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Super Beetle engine

hi i have a 1972 super beetle engine 1600cc + i added a lot of mods so anyways the beetle was in a garage for 4 years then i added new parts and cleaned the engine and it sounds good but it back fire once in a wile timing should be great but thats not the main thing when i get on the highway 1 gear has power and 2 but when i hit 3 i like have nothing its like a snail + any hill will slow it down then it start poping like its out of timing and i cant get to top speeds unless its down hill this car should do at least 100 on a straight highway but i could only do 40-50 and it takes a wile to get it up there. somebody told be air cooled engines always needs adjusted after few years and i have no clue what that means any ideas or information u need let me know please thank you chris

If I understand correctly, you pulled this VW out of long term storage and added a lot of modifications to it. Did you run it before the mods? If not, do you know how it ran before it was parked?

well the guy i buyed it from said it ran so thats all i know and i test drov it befor i added anything 2 it and it still had the same problem

There are several things to check on these old V-Dubs. Check the ignition timing, check the valve clearances, check for vacuum leaks, and make sure the carb is adjusted properly. Then, if it still runs poorly, check the compression of each cylinder.

These engines need periodic valve adjustments if they are like the 1600cc engine in my 1971 bus. They also came without fuel filters and dirtied up the carbs. quickly. The valve are adjusted without the engine running so it is pretty easy. If someone put a fuel filter in change it.If not take the carbs off and clean them, don’t just run carb cleaner thru them, the problem isn’t varnish, it’s dirt and grit.

yes i did pull out my Weber Air Cooled Carburetor and used a re build Kits. ignition time is fine i need to find out how to valve adjustments

10mm wrench, screwdriver and a feeler gauge.

P.S. And a good shop manual. How do you do mods on the engine without a manual?

lol i do have one but i left it in the car ;-/ + its better to get fresh advise from people

Free advise is just that. Free and no liability. Some advise is better than others. The manual is different. It is generally the authority on how to do it right. I’ll take the manual’s word over anything put on this site any day.

sweet i got a question what is a feeler gauge o never mine got it ty

o ok thx for your help i go try it as soon i get a feeler gauge ty ty ty

First I suggest you get the best car manual ever written. “How to keep you VW alive - A step by step manual for the complete idiot” By John Mure(SP?)

That car has some special problems (the mods done by the prior owner) Unless he really knew what he was doing, they could be your biggest problem.

[i] this car should do at least 100 on a straight highway [/i]  Unless that is 100 KPH it should not be driven at that speed. 

I suspect you have three problems.  Expectations at too high, Mods are likely causing problems and finding mechanics and parts are going to be almost impossible. 

Find a copy of that book and start there.

I second that, JEM. The John Murer(sp) book is great for just such a situation.

You insist that your ignition timing is correct, but I don’t think it is. The INITIAL ignition timing may be OK, but there are weights under the points that cause the timing to advance at higher RPMs and your symptoms sound like they are stuck. A little WD40 sprayed on them will solve the problem.

It does appear that your vacuum advance is working properly and that is actually aggravating the situation right now, but once the weights are freed up, you will need the vacuum advance for low end torque.

If it turns out that the distributor advance weights are working, then there are two more things that can cause your symptoms. One is a worn distributor shaft bearing. At higher RPMs, the shaft wobbles around and changes the dwell on the points, not something you want it to do. The other thing is that the timing chain was not properly installed, it could be off a link or two.

This is everything i did to the engine PREMIUM FUEL FILTERS
and the engine already had WEBER PROGRESSIVE CARBURETOR and i used a rebuild kit for the carburetor and new 12v Bosch Coils,IRIDIUM POWER SPARK PLUGS,HIGH-PERFORMANCE SPARK PLUG CABLE SET,then i did some gas tank treatment,009 STYLE FLAMETHROWER ELECTRONIC DISTRIBUTORS FOR VW TYPE 1 ENGINES

i will recheck the ignition timing

You should run a compression test. One always weeds out mechanical glitches before spending money needlessly on a problem that money will not solve.
Air cools have lower compression that “normal” engines so what you’re shooting for is about 130 PSI on all cylinders. Getting down to the 100 and under range means problems.

If the compression is good then how about the clutch?

(And speaking of engine and clutch, try this. With the engine off grasp the crank pulley and try to move it back and forth. You may hear a very faint “tick” sound and that will be normal. If you hear a thunk or clunk sound then the engine block has serious issues and the clutch operation will be iffy because of this.)

ok i will try that out first thank-you and get back 2 u

ok i don’t know if im doing this right but the crank pulley wont move by hand in first gear or neutral is that ok?

Assuming we’re on the same page that you’re moving it back and forth rather than trying to rotate it you’re good on that count.