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Big Blue's Back and slower than ever!! Called the Shop...
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aeromech
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've read the posts and seen the receipt from the shop. It kills me to see good people like yourself TAKEN by shops like this one. I know that they have a lot of associated costs involved with running a business such as employee salaries, insurance, rent, etc. but to charge you $110 to remove your cylinders and put shims underneath? How about the $185 for the clutch kit? The $9 for a $3 filter, the $500 for a pair of stock heads? $48 for push rod tubes?
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static
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those are the going "City" prices around here.
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Lionhart94010
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BigBlueVW.blogspot.com

Your problem could be a number of things from what you have said in this post, (In my opinion), I would not trust any VW shop that removed the P&C and did not replace them if the bill was $2,200; at a cost of $180 for new Mahle P&C, it would be foolish to spend the time to remove old P&C and put them back on unless they where almost new to start with(unlikely)… also ANY VW shop that replaces a working Stock VW Bus distributor with an 009 if it is using a stock carburetor DO NOT know what they are doing, if you use an 009 on a stock T1 Engine the carburetor has to be reworked for it to work acceptably… If you see, a lot of bugs & other types of VW at a shop, it does not mean they know how to make T1 engine Bus run properly…

The 2 mm shim they added = approximately .080 inch; if you had .050 deck height (distance between cylinder top and bottomed of cylinder flat spots)to start with then you now have .130 deck height between the pistons and cylinder quench arias, which means your pistons cant transfer the heat to the cylinder heads as designed and that the turbulence in the combustion chamber is not as good as it should be (VW used dished pistons to archive correct compression ratio for T1 engine Bus motors, which kept the turbulence created by cylinder quench aria aka flat part of head on both sides of combustion chamber)

Lowering the compression from stock (if using non dish pistons)in a T1 Bus engine is the right thing to do if it is an all stock engine, but here is a right way and a half ass way to do it… if you have .050 (said 50 thousandths) deck height stock, then add .080 shims and have a set of Stock heads with the built in compression step, you could end up with a lot of space between your piston and the quench parts of the cylinder head(.200+ thousandths = .2 inches); that will make your engine inefficient as well as run hotter, not idea for a small engine pushing a big bus…

The stock dual Exhaust pipes are a bad idea for a bus, it runs better with a stock unit because as mentioned previously, you get better low end torque with the stock setup on a stock motor and you do not risk having the exhaust get into your passenger cabin, there is a big vacuume/Eddie behind your bus that could cause some of the exhaust gasses to get sucked into the heating system if you have a leaky engine hatch seal or missing tin…

If you stand back and think about it, the place that did the work on your bus did the following:

1.) Advocated or condoned putting the wrong exhaust on your engine (VW spent thousands of dollars to come up with the best solution, but they know better?)

2.) They decided that they knew better than VW what distributor works for your stock T1 engine Bus( again Thousands of dollars in R&D by VW & 30 years of experience in building VW bus engines)

3.) Reused your old P&C when for the price of the unneeded 009 distributor you could have had New P&C's.

4.) Added a $79.00 009; probably Forgot to put “009 STYLE” (i.e. cheap Chinese nock off 009 distributor) & did not do the required modifications needed on the stock carburetor to make it work with a 009 distributor…

5.) Gave you back a bus that run worse than it did before the $2,200!

It is sad that you had to pay someone a lot of money for what sounds like a Mickey Mouse job, one of the hardest lessons most VW owners learn is that 90+% of VW shop and so called “experts” do not know what they are doing.

That is why it is best to keep most if not all parts on your VW Bus engine stock unless you decide you are going to invest the time(a lot) to become Extremely informed about any modifications you make to your T1 Bus engine (exceptions would be Electronic Ignition, and an Air fuel ratio monitor and some Head and Oil Temp gauges)

Having the Samba as a resource is the best defense from hack VW shops/Mechanics, it would always be a good idea to run any expensive proposed work done by a shop/Mechanics by thesamba to see if you are getting sound advice/recommendations about what your bus really needs… :0)
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GusC2it
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It really torques me to see good trusting people taken advantage of by illiterate grease monkeys! Evil or Very Mad Please state the shop name so they can be put on a black list. WE should also have an approved list for good shops.
sorry you got took man. They didn't even bother to split the case! Guess they knew their limitations!
If i was near you, I would fix it for free! Gus
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BigBlueVW.blogspot.com
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the solid feedback. I'll talk through the issues with the shop on Monday and let you know what they do about it. I'll hold off on the name until I give them a chance to make it right.

Thanks again, guys.

Have a good holiday.

-Brett
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay - I talked to the shop today. He said that I have flat-top pistons in my engine. Because of that, he lowered the compression by adding the shims. I haven't done a check, but he said the compression on my engine before the work was around 150 on the 3 good cylinders. Now, compression is around 110 on all of them. I need to do a compression check myself when I am home this weekend and have some daylight to work with.

