So the deed is done, but the doer not quite undone. It turned out to be more of a chore than I bargained for. Let me see if I can relate what happened from the time took the engine off the stand to how things are today.
The engine had to be removed from the stand to get the clutch and flywheel on. I decided to replace the main oil seal there. This pic shows two used seals on top row, lower left is a seal I bought before I bought the Victor Reinz gasket kit, and the lower right is the seal that came with the kit.
Side view, from left to right, the 2 used seals, the kit seal, and the bought on its own seal.
I decided to use the larger seal. Before installing I de-burred the case.
Not quite all the way in, should be recessed a little more. One of the old seals was used between hammer and new seal. Pilot bearing got some moly grease.
I didn’t forget to install new felt ring and new O-ring in flywheel (I used the clutch install tool to form and settle the felt seal in place a little nicer than what you see in the pic.
i installed the flywheel and tightened the bolts. There is no nice way to say this, I fucked up. What happened was the thrust bearing (which sits behind the thin shims behind the seal) had fallen out of its recess and jammed as I tightened up the flywheel bolts. It smooshed over the the edge of its recess. When I figured out what had happened I was scunnered. I used a series of bearing scrapers to carefully cut away the smooshed part of the case, trying to not damage the flat section where the thrust washer sits. I checked the crankshaft endplay a few times and used a combo of shims to get at an endplay of 0.005″. Was the best I could do. So it was the thinner of the 2 new oil seals I finally ended up using (the thicker one destroyed during removal to fix thrust bearing).
Okay, after a little self flagellation I got back at it. The connection between the throttle body and the intake plenum needs a special gasket. A truncated cone affair and my old one was really torn up. Seems to be NLA, but I think a replacement is on the way to me (right Bill?) and in the meantime I wrapped some silicone repair tape around the plenum “spigot”. Turned out to be, well at least it appears to be, a fairly good fix.
Getting the engine mated to the transmission took me an entire morning. I had the transmission on a bottle jack so I could move it up and down, and the engine was on a hoist. Still it was difficult for me to get things connected. I finally got it on, and the joint sealed with silicone (one of those syncro things).
All the electrical, fuel, and coolant connections made. Engine filled with oil and coolant. Coil power feed removed and engine turned over. No oil pressure. None. Cranking and cranking, even a 10 second run with coil connected. No pressure. This job was killing me. Of course it turned out to be a rookie mistake by me. I should have packed a little grease in the oil pump to help it pull some prime. I got the pump primed by removing the oil filter and cranking until oil came out. Filter back on and then cranking.. pressure!
But not much pressure really. Cold idle was 25 psi, cold max pressure was 60 psi. When hot, oil pressure was close to zero, max was 25 psi. With oil temp >80C, and at 2000 rpm, oil pressure was 25 psi. What the heck could be going on? I’m going to make a long story short. I removed skid plate and then got at the pressure relief valve. Took it out and measured the spring. From the Samba I found out that a new spring is 62 point something mm long. My spring was 59 mm long. So I made a spacer.
Back in it goes, start up engine… I got 30 psi cold at idle, max 75 psi. Hot pressures were 7-10 psi idle, 45 psi max, and just shy of 20 psi at 2000 rpm.
During all this the oil drain plug hole stripped. Damn and blast, what else can go wrong? I took a 14 mm bolt, one that was longer than the drain plug, drilled and rapped for a 13 mmm head bolt, turned down the head of the 14mm bolts, made a Delrin washer and ended up with a new plug that was longer and caught some of the remaining un stripped threads in the case. This will do until I put an insert in the hole.
Back to the oil pressure. Next step was to pull the oil pump cover and check the gasket. Then I pulled the cover from the oil pump. I was *this* close to putting it back on sans gasket, but I decided to use a 0.004″ gasket I got from local mechanic. I did not have this gasket before. Ok, added a little grease to pump gears (to help in priming), all the other things all put back on, coolant replaced, oil replaced.
Engine start… cold pressures: idle 70 psi, max 90 psi. Hot pressures, idle 20 psi, max 60 psi, a solid 30 psi at 2000 rpm. Much better. Turns out the gasket in the kit, the one for under the oil pump cover, was 0.012″ thick. Far too thick. BTW, the endplay for the pump gears measured between 0.002 and 0.003″. After driving around for a week I am still not happy with the oil pressure, I think I can do better. Hot idle (after hwy run) is only about 7 psi. I am going to pull the pump cover again and re-install with no gasket, just sealant.
There were other annoyances after install – poor fitting (new) exhaust pipes was the big one, but I won’t bore you with my griping. So here we are, engine in.
A closer shot of how the oil pressure sender relocation manifold fits in. God I hate non-black cable ties.
So after a week or so of driving? Well apart from my lingering concern about oil pressure I have 2 other niggling issues. One is a little oil leak from the engine end of #1 cylinder exhaust push rod tube. Probably no chance of it sealing itself, so I’ll be putting in one of the spring loaded push rod tubes that I found on this engine. I cleaned one up and replaced O-rings.
The second thing is a funny, intermittent scraping, rattling noise. I think the forward exhaust pipe is sometimes rubbing on the skid plate. Only happens with some torque on the engine, and not when revving when van parked.
To finish up this post I’ll mention a couple of tools that made this job a whole lot easier. First one is a bit of a surprise, “The Larry” miniature trouble light. Was given to me by good friend Stephen and it really does do the job. The clip is magnetic so the pen sized thing will stick. Gets into tight places, puts the light where you need it and not in your face.
A set of hose clamp pliers. This is a pretty cheap set but works quite well. Well enough to make you love spring clamps.
This tapered punch came in handy to line up recalcitrant bolt holes on the exhaust and my skid plate/
The job is not completely over, but I’ll say it was a success. Tragedy + time = comedy, I’m laughing now.
A year ago I made some speaker mounts to help hide the torn up lower half of the front door panels, and to mount the speakers more securely. It was a previous owner that installed (and cut some door metal) these speaker and it really wasn’t a very good job. My solution worked out ok, but I tired of the unfinished aluminum look and the speaker grills had been kicked repeatedly and were dented. I can’t really blame anyone for the kicking, the speakers are in a vulnerable spot.
So I pulled them off, took them apart, and reformed the stainless mesh grills back into a shallow dome. Then I painted everything with rattle can bed liner. I think the paint stiffens up the stainless mesh, gluing the wire crossings. I painted some plastic screw cap covers to match.
I installed 3 old gauges, VDO Cockpit series, that I had in my old I4 powered ’82 Westy. It was sure easier to install the senders in that engine, no relocation manifold needed. But on the WBX I had to relocate the stock oil pressure senders so I could add an oil temp. sender and an oil press. sender.
I detailed the sender install in this post. That short temp sender (Beck Arnley part# 201-1098) seems to be the right one, the oil temp gauge is indicating pretty well expected readings. Yeah, yeah, I should have set up some boiling water and tested before installation. But I didn’t, so there.
Hey, if anyone has a mind to copy the aluminum manifold for the senders, give more room between each sender. I put them too close together, wrench access not so great.
The gauges have seen some wear and tear, and I replaced the bezels on two of them with bezels from salvaged gauges from an old Volvo 245 turbo. The bezels are crimped on so removing them means prying with a fine edged screwdriver and you can’t really get that back to factory condition. But from a distance it is not really noticable. During the bezel replacement I dropped 2, yes 2, of the glass faces. What a clumsy fool. I had one spare glass, and for the other I cut a circle of Lexan. I repainted the needles with fluorescent orange paint while I had the chance.
