Saturday, June 23, 2007
Better know a dipstick
Many early 1500 Ghia parts were superseded by redesigned parts, and VW's documentation of superseded parts and when they changed is spotty at best. The early dipstick is a case in point. Lee Hedges has pointed out this photo that appears in the November '61 and August '62 owner's manuals showing the early-style dipstick in use.
Sometime in 1962 or 1963 a rubber collar/seal was added that was continued through the end of production. The earlier dipstick had an internal cork gasket in the cap. Since the new design could also be used on earlier cars, all reference to the old part was removed from the VW Parts List.
I had always assumed that the new collar was just added to the existing dipstick, but a side by side comparison shows there's more to it than that.
Sometime later, probably in early 1964, the word "oil" was moved to the top of the cap. This was apparently to make it more visible. Lee is surveying owners of '64s to try to determine when the change was made. The investigation continues.
[More information here]