Saturday, July 28, 2018

Be like them, lean back and breathe

I've got a tentative plan for where to mount the oil filter/thermostat but I need to wait until the engine is back together so I can make sure it'll clear the exhaust.  If I get lucky, it'll clear and I can continue the trek to get the oil cooler mounted.  I ordered up the last two fittings and the thermostatic switch today - now all I need are the 4 hoses and a couple of brackets.  It's getting close to 'figured out'.

Based on the current situation - it's looking like I'll be putting the swing axle rear end back into the car.  The IRS conversion will be delayed due to timing (assuming the pan and engine come back within the next 30 days).  Who knows though - I may send it out and get it back before the pan is done.  At least it can sit on 4 tires without the transmission if necessary.  The key to getting the IRS conversion started is by selling the SA transmission...or getting it converted to IRS.  I haven't worked those scenarios completely through yet so there are a decent amount of 'unknown' elements and costs.

Other 'unknown' items: reverting back to electric fuel pump (different type) or keeping the mechanical pump, cool air intake for the Webers, and whether I'm going to install the Malpassi Filter King that I bought or just use the old school fuel filters.

On Friday, I did get to check out the powder coated tin and it looks much better in semi gloss than it did with wrinkle paint.  I think the finished product is going to be pretty nice compared to what I had.  I'm hopeful that I'll get to drive the car before Winter shows up but August is right around the corner and that means there's about 3 months left before work stops for a few months.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Time to clean...

 I spent a little time under the car removing the sealant from the pan seal - I'm VERY happy about the condition of the underside of the car.  It's super clean with some minor dents.  Most of the undercoating in this picture is now gone.

I hung the Python exhaust hoping to find some inspiration in where to mount the remote oil filter and have, so far, come up with nothing new.  I may very well have to use one of those exhaust hanger deals with some sort of extension to get it away from the engine a bit more.

A conversation was had yesterday with the original engine builder - he's confirmed that he's got all of the parts with the exception of the stock flywheel - should have that and the other rotating parts over to balance on Monday and the entire group should ship next week.  I continue to document everything and remain skeptical but optimistic, if that is a thing.
 Today - I spent the better part of two hours cleaning the underside of the car - the asphalt undercoating is slowly being removed from the car.  Removal is illustrating just how little paint they used on these cars on the under side - it's mostly the primer 'dip' with some overspray on the under side of the car.  This picture highlights the dripping pattern left as it dried.

I really wish I could just take the rest of the car apart and do the body work and paint - but the timing isn't good...on the other side of the coin - I should be able to drive this car in September with a good engine, trans and fully finished pan.
I'm on the hunt for a replacement piece for the plastic tab on the seat release mechanism at the door - the driver's side door piece broke off a while back and it's now allowing the door lever to dig into the bottom of the door.  I may go to the local hardware store and see if I can find something that'll work here.

I have NOS levers but don't really want to install them until the car is painted.

Saturday, July 21, 2018


 The OCD won over...I went back and applied double stick tape to all of the label holders in the cabinets.  I figured it'd take a really long time but I cranked it out in short bursts over two days.  I did some 're-bin' work as well and added some locations - which meant that I needed to order more label holders.  The lead time on them is 2-3 weeks so they'll show up right about the time I forgot I ordered them.
 The order I placed from Wolfsburg West arrived today - the grommets I ordered were, predictably, not correct but I was able to sell them today at a zero net loss - so I didn't have to bother with sending them back and paying for shipping.

I ordered one of WW's reproduced positive battery cables since I'm restoring the pan...which kind of doesn't make sense because a few years ago - I'd ordered an original from Volkswagen and paid way too much money for it.  So, since I seem to enjoy 'rabbit holes', let's compare the $20 WW version to the, uh, not $20 VW version, eh?
 On top is the original part - the only two things that stand out are the extra tab for power to an accessory and that the clamp isn't solid like the reproduction (and most modern battery cable clamps).  I really like the extra tab but I wouldn't be willing to pay the surcharge that is the difference in price between these two items.

