July 2, 2003

A Type 34 Didn’t get much done in the last week or so. Took the engine tin to the local “spray ‘n’ wash” and loaded it down with degreaser, then sprayed the hell out of it. Took off most of the gunk, and whatever was left on was easy to scrape off with a wire brush. Took the heater boxes and put them out on the deck to let the sun bake the moisture out of them. Luckily it’s been sunny and in the 80s and 90s recently. After the cleaning, I used the rust remover attachment on my drill and got most of the surface rust off the tin. Guess I’ll POR it and then when I do the engine right in a year or two I’ll have it all sandblasted properly. Hopefully the POR will prevent any further rust in the meanwhile. It all seems like surface rust anyway, probably not much to worry about.

I had a bit of a surprise from the Type 3 list recently. Turns out quite a few people on the list have used the braided fuel line which I used. It cracks *very* quickly evidently. My immediate thought was to just go through and replace it all once again with Goodyear FI hose, but I think I’m going to wait until I replace the bottom end of my engine in another year or two. This fuel line should be good for a year or more and I’ll just keep an eye on it. I really have to stop being distracted by trying to make everything perfect. I know replacing all this fuel line now would mean I hopefully wouldn’t have to do it again for years, but I need to concentrate on getting the car working for now. I’ve had the car for four months now and I still don’t even know what the engine sounds like! I have no idea at the moment what troubles I’m going to have to investigate regarding the rest of the car, particularly the electrical system and the suspension, so the sooner I get all this stuff done and the motor back in, the better.

Kevin's Square I ordered one of the fuel filler neck seals from ISP West and it came in very quickly. Very nice piece too! I also got the last length of fuel line from Tom Miller, as well as some replacement vacuum hoses and fuel injector seals. I think they’re the wrong size though, so I’m glad I also ordered seals from Jim on the Type 3 list. Those should arrive soon along with my oil cooler padding. As soon as I get that I can start putting things back together. Just need to wash the new pistons & cylinders and then put some flat-black engine paint on the cylinder fins to help with cooling.

Stopped by the NH VW Show in Hopkinton last Sunday with my parents & the wife & stepson. That was very very cool. Only one Type 3 represented inside the show, but there was a Type 34 in primer as well. I had never seen a Type 34 in person before, so it was pretty cool seeing one close-up. Lots of very nice Type 2’s as well (as always). Picked up some needed stuff at the swap meet as well — ring compressor (cheap) and one of those sluggers that helps you take off your axle nuts. Also picked up a Type 3 key blank for $9, which is quite a bit cheaper than they usually go for on E-bay.

June 23, 2003

Yesterday was raining again, so I decided to do some small stuff in the garage overhang. Started taking apart the fuel injector assemblies to clean and replace them. It’s a good thing I bought a set of those plastic fuel injector blocks a while back on Ebay. Turns out I needed them, as one of my blocks was split. After cleaning and reassembling the injector assembly for cylinders 1 & 2, I grabbed the intake manifold for 3 & 4 and quickly realized that someone had removed the original braided fuel line that comes attached to the injectors and had replaced it with rubber fuel line and clamped it down. I’m not sure this is safe, so I’m thinking of replacing these injectors with the two NOS Bosch injectors I also got off Ebay a while back. I’ll wait to hear from the folks on the Type 3 mailing list before deciding what to do. Meanwhile, I loaded up all the engine tin and my heater boxes into the back of the Jetta and will go hose them down at the local spray-n-wash the next chance I get. The back of my Jetta is starting to look like an aircooled parts lot. Generators, engine tin, heads, engine block, rubber parts… Have to clean that out soon and figure out where to keep it all.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about this bottom-end rebuild and I’ve actually decided not to do it right now. After talking with my wife about it I think I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve been losing a bit of focus. My original goal was to get this car on the road and running, not to restore it completely — at least not yet. I think recently I’ve thought that when I put things back together that they have to be perfect and it’s been slowing me down. When I bought the car I originally had no intentions of doing a complete restoration. The goal was to get it running so I could drive it. Replacing the heads was a necessity, and I also think replacing the pistons and cylinders are as well. After that, I see no reason why I can’t get another 5000 miles out of the bottom end and hopefully by that point I’ll have some space to work on the car and it will give me time to save up and assemble a nice stock engine, but all in good time. Now that all the fuel lines are replaced and the engine has been dropped, I think I’m just going to clean all the engine stuff and POR all the high-temp stuff like cooling tin, exhaust, etc after I brush all the rust off, replace everything, then see if I can get the thing running. After that all I’d need is to do a complete brake job and hopefully it will be a decent three-season driver for me for a little while. I have promised it that I will do a complete engine job on it eventually though.

