When brought my Zenith Blue 67 Beetle in for serving at Hansig Motors in Burnaby on July 26, 2013, 129,029 miles were showing on the odometer. I had put about 5,000 miles on my bug since I took ownership on May 17, 2012 with 124,000 miles. The compression check showed cylinder 1 at 120, 2 at 130, 3 at 0 and 40 at 80 PSI. After a valve adjustment the readings on went up slightly to 50 PSI on cylinder 3 and 90 on cylinder 4. Under the section “Please note” on the invoice read: NEEDS ENGINE SOON.
Fast forward to September 2013. After checking with the PO of my Beetle, he suggested I get I touch with local VW guru Lanny Hussey and ask him if he could do the rebuild. Lanny is one of the founding members of the local Der Volksrennwagen Kafer Klub and has been around air cooled VWs for most of his life. He has owned many 67s (his favorite year) over the years and has build some pretty amazing VW’s such as this custom 67, which was eventually sold to a buyer in France.
I contacted Lanny on July 27 and he agreed to do the pull and install and restoration work while his good friend and renowned VW engine rebuilder Darren Krewenchuk agreed to do the rebuild of my 1500cc single port. I was stoked!
On October 4th engine was out and the next day Lanny took the long block over to Darren. I wanted to try and keep the engine stock. That meant locating a complete matching set of NOS 1500cc 83 mm cylinders, pistons, and rings. I spent the next few weeks scouring the classified on the Samba, and on September 28th located just what I needed from Samba member Nico Kennis in The Netherlands. It wasn’t cheap (€ 500). When Darren tested the cylinders, he discovered that they were higher compression T3 units. Cool. Lanny began disassembling and cleaning the tin and on October 11th out to Port Kellis in Surrey to drop the tin off with Russ at Francis Andrew Site Furnishings to be sandblasted and painted semi gloss black. I also took 67 small metal pieces from the engine to Hudson Plating in Vancouver to get them plated in dull silver cadmium. I picked up the cad-plated bits on October 16th. On October 25th 1500cc Single Port Rebuild ($1663.47)
On November 5th
On November 5th the rebuild part of the job was complete. Rebuild labor included tear down, initial cleaning, measuring, bead blast, compete rebuild of heads with 3 angle valve job, alignment of bore, reassembly of engine, test run and cam break-in.
On November 27th
I noticed immediately the added power of the T3 cylinders. The restoration process went very well. Lanny is a great guy and very easy to work with. He kept me informed every step of the way. I also had Lanny install a new clutch, throw out bearing, front hood seal, muffler (Dansk), heater boxes, tail pipes, white VW logo mud flaps from Heritage VW, and a defrost vent in addition to many other miscellaneous engine parts, such as heater hoses, gaskets, a bowden tube, and a genuine black bosch coil.
I also purchased new beige running boards from Wolfsburg West and had them delivered to Lesandre at Rub and Restore in Running Springs, CA to be dyed to match the color of my bug. To match the color, I sent her the faceplate from my ashtray. She did an amazing job! The bug looks and drives great. I’m looking forward to sliding open the sunroof when the weather gets better this spring and cruising through Stanley Park while listening to oldies play on the Sapphire radio. Hey, with this added power, I may even take part in the stock VW challenge at Mission Raceway Park at this year’s Great Canadian VW Show! Vrooom! I picked up the bug and drove it home. It purred like kitten.