IAC visits Flemington

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jl74supercab
Getting Hooked!
Location: Flemington NJ
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IAC visits Flemington

Post by jl74supercab » Wed Oct 22, 2008 6:02 am

I am happy to report that yesterday I spent 10 very interesting hours with a very interesting man.
Colin arrived about 9am and we began the day discussing why I bought my bus and a few other general items giving Colin the opportunity to gauge my interest, commitment and general mechanical ability.

Then we moved inside to set the agenda for the day. Colin asked what I wanted to accomplish for the day. I told him I wanted to learn how to adjust my hydraulic lifters, get an overall assessment of my bus, and some help trying to find an increasingly nasty oil leak that to date I could not fix.

Colin explained to me his procedure on adjusting hydraulic lifters. This was the most sensible and useful discussion I had on any VW topic and the day had just started. I don't need to detail the exact procedure here, but the most important point of the entire procedure was "trending". By initially setting the valves to 1 1/2 turns yesterday, we established a base line. I will now track any changes each time I adjust the valves. 3 consecutive changes in the same directions will constitute a trend, and give me the opportunity to take care of a problem before it becomes severe.

Next we discussed how the FI system works and how to properly adjust things. Before we started, I thought I had a pretty good understanding of how the FI worked, since I converted my '73 to FI. I very quickly realized how little I really knew.

Once we completed the indoor discussion, it was out to the garage.
I performed the valve adjustment with Colin "auditing" as I went.
Next it was on to timing and FI adjustment. Once all of that was completed we took the bus out for a test run and an assessment of my driving skills. After another hit to my eqo, we were ready to move on to the oil leak.

We pulled the engine in an hour, indexed the clutch and flywheel and removed the flywheel. My leak was manifesting itself as a steady drip at the front of the engine where it meets the bell housing. The engine has 1500 miles on a rebuild done by one of the more well known builders in the north east. All of the usual suspects had been checked and ruled out. Previously, I had removed the engine and flywheel and replaced the front seal and the flywheel o-ring. I also jb-welded one of the gallery plugs that seemed oily at the time.
Colin took his time look at the engine case trying to determine the source of the leak. He noted the condition in detail. Then we cleaned the areas to see if more oil would show up.
At first, we were afraid that it was the cam plug, but no oil reappeared. We tilted the engine to make sure oil was in areas. After staring at the cam plug for a while, Colin noticed that the gallery plug that I had jb-welded was weeping oil. He somehow managed to remove my jb-weld with a razor blade and expose the head of the brass plug. We removed the plug with an allen key and found some disturbing things.
We first few threads of the plug were toast. We filed the threads as best as we could and then moved on to the case. After tilting the case in the other direction we saw a good deal of damage to the threads in the case along with a fairly good sized blob of case sealant. Colin was absolutlely livid. As a man who takes a great deal of pride in his work, he has little patience for people who do not. After a brief rant, we put some thought into what could be done to salvage what we had.
The end result was cleaning up the case and removing the blobl of case sealant, test fitting the plug using the threads that the plug made on the way out, putting jb-weld on the threads and replacing the plug. More jb-weld out the outside of the plug while leaving the head exposed.
We finished up with both of us feeling very confident we had found the source of the leak and that the fix would hold. Colin's previous experiences with a pop-in aluminum plug and jb weld holding up for over 100,000 miles gave us both confidence that this will hold.

Overall, the day was well worth the time and money. Learning more and more about my bus and my ability to keep it going was great. The conversations about our country and social condition was stimulating and gave me some things to think about. Spending the day with Colin not only shot some adrenaline into my bus project, but also shot some adrenaline into my social conscience.

I am keeping the engine out for a bit while I tend to some items best done with it out ( fuel tank - return line tap, battery tray replacement etc).
I will report back on the success of the oil leak repair in the near future.

Colin - Thank you for a memorable day!

-Jim

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IFBwax
IAC Addict!
Location: PDX
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Post by IFBwax » Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:51 am

Sounds like a day with Colin alright. So many things to learn from a man who has so many things to teach!

Welcome Jim!!!!

May you have many years of happy busin' ahead of you.

Wayne
The best navigators aren't sure where they're going until they get there. And then they're still not sure.

Frank Bama

http://www.partypickle.blogspot.com

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Amskeptic
IAC "Help Desk"
IAC "Help Desk"
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Post by Amskeptic » Wed Oct 22, 2008 10:59 am

The engine came out easily:
Image

. . . . with the able assistance of jl74supercab who did all the work:
Image

. . . . and here is the weeping gallery plug:
Image

. . . . and here is the objet d' lividique itinerant, willyaLOOKatthatcrap?:
Image

Enjoyed our day and conversations and dog therapy. You have a good car, and the engine sure ran beautifully even as it hemorrhaged.
Colin
(p.s. don't forget to get a bug screen behind the front air intake grill)
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

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hambone
Post-Industrial Non-Secular Mennonite
Location: Portland, Ore.
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Post by hambone » Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:03 am

Holy crap!!!!
Who did that engine build? Word has to get out.....
http://greencascadia.blogspot.com
http://pdxvolksfolks.blogspot.com
it balances on your head just like a mattress balances on a bottle of wine
your brand new leopard skin pillbox hat

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Amskeptic
IAC "Help Desk"
IAC "Help Desk"
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Post by Amskeptic » Wed Oct 22, 2008 5:44 pm

hambone wrote:Holy crap!!!!
Who did that engine build? Word has to get out.....
I should be more specific with this picture in case any of our esteemed readers should accidentally conclude that I was cranking about the JB Weld and the paper towel (that I put there), it is the contents of the internal oil gallery that makes me swoon with anxiety. It is pipe dope looking like an impending fatal stroke in the vicinity of the lifters.
ColinClean Counts
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

jl74supercab
Getting Hooked!
Location: Flemington NJ
Status: Offline

Post by jl74supercab » Wed Oct 22, 2008 6:38 pm

Colin - you beat me to it. The jb-weld and oil scorching on the case was my less-than handy work in a failed attempt to cover the galley plugs.

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Birdibus
IAC Addict!
Location: Inland SoCal
Status: Offline

Post by Birdibus » Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:21 pm

I'm glad you fixed the galley plug. I've had the unfortunate occurrence of one blowing out of my engine while deep into the national forest on a dirt road. :pale:
71 bus, 74 westy

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