For wiring I used some old computer cable, 6 insulated wires in a grey sheath. Each wire was multi-strandded and the sheath was pretty flexible but I bundled the 3 cables in some black heat shrink tubing and the bundle is pretty stiff. I used a heat gun to warm up the bundle so I could manipulate it into the right route. And that route runs right in front of the padded dash to the corner of the instrument panel cover, where I made a rounded notch and the cable makes a 90 degree bend and a little down to end up close to the right hand side dash support strut. The bundle lays down with no glue or clips after the heat gun treatment.
At the sender end, I used a couple of spare wires from the now removed Webasto BBW46 heater wiring to send oil press. and temp signals up front. For the voltmeter signal I connected to ”G5″ terminal on the fuse panel (“15″ power, ie hot when ign on). For illumination, I tapped into “G8″ (dimmer controlled power) on the fuse panel. To make things a little neater, I used an old terminal strip that has screw connections and used that to connect the gauge wires to the sender wires. This terminal strip was mounted to one of the dash support channels beneath the instrument panel.
The gauge pods were screwed onto a bit of 1/4″ aluminum plate, painted black. One day I’ll get some black covers for the screw heads. The plate is glued to the dash with that foam cored double sided tape. That stuff seems to take dash heat better than other tape . The gauges seem to work fine, I didn’t confirm the oil temp or pressure with another method, but the values I see look reasonable.
I’ve had the engine installed for a little over a week now. I’ve had some niggling problems and I will write about them, but for now here is a crude little video of the engine running. Proof that I actually completed the job
(dirty lens, sorry. Oh the dipsy-doodle to the exhaust pipe was to try to record a bit of the exhaust note. Since the new exhaust pipes have been installed, my home made muffler does not sound as good as it did with my leaky exhaust. Wait, what? I dunno)
A few more odds and ends before the engine goes back into the van. In no particular order…
My diff lock light has not been coming on for a while now. I narrowed the cause down to either a broken wire, a faulty switch on transmission, or a bad connection at switch. I had planned on pulling the switch, but as I didn’t pull the tranny with the engine, and as is (ie the vacuum actuator still attached to tranny) I could not get a wrench or a socket on the switch to remove it. See how tight (ie little clearance) it is?
So as I stand there, kicking myself for not pulling tranny, I decide to cut open the bundled wire sheath to see if there is a broken wire where they make some tight bends. No luck, all is good, so I pull back the rubber boot on the connector and one wire comes with it. Did I just pull it off or was it broken already? Of course I am pumping for the latter. I fixed the connection and put it all back in place. Fingers crossed.
I forgot to mention before this that I found a bent pushrod when I took the heads off. If I remember correctly, it was on the side with the (leaking) spring loaded pushrod tubes. How does a bent pushrod affect the engine if the valve adjustment is done correctly?
I’m re-using the clutch drive disk and pressure plate and I measured things to check if that was a good idea. There is still some good life in the disk and the pressure plate has all its finger and is flat. The flywheel is ok too, I de-glazed with fine emery and I replaced the O-ring. The old one was quite stiff.
I did some head scratching when it came to the support bracket on the rear exhaust manifold. Seems that the syncro muffler carrier has extra holes in it to attach the bracket. As I have home made aluminum muffler carriers I had to drill some new holes. Pretty tight, not much wrench clearance. I’ll curse myself if and when I have to get the bracket or carriers off.
Boy am I happy to see the engine finally in this state.
Oh, and when I was in the engine bay I looked into the holes in the frame members on either side of the bay. The frame members that further back house the bumper mounts. A lot of dirt in there.
Next job is to move the engine from the stand to the hoist so that I can get the flywheel and clutch back on.
Life, god bless it, intruded on the project a bit. So really not much progress to report, but what I have I give to you. (sheesh!)
Way back when, I played around with an oil pressure switch relocation set up. I blogged about it here. I saw no reason not to whack it onto this engine. Some notes about the install:
- threaded hole between the pushrod tubes, where one of the 2 oil press. senders originally fitted, is M10X1.0 thread. I used a brass adapter, male M10X1.0 taper thread by female 1/8″ NPT. Note that I have got a male taper thread going into a female straight thread. I was assured that this will seal up fine.
