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Getting a Type 4 engine to start after 10 years
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Jason0115
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:32 am    Post subject: Getting a Type 4 engine to start after 10 years Reply with quote

I might be able to get my hands on a 1975 westy, the owner drove it to his house then it sat for 10 years and hasn't been started since. I'm not good with engines or general mechanics but I want to learn. What should I be doing to get this engine started and what other parts of the bus should I check/replace before I get it on the road. All of the busses paperwork including service logs and title has burnt up in a house fire so I don't have much of a working history of the bus. I'll check if there is any but I dont think so. Any advice would be much appreciated! Very Happy

Edit: Thanks for the help so far. I'll attach the pictures I have right now, and I'll add more here when I get to it again. Here's a link to photos of the underside and the engine:
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1m9xnpc0n_SKLp0Cxd-1PJSqaYzvFst1e?usp=sharing

I'm trying to price out the repair work too, mainly body and mechanical as the interior is good enough for me.[/img]


Last edited by Jason0115 on Thu Apr 22, 2021 5:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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mikewire
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:58 am    Post subject: Re: Getting a Type 4 engine to start after 10 years Reply with quote

Having gone through similar experience multiple times, there's lots to do before even connecting a battery. If you're not good with mechanics I would get someone who is, revivals are not always for the curious novice.

Full fuel system refresh - I would pull the motor and get the tank out, flush it and replace any and all rubber lines and hoses. New filter, pump and everything there, then work your way into the ignition system, inspect the tins etc. etc.

That's just a start...but before even jumping into all that work above, what was the condition that made the PO park it? You'll want to make sure you have a good T4 engine that can be revived.

Not trying to discourage you, but being realistic and calling out the fact it may be too much to take on without understanding the full scope of work.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 9:03 am    Post subject: Re: Getting a Type 4 engine to start after 10 years Reply with quote

After 10 years the gas will have turned to goo, and it's highly possible critters have filled the cooling tin with nests and debris, don't count on just sparking it up and driving off. Speaking of sparks, all the fuel lines will be suspicious, have a good fire extinguisher on hand. Also make damn sure you know where the other ends of the battery cables connect, reversing the polarity makes all sorts of expensive smoke and sometimes the negative has been replaced with red.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 9:39 am    Post subject: Re: Getting a Type 4 engine to start after 10 years Reply with quote

mikewire wrote:
Having gone through similar experience multiple times, there's lots to do before even connecting a battery. If you're not good with mechanics I would get someone who is, revivals are not always for the curious novice.

Full fuel system refresh - I would pull the motor and get the tank out, flush it and replace any and all rubber lines and hoses. New filter, pump and everything there, then work your way into the ignition system, inspect the tins etc. etc.

That's just a start...but before even jumping into all that work above, what was the condition that made the PO park it? You'll want to make sure you have a good T4 engine that can be revived.

Not trying to discourage you, but being realistic and calling out the fact it may be too much to take on without understanding the full scope of work.


Thanks for the reply Mike... the reason it sat according to the po was he just never got around to driving it. He said he drove it up to his house no problem and bought because it looked fun. Engine compartment looks visually in good shape.

I'm ready for a summer project, I was thinking maybe take it to a specialty shop near me that works on them and have them do a good inspection and figure out what needs done that I can either do or I'll need shop to do.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 11:10 am    Post subject: Re: Getting a Type 4 engine to start after 10 years Reply with quote

Jason0115 wrote:

Thanks for the reply Mike... the reason it sat according to the po was he just never got around to driving it. He said he drove it up to his house no problem and bought because it looked fun. Engine compartment looks visually in good shape.

I'm ready for a summer project, I was thinking maybe take it to a specialty shop near me that works on them and have them do a good inspection and figure out what needs done that I can either do or I'll need shop to do.


For sure!

So you got the ol' "ran when I parked it" response...which is pretty common.

Again, just being realistic - it maybe, kinda, sorta ran when parked, and a deeper visual inspection would probably find a myriad of issues...and if that motor turns over with decent compression you should go buy a lotto ticket Very Happy

Again, just going from my experiences.

I think getting it to a good aircooled mechanic would be perfect. Prepare to spend some coin just to get it running - it's a lot of work and most parts either need replaced (most parts are available new or used) or can be rebuilt at some cost.

1975 should be an 1800cc FI motor, so you may want to verify and start to learn on the Bosch L-jet FI parts and pieces.

We'd all love to see some pictures if you have them to share. There's lot of know-how here, and you'll get lot's of...advise... Laughing take all the replies in stride and learn so you can educate yourself and enjoy the up's and down's of VW ownership.

EDIT for a shout out: Busdaddy is very knowledgeable and has helped me many times, so for sure listen and consider all that he says - he's correct!
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 11:30 am    Post subject: Re: Getting a Type 4 engine to start after 10 years Reply with quote

Be aware that NJ title backlog was 16 weeks in Feb.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 2:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Getting a Type 4 engine to start after 10 years Reply with quote

Jason0115 wrote:

Thanks for the reply Mike... the reason it sat according to the po was he just never got around to driving it.


