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Beetle engine 4

How can the engine actually be classified among its counterparts at the time? When it was created, it was considered modern due to its low stroke and large bore. At that time there were also side-controlled engines, to which it was also superior.

We have already mentioned the difference to the liquid-cooled ones, but perhaps we have not yet sufficiently appreciated its low weight. Aluminum was very unusual back then, except perhaps for the cylinder head, and magnesium was certainly still more unusual as an engine material.

This applies somewhat less to the shape of the combustion chamber. This hasn't really changed in the transition to the cylinder heads with the double channel (picture below). What's remarkable about them is that they are cracked, but you could hardly notice it from the outside.

Porsche worked early on with a square cross-section and valves arranged at an angle. But, as you can see with the Type 3, carburetors pretty much directly on the cylinder heads seem to be the key to more power and, above all, a little more spontaneous response.

You can confidently describe the expanded intake manifold of the VW Beetle with the preheating as the throttling of the Beetle engine, just as perhaps the long focus on regular gasoline. Those who didn't have that, e.g. the Type 2 1500 S, often had problems when the higher performance was actually used.

If you want to avoid your slightly tuned engine getting too hot, then take a cue from Porsche here too. Our master back then worked with a pipe coil in front of the intake opening of the blower. It was of no use. In general, nothing should be built in front of it; you should even check whether the thermostatic control is still working.

Porsche also relied on oil. Find out where the line to the relatively large oil filter on the 356 begins. The 2.5 liters of oil in circulation really seems to be a bit too little if you need increased cooling. Checking the temperature is good, but again, maybe start with the oil pressure switch and not the drain plug.

And watch out for the spark plugs. The short thread in a cylinder head is not good for them. Where else with candles with a long thread does it happen that the candles, including the plug and cable, are suddenly pushed away? So please take extra care when putting them on.

Yes, the tappet tubes are prone to leaks over long periods of use. There were also some in the aftermarket that could be fitted with new gaskets without having to remove the cylinder heads, which saved a lot of work. Does that still exist today?

Anyone who could live with relatively high consumption and moderate performance had a lot of fun with a VW Beetle. But not if he/she had bought one of the economy variants that were previously called 'Standard' and later adorned with the letter 'A', for example. No, what is meant here is not the lack of equipment or chrome trim, but the lack of noise insulation. Without it, long motorway journeys became a test of nerves.

Yes, I personally loved repairing the Beetle more than driving it. Even though the engine was so hidden, the valves could be adjusted more quickly than, for example, with a liquid-cooled inline four in the front of the engine compartment.

Remove the distributor cap, turn the V-belt pulley onto the first cylinder and use the adjuster screwdriver to remove the right valve cap. Check, correct if necessary, turn further to the left to the second cylinder and so on. Just rubbing off the seals was annoying, but as far as I remember, the later ones were just inserted.


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