General Discussion

Some progress on getting Hodgepodge the beetle running

We finally got the engine going again. When we removed or installed the engine we must have moved the distributor which caused timing to go askew enough where it would not turn over. After finding TDC realizing the differences in SVDA vs 009 firing order and repairing the vacuum advance nipple on the distributor the engine now runs and idles. More fine tuning on the timing adjustment could be done but its good enough for now.

Back to the transmission and shifting. We still have an issue with it going and staying in 1st. I purchased a new Empi shifter for a 68 and its very tight and too much pressure down that reverse just always can be shifted to. I started thinking maybe I need a 65 shifter due to the 1965 trans I have. This got me thinking about the shift rod and my unique setup. I did some research and found in the description on for a shift rod.

These are the same shift rods sold by our competitors and they all state that this rod fit Beetle/Ghia from 1968 to 1979. THIS IS INCORRECT, there were 2 different lengths of shift rods used in these years. From 1968 to 1972, the shift rod was longer and measured 45-1/8 inches long. In 1973, VW moved the shifter position back a small amount and from 1973 to 1979, the shift rods where 43-5/8 inches long overall (41-11/16 inches Center of cup to center of pin hole).

This opened up a can of worms that I spent a lot of time researching after I wasn’t able to find anyone selling a proper 1968 shift rod. That being said who knows if a proper 68 shift rod would even work with my setup. But then found this post Its scary similar it is to my situation. I know my shift rod isn’t modified as I have pulled it before but I don’t know the length of it. I plan to pull the shift rod and measure it to see what I have. It does have a kink in it so its an early model rod that doesn’t have the notch at the shifter cup. If it is an original 68 shift rod im not going to hack it up and instead modify another.

Once I get the length of the rod I am likely going to be taking Hodgepodge to a local air cooled VW shop that’s reputable, same one that rebuilt the trans. Due to the unique situation I don’t know what the length of the shift rod should be, I also don’t have to the tools to adjust the rod so I think its best leave this to the professionals. I will likely also get them to do a quick timing on the engine which I am sure they will do a better job than I will.