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Big Blue's Back and slower than ever!! Called the Shop...
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cbcarch
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All's well that ends well!

What an incredible trip you've been on!

But haven't we all been on a few like that? (or sort of.....)

Anyway--glad it turned out good and Big Blue is chugging along.

cheers! Very Happy
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mightymouse
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BigBlueVW.blogspot.com wrote:
Rocker arms. Each side had a different set. One set had little steel ball bearing-type things. He took those out...


POS ford courier adjusters out of the 2.3L.
Glad he took those out, but it does say alot that the shop would put back those on one side, and not the other.
Just glad to hear your all OK now. As long as it runs, and you can sleep good at night, ill say no more. Smile
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BigBlueVW.blogspot.com
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rocker arms. Each side had a different set. One set had little steel ball bearing-type things. He took those out...
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Amskeptic
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BigBlueVW.blogspot.com wrote:

all he did was work on the valves - he removed the - help me out here - top of the valves as one side had little steel balls and the other didn't.


Rocker arms?
Swivel adjusters?
One side of the engine only?
Colin
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a little shocked this thread came back. I'll update you the best I can.

I did the basic stuff after getting it back from the shop. Checked timing, finally checked compression and drove it 500 miles and checked the valves. Etc. Nothing at all beyond checking the tune up stuff. At some point, maybe 700 miles after the work, I took it into the shop for the "free checkup". Now, here's the odd thing - it started to run really good at about 500 miles (note, after I did the compression test). Suddenly, had full power up hills, took off fast, etc. So I started feeling really good about it. I had trouble adjusting the 3rd valve enough to get clearance, so I mentioned that when I took it in.

I got it back and they had another list of things they wanted to do but obviously they weren't going to get anymore more money from me. The crazy thing is that they said that the 3rd cylinder had no compression! They said they fixed it so it did again. I was stunned because it had just started to run really well. But it sucked again after I got it from the shop.

So I continued to drive it. After a little while, it started driving fine - I'm not sure how many miles. Again, it seemed to get better the more I drove it and had power (the hills of Napa are always the test). I drove it around for about 8 months and toward the end of that, it was running great. The best it's ever run maybe? I was taking it to shows and camping and what not. Big Blue was running great.

After a few times doing oil changes and tune ups myself, I like to take the bug and bus in to my old mechanic, Paul - just to have a beer with him and have him check my work. Since I am new to this, and Paul likes to tinker with my VWs, I figure it's a good idea as I learn how to do things (though, I am getting less likely to need his help nowadays).

We took it to Paul right before our big Oregon trip in October. We planned 8 days on the road and I wanted to make sure he went over it. And guess what he said - no compression in the 3rd cylinder, again!

I was beginning to think Big Blue ran better on 3 cylinders...

He was also shocked at the work the other shop did (picture me, feeling bad for not taking it to him for advice). He spent about 2 days working on it and called me. I went to the shop and walked through it with him. He didn't do anything to the shims - all he did was work on the valves - he removed the - help me out here - top of the valves as one side had little steel balls and the other didn't. He said he had never seen someone do different things on each side. We tested compression together and all cylinders were running fine.

When I left Paul's shop, the bus ran great again. We took it 1500 miles a few weeks later with no problems at all. I drive it almost every other weekend now and it's fine.

I just helped a friend put his vanagon aircooled engine back together a few weeks ago. I think the next time I need to do work on Big Blue, I'm going to put him in sick bay and do the work myself, even if it takes twice as long.

I wish I could give you guys more details, just like I wish I could talk "engine" with that shop to see why they thought their work was fine even though the bus wasn't. I'm learning this stuff. But the good news is that Big Blue carries on just fine these days...
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Conquest
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sawsalesman wrote:
I can't believe I just read this whole thread and we don't know how it turned out for Big Blue. Please advise us.


No kidding.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

do not modify the engine with any aftermarket devices or flow improvements. you need to fix what is wrong with the factory stock unit, because 55mph top speed is not normal.

the .080 barrel shim will be too much for the 7.0 CR that is the minimum. VW tested the 0-60 acceleration time as being 38 seconds. notice that 55mph is in between 0 and 60? what you are experiencing is NOT normal.

If the shop pulled the barrels off the pistons, shuffled the rings, cut the case deck and didnt hone before reassembly, then the weak compression is due partly to poor ring seal.

the shop can argue that rebuild quality is arbitrary, but not if you pay 2200 bucks! for 2200 you should have, at least, NORMAL.
i would ask them to remove the shims and put some new P/Cs on there. you have the right to normal factory specifications on a rebuild. ask them what the measured CR is right now. no one should build an engine without knowing what the CR is going to be...
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Sawsalesman
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't believe I just read this whole thread and we don't know how it turned out for Big Blue. Please advise us.
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cbcarch
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big Blue,

Any updates?

Hope you get at LEAST an apology and a refund ( full or partial )
for the "un-improvements" rendered to your great Bus.

A strong letter from an attorney may get the shop's attention.
(If it still exists?) a report to Better Business Bureau would be in order.

