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Big Blue's Back and slower than ever!! Called the Shop...
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BigBlueVW.blogspot.com
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 3:21 pm    Post subject: Big Blue's Back and slower than ever!! Called the Shop... Reply with quote

Okay - I get that the bus is slow. I understand. But after $2200 work of work to the engine, Big Blue seems slower than ever.

First things first, Big Blue is a '68 with a Riviera top on it. 1600 DP engine. Currently, the sink unit and the chair in back are out, making it the lightest it will probably ever be.

I took it into a vw specific shop (not my normal shop, though) as it had sucked in the 3rd cylinder's exhaust valve. Had a valve job done - new heads, compression shims added, new pushrod tubes, etc. I'm confident the shop knew what they were doing.

Also, had them put on a stock exhaust (2 exhaust pipes rather than the single pipe that was on there). My exhaust had leaks and had been hit the week before going into the shop, adding a rather large amount of backfire.

The shop insisted on putting an .009 Dizzy in there with the Ignitor, although I kept the old dizzy in case the .009 is a disappointment. (I know, somewhat, the pros and cons to this and am happy to experiment first hand)

So, my question is - could I have actually lost power by going to the stock exhaust or going to the .009?

My top speed is 55. And I mean on a flat road with the pedal all the way down. I seem to need to have the pedal down to the floor almost all the time to maintain speed. I didn't really have to do this before. And, unless I am nuts, I remember cruising that same road at 60, 65 before.

My hill climbing is worse than ever. I was going 35 up a hill on the 101 in the dark last night! This same hill I used to take at 60 at the bottom and might be down to 50 by the top. I threw on the hazards as it was the first time in driving Big Blue in the last year that I was scared I'd be rear ended.

I'm going to call the shop that did the work and see what the compression was at when they put it all back together. I'm guessing that will give me an idea of where the engine is on power.

Any ideas? I don't really care to have much more top speed (people can pass, it's cool), but I would really like more power climbing a hill.

Thanks,
Brett
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Last edited by BigBlueVW.blogspot.com on Mon Dec 01, 2008 12:57 pm; edited 2 times in total
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pinkfloydms
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So does it run/idle good other than the lack of power?
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah - it sounds great once it warms up. It idles really well.

It does take a while to warm up and there's a dead spot when it is not quite warm in the acceleration. Like, as soon as I press the peddle when cold, it seems like it wants to stall, rather than rev up. I think that's a carb issue?
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A stock bus exhaust should have a single tip, if it's a 2 tip bug muffler it may effect your low end torque but should be fine on the freeway.

Have you pulled out your timing light and checked what it's set at?

It should be able to make 65 with little effort and 75 with the right conditions.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

was your former exhaust a header?
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does it still have the "flat" spot when warm?

I'm kind of ignorant to vw but, if it only does it when cold, I would look towards the choke. If it does it when warm also is there a vacuum advance on that distributor? Maybe double check your timing.
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BigBlueVW.blogspot.com
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry - I am sitting in a work meeting while I am doing this!!

No flat spot once it's warm.

I'll check the timing this weekend. I just picked it up last friday and have driven it about 60 miles, so I would hope they timed it correctly.

"was your former exhaust a header?" - Okay, you got me. What's that mean?

Thanks for the quick responses...
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'68 Bus "Big Blue"

Find bus camping friends at http://VWCamperFamily.com/

A west coast VW bus camping adventure at: http://bigbluevw.com/

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, and the old dizzy was vacuum and mechanical advance. New one is just mechanical...
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'68 Bus "Big Blue"

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 3:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Big Blue's Back and slower than ever!! Question about po Reply with quote

BigBlueVW.blogspot.com wrote:

I took it into a vw specific shop (not my normal shop, though) as it had sucked in the 3rd cylinder's exhaust valve. Had a valve job done - new heads, compression shims added, new pushrod tubes, etc. I'm confident the shop knew what they were doing.

The shop insisted on putting an .009 Dizzy in there with the Ignitor, although I kept the old dizzy in case the .009 is a disappointment. (I know, somewhat, the pros and cons to this and am happy to experiment first hand)
peddle peddle peddle peddle



peddle:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


PEDAL:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


what is a "compression shim"?
if it "sucked a valve", what other parts were damaged? were those replaced too?
re: heads- what makes you so "confident the shop knew what they was doing"? what does a "valve job" at this shop involve? did you see the heads tested for leaks before they were put back on? what is your new compression ratio? what are your compression readings? are your valves adjusted properly?
is your "new" 009 advancing properly? is it timed right? if your old distributor had a vacuum can, it was not an 009.
do you have a vacuum leak? is there crap in your carb/jet plugged?

there are so many unknown-to-the-reader variables that are completely speculative as to what is going, getting an accurate diagnosis is gonna be really difficult.
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static
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sure that a few of us could be persuaded to converge upon your place this Saturday and try to figure out what is wrong with Big Blue.

