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Orphaned '87 Automatic Bus
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Phishman068
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:20 pm    Post subject: Orphaned '87 Automatic Bus Reply with quote

Well, I adopted another orphan.
I purchased a syncro ( http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=569774 ) and as part of a package deal, essentially got a free 2wd automatic '87. Well, upon further inspection, the '87 2wd is actually the gem of the pair! It's got about 80,000 miles on it, a VERY clean interior, Zero seam rust, One serious dent (Pass side front wheel fender)(which will be repaired and hidden below a bedliner line), and a shockingly clean underside.
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I got it running with just a fuel pump, but the exhaust was totally shot. The water pump was seized as well, so I couldn't run it much..... but she wants to run! So i've decided to keep her and make her my winter driver while rebuilding the syncro, and possibly keeping her around as a city bus.
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The engine was in "ehh" shape. I got it running but it has problems. So it's out. Before it came out though....




Pretty good bus.

Anyway, Since it needs an exhaust, a water pump, and a bunch of stuff, I pulled the engine. I pulled the trans with it to deal with coating the trans to prevent further corrosion.
A little Simple green and a bit of elbow greese, and.....
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It came with an entire fuel injection system for a 90s Range Rover, if anyone needs it please contact me! BEST OFFER!!!!
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In PA, this is CLEAN.....

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Engine is OUT!

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Plan is to replace the exhaust, rebuild the heads, and find replacements for the metal coolant pipes on the engine, the intake runners, and whatever else is rusty (anyone have any donations or parts for sale? Message me directly)

Simple Green and a Scotchbrite pad does wonders....
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The whole engine is looking sharp now!


MORE TO COME!
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http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=559766&highlight=winter+rust
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=482402&highlight=sunroof+syncro
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=569774
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JudoJeff
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats! Looks great!
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Syncroincity
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Orphaned '87 Automatic Bus Reply with quote

Phishman068 wrote:
In PA, this is CLEAN.....


Boy, you said it... that's nothing short of amazing. I'm from Pittsburgh originally, I know the evil of which you speak. Evil or Very Mad
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right on Phishman... and only 80K, she's a sweetie for sure.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmmmmm .......... I'm up against the same task of cleaning dirt and road deicer discoloration from the castings........

Scotch Brite pads...... How coarse?

I have a few grits, ill give them a try!

Thanks for the tip!

Dave
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Phishman068
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I put a strong simple green solution in a spray bottle, pull up an appropriate height seat next to the engine, put on some tunes and crack a beer, dawn a set of gloves and go at it. My process involves a red scrubby pad and a ton of simple green. This is a good way to get the engine "pretty clean" but you'll miss spots.
For these spots, try 400 grit sandpaper with the simple green.
It took me about an hour total to get the top of the complete engine shiny.
Just keep respraying with simple green, wiping with a paper towel, and repeating.
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Phishman068
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The exhaust has been removed and the heads off!
The exhaust was in terrible shape. The pipes themsevles were thick and the rear pipe even had great flanges at the heads but was rotted at the collector. Odd.
Here is an example of the odd failure of this exhaust.
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I got everything off except one stud was broken off in the head. : /
I finally got it out by welding a nut to the end of it and then heating it up thoroughly and pulling it out. I think the threads came with it, but a thread insert should be fine.

The heads look to be in very good shape. No pitting, no cracks between valves, and the valves hold laquor thinner well. All Pushrods are straight.
I hope to just clean things up and slap it back together.

The transmission is looking sharp as well. Every auto trans i've ever seen has had big rust issues, so I've chosen to clean this baby up and coat it to prevent some further corrosion. I spent some time brushing it with simple green and it's looking okay.
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I then proceeded to brush the cast iron portion with SEM Rust mort effectively neutralizing the rust and building a good base for the coating I will give it. The game plan is to blast the whole assembly (including the aluminum portion) with a high zinc primer and then a coat of flat black paint.
I'm not so sure I like the decision to go flat black, but we shall see.
Even if it flakes off in a year, the portions covered will be protected. Thats what matters in this climate!~
The crap on our roads in the winter will eat any exposed metal in short order.
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djkeev
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dang Phishman! We are in the same climate with the same rust / corrosion issues doing the same job!

You however are a few jumps ahead of me and moving quicker! Smile

From what I've read, I'd take the time to split the axle differential from the transmission and replace the two seals in there.

Apparently they go bad and allow the two different oils to mix resulting in nothing good! Shocked

You are this far along..... It would be a shame to not do it.

