In July we were pretty excited to get Lucy (our 77 VW Bus) home, and I gave it a good cleaning inside and out. Took it out for a couple of very short drives and the engine sound was just not right. Gave her a tune up and valve adjustment and sound did not go away. Then, suddenly, the sound got worse, and pulling off the valve cover on the drivers side revealed that the rocker arm for intake on #3 broke! Yes, in two pieces!
I knew the engine had to come out.
I found the valve seat for #3 intake had come loose, caused the valve not to close, and subsequently the valve struck the piston.
I cleaned the head in my soda blaster but in the photo above, you'll see there is also a crack at 11 o'clock coming from the exhaust valve. The head was not worth rebuilding. I found a source for a pair of good original VW 2.0L heads that were in a condition that could be rebuilt, and Northwest Connecting Rods rebuilt them for me.
In the meantime......
I removed everything from the engine, and it was filthy and then started the long process of cleaning, removing not only grease, but rust and then finally painting. I also bought a replacement piston and a rocker assembly to replace the damaged parts, as well as the pushrod for #3.
Some before/after photos below. Note the entire exhaust system was not wonderful. I removed the catalytic converter, and bought an NOS Leisteritz muffler. That horribly rusty thing in the photo below is a heat shield that goes above the muffler- it also is getting replaced.
Hopefully you can see some improvement in the photos below. I removed all of the pistons and they came out wonderful, and I borrowed a scale from John Brooks to balance them after cleaning. Below is a comparison photo showing one before cleaning and one after. Evapo-Rust was used on rusty pieces and the results were quite amazing.
I tried to take some after photos of most of the parts, but hard to get good focus on them all. Hopefully this represents how the parts generally came out.
I looked carefully inside the case and did not see any damage or wear, so the case was not split. I do not consider this an engine rebuild, it is just a repair.
I also borrowed from John his nice set of vials so I could cc the heads. My wife was kind enough to assist in this, as it definitely takes 4 hands.
Net result was the heads cc'ed at 53 cc's and the dish in the piston was 14 cc's, giving a total of 67 cc volume. The engine was still stock stroke and bore (94mm), and after measuring deck height I chose to get the gasket/shims to give me a compression ratio of 8.0
Trial assembly with clay showed good valve to piston clearance, and the heads are now torqued down in place.
Over the next few weeks I will receive all new gaskets, new bolts and copper nuts for the exhaust, the Leisteritz muffler, new motor mounts, and a few other goodies. I'll clean and carefully inspect the fuel injection, and hope to have the bus on the road next month.
restoration & blog Archives