ISP West finally is offering preorders on fuel filler seals, which is something I found out yesterday that I absolutely need. I had preordered one already, but I finally got around to actually looking at mine. What a mess. Cracked, broken… All the rubber in that area is competely shot. Hopefully they’ll ship before I get to fill the tank with fuel again.

June 21, 2003

No Cooling I finally got the remaining exhaust bolts off the heads last night and removed the heater boxes as well as the heat exchangers. Still amazed by the Kroil Penetrating Oil I got off Aircooled.net I did not have trouble with one damned bolt. OK, so some of you have used penetrating oil in the past, but I haven’t, so I’m still amazed. I have to take a picture of some of these little acorn-type balls that I found all over the car. They were even in the heat exhangers. On the left side HE’s, they were burnt to charcoal. Got a better look at the cylinders as well and I have decided they definitely will be replaced. There’s just too much rust and gunk in there for them to be reliable again. Plus, I already have a new set of 85.5’s, so I’ll just use those. I’m still getting prices on a shortblock as I don’t really have the talent, nor the space to learn right now, to build my own shortblock.

The 3&4 head came off last night, and what a mess. There must have been some kind of leak between the cylinder head and the cylinder itself as it looked like an oily mess all over the head. I imagine this lack of a seal was causing some of my compression problems on cyl3, but I’m not sure that the rings didn’t have anything to do with it either. I guess I’ll start getting the new cylinders ready — coat them with a light coat of POR engine paint. It worked really nice on the exhaust. Dried to a nice thin flat black. I also am trying to decide whether or not I should just take all the tin somewhere for media blasting or if I should just use my rust removal attachment on a drill. I guess I’ll start with that and see how it goes. The exhaust itself looks to be in good shape except for the surface rust, so I’ll re-use that. I’ll have to do a total cleaning job on the heater boxes though. It appears that an oil leak just covered them with oil, which then got covered with dirt and grime, more oil, more grime, etc. The right one weighted half as much as the left one. Guess I’ll take it down to the local self-service car wash and see if I can degrease it, then take it apart.

June 17, 2003

Engine Dropped My wife’s Father’s Day present to me was a helping hand all day on Sunday with my first engine pull. The weather couldn’t have been better. We took off all the fuel injection wiring, disconnected the various hoses and labelled everything. I learned the Muir book is a major pain in the ass to go through the engine removal section. I also learned the Bentley is about as nuts and bolts as it gets. While reading it, I had no idea what it meant when it said the “upper left engine mounting bolt is pressed into the engine case to facilitate engine removal.” Twenty-five bucks later (spent on two Craftsman 17mm wrenches) and with the engine otherwise completely detached from the transmission, I realized that the cryptic note meant that there was actually no nut at that unreachable space behind the air distribution manifold pipes, but rather you had to completely unscrew the bolt from the backside. Duh. What a nightmare that was. Just getting the wrench in that tight a spot was a complete nightmare. The engine was being supported by the jack and I had already taken the jack stands off the car so that I could easily drop the engine. I crawled underneath and tried to get some room to loosen the bolt. Felt something pop in my wrist as I tried to get enough leverage to work the ratchet and started pulling on the bolt to loosen it up. Funny enough, it’s the other wrist that’s all swollen this morning (Tuesday). I know that happened during this “procedure” as well, but I don’t know how it happened.

So I finally got the bolt off. Took me about twenty minutes. After that, the engine slid out nicely and I lowered it onto the engine cart with the help of a few bricks and some crafty work with the floor jack.