The WW version is very well made - very nice construction and solidly made.  In fact, I'm going to put it into use on the car when the pan goes back together.
 No real noticeable difference in construction here - very similar length of wire, good solid crimp on the connector, nice weight to the wire.
The starter wire ends are similar but slightly different.

Overall, the Wolfsburg West cable is a very nice part that will look great on a restoration.

I've been real happy with the quality of parts that come from them over the years.  It's a shame they don't get more into Type 3 parts.
A recent conversation on about cooler air intakes for aftermarket carburetors stirred up my thought process regarding how to build a proper intake and filter for the IDFs.

This company makes them for pretty much every ACVW platform except Type 3.  Looks like they've got the base plates for IDFs, the covers and a system that'll work on a Beetle.  They've got several versions and each one seems to have something that I like.

The gears in my head are turning - there's got to be an elegant way to do this...the center section would have to be situated more to the right side due to carb linkage and the oil cooler but...

I may just have to get some foam insulation or thin sheet metal and get out the rivet gun and come up with something, then figure out how to make fiberglass molds.

The other idea would be to flip the carb hats around and pull the air in from the side of the engine bay and eliminate the giant air cleaner in the middle of the engine.  Maybe use a small air filter inside of the pipe or use the RamFlo foam filters inside of the carb hats...there's a way to make it work.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

A goal without a plan is just a wish

The major progress for the day was executing the final details on 'The Grommet Project' - they're all organized, counted, bin located and identified for use on the car.  I've somehow got a grommet that has zero purpose on the Type 3 so I'll have to figure out if I missed them somewhere or if they can be sold.

Today, I finished organizing the cabinets, counting the parts and ensuring the bin locations are correct.  With the creation of new locations comes the requirement to make tags - which will be done tomorrow - and I discovered a way to keep the label holders on the bins.  Double stick tape.  So now my OCD kicks in and I want to go back and fix all of the bin location tags in the cabinets.  I started about halfway into the second cabinet so there's a decent bit to do yet.  I'll probably get started on it tomorrow.  The parts sell-through has been pretty good...making space to get things out of bins and into the cabinets.

I ordered some fittings for the fuel pump - I'm looking to get them tapped into the pump so I don't have to worry about the brass pipe falling out any more.  I looked into AN -4 hose and fittings but they're fairly expensive.  I may do that once everything else is dialed in because they'll use the same thread pitch on the fuel pump.

In addition to the fuel pump fittings, I ordered the oil filter mount/thermostat.  Once the engine is back in the car and I know where both the oil filter mount and the oil cooler are going to be mounted - I'll order up pre-made hoses with the fire sleeve.  It's supposed to keep the oil a lot cooler near exhaust pipes - and let's face it - I'm going to have a lot of those.  The current plan is to use header wrap on the exhaust pipes once the whole thing is back in the car and I've had the other two tubes welded into place.

The other thing I'm working on: The sound deadener for the pan when it comes back.  I chatted with Scott Taylor about the materials he used for his 62 T34 restoration.  Thanks to Scott, I've got a solid list of materials to buy.  I have to figure out where to prioritize it because I won't be putting carpet in the car until the body is done/painted...I'm going to have to figure out how to get a couple of years out of that rubber mat.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Just like the tide

I gathered all of the parts to send back to the engine builder so we can exchange the damaged parts for new parts.  These are the o-rings that are in the middle of the case.  That white shit is sealant/silicone.
This main bearing stayed 'together' upon removal.  If you look real close - you can see the oil passages are blocked by, yep, white sealant.
 At the other end of the crank - there's more white sealant blocking oil passages.

It was never a matter of 'if' this engine would fail but rather a matter of 'when'.  I'm feeling pretty good about the decision to tear it down when I did.
I got started on the glue removal process for the interior - I'm spending about 2 hours per day cleaning up the body - doing things like removing old carpet glue, checking wiring connections, pulling out old/smelly insulation (keeping it to make patterns for new stuff) and planning the next steps of this restoration.

