Friday, October 3, 2008

Part 1 - Putting it all together--restoring the original fasteners

In times past, I've found myself going to some extraordinary lengths to collect original Volkswagen fasteners and miscellaneous hardware pieces. I've always avoided the lure of using stainless steel fasteners on my restoration projects, choosing instead to restore the original hardware. I feel that properly restored original fasteners have a lot of good reliable life left in them. The hardware on my Type 34 was originally supplied by KAMAX, Knipping and Verbus. All were originally good old German companies that offered the German automotive industry a quality product for their time. With some careful hardware restoration choices, I believe this same level of quality can be maintained.

Most original and unmolested Volkswagen parts books have a section labeled 'ST - Standard Parts', which is a generic fasteners and miscellaneous parts section that provides a lot of detail regarding hardware referred to throughout the rest of that parts book. For example, a bolt with a part number of N10 023 2 is described as a Bolt, hex, hd M 10 X 45/25 DIN 70 613 galvanized. That's a lot of great information for those of us looking for missing hardware. This tells us exactly how the hardware should be restored when replated to maintain both strength and authenticity. And after the replating process, it's really nice to have an idea where that big bucket of bolts out in the garage could possibly and properly be used, particularly when it comes time to put it all back together.


If you need a bolt for a particular purpose, all you need to do is reach for your Type 3 or Type 34 parts book for the details on the fastener. Don't own a parts book? Finding one can be a hassle, but you can access portions online on der Samba. Unfortunately, the online references often don't contain the 'ST Standard Parts' section. I guess all the gut wrenching gory detail is just too much to wrap a mind around...ok, not really. Perhaps it's better described as the third to last appendix in the parts book and is about 4 pages of stupifying boredom. Regardless, scans of it are now presented here, just for completeness. Because boring detail is never in short supply on this blog.

If you should find yourself in the market for a good parts book, know in advance that you won't be alone. A lot of us enjoy the portability and funkiness of a grease and coffee stained orignal shop and parts manual. I contend there's just is no substitute for the real shop literature. So you know what you're looking for, the Type 14 and Type 34 Ghia books are usually bound together. Though you may not own a Type 1 Karmann Ghia, there's a lot of good value in the Type 14 parts book because it allows you to cross reference between parts shared between the two Ghia types. There is, after all, the slim potential that your investment in the shop and parts manuals could actually pay for themselves.

I recently discovered that the Type 14 parts book has a slighly different version of the 'ST - Standard Parts' listing. I will publish this alternate 7 page version in a future blog post.

40 Horses of Fury

Eventually I'll get around to building a nice 1500S engine for the Nautilus. Really. I WILL. However, with all the oil burning going on in the engine room of my wife's '65 Type 14 last year, I guess it was inevitable that I would break out my wrenches and get to the bottom of it. Fortunately, we bought well and most everything was original and intact. All that was needed was a good freshening up of the longblock and a couple of cosmetic improvements. Somewhere along the line I decided to take that to the next level. So for now we will re-live the past glories of this 40 HP engine build which serves as a fine example of how motivated I can get with the details when I want to.

I do enjoy engine building. These days, it's nice to be able to take advantage of some modern paints and finishes to get a result near stock, but potentially longer lasting. It's also the time to lift the lid on the Nice Old Stuff box and be able to feel guilt free in putting those rare shelf worn parts to good use. It's also the time where all that old information gathering really pays off. I can't tell you how many people actually contributed to this engine in part because of a comment made on some forum or blog that sunk its way deep into a subconscious and oft times retentive crevice within my memory. Anyway, the re-issued Bently shop manuals also paid off and the good folks at Bugs For You and Wolfburg West also helped bring it home. But, I would be remiss if I didn't extend the greatest amount of credit and appreciation to Jay Taylor of NuVintage, who tirelessly dealt with my incessant requests for numerous small but critical parts and really helped me maintain the authenticity of this engine.

This engine ended up with 83mm pistons and cylinders. The original Volkwagen units just didn't make the cut. I had 77mm pistons, but no cylinders and for the cost of the cyliners alone, the 83mm kit was cheaper and also offered a bit more horsepower. This '65 engine originally had the square boss heads, which was the first year for them, and I reused most of the sheetmetal. Denver Metal Finishing did the plating and Performance Powercoating in Golden, Colorado did some fine work on the 60% black applied to the sheetmetal. They also applied the 'magnesium' colored ceramic finish to the muffler and heat exchangers. While I was simply going for a clean original effect, this engine definitely draws the positive comments.

As it's broken in, a leak has developed at the flywheel. This annoys me, so I'll probably go in and fix it sometime this winter. For now, we've also replaced the original distributor with an 010 distributor and I must say that the old boy does kick some butt! Almost feels like a 1600, when pulling away from a full stop. Not neck snapping, but definitely peppy. As it continues to break in, we'll try it on the Rockies to see what it's really made of.

So...I'm not just a Type 3/34 person. I really like all Volkswagens. I just like Karmann Ghias more.