Overland Volkswagen Type 181 (aka Thing, Trekker, Safari, Kubel)

upcruiser

Perpetual Transient
You may want to consider a Subie boxer engine transplant as noted in Thingtech.

This swap is very popular with the vanagon crowd. :ylsmoke:
Those swaps would probably be alot of fun but really, the power to weight with 1600 that is in there isn't too terrible. I could hit 90mph with the it on a long straight which is relatively flying for a an old air cooler. We also used to tow a motorcycle trailer or a pop camper alot with it and it really didn't have any problems. My dad would actually pass a lot of traffic with it burdened like that as he always made a race out of everything everywhere he went when I was a kid. haha
 

upcruiser

Perpetual Transient
Very nice Kristian. I always wanted one of those, but was just too into Land Rovers and IH trucks. Weel, actually what I wanted was a Kübelwagen, but that wasn't going to happen.
I really like that you're keeping it mostly stock, with light mods. I'd keep the original engine too, nice and simple and cheap to fix. And air-cooled really suits them.
x2 on keeping us up-to-date on your project, I look forward to seeing the end product.

Actually, what I really wanted was a Schwimmwagen. :)
Tom, x2 on the desire for an old Kubel or Schwimmwagen. Actually I was always asked if the Thing was some sort of amphibious car when I was driving it around. It always got alot of attention and questions.
 
You may want to consider a Subie boxer engine transplant as noted in Thingtech.

This swap is very popular with the vanagon crowd. :ylsmoke:
That's hilarious....well, to me anyway.

When I was a little kid (~1960) Dad gave me a new wagon, and I was thrilled...then I discovered it was really so he could wheel the four cylinder out from under our camber bus and install the corvair six in its place!

"Fastest thing in town frrom 0-15mph" was always Dad's claim :)
 

kcowyo

ExPo Original
Glad to see your Thing coming back to life! :victory:

I recently spotted a huge & fancy motorcoach RV with a very sharp looking 181 in tow. I was on a mountain pass with traffic stacked up behind me or I would have gotten a photo. But the first thing I thought when I saw it, "I should get a pic for Kristian!"


I'll be watching this thread for all of the fun.


:beer:

.
 

upcruiser

Perpetual Transient
Glad to see your Thing coming back to life! :victory:

I recently spotted a huge & fancy motorcoach RV with a very sharp looking 181 in tow. I was on a mountain pass with traffic stacked up behind me or I would have gotten a photo. But the first thing I thought when I saw it, "I should get a pic for Kristian!"


I'll be watching this thread for all of the fun.


:beer:

.
Ha ha, well I could use all the inspiration available. Despite the simplistic nature of this vehicle, the bodywork is going to be a long uphill battle.

Once i get my garage buttoned up and some shelves and a bench built I will start taking the Thing apart. This will be a great journey of learning for me with welding and metal work in general. haha Can't wait!
 

ktrout01

New member
I had a '73 thing that I ended up selling to someone who had the time to restore it. I loved driving it and it was a ball to take off road but I didn't have the time to fix all the rust. I'm still looking for an older air-cooled beetle to build into a baja bug. ah, projects, projects, projects.
 

Metal Twister

Highly Motivated
Well its only been 6 years so is it time for an up date? I just picked up a new toy that Id love to go in the overland direction and was hoping to see what you have accomplished. I have had a few of thesse in the past and they were always such a hoot! I've done the Jeep thing. the Extreme Rock Crawling thing, so when this Thing thing showed up I went for it. It has already been body lifted and the suspension stiffened up for ground clearance. The engine has been pumped up to a 1776cc fo more power. And a close ratio Transaxle has been installed by the PO. So it needs a cage, winch, and some type of sleeping arrangement up top. I think it should be able to get me just about anywhere I need to go. If not I can winch over it or go around. LOL Any Ideas?
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Metal Twister

Highly Motivated
They are fairly capable vehicles for what they are. The air cooled part is nice plus with their light weight they do fairly well off road with just a little patients and encouragement. I'm getting anxious to get a build plan together and see what I can do with it. If yours is stock It might bring more in resale in that configuration. This one has already been lifted so I don't feel so guilty brush busting with it. :)
 

Metal Twister

Highly Motivated
:Wow1: If he would of had a LSD in that thing he would of won it all. LOL They are pretty capable even stock like that one is. Thanks for the video link.
 

upcruiser

Perpetual Transient
Wow, blast from the past! Ok, so the reason I haven't updated this is because well, I haven't gotten to it yet. Since I started this thread I moved to Colorado, back to Marquette, then to Salt Lake, then back to Marquette, then to Wyoming, then Colorado AGAIN, and last year we moved back to the UP again..... But then we moved into a new house this August.... Throw into the mix I got aquifer 2 kiddos. I had some vehicles come and go that were projects in and of themselves as well, a Discovery I, an FJ60, and am FJ Cruiser. So the Thing had been sitting in my garage covered in dust and boxes till I just moved it into the new shop in August. I am just unpacking and setting up the shop so the future is looking bright and I am done moving.

My first order of business is doing some projects on my 80 series and 944 which have been sitting next to the Thing that whole time too. Once I get those things addressed, hopefully this winter, I am planning to start the Thing project. The other key to this happening is actually having a heated shop now so no stopping now. Just need the time.

Here she sits in her new home....



I will give some updates when I make some progress.
 

upcruiser

Perpetual Transient
Oh, and here is a shot of it I unearthed recently on a hunting trip with my brother and father. Good memories.

 

upcruiser

Perpetual Transient
Well its only been 6 years so is it time for an up date? I just picked up a new toy that Id love to go in the overland direction and was hoping to see what you have accomplished. I have had a few of thesse in the past and they were always such a hoot! I've done the Jeep thing. the Extreme Rock Crawling thing, so when this Thing thing showed up I went for it. It has already been body lifted and the suspension stiffened up for ground clearance. The engine has been pumped up to a 1776cc fo more power. And a close ratio Transaxle has been installed by the PO. So it needs a cage, winch, and some type of sleeping arrangement up top. I think it should be able to get me just about anywhere I need to go. If not I can winch over it or go around. LOL Any Ideas?
View attachment 314163View attachment 314161View attachment 314160
What's the story on the lift and suspension. I like that stance. Are you going to install a hard top?
 
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