1 2
Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
4/21/11 8:18 a.m.

So... I'm sitting in a little pizza shop with the kids and this rolls up:

I have not seen one in the wild since I was a kid... but it looks damn cool... is it a type 3? Are they cheap? Are there any left that didn't rust to bits by now? Am I insane for immediately thinking it would be an awesome platform for a FWD powertrain mid-engined conversion?

Karl La Follette
Karl La Follette Dork
4/21/11 8:25 a.m.

complete in florida w/title

bravenrace
bravenrace SuperDork
4/21/11 8:29 a.m.
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote: So... I'm sitting in a little pizza shop with the kids and this rolls up: Am I insane for immediately thinking it would be an awesome platform for a FWD powertrain mid-engined conversion?

No, you are friggin brilliant!

iceracer
iceracer Dork
4/21/11 8:43 a.m.

Yes, it is a type 3 aka: Squareback

16vCorey
16vCorey SuperDork
4/21/11 8:48 a.m.
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote: So... I'm sitting in a little pizza shop with the kids and this rolls up: I have not seen one in the wild since I was a kid... but it looks damn cool... is it a type 3? Are they cheap? Are there any left that didn't rust to bits by now? Am I insane for immediately thinking it would be an awesome platform for a FWD powertrain mid-engined conversion?

Yes, that is a Type 3. They are damn cool, but I prefer the earlier cars. They are still pretty cheap. Lately I've seen runners go from anywhere from $1k-10k. I've got a rust free one, one that's totally rotted out, and a few in between. So yeah, there are some survivors out there. You are not insane at all for thinking such a thing. I was contemplating a mid-engine ford 2.3L turbo swap for my parts car, using a 914 trans and a pinto adapter that's common as dirt in the dune buggy scene. Who needs a back seat anyway?

For inspiration, here's some early Squarebacks:

bravenrace
bravenrace SuperDork
4/21/11 8:57 a.m.

In reply to 16vCorey:

How do they drive compared to a same-era Beetle?

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
4/21/11 9:04 a.m.

OK, so... I'll just assume that there is a swing-axle under there that would also be replaced by the donor's suspension/brakes as well(tie rods fixed to become "toe adjustment"). Meaning - the donor should have had nice potential for sportiness built in. Since I have ignored FWD cars most of my life... what donors do not suck and are piled high in junkyards?

16vCorey
16vCorey SuperDork
4/21/11 10:24 a.m.
bravenrace wrote: In reply to 16vCorey: How do they drive compared to a same-era Beetle?

Much more stable and comfy. They actually handle pretty well with some decent tires, and kinda remind me more of an old 911 than a beetle. They had more powerful engines and better brakes than the beetles of the same era, although later beetles also got the 1600 dual port and disc brakes, you can still really tell it's a wider car by the way it drives.

16vCorey
16vCorey SuperDork
4/21/11 10:30 a.m.
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote: OK, so... I'll just assume that there is a swing-axle under there that would also be replaced by the donor's suspension/brakes as well(tie rods fixed to become "toe adjustment"). Meaning - the donor should have had nice potential for sportiness built in. Since I have ignored FWD cars most of my life... what donors do not suck and are piled high in junkyards?

'62-'68 were swing axle and '69-up were IRS, except the '68 with an automatic trans got IRS a year early. There are tons of really fast Subi swaps into these things, so if I were to go mid engine I think I would play off of that and just use the entire drivetrain and suspension from a FWD Subi. That way you keep the engine profile nice and low and you won't have to cut as much of the floor out. You might even be able to keep it looking relatively stock looking inside that way.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic SuperDork
4/21/11 10:36 a.m.
16vCorey wrote:
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote: OK, so... I'll just assume that there is a swing-axle under there that would also be replaced by the donor's suspension/brakes as well(tie rods fixed to become "toe adjustment"). Meaning - the donor should have had nice potential for sportiness built in. Since I have ignored FWD cars most of my life... what donors do not suck and are piled high in junkyards?
'62-'68 were swing axle and '69-up were IRS, except the '68 with an automatic trans got IRS a year early. There are tons of really fast Subi swaps into these things, so if I were to go mid engine I think I would play off of that and just use the entire drivetrain and suspension from a FWD Subi. That way you keep the engine profile nice and low and you won't have to cut as much of the floor out. You might even be able to keep it looking relatively stock looking inside that way.

What style of IRS did they use (Mac Strut, double wishbone, etc)?

On a side note, the swing axle is an IRS. It has always kinda bothered me when people say the later cars have IRS as if the earlier ones where not.

Luke
Luke SuperDork
4/21/11 10:45 a.m.

I've been thinking about these, too. Don't see myself in a Beetle, but I'd definitely rock a type 3.

Is there much potential for performance hop-ups without going all nuts on a mid-engine swap?

Perhaps do the Subaru conversion, but maintain the rear-engine layout...any merit to that?