- Then from the female 1/8″ NPT we go to 1/8″ soft copper pipe via a compression fitting. A better way would to be to go to brake line rather than copper, more vibration resistant.
- copper line sheathed in fuel line
- stainless steel cable tie securing line to pushrod tube. Not really needed, the line is pretty solid in it’s run (the covering stiffens things up a bit). I worry about the tubing vibrating and putting stress on the compression fittings, but as it is, the tubing is routed pretty nicely, tight and secure.
- the line runs up tight to engine case and out to the top surface between case and thermostat housing.
- I had to use a 45 degree 1/8″ NPT female to male to make the turn. A 90 degree fitting was too tight. Then we have another female 1/8 NPT to male M10X10 adapter which goes into the manifold.
-due to that little pipe that goes from water pump to Tstat, I had to make a little spacer to raise the manifold about 2 cm.
- that side pushrod tube protection plate had to be reworked a little. I’ll get a pic of that sometime.
At the rear of the engine, just to the right of the water pump, the now vacant M10X1.0 hole (which is actually a reduction bushing) can have a temp sender probe fitted. I had this nice VDO sender (used it for years on my I4 engine in my ’82 westy) and popped it in there. Later I broke the bugger when I Was going round checking that “I had tightened things up”. Bloody hell. Local autopart stores could not get me a new VDO sender anytime soon, so I took a chance went for this sender (MKII/MKIII Golf). I don’t care that it is shorter and not reaching as deep as the other one. Well I do care but will it *really* make that much difference? Pic showing senders and reduction bushing.
Installed in engine. Signal wire running up then back over top of engine and I’ll bundle that up with the oil pressure sender wires.
Remember my rotted coolant pipe? Well I found another. less rotted one and decided to patch that one up. It had one hole in the main pipe and another one in one of the side pipes. I brazed the holes closed and then slopped on more braze to fill in some minor pitting. That pipe, especially just at the bend where it comes up to connect to the Tstat housing is very exposed to the elements and heat from the exhaust pipe. The combo of heat and weather causes the paint to be eroded and the pipe to corrode. I had the idea to weld on some tabs to allow a little shield to be installed, but I had blobbed on the braze before I remembered and the TIG welder was being used on some serious stainless welding so I left the tabs off. I might try and clamp on a shield. Not the best way, the clamps might be a locus for corrosion starting. I painted the repaired pipe with POR 15, and then with some orange engine paint.
I encourage those of you with old 2.1 WBX engines to check this pipe. Poke at it with a screwdriver or an awl. Make sure it is not on the edge of failure.
I have to say that this project has been much more work than I thought it would be. I not regretting doing it, my god the rotted coolant pipe alone has made it worthwhile. But I have been distracted and unable to concentrate during the job and that is annoying me.
More to come, this job will end
Catching up on my progress. I spent yesterday (Sunday) adding the bits and bobs that go on the motor. Intake runners and plenum, coolant lines, oil cooler, PS bracket, alternator bracket, dipstick, etc. A bit of a disappointment when I fitted up the spare rear manifold and found that the end did not line up with the end of the new front manifold. Not even close. I thought that the rear manifold was the same for all 2.1 engines (apart from, perhaps, the small support clamp and bracket) but this one was nowhere near close to working. The angle at the end of the pipe where it meets up to pair with the front manifold was all wrong. I bought a new one today and it works, but needs some slight adjustment.
But the real surprise yesterday was the coolant pipe that runs from the water pump forward along the left hand side of the engine to connect with the thermostat. I had forgotten all about it when painting other bits and yesterday, when I was going at it with the angle grinder powered wire brush I uncovered this.
Wow eh? I think the paint was all that was protecting me from a massive coolant leak. Talk about lucky. This one discovery almost makes this entire ordeal worthwhile. I’ll talk about what I did about this in a later post. One more pic, before I put the rear manifold on.
A personal issue has complicated things, but I hope to get this thing done in the next few days.