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 Post subject: 1600 upgrades, buildups, performance upgrades
PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2007 10:32 pm 
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Ok guys. Lots of folks who are new to VWs often ask these questions regarding to there engines. Lets give these guys a hand in answering some of these questions. Feel free to post your ideas, and suggestions. Anything is welcome, just keep it clean!

-How can I get more power from my 1600?

-How can I make my 1600 more reliable?

-How can I get better gas mileage?

-There are several options when rebuilding my 1600. What parts work best, what don't?

-I have a H30/31 carburetor, can upgrade to a 34 PICT?

-Will a 009 distributor make my engine run better?

-What kind of exhaust system should I get?

-I have a single port engine, can I upgrade to dual port heads?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:31 am 
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yea this sticky is good

the stock 1600 is already very reliable...lots of things can be done, depends on what you are looking for

1. i would swap the exhaust for a header and muffler, this includes the stock EFI exhaust.

2. full flow filter, Berg kit etc,

3. Petronix points conversion

4. if u r rebuilding your 1600, the original parts are more than good enough, but even for a stock 1600, i would not want a line bore case, all must be STD STD STD

5. i would add a 1.5 inch oil sump, Berg, Scat , CB

6. stock carb is OK, but if u have the money i would add a pair of Dellortos or even bolt on the stock factory EFI system or get the system off a Mexican Beetle

7. Stock 34 PICT is bad with 009, been there, done that, i did make it work by drilling the jet, but i dint like it, much better with the stock dissy.

8. what gearbox u running? R/P? i personally suggest 4.12 r/p

9. if you are buying new heads, i prefer heads with long reach plus...3/4"


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 12:45 pm 
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I built a super-1600 for my bus as my daily driver, I've put 8,000 miles on it and it pulls strong with good torque and has given me no problems so far. My mileage actually improved too, this is another myth that more power means less mileage--VWs are a little underpowered. I still have a few more things I want to try with it as well.


Before tearing into the block, you can
-get a better ignition(pointless ignition is smoother but doesn't add powerwise, mostly maintains it at all times, i.e. a Petronix or Compufire won't swell up like points and reduce the spark when they get hot. An MSD ignition with a 6A box or Electromotive will add a bit more power.)
-Exhaust(no need to go crazy with a 3" merged drag system, fat boy mufflers work well, stay the hell away from anything with EMPI written on it, CIP1 has some good systems--I like the Euro dual Tip they sell, the box, pea-shooter style worked for Porsche for all these years with their 400hp motors. Be sure to get some j-pipes too(only if you don't need heat) or high flow heater boxes from Kymco, later style weld-on flanges are recommended too.)
-Ratio rockers(if you plan on going with a different compression ratio or different crank you may want to hold off on this, otherwise, 1.25 or 1.4 rockers are always a plus)
-Induction(A bigger carb-if you have a 30PICT a 34PICT would be better, or dual carbs will help the engine breath better. Tuning dual carbs can be a bit of work though and need adjustment every now and then. Fuel injection is also a big plus. Many people are scared of FI, but they're really very straightforward systems, you can either retrofit a later L-jet system from a later bug or T4 bus, go with Megasquirt which is a cheap programmable DIY system, or CIS injection or ?? There's tons of info. out there on this, check out http://www.shoptalkforums.com and look at fuel injection. I had CIS on my '66 bus for about a year, it was great, no computer, just a pressure based system I set the mixture and idle speed on only one time)