16vCorey
16vCorey SuperDork
4/21/11 10:59 a.m.
93EXCivic wrote:
16vCorey wrote:
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote: OK, so... I'll just assume that there is a swing-axle under there that would also be replaced by the donor's suspension/brakes as well(tie rods fixed to become "toe adjustment"). Meaning - the donor should have had nice potential for sportiness built in. Since I have ignored FWD cars most of my life... what donors do not suck and are piled high in junkyards?
'62-'68 were swing axle and '69-up were IRS, except the '68 with an automatic trans got IRS a year early. There are tons of really fast Subi swaps into these things, so if I were to go mid engine I think I would play off of that and just use the entire drivetrain and suspension from a FWD Subi. That way you keep the engine profile nice and low and you won't have to cut as much of the floor out. You might even be able to keep it looking relatively stock looking inside that way.
What style of IRS did they use (Mac Strut, double wishbone, etc)? On a side note, the swing axle is an IRS. It has always kinda bothered me when people say the later cars have IRS as if the earlier ones where not.

It was pretty much the same torsion bar set up as the swing axle cars, but with a CV axle so the camber doesn't change drastically at different suspension heights. Pretty much the same suspension design as a 911 or 944.

bravenrace
bravenrace SuperDork
4/21/11 11:00 a.m.

In reply to Luke:

I would think a Porsche conversion wouldn't be too bad, although maybe expensive. I'm sure someone has done it already. Mid engined would be cool, but a lot of work. Really, a lot of power can be gotten out of a VW mill for probably a lot less than any non-VW engine swap.

Derick Freese
Derick Freese Dork
4/21/11 11:05 a.m.

My mom's family had several Type 3s when they were newer. An orange one, a blue one, and a red one. Mom drove the orange one. She also had a '70 Polara with a 440 when she was 17.

16vCorey
16vCorey SuperDork
4/21/11 11:24 a.m.
Luke wrote: I've been thinking about these, too. Don't see myself in a Beetle, but I'd definitely rock a type 3. Is there much potential for performance hop-ups without going all nuts on a mid-engine swap?

They're pretty much the same engine that the beetle had, so pretty much all the performance goodies associated with a beetle engine will work. The big difference is the cooling fan configuration. The type 3 had the cooling fan in front of the engine giving it a much lower profile, often referred to as a "pancake" or "suitcase" engine. You can't go quite as big as a Beetle with the stock fan set up, but as long as you stay under 2 liters you shouldn't having any problems with keeping it cool. A 1776, 1835, 1904, or 1914cc with dual Webers and a big cam will scoot!

Here's the different engine configurations.

Beetle style:

Type 3 style:

Luke wrote: Perhaps do the Subaru conversion, but maintain the rear-engine layout...any merit to that?

Absolutely. There are quite a few Subi powered type 3 daily drivers out there. I know one of the performance had a bad ass 10 second daily driver Notchback with a turbo Subi engine. Very nice car.

914Driver
914Driver SuperDork
4/21/11 11:32 a.m.

Hate me later.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/cat.php?id=9

ransom
ransom Reader
4/21/11 11:33 a.m.

I'm more taken with the fastbacks than the squarebacks, but I like the train of thought. Of course, you can follow this sort of thing to its logical (?) conclusion:

Might as well upgrade the front suspension, too. The whole front suspension is held on with four bolts; couldn't you build something better that used those mounting points and just bolt it on? Admittedly, the pickup plane is so far forward relative to the axles that figuring out how to do A-arms is a packaging puzzle...

But then you've got competent suspension at both ends and a flimsy chassis that you've head to hack on a bunch to get mid-engined. Why not just build your own tube chassis and tack the perimeter of the VW pan to the outside so you can drop the body back on when you're done?

I've been daydreaming about that for a couple of years now...

spitfirebill
spitfirebill SuperDork
4/21/11 11:43 a.m.

My SCUBA instructor back in the 60's drove one. In fact we used it to haul four guys with SCUBA gear to Holly Hill, SC for our check dive in an old limestone quarry.

Luke
Luke SuperDork
4/21/11 11:46 a.m.

In reply to 16vCorey:

Good info, thanks!

That about settles it, then. The trick, of course, is finding one still made primarily out of real metal.

bobpink
bobpink New Reader
4/21/11 11:47 a.m.

My Mom had one of these for a while back in the 80s. In the cold Wisconsin winters I remember having to take a propane torch to the fuel injection tubes and warm them up enough to start it. Nope, never burned anything else in the process.

914Driver
914Driver SuperDork
4/21/11 11:54 a.m.

I had one as a Driver Ed. car to teach us how to clutch.

914Driver
914Driver SuperDork
4/21/11 1:00 p.m.

Looking at the front of a Porsche 914 engine. Similar low air ducting.

Same engine from the rear.

shadetree30
shadetree30 Reader
4/21/11 3:17 p.m.

Older Than Dirt Dept:

I hate to admit it but I actually did pre-delivery inspections on NEW 1969/70/71 Type 3s.

Although someone's brought it up before with pics, ever see a Type 3 Karmann Ghia?

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
4/21/11 3:35 p.m.

For some reason I find the front end of the Karmann type 3 to be hideous.

bludroptop
bludroptop SuperDork
4/21/11 3:39 p.m.

My folks bought one of the first ones officially imported by VWOA in 1966. I literally grew up in a Squareback. A few years later, one of my first car tinkering experiences was replacing the clutch cable on this car - I was maybe 13 at the time. This photo is about 1967.

As for Type 3 Ghias, I'll own one someday.

1 2

You'll need to log in to post.

Our Preferred Partners
N4QG0RZaEIZeWaX3sziqk2W4jVpB8yZeUWg4onCZQyHFV1nIPkqPRbDrre6sWhWD