From all reports these automatics are tougher than the stick shift units IF properly cared for.

Can you believe everything GoWesty says? I don't know, but they've seen more of these units than I ever will! ............. I'm going to replace these seals in mine! Wink
I'm also giving serious thought to using Van Cafe's fin transmission oil cooler and eliminate a few hoses...... Simplify. I'm also going to put in a new engine oil cooler as well.

A good read.........
http://www.gowesty.com/library_article.php?id=305

Dave
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

you could just hotsy it. Smile
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Phishman068
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cleaned up and dealt with well.
Zinc primer
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Flat Black
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http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=569774
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, it's out and getting cleaned........ Mine is missing the way cool hose holder wire! Must be a newer model addition?
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Dave
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Phishman068
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spent much of yesterday media blasting some parts to properly prevent rust for another 20 years. After a bunch of blasting and 4 coats of SEM Rustmort, these parts will be ready for some zinc rich primer today and proper paint.

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Hopefully a bunch more parts to get finished today, and hoping to have the heads back on the engine tonight as well!

Sadly the large metal coolant pipe that goes from the water pump forward failed in the blast cabinet. Bummer as I think it looked pretty solid, but best find it now!
Now i'm in need of one of these...
Hope to be able to find a good used one to keep the project in check but it seems bits are becoming ever increasingly hard to find in this area.
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Phishman068
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well the engine was ready to button up today. Had a friend over to help put the heads on and while cleaning up the jugs discovered this.....



http://s1203.photobucket.com/user/Phishman068/medi...5.mp4.html

This is the single most ruined connecting rod i've ever seen without it being broken.
This engine RAN!
It wouldn't run for long though. So sadly, i have to move on to another used short block.[/vimeo]
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Phishman068
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dragged home this crusty beast. 260,000 miles...but was running and driving well, so I guess this is my best candidate for now.

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Cleaned it up quite a bit and got the heads off. The heads were not so friendly to pull off but with the help of a large hammer and some ATF in the cylinders, I got them off. I did break off one tang from one of the jugs, but I was able to extract it so it's not in the engine. : /
No noticable play in the pistons, no evidence of a burnt piston or pistons hitting the heads, so it should be good (I guess??)


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The heads aren't in great shape. They'd probably run fine but there are cracks between the valves. I plan to install the heads from the original engine onto this engine, bolt it all together, and get this sucker moving!
Sadly this engine came out of a manual trans van, so i'll have to set the endplay to an automatic. At this point I guess i'll have to change the front (rear?) main seal at the same time right?
Any suggestion on what main seal to use? Is the one in the gasket kit sufficient or do I need to source a different one?
Any tips?
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have heard it suggested that GoWesty has a seal that will last and the ones that come in the kit are prone to quick failure, rather than having to pull the engine for a flywheel seal I figured it easier to get the expensive seal now than the headache later. I thought in the past people have found other sources for the good gasket and searching might find you that.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read here somewhere that the best mainseal is the Sabo model from Gowesty. The kit Victor Reinz mainseal was considered to be very inferior.
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Phishman068
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see the article Gowesty has about the benefits of the seal that only they sell, but that seems a bit odd. I have spoken to several people who say they use the seal that's included in the gasket kit, but would love to hear from some samba people.
Have you used the seal from the gasket kit and not had leaking problems?
Or have you all purchased this gowesty only one?

Thanks!
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Gruppe B
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=3033397#3033397

Half way down the thread Tencent posts a full review of all the available main seals. Awesome post by Tencent btw Very Happy
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Phishman068
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I purchased the proper main seal from Gowesty and will be installing it.
I also purchased Timeserts to repair the drain plug, but I guess i'll have to wait until the engine is in the car to do this.
I can do this with the engine in the car, right?

I don't have an engine stand, so once I start bolting things on I can no longer flip the engine up on one end to access the bottom. I can easily access the bottom with the engine in place though, so this seams logical to me. How's it work for you?

I have everything I need to build this baby up, except for the one coolant pipe that goes from the water pump to the thermostat housing.
I cannot seem to find a used one anywhere in usable shape. They've all got rust holes in them.
Anyone have one?
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http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=569774
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funagon
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phishman068 wrote:

Have you used the seal from the gasket kit and not had leaking problems?

Thanks!


I've used the victor reinz seal on two engines with no problem, no leaking.

Somewhere on the samba tencent described how the flywheel part that contacts the seal should not have any groove worn in it. If it does, it may leak no matter what seal you use.
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