Yeah totally plausible Rolling Eyes

Yep full fuel system refresh, you are probably gonna be pulling the brakes apart to make sure they are good, obviously 10+ year old tires are gonna have to be replaced.

Gonna wanna pull the engine out to pull tin, remove mouse nests, etc before firing it up.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 3:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Getting a Type 4 engine to start after 10 years Reply with quote

bad rubber, like the tire rubber & fuel lines. Orange/brown brake fluid to flush.
Repack front wheel bearings. Grease the front end zerks. Fun stuff. Five hours worth before you get to the engine stuff.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 3:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Getting a Type 4 engine to start after 10 years Reply with quote

Any rubber hoses or elbows in the engine bay will likely have long before begun to fail or will begin to fail shortly after being put back into service: fuel lines, vacuum lines, fuel tank fill and vent lines, and some others.

Last edited by Wildthings on Thu Apr 22, 2021 5:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 4:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Getting a Type 4 engine to start after 10 years Reply with quote

You don't need to take your bus to a mechanic yet. Post some pictures and especially multiple good photos of the engine. There's a host of Bus experts on this site that can lead you through an engine revival.
Even if you're mechanically challenged Laughing you can an will learn much about your bus if you jump in and try.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 5:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Getting a Type 4 engine to start after 10 years Reply with quote

If you just want it to start that’s one thing. If you want a non leaking, well running, strong and reliable engine then that’s another.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 6:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Getting a Type 4 engine to start after 10 years Reply with quote

mikewire wrote:
Jason0115 wrote:

Thanks for the reply Mike... the reason it sat according to the po was he just never got around to driving it. He said he drove it up to his house no problem and bought because it looked fun. Engine compartment looks visually in good shape.

I'm ready for a summer project, I was thinking maybe take it to a specialty shop near me that works on them and have them do a good inspection and figure out what needs done that I can either do or I'll need shop to do.


For sure!

So you got the ol' "ran when I parked it" response...which is pretty common.

Again, just being realistic - it maybe, kinda, sorta ran when parked, and a deeper visual inspection would probably find a myriad of issues...and if that motor turns over with decent compression you should go buy a lotto ticket Very Happy

Again, just going from my experiences.

I think getting it to a good aircooled mechanic would be perfect. Prepare to spend some coin just to get it running - it's a lot of work and most parts either need replaced (most parts are available new or used) or can be rebuilt at some cost.

1975 should be an 1800cc FI motor, so you may want to verify and start to learn on the Bosch L-jet FI parts and pieces.

We'd all love to see some pictures if you have them to share. There's lot of know-how here, and you'll get lot's of...advise... Laughing take all the replies in stride and learn so you can educate yourself and enjoy the up's and down's of VW ownership.

EDIT for a shout out: Busdaddy is very knowledgeable and has helped me many times, so for sure listen and consider all that he says - he's correct!


Thanks for the great insight! I added a link to the photos in the original post. Will update that folder with more.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 7:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Getting a Type 4 engine to start after 10 years Reply with quote

I'm impatient and would probably throw gas in it, charge the battery, check the oil and turn the key.
I think I've watched too many YouTube "will it run" videos. Wink
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 7:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Getting a Type 4 engine to start after 10 years Reply with quote

After it starts, the push rod tubes, oil cooler seals, and maybe the main seal will start to drip,drip,drip. then after a few warm ups they will happily leak. I've revived many ACVW, pull the engine, evaluate, re-seal to have some peace of mind.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2021 8:59 am    Post subject: Re: Getting a Type 4 engine to start after 10 years Reply with quote

Jason0115 wrote:


Thanks for the great insight! I added a link to the photos in the original post. Will update that folder with more.


It will take almost as much work to make the center mount progressive in time and parts to reinstall the FI system. Hopefully it was not driven much with the missing engine seal.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2021 9:33 am    Post subject: Re: Getting a Type 4 engine to start after 10 years Reply with quote

if stored outside, window rubber will be likely cracked and leaking. likes to leak on the front windshield right down onto the fusebox and a couple of relays, like blinker and wipers.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2021 1:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Getting a Type 4 engine to start after 10 years Reply with quote

I just refreshed a motor that sat for ten years. Here what it looked like when I took it apart.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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

Critter set up a good home in there...
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2021 3:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Getting a Type 4 engine to start after 10 years Reply with quote

60vwnewengland wrote:
I just refreshed a motor that sat for ten years. Here what it looked like when I took it apart.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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

Critter set up a good home in there...

So, just a ‘touch’ mousey..... Wink Wink Wink
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2021 5:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Getting a Type 4 engine to start after 10 years Reply with quote

Whereabouts in NJ are you located?
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2021 9:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Getting a Type 4 engine to start after 10 years Reply with quote

Pictures of OP engine
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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


No engine bay seal, probably disintegrated over the 10 years. Center mount carb with some FI components still in engine bay. But based on these two photos, I wouldn’t turn the key to try and run it.

Maybe pull a spark plug wire one at a time, stick your finger in between the tin and engine and see if you can feel any mouse houses that may have been built
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