64bug
I have a 1964 beetle with the all original transmission.  To the best of my knowledge, it has never been rebuilt.  The clutch was replaced about 1 year with a standard german clutch kit.  I recently put in a hurst drag shifter.(similar to the scat dragfast shifter)  Putting the car into reverse is very difficult, it grinds a little then when it finaly goes into reverse, it clunks and you can feel the car sort of jolt a little.  It runs smooth, backing up when you get going.  The transition from reverse to first is very hard also.  It does the same thing.  When standing still, engine at normal idle, putting it into first is more of a chore than what it should be.  The other thing I should mention is on my pedal assembly, the clutch pedal sits closer to the floor than what it should be.  I don't know why its doing this?  Could the shift problems be from the clutch not engaging or from the shifter???   Please help!!!  I don't want to change the transmission,  it's the orignal one.

The engine is a stock 1600 sp, rebuilt 3yrs ago, with a 1641 sp engine kit with a mild cam. 
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olspeed
To me anyway... For starters it sounds like you need to adjust the clutch. But The proper way to T/S this would be to first,check all your motor mounts and the shift rod coupling at the trans. Are they all in good shape? Then re-adjust the clutch... free-play is from 3/8" to 3/4". Next put the transmission in neutral and loosen the shifter. Move the shifter around until there is no side to side pressure on it... It should be in neutral and sticking straight up in the middle of the H pattern. Tighten everything back down and see if it shifts. If your still having problems after this I would go back over the mounts and the coupler with a fine tooth comb.
Olspeed 
66 Ghia 76 std Beetle
It's not a car it's a VolksWagon
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ainokea
I personally, like the Scat Drag Fast shifter and have used it in my 63 van, 67
bug, and now in my 73 bug. There is one thing I've learned over the years about this shifter, and that is to put a rubber button in the shift rod cup to eliminate the slop in the shifter ball and the cup. I also enlarge the mounting bolt holes to allow more movement for better adjustment. You might also want to make sure the ball and it's linkage is clear of the gate. Some of these shifters do hang up on the cage causing hard shift problems.

Make sure the shift rod bushing is in good condition. Check that the shift coupler is solid, DO NOT USE the red polyurethane coupler bushings. They fall apart and can leave you stuck on the roadside. Be sure the trans mounts are in good shape, and your clutch is adjusted correctly, and try the rubber button too.

Ainokea   
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64bug

Thanks for the info!  Is there a website I could go to, to get step by step, detailed, instructions on adjusting my clutch properly?  I have a basic understanding of how to do this, but "basic understanding" is not good enough for my car!!!  This may sound dumb, but, how do I know if my transmission mounts are bad? (besides the obvious lol)  Are there signs I should look for?  Thanks again for all your help!!

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olspeed
Look the mounts over really good...clean the grease and grime off! then take a small pry bar or large screw driver and "gently" try to move the transmission in the mounts. There really shouldn't be much if any movement.
On the clutch it's not really mentally challenging but... expect some bruised knuckles. While you are under there check the Flexible guide tube for the clutch cable... the tube that comes from the frame back to the transmission. There MUST be a sag in the tube from 1" to 1 3/4". This is adjustable by adding  or removing washers to the tube where it slides through the bracket on the transmission. Most of all don't give up! These cars are all simple mechanics only... There is nothing in there that can't be figured out. If you don't have one by now I suggest that you purchase a Bentley Official VW service manual for your year car. While a book for your 64 will be more than one for say a 69 or my 76... you will find that it IS worth every penny.
Olspeed


 

66 Ghia 76 std Beetle
It's not a car it's a VolksWagon
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ainokea
If the clutch cable you have installed in the car has a wing nut, just clamp
small vice grips ahead of the clutch operating lever on the non threaded part of the cable, and tighten until you have 10 to 13mm freeplay at the pedal.

If you have the cable with 2 nuts, you'll need the short 11 and 14mm ratchet wrenches or any short stubby wrenches for that matter, to adjust. Space is
really limited under there so short is better. 10 to 13mm freeplay is still applied here.

like Olspeed said, "dont give up." You'll get it.

Ainokea
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64bug

Today as I was moving the car into the garage, something happened that almost made me cry!!  I put it into gear, let out on the clutch slowly, gave it some gas, started to go, then the car just lost power.  It felt like the car had an extra 1000 lbs put in the rear.  It didn't want to move like it did before.  The strange thing is it idles rough now, and lopes kind of like a Harley Davidson does.  It won't stay running at all.  I called a reputable shop, and was told that the tranny and/or the clutch was shot.  As far as the popping and lope sound and it not wanting to stay running, he said to rebuild the carb.  Its a 30 pict Solex, and does need rebuilding.  Just kind of sucks that both would go out on the same day at the same time.  Well, if I need a new transmission I might as well have all the mounts, clutch, cable, guide tube, and everything else that has anything to do with that section of the car, replaced.  Thanks again for all your advice.  I'll keep you posted.