If no action/reconciliation from the shop is possible, then take it apart
and do the work yourself in your awesome new garage. You will learn a lot, and when you are done you will get a lot of satisfaction when driving
your Bus knowing that YOU did the work!

Perhaps get some pro help from some of the posters for doing a complete "top-end rebuild". Get some new P/Cs --Mahle or equiv. with Total Seal rings. Have the heads modified ( since they are brand new) with oversize valves, port/polish, etc. to get some more flow in there. Maybe hi-ratio rockers w/ swivel adjusters . I agree w/all previous posts about CR--you need to have at least 7:1 or even higher--I'm running about 8:1--good power, but not too hot. Get the oil cooler/fan out of the engine compartment! Your'e just heating up the oil and the air! Ouch!
Full-flow/remote filter/deep sump combo works great.
I'd get an electric fuel pump, with a pressure regulator. Block off the mech. one. and mount the new one up high as stated by others. Keep the old mech. pump and rod as a spare in the Bus. Use good quality clamps at all fuel line connections.

As for the carb and dizzy combo:

I'd suggest dual 40IDF Webers on it--believe it or not, with the "horrible
009" dizzy. Or better yet try to find an "old school / "real" 009 and rebuild it. (The "new" knock off 009s are junk.) The little springs and weights in there are the key for mech. advance. I have never had any problems with 009s and dual Webers on any of my engines for the past 20 years. I have never used a vacuum dizzy. That poor little stock single barrel carb just can't deliver enough air/gas to give you the power you need. This is why later Busses went to 2000 cc and dual carbs or FI.
I've been running a 2027 Type 1 with that setup, ( 44 IDFs) and an aftermarket ceramic coated dual exhaust--very successfully in my '69 Westy--full of all OG Westy gear, loaded down with stuff--65-70 on the highway no problem. That's also w/the stock trans--not a "freeway flier" or 6-rib conversion. Made a plus-3,000 mile trip to Key West and back in June heat! The engine performed remarkably well.

Anyway--Hang in there, and let us know how it's going, and keep up the Bus Faith!

cheers..............
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mightymouse
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just glassed over this post real quick. Many have mentioned it.
The deck is ALL the issue. Either make them fix it, or find someone else to fix it. Put it back the way it was, .040 to .050 is the deck you need.
CC the heads just in case, but id bet they havent been flycut.
Youd be just fine at that point.

My other HUGE concern is, who the hell thought it smart to put the oil cooler in the engine bay? I mean... really?
That has to go asap. Take it and toss is as far as you can. Run that horrible full flow setup under the engine and mount an oil filter, thats all youll need.
Honestly that full flow needs to be fixed right. Its returning into the wrong passage which is a BAD idea. Seriously am upset by what youve been through and are going through. If you need ANY help at all let me know. Your not far from vegas. Smile
Hope all goes well. dave
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I enjoy following your adventures and was wondering if you got the engine issues taken care of.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 8:20 pm    Post subject: Re: The Shop Reply with quote

dreadnotmusic wrote:
whc03grady wrote:
campinpoptop wrote:
Please please disclose the shop.


For the sake of other ACVWs and their owners, I second this.
Among other things, they said that:
1) BigBlue's stock dizzy is a 009-X
2) BigBlue's stock exhaust was two-tip-XX
3) It's okay to put an inline filter inside the engine compartment without any clamps-XXX
Thanks for playing, better luck next time.

These guys need to be avoided.


I already disclosed the name; THE GARAGE. Petaluma, CA. I saw Big Blue sitting there one day on my way to Two Rock and figured it out.



Yeah, he's right. It's called, The Garage. It's in Petaluma.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 5:24 pm    Post subject: Re: The Shop Reply with quote

whc03grady wrote:
campinpoptop wrote:
Please please disclose the shop.


For the sake of other ACVWs and their owners, I second this.
Among other things, they said that:
1) BigBlue's stock dizzy is a 009-X
2) BigBlue's stock exhaust was two-tip-XX
3) It's okay to put an inline filter inside the engine compartment without any clamps-XXX
Thanks for playing, better luck next time.

These guys need to be avoided.


I already disclosed the name; THE GARAGE. Petaluma, CA. I saw Big Blue sitting there one day on my way to Two Rock and figured it out.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wildthings wrote:
2mm is approximately 80 thousandths of an inch. That's a long way from a target squish of .040". By going over .040" in deck height your power will typically suffer to no real gain.

If you must have a filter in the engine compartment, then uses a metal one with clamps. If you also run AN stainless steel braided hose, you will have greatly improved the fire resistance of your fuel system. You can also bring the fuel into the engine compartment from the tank by a solid steel line. You want to join the steel line to the rubber hose at the very top of the engine compartment so the junction is well above the level of the fuel in the gas tank. By doing this you will greatly lessen the chance of gravity feeding fuel to a fire should one start.


Squish will be nowhere near .040 on a stocker. Stock was .065ish. To get to .040 and have reasonable compression BOTH the cylinders would need to be shortened AND the chambers would need to be opened up. We still have no idea what the chamber size on our guy's old and new heads was. The worrisome part is that the builder doesn't seem to know either.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 3:47 pm    Post subject: Re: The Shop Reply with quote

campinpoptop wrote:
Please please disclose the shop.


