Just bought a Karmann Ghia after owning a Beetle for several years. I like the car but have a problem. Having a difficult time smoothly shifting from first to second when turning left. No problems other times, just on left turns. Was never an issue in the Bug.
It was never had any problems with mine. Ghia was in most ways just a face lift to make it a little more sexy.
You may want to ask this question on www.thesamba.com. That site is dedicated to ACVWs.
Sounds like a synchro problem to me.
Since it occurs only when turning, inspect the engine & transmission mounts. It ay be one is loose or otherwise needs repair. A rusted mount on a Ghia wouldn’t be unusual. May just need a little welding is all. A loose fit causes the geometry in the linkage from the gear shifter to the xmission to change depending when you are turning. You might also might discover to find this problem occurs during accelerations and decelerations too, for the same reason.
Yep, have you had this thoroughly inspected? I’d also have the fuel lines gone over, and replaced if they show any signs of age.
Your first step might be to check crankshaft end play. With the engine cold and not running, pull the crankshaft pulley back towards you as far as possible. Now shove it forward quickly.
If you hear a thunk sound then the engine cases may be beat out. This will especially affect clutch operation on the air cools. The most you should hear is a faint tick sound and there be only a very slight movement. This movement can also be checked with a dial indicator, feeler gauges, etc.
If the crankshaft is excessively loose then this would be caused by aggressive driving in the past. The surfaces of the crankshaft main thrust bearing are harder than the engine cases so the engine case is what gives up.
There are other things it could be (shift lever adjustment, worn nose bushing on the transaxle, etc, etc) but you need to make sure there’s not an issue with the engine block as a first step because a problem in that area negates everything else. The only repair for this is an engine overhaul.
A bug/ghia does not have motor mounts because the engine hangs off the transmission so the geometry doesn’t really change in relation to each other. The transmission has mounts, though, that hold the entire transmission/engine assembly in the car.
I don’t think the transmission mount would be a problem because the drivability would be affected in all gears but they do go bad so it isn’t a bad idea to check them.
You could check/replace them pretty easily. Very clear instructions are available from bugmevideo. I have the entire set and highly recommend getting the instructions you need, if you want to maintain your ACVW.
End slop could be a problem but that usually also affects all gears. That’s a potentially expensive repair because it requires replacement of the case or endboring the original case. There aren’t too many shops around that know how to do that (most are in CA) so it requires shipping, unless you’re lucky enough to have one close by.
Have you tried double clutching to see if you can get it in gear then?