This is the left side - tons of adhesive from where the carpet used to be...I spent some time on the other side with a couple of different chemicals to remove it.
After about an hour, this is what I had for a result.  Not quite all of the adhesive came off but most of it did.

I may try another product tomorrow to see if I can improve the result slightly.  I'd like to get the interior cleaned out so I know what I'm working far, it's looking pretty good though.

A late Summer sprinkle of progress

The garage is quite a bit more organized today - I spent about an hour yesterday organizing the parts to put the car back together.

The pan, KF pieces and all of the related parts were picked up yesterday - should be back in 2-3 weeks, all done up, ready to go.
 The replacement engine tin was picked up yesterday - it's getting a semi-gloss black treatment to be closer to a stock appearance.  All of the wrinkle black will be gone.
The most expensive spacers possible showed up yesterday.  CSP must be employing old Amazon staff because they packed these two tiny spacers into this box filled with paper.  The freight cost was 3x what it should have been as a result.

It's fucking irritating when companies waste their customer's money because they're lazy.
Additionally, the grommet project is now complete.  I had some grommets that were not marked properly and it made their application more complicated than necessary.  I got that all worked out today...this is the grommet for the voltage regulator under the left side of the rear seat.  Original grommet.
This is the replacement grommet in its place - confirming the fit as correct.

I'm selling off the surplus grommets so identifying them and their accurate locations was important.

There will be a little bit of adhesive cleaning going on in the next few weeks.  Another task is getting the mating surface on the body for the pan as clean and straight as possible.  Short of ordering some random parts here and there it's likely to be quiet.

Friday, July 13, 2018

A couple of NOS parts arrive

Some new parts came in today.

311 705 679
Reinforcement plate
for sub-frame mounting, front
311 255 961/962
Slide for heater outlet, left/right

I bought two sets of these because they're plastic and I like spares.

As a result of the parts selling, I've been able to move three plastic bins of parts into the cabinets with a proper bin location.  I'm currently working through a physical inventory to update my records - should be done on Monday.  The inventory project has revealed some parts that I know I'll never use and don't need.  I've stopped mid-count to post ads several times so I don't forget or change my mind.

Speaking of Monday, I should have an update on the pan situation by then as well...I kind of sat on it until I knew the circumstances and costs surrounding the engine rebuild and the shop was trying to finish up a couple of other projects before taking on more work.

Perhaps I can be driving this car by September...just in time for Fall.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

If you're going through hell, keep going

I talked with the engine builder today.  He apologized for the issues and is offering to replace all of the damaged parts at no cost to me.  While this thing is apart, a few improvements are going to be made...namely upgrading the heads to breathe better (from AA basic 043 heads to Panchito 44s), swapping out lash caps for swivel foot adjusters on the rockers and H beam CB Performance rods.  The barb fittings for the oil filter are being swapped out for AN fittings.  The rest of the engine will, largely, remain the same.  No machining is required so that'll speed up the process as well.

I'm very pleasantly surprised at the response by the builder - I wish I wasn't but...I expected way more push back than I got.  Shit's how people react when it does that defines them.

I'm cautiously optimistic that this will all work out 'okay' and I'll have it back in about a month.  The IRS conversion is off the table as a result of these costs so the swing axle rear end will go back in the car.  I may have to drop the rear end another spline in the back in an attempt to deal with the camber issue.  I may as well open up the axle tubes on the side covers of the transmission and add a gasket to loosen it up a tad bit while it's out of the car.

The cabinets are being rearranged and parts are being listed as they're found - the 'slim down' continues.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Fortune knocks but once - misfortune has much more patience

The case came apart today and I went over to watch it come apart and take pictures.

It's about as bad as I expected - nearly everything inside will have to be replaced for one reason or another.

