Clutch cable tube trouble

We have a 1966 Volkswagen Beetle (the chassis and floor pan that is) with a 1998 Mexican Beetle body mounted on the old chassis. A shop told us that clutch chatter only when starting from a stop in first gear was due to the clutch cable tube inside of the chassis coming loose from the tunnel. He did not want to do the repair, which involves drilling holes and welding the tube back to the side of the chassis. We took it to the only other shop nearby that has worked on the car. They replaced the clutch cable and in the process sawed off a piece of the clutch tube! They did not weld it to the tunnel as the first place told us was needed, and we still have the same clutch trouble. We have since found someone that would do the repair properly, but he says we are out of luck since the 2nd shop sawed of a piece of the tube. He said that nothing can be done now. Help! Any ideas?!

This was a common problem and common repair.
This can be repaired but you’re going to have to find someone willing to do it.

To be honest, it sounds like the 1st shop is just making excuses as to why they can’t repair it. They did not want to do this in the first place and they’re just looking for an out.

About all I can suggest is trying to find someone familiar with this problem and it should be fixable with a couple of hours work.
Any dune buggy places near you? They should be very familiar with this problem.

A 98 body on a 66 chassis? An ingenious method of skirting emissions regs since the VIN is on the chassis? :slight_smile:

It’s a Mexican-production “old” Beetle. The classic Beetle was produced in Mexico up until the late '90s / early '00.

Actually, Ok is completely right-- in many states this is the only way to register a newer “old” beetle. You plunk a new body on an old pan and register it as an old beetle.

I think we’re talking about the same thing here. I mean to say that the “classic” body style was produced in Mexico up until the '90s. I was under the impression that ok4450 thought that the OP was talking about putting a New Beetle body on an “old Beetle” chassis -something that seems relatively impossible.

It’s a really fun car, with many “high tech” updates - even a catalytic converter. The 1966 chassis, floor pan, etc. has caused some difficulty, but so far nothing that some POR-15 paint hasn’t solved. This tunnel problem though is a scary one for us - there are a few oldtimers I plan to call tomorrow that aren’t too far away. I have my fingers crossed. I’ll look into dune buggy places also.

It depends. Since it sounds like an oddity, I was just curious if it’s registered in the U.S. and if so, what this car is registered as; a '66 or a '98?

As far as I know a Mexican Beetle is not allowed in the U.S. due to emission regulations. Emissions is a big factor in what prevented the importation of Mexican Beetles and killed the U.S. Beetles since an air-cooled engine is only going to burn so clean. Even motorcycles are heading down this road.

It’s registered as a '66. It’s classified as a restored car, with the minimum amount of '66 parts required to meet that classification. Unfortunately, the installation of the '98 body, trans, engine etc. onto the '66 chassis seems to be shoddy. The 2nd shop even found a pair of old sunglasses inside of the tunnel!

I used to do those repairs all of the time. Remove the pedal assembly, drivers seat, etc. and work through a cut hole in the tunnel.

This problem should be comparatively easy to fix and I think the first guy just did not want to mess with it so he came up with the excuse about the tube being cut off.

The car sounds like a pretty neat deal and like something I would do. The more perverse, the better.
(A friend of mine years ago built a 60 VW Bug with a 401 Buick engine, 2 speed Poweglide transmission, and 9" Mercury rear end. The only things missing were the wings!)

The car is actually called a “Mexi-Beetle” isn’t it? A few years ago a Mexican company started building new cars out of old VW floorpans, minimum of the floorpan with all new parts. Google MexiBeetle. I thought of buying one but stopped short for exactly this reason . . . the old pans are trash by now and will cause problems forever. BTW, this is an easy fix . . . the tube does nothing more than protect the cable as I recall it. My advice is to find a VW guy (aircooled) or a Dune Buggy outfit. Good luck! Rocketman

One thing I remember about VW clutches was a critical emphasis on the arc of the flexible outer cable housing from the tunnel tube to the outer cable boss on the transmission. I cannot remember the exact procedure and dimensions because it has been so long ago. Also check the state of the transmission mounts to make sure there is not too much movement of the engine downward on launch. Have someone watch the exhaust tips as you start out to see if the engine is doing a lot of jouncing.

Fun car to work on isn’t it?

If anyone in the Mid-Atlantic region needs a shop that can work miracles on Volkswagens, we just found one. Savich’s Auto Service in Lansdowne, PA fixed our clutch problem for us. The clutch is so smooth now it feels like a hydraulic clutch. Mr Savich is a very nice, honest fellow and as he told me, he can fix anything. He mentioned that people come to him from as far away as Virginia. He is very good with water-cooled Volkswagens as well as the old air-cooled models.