Volkswagen Beetle Engine Rebuild Time Lapse: Redline Rebuild #7


Don’t let anyone tell you that rebuilding an old Volkswagen Beetle engine is easy. After countless hours of work, some busted knuckles, more than a few trips to the parts store, some heavy-duty Googling, and another 30,000 photos, we present our seventh Redline Rebuild time lapse video.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2017/11/29/redline-rebuild-vw-beetle


Wow, that car is a real mishmash of parts. 73+ rear fenders and 67- bumpers. So how did the builder like the quality of that new case?


I just love it that my insurance company is creating and sending me these videos!


That’s not a '72. The round tail lights were started in 73. The bumpers are from a 67 or older. So, this is definitely at least a 73 or newer with the wrong bumpers.


Why, oh why do videos need annoying high-energy background music? I’d rather hear the click of tools and grunts of the mechanic, or the birds chirping outside. And I’m a musician. Please, please resist, and STOP with the music!


Ok, time lapse can’t provide actual background sounds. I can always hit the mute button of course. I’ll be ok, really. Nice video, BTW.


all your observations are correct, except the beetle is a 1972. the beauty of virtually never changing the foundation.


The EMPI aftermarket case is great in my opinion. It is certainly built much heavier than the stock ones and lends itself to some beefy build ups. During assembly I ran into a couple clearance issues because of the added meat. two spots were the distributor hold down not wanting to sit flush and interference of the case to the intake manifold. Nothing a die grinder could not solve but something to look out for.


Trust me the music is better than the actual garage noises…LOL


So, how can it be a 72 again?


so for someone that really wants a beetle but is not initiated to the club yet how much would the rebuild like the one in the movie cost? ballpark? I love these videos, how about a GM straight six?


@jeffclawson9 - A general cost to rebuilt an engine can vary greatly, mainly because the starting point is the largest determining factor. If you have a good core engine that you will be able to re-use most parts, that can really keep cost in check.

On the other side, you can run into situation like our’s where we tore the engine down only to find the cases damaged and unusable.

I would start by pricing out the parts you will absolutely need for a rebuild (bearings, gaskets, piston rings), then know that you can quickly exceed that if things go awry or you dive down the money pit that is performance parts. Not trying to discourage you, just want to be prepared!


What exhaust system was used on this build? It looks like the heat exchangers are retained. Is the system for manifold heating by exhaust case flow maintained in the correct manner?


A bit of advice to all reading here, lessons learned to be passed on to those thinking of doing a VW engine rebuild. The first is don’t forget to put the deflectors under the pushrod tubes when you put the heads on. They flew through that part. The second is in the '60s and '70s when a lot of these engines were getting rebuilt in machine shops, it was really common to get rebuilt rods on an exchange basis. The problem is if the four rods you get were not originally from the same set, VERY GOOD chance the weight will be WAY off, by up to 20 grams, which cause really high loads on the bearings and makes the engine vibrate a lot more. So make sure you check the weight and balance, something I surprisingly didn’t see in the video… The third is go ahead and get the carburetor rebushed if it’s an original one, it makes a huge difference in the idle. Checking the rods and rebushing is cheap but will make a big difference.