Hi everyone. I’m new, and this is my first post. I thought you guys knew everything. ( I know I don’t, I’m sure I should post this somewhere else, but…) This is regarding the VW owner’s mechanic who told her the addition of a tachometer who make the engine last forever. Everybody who has owned a bug knows that the little red hash marks on the speedometer are shifting marks.
sorry. should read…addition of a tachometer will make the engine last forever.
That’s true. I have owned several air cooled VWs and what people seem to have forgotten about them is that when they were first built few cars made it past 50,000mi and cars weren’t driven as fast or as far on a routine basis. Furthermore, those Beetle engines were meant to last about 80,000mi then be replaced or rebuilt. I agree with Tom and Ray’s answer that the tach is not necessary and probably won’t help. The only thing I would add to what they said is the car should not be driven on any road that is newer than it is.
Furthermore, those Beetle engines were meant to last about 80,000mi then be replaced or rebuilt.
So how do you explain my 1970 Bug that was at 190,000+ (original miles no engine repairs) (all original) when it finally died due to an accident.
I remember the advertisements for VW Beetles in the late 1950’s and 1960’s that stated that top speed and cruising speed were the same. I had a friend who frequently drove has VW Beetle from Indiana to Kansas and said that he just put the accelerator on the floor and held it there. I didn’t know that one could over rev a VW Beetle’s engine. A tachometer, it would seem to me, would be about as useless as a screen door on a submarine.
One of the advantages that the VW Beetle had over some of the other imports of the 1960’s (Morris Minor, Renault Dauphine, Hillman Minx, Simca, Ford Anglica & Prefect) was that the VW engine turned more slowly at highway speeds. It seems to me the Consumer Reports pointed this out in an article where these cars were compared.
What year bug are we talking here? The fluid cooled “New Beetle” or the air cooled “old Beetle”…like the '61 that I had? On second thought, I don’te remember that mine had red hash marks. I seem to recall just a very basic 360 degree bone-clored round speedo, with a needle that wobbled as it slowly climbed…very, very slowly.
Did this mechanic say you had to look at this tacometer occasionaly or just having one installed is enough?
Abberations do exist but I knew I would be doing a least 2 VW rebuilds a month back in the day (for me 1973-1976). My part on the labor for one overhaul paid my rent ($90.00) as soon as I heard that engine fire up and it sounded good I new I had my rent paid.
There was nothing about the VW engine that inhearently made it a “long life” engine but quite a few design features that put it in the “better know your thumb” catagory. I can remember the floor in the room we drilled and tapped the cases to install "case savers"in. It was just covered in case material no matter how often you swept up.
But Marty McFly sure did have good luck with his. I am glad that the VW was pretty much the first automobile I had a professional association with as the cars were so quirky that it was hard for a seasoned mechanic to “break training” and get into VW’s
When I owned a 1961 VW beetle with a 1600 single barrel, I installed a vacuum gauge to monitor the load on the engine. I longed to have a true MAP gauge but the only ones I knew about were in C182s. I just went by ear as to the RPM. When the manifold vacuum sustained below 5 inchs, I would down shift and go a little slower.
When climbing the Grapevine in southern California, I would shift down to third when I reached 45 mph and I usually could hold 45 and more than 5 inches all the way up – unless I had a severe head wind. Around Gorman, I would have to downshift to third again and draft a truck to maintain headway. Just like any other underpowered vehicle it took craft and patience to make the most of the VW.
actually the only thing you need to do to make a VW engine last forever is never drive it.
Did some mods didn’t you? as a stock vehicle you would of had the 1200cc 40hp in that 1961 (I wanted to say 36hp but I think they were all gone by 61. I my driving experience the “Grapevine” (even before it was part of I-5) is one of the meanes’t grades in the U.S. it even has a song about it. The non-freeway part was known as the Ridge Route and automotive lore says GM developed the 348 and the rest of the family to handle the Ridge Route.
I found through research that a stock 1970 bug will go a maximum 60 mph in 2nd without blowing the engine.
Perhaps he’s just making stuff up.
The best tachometer. Use your ears. They detect both sound and motion and the idea is to keep both smooth.
On the old VW Beetles, an altimeter would be more useful than a tachometer. At highway speeds, particularly with a crosswind, it felt like and sounded like you were flying in the VW. It would be great to know the exact altitude.