T4 Tear Down / Rebuild in Jax FL

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analogtherapy
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T4 Tear Down / Rebuild in Jax FL

Post by analogtherapy » Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:15 pm

Hi all! My name is Stephen, I live in Jax, FL, and I am in the process of tearing down my 2.0L (federal) from my '79 Transporter, and I'm looking for some real world advice on making this a good solid build. That is the purpose of this thread. This is my planning phase.

Some context: I've owned the bus for about 2 years, one of those it was parked in my garage and not driven. At the most, I've probably put 1,000 miles on it since I've owned it (and that's likely estimating high), just running short errands around town. No long trips. Originally FI, it is now single Weber prog, and as such has been running pretty rich, however no visible smoke from the tail pipe, and despite being a bit on the weak side it ran pretty well. It had almost all of it's original tin, but (only recently discovered) was missing the right (passenger) side lower cylinder tin, the two tin pieces which go directly beneath the push rod tubes, and the two tiny pieces which cover the space between the heater boxes and the fan shroud. I have since purchased the cylinder tin, and those tiny covers, which are on the way as I type this.

Originally, I decided to pull the engine due to increasingly worse clutch chatter (mostly only experienced when trying to back up) and I suspected that there was an oil leak in to the clutch area. There was.

I don't have compression numbers or anything like that for additional detail into this engine. I'm a novice, enjoying learning as I go, but I'm no mechanic by any stretch of the imagination. I do hope to learn how to properly test and time this engine.

Anyway, based on that info alone, and from the photos here (this link loads a more recent post, right as I began the engine removal, and tear down) what are your thoughts?: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewt ... 46#8411046

I'll post more photos as I get to the internals.

So, does anything jump out at you after looking at the photos? What should be replaced? Should the heads be rebuilt?

What went from a clutch job, is starting to look more like a potential full top/bottom rebuild. Not because of anything catastrophic, but maybe just because it's just that time? I could be wrong, but I suspect this engine has never been rebuilt.

Note: I am not considering keeping the single prog. Currently, I'm leaning towards the CB Performance Dual 40 IDF Weber's from aircooled.net, but then I'm not yet sure what cam to pair with it, and whether to stay hydraulic or go solid.

Much thanks in advance!

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Re: T4 Tear Down / Rebuild in Jax FL

Post by Piledriver » Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:46 am

Welcome to the STF!

There are hundreds of tips, tricks and gotchas in the type4um etc.. stickies, will take awhile to read but there's a lot to learn.

As far as can be seen, motor looks solid.
Being a 79, it should have squareport heads (exhaust side) :evil:
The seats are known issues on Bus heads, so plan on having them replaced.
Note that if you are replacing seats and valves, big valves are ~free, as all sizes cost the same, and the machine work as well. Keep it to 42x36 with the bowls blended in, or at least cut into the new seats.
Headflow Masters or EMW, maybe Brothers machine for the rework (In that order)

You now know how an ACVW oil pump is supposed to fit.
(You did loosen the nuts/bolts above/below it tho?)
I have yet to meet an aftermarket pump that doesn't fall in the hole.
...Although Shadeck pumps fake it by the holes being a little offset so the studs drag some.
Reuse the original pump if at all possible, it has IIRC a couple metric orings in it that you'll need to hunt for.
If it isn't sloppy and the oil pressure was OK before, save it.

Plan on at minimum a set of new exhaust valves (and every ~80K, depending on use), you never said how many miles are showing, but its (kinda) possible that's all it will need (and a good valve job)
Ex valves stretch, and the stems get smaller, new valves in the used guides frequently check out fine.

The factory lifters can be reground for $35. Go there, aircooled.net can get this done and they are a Web Cam reseller.
Do this even if you don't swap the cam...

With carbs, you are a bit more free on cam than with the stock LJet, but the stock compression ratio is still going to put a big crimp on cam choices. Suggest Web73 or Web73/86 (custom)... with no head gaskets, and cylinders shimmed for ~1mm deck. Thin stamped base shims are ~cheap, EMW sells them.

