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  #301  
Old April 5th 2012, 08:36
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That set back sucks. We are all watching and hoping for the best. Did you put a new cam/lifters in this engine? Given that the glitter is non magnetic. it could be something rubbing the case or a tight clearance in the oil pump rubbing.
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  #302  
Old April 6th 2012, 04:10
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Well, that was anti-climatic.

Before you look at the detail photos keep in mind this engine has somewhere between 50,000 and 75,000 miles on it. Hasn't been opened in all that time. I didn't start tearing the engine down until about 930 tonight, but once you get going it tends to go pretty quick. Pulling the heads off revealed nothing but a lot of carbon. The engine was definitely running rich on the kadrons! Pistons, cylinder heads and related items were all in perfect condition. The rings look great, the skirts have some wear and light scoring but the cylinder walls still have complete cross-hatching on each of them with no signs of wear. The piston-pin bushings in each rod still have cross-hatching in them. So far, things were looking good!



I pulled the oil pump, and each of the additional stages looks perfect and brand new. The "inside the case" portion shows some chatter marks under one of the gears, and the hole for the drive shaft shows some strange scoring and marks. It's possible the metal came from here, but it's just as possible that metal from elsewhere is what caused the damage. I'm going to try and refurb the housing with lapping compound, etc. If not I'll have to get a new housing for this section.

After the pump I pulled case apart, and discovered that I apparently use "lube-a-lobe" lifters! I've read so much about how bad they are, but thankfully each of mine look fantastic.


The cam bearings, however, have seen better days. I'm now starting to understand why some of the chips in the oil clearly looked silvery and aluminum-like, while others had a distinct yellowish color. I thought that I was going to find the timing gear bad, but instead it could have been copper sparkles.


The cam surface shows some matching wear, but definitely no where near as bad as the cam bearings:


Rod bearings all look perfectly good, and the main bearings show even less wear.


So at this point, I don't really have a smoking gun. At the same time, however, I have a relatively easy fix on my hands. I suspect that this is a combination of some swarf left in the tank after drilling and welding in two bungs, the oil pump chatter and the worn cam bearings. Can't really be anything else...?

At the very least I need to swap out the cam bearings. I'm going to do the crank and rod bearings as well, since I'm already in here. Otherwise I'm going to clean it, button it up and make sure I flush the tank and lines extremely well. I'll run some cheap oil for a day to flush the system, and then replace it with my usual 5w40 synthetic.

-Dave
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  #303  
Old April 6th 2012, 06:46
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Better to have a look and know than to always be thinking, What if?
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  #304  
Old April 7th 2012, 04:05
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The day started off early, loading the bug onto the trailer with my friend Gord. Gord is shop foreman at Rocket Rally, and a wizard when it comes to fabricating. Long ago I roped Gord into 'helping' me do the lower shock mounts...which is to say he works, and I watch :P



After discussing the options and taking into account the things I thought were important, Gord went to work on cutting off the lower shock mounts and starting fresh. While he was working on suspension, I took advantage of the rally shop's automated parts washer, and prepped all the engine bits for reassembly. A couple of hours later and I had clean engine bits...and a bug with an finished rear suspension setup. We even managed to sort out the limit straps as well. I'll need to lathe up some spacers to go on either side of the rear shock, but that will be a super quick job I can leave for another time. Gord did have another design done up which wasn't a complete box, the lower section was closer in, and then they opened up on an angle. Definitely looked better, but swapping springs was similar to the stock mounts which required much manipulation of the suspension arm, shock and some swearing. With these mounts the springs are super quick and easy to change....so I went with the more useable design. I'll get photos with the springs installed soon.







One of the lathe jobs I wasn't going to tackle on my own, was the starter. Swinging one of these around in a lathe is not for the faint at heart! We took a total of .125" off the mounting face of the starter. It could be a bit thin, but then it's a $40 starter from Autozone. If the ear snaps off I'll know to to do just .100" next time :P


The plan for the evening was to assemble the engine. Rob actually opened AVR on a holiday to get me the bits I needed to reassemble the engine. Amazing. I think I was laying the crank in the case when I realized that this job takes a whole lot longer then I remember with all the measuring and checking! I readjusted my plan to become "assemble the long block" before bed. Had an issue with the cam thrust bearing, but that was just a matter of polishing down the thrust portion on some glass. After mating the case halves I discovered two of the main studs needed some cleaning up on the threads. This was done very carefully with the engine all protected in plastic and paper towel. After spending the time doing that, I was highly considering just getting the short block done! I snugged the cam-plug bolts down okay, and grabbed the torque wrench. I now know why the cam plug leaked on this engine for the past year. I didn't make it 14ft-lbs before the stud stripped out of the right-side case half.

