ENGINE OVERVIEW - INTRODUCTION
1600cc Engine (1584cc) - This was the final version of the Type 1,2 & 3 engine. It was first introduced into the Type III from 1966, followed by the Type II in 1968 and the Type I in 1969. Letter codes are the best form of identification, because the 1500 and 1600 can differ in only minor details.. From 1971 dual intake ports were introduced on the cylinder heads which all had single intake ports up to this point. These engines are the most common air cooled VW engine, manufactured in millions. Parts for these engines are reasonably cheap and readily available. Therefore this is the model on which this manual concentrates.
Volkswagen Air Cooled Engine Overview
Production of VW Air Cooled Vehicles for civilian use began in 1945 at the end of WW II. The first vehicle to be manufactured was the Type I, commonly known as the "Beetle". Over the next 50 years the Beetle continued to evolve, while other vehicle models were developed and added to the VW range.
All models share the same basic characteristic of an air cooled engine mounted at the rear of the car, driving the rear wheels through a gearbox mounted forward of the engine. The most common model ranges were the Types I, II, III & IV. The naming of the engines fitted to the vehicles, usually reflects the model type to which they are fitted. Although later Type II's were fitted with a Type 4 engine.
In the most general sense, air-cooled VW engines can be separated into two groups: Types 1,2 & 3 and the Type 4. Types 1,2 & 3 engines are very similar, in some cases identical, underneath their deferent cooling tinware and fan housings. However, the Type 4 is considerably different, yet it still can be related to the other engines. There are no major interchangeable parts between the Type 4 and the other engines, yet without the cooling tinware, they look similar and share a common layout.
Within the Types 1,2 & 3 groups, many different models of the same engine have been made. These are denoted by different code letters in the engine number, which are assigned to a specific engine at the factory.