A couple more things about the automatic transmission… Russ Wolfe from the Type 3 e-mail list offered a great way to support the AT when pulling the engine, and it works great. Basically, it involves using a wire coathanger threaded through the AT bellhousing and fastened through the drain hole under the front part of the engine cover seal in the center. Once the engine is pulled, the tension on the coathanger keeps the AT from sagging. I also found out that a $2.99 tailpipe hanger kit at Auto Barn works great for a torque converter support bar. Just use the bracket with the holes in it and cut the bottom rubber piece off. I’ll post a pic soon.

Torque Converter Holder Once the engine was on the cart, I went to jack up the car’s rear end a bit so that I could slide the engine out from underneath the car. The right rear of the car was supported on a jack stand, and I was raising the driver’s side above the height of the jack stand there just temporarily. As I lifted, I heard a giant *pop*, as if a tire had blown. My first thought was that the jack had blown, but it’s a heavy-duty Craftsman jack meant for SUV’s. It also seemed to work fine afterwards. None of the tires looked like they had lost any air either. Since most of the weight had been on the front right suspension at the time I heard the pop, I thought maybe a shock blew. I haven’t checked it for leaking oil yet though, and right now I have no idea what the noise was. When I think about it though, it makes me a little nervous. I’m sure I’ll eventually find out what it was.

So Monday was spent doing all this and once the engine was out from underneath the car, my stepson helped me start taking the air intake system and cooling tin off the engine. It’s a wonder the engine didn’t completely burn up. Dirt and other debris was absolutely packed into the space between each fin of the cylinders. This is obviously one place that hadn’t been seen in a long time. I’m actually debating whether or not I should just remove the cylinders altogether and clean them at the same time I’m replacing the heads. I’ll probably post the question to the Type 3 list and see what people have to say. Part of me is thinking that while the engine is out I should just do a complete rebuild. I think I’ll wait on that though. I was surprised how easily the nuts on the exhaust connection came off. That penetrating oil sold by aircooled.net is just miracle stuff. More later.

June 8, 2003

New Fuel Lines Rained all day yesterday, but I had to work a full day anyway. Sun was supposed to come out today, but it didn’t. Still, it didn’t rain, so I took the opportunity to do an oil and filter change on the wife’s Toyota, which we’re giving away to her niece on Monday, and did the same to my Jetta, which was at 5000 miles since the last one. Decided to use semi-synthetic instead of pure synth this time. Added a pint of Valvoline high-mileage additive and the car seems a bit better for it. Strange stuff. Real gooey. I have my doubts that it really does anything but thicken the viscosity of the oil. Whatever… With 123K miles, the Jetta is getting up there in age, so I’m at the point where I’m not worried about trying these “restorative” additives that are probably doing more to my wallet than my car.

Finally finished the work on the fuel lines in front of the car. Went to install the rubber bushings that go between the fuel pump and the front beam, and realized that the thread size is larger than the old bushings. A trip to Pep Boys and AutoBarn later and I had the M7 nuts I needed. The weekend is a bad time to go to Pep Boys. The shelves were just about empty of anything I needed. Got back to the car and cleaned up the little fuel muffler, its backing plate and hooked everything up. The only thing that didn’t work out was the location of the fuel filter. I don’t have a bracket that’s supposed to go on top of the fuel pump, so the fuel filter is sort of hanging, resting snugly though against a brake line. I don’t know if this is good or bad, but I doubt it will cause any problems.

Fuel Muffler Took the underplate off the master cylinder and what a mess. Both the plate and the MC are just covered in rust. I took the plate home to POR-15 it and the master cylinder will be replaced. I might try to get it rebuilt at a later date. I initially thought it was dry, but when I started loosening one of the brake line fittings, brake fluid started oozing out. I guess this is a good sign as it means there is probably little if any rust in the lines and maybe the brake cylinders are still good as well.

I took the VDO sending unit out of the gas tank as well and the sender came up without its protective case. I finally got to see the extremely fine wires on which the float rides up and down. I can see why they break. They’re about the thickness of a hair. Examined the inside of the gas tank. There’s a little surface rust, but I’m not going to seal it or really worry about it. Hopefully the filters will do their job. Probably not the most prudent thing, but I’m not going to pull that tank unless I have to. Also saw that someone had put a piece of carpet under the fuel filler hose. Great. Probably means it’s leaking like in so many other Type 3’s. Another thing I’ll worry about when the car is actually on the road.