Un.

Freaking.

Believable.

The engine is now disassembled once again, and tomorrow I'll have to get a helicoil kit and set a coil into the case half. Then, after cleaning out all the swarf and crap, I can return to the job I was doing earlier this evening! Here is the stud, and next do it are the nice threads that should still be a part of the case!


-Dave
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  #305  
Old April 7th 2012, 11:33
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Dave. What was your reasoning for making new lower mounts? I thought the new boots gave plenty of spring clearance?
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  #306  
Old April 8th 2012, 04:06
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New boots gave plenty of spring clearance, but the holes in the lower mount had to be drilled off center, and regardless there is still a round section you're trying to bolt to. If you machine up some special spacers that match the curve and square it off inside and out it's safe, but the usual "stack of washers" I've seen isn't a safe option. Cutting new mounts is safer, allows for more spring options (thicker wires), easier spring changes and is the 'right' way to do things

-----

Okay, I'm bagged after a full day of work in the garage. Engine is rebuilt and ready to go in. This included the helicoil, swapping out two main studs, blue-printing the dry-sump pump and all the usual engine build items (endplay, checking deckheight, etc. etc.). New shock mounts are now sitting in wet paint...so things are looking up again. Can't wait to find out what the next disaster is! hahaha.

-Dave
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  #307  
Old April 9th 2012, 15:02
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Not much point in posting photos at this stage, since I've now been here at least twice before! Engine is back in and assembled completely. Rear apron and deck lid have been reattached. I managed to remember the 3M clear-tape, so hopefully the decklid won't wear through the paint at the corners. I did the very nerve-wracking oil-system priming last night, which always feels like it's taking forever. Really hoping the assembly lube does it's job!

I didn't get the oil system primed until 12:30am, so after setting up the fuel pressure double checking the floats and doing a few other jobs, I opted not to wake up the neighbors.

I need to torque down the CV joint bolts, install the crush-panel (for lack of better term) to the front frame head, install some running boards and the car can come off the axle stands. The running boards are probably going to need a bit of work, AVRparts.com gave them to me a few weeks ago. Apparently they were returned due to "not fitting", but I don't know anyone who buys non-VW running boards and expects them to fit perfect! Good for me though, they were free

...then it's onto the interior, where I need to finish the heating system, install seat belts, seats, the carpet portions I'm going to use and sort out what the plan on the floor is. I was going to leave it bare, but getting in and out of the car when your shoes are wet is like trying to walk across a skim of wheel-bearing grease! I might cut my new carpet kit, or cut a set of OE rubber mounts. All I know is that I don't want to cover the transmission tunnel at this stage.

The thread-extending gnome did make a visit to the garage last night, however. I was in the trunk fixing *something*, when I decided to fill the washer fluid system. A few moments after pressurizing it there was washer fluid spraying everywhere! Turns out one of you jokers put a couple of pinholes in my washer fluid line...but it was a quick, if not wet, fix.

-Dave
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  #308  
Old April 10th 2012, 17:25
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AUGH!! Don’t you just hate when you write a whole post and then hit the wrong button and close the window? DANGIT!

Alrighty…well, I guess I must have started with yesterday evening. I began by torquing down the axle CV joints, and finishing up the wiring for both of the Oxygen sensors. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to see a difference between the left and right bank, but it appears that there is enough gas flow past the sensors that they aren’t reading a mix between sides.

For the past week it feels like I haven’t stopped. The monthly meeting for the VW club is tomorrow night, and I’ve been going hard-at-it to try and make sure the car is ready for a “launch” at the meeting. It was going to be smooth sailing until I found all that metal in the motor…from then on, it’s been a serious touch-and-go mission. It seems that each day I start with a text to my friend Geoff saying “dude, not going to make it” only to follow up at about 3 in the morning with “well, maybe!”

