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How long will the 2.1 wbx last ?
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66 dormi
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:15 pm    Post subject: How long will the 2.1 wbx last ? Reply with quote

Got a WBX with 138k miles on it runs great when should i be thinking about a rebuild? Rolling Eyes
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When the oil pressure starts dropping it is telling you that your rod bolts are about to fail. This usually happens around 180K miles.
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ftp2leta
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wildthings wrote:
When the oil pressure starts dropping it is telling you that your rod bolts are about to fail. This usually happens around 180K miles.


How can he know that? Tell me?

Wasser boxer are strong engine, they will leak at the head way before they explode.

A top end may be needed at some point. Just watch for leak.

Have fun, Ben
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Captain Pike
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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

Get a gague on the oil pressure.
Search this___"2.1 rod bolt"
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tencentlife
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Word.

I put the magic number at 160k.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ftp2leta wrote:
How can he know that? Tell me?

Wasser boxer are strong engine, they will leak at the head way before they explode.


In my experience the oil light will start coming on at times when it didn't used to do so. Yes they will start leaking at the water jacket-head gasket at as little as 80-90K for a OEM factory engine. I kept the leaks at bay on my 91 until it had 150 or 160K. Didn't bother with just regasketing when the heads weepage got out of control though because the oil pressure warning light was coming on and I knew something else wasn't right. This was years ago before I ever heard of Samba, but it didn't take a seer to know that some part deep inside that aluminium box was thinking of blowing.
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dixoncj
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So how to explain the folks who get 230K out of a single WBX? What's the secret to a seriously long lived 2.1? Tencent, anyone? I have 166 on mine and don't look forward to replacing it anytime soon if I can avoid it.
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allsierra123
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I dont know its a super easy swap. It can be done in a weekend. I can do it it In a day now. Trouble is they arent cheap. the 2.1 is a good engine if you drive it like your from the year 1955 but to keep up with interstate traffic today I think its more than that little engine wants to do with a good amount of miles on it.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keep the revs down and the bolts won't stretch as readily, kind of hard to drive 70+ in traffic if you go this route. Some people probably just get lucky as well, maybe a lot has to do with what technician was working the day a particularly long lived engine was built. I met one old man, a codger in his eighties who claimed to have 350K on his WBXer, of course he claimed he had never had head leakage either.

180K is just a number for a typical engine. My 91 started loosing oil pressure when it had maybe 140K, but it had seem mostly high speed highway use and many long hard pulls up mountain passes heavily loaded. Someone who drives mostly in a city and whose engine never goes out of the green zone may never have a problem.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dixoncj wrote:
So how to explain the folks who get 230K out of a single WBX? What's the secret to a seriously long lived 2.1? Tencent, anyone? I have 166 on mine and don't look forward to replacing it anytime soon if I can avoid it.

cauze it's a 1.9 Smile
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ddonnell
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wildthings wrote:
Someone who drives mostly in a city and whose engine never goes out of the green zone may never have a problem.


Cool I only have about 77k on mine right now and I'm NOT planning on swapping ANYtime soon.



Hopefully....
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D Clymer
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From the many Vanagons I've owned and worked on I would also put the 2.1 bottom end life expectancy at 160K. In theory the automatics should last a bit longer because they don't get over revved like the manual trans vans often do, but I've seen many automatic vans with warm idle oil pressure problems at 160K also. You do see many people getting close to 200K with 2.1s, but from what I've seen, those people have been ignoring low oil pressure problems for many miles and have gotten lucky not having a rod go through the case. 1.9s on the other hand seem to have bottom ends that are good for 200K - sometimes more. It's too early to tell, but I think a 2.1 with upgraded rod bolts or upgraded rods would also be good for 200K just like the 1.9.

At any rate, the bottom end of a well built 2.1 will last a very long time. You may need to do head gaskets along the way, but even that isn't the end of the world some people make it out to be. Modern cars need expensive timing belt changes every 60-90K miles. I can live with a wbx that needs water jacket gaskets and possibly head welding and surfacing every 110K.

David
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How long will the engine last?

How long was the Titanic supposed to last?

As long as you don;t beat the snot outa the engine, change the oil on a regular basis with the correct weight oil, and the proper oil filter,it will go as long as you maintain it properly.

There are exception to every rule--but as long as you use your head, and drive the Van without beating on it, it should be capable of 200,000 miles no problem.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stay away from hi rpms, any driven at a sensible speed ,max-65 orso should go 200k,reguliar oilchanges. If u gotta drive 75-85,u takes yer chances besides prev owners may have run it hard also.
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GrindGarage
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a 91 w/ 234K on it.... I guess that with it being an auto it never get reved up hard and thats why it has so many miles... I wait for it to go everyday... But it runs strong and i keep it in the ecno green on the parkyway.... The day it blows i'll be buying a crash subby for a donor
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ftp2leta
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wildthings wrote:
ftp2leta wrote:
How can he know that? Tell me?