26 mm oil pump for full flow: Scratched inside from metal filings.  Unable to re-use.
CB 74 mm forged crank:  Scratched main journals.  Cannot use as is.  These are supposedly super hard and are very difficult to polish/machine.
Build sheet indicates that a Gene Berg racing Chromoly gland nut is used:  Not Gene Berg, actually EMPI.
The entire case was covered with a sealant - there were several 'strings' of the stuff inside the case.

The case, so far, seems to have escaped damage, fortunately.
Sealant was used INSIDE the case to seal o-rings (WTF?)

Bearings are scored heavily for an engine with 200 miles on it and total run time of about six hours.
Sealant everywhere...

CB 5.4 I beams:  Not CB (see pictures)  All CB rods are marked CB from the factory. Unable to determine the actual brand.
Bearings are scored from metal filings and all require replacement.

Here's the rest of the diagnosis:

Cam:  Unusual wear, cannot re-use.
Scat racing lifters:  Cannot determine brand.  Flat instead of a slight dome.  Cannot re-use.

Aluminum cam gear:  Polished where metal filings were flying around.  Cannot re-use.

New stock 8 dowel (assuming this  refers to flywheel):  Not stock.  13 lbs instead of 17 lbs

The heads, pistons/cylinders, push rods and all of the external parts were fine.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

It's not where you take things from - it's where you take them to...

The engine was picked up today and a few hours later, I received the following text (and the picture to the left):

The bottom line is that this engine has so many problems due to poor assembly and inexpensive parts that very little will be able to be re-used.

Carbs:  Should be fine with re-jetting

Crankshaft free-play:  Should be .003 to .005, was .007

Heads:  These are AA 043 basic heads with 40 mm intakes and 35.5 mm exhaust, and single HD springs.  These have not been ported,  so the exhaust port where it meets the header is only about 1 1/4 inches

Compression ratio:  Approximately 8.9 to 1.  Lots of heat.  The builder cheated by putting in large spacers just to get  .040 deck.  AA cylinders have very little that slips into the case anyway.  The deck should be about .070.

Lash caps:  When I took off the solid shaft rocker assemblies, the lash caps fell right off.  Because everyone is using stainless steel valves, you have to use either lash caps or swivel foot rockers.

Sealants:  RTV was used to seal the case halves.  This material is too "fat" and does not allow the proper bearing crush.

Flywheel: A 12 or 13 pound lightened unit that makes around town driving a pain.

Metal in the sump:  There are long filings of metal in the sump plate that could be picked up by a magnet.  This usually means that cam/lifters have already gone flat.  I can assume this because there was an extreme amount of clearance between the end of the rocker arm adjusters and the valve.

There's a part of me that refuses to be defeated by this car and there's another part of me that just wants the fuck out.  It's at a point now that my wife (who largely avoids getting involved in my hobby or commenting) has asked me if I'd rather sell the car.  Hard to do now that it's in pieces in the garage waiting for work to be done.

Tomorrow is the day the case comes apart and the worst will be revealed.

Flaps, chapter two

The left side tin was removed today prior to the engine being picked up.  Now, perhaps I'm expecting too much, but this isn't the way the foam is supposed to be installed on a Type 3 engine.
Lightweight flywheel (probably Chinese) that will be replaced with a stock flywheel.  I'm not going to drag race so the faster drop in RPMs serves no purpose - other than to make the car slightly harder to drive on the street.

Before the engine went on its way - We pulled on the flywheel and pushed it back to see if there was any 'audible' end play - and sure enough, there's an audible clunk that shouldn't be present.  The end play was later checked and it's out of spec.  I'm sure this won't be the first thing that's incorrect that will be found.  The accumulation of issues will determine how far I can get with what's planned.
I pulled the flaps apart and replaced the rubber grommet in the center mount and replaced all of the hardware (and oriented it properly upon installation).

