Thursday, November 23, 2006

A restoration has to start somewhere...

...and I decided to start my '62 1500 Ghia restoration with the mechanicals. The engine is first on the agenda. The car has been in storage since "something" went wrong in cylinder #2 one night in 2000. Zero compression. Other projects have had to come first, so the Ghia's been waiting for attention since then.

I'm very lucky that the engine is original to the car and it still has almost all of the hard-to-find first-year-only parts. Here's what I started with:

Except for the aftermarket Bosch blue coil almost everything is as it should be for an April 1962 VW 1500 engine. Early Type 3 engines had a number of unique features, and it's not often you find one that hasn't been "improved" by someone along the way.

The original Type 3 engine was essentially a bored and stroked version of the standard VW 40-horse engine with a reconfigured cooling system. As with the 40-horse, the intake manifold joins the heads at a 90° angle. This connection was angled 20° with the beginning of the 1963 model year in August 1962, so the '62 intake manifold and heads are one-year-only parts. The spacer seen above under the heat riser tube (at the top of the photo above) was replaced with a thermostatic valve in August '62 as well.

The Bosch ZV/PAU 4 R 6 distributor is also unique to early 1500s. It's a vacuum-advance cast iron-bodied distributor that's very similar to the one used on the 40-horse at the time, but with a different advance curve. It was used from late 1961 through August 1963.

For a few months in early 1962 the air cleaner had a connection port for a crankcase breather tube but nothing to connect it to. The air cleaners on these transitional cars got a plastic plug to seal off the breather port. Very few of these plugs have survived.

I'll document more odd 1962 1500 features as I tear the engine down. But first things first: it's time for the engine to come out.

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