The 'Old-Speed' direction...

With the motor needing rebuilding, we've decided to do it properly ie get the whole thing completely re-built and restored year-correct. And to do it all the highest standard we can. We're fans of 'old-speed' style tuning goodies and so decided to pep up the motor with some vintage tuning stuff. The question then is which way and how far to go.

From doing a lot of reading old VW magazines and tuning books and digging around some really good websites, seems like there are 3 basic directions that you can go in when building a vintage speed VW motor: 1 - increase the cc of the motor only, 2 - vintage twin carburetor set-up, or 3 - a vintage supercharger.

This is twin-carb kit made by Okrasa - this one is a TSV-1300/34, made for the 34hp 1200 (like ours) which means that as well as the twin carbs, manifolds and very smart twin-port heads, it also came with the Okrasa 69.5mm crank, which increased capacity to 1300 (pic from May 1965 issue of Safer Motoring).

A Shorrock Supercharger for a VW 1200 offering a '50%' increase in power. Ad from 1965.

We've decided to go down the carburetor and increased cc route - so more to come on that later.

The Block

Well, here’s the engine block all stripped and cleaned, again thanks to Farnborough VW. Hopefully there will be no nasty surprises lurking inside when it’s split…


… and here it is, split open for the first time in 42 years!



The good news is that it’s in really good condition and is re-usable, as is the original crank, so at least that’s a starting point for the re-build.

The problem...

Farnborough VW dropped out the engine, opened it up and discovered that the exhaust valve on number 3 cylinder had snapped, embedded itself into the chamber and then smashed it's way right through the top of the piston. They even found bits of the broken piston in the other head - it ain't pretty, but it does explain why it seized.


So the search was on for another '65 1200 cylinder head...


A sad day :-(



On our way to the UltraVW Bug Boogie show in September, the bug gave out a small puff of smoke and lost power. We pulled over and switched off, had a look round the motor - nothing. Tried starting it again, but it had completely seized. Time for the truck :-(

How it all began....


This was our 1200 34hp motor in August 2007. It's the original stock motor from the car, it had never been restored or refurbished. All it had done was a conversion to 12 volt a couple of years ago - when we using it as a daily - we kept all of the original 6v parts :-)
It had always dropped a little bit of oil, and it was always our intention to strip it and restore it completely stock one day - we just never expected it to be so soon.