Generator/Alternator
vs Model Year

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Dave wrote describing his engine and alternator - One of the main problems I have with this engine -- The engine number (AE 320891) says it's a 1971 (the chassis is 1973-- 133-3001-550); I know that a rebuilt engine was installed in this car some time in the past -- I guess a '71 was available and would fit, so they stuffed it in. The '71 engine is supposed to be equipped with a generator (if I remember correctly); ours has an alternator, and it most certainly was NOT designed for this engine. It works just fine, but it's too big and interferes with the carburetor operation.

Rob responded - So -- when the engine died on your car as some point in its former life, someone replaced it with the 1971 engine, then just put all of the original components from the '73 engine backon it. The chassis number says that the car was manufactured probably in May-June 1973, right at the point when VW changed from the generator to the alternator.

The 1971 engine is one of the highest-power Type 1 engines. In the next few years they went to lower compression and 58hp to meet smog requirements etc. The next major improvement came in 74 with the AS series cases - aluminium instead of magnesium, and they coped with extra heat better (65hp and FI I think).

So, it being a 1971 engine, it should have a generator; the alternator came out in 73. It's odd if they have managed to fit a non-standard one in, as they have to have exactly the right diameter to get the fan in the right place, as the generator/alternator sitting on the support sets that height. One thought pops up here - does the bottom of the fan shroud fit snuggly into the tinware on top of the cylinders? No gaps for cooling air to leak out?

Dave wrote back to say that the fan shroud fits perfectly. A bit of a mystery.

 

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