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.

Getting the convertible

I finally got the weather and my schedule to cooperate, and I went back to Alabama to pick up the second of my bugs: a 1966 Convertible. In rough condition. There are some parts here and there to be salvaged (like a motor, maybe, and a transaxle) but most of this vehicle is lost, I’m afraid. I’m going to use it as a practice dummy, and test some repair skills on this one before I work on the ’63.


I started cleaning out the interior today. Floor pans are a little worse than they look from the bottom. (Some holes just aren’t visible when they’re covered by that tar board.) I was first thinking that a half-pan replacement near the battery would be all that was needed, but it’s obvious that both full pans will need to be replaced. Not that big a set-back. Other areas, happily, are rust-free. Like the luggage compartment, for example. The interior is not too bad, overall. Front seats need to be cleaned, back seat needs some filling replaced, and a little bit of sewing, but it should be ok. Replacement of the upholstery may be an option down the road but for now I can get by with what’s there. Rubber mats may clean up ok; the front mat is torn in half, but it may not even been noticeable when put back clean. The carpet is going to be replaced. There was never a floor-carpet, only some trim pieces around the upper edges of the interior and the luggage compartment behind the back seat. Mats and carpet will not be too expensive.

Work time: One hour. Photos following: