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Old October 12th, 2008, 05:56 PM   #1
Pete Gossett
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Default Engine rebuild 101?
Re:: Tips, tricks, vendors & suggestions   

I almost have my engine torn all the way down & I'm starting to think about getting everything clean & gathering parts for a rebuild. I have the Muir book & I know there's a couple other good VW engine books that I'll probably pick up.

I searched & didn't find any threads specifically about engine rebuilds & thought if you guys want to contribute, maybe it would be a good idea to add this to the Tech Bin forum?

Here's some topics I'd like input on, but feel free to add as much as you'd like!

1.)What's the best/easiest/cheapest engine cleaning tips?

2.)What vendors are best/cheapest for which parts?

3.)What parts is it worth spending the $$ on, and where can you save money?

4.)Any absolute "Do" or "Don't" tips & tricks?


For me, specifically, I figure if I'm tearing the engine all the way down anyway(pistons were siezed in the jugs, I figure I need to split the case & check/replace bearings since it looks like water was in there)I might as well try to do it right. OTOH, it also needs to be cheap or it'll never get done... I figure it's a good time to add some mild performance, too. But again, it needs to be cheap performance. I'm thinking 1641 or 1680 may be the way for me to go, w/a mild cam, then thinking about a better carb & possibly adding a small turbo later on.
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Old October 12th, 2008, 06:47 PM   #2
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Default Re: Engine rebuild 101?

I noticed the same thing (a general lack of this type of thread) a while ago and was going to help fix that when I got home since I"ll be building a motor from scratch. I'm definetly interested in the same info though.

the only things I can add right now is that heads and crackshaft are two things you don't want to skimp out on. buy the best you can afford. i sprung for dual 44 Webers years ago when i had a 1776 built for me, and i love em, they've never given me any problems, I want to start doing it myself but I used to take the car to a shop about once every 18 months to sync my carbs and normally they would call me back and ask if it's running funny cause they were still in sync..

I've never had a 1641 or 1680 but the 1776 was very nice, good power, got up to speed easily and could cruise at 65-90mph without any issue.
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Old October 12th, 2008, 06:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: Engine rebuild 101?

There's not a whole of discussion around here for engine builds that I have seen. It's mostly been covered a lot of times elsewhere I suppose is one reason. Here is a site I post when the subject comes up.
Aircooled.Net Type 1 Performance Guide
If you go back to the main page you'll find more info links. A 1641 would be the cheapest and easiest for something a tad bigger. I never heard of a 1680, usually the next step is 1776. The Muir book is OK for basics, but there are some more modern VW engine building books at all the big bookstores. Read up on it some, I'm sure you'll get a little more response starting Monday.

You might also wanna check out the STF Aircooled Engine Forum
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Old October 12th, 2008, 06:57 PM   #4
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Default Re: Engine rebuild 101?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkparker View Post
I'm sure you'll get a little more response starting Monday.
but it IS monday..."1:54 PM 10/13/2008"

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Old October 13th, 2008, 04:01 AM   #5
Pete Gossett
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Default Re: Engine rebuild 101?

I'll check out those links!

Pariah - what defines "best" when it comes to the crank?

Thanks!!!
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Old October 13th, 2008, 04:07 AM   #6
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Default Re: Engine rebuild 101?

i'm not sure myself actually, i remember reading up a little years ago but as i've never done major internal work myself i didn't retain the knowledge.
The few points I do remember is kinda universal for engine parts, forged is better, made and ground in the US is probably a good idea (as opposed to chinese work), and being properly counterweighted is good.

I have the "Engine Interchange Manual" at home and I just ordered a couple of other VW engine building books off of amazon a couple of weeks ago, so I plan on buyign the parts I know I need/want and reading up on stuff, but i'm sure i'll be asking a ton of dumb questions here too :D

Also, not really much of our problem, but the STF "quick links" thread has a shit ton of dead links, at least all i kept getting was 404 errors..
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Old October 13th, 2008, 10:50 AM   #7
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Default Re: Engine rebuild 101?

You can use JC Whitney for parts. Don't buy the kits, unless you have a local shop that can install the valve guides. Most V-8 machine shops are lost on this stuff. You can lap your valves or find some rebuilt heads. I would use 87 or 85mm pistons.
Those spring clips that hold the lifters are a cheap handy tool.
The small bearing closest to the pully can be tricky to seat. Don't tighten the case if you have a gap or your not sure. You will ruin that bearing.

