Can anyone help with my 1970 Semi-auto trouble?


Asked by Sep 15, 2011 at 03:20 PM about the 1970 Volkswagen Beetle

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Help--my semi-auto won't shift into reverse (grinds), doesn't want to go into 1 or 2.  Will go into 3
with urging.  Help?

4 Answers

Hi, I have a similar problem with my beetle also a 1970 semi- auto. The mechanic told me that he thinks their is a leak in the air pump which pushes the gear leaver on top of the transmission. I don't know what this part is called and the car is back at my place as I can't seem to find a replacement part anywhere. My car too crunches when you try to push it into gear but it is definitely not a problem with the clutches or gearbox as we tested and checked all the mechanicals. This problem got worse gradually over a year getting harder and harder to select gears. Finally I had to take it to the mechanic as it wouldn't go into gear anymore but as I suspected there isn't anything wrong with the gearbox because once its in gear it doesn't slip out no matter how hard you push it. The problem lies with the pneumatic gear selecting system. If you find out what this part is called please let me know but I suspect you may have the same problem with yours. Good luck Ruslan


Hmmm...sounds indeed like we have the same problem. I'll keep investigating and let you know what I find out.


hi been some time since you put this up but just got beetle auto 72 month ago all working firn 2 week then started grinding into reverse, got great manual on ebay autodata beetle repair but haynes has the same info, the clutch on the semi auto stick shift works on a vacume selector mechanism, key things to check are the electrics a the fuse second the micro switch in the gear stict that activates the the cotrol valve located on the driver side engine compartment, also check all the connectors. also check the transmision oil located on the right hanside engine compartment make sure you use righht oil, the control valve has a screw on top turn gently clockwise !/4- 1/2 turn if the clutch grabs if it slips turn it anticlockwise, also check for air hose leaks from the control valve if it is working with the ignistion on but engine not runing you should hear the clicking on and off in the engine comapartment, one main thing is the carb set up to high and the reverse will grind it is really important for the runing of the engine to be right you may find it easy to get into reverse as soon as you start up and thene it get difficult if the engine has been running, tune the engine. also check the distance ofthe vaccume servo atuating lever which effect the clutch clearance you can also check the gear stick plate but be careful when taking apart. hope this helps anyone with the same prob,

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Appreciate the help.

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