I don't know your tech comfort level, but don't automatically stick webers on it, consider EFI, the factory manifolds etc and a microsquirt will cost about what the carbs would, and provide a fully programmable setup.
The factory manifolds can be had cheap, although you'll want newer injectors, ~any junkyard can provide at worst.
A 79 already has the 2 fuel lines to the tank run, so you're ~half way there.

You can pop off the rods once the pistons are off (make a pin puller)
If the rod bearings look fine, its ~safe to assume the mains do as well, and you can stop right there unless the cam end play is excessive or you really, really want to change the cam.

Be careful with the factory jugs/pistons and main bearings, if in good shape do NOT toss, reuse.
They are probably better than anything you can buy these days.

Also, only use the factory crank oil seals, GoWesty sells the crank end one at least.
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Re: T4 Tear Down / Rebuild in Jax FL

Post by analogtherapy » Tue Apr 25, 2017 5:12 pm

Piledriver, I really appreciate you taking the time to comment. I've read through start to finish Clatter's Cheap Junk build, and found both his and your comments to be very informative. As a newbie, I can't tell you how thankful I am for posts like that. So thank you both for putting that out there.

I feel pretty capable to take this kind of thing on, even excited to.Unless something requires very specialized tools, or heavy machinery/machining, then I'll farm it out if I can.

Right now, I'm really trying to get as clear of a plan that I can, before I start ordering parts, and having the experienced opinion of someone who's done this before really makes a big difference (so again, you have my thanks).
Piledriver wrote:
Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:46 am
As far as can be seen, motor looks solid.
Being a 79, it should have squareport heads (exhaust side) :evil:
Yea, it's got square ports.
Piledriver wrote:
Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:46 am
The seats are known issues on Bus heads, so plan on having them replaced.
Note that if you are replacing seats and valves, big valves are ~free, as all sizes cost the same, and the machine work as well. Keep it to 42x36 with the bowls blended in, or at least cut into the new seats.
Headflow Masters or EMW, maybe Brothers machine for the rework (In that order)
Just emailed Headflow Masters today. Thank you for the additional information. That's going to be helpful.
Piledriver wrote:
Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:46 am
Reuse the original pump if at all possible, it has IIRC a couple metric orings in it that you'll need to hunt for.
Is this what you're referring to? http://www.germansupply.com/home/custom ... ctid=17474
Piledriver wrote:
Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:46 am
Plan on at minimum a set of new exhaust valves (and every ~80K, depending on use), you never said how many miles are showing, but its (kinda) possible that's all it will need (and a good valve job)
Ex valves stretch, and the stems get smaller, new valves in the used guides frequently check out fine.
OK, noted.
Piledriver wrote:
Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:46 am
The factory lifters can be reground for $35. Go there, aircooled.net can get this done and they are a Web Cam reseller.
Do this even if you don't swap the cam...
I've heard that it's good practice to replace the cam if you don't know how many miles are on it (btw, my bus currently shows 23,840 on the odometer. Maybe it's 123,840? Who knows). Assuming I end up picking a Web cam, am I still able to use the factory lifters (after being reground)?
Piledriver wrote:
Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:46 am
I don't know your tech comfort level, but don't automatically stick webers on it, consider EFI, the factory manifolds etc and a microsquirt will cost about what the carbs would, and provide a fully programmable setup.
The factory manifolds can be had cheap, although you'll want newer injectors, ~any junkyard can provide at worst.
A 79 already has the 2 fuel lines to the tank run, so you're ~half way there.
This is where I'm probably most ignorant. When you say factory manifolds, are you basically referring to the FI setup (manifolds, intake plenum, MAF, etc)? Or literally just the right and left intake manifolds that bolt to the heads?

I did a search for microsquirt and ended up on thedubshop.net. Is Microsquirt Ignition Package what I should be looking at? Is there a shop in particular you'd recommend for these parts?
Piledriver wrote:
Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:46 am
You can pop off the rods once the pistons are off (make a pin puller)
If the rod bearings look fine, its ~safe to assume the mains do as well, and you can stop right there unless the cam end play is excessive or you really, really want to change the cam.

