Archive for December, 2011

New engine build log

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

I started collecting parts for my new engine many years ago. Just recently I finally installed it. Thanks to the help of my dad, Dan, and my good friend, Tim. I have owned a beetle for many years. I purchased my first one for $500 from a junk yard. My dad and I got it running and I spent a lot of time working on getting it road worthy. One of my largest expenditures was acquiring a new transmission for it. When I got it installed my shop of choice told me my engine was dead. I started collecting parts for a new engine from that point forward.

Several years later I wrecked my first beetle in San Francisco. A few months later I found a new beetle on Craigslist. This newer beetle was exactly the same year and model of my old beetle. This beetle was in far better condition and was running. With the help of some friends and my dad we transplanted the engine and transmission from the wrecked beetle into my new beetle.

My “dead” engine lasted me until I finally got the new in. I started out by purchasing a new cam shaft pistons and cylinders. Slowly over the next few years I obtained additional parts. From the very beginning I knew it was going to be a monster. I brought the engine I pulled out of the newer beetle down to the shop and had them check it out. Turns out it was not rebuild able. I traded them the block and my cam, pistons and cylinders towards a long block. $1500 later I bought an almost complete engine home.
There it sat for the next year and a half. Slowly it gathered dust while I gathered parts. I purchased a set of carburetors, dual dual barrel 44mm Webers.
The next task was purchasing parts until I had a complete set of tin. I reused all the tin from my donor engine save for the fan shroud, small pulley tin and large pulley tin. Once I had all the tin I shipped it off to be powder coated.

A month and a half later I had a complete set of beautiful tin.

I wasted no time mocking it up on the long block. There it sat again for some time.
Months later I unbolted the tin and started putting it together for the last time. One of the final parts was the oil cooler. After it was bolted up, reattaching the parts began. Once the new engine was prepped, out came the old one. This process was started after work on a Friday evening.
Fortunately I had my dad and good friend Tim there to help.

Once we had it out we stripped off the coil, distributer and fuel pump. I had already purchased and was using a nice electronic ignition and 009 distributer.

After grafting on these parts, dad designed a fuel rail.

I set off to work on rewiring the engine compartment. The old wires were carefully documented as they were torn away from the shell. I analyzed the schematics and located the wires I needed and removed all the ones that were no longer required. I worked tirelessly into the night and soldered on the replacements.

Tim helped me pull out the old and pull in the new lines. All the replacement wires were of equal gauge or larger. I removed the 40+ year old wires with nice modern gas and oil resistant new ones. Pulling out the old lines and putting in the new ones had to be one of the most difficult parts of this adventure.

The wires were carefully bundled and routed through the rear compartment. I removed the original junction points and soldered the wires straight to the rear indicator clusters. The rear backup light wire was run to under the seat. I used a nice 30 amp relay to power my backup lights. I also added a new heavy duty relay for my coil wire. Previously I had installed a heavy duty relay for my started solenoid.

We striped out the original tar board and installed some Grace Ice and Water dam to replace it. After the wires were ran we installed some foam board insulation on top of it. We secured it with heavy duty adhesive. We used some of the factory nails to add some additional security. Next up, we prepared to install the engine.

Dad came up with a scheme of using some tie down straps to lift it into position. Slowly it was lifted up and we began pushing back. After a lot of struggle it was in. Unfortunately it did not turn. It turns out we forgot to remove a collar from the high performance pressure plate.

We tailored the beetle down to my favorite buggy shop and they tuned the engine and removed the troublesome collar.