Let me know if you want your bus buddies to show up and have a look-see.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I'll try to answer this, but a lot is new to me...

what is a "compression shim"?
Barrel Spacer shims, I believe between the block and the heads...?


if it "sucked a valve", what other parts were damaged? were those replaced too?

Here's a list of the work done:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



re: heads- what makes you so "confident the shop knew what they was doing"? what does a "valve job" at this shop involve?

Does the list help? How do I know anyone knows what they are doing? They work on a ton of old VWs and have done so for a long time. Doesn't ensure good work, but I expected they knew what they were doing.

did you see the heads tested for leaks before they were put back on?

No. They are open when I am at work. I stopped in one time while the work was being done.

what is your new compression ratio? what are your compression readings?
I mentioned that I planned on calling and finding this out. I'll also test it this weekend.

are your valves adjusted properly?

Again, I've driven it about 60 miles since picking it up, so I assumed they were correct. I'll check when I get working on it this weekend.

is your "new" 009 advancing properly? is it timed right? if your old distributor had a vacuum can, it was not an 009.

You are correct. my old distributor had both a vacuum and mechanical advance. I switched to the .009.

do you have a vacuum leak?
How do I check that? I'll do some research...

is there crap in your carb/jet plugged?
Possibly, but it doesn't seem like it since it runs well otherwise.
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'63 Bug "Little Blue"
'68 Bus "Big Blue"

Find bus camping friends at http://VWCamperFamily.com/

A west coast VW bus camping adventure at: http://bigbluevw.com/

Interested in VW buses and have a Facebook account? Check out Big Blue's Fan page: http://www.facebook.com/bigbluevw


Last edited by BigBlueVW.blogspot.com on Tue Nov 25, 2008 4:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Static - I am putting aside the weekend of the 13th of December as a dedicated "work on VWs day", so perhaps you guys could come over then? I'll stay in touch about it.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Take it back to the shop that did the work... ( 2,200 for that Shocked) do not drive it any further than you have too... if you have only put 60-100 miles on it you need to let them know IMMEDIATELY that things are not right and you expect them to look it over at their expense... something is not right... and if they are a quality shop...after doing that kind of repairs... they are obligated * IMHO to check into it.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

keifernet wrote:
Take it back to the shop that did the work... ( 2,200 for that Shocked) do not drive it any further than you have too... if you have only put 60-100 miles on it you need to let them know IMMEDIATELY that things are not right and you expect them to look it over at their expense... something is not right... and if they are a quality shop...after doing that kind of repairs... they are obligated * IMHO to check into it.


i would call the shop before trying to drive it back. i agree having them fix something that is not right would be the way to go.
i've seen more detailed bills at a restaurant. if that is your "receipt", i feel sorry for you. it says nothing and is very vague.
how does one diagnose a loose valve seat by pulling the valve covers off (unless that was diagnosed after the head and valve were removed)?
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sounds like we have a PO. using wrong terms ....

sucked a valve = burnt valve ???????

nowhere in here is the mention of new valves or heads,, nowhere is the new P&C's ... In a T 1 engine there is every little chance of SUCKING a valve and not doing damage to a piston or bending a rod.

either way at a price of $2200 usd,, you should have walked out of there with a rebuilt engine, not a patch job
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

towd wrote:
sounds like we have a PO. using wrong terms ....

sucked a valve = burnt valve ???????

nowhere in here is the mention of new valves or heads,, nowhere is the new P&C's ... In a T 1 engine there is every little chance of SUCKING a valve and not doing damage to a piston or bending a rod.

either way at a price of $2200 usd,, you should have walked out of there with a rebuilt engine, not a patch job


That listing as Jon said is not very detailed but it does imply that rebuilt? heads and pistons and cylinders were replaced? or? who knows...

I just think that the shop should look at it before you get together with anyone else to "work on it" unless you have lost all faith in the shop and never plan to return to see if they will honor what should be some sort of warranty on the work they just performed.

A visual from someone who knows what they are looking at could acertain if the cyls, head are new/rebuilt heads etc by looking. But I would give the shop a chance to make it right.

Hell they could have just left the distributor clamp loose and now the timing has changed... could be simple mistake... don't burn it up driving it waiting for them to look at it.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I might be using the wrong terms. I'm trying to learn, so bear with me.

What is "the new P&C's"?
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BigBlueVW.blogspot.com wrote:
I might be using the wrong terms. I'm trying to learn, so bear with me.

What is "the new P&C's"?


Pistons and cylinders.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know the pistons are NOT new.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Before you get carried away I would check and make sure the throttle cable is pulling the carb all the way open
open the throttle on the cacb by hand all the way ( with the engine shut off) and then have someone step on the gas pedal and make sure it is opening all the way.
Many times its the simple things that are screwed up!
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