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Engine tuneup/repair/rebuild advice needed!
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Jonasand
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:56 pm    Post subject: Engine tuneup/repair/rebuild advice needed! Reply with quote

Hi folks!

I had problems with my engine leaking too much oil and performing very poorly.
So I've dropped the engine and now it is standing on a motorcycle jack in my
music studio, dripping oil and taunting me.

I feel a bit lost and would like to make a plan of what to do in order to get the
engine in shape again.


1. Visual inspection and cleaning

*Look for anything unusual
(I've already found one problem and fixed it with help from you guys,
a potentially air leaking EGR-valve. Meaning I'll have to retune the
mixture when the engine is back in the bus I'm told.)

*Clean the outside of the case and all the plates

2. Do a leak down test on all cylinders

3. Change all gaskets



Is this a good start?
Anything else I should check or be alert to?
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busdaddy
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Engine tuneup/repair/rebuild advice needed! Reply with quote

Did you do a compression test before you pulled it?

Your list sounds good so far, but it may not be worth the time if the cylinders or valves are severly worn, you can stop all the leaks, but it may still run poorly and be low on power.

Do you have Wilson's "how to rebuild your Volkswagen engine" book?
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Jonasand
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:47 am    Post subject: Re: Engine tuneup/repair/rebuild advice needed! Reply with quote

Yes I've got the Wilson book, the Bentley, and also the Bug Me videos
Type 4 teardown/rebuild DVD. And the Ratwell site of course.

I'm a noob with a lot of info at my disposal but still a little lost how to read it as you may have figured Smile

I haven't done a compression test. Will it tell me something a leak test cannot?
I was under the impression that a leak test is the best way to find out about an engines condition.

How do I find out if the cylinders or valves are worn? Will a leak test not show this?

Thanks for your time!
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:09 am    Post subject: Re: Engine tuneup/repair/rebuild advice needed! Reply with quote

You can learn a lot by just turning your engine over two complete revolutions by hand. Remove the inlet screen and turn the fan by hand (do not use any kind of tool as neither the bolt on the crank or the fins are up to the task of being used to turn the engine over). You should feel the same amount of compression on all four cylinders. You can also hear where the compression is leaking to as you do this. An engine that is in very good shape will tend to rock over TDC as you do this, while a really bad engine will give little resistance at any point.

If you must use a tool then use it to turn the nut on the alternator instead of trying to turn the crank directly.
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Jonasand
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:48 am    Post subject: Re: Engine tuneup/repair/rebuild advice needed! Reply with quote

Thanks for you suggestions Wildthings, useful stuff! Very Happy

I used the alternator nut as I wanted to start testing today and had limited time at my studio so removing the fan shroud would be a hassle.

I had a bit trouble hearing where the compression stroke air was escaping, as I've removed both intake and exhaust manifolds, so all the sounds are kind of from the same area. Also it seems that there is quite a lot goin on at the same time on different cylinders, so while the compression is released on one cylinder, another cylinder takes in air etc. so not really sure how to listen.

And I'm not sure about the compression either. I think it felt a bit different between cylinders but not sure.

But it was a very good suggestion to start with turning the motor, thanks again for that! After removing the valve covers and figuring out the firing order I'm starting to understand a bit more whats going on by looking at the rockers moving in sequence.

Just need to spend a bit more time with it I guess, hope I can sneak into my studio again tomorrow and give it another try.

Very Happy
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Engine tuneup/repair/rebuild advice needed! Reply with quote

you might establish the history of the engine first. Is this a low mileage well built engine? A high mileage unknown engine? A budget economy build engine with medium miles on it etc.? Or is it a completely unknown engine on a bus you just bought? Part of buying a used vehicle of any kind is knowing these things to assess the future costs involved with owning it. The history of the engine, your plans and your budget will determine your best course of action to take.
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Jonasand
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Engine tuneup/repair/rebuild advice needed! Reply with quote

I bought the bus 2013. I'm away from the bus and it's papers right now, (and it's bedtime here in Sweden so can't check today) but it is a replacement engine that was fairly low milage when I bought the bus, but I guess I'll have to have a look at those papers and the meter and figure things out.


The case says GE

There are some pics of my engine in this thread:
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=663139&highlight=


The engine did not have an engine seal when I bought it and I haven't replaced it either because it was only recently I've learned that this is quite serious.
Quote from Ratwell:
"If the seal is completely missing walk away. The engine surely has been subjected to unusually high temperatures and the heat damage is irreversible."
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Engine tuneup/repair/rebuild advice needed! Reply with quote

so was it running right with lots of power after the last work you did in that thread?
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Godspeed to all who undertake a journey with a VW Bus.

