Hi Richard: Just how clapped-out is your current mill? Is it an original matching numbers engine? Are you plagued with the sound of serious main bearing knocks, case cracks and the like? One of the true beauties of VW engines is that if the bottom end of the mill is still free of bearing troubles you can buy an all new top end for very reasonable money and get
all new stuff ! I have done three engine rebuilds on 1600's and by patiently following the books and buying new or high quality used heads and piston / cylinder kits have produced engines which would measure up against any long block for a lot less money. Moreover, when I was done I still had those magic original VW engine numbers on my mill. I would also check with my local VW club to see if there is a local shade tree VW oldtimer around. This will be someone with a reputation to protect who will assess and rebuild your engine or tell you that for some reason your engine is truly done for. Here in Ontario we still have a few of these guys. I would trust one of them long before I would trust a $2200 engine that comes with no warranty! Dan (MY72BUG) in Goderich, Ont.
I'd rather have a partial bottle in front of me than a partial frontal lobotomy.