Be careful with the factory jugs/pistons and main bearings, if in good shape do NOT toss, reuse.
They are probably better than anything you can buy these days.
OK, got it. I'll likely split the case this weekend, so I'll know more then.
Piledriver wrote:
Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:46 am
Also, only use the factory crank oil seals, GoWesty sells the crank end one at least.
The Sabo seal? Just got the front main seal a few days ago. I think I've also got the rear seal, but I'm not sure (at the moment) who made it.

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Re: T4 Tear Down / Rebuild in Jax FL

Post by Piledriver » Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:15 pm

When you split your first case, there is always one more bolt.
Usually one under the flywheel gets overlooked.

...just don't toss the factory lifters...
They are better than almost anything you can buy.
I'll merrily send you $20 to mail them to me rather than trashing them.
I have a few used cams that I would use them on after regrind/Parkerizing the lifters.

I was suggesting finding the complete factory EFI manifolds etc, a microsquirt is the lowest cost option.
(Off a 1.8L Porsche 914 would be good)
Thesamba classifieds are an OK hunting ground, but idiot VW shops clueless about EFI have been swapping progressives on for 40 years, so most VW shops probably have a few sets laying around they'd be happy to part with cheap...

Marios full setup is spendy, but its essentially plug in and and go.
Much of the $$$ is in the custom wiring harness.

If that's the "real" VW main seal, use it. If it's anything else, don't.
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Clatter
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Re: T4 Tear Down / Rebuild in Jax FL

Post by Clatter » Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:56 pm

I looked at your thread on TOS.

Looks to me like you need to send those lifters in to SLR..

Time for a new cam, too.
Which grind depends upon your local smog laws..

Good on Pile for going all 'square one' for you.
Keep pounding thru my (most painful) thread.
There's some good info buried in the drivel here and there..
"Oh, You don't need to do all that... The valve seats are just going to fall out of it anyway!"
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Beginners' how-to Type 4 build thread ---> viewtopic.php?f=1&t=145853

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Re: T4 Tear Down / Rebuild in Jax FL

Post by Clatter » Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:01 pm

FWIW, I was looking to buy just the parts to convert L-Jet on Mario's site.

If you used most of the old L-jet fuel parts, along with his trigger wheel, crank sensor, etc,
Seems you could squirt it, and have it look pretty stock for a generous smog tech to pass the visual.

Alas, maybe it's my mail server, but he never answers my request for this info.

Seems to me bus conversions would be a good way for him to drum up some business IMHO.

That way I could run a stroker crank and some more cam, too.. ;-)
"Oh, You don't need to do all that... The valve seats are just going to fall out of it anyway!"
- Doug Ellsworth

Beginners' how-to Type 4 build thread ---> viewtopic.php?f=1&t=145853

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Re: T4 Tear Down / Rebuild in Jax FL

Post by Piledriver » Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:22 am

IIRC Florida used to be pretty open mod wise, they got rid of annual vehicle inspections (safety) about 30 years ago.
Of course a State Trooper will do one when he pulls you over and nail you for anything obvious.

Cam wise, if you want to keep it simple and have a long life motor in a Bus, the std Bus pistons/resultant CR dictates a mildish cam.
A 1mm deck and all else std will usually provide ~8.4ish:1 static CR, which is about Web 73ish area, maybe Web 86.
A little extra duration on the exhaust side keeps things cooler, esp through the wheezy stock exhaust, thus the 73/86 combo suggestion.

...As anthills provide the highest landmarks, you don't need a ton of power, stock + with a good tune should be the ticket in a Bus. (Born in Titusville, I can say that :twisted: )
That's actually a good idea for any Bay Bus, anywhere. Reliability, economy are job 1 and 2.

If you want to get all nuts, we are great with spending your money here, but for a first build, close to stock is ~ideal.