*You can do it right the first time, or do it over, the choice is yours. It is a free country. As to brakes, steering, tires, axles etc. - you may only get one chance at doing those right.

* VW Buses and VW cars share many of the same systems but if you haven't owned a bus and maintained it for awhile, you really don't know how different it is.

Bus Engine Cooling Issues? https://kentcomputer.com/77VW/BusEngineCooling.pdf
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Jonasand
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Engine tuneup/repair/rebuild advice needed! Reply with quote

I didn't put it in after the work was done because I had to do some rust work inside the engine compartment, I didn't have good place to be to fix the rust and then winter came along, so being outside was not an option.

Anyway to make a long story short I haven't touched the engine since that thread. But the engine compartment rust is fixed now so thats a start.

At first my plan was to tear down the whole engine and rebuild it with the help of the Bug Me video. But I'm not sure I have that kind of time and money right now, so figured I would try to find out a bit more about engine condition first.

Now I haven't fired the engine since the EGR-valve was removed and sealed. It could be that there was a leak (not sure though) and that the leak was causing the power problem. I'm guessing that's what you are saying?

But it could also be that there was no leak and the problem was elsewhere...
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 2:17 am    Post subject: Re: Engine tuneup/repair/rebuild advice needed! Reply with quote

Jonasand wrote:
Thanks for you suggestions Wildthings, useful stuff! Very Happy

I used the alternator nut as I wanted to start testing today and had limited time at my studio so removing the fan shroud would be a hassle.


You don't need to remove the fan shroud to do this just the screen over the fan inlet, remove the three 6mm bolts and the screen will come right off. You can really tell more by turning the fan with your hands verses using a wrench on the alternator.
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williamM
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:40 am    Post subject: Re: Engine tuneup/repair/rebuild advice needed! Reply with quote

Take the oil filler cap off for a better listen of the compression slipping past the rings.- Its the same with the leak down test.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:22 am    Post subject: Re: Engine tuneup/repair/rebuild advice needed! Reply with quote

Ok - so this is an engine that has not run right since the last thread. Many variables.

My suggestion would be to list in priority the things you are seeking advice on. Do it 1, 2, 3 etc rather than in narrative form at this stage so we are 100% sure what you are seeking assistance with.


Keep in mind that each cylinder needs the following to work right:

1- compression and mechanical well-being
2- Air to fuel ratio within a specific band
3- spark at the correct time

the majority of your running problems will lie within those areas. Cosmetic and safety issues may also exist like the oil leaking etc. Your EGR problems would have affected the second item - air to fuel. You could still have other issues there. Once you make a simple list what you want advice, and assistance on, the great folks here on TheSamba Bay Forum will be able to help.
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*You can do it right the first time, or do it over, the choice is yours. It is a free country. As to brakes, steering, tires, axles etc. - you may only get one chance at doing those right.

* VW Buses and VW cars share many of the same systems but if you haven't owned a bus and maintained it for awhile, you really don't know how different it is.

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cliveawn
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:25 am    Post subject: Re: Engine tuneup/repair/rebuild advice needed! Reply with quote

Where are you in Sweden? Im close to Malmö if you need help?
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Jonasand
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 3:44 am    Post subject: Re: Engine tuneup/repair/rebuild advice needed! Reply with quote

Hi!

This is what I've done/observed so far while trying Wildthings suggestion;

*(With spark plugs removed)

Turning the fan over with my hands going through the whole firing order, there is about the same resistance between all four cylinders. It is quite easy to turn the fan around.


*(With spark plugs in)

Turning the fan over is a lot harder because of compression, it's a bit awkward to get a good grip on the inner side of the fan wheel so my hands get tired quickly. (I turned it over a lot though so I could make a scheme of everything happening at once, just to get my head around this).

Heres a review of the compression stroke on each cylinder;
Cylinder #4

Really hard for me to turn over with my hands, it fights back a bit if I let go and resistance is even through the whole stroke. This is the cylinder with the highest compression on it. This is the only cylinder where the compression "fights back" so to speak.

It seems air escapes through the oil filler tube on this cylinder.

Cylinder #3

Slightly easier to turn around then cylinder #4, even resistance.

Cylinder #2

About as easy as Cylinder #1, even resistance but it sounds like air is escaping if I turn the engine from the flywheel I can lean down to the exhaust port and hear air escaping there.

Cylinder #1

The easiest to turn around. The resistance is uneven when compressing, with less resistance at the end of the stroke and very obvious air escape.

I think the air escapes through the exhaust valve. If I turn the engine from the flywheel I can put my ear by the exhaust port.

