1972 vw beetle 1600 turning but not starting

Asked by Jun 25, 2016 at 06:24 AM about the 1972 Volkswagen Beetle Hatchback

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

We recently redone our engine, replaced
almost everything on it. We tried starting it
and all it does is swing but no signs of life.
We adjusted the valves and set the timing
gapped the sparkplugs and put new ponts
but still nothing. We noticed that the
carburetor is not sucking air but is pushing
air out. Any ideas whats going on ? Any
advice is appreciated

3 Answers


Double check all the timing including the distributor installation and spark plug wiring! PROPER FIRING ORDER? Did you split it right done to the case half's? cam and crank timing gears indexed correctly? Sure sounds like a timing event issue.

Yep did all of the above i just checked the timing and the rockers and all is good.the cam and crank were redone and were fitted correctly.


Check the ignition ..(Dwell 50 degrees) and spark at the plug(s), attach a vacuum gauge to the read direct intake vacuum signal, what readings are you seeing while cranking? also a small amount of fuel has no effect when attempting to start? Regards

Your Answer


Looking for a Used Beetle in your area?

CarGurus has 9,023 nationwide Beetle listings starting at $1,500.


Volkswagen Beetle Experts

  • #1
  • #2
    Chris Billings
  • #3
    Tom Demyan
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Honda Civic
347 Great Deals out of 52,621 listings starting at $1,200
Used Ford Mustang
291 Great Deals out of 38,369 listings starting at $1,995
Used Volkswagen Passat
307 Great Deals out of 26,746 listings starting at $1,500
Used Toyota Corolla
643 Great Deals out of 66,330 listings starting at $1,449
Used FIAT 500
93 Great Deals out of 3,761 listings starting at $2,875
Used Chevrolet Camaro
242 Great Deals out of 30,120 listings starting at $4,980

Used Cars For Sale

2018 Volkswagen Beetle For Sale
3,805 listings starting at $14,999
2017 Volkswagen Beetle For Sale
3 Great Deals out of 890 listings starting at $12,499
2016 Volkswagen Beetle For Sale
12 Great Deals out of 370 listings starting at $9,900
2015 Volkswagen Beetle For Sale
18 Great Deals out of 510 listings starting at $8,720
2014 Volkswagen Beetle For Sale
28 Great Deals out of 524 listings starting at $7,500

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.