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Old 05-19-2011, 09:09 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Factory engine guard/undertray

I bought my beetle used a couple of years ago. to my surprise, the car doesn't have an "engine guard" aka undertray. I guess some bonehead left it off.

My dilemma is that I know this is causing me to use more fuel than I'd like. I'm wondering if getting a factory one used would be the way to go? would that even offer enough improvement, or should I just make something myself?

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Old 05-19-2011, 09:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If you can find an OEM one for a reasonable price then it'll save you having to faff about. Just had a look on Ebay.co.uk and there are various engine covers going for not very much more than the price of a sheet of coroplast. Don't know what it'll be like in the USA, but buying OEM is probably a good idea, especially if you're concerned about re-sale values etc.
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Old 05-19-2011, 06:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The TDI has a cast magnesium oil pan that can be broken on impact with road debris. I replaced my plastic engine cover with an aluminum skidplate to protect the bottom of the engine. More expense but more peace of mind.
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The power needed to push an object through a fluid increases as the cube of the velocity. Mechanical friction increases as the square, so increasing speed requires progressively more power.
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I love the idea of this, but I just don't know if I want to continue to put money into the beetle. If it was a golf, I'd be gung ho.
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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where did you get the upgrade?
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Old 05-20-2011, 09:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Panzer Plate heavy duty aluminum skid plate kit for 19982010 New Beetles by www.dieselgeek.com

The plastic ones are often cracked or broken. Perhaps you can find a used one from someone who has replaced theirs with the skid plate. I have a usable Golf one collecting dust.
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The power needed to push an object through a fluid increases as the cube of the velocity. Mechanical friction increases as the square, so increasing speed requires progressively more power.
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Old 05-21-2011, 05:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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do you know if the golf model is the same as the beetle? theoretically, it should be, right?
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Old 05-21-2011, 08:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dieselbeetle View Post
I bought my beetle used a couple of years ago. to my surprise, the car doesn't have an "engine guard" aka undertray. I guess some bonehead left it off.
That should read, some bonehead TORE it off. I lost mine, on my maiden drive home from the stealership (bought mine 2nd hand though), coming up over the crest of a highway and into/onto/overtop an antelope carcass.

If you look at other Beetles, Golfs, or Jettas of that generation on the highways and freeways, you'll see the plastic "noise supresssion panel" bowing down, even flapping in the wind. They're not very sturdy, nor do they take much abuse until they come off.

Mine was dragging a day after that, and I had to remove mine... so I've had no plastic pan nor side skirts for most of the time, unfortunately. It makes for a louder car, and will curb aerodynamics a bit. But, as COcyclist stated, it's the steel VW pan or the aftermarket aluminium pans you WILL want to replace yours with.

I just lost my oilpan, and 4 of 4.5L of oil on a submerged sewer grate in April. The oilpan on a diesel motor in our cars sits about an inch lower than the gas models do, so don't bother with fixing a minor bit of aero gains with a less expensive used/new plastic pan.

Save your pennies, go sell scrap steel to the salvage yards, collect cans, forego a few months of CATV, whatever it takes.

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do you know if the golf model is the same as the beetle? theoretically, it should be, right?
Yes, yours is the same as the MkIV Golf/Jetta platform, as far as I know.

Evo Imports, the Canadian company that sells the equivalent skid plate says their plate fits the Beetle, and pretty much every variant of the Golf/Jetta/Beetle of the MkIV generation.

Evolution Atlas Skid Plate With Oil Drain Hole For New Beetle, Golf & Jetta IV

Ask dieselgeek if theirs fits the Beetle, just to be sure.

Worse comes to worst, I can dig up measurements on the hard points on my Jetta, with pictures, and you can compare measurments, to confirm.
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Old 05-21-2011, 10:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks very much for the insight and expertise!!!
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Old 05-22-2011, 10:48 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dieselbeetle View Post
do you know if the golf model is the same as the beetle? theoretically, it should be, right?
They are not the same on the DieselGeek site. I included the link to the NB for your convenience. I used the one for the Golf/Jetta on my car of course. There are several manufacturers of skid plates including the steel factory VW plate and even an aftermarket steel one if you search around. As ChrstphrR said, it helps aerodynamics and is cheap insurance IMO.

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Quote:
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The power needed to push an object through a fluid increases as the cube of the velocity. Mechanical friction increases as the square, so increasing speed requires progressively more power.
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beetle, belly pan, tdi, underbelly, undertray

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