New engine for 1974 super beetle


Asked by Jul 20, 2015 at 11:46 AM about the 1974 Volkswagen Beetle

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Hi it's Andy again sorry for being so much trouble I don't know anything about cars. My
last question about a newer motor for a 1974 super beetle I forgot to mention it is a semi-
automatic , dose this make a difference also if I decided to get a rebuild kit what else
would I get to make it better , like as mentioned , hydraulic lifters, carburetor,electronic
ignition , anything else?

13 Answers


Wow mean that you have VWs dreaded "automatic stick shift? That was the absolute worst transmission ever ! Did you actually purchase this car? Or was it in your family? I'm not sure my previous posts to you about a replacement engine will work with that transmission. I feel sorry for you.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Your "semi-automatic" goes zero to 60 mph in more than 20 seconds or so? Tell me how that's helpful or even safe by today's standards? Chris on the other posted question said just repair or replace the original engine for the lowest cost. He is correct! Do that and sell the car. Unless you spend a ton of money, this car will never be fast, comfortable, handle well, etc. I honestly cannot see any reason to keep a car like this unless you really want a piece of nostalgia.

Best Answer Mark helpful

So, Andy, are you going to keep the car and restore it or bail?

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Have to think about it, on hold for now,but wil let you know for for sure


Andy, good luck with your decision. I'm sure it's a tough one and I'm sorry if I was a little too direct in my comments and criticisms of this car. If you decide to fix it up you need to realize that the market for a car like this being an automatic stick shift VW is going to be very limited. It would take a very special buyer if you wanted to sell at some point in the future. Plus, these automatic stick shift transmissions are so rare at this point , gradually it will be harder to repair. I drove one back in 1968, my Dad rented the car, and it was the slowest most unresponsive car ever, could barely get out of its own way. The only other car that would be worse would be a 1969 Subaru 360, the first car introduced in the USA by Subaru. There's a real reason why the automatic stick shift transmission did not catch on, it was not good! Do you really want to go down this road to save a piece of history really not worth saving? It's nostalgia, but, so was the Subaru 360 and the Ford Edsel. Or, how about the Reliant Robin, you should Google this on Top Gear. They made these ridiculous cars until 2001. Or, the Peale PL 50, the world's smallest car, also on Top Gear. I guess what I'm telling you is that sometimes a piece of history is better left to history. You'll probably just have to keep the car and hand it down to a family member. Then, there's the ride and noise. These cars ride rough and are really loud! Don't know about you, but, I'm in my 60s now and like smoother riding quieter cars. Yeah, I personally owned a 1970 VW Beetle, it was my first brand new car and my wife had a 74 Super Beetle, 4 speed. And, with only 46 horsepower on the 1974, it was very slow and was a manual. My 70 VW ironically had the most powerful standard engine, it was 57 horsepower that year. These cars are notorious maintenance hogs, you have to change the oil every 3,000 miles and get the valves adjusted every 6,000 miles. Sure, they are air cooled and theoretically don't overheat, but, and this is a big one, if they do overheat, you'll just blow up the entire engine. Don't believe me, well, my Dad's 1966 VW did just that and my 1970 through a rod at 62,000 miles resulting in an engine overhaul. So, my friend, proceed with extreme caution.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I was going to fix it up ,but don't have the time, so I sold it, thanks for your input


Hi Andy, hey, thanks for getting back to us and sharing. Actually, I think that you made the right decision. Here's why, in case I didn't mention this earlier. First, this is a really old car and parts for this will be harder to get and thus more expensive as time goes by. Second, the best mileage you can expect is about 22 miles per gallon, not great by 2015 standards, good back in the 1960s. Third, these cars were never that safe and have no air bags, vehicle stability control etc. Invest your money in a safer, more modern car that gets much better fuel mileage. Good luck.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Andy, how much did you get for the VW in the condition it was in?


Andy, one more thing, if my previous answers were helpful to you, please mark one of them best answer. Thanks. ---Mark


I sold it for $ 3200 , it was a fair price ,3 different mechanics looked at it, one for me and 2 for the buyer, they are happy with it and are going to restore it. They have already started the work and are going to give me a ride when it is finished. The body was in great shape . Thanks again


Sorry your best answer was the long one, andy


One more thing, I bought a 2007 dodge charger


Thanks and congrats, you got a decent price on the VW. How many miles are on your Dodge Charger? Which model did you purchase, the thrifty V6 or one of the really powerful V8s. ? I imagine that thing goes pretty fast, if you got the larger engine cars. I remember those cars from the 60s. I can't believe that they brought them back with gasoline consumption and all.

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