Tearing into the block or case, you can:
-Get a counterweighted crank(these help produce more torque)
-A mild camshaft(Engle 110 is recommended, a 120 is NOT for the street)
-Straight-cut gears on the camshaft and crank(a little noisier than helical-cut, not much though, you pick up a bit of horsepower here too though)
-Tap the engine case for a full-flow oiling system(this way you only have to change the oil every 5,000 miles and it keeps everything inside a lot cleaner. Stay away from in-out spin on filter pumps, these are junk and don't flow enough oil back to the case for anything but a bone stock engine--even that I'm not sure about.)
-Balance the internals(This makes everything smoother and lets the engine perform. The more power and engine puts out, the more everything HAS to be within specifications. You can match balance the weight of the rods with the pistons and clips, i.e. the lightest rod will mate up with the heaviest piston, etc. I went so far as to balance my engine for each component to within .1 gram)
-Heads(many options here, the easiest is putting aftermarket mid-range heads on with bigger valves, keep in mind though this will shift the power band up higher in the rev. range. You can have your stock heads ported and polished keeping the stock valve size, this will keep low-end torque up and increase hp. You can also semi-hemi cut the heads and flycut them. I plan to do both next on my heads, hemi-cutting improves the combustion chamber charateristics and burn of the mixture, while flycutting raises the compression. I plan to bring the compression on my engine up to 9.0 to 1(raising compression increases power considerably), engine knock doesn't begin until you raise it 9.4 to 1. If you change the compression by flycutting, you'd have to check your rocker arm geometry clearance as well.)
-Forged pistons(better than cast pistons, but not essential.)
-Lightweight lifters('nuff said)
-Lightened flywheel(this adds, or allows, the engine to produce more hp but at the cost of producing less torque by having less weight it has to spin. I don't do anything that sacrifices torque, again this is what you feel pulling you off the line.)
-Add a doghouse or upgrade your doghouse cooler to a T4 one(the T4 is bigger, an engine that is too hot loses power. You'll have to modify your cooling shroud as well.)
-Install a windage tray(this is an option for you weekend racers to keep the oil from sloshing around, especially if you plan on autocrossing. Not necessary for just a street car.)


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 11:46 pm 
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C'mon guys 49 views and only two reply's??


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 11:05 am 
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Exhaust -
Which ones do you suggest, I'm aware 90% of them just make the car sound different... some make them run hotter.

I've always run stock or $$$$ A1 setups.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 12:16 pm 
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Jadewombat wrote a really good detail list. I have some comments to add :


>My mileage actually improved too, this is another myth that more power
>means less mileage

I have had similar experiences. There are a couple of things affecting it:
- When you build an engine right and tune it properly, you have a chance
of optimizing the fuel burn. More power from the same amount of fuel.
- Better fuel efficiency gets the car moving with less effort. You don't need to push the pedal down as deep, to reach the SAME acceleration.
- if you USE the extra power, you use more fuel than before. If you continue driving nicely you will have better fuel economy.
It's all under your own control.


-Get a counterweighted crank(these help produce more torque)

No, it won't produce more torque. The main benefit is eliminating vibration and flexing. It adds rotating mass, therefore increasing torque and power LOSS. The heavier the moving engine and drivetrain parts are, the less power is left to turn the wheels. But it is generally acceptable to sacrifice a little bit of it to get better longevity and smoother running. Counterweighted cranks can safely be revved much higher than non-counterweighted.



-A mild camshaft(Engle 110 is recommended, a 120 is NOT for the street)

Another myth. 110 is a common street cam, but so is the 120. So is a 130. There is no limit to what cam you can drive on the street. I have now a custom made 310 degree cam on a street engine, and I have previously had a 1600cc engine with a 330+ degree cam in it. Both fully streetable, no need to rev them high to get the car moving, no overheating. It all depends on how well every other aspects of the engine are matched to each other. The longer the duration, the higher rpms it can turn, and the power peak narrows and moves higher on th erpm band. That doesn't mean it simply won't work outside of the powerband, it just isn't optimized for it. I have yet to see a 'race' cam in a street engine that I can't drive on the street, if I built the engine. They all idle at or below 1000rpms, and start pulling from there without hiccups. The bigger cams are somewhat weaker at low rpms, but still better than stock. The BIG difference is when they get 'on cam' at higher roms, and really start accelerating. The contrast is so big that most people think the engine doesn't want to run at low rpms. In reality, it works just fine. IF you built it to do so :)


-Straight-cut gears on the camshaft and crank(a little noisier than helical-cut, not much though, you pick up a bit of horsepower here too though)

Not enough for it to matter in a 1600 street engine. Save straight cuts for the race applications or engines with MUCH more power.


