Transmission ID

Trying to identify the manufacture date or type of transmission takes a little work. You’d think the part number would do it (113 301 103 C), but it’s such a ubiquitous label for so many transmissions over so many years that you need to gather more information than that. Or, at least, I couldn’t find a list of part numbers that made it clear.

In addition to the part number, there is a serial number or stamping that can get you more information. On bugs built sometime after mine, the serial number is a date stamp. But it looks like mine is just a plain ole serial number (8624859).

Some people look inside the bottom of the transmission and actually count the number of gear teeth to find out exactly what they have. Reconstructing the history of a bug is a lot like archaeology. You dig and probe and re-evaluate what you know and what you think you know. It’s tempting to look at a crud-covered transmission and say that it’s the original transmission. But a lot can happen to a car over the 48 years of its life. Parts get replaced or swapped, or their internal gears and gadgets get upgraded or downgraded or whatever. Your transmission may be original, or it may have been swapped with a transmission from a ’61 VW (with its own family tree of parts) found in a junkyard in ’73. After a while the crud re-attaches, and everything gets normalized.


Posted by on August 5, 2011 in Disassembly, history

Leave a comment

Tags: , , , ,

PARTS – Fasteners

New, stainless steel fasteners have arrived from England.

I wanted to upgrade the fasteners holding the chassis to the body, so I picked up a set from a gentleman on eBay (Member id: dcmotorsportuk). Some people sell these kits and include the rectangular mounting brackets, but I decided to keep my originals, and just clean them. The bolts could be cleaned too, I suppose, but some of the broke anyway when I was taking them out; I think the stainless will give me a longer-lasting, rust-resistant fastener.

Also, the engine tin bolts just seem to deform when you take them out. Straight-slot heads are tough when they get rusted. So I also picked up a set of engine tin fasteners from the same eBay seller.


Posted by on July 7, 2011 in Parts

Leave a comment

Tags: , , , ,

Sawhorses for the Body

To work on the bug body while it’s off the chassis, I’ve decided to build a couple of sawhorses to support the shell. I think this is how most people support the detached body; you can see this technique in action on the BugMe Instructional Video.   These videos are really helpful.

These sawhorses use pressure-treated 4″x4″s that are 8′ long. It takes 3 for the front, and 3 for the back. The advantage of building your own sawhorses (and in building them out of 8′ long 4″x4″s) is that they are wide enough to roll the chassis out from under the car to work on it, then roll it back it when you are finished. This certainly saves on space. Two-by-fours may work, but I don’t think they’d be sturdy enough at 8′ across to feel safe while you are working on the body.

In addition to the 4″x4″s, I also got two 2″x6″ (also 8′ long) for the cross-bracing. These support members add a lot of strength to the sawhorse.  I also bought some fence post brackets to connect the 4″x4″ pieces. These are ridiculously expensive. I needed eight of them at $6+ apiece.  Also, I got about 32 3/8″ bolts with 2 flat washers per bolt, 1 locking washer per, and 1 nut.



Posted by on June 26, 2011 in Tools

Leave a comment

Tags: , ,


Disconnected the steering wheel coupler by unplugging the horn ground wire, then removing two castle nuts and cotter pins on the coupler. Cleaning off some of the gunk makes it easier to see the parts. Especially when trying to get the cotter pins out.

Steering coupler doesn’t look that bad, but I’ll know more when it’s cleaned off. I always assumed I would just replace it since it’s a ‘soft’ part. There’s an interesting forum thread on the site, that talks about using urethane couplers. I’ll think I’ll stick to a OE part like this one from


Posted by on June 19, 2011 in Disassembly

Leave a comment

Tags: , , , ,

You Can BugMe

There is a very good set of videos available to help you work on your Volkswagen.  Called Bug Me Video, it’s a multi-volume  set that covers maintenance, disassembly, and more. Created by Rick Higgins and family, the videos are informative, simple, and to-the-point. 

For more information, visit the website at

You can also view some excerpts on YouTube:


Posted by on May 1, 2011 in Resources, WebSites

Leave a comment

Tags: ,