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Anyone here spend time rebuilding air-cooled VWs?

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Anyone here spend time rebuilding air-cooled VWs?

Old 11-21-2016, 02:53 PM
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Default Anyone here spend time rebuilding air-cooled VWs?

Here is the deal, I am looking to do a bare minimum on my type 4 bus engine. I just completely took it apart and want to just replace bare minimum. I am thinking bearings, seals, rings, but also anything else that should be changed. The problem with this type of question is a lot of guys that work on VWs are hard core and by the time they finish giving you advice, you will be in about $3,000!!!! I wI'll spend some money getting my heads redone, but not interested in getting all the craziness that most people will advise with case, crank, boring out, new pistons, and on and on. I did something similar with a 1600 engine about 16 years ago and it worked fine, even though everyone told me that if I didn't get it balanced and whatever it would break before I got 1,000 miles on it! I have been lookng for kits online, but they are all over the place. One "rebuild kit" I found includes the entire engine case, jugs, pistons, etc. that's not rebuilding, that's building!

BTW, I know about TheSamba, but those guys over there will spank me so bad with this question, that I will not bother. I only read on that site, but never post, because they are a bunch of whiny crybabies!
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Old 11-21-2016, 03:03 PM
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Might talk to Fisher Buggy in Tampa?
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Old 11-21-2016, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Still Stoked View Post
Might talk to Fisher Buggy in Tampa?
Yeah, they are probably the better choice to get parts. I will give them a call tomorrow, they will probably just put a quote together and make it easy!

Thanks.
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Old 11-21-2016, 03:10 PM
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I Did it for years and have a warehouse Full of parts !
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Old 11-21-2016, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by TheRealMacGyver View Post
I just completely took it apart and want to just replace bare minimum. I am thinking bearings, seals, rings, but also anything else that should be changed. !
How can anyone guess at this without knowing what shape the engine is in, and what it needs? Did it run well before pulling and just leaked?Did it overheat? Are the pistons and rods in good shape? Case decent? Cylinders? Are the heads and valves usable? No cracks between valves?

I spent a few grand building my last Type1 engine (2180cc) and yes, you can go nuts and it gets expensive quick. I've never built a Type4. But I do know if I went through the trouble of pulling it out and apart, I'm gonna do my best to replace anything that needs replacing.
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Old 11-21-2016, 03:16 PM
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All the local shops called me for type 4's Lol
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Old 11-21-2016, 03:17 PM
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If a high mile engine, the bearing shells can fret in the alum case bores and wear them out. If any wear there, you want to bore the cases. Also lap the cylinders into the heads. Get high quality valves, if you have originals, keep them, they are high quality. Don't overtorque head nuts. I did not like adding cubes, might get more power but also get more heat. Been a long time since I worked on one, though.
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Old 11-21-2016, 03:24 PM
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Rings, bearings and gaskets for basic rebuild . You need to check all the specs on each item ( crank , rods , Pistons ) and make sure they are within service limits and replace or have the item redone ( rods , crank , block ) you mentioned have the heads done so they should check the springs , valves , guides and gasket surfaces .
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Old 11-21-2016, 03:26 PM
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You could always shop around for a well-running engine and swap it out. You're right about getting carried away....

Check for an engine on www.thesamba.com
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Old 11-21-2016, 03:30 PM
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bring 2 rollbacks a semi and CASH ... Come get it All ...
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Old 11-21-2016, 04:18 PM
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Type 4's were not the best air cooled engines. I've done a pootload of 40 horse for Formula Vee, though.
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Old 11-21-2016, 07:25 PM
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New exhugst valves and hand lap and them in, especially cyl #3. New oil pump. Make sure to give the oil cooler a good cleaning. Replace all tin seals. New intake boots and a good rebuild on the carb with new fuel filters.
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Old 11-21-2016, 07:29 PM
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And new ground wires to the engine and body.
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Old 11-21-2016, 07:44 PM
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For the budget you have (almost nothing) you might be better off buying a used but running engine.

I would certainly align bore the cases. You might be able to put it all back together with installing only new bearings, rings and rubber seals but you might find the valve guides are shot, the crank is no good, the pistons are shot and more. The threads holding the head studs might be worn out. There are lot's of things that can go wrong with an old air cooled VW engine case and heads.

The guys who have been giving you advice are giving the kind of advice that will result in a good engine that will last a long time. Doing the job half-assed will not give you an engine that will last a long time.
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Old 11-22-2016, 04:28 AM
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Been there, done that. Buy a good used engine and slide it in. That or spend the bucks to buy a new one. The headaches will drive you nuts in the rebuild.
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Old 11-22-2016, 04:31 AM
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If you do decide to do this, see if you can find a book, I think it was entitled 'how to rebuild the VW with a screwdriver and pliers'. Kinda a rebuilding a VW engine for dummies but a great book on the how-to.
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Old 11-22-2016, 04:43 AM
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It is alot of work to rebuild an engine and then have to take it back out for a fix that should have been done during the rebuild. Align bore the case, new bearings, get the heads done, helicoils for the head studs, buy a new set of pistons, rings, etc. This would be the minimum that I would do.
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Old 11-22-2016, 06:26 AM
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Not sure if anyone could answer what it needs without taking it apart and checking it out but it's just as much work to rebuild it half-assed as it is to do it right and a lot less work to do it right than to do it twice. I rebuilt one in a friend's kitchen one time but all of the machine work was done at a machine shop and we didn't skip any steps.

BTW the tin work on those engine is extremely important for proper cooling. Make sure it's all there and in good condition.

Last edited by mikefloyd; 11-22-2016 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 11-22-2016, 10:13 AM
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Can you still buy the basic rebuild kit from JC Whittney
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Old 11-22-2016, 10:30 AM
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It's been years but I did a couple with my friend. He still has some pistons on his desk with valve stems through them as paper weights. This book is great. https://www.amazon.com/Keep-Volkswag.../dp/1566913101
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