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Jun 04, 2015, 05:26 AM
Right Rudder
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Resorting 1967 VW Karmann Ghia - Engine


Hello good people,

This is a record account of some hard learning experiences when trying to restore a super nice looking 1967 VW Karmann Ghia and the Engine was a struggle in many aspects.

This vehicle had been stored for over 3+ years and doing a nominal tune-up after taking care of the old Gasoline and other issues was not enough as the Engine just didn't want to start. My best friend who is a mechanic and remembers working on these Engines a long, long time ago is trying to rekindle his knowledge base with the help of another mutual friend (Hector) from Titusville, Florida. Hector has been a great help and actually sold us a block casing for a typcial 1500cc and main crank bearings.

Yesterday, I assisted Pete, my friend from Orlando, Florida to open up the Engine from this karmann Ghia and to our shock and surprise this Engine had an ugly case of the sludge and once the Engine case halves were separated after removing the heads and piston sleeves it was obvious why this Engine didn't want to start as many of the compression rings on the pistons were recessed and thereby no compression. We observed that the exposed areas of the crankshaft and that of the camshaft look in very good condition considering all that sludge. We are soon to take the crankshaft to the machine shop after removal of the connecting rods.

It is amazing how the critical components have survived so well even after so much abuse!

A newer 30/31 PICT-3 Stock Carburetor was purchased and we are getting ready to look for many other newer parts for the Engine as it seems like the owner, a mutual family friend has a good budget to get this vehicle down the road with quality replacement parts.

One very important part that certainly needs to be purchased new is the Single Port Intake Manifold as the original that came with this poor condition engine had been modified several times and someone eliminated the Pre-Heat tube portion. I am sure it was as a result of forcing the tube to align the attachment ports to the exhaust manifold and this can be avoided by buy a custom (after-market) exhaust with flex tube joiners.

Some pictures:


























One of my best friends, Pete!










It is anticipated that the rebuilding with a newer BLOCK halves will take place as soon as machine shop verifies the tolerances and after the Crankshaft gets verified and winning approvals.
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Jun 10, 2015, 04:35 AM
serial scratchbuilder
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I used to build those motors for a living and I can see that your case needs a line-bore and decking, and make sure they check the thrust surface for hammering. Also, if it doesn't have them already, make sure you get inserts installed for the cylinder studs. 60-year old magnesium threads won't take much torque.
Jun 10, 2015, 09:15 PM
Right Rudder
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Originally Posted by Granted
I used to build those motors for a living and I can see that your case needs a line-bore and decking, and make sure they check the thrust surface for hammering. Also, if it doesn't have them already, make sure you get inserts installed for the cylinder studs. 60-year old magnesium threads won't take much torque.
We visited K&K here in Orlando, Florida and they measured those Pistons and came up at 77mm with the old guys said this seems like a 40-horse. I can order the pistons rings but, the pistons themselves are no longer available anywhere or at least where they get their supply.

The pistons, heads and rings are completely shot as you should have seen the Blob of Oil that came out from that Engine.
Additionally, the Main Crank and Cam will not work on the new Block halves (not shown in the pictures!!!) The Main Crank is too short.

They have a turn-key Engine that has everything new including carb, internals, Generator, Distributor, Exhaust, Exhaust Pipes etc...etc... for a cool $2500 US and we have reached a negotiated CASH deal.

This Engine comes with warranty and its a 15000cc with Dual Port Heads so, the owner of the Karmann Ghia is very happy since it would have taken many hours to rebuild that old Engine (perhaps 1300cc? or a strange combination of sorts) and the Single port heads are very hard to come across (those that are worth anything).

We have quickly gone from rebuilding to just purchasing a Turn-Key Engine on a pallet.

Thank you for your recommendations.


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