Pre-A engine and trans

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Stephen Salata
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Pre-A engine and trans

#1 Post by Stephen Salata » Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:04 pm

I'm looking at a project '53 and I need to verify the engine and trans. The engine has the cast in generator stand, which I now understand is correct for a 1953. I can find no stamped numbers on the stand face, or type stamps on the case halves where the top boss is. The trans is a ribbed case, again no visable stamps, but it does have a 3x3 casting number (112 301 102) which I understand is 1955 or later. I've attached images of the engine.

Thanks

Steve
356 eng_2.jpg
356 eng_1.jpg

Jan Kolm
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Re: Pre-A engine and trans

#2 Post by Jan Kolm » Sat Sep 29, 2018 10:03 pm

The 2-piece engine case and Type 519 split transmission case were VW-sourced parts and are date-coded.

The right half of the engine case has a casting date on the left side of the generator tower. It has three sets of numbers, representing day, month and year, with the first digit of the year possibly representing the shift, as it is always 1, 2, or 3. The left clamshell's casting date is on a vertical face to the left of the oil pump.

The transaxle case date codes are found on a boss at the front of each half, where the shifter cone mounts to the case.
Jan Kolm
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Stephen Salata
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Re: Pre-A engine and trans

#3 Post by Stephen Salata » Sun Sep 30, 2018 9:21 am

I did not look on the sides of the generator tower, so I missed seeing any date info. But, my initial question was if it is the correct configuration (2-piece case) for a '53 which I now believe it is. Without the serial number stamp, could it be a dealer installed but correct 1500, or perhaps a dressed VW 36hp long block? The 356 Registry has a older listing for the VIN with serial numbers, so maybe that info came from a Kardex or COA.

Steve

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Vic Skirmants
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Re: Pre-A engine and trans

#4 Post by Vic Skirmants » Sun Sep 30, 2018 9:23 am

Need trans photo to verify whether stock VW or modified case 519.

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Re: Pre-A engine and trans

#5 Post by Stephen Salata » Sun Sep 30, 2018 9:46 am

Vic Skirmants wrote:Need trans photo to verify whether stock VW or modified case 519.
At the time I was more interested in the engine and body. The only good photo I took of the trans was a close up of the casting number, but I cropped a long shot to show the trans (out in the grass)….
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trans.jpg

Alan Hall
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Re: Pre-A engine and trans

#6 Post by Alan Hall » Sun Sep 30, 2018 4:24 pm

I there is no engine number the engine is most likely built up in a replacement case, either Porsche or machined VW. This was quite common with the old 2-piece case motors as they tended to wear out the cam bearing surfaces in the original cases after 100,000 miles or so, which often resulted in them being re-built with new cases. Only things I notice which are not correct is the VW 36hp oil filler and the distributor is probably not the original type.

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Vic Skirmants
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Re: Pre-A engine and trans

#7 Post by Vic Skirmants » Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:03 am

The transmission is a Porsche 519.

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James Davies
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Re: Pre-A engine and trans

#8 Post by James Davies » Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:12 am

Yeah, as Alan says, it's probably a replacement case. That's definitely a 36hp VW case in your photo, which started being used in Oct 1953. Earlier, Porsche used VW's 25hp case, which was not as strong.

An aside: In the Super, Porsche was cranking 75hp out of that 25hp case with a jump rope Hirth roller bearing crankshaft, so broken cases were typical. They didn't have through-bolts then either. In retrospect, it is not surprising that most of these 1953 cases broke and were replaced.

See below for the date code info on the generator stand side that Jan mentions above.

As Alan says, the distributor has also been replaced on that engine. It should have the flat-top Bosch 383, same as 1953 VWs. And the oil breather tube should also be the 1953 VW type. The one on that engine is taken from a later VW motor.

Looks like a perfect motor to rebuild for your 1953 project though! Lots of hard-to-find parts in that I suspect, and it's always better to start with something complete than try to piece something together.

Tell us more about your project. Many of us also have '53 coupes and cabs. =)
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James Davies
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Re: Pre-A engine and trans

#9 Post by James Davies » Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:16 am

The transmission is Porsche as Vic says. Porsche used VW's ribbed transmission starting in Aug 1953. You'll find the Porsche transmission number stamped up on the flat area where the starter bolts to the magnesium housing. Should be a 4-digit number.

Your transmission looks to me like it is from late 1954 or 1955, as it uses VW's xxx.xxx.xxx numbering system, which was introduced then. The earlier transmission housings used fewer numbers for the part number.

Vic, you were showing me the number that indexed each year on the early transmissions at Hershey a couple years back. I don't recall which number it was. You recall?

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Vic Skirmants
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Re: Pre-A engine and trans

#10 Post by Vic Skirmants » Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:18 am

James Davies wrote:The transmission is Porsche as Vic says. Porsche used VW's ribbed transmission starting in Aug 1953. You'll find the Porsche transmission number stamped up on the flat area where the starter bolts to the magnesium housing. Should be a 4-digit number.
The number is also on the bottom.

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James Davies
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Re: Pre-A engine and trans

#11 Post by James Davies » Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:20 am

Vic Skirmants wrote:
James Davies wrote:The transmission is Porsche as Vic says. Porsche used VW's ribbed transmission starting in Aug 1953. You'll find the Porsche transmission number stamped up on the flat area where the starter bolts to the magnesium housing. Should be a 4-digit number.
The number is also on the bottom.
Yes, on the late ones like the one pictured above it should also be on the bottom.

These cases also have the date they were cast at the foundery embossed at the end, but you have to remove the nose cone and intermediate plate to see it. Same date format as above for VW engine cases.

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Re: Pre-A engine and trans

#12 Post by Tom Scott » Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:48 pm

Check the Kardex and there may a notation of an engine replacement. What is the VIN?
Tom Scott

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