For the sake of other ACVWs and their owners, I second this.
Among other things, they said that:
1) BigBlue's stock dizzy is a 009-X
2) BigBlue's stock exhaust was two-tip-XX
3) It's okay to put an inline filter inside the engine compartment without any clamps-XXX
Thanks for playing, better luck next time.

These guys need to be avoided.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

2mm is approximately 80 thousandths of an inch. That's a long way from a target squish of .040". By going over .040" in deck height your power will typically suffer to no real gain.

If you must have a filter in the engine compartment, then uses a metal one with clamps. If you also run AN stainless steel braided hose, you will have greatly improved the fire resistance of your fuel system. You can also bring the fuel into the engine compartment from the tank by a solid steel line. You want to join the steel line to the rubber hose at the very top of the engine compartment so the junction is well above the level of the fuel in the gas tank. By doing this you will greatly lessen the chance of gravity feeding fuel to a fire should one start.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Melville wrote:
Quote:
I have a problem with the shim addition because it's not clear that the shop cc'ed either the old or the new heads. I would have no problem with the shim addition IF they actually calculated CR and it came to more than 6.5:1.


I would agree with you Melville, because we don't know what the shop measured or why they added the shims. But the original poster wrote:
Quote:
Okay - I talked to the shop today. He said 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.


Going from 150 psi to 110 on all four cylinders, in a VW bus engine? That's a huge drop in compression. All by itself that accounts for the loss in power that BigBlueVW is suffering.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

funagon wrote:
I've just discovered this conversation. I don't have an aircooled bus anymore so I never look at this forum. But I have owned multiple busses, two vanagons, other VW's, and worked on many more.

I have rebuilt flat four VW engines of different types and payed close attention to deck height and compression, and its effect on power.

To answer the original poster's main question: Your van's loss of power is due to the addition of 2mm shims, as listed in the receipt from the shop. Other posters have pointed this out but I will reconfirm it: even with the correct distributor, exhaust, etc, you won't get engine power without removing those shims and setting deck height correctly.

The shop has admitted to you that the compression has dropped significantly due to their work, and yet they act like it's no big deal. This shows that they either don't know anything about engines, or they're lying to your face. Either way I doubt you should put your trust in that shop.

I know from my experiments as an amatuer engine builder that adding 2mm of deck height to a combustion chamber is huge; it's enough to turn a strong running engine into a dog. Despite the other problems that may be present (those fuel lines on the filter look dangerous!), I doubt that you will get your engine power back until you remove those shims. The only question is whether you want that shop to fix their mistakes, or do you want to find a different shop, or do it yourself in your new garage?

If you do the work yourself please take your time and do your research. I would recommend getting more than one book, including Tom Wilson's "how to rebuild the aircooled Volkswagen," as well as the Bentley manual for your bus. Good Luck and take the time to do it right!


I have a problem with the shim addition because it's not clear that the shop cc'ed either the old or the new heads. I would have no problem with the shim addition IF they actually calculated CR and it came to more than 6.5:1. My recently completed 1679DP uses .100" shims (2.5mm), has 6.7 compression, and will run right to 70 mph. Stock cam/carb/heads, header with single QP.

I'm still very suspect of the Chinese 009 and would recommend putting the known good stock DVDA back on before trying anything more. But I now suspect fuel flow as well--easy to check and fix, as some posters above have said.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just discovered this conversation. I don't have an aircooled bus anymore so I never look at this forum. But I have owned multiple busses, two vanagons, other VW's, and worked on many more.

I have rebuilt flat four VW engines of different types and payed close attention to deck height and compression, and its effect on power.

To answer the original poster's main question: Your van's loss of power is due to the addition of 2mm shims, as listed in the receipt from the shop. Other posters have pointed this out but I will reconfirm it: even with the correct distributor, exhaust, etc, you won't get engine power without removing those shims and setting deck height correctly.

The shop has admitted to you that the compression has dropped significantly due to their work, and yet they act like it's no big deal. This shows that they either don't know anything about engines, or they're lying to your face. Either way I doubt you should put your trust in that shop.

I know from my experiments as an amatuer engine builder that adding 2mm of deck height to a combustion chamber is huge; it's enough to turn a strong running engine into a dog. Despite the other problems that may be present (those fuel lines on the filter look dangerous!), I doubt that you will get your engine power back until you remove those shims. The only question is whether you want that shop to fix their mistakes, or do you want to find a different shop, or do it yourself in your new garage?

If you do the work yourself please take your time and do your research. I would recommend getting more than one book, including Tom Wilson's "how to rebuild the aircooled Volkswagen," as well as the Bentley manual for your bus. Good Luck and take the time to do it right!
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brett,
All of these posts have given you more than enough ammunition to fight the shop with. If the GARAGE won't make it right, you could easily consider legal action. By not sufficiently clamping your fuel lines and adding that filter above the cheap ass distributor they have given you an extremely unsafe vehicle in return for your hard earned money. Call them on it.

If you'd like, I'll stop by and tell them how horrible I've heard their service is on this website.
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