-Balance the internals(This makes everything smoother and lets the engine perform. The more power and engine puts out, the more everything HAS to be within specifications. You can match balance the weight of the rods with the pistons and clips, i.e. the lightest rod will mate up with the heaviest piston, etc. I went so far as to balance my engine for each component to within .1 gram)

Consider the lenght of the rod/piston combination. You don't want the weight centers to be different either. Match the rod caps to each other, then match the rods, then the pistons to each other with rings, pins and clips installed. That way the center of the combined weight is always at the same spot. 1-2g is perfectly fine variation for a street engine. factory rejection limit for rods is 8g. The higher you plan to rev, the closer the weights must be matched. 1g is easy to achieve at home with cheap tools and a cheap scale.


- You can also semi-hemi cut the heads and flycut them. I plan to do both next on my heads, hemi-cutting improves the combustion chamber charateristics and burn of the mixture,

Actually, that's another old myth and not very effective. It is also hard to build high compression with semi hemis. Don't do it. You want the burn to be concentrated on a small area, in the combustion chamber 'tub' where the valves are. The squish area (between the flat areas of head and piston) push the fuel towards the center, where more power can be extracted from it. Burn is less effective if it is spread out all around the edges of the cylinder. Tight deck and good squish minimizes inefficient, late burn far away from the spark.


-while flycutting raises the compression. I plan to bring the compression
on my engine up to 9.0 to 1(raising compression increases power
considerably), engine knock doesn't begin until you raise it 9.4 to 1.

That depends on the CAM, and fuel octane. Stock cam does NOT like 9.4:1, while my 330+ deg cam wouldn't run right at all with such low CR.
You MUST match the CR to the CAM, primarily.


-Lightened flywheel(this adds, or allows, the engine to produce more hp but at the cost of producing less torque by having less weight it has to spin. I don't do anything that sacrifices torque, again this is what you feel pulling you off the line.)

It reduces torque and power LOSSES, but does not make the engine produce any more. With lightened flywheel (and other moving masses)the engine doesn't need to waste power on getting a heavy 'useless' mass to turn faster, instead there's more left over to turn the wheels. But the engine in itself won't produce any more torque or power. :)
It wastes less power to get the flywheel accelerated to driving speed, but the engine slows down easier too. Upholding momentum is easier with a heavy flywheel, once it is at a certain speed, it likes to stay there because of momentum. It's good for maintaining steady speeds. It tries to keep the motor turning at the same speed even when you suddenly start going uphill. That kind of 'torque' is better.
For accelerating or decelerating, it responds slower. That kind of torque is weaker than with a light flywheel. A light flywheel is faster to accelerate and it doesn't slow down deceleration as much. Throttle response will be snappier.

-Install a windage tray(this is an option for you weekend racers to keep the oil from sloshing around, especially if you plan on autocrossing. Not necessary for just a street car.)

Well.. I have a windage tray and my pump still sucks air when braking hard or cornering hard. I mean HARD. But again this is a street car.. :)
Granted, it's a bit more than your average 1600.

jan


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2007 1:42 pm 
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Simple "bolt-on's" that don't require any special tools or tearing apart the engine:

-Standard tune-up (ex. valves, oil, spark plugs, timing, etc.). Do this first before any upgrades.

-Electronic ignition (ex. Pertronix) install time:less than an hour. No performance increase, but you won't have to worry about adjusting points during tune-ups. Keep your old points as a spare just in case.

-Exhaust upgrade (ex. merged header, quiet pack muffler) install time: a couple hours (includes time to remove old exhaust). The old-style "pea shooter" exhaust is restrictive and doesn't allow the engine to breath as well as a good after-market exhaust. Small HP upgrade, and a must if you want to upgrade carbs.