I'm gonna drag my 1600 with a .419 lift cam and Weber 34 ICT's on this sunday(oct 29). Its other wise stock.
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Old October 13th, 2008, 11:04 AM   #8
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Default Re: Engine rebuild 101?

Get your stuff from a local business. They are usualy competative if they are good faith shops. Pay a bit more and insure they will be there the next time you need something.
You will be better off in the long run.

Just ask Hal
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Old October 13th, 2008, 03:42 PM   #9
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Default Re: Engine rebuild 101?

Wheel bearing grease can be used to hold those lifters in place long enuff to put to two case hafts together... New deal on break in oil.. Dont use modern common oil.. It is missing some good stuff that clogs up catalitic converters.. Raceing oil or true break in oil is the way to go....Stock cranks are fine for most builds..but start to flex at 5500rpms and beat out the center main bearings..a set of rebuild rods is worth the cheap money..Wild hi lift cams are great for horsepower but most dont have streetable low end torque or power.. but most really start to pull @ 3000rpms.. So Id go for a cam that peaks out around 5000-5500rpms to keep a good fat bottome end..(I love to talk dirty)..lol...Setting the endplay before the cylinders are installed makes the job easier..... I use a milk crate to hold the one case half to install the crank and cam etc and then the other case half.. First time engine builds are a very Zen experiance.. Hey.. nothing to it!!...and it gets easier with the next one....I built one a day for five years..(whew)
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Old October 14th, 2008, 03:57 AM   #10
Pete Gossett
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Default Re: Engine rebuild 101?

I'd love to support local businesses, besides shipping large/heavy parts is so expensive now, but I haven't seen any VW places advertised in my area(east-central IL or west-central IN). There's a couple places listed for StL, but that's a 3-hour drive. I avoid Chicago like the plague, so I don't really want to deal w/going there. Are there any places in Indy? That's only a couple hours or so from me.
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Old October 14th, 2008, 04:53 AM   #11
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Default Re: Engine rebuild 101?

Milk creates work great.

Also, you NEED solid rocker shafts.
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Old October 14th, 2008, 08:15 AM   #12
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Default Re: Engine rebuild 101?

Quote:
Originally Posted by trikertroy View Post
Wheel bearing grease can be used to hold those lifters in place long enuff to put to two case hafts together... New deal on break in oil.. Dont use modern common oil.. It is missing some good stuff that clogs up catalitic converters.. Raceing oil or true break in oil is the way to go....

Assembly lube, NOT bearing grease, should be used on lifters. It's red, comes in various sizes and is sticky enough to hold things in place while assembling. And there's a reason they call it "assembly lube". lifters, bearings, pushrods should all see some of it.

Also, you do not need to use "race oil" or any other bs like that. 10W-40, non synthetic, non detergent, engine oil. Oil is oil, you do not need anything special or magical in it. Think about it, guys have been rebuilding motors for more than 100 years and NEVER used any of that race oil or BS in the motors, what makes youre cute little motor different?


When building engines, or any other part of the car, its important to know the end result before you make any purchases. Knowing what you want out of the car helps you decide what parts need to go into.
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Old October 14th, 2008, 08:30 AM   #13
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Default Re: Engine rebuild 101?

is 10W-40 necesarry? I've read(either here or somewhere on the net..) that you can use either 10W-40 or 30 wt. both my cars use flat 30 and I'd prefer not buying oil for assembly that I won't use again..
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Old October 14th, 2008, 08:38 AM   #14
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Default Re: Engine rebuild 101?

We run 10w-40 in all the motors we build on initial dyno run. We also suggest running it for the first few thousand miles. Not needed, you can run 10W-30 if you want. Just a suggestion. We build a few motors here at my shop too...with a little bit of power.

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Old October 14th, 2008, 09:02 AM   #15
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Default Re: Engine rebuild 101?

not 10W-30, just 30. I've used it in both my VDubs and was pleasantly surprised to find out the Craparo uses it too, so I only have to keep one kind of oil stocked..
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Old October 14th, 2008, 03:09 PM   #16
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Default Re: Engine rebuild 101?

My most recent source about the oil situation is Car and Driver tech..Zink and phasphate have been drasticly reduced in modern oil.. Many pro builder have seen many of their newly built engine eat up the bearings.. Car and Driver suggests raceing oil like Royle Purple or true break in oil..The good news is that once broken in, there is no problem with modern oils...Iv been following this for a long time and everyone (who is knowedgeable) say the same thing.. I know what Ill be useing for my next engine builds... To be clear, I use the wheel bearing grease just to hold the lifters in place for that short time and cam lube on the cam and lifter faces...
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