Tim Mossman’s L639 Zenith Blue ’67 Beetle

’67 Volkswagen Beetle — Tim Mossman's 1500 CC Engine Build

This article was submitted by reader and ’67 enthusiast Tim Mossman. (North Vancouver) Thank you very much for your contributions to 1967beetle.com.

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.

’67 Volkswagen Beetle — Tim Mossman's 1500 CC Engine Build

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!

’67 Volkswagen Beetle — Tim Mossman's 1500 CC Engine Build

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)

’67 Volkswagen Beetle — Tim Mossman's 1500 CC Engine Build

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.

’67 Volkswagen Beetle — Tim Mossman's 1500 CC Engine Build

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.

’67 Volkswagen Beetle — Tim Mossman's 1500 CC Engine Build

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.

Posted by Eric Shoemaker

Hello, I'm Eric. I started Air-Cooled Artifacts (previously, 1967beetle.com and Lane Russell). I drive a '67 Beetle daily and love to share vintage Volkswagen stories with the world.

  1. Tim, you gotta bring that beauty across the Strait to the Concours d’ Elegance on San Juan Island August 24th. http://www.sanjuanconcours.org/
    I think you could win the European division. The British cars and the Porsches have their own division so you don’t compete against them.

    1. Mike,
      I can’t agree more!

  2. Mike: I’m definitely going to try and attend this year!

  3. You are lucky to have found a set a cylinders and pistons like that. During most of my rebuilds I have found the newer pistons are so off in weight that I would end up buying three sets and matching the closest ones then trying to get them balanced as closely as possible. Luv those single port 1500’s nice and torquey.
    Nice looking rebuild well done.
    One thing these economy cars were lacking was a full flow oil filter. After you get a couple of trophies keeping it stock you may want to consider adding one. If your not concerned about 100% stock, now would be the easiest time to add one.

    1. Russ,
      I totally agree. I didn’t even know NOS pistons existed. When I had my engine built, I took my mechanics word on everything. God knows what’s really inside the case of my engine.

  4. Tim…This already was a beautiful vehicle! Now, with the addition of the rebuilt and correct engine, you certainly have a winner. You and others like you propel the rest of us forward in the quest towards more correct cars. For that, I thank you, Tim! jay

    1. I second that.

  5. great stuff. i own a RHD Fontana Grey Euro Model Deluxe , would be rebuilding the engine to stock specs also. any chance of finding out if Tim’s rebuild did include the addition of case savers for the 10mm studs?

    1. Hello, Wallace…

      Tim–let’s hear from you about the case savers.

      Wallace–I highly recommend the installation of case savers. “A stitch in time saves nine”–as the old saying goes. These cases are getting older by the day. A lot of pounding has happened over 47 years’ time. I would not think of a rebuild without case savers. But–I’m a cautious old guy. I’d hate to meet my engine builder in a dark alley after dark after having suggested not installing savers. LOL

      Thanks for reading, Wallace. Stay tuned for Tim’s answer!


      1. thanks for the reply. i have just ordered both 8mm and 10mm case savers from a local shop, will try to get the 10mm savers installed as advised. many thanks.

  6. I spoke to Darren and thus is what he told me:

    “I did’nt insert your case as the integrity of the thread holes was as good as new. So after i decked the case i reinstalled the studs with loctite.
    I also was concerned about keeping the engine as close to original as possible. For the record in 30 plus years of building these i have never encountered a pulled stud. Except for one on a 1300 van engine that was severely overheated. “

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