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Re: MG vs VW

To: (Teacher122)
Subject: Re: MG vs VW
From: Sean Bartnik <>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 98 21:43:57 EST
> Sean,
> I hope you don't feel that I'm slamming you!  It's just that my neurological
> input concerning VW's is a little different than yours. I remember  the engine
> on my mom's VW overheating in subfreezing weather while we suffered from near-
> frostbite conditions in the passenger compartment.  The mechanics loved the
> car-it more than paid there light bill.  It needed twice as many oil stops as
> gas stops, and best of all it had a top speed of 58 mph with the wind at its
> back going downhill.  Memories of that bug made my B seem like a rocket, even
> when it was only running on 2 cylinders.  More importantly, those memories
> make my B's reliability seem almost bulletproof. My $.03 worth.
No offense taken.  Everyone has their own opinions :-) .  The reason you
experienced what you did is because the VW heating system has no direct
relation to engine/head/oil temperature.  The heating system is based
solely on exhaust temperature.  Fresh air is blown through heat
exchangers.  The exhaust pipes pass through the heat exchangers and are
deeply finned to transfer heat well.  Of course, if it's really cold
outside, that means that the fresh air coming in is colder and harder to
heat.  The VW heater is usually good for 35-40 degrees above ambient,
which is fine if it's 20 degrees outside but if it gets down into the
single digits, you may wind up with ice on the INSIDE of the windshield.
Granted, the VW heater will never be nor never has been as good as a
water-cooled car's heater but they did the best they could with what
they had and it worked reasonably well in most circumstances.  For those
who lived in really cold climates, they all got nice Eberspacher
gasoline-fired heaters.  No heating problems then! :-)

You must have had an old one if the top speed was 58!  Even my Vanagon
goes faster than that.  The heating system also improved markedly over
the years too.  Especially in the air-cooled Vanagon.

VWs are very finicky about proper maintenance -- same as MGs I imagine.
Maintain it very well and it will serve you very well.  Let it lapse and
all bets are off.  

BUT, no more MG vs VW war :-) -- I'm sure everyone else is quite sick of
it by now, and probably sick of my part of it.  
I'm glad that you feel your MG is that reliable, it makes me
more confident about purchasing one in the future.

Thanks :-)
Sean Bartnik
Fredericksburg, Virginia
'81 Vanagon Westfalia
'74 Karmann Ghia convertible

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