As shown in this picture - the flaps now open fully (and properly contact the rubber grommet in the flap with the fan shroud).
Additionally, I replaced the factory 'dent' in the right side flap to allow it to open properly.

Flaps are installed, work properly and this thing is ready to go back on the engine.

I was initially going to eliminate the flaps and thermostat system but, listening to that little voice, I'm going to use them.  If they're a problem, I'll remove the flaps and leave the rod.
In addition to the backward flaps, lack of thermostat spring (which led to the flap rod falling off), and the mutilated crank bolt, the engine tins are booger welded and powder coated with wrinkle finish.  I'm guessing that the wrinkle finish is chosen to hide flaws in the tins and disguise the booger welds.
The quality of this weld speaks for itself.  I've dug out some better condition used tin that will be powder coated in black - not wrinkle black.
The pulley shroud top has been a real hassle to get clipped on to the shroud because it's so deformed.  I dug through my tin stash and found another one that I'm going to send out for powder coating and sell (or attempt to) this one.

The next few days will be interesting as the engine is torn down and I'm provided with the results of what was used inside.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Just the flaps, man...

Today's short work was focused on the flaps in the fan shroud.

First thing that caught my eye was that the flap on the left side was not installed properly - it's backward.  The clue was that the end of the tiny bolts was making contact with the top of the inside of the fan shroud - preventing the flaps from opening all the way.  The flaps, oddly enough, were designed with this in mind - they're made to be flat on the back side and have an inset area for the screw head so that they do not foul the fan shroud.  It's a fairly small detail but anyone building engines for more than a few years should know this detail because it affects the proper operation of the flaps.
This is the right side flap - it was installed correctly but likely only because of the necessity due to the flap rod being attached to this side, even if they did forget the spring and the rod fell off.
The other thing I noticed about the flap that was installed backward is that the engine builder hammered the intentional 'dent' in the side of the flap.  They clearly don't know why it's there because it was put on both backward and altered.
When installed properly - the 'dent' allows the flap to clear the fan shroud as shown in the red area and open slightly more.

Again, anyone who has built more than a handful of Type 3 engines should know this.
This image shows the difference in opening between the way the flap is designed to be installed (top) and the way the engine builder installed it (bottom).

Yet another reason that outsourcing Type 3 projects and work to others can be a frustrating experience, to say the least.

I've also come across the 'eyeglass tin' from the engine and have noticed that it's not dual carb tin, rather it's for a fuel injected system.  The top of the tin is flat for carbureted engines and has a raised section at the top for fuel injected engines.  It does not fit quite right over carburetor manifolds.

For what I paid for this engine - there's a lot that's not right, places where shortcuts were taken and attention to detail was seriously lacking.  It's disappointing, to say the least.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Surprises can be compelling

I got the pan down, removed the shift rod and, while I was at it, took some pictures for, uh, posterity.

From far away, the pan doesn't look that bad.
 Rear left side - no rust through but it's dented up real good.  This kick panel bracket is in nice shape and still attached to the pan.
 Rear right side - rust through along with some red crap slathered on it.  Lots of holes covered up by the red stuff.  Lots of dents as well.
 Front part is decent but has lots of dents/creases that don't show up very well in pictures.
Rear right kick panel bracket - not much left and it's not touching the pan.
The body is in rather nice shape - no real rust to speak of and it's clean.
Underside of the rear right corner - a little rust on the body side but the contact surface with the pan is in great shape with no gaping rust issues.
 Rear left side is very clean
Right front - again, clean but has some rust to be dealt with.  Seems the right side of the body took the brunt of the rust issues.
 Left front looks pretty good!
 Left front - again, very clean.
 Right front is looking nice here.
Now would be the time to do any of the under dash wiring...but, alas, I don't have anything that needs to be done, short of figuring out why the horn didn't work (and that doesn't work without the pan).
The order of hardware arrived today - just in time!

The engine is possibly getting picked up on Tuesday to begin the tear down and rebuild process.  I'm VERY curious about what will be found inside.