Marios setup would probably fall onto a stock-manifold/TB based bus motor, with the possible exception of the TPS cable, which may need the cable stretcher for the ~central TB. The TPS setup may need some fab, as some TBs have the idle switch (and thus the extra D shaft and plate for a TPS) but the one I'm currently running lacked that, so I slotted the shaft and made an extender from 1/4" round stock. (dremel, file, nothing special tool wise)

I made rail adapters and am running modern pico injectors--- The manifolds don't care, and Marios slick fuel rails are easy to secure. You could also score far more modern original-shape EV1 connectored injectors on most old Volvos.
Get the Turbo ones. Grab the sweet oil cooler and sandwich thermostat while at it.
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Re: T4 Tear Down / Rebuild in Jax FL

Post by analogtherapy » Thu Apr 27, 2017 10:00 am

Clatter wrote:
Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:01 pm
FWIW, I was looking to buy just the parts to convert L-Jet on Mario's site.

If you used most of the old L-jet fuel parts, along with his trigger wheel, crank sensor, etc,
Seems you could squirt it, and have it look pretty stock for a generous smog tech to pass the visual.

Alas, maybe it's my mail server, but he never answers my request for this info.

Seems to me bus conversions would be a good way for him to drum up some business IMHO.

That way I could run a stroker crank and some more cam, too.. ;-)
Thanks Clatter! Hopefully I'll have better luck with a reply, as I've just sent him an email about the different FI options he has for the Type 4. If I don't have luck with email, I'll call. Either way I'll post back with what I find.

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Re: T4 Tear Down / Rebuild in Jax FL

Post by analogtherapy » Thu Apr 27, 2017 10:10 am

Piledriver wrote:
Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:22 am
Cam wise, if you want to keep it simple and have a long life motor in a Bus, the std Bus pistons/resultant CR dictates a mildish cam.
A 1mm deck and all else std will usually provide ~8.4ish:1 static CR, which is about Web 73ish area, maybe Web 86.
A little extra duration on the exhaust side keeps things cooler, esp through the wheezy stock exhaust, thus the 73/86 combo suggestion.

...As anthills provide the highest landmarks, you don't need a ton of power, stock + with a good tune should be the ticket in a Bus. (Born in Titusville, I can say that :twisted: )
That's actually a good idea for any Bay Bus, anywhere. Reliability, economy are job 1 and 2.

If you want to get all nuts, we are great with spending your money here, but for a first build, close to stock is ~ideal.
Really appreciate the feedback guys! I don't know if anyone else has trouble getting straight answers for doing a Type 4 build, but that's been my experience (elsewhere).

I'm waiting on a reply from Mario at the moment. The 'Dual Throttle Body Package Type 4 VW - Fuel and Ignition' makes me drool a bit. This would mean a longer wait time before getting my bus back on the road, but the fact that it would be fully programmable, all new components/wires and plug & play aspect of it is pretty dang nice.

I'll post back as soon as I know more.

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Re: T4 Tear Down / Rebuild in Jax FL

Post by analogtherapy » Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:04 am

OK this may sound like a really dumb question, but...

Right now I have the lifters and push rods labeled in the order they were in the engine. If I send the lifters off to be reconditioned, does that order matter anymore?

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Re: T4 Tear Down / Rebuild in Jax FL

Post by Piledriver » Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:42 pm

analogtherapy wrote:
Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:04 am
OK this may sound like a really dumb question, but...

Right now I have the lifters and push rods labeled in the order they were in the engine. If I send the lifters off to be reconditioned, does that order matter anymore?
No.
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Re: T4 Tear Down / Rebuild in Jax FL

Post by analogtherapy » Tue May 16, 2017 7:58 am

Update: Photos of the internals - https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewt ... 84#8439984

Finally split the case. Camshaft: The cam lobes had wear that I could feel, so the cam is trash. The #2 cam bearing had some interesting metal flaking going on, but there isn't any loose metal in the case (not that I've found yet anyway).

The crankcase: Journals have some streaking, but all dowels were present, so I don't think the bearings were spinning (is that right?). In Tom Wilson's book, he mentions streaking is normal. Does the streaking in my case journals look normal?

The crankshaft: The distributor gear and cam gear look pretty good to me. No chips/chunks missing that I can see. The journal under the #1 and #2 main bearings also have some streaking, but no feel-able grooves worn in them (haven't seen or felt under the #3). I haven't removed the rods yet. I did check the side end play of the rods, and all were .007 except for one which was .010.