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olspeed
Don't buy it!! VW transmissions just don't go out like that... at least none that I have ever worked on. If you want to go to the local shop and hand them you bank account number then that is your choice but... Start by looking at the engine first and see if it is firing on all four cylinders. VW's don't like to run on three. On the carb... while you might need to kit it I would do a five cent tune up first(pull the air cleaner off then fire it up and throttle up the engine 2500 to 3000 RPMS then put a book...your hand or anything that will cover the throat of the carb without going in over the carb throat. Let it come down to where the engine is almost going to die and pull whatever back off the carb. do this about four to five times. This will force anything that is plugging a jet through from suction of the engine.)
For the trans and clutch problem again I would first think clutch, get it adjusted right. If you really think you have a bad tranny start by checking the fluid.The case on that 64 should have two drain plugs(one at the bottom of the gear cluster and one at the bottom of the differential housing) both plugs should have magnets in them. First don't worry about all the gray sludge that you see on the plugs...but look for big pieces of metal, anything that looks like a bearing cage, chunk of gear or the like. The thing is VW transmissions normally start to pop out of gear under acceleration or won't stay in gear at all(just pop out when you let out the clutch) when they go bad. And while yes it IS possible that your transmission or clutch or both had a catastrophic failure at the same time as the carb acting up...the chance of that happening is extremely small.
Olspeed


 

66 Ghia 76 std Beetle
It's not a car it's a VolksWagon
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64bug

Thanks again.  I called my brother who just graduated from UTI (mechanics school)  He got ahold of some aircooled mech's that he went to school with and they all came up with the same thing your telling me.  For starters, I will replace the carb, rebuild the old one and keep for a spair.  He's going to bring some of his freinds up to help me adjust the clutch properly and check for metal at the plugs.  Thanks again for all your help.  I'll let you know how everything goes.  I tried to upload a pic of it, but the size is 1.16mb, so when I get a smaller pic, i'll send it.

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64bug

I edited a pic of my car hopefuly to the correct size.  This is my baby!!!  It's in near mint condition.  No rust on the floor, or anywhere on the body.  Just a little surface rust under the paint in one spot.  The paint is almost 10 yrs, but in great condition.  1 paint chip on the driver front fender, other than that, it's great.  Most parts on it are original, except the front seats are from a corvette zr1, custom brackets welded on to use the original seat sliders with the car.  That will get replaced as soon as I can find some good condition low back seats.  I want to get it as close to original as possible. Minus the suspension, that I'll leave modified.  Only becuase I like the stance and the ride is comfortable.  (it was mod'ed the proper way)

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64bug
Update!!!!  The engine probs I was having was due to the intake manifold was broken.  A crack, under the heat, had broken the tube on the right side of the engine, just under the altenator, all the way through.  A simple fix and my baby will be back on the road.  Just need to adjust the clutch and we'll be good to go!!!!  I found the issue when following your advice about how to clear the carb of debri.  Thanks!!!!!
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olspeed
Glad to hear that you found the problem. Beautiful car you have there! I think once you get the clutch problem fixed you should have a great time cruising.
Olspeed
66 Ghia 76 std Beetle
It's not a car it's a VolksWagon
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64bug

I replaced the intake manifold and she started up perfectly.  I read in the manual about the sag in the clutch cable guide tube and tried to get it within specs.  I added a washer as it suggested, but man it doesn't look right.  I then tightened the clutch cable to try to get rid of the pedal free play, but it didn't work.  I still have a "floppy" clutch pedal, about 2 and a half inches before you can feel resistance.  However, it did fix the shifting issues that I was having before.  She goes into gear with such ease now, no clunking or grinding, and reverse is as smooth as with the factory shifter.  What should I do about my pedal?  Should I look into rebuilding the pedal assembly?  I could try to tighten the clutch cable adjuster some more, but i'm affraid to tighten to much(theirs about an inch and a half of threads left on the end of the cable) 

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olspeed
Perchance did you or the PO change the clutch cable as there is a length difference between the early and late model bug. Also there is a length difference between the cable guide (bowden)tube on early and late Bugs. So does it look like either of these were changed recently. If not there is a strong possibility that your clutch cable may be failing and is stretched out. While they normally just break and leave you stranded, I do know of a few times where they had broken a lot of the strands but not all. The clutch would still work to a certain extent but it would not disengage completely, and you could not adjust the pedal play correctly. Check it out. Most likely you will be pulling the pedal assembly so that would also be the time to clean it up and grease everything. If you disassemble it you will need a small round drift  a good hammer and eye protection when you drive the pin from the clutch pedal. Anyway it sounds like you are almost there, good luck to ya!
Olspeed
66 Ghia 76 std Beetle
It's not a car it's a VolksWagon
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64bug

The PO told me he replaced the clutch, clutch cable and guide tube about 1 year ago.  Looking at the tube I believe him.  Its just as shiny as a new one and hard to flex as well.  The cable and the clutch however, I don't know if I believe he changed it.  The cable shows a good amount of wear at the threaded end.  As far as the clutch, I can't realy tell.  I can only see about an inch of thread left on the cable to be able to adjust.  It almost reminds me of my clutch in my 69 bug just before it went out.  I adjusted it all the way to the end of the threads on the cable, not even a week after that last adjustment, the clutch went out.  I'll purchase a new cable, pull the pedal assembly and clean it, and see what happens next.  What type of lube should I use for the cable, when putting it back through the channel? 

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