Both cylinder 1 and 2 have this thing where it sounds as though air is escaping from the spring valve spring on cylinder #2. This is where the sound is loudest from both #1 and #2. But could be just vibrations in the metal from the air escaping.



@cliveawn
Thats really nice of you. Very Happy
I live in Malmö actually, I might take you up on that offer. Can I PM you?
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:31 am    Post subject: Re: Engine tuneup/repair/rebuild advice needed! Reply with quote

Sounds like to me you are going to want to do head work and new rings at a minimum. Pulling a lifter would tell if you need to split the case to do the cam.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:29 am    Post subject: Re: Engine tuneup/repair/rebuild advice needed! Reply with quote

Thanks wildthings, but would you mind explaining what you mean by headwork? Is it the valve seats that have failed and therefore leaking?

How would pulling a lifter tell me if the cam needs work?
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 1:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Engine tuneup/repair/rebuild advice needed! Reply with quote

Head work would mean anything that needs to be done to the heads and their parts to make them serviceable again. You usually just send them to a qualified shop: Headflow Masters, Hoffman Automotive Machine, and a few others and tell them to fix them A-1. It is highly possible you may need to buy new heads as old ones are commonly cracked. Unfortunately new heads often still need to be reworked with better quality parts.

With a lifter removed you can look at both the wear face of the lifter and shine a light down into the lifter bore and inspect the cam for wear. The lifters start out a bit convex, but will eventually wear to where they are seriously concave. At some point the wear seems to accelerate and a lot of performance is lost.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:52 am    Post subject: Re: Engine tuneup/repair/rebuild advice needed! Reply with quote

So it seems that I have to find out how much head work and eventually a new cam shaft would cost. Probably a lot Crying or Very sad

Should I still buy a leak tester and do a leak test to be certain of leaks or would the test that I did manually turning the motor be good enough to know for certain that the heads need work/replacement.

I'll try to remove the lifters and check as per your instructions on monday and report back what I find.


@SGKent (and everyone else)
If I would make a list what I need help with it would be something like this;

1. Help with finding out, as much as possible, about mechanical engine condition while the engine is out.

Preferably without splitting the case or spending too much money on special tools (leak tester, motor stand etc) and dismantling too much.


2. Tips on other things to test/look for relating to current running problems that can be checked/tested while the engine is out.

3. Tips on other things to test/look for that might cause more problems in the future if I don't fix them now. That could be safety issues, like fuel lines or other things to look for while I'm at it.

4. If there are things that I can only check/test while the engine is back in the bus, all connected up, then what are they? I'm guessing timing and fuel/air mix, anything else?

5. Are there any gaskets that cause oil leaks that require splitting the case or removing heads to change them?


Thanks for you help folks, I really appreciate it!
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Engine tuneup/repair/rebuild advice needed! Reply with quote

if you want professional results you must either use professional tools or find someone who has them who can help you. It is possible the engine may run right when you make these checks, then set the timing properly, fix any vacuum leaks etc. There is no magic inexpensive way to make the engine run right. There are inspections you can make, oil tests that can be mailed off to see what is in the oil, compression tests etc that will tell you these things. Maybe you might find a local VW club and join - there might be people there with the tools and skill. Not being arrogant here but there are many of us here who have invested $10,000 to $20,000 USD or more in tools over our life times to work on cars. That much is not needed but if spending money is not in the budget for something as simple as a compression tester, timing light etc, then I don't think this will have a happy ending for you unless you can make some friends in a local club. My opinion.
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Godspeed to all who undertake a journey with a VW Bus.

*You can do it right the first time, or do it over, the choice is yours. It is a free country. As to brakes, steering, tires, axles etc. - you may only get one chance at doing those right.

* VW Buses and VW cars share many of the same systems but if you haven't owned a bus and maintained it for awhile, you really don't know how different it is.

Bus Engine Cooling Issues? https://kentcomputer.com/77VW/BusEngineCooling.pdf
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Jonasand
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:07 am    Post subject: Re: Engine tuneup/repair/rebuild advice needed! Reply with quote

Hi!

I'm starting to have a little better funds and have now bought a
"Differential Cylinder Tester E2A" from Aircraftspruce.

It seems to be very good quality and I'm eager to start testing my engine.

However I've run into a problem...

I have to change the 18 mm adapter (chrome) that came pre-assembled with the tester to a 14 mm adapter (black) but the 18 mm adapter is stuck, screwed on really tight. I can't seem to manage to get it off without rounding the edges of the brass nut where the adapter is attached. (See picture)


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



Does anyone have any ideas?

Thanks!
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