I did get the car fired up last night, but I’m still not happy with the noise level. The valves sound too noisy, which is not good because I’m sure I adjusted them to loose-zero while the motor was on the stand. 100% positive this time! I had a couple of buddies listen to the car and they think it’s fine. I’ll check the valves again tomorrow morning (car has been running today) and go from there. While the car was running my friend Scott stopped by to see it. He’s a side-draft weber guru, so I figured having him do the initial tune was better then me! He dialed in the idle by ear, which should be enough to get me in the ballpark. He also noted that the return springs that come with the kit bind near the end of their travel, I’ll need to move the springs to actually pull the plates fully closed every time.


With the engine running and the final details mostly taken care of underneath, I was really tempted to take the car out for a burn around the block! But there are no seatbelts and from the very beginning I wanted to drive a car into my Garage in September, and then drive a finished car out of my garage when it was done. As much as the driver in me said “go”, the responsible part of me said start bolting more parts on.

I had bought an EMPI carpet kit for the car, and figured it was time to go about fitting it. Some people are going to cringe when they see that brand name, but I’ve found their cheap carpet to be quite durable…and I needed something that I could buy and cut up into pieces right away. After some careful cutting I managed to install all the carpet I intend on using (for now) and did so without making too many errors. The errors I did make are big ones though! No one will ever see or care about #1, but #2 behind the pedals shows up in photos. Doh! The carpet over the heaterchannel on the right side fits perfect and I’m really stoked on it. The left side, however, fits weird. I haven’t sorted out whether it’s the heater channel or the carpet, but these pieces aren’t glued in so I can fix it later.


Astute viewers of the above photo will also notice I now have seats and a proper steering wheel installed in the car. Turns out I need to swap the oil pressure and volt meter gauge (they’re to the right of the tach). I can see the alternator is charging while driving, but can’t see the oil pressure!


The seats and belts are killing me. I have long ago over-extended the budget and passed what was “affordable”. I must reuse the seats and belts from my old rally car, and they look incredibly tired…not to mention out-of-date. They’ll work for now, but will definitely be a “replace me” item as soon as I can afford it.


I finished up the interior with door panels, reminding myself just how much I dislike mounting new door panels. Dear producers of new door panels: this isn’t rocket science…is it really that hard to punch holes in the correct location!?!


I finished my evening (which, at this point was well into the early morning) by mounting up the running boards.


The driver’s side fit like a glove and I was really quite happy until I absolutely gouged the @#!$!@ out of my front fender. Chalk that up to working on the car while tired, and pushing too hard to get it done. It’s just visible in this shot…but goes right down to the metal.


On the Passenger side I’ve got bigger issues. I had to trim some of the inside lip to get the running board to sit low enough, and once I had the front hole wasn’t going to line up. Not that it really matters, there is almost a 1” gap front-to-rear so even if the holes did line up they weren’t going to go together anyways! Eventually I’ll solve this with a new running board, but for a Spring-Thaw fix I might end up putting a bit of the black vinyl on the bottom of each fender and then hiding the gap with some rubber. Photograph the driver’s side please!


With the details done, this morning it was time for the part we’ve all been waiting for…a test drive! Rather then do a short once-around-the-block, followed by a check over on the car…I figured I’d just dive in and drive to work in Whistler. Ha! Like that was going to happen.

First stop was a trip to the insurance broker, to increase my coverage from “lowest you have” to “um, please replace my whole car if something happens”. On the way over to the broker the oil tank burped a bit of oil out the dipstick hole. Hmmm, that’s a bit odd, maybe I need to put an o-ring or something in it. After dealing with the insurance, and an unpaid speeding fine (oops!) I walked out to the car to find a small puddle of 5w40 underneath the car. A quick check showed no loose lines, but the breather tank drain was dripping. I combined issue one (burped tank) with issue two (draining breather) and quickly realized I had forgot to multiple the heat-expansion factor of the oil. Checked the tank and what do you know, almost at the top! I pulled back into the house, sucked 1 full liter out of the tank and made attempt number two.

