VW Camper Family

A camping forum for VW bus and camper owners.

Current events Eleanor style.

Welcome one and all! 


Meet Eleanor...

Our story starts here with our attempts to get our baby ready for daily and road trip use. Eleanor is the only misstress that my wife will let me have  (lol) so she's important to me even if my wife will mainly drive her too and from work.

 The rebuild

Well its been about a month and a half since I finished Eleanors new motor and I now find myself with the unenviable task of quite possibly having to take it right back out! The way I got it in to begin with was with the engine mounting nuts started on the bolts which would only stick out about a  1/4-3/8 inch. So I tightened down the engine nuts like one would a wheel using a torqueing pattern. Finally getting the engine to fully seat against the transmission. Having physical issues only serves to make this project very difficult at best. But I still don't feel right about it. That nagging suspicion just won't go away...so I am going to (hopefully) during the upcoming weekend have the motor back out and try too figure out just what is going on (my body and weather permitting of course) so in the mean time I am going to include these various pictures of Mlady's and my work up too this point.

Thoughts or comments are always most welcome! 



All cleaned up, totally refurbished, and waiting for its new motor!

Everything that I could touch was replaced with new parts while everything else was seriously cleaned! My mindset is that I don't want to have to go back in here for at least 7 years or more! If ever.



Its actually not as bad as it first appears. Really its not!

Considering this is a 100.000 mile motor.


I was so blessed with having a very solid case with very good cylinders and pistons including all of the internals which were seriously good to go. So it was all new bearings, rings, seals and gaskets. What a pleasure it was puttin this motor together which more than made up for all of the cleaning! I put those pistons and barrels on this engine 14 years ago when it was in my 63 beetle Oscar! Once "everything" was totally taken apart and seriously cleaned (mostly by hand) then the rebuild started.

The next set of pictures shows various stages from the above photo to the present. Please bear in mind that this engine is going to be driven in the New Mexico desert even in the summertime! As Mlady and I are from Roswell which sits in what is called the Permian basin. What this means is that for us to go anywhere it will take us 2-4 hrs minimum and because we are in this basin we are always in some manner going uphill...we want to drive around the country and see and do cool stuff! So I have made the engine heat issue a top priority during this build.



This is our dual port 1600. 

So far so good, and yes at this point I really am starting to get excited!

EMPI high volume oil pump with spin on filter. Must have out here in the desert!

Many, many heartfelt thanks to my buddy who insisted that I do this aspect of the build in his private shop. He is a wealth of knowledge and experience. This engine is built for the open road as well as our daily driver motor so my buddy wanted to make sure everything was dead on as it should be. I learned several cool lil tricks to make the build much easier for myself. Thank you Jack!


The other side.  

 Iv'e also added the 1.5 Qt EMPI deep sump, and from the other photo you can see the EMPI high volume filtered oil pump. This motor was meticulesly cleaned and built by me. The case was only align bored 20 over so imagine my delight hearing this. This engine was once in our yellow bodied and black fendered 63 beetle "Oscar" the last time those jugs and pistons saw the light of day was 14 years ago! All they needed were new rings they were in that good of shape. If anyone is interested this piston and barrel set is the 85.5 mm Malhe (for what its worth) Im personaly sold on them. Sadly the 96 plate remote oil cooler with thermostatically controlled fan is going to have too wait. The stock heads were totally re done. About the only new stock engine part I really had to buy was the 200mm flywheel at $82.00. I don't count the EMPI products as these were planned upgrades. Disregard the white dots on the piston tops.  The pistons and rods were balanced. Everything weighed out to within 2 grams of each other so in the end it didn't matter where they went in the new motor Woo Hoo! Sure do wish I could have gotten a fully counter weighted crank though. Oh well, thats for the low compression 1776cc motor that will replace this engine in about 5 years. Eh eh eh!



