


Does anyone have info on 1974 automatic VW’s? Can a person bolt a standard motor onto the “auto” frame. Do you need a new bell-housing?


Define “standard motor”?
The 1.6 will fit but the earlier 1.5 will require modifications since they use a different flywheel, clutch assembly, etc.
The later Beetles also used alternators instead of generators, different emissions, etc.

The bell housing is not interchangeable as it is part of the transaxle case. The bell housing bolt pattern on the auto stick should be the same as the manual transaxle cars.

Exactly what do you have in mind?


Ok. I want to put a motor from a 1974 VW with a standard transmission into a body that had an automatic transmission. Would it even matter what kind of transmission it had or has? I want a standard transmission so I would assume that I would have to put in a clutch etc. Would it be possible to do that since there is no place for it in the body…? Thanks for your input…ll99


I’m assuming here that you have something like a 69 through 71 VW Beetle body that formerly had an auto stick and want to put a 74 model engine and standard trans in.

This can be done but it will take a bit of work. The old Beetles may look alike but there were many changes made over the years and often during a production run. The parts on a late 74 model may not fit an early 74 model for instance.

Some wiring and vacuum hoses will have to modified, the fluid resevoir removed, and assuming you have the transmission that goes with the engine, you will also need the pedal assembly, shifter/shift rod, clutch cable, etc. AND here’s a part I flat do not remember.
The standard trans Beetles have a clutch tube inside the tunnel through which the cable is routed. I do NOT remember if all Beetles had this tube installed even if they were equipped with an auto stick. I think they do, but do not remember for sure. It’s a bit of a wrestling match if you have to cut into the tunnel and install a tube.

It’s doable, but I don’t know what kind of mechanical expertise you have.

One thing I would suggest here, and I assume you already have a 74 engine, is this. There are several engine quirks that should be verified before even thinking of installing this engine.
You should pull the crank pulley firmly toward you. Now, push it firmly the other way. You SHOULD feel a slight movement. If you hear a solid thunk, this means the engine needs an overhaul as years of hard driving has probably beaten the engine block out because of the crankshaft slamming against the main bearing thrust surface. The engine block is softer than the bearing, so…

Another is to pull the valve covers and carefully inspect the valve lash, or clearance. If you find any exhaust valves that are very tight then this means a complete valve job and cylinder head work.
The air cooled engines will cause the exhaust valve stems to stretch over time. This leads to tight valves and if ignored eventually the head will pop off the valve stem. At highway speeds you can imagine what a valve head does inside the cylinder. End of engine.

Hope some of this helps anyway.


Thanks so much for your information…you have been a lot of help. I do have a more professional mechanic helping with this project and he is taking all of your info into consideration and thanks you as well…ll99