Wasser boxer are strong engine, they will leak at the head way before they explode.


In my experience the oil light will start coming on at times when it didn't used to do so. Yes they will start leaking at the water jacket-head gasket at as little as 80-90K for a OEM factory engine. I kept the leaks at bay on my 91 until it had 150 or 160K. Didn't bother with just regasketing when the heads weepage got out of control though because the oil pressure warning light was coming on and I knew something else wasn't right. This was years ago before I ever heard of Samba, but it didn't take a seer to know that some part deep inside that aluminium box was thinking of blowing.


Well, i think that when you see that light it's to late anyway.

As of today, i have over 20 sick engine in the shop / shed / part van, all sick but none have a hole in it. in the past 6 years i have seen 2 engine with a hole/ broken rod, both where 1,9L. The fist one had no more oil in it (hole on top) and a baldly leaking oil pressure sensor. The second one was missing a bore hole plug.

Don't get me wrong, I'm NEVER going back to VW, NEVER. But not because i think that they will explode.

So if you want to prevent engine wear / degradation, get a real oil pressure Gage, inboard or not.

I have customer with well over 300k km (190k miles) with fine running engine.

But again, i fully agree that it's time to think for a rebuilt at the 160-180k miles mark.... . Or better, a conversion. When you taste the 170hp + range, believe me, you don't want to go back to your stock 80hp engine (don't even think that most of you guys with older engine are even close to 90hp). Many purist have tried my van and after the ride, they where breathless.

Pushrod engine in 2009, yea sure.

Ben
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RGS Paul
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ftp2leta wrote:

Don't get me wrong, I'm NEVER going back to VW, NEVER. But not because i think that they will explode.


Don't forget that it is still way cheaper to rebuild what you got then replace it with a Subi. or diesel. If you replace the rods with modern rods, the pistons with lighter units, get a counter balanced crank, and put in the big oil pump (Tencent?) then you won't have a problem. Going to a different engine almost requires a transmission rebuild on top of the engine swap to make it drivable. Granted if you have a pre-88 you need to get the trans. rebuilt anyway, but I digress..

I like the wasserboxer, it is a nice little engine and I appreciate the engineering that went into it. Someone in VW needed to look at fatigue problems before they went to Porsche style stretch bolts but you can't blame that fully on the engine. Just NEVER reuse con-rod bolts and things should be ok. I would consider doing a MTDI in the Syncro eventually but the cost will be prohibitive for a long time.

Cheers,

Paul
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ftp2leta
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Don't forget that it is still way cheaper


I read that a lot here... but i guess that it is one of the main reason of having a forum, finding cheap ways of fixing things.

To be honest, i started to work on Vanagon and Bus's 6 years ago, at 25$hr, so i attracted a... "cheaper" clientele / customers. For 4 years i saved their vans for almost nothing. The problem is i had a hard time with some getting my money. They where arguing my work / time / labour often, saying it was to expensive, that i took to much time, that i fix to much thing, but they where asking for a reliable van. So it's sad to say but that I'm not going back there.

I ratter deal with hi end job, people don't argue and they know it's gonna be anything between 10k$ - 35k$.

As for me, i don't care how much my own van cost or is worth! I want it reliable as hell.

Cheers, Ben
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tencentlife
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If you replace the rods with modern rods, the pistons with lighter units, get a counter balanced crank, and put in the big oil pump (Tencent?) then you won't have a problem.


Lighter, stronger rods and pistons: yes

Counterbalanced crank: when you remove the rev limiter, OK. Otherwise, waste of money. The stock crank is exceedingly well-balanced for the OEM rev range.

Big oil pumps: Good pump, yes; big, no. Big pumps are for turbos with piston squirters.

None of those mods except the rod bolts are necessary to "not have a problem".
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spaeth
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know people that only got 120,000 miles and I know a reliable source with 350,000 miles and only replacing a clutch. Heads never off! I had one guy call me and go on about how bad he had heard the Vanagon engine was and what engine I thought he should put in. I asked him if he was OK with the power and the mileage. He answered yes to both. I asked if he had any reliability issues with his motor he said no. I then asked how many miles on his engine. He said 180,000 miles. I laughed and told him to put in another waterboxer.

So I guess my answer is the same as those above. It depends. An oil pressure gauge is a good first step though.

Craig
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