The next stage of developement. Were gettin there. I have to save my tip money for anything that Eleanor needs and right now she needs alot of stuff. My next order of bussiness is to get the German Solex 34 PICT III rebuilt properly. I am going to use the very capable stock vacum advance distributor for now. Later I am going to switch too that new vacum advance AND electronic ignition distributor from Bosch. I put one in our 74 Thing and man what a difference! The EMPI polished alluminium billit oil filler was installed to make adding the oil a much less messy affair than what the stock opening  currently allows in the hopes of keeping my motor clean. I am also considering using that gauze looking exgaust tape for our header system. From what I have been able to find out, this header tape stuff is supposed to really make your enginge run cooler and increase heater effeciency as well! This is what they claim and local bikers back it up...and yes I actually went and asked them.

Our attitude (my wife and I) is and always will be anything to give our baby an advantage in the brutal New Mexico sun while going up a mountain grade!


Finally were ready to stab the new motor!


I cleaned up the exsisting header system. I figured with my budget a new one could wait a lil bit and I think I can extend the service life of this one by using that header wrap that I see on motorcycles. Near as I can tell our engines will run much cooler as much as 10-20% (if I remember right) and more effeciantly  AND you can get it in either that 'gausie' old skool look or my favorite, the Kevlar look!  Sweet.



Well there ya have it!

Of all my years wrenching on volksies this install was the hardest one of all. I have never had so many freakish lil things happen during an install and all seemingly popping up all over the place. I now find myself faced with maybe having to remove it now! The only way this motor would 'go all the way in' was to start the engine nuts by hand and then bolt it in like you would a wheel. I used like a torquing pattern of sorts but I still don't feel any better about doing this though...there is a constant hagging feeling about this. Somehow the (new) clutch cable bound up real tight. So much so that I couldn't adjust it either way so I was forced to cut it. Thank God for cross members! You should have seen how violently this cable let go! So I am going to reinstall a new cable before I reinstall the engine but I wont adjust it yet. You should always have a box of "stuff" filled with extra cables and well...stuff! :) So more than likely Im forced to pull this back out and see what caused it to go in so hard (and) tight! Prayers and happy thoughts are always most welcome...More to be added later as it comes. Big smiles and happy miles too all!

Hope to see you all soon! Mike


 Update: 9-24-2012

Well the ole body is feelin pretty good today! So I have removed the engine and looked everything over. Nothing out of the usual to be noted at present. In the bell house photo below is what I found. I can't imagine how I did this! Jack and I will re-stab it in a day or two or by this upcoming weekend. My buddy says that having to 'tighten' the engine in is not all that uncommon. Well I'm here to tell ya...it is for me! Either way I got a chance to give some attention too some overlooked details anyway so its still all good for me.



Seemed to come out easy enough



Havent a clue as to how this happened. This is a new one for me.

(Would certainly explain the difficulty I had getting it in on the previous attempt)


Well since Ive removed the motor its time to install the new clutch cable. As most of you know with the engine out this will be a snap. I still have not figured out why the previous cable was so danged tight! That lil voice in my head (Im sane trust me here!) is urging me to check the tube that the clutch cable runs through. Maybe Ill find the reason for the intense binding? Wish me luck cause Im going in...lol.


Well its late November and I (or rather my buddy) figured out what the deal is with the extremely tight feeling clutch often refered to as 'binding' in this thread.


As you can see in the above picture I have the cross shaft that came out of Eleanor on the right it had a worn out groove so the snap ring wouldn't stay put causing the shaft to shift over rubbing the throw out bearing against the transmission output shaft (whew)...the shaft on the left is an original early bus cross shaft. Notice the splines in these two shafts. The (aftermarket) gold tone shaft on the right makes the clutch lever point or stand straight up and down. The original shaft on the left has the splines facing more towards the front of the vehicle, thereby also making the clutch lever point more towards the front of the vehicle. This is what made up the difference in my clutch pedal now finally giving me the required free play that the aftermarket gold tone cross shaft can not do!

Problem now solved!

So those of you who do your own work...beware of this! Because all aftermarket suppliers only carry this gold tone shaft with the (what I call ) out of place splines for the clutch lever. Took my buddy and I a long time to figure this bit out since we both knew I was doing everything right to begin with! Very maddening and time consuming to be sure. So grab them original parts while you can for just this type of scenerio. Trust me you will be glad you did!


 As always more to come...:) 


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