-Dual carb setup (ex. Weber IDF 40's) install time: a couple hours (includes time to remove old carb/manifold). Purchase a synchrometer also to tune/balance the carbs. Synching dual carbs is not as hard as many people think, and if you have good linkage, your settings will stay in tune for a long time. First do some internet research (STF :) on types of setups, synching, and jets, and you should be good to go. Very nice HP increase when used with an upgrade header/merged exhaust system.

-Upgrade distributor (ex. SVDA): install time: less than an hour. Toss that 009 and get better performance/gas mileage. I have a DVDA that I time as a SVDA (without retard hooked up) and it works great with my IDF40's with a T'd vacuum line.

-Short-shift kit. install time: less than an hour. Speeds up shifts, makes driving more enjoyable. You should also upgrade your linkage bushings if they are old.

-Smaller "sport" steering wheel. install time: less than an hour. Requires a little more effort to turn in a parking lot, but on the road it makes driving a lot more enjoyable. Sell that old "granny" steering wheel on eBay, and have more fun driving your VW.

-Stiffer "sport" shocks (ex. KYB GR-2's). install time: several hours (including time to remove old shocks). Not for everyone, but if you want a more firm, sporty ride I recommend getting rid of the old oil shocks and using low-pressure gas shocks.


I have done all of these upgrades to my 1600dp Ghia and compared to my old stock setup, I now have a lot more fun driving the car. All of these can be done by yourself with standard tools, and probably all of these simple upgrades can be done in a weekend or two.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 4:06 am 
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TURBO!!!


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2007 10:22 am 
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Volks -

welcome to STF.

Interested - do you have a turbo?


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 12:40 am 
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The 1600 has quite a bit more HP untapped than most people realize. The problem is, once the engine is apart to do the neccesary work it's pretty cheap to go bigger, up to 1915cc. Most beginners spend their money the wrong way, thinking they need something that takes away performance or does nothing to help.
The most important part of increasing performance is planning and sticking to it. Don't buy 40mm Webbers unless you are willing to spend money on all the other parts that are needed to keep it reliable, or be prepared to break a lot of parts and not gain as much as a good combination.

1 Unless peak HP is required at high rpm, distributors don't really add much over a properly working stock one.

2 The stock engine runs out of steam at 4500 rpm, valves float soon after, anything that increases the red line of a stock engine will float valves and shorten it's life. A valve-train upgrade is required for any engine with a single 2bbl or 2 singles to maintain stock reliability.
Once revs are increased, a valvetrain "KIT" needs to be installed that consists of a fresh valve job, high-rev valve springs, bolt together rocker shafts, HD push rods (either thinwall chromoly or quality aluminum), Real swivel feet valve adjusters- Porsche (for high lift) or courier style (for low lift cams).

3 The stock engine was balanced for a 4500rpm redline when it was new, most engines today are way out of balance (but that chrome kit looks cool :roll: ). Balancing is a good investment for the price of some Chinese chrome kit, this includes the pressure plate.
Stock engines pound out stock engine cases; eventually, reving it higher will only do it sooner. Add a counterweighted crank to that balance job for high revs and 40 or larger Webbers.

4 The stock exhaust is a Joke (cut one apart) a 1 3/8 header is a good cheap upgrade, but it does have some drawbacks like poor heat-rizer, fresh air tubes will burn and in need of some die grinder work to port the welded flanges and collector.

5 The stock heads have a lot of flow to unlock, even with stock valve sizes reguardless of running a stock carb or dual Webbers,
The problem is, you can spend just as much time on them as big valve heads, making most people think that large valve heads are the answer.
ALL heads out of the box need work in my opinion, large valves do not equal great heads. On a small engine they can be a detriment.

6 Use all the stock cooling tin, paint it any color you want (paints cheap)

7 The stock carb can be modified (bored venturi) if you know what you are doing and HP gains made with stock reliability, don't expect the world though. My experience is that all the new Brazillian carb floats sink eventually, use a German float.
Dual singles run better than a single 2bbl in almost all instances.
Dual 40 idfs run even better with all the parts that go with them. Decent mileage can be had with IDFs, My old 1600 got 27 on the highway jetted rich.

