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Cheap Rebuild
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mantishi
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 11:43 am    Post subject: Cheap Rebuild Reply with quote

I have a 1986 2.1 that runs really good except for the low oil pressure.. I was wondering if any one knows if some one sells a rebuild kit. everywhere i look you have to put together the parts u want and hope u order all u need.. I plan on rings, rods, bearings and gaskets. just dont have the money for a swap so need to do it cheap.. thanks
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jmfoust
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why do think it has low oil pressure? The idiot light or do you have an oil pressure gauge? Run 20w50 and an oem oil filter first before you go and tear down the motor. Most oil pressure issues are solved by running the right oil filter and 20w50 oil.
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mantishi
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

installed a gauge. it reads 40psi cold 1 or 2psi hot it got 20/50 in it but has a fram oil filter will the oem filter make a difference????
thanks
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Randy in Maine
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it were me, I would install a $20 mechanical gauge in the OP sending unit hole and and confirm those lousy oil pressure readings.

If they are correct, you need a new engine most likely. She will not run much longer like that.
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tencentlife
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right, confirm the OP, and if it is in fact that low, don't push it. The 2.1's have a nasty habit of chucking a rod, which almost always turns your valuable case and crank into funny looking boat anchors (and not even very good anchors, at that. You could be laughed right off the lake!). The normal mileage range for this unhappy occurrence is 160k +, so if you're in that range, or higher, and that OP doesn't test better with a different gauge, I would recommend parking it until you can get the rebuild stuff together. 40 psi cold is a very very worn engine indeed. It should raise at least 65psi cold. I wouldn't even drive such a motor down to the corner store.

The recommended OEM oil filter is a very good idea as general practice, but using a cheapo Fram isn't going to be accountable for such a low reading by itself. If anything, the cheap filters pass more oil, not less. It's their ability to intercept fines in the oil that is marginal.

(As an aside, the low price Fram is indeed one crappy filter, but ironically the Fram ExtraGaurd and TuffGaurd are some of the better filters commonly found at a FLAPS. The consistently best FLAPS filter is the Mobil1 unit. For $10 each, it better be. The Bosch's are, surprisingly, crap. Name isn't everything.)

Many low OP problems can be alleviated, but not solved, by using a heavier baseweight (the 20 in 20w50. It's that first number that really matters. The validity of the higher number in multi-vis oils is somewhat debatable as to its accuracy, and it is that protection that is lost as the oil ages due to heat), but trying to fake it with such low pressure is still a recipe for disaster. You can run the heaviest oil you want, but if the rod bearings are badly worn and the rod big ends ovalled, which is the chronic problem that shortens the life of a 2.1, the rods will still not be running true, and they will scuff and heat up, bringing on failure on the road without much advance warning. The low readings you're seeing are your advance warning, as I'm sure you understand.

I don't know of a kit of parts to rebuild, except for the gasket sets. You'll have to approach it piecemeal. Normally, you wouldn't order bottom-end bearings until you have it torn down. These engines rarely get align-bored, though, and the cranks are very robust and usually standard size. There are two different size ranges for main bearings, though, and you will need to mike the crank to know which one to order, so that will still hold you up.

Because of the big-end ovalling issue, it is also imperative that the rods be remachined, getting the big ends bored to a circle again. The item that fails in the 2.1 rods is the bolts. They switched to a stretch-type bolt in the later engine, for reasons unknown, and it is these bolts that ultimately fails as a response to the heat cause by the ovalling, which was brought on by the bigger stroke of the 2.1. The 1.9 used a standard bolt, and I've never heard of a rod failure in the 1.9. You can tell when you take the rods off which bolt you have: the 1.9's have a 13mm thread length, the 2.1's have 22mm of threads. (I just tore down a VW of Canada recon engine, and it had a mix of both! So much for quality control).

VanCafe has reconned rod sets with the 1.9 bolts for about $100, plus core. So you can have the new rods ready by ordering some of those, and return the cores later. Other retailers may also have them, I have only ordered them from VC.
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r39o
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After testing the OP and it is found low, try the bigger high volume oil pump as a band aid before you grenade the poor thing. But trust us, if you have really low warm oil pressure you truly are on borrowed time.

FYI: There is NOTHING called a "cheap rebuild." NOTHING.

"Buy cheap, get cheap."

These vans simply are not for people on budgets. They are toys. Never forget that.

Best of luck....
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mantishi
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I already gave up driving it. the core is just to valuable to put skylights in thanks for the info
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mr_vanagon
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The last time I looked at parts prices seems like the total cost, even with shopping around for cheapest supplier of each part, was only a couple hundred bucks less than a reman. Might be somthing to look at especially if you need to save time more than cash.
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tencentlife
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2007 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to say you're not far off the mark, mr_vanagon. Long blocks can be had pretty cheaply. Doing it right will cost well over half the price of one of the cheaper longbocks, and within a few hundred if you have big expenses like new heads. But you will know it has been done right, and you can never be totally sure with an engine from a supplier. I've torn down a couple recently, one from a fairly reputable rebuilder and one from VW of Canada, and though they were both in decent shape, there were aspects of the workmanship that would have never left my shop.
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