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engine overhaul

Posted by on in engine overhaul
I got my engine back from the builder recently and this weekend I got it reassembled and reinstalled after some parts sourcing, rust treatment and painting. I was preparing to put the engine back in when I was stopped by this: A couple of months ago I saw that my Ghia's swingaxle boots needed replacement. I had a pair of old stock boots on the shelf so I put them on and forgot about it. They were in their factory sealed bags until I installed them, experienced about 15 miles of use, and had no exposure to excessive heat or UV rays, but in two months they're in worse shape than the ones they replaced. Luckily I had the foresight to buy a new pair of VW OEM boots the last time I was at Bill and Steve's, so I was able to replace them without yet another trip to the...

Posted by on in engine overhaul
I saw this pair of rebuilt early 1500 heads for sale and thought I'd better get them while I could. These don't come along every day. 311 101 371 heads have 40-horse style straight intake ports and were only used through June 1962. The date code on the casting appears to indicate December 7, 1961. The heads were apparently rebuilt many years ago and they still retain their long rocker studs. Most of the remaining 40-horse and early 1500 heads out there have long ago been converted to short rocker studs due to the fact that long studs can sometimes loosen and fail to hold torque. Also, unlike short studs, with long studs valve clearances tend to get tighter as the engine warms up, so there's less margin for error when adjusting the valves — a tight valve having much more potential to cause damage than a loose one. For...

Posted by on in engine overhaul
After some downtime troubleshooting my floor jack I got the engine out and stripped down, though I left a few things in place that shouldn't be in the way just to make reassembly go faster. Dropped it off this morning with the builder so he can look into what's causing the leak at #2. The oil was clearly coming from the mating surface between the top of the cylinder and the head. We shall see what's up. In the meantime I've sourced most of the gaskets and other expendable parts I'll need for reassembly from Bill & Steve's, and next I'll tend to some of the surface rust that's formed on a few parts over the last few years of storage. Rust never sleeps, as Neil Young has helpfully pointed out....

Posted by on in engine overhaul
I got the Ghia started again for the first time since 2007 but there was a significant oil leak almost immediately, coming from where cylinder #2 meets the head. Lots of oil and oil smoke. The rings on that piston are clearly not doing the job, but even so, oil shouldn't be leaking from there. The shop that assembled it suggested that I try running it until the rings seat themselves, but after running it for more than and hour at a time over several days at medium revs without load to help break it in, and then driving it for over ten miles today, the same symptoms remain. The engine has to come back out so we can pull the head and find out what went wrong. The good news is that I got to drive it again for the first time in four years. Aside from the ring issue...

Posted by on in engine overhaul
Last year I bought an NOS Type 3 oil strainer. When it arrived I realized the design of the strainer was different from the one in my Ghia, which raised some questions. Was the one in my car not a Type 3 strainer? How are Type 1 and Type 3 strainers different, and how are the various Type 3 versions different from each other?