8 The Mexican VW filter pumps are a reasonable alternative to full flow on engines limited to 5500 rpm. I still dissasemble them and port the passages and inspect.
Every single part you buy today must, at least, be visually inspected and massaged to fit to work right.

9 Camshafts are a better investment than ratio rockers if you pull your case apart, but ratios should not be considered a "bolt on" without HD springs ,HD pushrods and correct valvetrain geometry.
The Engle 110, Scat c35 and other cams with around 285 degrees duration work well with 40 Webbers and stock compression and stock valve heads. There are many combinations, but with the stock or single carb keep the duration short or close to stock otherwise the idle will be choppy and have poor low end. A nice stock cam upgrade is a 2.1 waterboxer cam, believe it or not. Bob Donalds from Boston Engine puts this grind in his stock 1600 rebuilds.
OK, I got carried away, any questions?


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 8:55 am 
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Joe (or anyone smarter than me)

You noted some great stuff.

What is your opinion on a "lower budget" upgrade - like a pair of properly tuned webber ICT (34mm) or dellorto FRD (34mm) with the correctly mated header/muffler system?

Is there anything that can be done to improve the spark/ignition.

You brought up some great points - thanks.

T.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 12:24 pm 
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Joe, thanks for updating this thread. Lots of great info in your post, we sure appreciate it.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2007 5:29 pm 
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MNAirHead wrote:
Joe (or anyone smarter than me

What is your opinion on a "lower budget" upgrade - like a pair of properly tuned webber ICT (34mm) or dellorto FRD (34mm) with the correctly mated header/muffler system?
Is there anything that can be done to improve the spark/ignition.
T.

Small duals will add some HP but I reccomend at the very least shimming some new valve springs to controll valve float. Small dual singles along with an 1 3/8 header will not raise your rpm power band much. Though, adding a performance camshaft will and other upgrades are required.
Mild port work and 3 angle valve job are a worthwile addition and will add power throughout the rpm range without extending it.
Adding a Pertronix "Ignitor" will reduce maintenance and steady the dwell on a used distributor. Making sure the advance is free and working is important. under the rotor is a felt disk that needs to be oiled periodically. The shaft needs to twist smoothly you can feel the advance springs resisting. It doesn't twist much approx 1/16 turn.
I have lots of 009s that I replaced with stock distributors on stock engines. Don't waste your money, most of the ones now are copies made in China. I would rather use a used stock German distributor as long as the bushings are good and the shaft doesn't wiggle. Ignition on a type 1 rarely adds anything- performance wise, it can take it away when not functioning properly though.
Finally test the timing with a light for advance function and smooth steady timing.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 8:21 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:55 pm 
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I would add- drive it.
Hobby cars usually are in a perpetual state of not running right since they don't spend that much time running in many cases.
Driving your car regularly and under different conditions will expose any shortcomings soon enough & then you can work on the performance aspects that are relevant to your style of driving and personal expectations.

I know that many threads have been posted to the effect that running your aircooled car on low octane fuel is just fine.
I must disagree. I hate paying more for 91 octane (premium around here), but I have run them all and most of the mysterious tuning, bucking, misfiring, heating, off-idle problems, dieseling, detonation, vapor locking (the pump is on the case, eh?) accelerated valve train wear, blah blah blah could be traced back to running low grade fuel.
If you knock your compression ratio to the bottom to tolerate low octane fuel, how can you expect to pick up the performance at the same time?

Years ago I built a big block Ford with low compression pistons and a performance cam. That engine did not know if it was coming or going, ran hot at idle and screamed through tanks of fuel when up in the power band.
The parts, especially the cam, carbs and exhaust, must work together & those parts will require a certain dynamic compression ratio and the proper octane fuel.

One more. If you don't have any money to spend on go fast parts, that is OK. Tuning stock parts & keeping them tuned costs little or nothing and helps to get whatever is there out of the engine & lays the groundwork for later upgrades.


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