At this point, I'm not completely sure what to do. Here's what I think I should do (at a minimum):

-Have the crank cleaned and polished
-Have the case cleaned and inspected
-Drill and tap the oil galleys in the case
-Have the Rods cleaned, new rod bearings
-Have the mass balanced

Few questions I have:

How can I tell if my crank (and it's bearings) are good to go, or if they need work (and bearings replaced)? Is there a way I can measure them at this point?

Is my list above complete?

I am planning on picking up new Mahle pistons and cylinders soon. When it comes to balancing, do those need to be present and balanced with the crank and rods?

Thanks in advance!

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Re: T4 Tear Down / Rebuild in Jax FL

Post by Piledriver » Tue May 16, 2017 1:02 pm

How can I tell if my crank (and it's bearings) are good to go, or if they need work (and bearings replaced)? Is there a way I can measure them at this point?
For balancing, crank and rods and pistons and fan hub and bolt and fan and its bolts and flywheel and bolts and pressure plate and its bolts.

have the machinist check the crank etc.

t4 cases don't show the raised grooves like t1 cases, as IIRC the groove is on the crank side on the center main.
The bores need measured with the case torqued (the through bolts are enough) and the gap at the center main needs checked, Jake Raby used a thin strip of carbon paper for that. The bearing ODs also needs checked, as well as the thrust vs. the bearing width on the flywheel end bearing.

You should replace the oil passage plugs, 2 each taps in 1/8", 1/4" and 3/8" npt are needed with one ground short.
The big one for the oil pickup you can gently pop out from the inside to clean the passage, then tap back in with a drop of locktite or such. It is under no pressure.

the rod big ends need checked for ovality and size, pin bushing checked (best checked with a new pin, with oil on it it should barely slide under gravity)

Read through Clatters excellent "Cheap Junk 1971 build" http://www.shoptalkforums.com/viewtopic ... 1&t=145853
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Re: T4 Tear Down / Rebuild in Jax FL

Post by analogtherapy » Tue May 16, 2017 4:13 pm

Thanks for the quick reply Pile!

Just got done re-reading it again (and plan to do so many more times as this build progresses). So much good info.

Speaking of which, in Clatter's build he used 'used' pistons and cylinders (and folks later on stated that the original P&C's are better than "new" stuff).

So, question: Would you recommend re-using original P&C's?

There are very few scuff marks on my original piston sides. My cylinders are pretty dirty, but the insides don'e have much in the way of scuff marks either (very smooth looking). I do have one broken cooling fin (almost exactly like the one Clatter fixed) except I don't have the piece to fix it. At the time I removed everything, I was gentle, but didn't keep them in order (I just set them over near the parts pile). Did I ruin my chances of re-using those originals, or is it better just to order new even if they aren't made as well as the originals?

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Re: T4 Tear Down / Rebuild in Jax FL

Post by Piledriver » Wed May 17, 2017 2:40 am

analogtherapy wrote:
Tue May 16, 2017 4:13 pm
...
So, question: Would you recommend re-using original P&C's?
Your call, if you want it to go a few hundred K get Mahles.
Even pushing a Bus,T4s are not like T1 motors that need a full rebuild every 75K or less.
(Although fresh F&R seals and new exhaust valves are recommended by <100K depending on usage)

Measure, then hone, then measure, then decide.
If they are all pitted on top, (same for chambers) that's typically detonation damage, and a reason to suspect other issues.

one overlooked critical measurement is the piston ring groove gap (and surface condition)
Lotsa folks think rings only seal against the bore... They also must seal well against the bottom of the ring groove, in order to push the ring out against the bore.

If you are skipping the base gaskets/shims, the top area above where the rings stop (ridge) needs to be honed out true so you can get that extra little bit of travel.

~all the wear is going to be where the rings run, so start with measurements there, esp at the top of travel where pressure is highest.

A flex hone or hand deglazer doesn't truly cut it, bore needs to be as straight and round as possible.
OTOH I have seen that hand hone work OK for a whole lot of miles...
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