I got to the edge of town with no further oil problems, before I decided to head back to home. The air-fuel gauge was registering stoich for both the ½ and ¾ sides, but was showing a little on the lean side as well. I’m running narrow band sensors, and once they heat up tend to fluxuate across such a small range on the gauge it’s often hard to tell exactly what the reading is (vs. a fuel injected car which is constantly bouncing rich/lean, rich/lean). Not wanting to melt down a motor, I whipped the car back home. Tonight I’ll take it out and adjust the air/fuel mix to see if I’m getting a change on the gauge and pull some plugs to compare gauge to real-world measurement. Once I get it dialed in, the narrow band are great for seeing a problem or a change…narrow band for tuning, though, not so much!



Having driven the car for a good 35min today I did learn a few things. First off, the car is far more “race” then I initially planned. It’s bloody loud, harsh in the rear end and requires some lightning precision to shift the 5-speed well. It sounds funny, terrible at times and there are noises I don’t recognize that shouldn’t be there. In the words of Eric Bana “a new race car never feels good straight out of the workshop.”

So my current list of complaints are…

• There is a bad bearing in the Porsche trans. When I lift off the throttle you can hear it, and it goes away as soon as you’re on the throttle. Type-1 trans do that as well, and go for years just making noise. Will have to research the Porsche boxes and hope they are the same! For now, I will just keep my foot in it

• The oil tank isn’t fully sealed, and the inside of the car smells like hot oil. Now, this one could simply be due to having the cap open a number of times…or it could be I have to add an o-ring to my dipstick. I think I saw oil vapour wisping from the cap at one point, but I didn’t look too closely. Sealing this up will be a priority. Either that, or I need find a woman who thinks Eau-de-synthetic is the best cologne you can get.

• No 5th point on the seatbelts. I hate four point belts (and their dangerous). I haven’t welded in the plate for the 5th point yet, and will have to do so asap. I can’t handle driving the car without the Anti-submarine strap. Heck, you can’t even tighten the seatbelts! Very annoying.

But on the other hand, I actually drove the car more then onto a trailer! I have officially entered the “debugging” stage, vs. the “building” stage!

...oh, and I missed the best part. With the new motor setup, 165-series tires and the stiff rear suspension, the car is just dying to slide the rear-end around in the dry. It's going to be a total handful in the wet, I'm sure, but should be a lot of fun while I slowly dial in the sanity!

-Dave
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  #309  
Old April 11th 2012, 00:27
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Congrats! I love that feeling of the first few drives, regardless of new car/part worries. Glad to see it's on the road, now you need to get us some video
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  #310  
Old April 11th 2012, 09:28
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Good to see it out in the sunlight and moving under its own power.
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  #311  
Old April 11th 2012, 12:46
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I got home from work last night, warmed the car up and took it for a cruise. I got the idle jets sorted out, and then confirmed that it's a bit lean on the mains. After consulting with my buddy Geoff, I hand-drilled the mains and popped back out for a test. Exhaust tips are darkening up, and I think I'm good to drive it some distance now. I can at least get it to the club meeting!

Now, I could drive it down as-is...but that's not really finished is it? I fired up the Vinyl machine, and about 10min later fried the motherboard. AHHH!! A couple of hours were spent troubleshooting before I determined it was terminal, and came up with an other solution. I hand cut the stripes, which is why they're a bit off on the white! Once my machine is up and running I'll have to redo the stripes. Based on the photos I have of the factory cars, the decals were laid by the guy who swept the floor...with one eye closed. So I've taken some artistic liberties with them!








The rear engine lid stripe got a bit too much heat, and will definitely need redoing.










Took me until about 2:30am to get it done...but I can't believe I OWN ONE!! (even if it's not quite genuine!)

-Dave
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  #312  
Old April 11th 2012, 13:59
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Looks awesome Dave Glad those springs worked out. Can't wait to see it in person
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  #313  
Old April 11th 2012, 21:59
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Looks nice. I say it is video time.
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  #314  
Old April 12th 2012, 05:16
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  #315  
Old April 12th 2012, 13:34
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Looks very good!!

This is a great picture: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7130/7...48473abd_b.jpg
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