Does this explanation make sense? I asked if we should have just put the correct, dished topped pistons in and remove the shims but he said it wouldn't make a difference. The compression would end up the same.

I told him about top speed issues and the hill climbing and he seems to think it's normal, that the extra power I had before was due to too much compression.

What do you guys think?
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melville
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cranking compression is not important here. Ask to see his math on the static compression ratio. IIRC you've had a head change--did your guy CC the old head and the new head before he stuck a big old shim under your cylinders?

Static compression ratio, when using stock cam and carb, should be between 6.7:1 (conservative, Berg style) and 7.5:1 (OG VW spec?).

On the odd chance that we can interpolate from the cranking numbers, if you were at 7.5:1 before, then the 110 would represent 5.5:1, or too damn low. This isn't postwar Europe (they had crap gas).

7.5 X 110/150 = 5.5.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BigBlueVW.blogspot.com wrote:


I told him about top speed issues and the hill climbing and he seems to think it's normal, that the extra power I had before was due to too much compression.


If it wasn't pinging or knocking you didn't have too much compression, plain and simple. Personally I think he goofed and should make good by you. It doesn't say much of his knowledge of mechanics if an engine came in running better than it left.
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keifernet
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BigBlueVW.blogspot.com wrote:
Okay - I talked to the shop today. He said that I have flat-top pistons in my engine. Because of that, he lowered the compression by adding the shims. I haven't done a check, but he said the compression on my engine before the work was around 150 on the 3 good cylinders. Now, compression is around 110 on all of them. I need to do a compression check myself when I am home this weekend and have some daylight to work with.

Does this explanation make sense? I asked if we should have just put the correct, dished topped pistons in and remove the shims but he said it wouldn't make a difference. The compression would end up the same.

I told him about top speed issues and the hill climbing and he seems to think it's normal, that the extra power I had before was due to too much compression.

What do you guys think?


from original post wrote:


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.




UHhhhh.... BS.... top speed is supposed to be 55? climbing hills 35 floored... don't think so.

I would make one more attempt at either getting the shop to "do some thing" to make it right or just figure you got a good hosing and move on to plan "B" and get your bus fixed right/figured out with the local friends you have that posted and or another shop.

I am not sure why that shop decided you needed that thick of shim installed... and wonder if they even did any "calculation"...

The stock dished pistons originally on some models are hard to find... many engines are built with the flat tops and on that note ...


^ I agree with everything that Wildthings just posted in that regard.
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GusC2it
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll second that! All 1600 engines came with flat top pistons as far as I know. He's BSing you!
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For what it's worth, the shop is called, EDITED OUT...
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Last edited by BigBlueVW.blogspot.com on Tue Dec 02, 2008 4:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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davis911s
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it is sad that the "mechanic" told you you engine ran better before.... on three cylinders, and now that he has "fixed it", the engine runs worst.

Are you dealing with the owner, or one of his staff? I would insist on them either FIXING the problem, a REFUND, or I would consider small claims action. Get whatever you can in writing.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The one question I haven't seen answered here is whether the timing is correct or the distributor is advancing. The timing can be 25 deg retarded from normal and a Bus will run about like you say yours runs (DAMHIK!). This would correspond to an 009 not advancing at all!

If an 009 were not advancing, it would start right up and idle, even perform OK just off idle going around town shifting at low revs, but would dog it on the open road. It would also COOK your exhaust system. I did see mention of a smell of exhaust burning.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GusC2it wrote:
I'll second that! All 1600 engines came with flat top pistons as far as I know.


not true. bus single port 1600 engines had a small dish in the piston. these dished pistons were a 211 part number.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the correction Scott. I remember those engines had a govener under the carburetor also, and even those could do more
then 55.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

not that it matter too much to this discussion, but for the record, the engines with the governor were 1500cc, not sure if they had dished pistons or not. the pistons i am referring to were used in 1600SP from 68-70.
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static
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am betting that the distributor turns out to be the problem.

And after this is all said and done, we need to post the name of the shop here, on Cars.com, Yelp.com and on the RoadHaus site as a "must avoid" den of thieves.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I can put the old distributor back in and set the timing to see if it's the 009, correct? I don't have to do anything to the carb to go back to the old distributor?
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On a side note, we are moving into a house mid-month that has a garage tall enough to fit Big Blue inside (actually, it's a 4-car garage!!), so I can start working on it at night again, making it much easier for me to work on these things!

I'm more than a little excited about that!
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Find bus camping friends at http://VWCamperFamily.com/

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aeromech
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BigBlueVW.blogspot.com wrote:
So I can put the old distributor back in and set the timing to see if it's the 009, correct? I don't have to do anything to the carb to go back to the old distributor?


Why don't you just put a timing light on the 009 and rev the engine while watching the advance. You should be around 28 degrees total advance which should be around 2500 rpm or so. At idle you should see around 10 degrees of timing with the .009.
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