Colin schools the Professor ~ Updated with links to VC pix

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Lanval
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Post by Lanval » Mon Aug 11, 2008 10:46 pm

Amskeptic wrote: Anyways, I think Randy is correct, we have an issue with the AMC heads. You may remember me crabbily crabbing about "dimension-creep" with successive generations of aftermarket parts, and AMC heads are not immune. You can and should (for fun and productivity) remove the valve cover and crarefully set aside the gasket. Place the gasketless valve cover on the head, and see if it comfortably fits over the head's gasket sealing surface with a little play as you move it for and aft and up and down a little. If it is a tight fit, you want to reduce the outer perimeter of the AMC gasket sealing surface width. My observation, lost in the hysteria of our day, was that the leading edge (next to the #3 exhaust rocker arm)was incorrectly cast. Was I also bitching about the serpentine wire being all bent of shape next to the #3 exhaust where it is supposed to tuck along the radius of the cylinder head? I shore cain't remember all these Volkswagens' details. . .
Colihoma
Colin,

The bent-to-shit wire was on the 1/2 head, whereas the crappy(ier) seal is on the 3/4 head. It's barely leaking as it is, not enough to smoke or smell, so I'm not terribly inclined to do anything immediately, but I feel obligated to "Colin-ize" the thing so it's perfect.

The van runs awesome by the way. I drove it today and loved every power-full minute of it.

So here's the question ~ when you say "reduce the outer perimeter of the AMC gasket sealing surface width" can you be more specific? Do you mean that I should grind down the outer edge, so that the cover moves a bit more freely (assuming it doesn't move enough, or doesn't seat well)?

I'm not above such craziness (in the long run) but I'd like a little guidance... heh.

Best,

Lanval

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Amskeptic
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Post by Amskeptic » Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:58 am

Lanval wrote: when you say "reduce the outer perimeter of the AMC gasket sealing surface width" can you be more specific? Do you mean that I should grind down the outer edge, so that the cover moves a bit more freely (assuming it doesn't move enough, or doesn't seat well)?
That be what I mean.
Colin
(if I recall, it was tight in the horizontal direction near #3 exhaust rocker where I had to ViseGrip the cover where some prior yahoo pried it all kasploochy)(we did flip the left valve cover over in that parking lot so the ViseGripped section is now at the rear near #4 exhaust?)
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 129,490 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 94,225 miles

Lanval
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Post by Lanval » Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:51 am

Yes, that's right; the valve cover was moved to deal with this problem ~ hence I suspect the continuing problem (such as it is, and I assure you that in my 15 months of owning this van it's never leaked less ~ never) points to the heads. Knew I should've gone Flowmaster. Well, we'll plan that to be completed prior to your arrival next year.

Best,

Michael L

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Randy in Maine
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Post by Randy in Maine » Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:52 am

I found that my new AMC heads were not allowing either head to fit in the NW, SE, and SW corners by just a smidge.

I will bet it you were to put the valve cover up against the head and ran a magic marker along where it is too big, it would be pretty obvious as you ground it.

If you do a little at a time, difficult to do much damage.

If you were to take it to a machine shop with a die grinder they could do it in short order.
79 VW Bus

Lanval
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Post by Lanval » Tue Aug 12, 2008 3:55 pm

Can the heads be removed without dropping the engine? If the answer is "yes", is it reasonable to do so, or is it a job which will require swear words in multiple languages to complete?

The leak is SO minor that I'm not inclined to do much ~ that's not in keeping with either my goal of becoming an "air-head" expert, or my new-found air-cooled religion courtesy of Colin, but:

I found out a day or two after Colin left that my graduate program has cut off all support. No job, no tuition remission. So now I'm faced with paying rent/etc. AND paying $12,000 in tuition this year. So now I'm feverishly working on my dissertation (which I should've been doing last year, but summer + vanagon work = totally fun, whereas summer + dissertation = mind-numbing self-destructive behavior) now, and if it's not a major issue, I need to spend my time either:

1) earning money to pay rent/tuition
2) finding a job (i.e. tenure track community college, etc.)
3) finishing the dissertation

If everything goes well (and I see no reason why it would ~ it has failed to so far... but anyway) I will get another set of AMC heads and have them done top to bottom with a good used set of valve covers in hand so that the machine shop can nail the fit. I'll get that ready for Colin's arrival, and then we can look at the engine as well, before putting everything back together.

So we'll see.

Also, Colin ~ I've acquired a washer pump from Bus Depot, so the next time you arrive we'll be able to see out the windshield.
=D>

Best,

Michael L

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Amskeptic
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Post by Amskeptic » Wed Aug 13, 2008 6:07 am

Lanval wrote:Can the heads be removed without dropping the engine?

I found out a day or two after Colin left that my graduate program has cut off all support. No job, no tuition remission. So now I'm faced with paying rent/etc. AND paying $12,000 in tuition this year. If everything goes well (and I see no reason why it would ~ it has failed to so far... but anyway)

I will get another set of AMC heads and have them done top to bottom with a good used set of valve covers in hand so that the machine shop can nail the fit.
You can fix this fit issue with a dremel in ten minutes, both sides, installed in the car. Just tape the rocker arm area sealed off so that NO flakes get in the rocker area. Run your dremel along the outside perimeter of the gasket sealing area, emphasizing the front and rear vertical runs. No problemo.

What is it with these *@!^%@!##$! bureaucratic decisions that $&%$& with people with nary a ^%*%$%^ concern for people's lives??
Colin
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 129,490 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 94,225 miles

Lanval
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Post by Lanval » Wed Aug 13, 2008 9:02 am

Ah, OK. Well, when I get less behind I'll give it a run.

Updates as appropriate. Oh, I ordered a new washer pump yesterday. Window washing coming soon to a Vanagon near me.

Best,

Michael L

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