VW year identification

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    Hello everyone. I have my Fathers old MG TD on a VW chassis. It has been layed up for years and I need to find out the year of the VW to be able to get the correct parts. Does anyone have advice on how to go about the process of doing that?

    Paul Mossberg


    Hello moovin,


    The donor VW VIN is stamped into the chassis, on teh center tunnel, right near the access panel for the shift linkage rod (basically under your TDr seat.


    Once you have that, check this: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/archives/info/bugchassisdating.php

    Paul Mossberg
    Former Owner of a 1981 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to https://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)



    Thanks a million I really appreciate the info:

    Rich Kallenberger


    Not to be “Mr. Negative”, but the chassis number and engine number are good starting points but not always 100% reliable.  In any 40+ year old car, parts can get swapped around. My car has a “universal” engine block instead of the usual Type 1, indicating some sort if engine replacement. Try to inspect catalog and internet photos to confirm that parts match or consult one of the specialist VW parts suppliers on the internet if things don’t seem right.  Old cars; it’s an adventure.


    edward ericson


    The chassis number will tell you the year of mfg. There is a lookup here.

    The key years for part number issues, chassis-wise, are 1967, ’68 and ’69. 1967 and before is pretty compatible up and down the line. Those cars have linkpin front suspensions and swingarms on the rear. They are identifiable (in stock form) by the “wide-five” lug bolt pattern. You’ll know that when you see it. Also 10 slots in the rims.

    1969 and up are ball joint and independent rear suspension. These cars have the 4 x 130mm lug bolt pattern. Eight oval slots in the rims.

    IRS rears are also easily identifiable because there are two rubber boots on each axle–one near the center, where it meets the transaxle, and one on the outboard where it meets the spring plate. The swing arms have just the inboard boots. Swingarm transaxles are different than IRS ones as well. You can mix and match, but it’s easier to stick with whatever is there to start.

    The engines differ mainly by displacement. The later engines are better because they are bigger, and also have better oiling systems and better fans and shrouds. The engines all bolt up to any VW Bug type transaxle though, so it’s pretty common to find newer-design engines in older VWs. You can find information about the engine case by looking on the generator stand. The first two letters (usually letters) tell you what the engine was when it was made. Many, many engines have since been “embiggened” though, since it’s a simple matter of buying new cylinders and pistons and slapping them on.

    Good luck, Moovin & keep us apprised of your progress.



    Thanks everyone I will keep you up to date on my progress. I really appreciate the help


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