OFFICIAL FACTORY ENGINE SPECIFICATION
per the Bentley Shop Manual
for the AIR COOLED VW BEETLE ENGINE

Technical Index

If you are like me, there are a few questions about the Beetle engine that result in a multitude of varying answers, depending on who you ask. What is the right oil pressure? What is a normal operating temperature? Things such as that. I have thrown in a few other settings that are handy to know, but are not such a big mystery.

Here we go:

CYLINDER COMPRESSION*
    From AUG 1967: 114 - 142 PSI New, Not Less Than 100 PSI w/wear
    From AUG 1971: 107 - 135 PSI New, Not less than 85 PSI w/wear
*Maximum difference between cylinders = 28 PSI

IDLE SPEED
Carburetor Engines

    Manual Trans.: 850 RPM +/- 50
    Autostick Trans.: 950 RPM +/- 50
Fuel Injected
    Manual Trans.: 800 - 950 RPM
    Autostick Trans: 850 - 1000 RPM

IGNITION POINT GAP
    .016 - .020"

OIL PRESSURE
    SAE 30 Oil @ 158F @ 2500 RPM
        Minimum  ► 28 PSI
        Normal     ► 40 PSI

OIL PRESSURE SWITCH (SENDING UNIT)
    Should open, or turn off OIL light, between 2.1 - 6.4 PSI

OPERATING TEMPERATURE
    Cooling Interpreted: Thermostat opens @ 149 - 158F